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Hub Tap Mobile Event Co. Franchises During a Pandemic and Wins

Co-founder Nick Frasse opens up about launching an event-based franchise amid a pandemic – and winning.

Founded in 2017 by lifelong friends Nick Frasse and John Fromme in their hometown of Tampa, Florida, Hub Tap Mobile Event Co. is a company on a mission to make event bartending easy.

Offering a variety of unique services ranging from mobile bars housed in the company’s custom-designed horse trailers retrofitted with built-in draught systems to open-air photo booths complete with props, Hub Tap helps customers elevate events through distinctively stylish hospitality services and experiences.

After years of success in sunny Florida, the Hub Tap team decided to expand the brand through franchising a little over a year ago – and the choice was well worth it.

A recipe for success

Part of Hub Tap’s success is based on the signature experiences the brand creates for its clients’ guests.

Boasting all-inclusive pricing (excluding the cost of alcohol), the company offers full-service mobile bars situated in custom-branded horse trailers designed with a classic aesthetic in mind. Those bars are staffed by experienced, high-quality TIPS-certified bartenders. For events in smaller spaces (or tents), the company also offers auxiliary bar services.

Beyond hospitality, the company’s staffed open-air photo booths include features like instant social sharing, photo delivery by email or text, on-site high-speed printing, video and GIF options, custom templates and, of course, a selection of fun props – offering everything clients need to host uniquely memorable occasions for their guests.

After bringing co-owner Blake and media planner Simon onboard during a successful period of rapid growth, it’s no surprise that the Hub Tap team decided to franchise after the company’s third year in business.

“We got started (with franchising) in 2020 – not the best year to start a franchise, especially an event-based franchise with a global pandemic. But we did our annual review and Charles and the team (at Internicola) did a really good job of looking at what we were doing, what we were doing right, and what he thought we could continue to do better to try to get in front of more leads and generate more franchisees. So, up until now, everything has been awesome,” Frasse says.

Working with the right team

As new franchisors, finding a legal team that offered the right level of support and attention the Hub Tap team was looking for was no easy task.

“It was a long process to find a law firm that we felt was not trying to, I don’t want to say hustle us, but really was in it for us to be successful and had as much skin in the game as we did. We felt like we found that with (The Internicola Law Firm),” Frasse says.

Frasse says he was especially grateful for the level of attention the brand’s team received from the staff at the Internicola Law Firm when starting out. In particular, Frasse says the realistic approach franchise attorney Charles Internicola took during the consultation process helped prepare Hub Tap not only for future success but also for the potential challenges that awaited them as new franchisors.

“Charles was super helpful with the consultation process and walking us through what it would look like to franchise our business, for one, but also the realities of franchising your business – the realities of the process and the amount of work it takes to be successful in franchising your business,” Frasse says.

Doing things the right way

One of the key parts of Hub Tap’s franchising success has been its slower, more deliberate growth as the brand’s team worked to make sure they were franchising the right way from the start.

“We’ve tried to do everything the right way, even if it’s slower, and we felt like Charles and the team were really on the same page there, and that’s why we decided to go with them,” Frasse says.

Like all new franchisors, a major milestone was completing the Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) – an often intimidating document composed of 23 important disclosures legally mandated under the federal Franchise Rule.

“Putting together an FDD is no small feat. My partner, Blake, did a lot of the legwork on that. And [Internicola] was exceptionally helpful in making sure that we had everything in order and we were putting together things that made sense for our business and the longevity of our business when we franchise,” Frasse recalls.

Making sure their franchise was legally compliant wasn’t where the franchising process ended for the Hub Tap team, though. There was still a lot of work to do – and future franchisees to support.

Setting franchisees up for success

Recognizing that the success of their franchisees would determine the success of their franchise system, the Hub Tap team developed a variety of resources for its franchisees as part of their initial franchising process.

From equipment to marketing and sales training, Hub Tap works to support its franchisees at every stage of their business. That support includes videos, checklists, information about working with local vendors, social media and marketing advice, PDFs, guides, and a main point of contact to answer any questions a franchisee may have.

That support allows franchisees to thrive while earning a second income, enjoying the freedom to work from anywhere in the world and grow at their own pace in an increasingly popular industry.

Scaling the hurdles

Despite getting their start as a franchise during a challenging year, the Hub Tap team made it through its first year as a successful new franchisor – and they’re showing no signs of slowing down.

“So we’ve made it through the first year now, I would say that really, the value added with Charles and the team is their willingness to make sure that we’re continuing to be successful,” Frasse says.

For others looking to do the same, Frasse says doing due diligence and making good choices about the people you’re working with as a franchisor is important for future success.

“Our advice, from a company that has now just completed the franchising process, is really do your homework, do your research. There’s a lot of firms out there that can probably help with the franchising process, but do they care about what the future of your business is and what your goals are, and how best to achieve those goals?” Frasse says.

Like any business, choosing the right legal team that offers the right level of support for your franchise is also critical – a quality Frasse says he’s found in the team at the Internicola Law Firm.

“We’re through our first year. Like I said, moving into a pandemic is a hard year to start, but (the team at Internicola) has been extremely helpful in making sure that we have all the tools that we need to be a successful franchisor. We couldn’t ask for more from a team perspective,” Frasse says.

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