Contents - Fantastic Sams Hair Salon Franchise



Contents - Fantastic Sams Hair Salon Franchise
Fantastic Sams Hair Salon Franchise................................................................................................................................. 1
What is Fantastic Sams Hair Salons?................................................................................................................................. 3
The Fantastic Sams Story....................................................................................................................................................... 5
How Big is the Salon Industry?............................................................................................................................................. 6
What Services and Products do we Provide?................................................................................................................. 7
How Does Fantastic Sams Compete?............................................................................................................................... 9
What are the Startup Costs?.............................................................................................................................................. 11
Who Makes a Good Franchisee?...................................................................................................................................... 12
Is Multi-Unit Ownership Possible?.................................................................................................................................. 13
What are our Target Growth Markets?......................................................................................................................... 14
What Training and Support Does Fantastic Sams Offer?...................................................................................... 16
Who are my Customers?..................................................................................................................................................... 17
Why Stylists Love Working for Fantastic Sams.......................................................................................................... 19
What Customers Say About Fantastic Sams............................................................................................................... 20
What Franchisees Say About Fantastic Sams............................................................................................................. 21
What Makes a Good Location?.......................................................................................................................................... 23
How do I Finance my Franchise?...................................................................................................................................... 24
Meet the Management Team............................................................................................................................................. 25
FAQs............................................................................................................................................................................................. 28
2 29
Next Steps..................................................................................................................................................................................
Fantastic Sams Hair Salon
Fantastic Sams is a convenient,
affordable alternative to high-end
salon and budget haircut franchises
The salon and hair-care industry is a $75-billiona-year industry that’s growing by 8% a year. Within
that industry, you’d be hard-pressed to find a
more stable salon
franchise chain than
Fantastic Sams,
which is the oldest
full-service unisex
salon franchise in
the nation and has
grown to more than
1,100 units over the
past 40 years.
Fantastic Sams
has remained
relevant because we
specialize in offering
affordable options
for what full-service
beauty salon customers seek. The Fantastic Sams
brand you might remember from the 1970s was
acquired in 2012 by Dessange International, a
premium-luxury, multinational European beauty
salon chain.
Our value proposition is simple: We offer
customers current styles at affordable prices in a
convenient atmosphere. Unlike discount haircut
franchises, we serve more women than men, and
our average ticket price is much higher, creating
larger margins for the same investment levels.
(You can open your own Fantastic Sams salon
for about $185,000.) We are looking for franchise
candidates with a minimum liquidity of $70,000
and a net worth of at least $300,000.
Fantastic Sams franchisees receive the benefits
of a recognized and beloved national brand, the
security of a large, trend-setting organization and
the support of a well-resourced chain.
“Owning a Fantastic Sams is an entrepreneur’s
dream,” says franchisee Rick Tonet, who has four
salons in the Pittsburgh area. “They are not in
your face every day. It’s like: ‘Here’s everything
you need. If you need help, we’re there for you.’
And I like that.”
Regardless of the economy, there is a constant
and consistent demand for quality hair-care
services, such as hair styling and coloring,
at reasonable
prices. When
money is tight,
customers look for
alternatives. As Baby
Boomers and Gen
X’ers are getting
older and grayer,
more of them are
opting to get color
treatments more
often. About 75%
of women in the
United States use
some sort of color
on their hair, and the percentage of men who
color their gray hair is on a huge upswing.
A 2010 survey by TRESemme showed that the
average woman spends $44,000 to $51,000
during her lifetime on hair care. According to the
same study, 83% of those responding said their
investment was worth every penny. Put another
way, they will keep spending what they normally
spend or more. These women want color, cuts,
products and a variety of other salon services, and
they like to buy them from the same source over
a long period of time.
Fantastic Sams is a great alternative to costly,
high-end salons. We set up shop in neighborhood
shopping centers near where people live, we keep
convenient hours, we accept walk-ins and we offer
services for men, women and children. We offer
families a one-stop family shop, which fosters
intense customer loyalty. Four decades later we’re
still growing strong with our trend-right salons.
Why Fantastic Sams is a great investment
Fantastic Sams operates in the middle of
the target of a high-growth but still mature
$75-billion-a-year salon industry. Hair Salons are
big business, especially salons that offer color
services in addition to haircuts. Demand for color
services has been growing at over 8% a year.
Regardless of the economy, people always need
haircuts. Older women want to look younger.
Younger women want to look more sophisticated.
Everyone wants to look good. Multibillion-dollar
industries don’t just go away.
Salon services can’t be replaced by technology,
either. You can’t stream them through the
internet or outsource them to other countries,
and they aren’t subject to a host of dangers and
threats that other businesses experience.
Since Fantastic Sams began, the United States
has experienced six recessions. Many of our
franchisees are 20- and 30-year veterans whose
Fantastic Sams thrived through all of them.
During tough economic times, women who would
normally visit high-end salons look for something
more affordable, which is the heart of our sweet
spot. So when some salons’ business might drop
off, many of our franchisees experience an influx
of new customers.
Our business is almost bulletproof, and the
business world has noticed.
Among our awards:
No. 47, “Entrepreneur” Top 500 franchises,
2014. We’ve been on this prestigious ranking
of the best franchise opportunities for several
consecutive years.
No. 151, “Franchise Times” Top 200, 2013.
In addition, Fantastic Sams was included in the
publication’s Top Personal Care franchise systems.
“USA Today” 50 Top Franchises for Veterans,
2013. We offer veterans a 25% discount on the
franchise fee and $5,000 in Fantastic Sams hair
products upon salon opening in participating
“Inc. Magazine’s” Franchise 500|5000,
2010-2013. Fantastic Sams is included in the
compilation of the fastest-growing private
companies in America.
Since our purchase by Dessange International,
we are growing, and we expect to double or triple
our number of locations in the next five to 10
What is Fantastic Sams
Hair Salons?
Our full-service salon franchise offers
affordable and convenient beauty
services for women and the whole
Fantastic Sams is a convenient, full-service
salon that provides an array of services suitable
for everyone — all at affordable prices. We were
the first nationally franchised unisex salon, and
we’ve been growing strong for 40 years.
“When you say ‘Fantastic Sams’ today, often
we’re lumped in with those cut-only places. But
we’re so much more,” says Linda Chadwick, CEO.
“We offer a full range of salon services, including
haircuts and trend-right styles, color and waxing.
We believe it’s a safer, higher-ticket, higher-margin
and more stable model than the cut-only models.”
The salon industry is generally divided over
three segments: premium, upscale (meaning
high quality but still accessible) and affordable.
Fantastic Sams offers customers affordable
services, which is where the bulk of the customers
are — the middle of the target in the beauty
services industry.
What is trend-right?
Our core customer is someone who is
fashionably current — never out-of-date, but
never too edgy. Think of a modern, contemporary,
girl-next-door kind of beauty. Our customer
isn’t coloring her hair from a box purchased at a
drugstore, but she doesn’t want to waste money,
either. She goes to Fantastic Sams because she
knows our stylists are educated on the latest
cuts, colors, products and techniques, and their
training is updated regularly to stay abreast of a
moving target.
Other haircutting franchises rely heavily on
the cut-only model; many are marketed mostly
to kids or men. What’s unique about Fantastic
Sams is that we cater to everyone — from young
professionals looking for an affordable way to
maintain a stylish appearance, to teenagers who
need a great updo for prom, to whole families
who may have to get four or five heads of hair cut
every six weeks or so. Fantastic Sams is the right
option for all of them.
Women spend far more on hair care and
salon services than do men and children. Our
average ticket is about twice that of the average
of haircutting-only chains, meaning we can do
the same sales volume with half the number of
As a bonus for us, she often brings her husband
and children.
As a Fantastic Sams franchisee, you don’t have
to have any background as a stylist. You just
have to be passionate about people and have
good business sense. You get the satisfaction of
knowing you’re helping people look their best,
and when people look their best, they feel more
confident. It’s not neurosurgery, but it’s a great
way to make a contribution to someone’s life. And
the salon industry is not only worthy, it’s fun.
We’re an affordable franchise opportunity
The financial wherewithal needed to open a
Fantastic Sams Hair Salon is accessible to a lot
of investors; the typical starting investment is
about $185,000. Over the past year, our range
has been as little as $137,100, and our high end
was $261,500. We look for franchisees with a
minimum net worth of $300,000 and at least
$70,000 in liquid capital. The rest can be financed.
franchise owners take care of the big picture,
hiring the right people to make sure customers
get the services they want. It’s not a hands-off
model; rather, it’s a business where you will
manage the manager, handle the marketing and
make sure your community knows who Fantastic
Sams is.
Why hair-care franchises are stable
The beauty industry is a $75-billion-a-year
business. The services Fantastic Sams provides
cannot be replaced by technology, streamed
through the internet or outsourced to another
Unlike a lot of franchise systems, where
royalties are based on a percentage of gross
sales, every Fantastic Sams location pays a flat fee
per week. With flat-fee royalties, your royalties
do not go up as your sales increase. This means
your profit margins are higher because you aren’t
paying royalties on the incremental increase.
Our ideal franchisees are practical
businesspeople who want a “4-S business” —
something that’s safe, stable, secure and scalable.
They are community-oriented and want to help
customers look and feel good.
Just ask Richard Upson, who has five Fantastic
Sams salons in the San Antonio, TX, area.
“Our salons are all very stable,” says Marilyn
Tokatly, a franchisee with six salons in California.
“We have excellent staff that pretty much runs
the show. Fantastic Sams has excellent training. I
took all my managers through the management
certification program, so they know everything
they need to do to run a successful Fantastic
Sams, and they do it. I still do a lot of work, but
they handle the daily operations.”
Fantastic Sams, of course, is the granddaddy
of salon franchises. In a stable industry, we’ve
proven our staying power in the past four
decades. We’ve evolved far beyond the familiar
brand you might remember from our start in
the mid-’70s. Now we are a franchise that’s 1,100
locations strong. With CEO Linda Chadwick’s
extensive history in franchising, we’re hoping to
double those numbers. It’s an exciting time in our
brand for the right investor.
“We are doing what the guests want, when they
want it, the way they want it,” Richard says. “We
treat them with respect, and we’re taking care of
them in every way we can. The second thing we
are doing is providing some really good jobs for
some really great folks who work for us.”
It’s helpful to have prior business experience,
but salon experience is not required. Our
The Fantastic Sams Story
Meet the visionary barber who
created the first unisex salon
Forty years ago, Memphis barber Sam Ross
had a vision. In barber shops, there were no
appointments. Men walked in any time of day,
they sat in the chairs and they came away with
great cuts and great experiences.
Barbershop customers came back time
after time, year after year. Clients went to the
barbershops in their neighborhoods or on
their way to work — it was convenient; it was
affordable. It was
familiar. Sam
came up with a
seemingly obvious
idea that no one
had thought of
before: Why not
offer those services
to the whole
family? So in July
1974, he opened
one of the first
unisex salons that
offered the whole
family the formula
that worked in
a barbershop:
convenience, affordability and familiarity. Two
years later, he started franchising his concept,
making Fantastic Sams the first nationally
franchised unisex hair salon.
As for the name, the story goes that as Sam
Ross finished a particularly deft cut on someone
in his chair, the client said, “That’s fantastic, Sam!”
and a legacy was born.
“He felt it could be a place for kids to get
their hair cut, where men could get barber-style
service and women could get a whole range of
basic salon services — cuts, color, waxing — at
an affordable price,” says Linda Chadwick, CEO,
of the company’s late founder. “It would be a
convenient, one-stop salon where people would
be loyal. As a result, the majority of our customer
base is families.”
The future of Fantastic Sams
We’ve been through many changes over the
years. We were acquired by our parent company,
Dessange International, in 2012, and we are
excited about the opportunities to aggressively
grow our Fantastic Sams salons across the
country. We currently have more than 1,100
salons in the U.S., and our goal is to double that
Dessange is
known throughout
Europe as a highend, cutting-edge
trendsetter in the
area of hairstyles.
Sams will be
able to offer its
customers “trendright” services
in convenient
locations at
affordable prices.
If hair care was
the auto industry,
Dessange would be the Lexus to Fantastic Sams’
Toyota. Toyota and Lexus are made by the same
company, and Toyota has many of the same
features as the Lexus — but it’s much more
affordable. Both are great cars, but they appeal to
different customers. There is a bigger market for
Toyota, as there is for Fantastic Sams.
Today’s Fantastic Sams is not the same brand
you or your parents grew up with, though we still
embrace the operational philosophy envisioned
by our founder. We not only offer haircuts and
styles, we also provide chemical services like
perms, straightening and color, as well as facial
waxing. We sell products to our customers so
they can maintain their styles and keep their hair
healthy between appointments. Customers love
us because we make them look great; franchisees
love us because they can start the business part
time and easily add more salons to increase their
return on investment and build their net worth.
Manage the business while working part time
The business model is simple enough that
owners need not be involved full time with their
first salon, and there’s also no salon experience
required. Our most successful franchisees hire a
licensed stylist as a General Manager, someone
who can oversee one salon or several. That
person interacts on a day-to-day basis with the
hair stylists and customers. As an owner, you’ll
oversee the business side of things and play an
important role in marketing your Fantastic Sams
salons to your community.
The business is fun, creative and a perfect
opportunity for someone seeking a business in
a stable industry. Our brand came long before
those haircut-only places, and we offer so much
more to our customers.
How Big is the Salon
Experts see a promising future based
on years of steady growth
Big hair may no longer be in style, but a big hair
industry? That’s still going strong. It’s huge, in fact:
The hair-care salon industry is a $75-billion-a-year
industry that is growing at about 8% a year. In
good times and bad, hair grows. Hair goes gray.
Older women want to look like young women.
Young women want to look more sophisticated.
Men and kids want to look good. People want
affordable and convenient services. All these
things make our business safe, secure, stable,
profitable and positioned for the long haul.
You’d be hard-pressed to find a more stable
salon franchise chain than Fantastic Sams, which
has been around for 40 years and has more than
1,100 locations across the country.
“This is a category that will never go away,” says
Ruth Swanson, Vice President of Marketing. “It will
always take one-on-one personal skill. It can’t be
automated, and it can’t be outsourced.”
In an industry that will always be in demand,
Fantastic Sams stands out. We were the first
franchise of our kind in this full-service salon
space, and we’re still going strong after four
decades in the business.
How does Fantastic Sams compete?
Forty is the new 30, right? So as people are
living longer, it stands to reason that 50 is the
new 40, 60 is the new 50 and so on. Taking care of
their hair — especially with color — is the easiest
way for aging Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers to look
youthful. Taking their business to Fantastic Sams
is the most affordable way for them to accomplish
that goal.
They know they can come to Fantastic Sams for
a full range of affordable salon services, including
advanced hair color, the latest and greatest cuts,
and facial waxing — an extra convenience our
customers truly appreciate. That’s something
those discount hair-cutting chains don’t offer, and
that gives us an edge in the marketplace.
“Other franchises are just ‘cutting salons,’” says
John Prichard, a Fantastic Sams franchisee with
27 salons in Minneapolis. “They have a few extra
services, but those services are pretty minor in
terms of what they provide. The guest service
and training and development model that we
have allows people to come in and step into a
full-service hair salon environment and be well
supported and stronger than what I’ve seen from
Like our customers, Fantastic Sams also wants
to look good in the industry. That’s why we’ve
been undergoing a brand regeneration. Under
CEO Linda Chadwick, who has an extensive
background in franchising, we’re re-emerging as
the leader in the salon franchise marketplace.
Investing with our company makes sense for firsttime business owners and for seasoned investors.
As a single-unit franchisee with Fantastic
Sams, you can take advantage of a resilient
industry without going all-in; you can oversee a
single operation on a part-time basis until you’re
ready to scale up and add more salons. As an
experienced investor, you can have confidence
that our brand’s longevity and leadership will
provide the framework you need to build your
own empire of Fantastic Sams salons.
What Services and
Products do we Provide?
Services, products create additional
revenue streams for franchisees
Fantastic Sams is known for affordable haircuts
and a full menu of salon services. It’s a great
convenience to our customers to be able to get a
cut, color and eyebrow waxing all in one visit —
and it also is beneficial to our franchisees.
By providing more than just haircutting,
we offer multiple streams of revenue for our
franchisees. We have a full product line, exclusive
to Fantastic Sams salons, and our menu of
services encourages stylists to upsell. Our services
include cuts, color, texture and facial waxing.
“Color is the No. 1 upsell,” says Michael Kuryllo,
a multi-unit franchisee in Southern California.
“We have higher margins on color. We’re pushing
to get color up to 30% of our sales. If a stylist
wants to make more money, they are doing color.
The best part for them is that color takes time
to set, and while that is happening, you can be
doing another haircut and selling more hair-care
They’re also creating customer loyalty while
helping the store become more profitable.
“Women who color their hair are more
likely to change their doctor than change their
Our growing brand has more than
1,100 salons across the country, and
we are looking for more franchisees
to double that number. Salon
and hair-care experience are not
required. We’re looking for people
with business savvy and a passion
for people. We were here before all
the rest. We plan to be here long
after they’re gone.
hairdresser,” says Susan Peace, Senior Director of
Retail Beauty Products. “The power of the brand is
what makes us unique.”
If you gain customer confidence, they are
likely to stay with you for a long time. That’s the
easiest way for your business to grow: Find new
customers while you keep the customers you
already have. And the easiest way to grow your
business is to increase your revenues through
product lines and higher-margin services.
We are committed to helping our franchisees
boost their revenues by offering simple and
flexible ways to increase their bottom lines.
The exclusive Fantastic Sams product line
Our goal is for every
client to walk out the
door with a Fantastic
Sams product.
The exclusive
Fantastic Sams product
line is comparable
to familiar brands in
the same price range,
like Paul Mitchell and
Biolage by Matrix.
They’re designed
to help customers
maintain their styles
and recreate that salon-day feeling between visits.
With a goal of 10% of revenues coming from
products, many franchisees find that with proper
training, their stylists go above and beyond.
The stylists love being able to earn extra money
(they keep a small percentage of each sale as
commission), and the franchisee benefits every
time the cash register rings up a higher ticket.
“When you educate your clients about what
you are using on their hair, and you educate them
about how they can use a Fantastic Sams product
to recreate their hairstyle at home, it allows them
to keep their hair looking great longer between
visits. That builds loyalty,” says franchisee Marilyn
Tokatly, who runs six salons in California.
“The stylists who sell the most products are also
the ones that get the most customer requests for
their service, because they are going above and
beyond what the average stylist offers,” she says.
“It’s also an opportunity for the stylist to earn
more. I pay people well to educate customers and
recommend products to them.”
In addition, salons don’t have to stockpile
product and inventory — typically less than $5,000
worth — because the product turns quickly, about
10-12 times a year.
Our Fantastic Hair Products line is formulated
to help customers with various hair-styling needs.
Some want to keep their color fresh between
touch-ups. Others need volume or strength.
Many clients fight dry
or brittle hair. And
everyone needs to
get rid of product and
mineral build-up from
time to time. We offer
affordable solutions
for all of those issues,
as well as an exclusive
hair-care line for men.
Here’s a closer look
at our Fantastic Sams
The Color Protect
regimen — which includes shampoo, conditioner,
leave-in conditioner and a conditioning masque —
protects color-treated hair from fading and offers
extra protection from harmful UV rays.
The Moisturizing regimen rehydrates and
strengthens dry or brittle hair. The shampoo,
conditioner, leave-in conditioner and conditioning
masque are infused with silk protein and jojoba
oil to strengthen hair and moisturize the scalp.
The Volumizing regimen is formulated with
honey for increased moisture and shine. It adds
body and volume to fine hair by increasing the
density of each hair strand. The line includes
shampoo, conditioner, root lifter and potion.
Clarifying Shampoo is recommended once
a week for all guests, especially those who use
styling products. It’s a triple-chelating shampoo
that gently removes styling product build-up,
chlorine and hard-water minerals.
Fantastic for Men includes two-in-one shampoo
and conditioner; Tea Tree shampoo and
conditioner that soothe irritated skin with aloe
and tea tree oil while leaving hair looking healthy
and shiny; styling wax, gel and Styling Cement.
The Styling and Finishing products are designed
to provide any level of sculpting, hold and body
a customer could want. The line includes gels,
pomade, mousse, Molding Mud, Nourishing
Serum with Argan Oil, Curl Defining Crème,
Thermal Guard and Shaping Spray.
Each of our lines has enhanced ingredients
to improve effectiveness, including
FantasticComplex™, our special complex
comprised of pro-vitamins, soy protein and
silicone. Fantastic Hair Products use soy protein to
penetrate the hair and add strength, while provitamin B-5 and panthenol condition it. Silicone
protects the hair shaft during heat styling, while
restoring moisture balance and manageability.
We also carry national products like TIGI and
How does Fantastic Sams
No other salon franchise offers the
same services at the same price
When a woman gets her hair done, she expects
certain niceties. A cup of coffee, perhaps, or
bottled water. A scalp massage while she’s being
shampooed. An end result that looks so good
she makes sure to go somewhere immediately
afterward so people can see her hair and maybe
compliment her.
She’ll find all that at Fantastic Sams.
“We try to make sure Fantastic Sams is a little
different, not only because we’re a one-stop shop
but because of the level of service we offer,” says
Linda Chadwick, CEO. “In our perfect world, a
client should leave with a cut, color, blow-dry and
a product.”
Yet Fantastic Sams also meets the expectations
men have when they get their hair cut. They want
to walk in with no appointment, sit down in the
chair and be cut and styled right away. They want
someone to recommend the right products for
their hair so they can keep the same good look
until their next cut.
With our decades of experience in the salon
business, we’ve created the perfect business
model to meet the needs of every man, woman
and child who come to our salons, and we’ve
done it in a way that means revenue potential for
franchisees. Our customer care, range of services,
affordability and attention to detail give us a
unique niche in the marketplace.
“Sport Clips caters to men. Great Clips focuses
on cuts. Supercuts focuses on cuts and does
a little bit of color, but it doesn’t match our
offerings,” says Jerry Dalzell, a franchisee with
nine Fantastic Sams in Las Vegas. “We are fullservice. We do cuts, color, highlights, waxing,
and we cleanse your hair before we cut it. We
give customers an experience. The
shampooing is part of that. If you
are not cleansing someone’s hair,
feeling their hair and taking a look
at it, how can you recommend the
right product? That’s part of the
consultation. We talk to you about
your cut and what you did last, as
well as what you would like. Then,
once we have shampooed your hair
and understand its condition, we can
tell you: ‘Based on what you told me,
this is the product I’m going to use in
your hair, and this is what it is going
to do for you. You’ll be able to feel
the difference.’ ”
How does Fantastic Sams stand
For customers, our commitment to customer
care and premium service at an affordable
price, coupled with the ultimate in convenience
salons, is a big draw. Our CEO Linda Chadwick
understands the importance of the salon
“When I spend $15, $16, $17 on a haircut, I want
someone who asks me what I want,” she says.
“I want a good shampoo. I want to have a really
good experience. It’s still a great value. I don’t
want to pay $75, $100 for a haircut, but when I
walk out, I want to feel I got a little bit more.”
It’s convenience. Customers don’t want to have
to go somewhere else to get their facial waxing
done. They don’t want to go one place for an
inexpensive cut and then have to figure out how
to get highlights or a root touch-up. Fantastic
Sams offers all of that in one place.
For franchisees, Fantastic Sams offers a low
entry cost, with a typical initial investment
of $185,000; a chance to start out as an
entrepreneur part-time with one salon; an
incredible system of support and training; and
perks like a fixed royalty fee of $340-$400 per
week. As sales increase, royalties do not — so
increasing the top-line sales improves the bottom
line more quickly than other franchise concepts.
Franchisees keep more of what they earn.
“I like the fact that Fantastic Sams has a flat
royalty fee and not a percentage-based fee,” says
LaRonda Hunter of Ft. Worth, TX, who owns four
salons. “All the other franchises I researched were
based on percentage. I started out with the goal
of being successful, so I wanted there to be a
point where I could start making money and not
have to give it to the franchisor. That was a big
factor for me. It’s proven to be advantageous. I’m
not a wealthy person, but I had enough money up
front for the franchise fee and down payment on
a loan. I had good credit. I think it’s important to
know you don’t have to be rich to start a Fantastic
With more than 1,100 locations across the
country, a 40-year history in the salon franchise
business and a solid position in a very stable,
$75-billion-a-year industry, Fantastic Sams has
much to offer for the experienced investor, as
can keep your current career and buy just one
salon, starting out as a part-time entrepreneur, or
you can take advantage of multi-unit incentives
by entering into a 3-pack, 5-pack or 10-pack
agreement. This is a great way to carve out your
own piece of the market for future growth and
What are the Startup
Affordable salon franchise has
affordable entry point
Wealth is not a prerequisite for owning a salon
franchise. One of the many benefits of joining the
Fantastic Sams family as a franchisee is that you
The business model is simple and easy to scale.
Here’s a look at our startup costs from Item 7 in
our FDD.
Type of Expenditure
Amount (LowHigh)
Method of
When Due
To Whom Payment
is To Be Made
Initial License Fee
Lump Sum
When you sign the
License Agreement
Salons Corp
New Owner/SFC Training Fee
$1,000 to $2,000
Lump Sum
Before your
Salons Corp or FSFC
Travel and Living Expenses For You and
Your Employees During Training
$1,500 to $3,000
As Incurred
During Training
Airlines, Hotels &
Leasehold Improvements (including
architectural fees)
$30,000 to $80,000
As Incurred
Before you open
your Salon
Landlord, Suppliers &
$1,600 to $7,000
Lump Sum
Before you open
your Salon
Landlord & Suppliers
Utility Deposits
$500 to $1,500
Lump Sum
Before you open
your Salon
Utility companies
Initial Haircare Product Inventory (3
month supply)
$8,000 to $14,000
As Incurred
Before you open
your Salon
Salons Corp or Other
Salon Equipment
$18,000 to $35,000
Lump Sum
Before you open
your Salon
Other Equipment, Fixtures, and
$5,000 to $15,000
Lump Sum
Before you open
your Salon
Salon Supplies - Non Technical (3 month
$2,500 to $4,500
As Incurred
Before you open
your Salon
Salon Identity and Graphics Kit (interior
$500 to $2,000
Lump Sum
Before you open
your Salon
Salons Corp or Other
Advertising (first 3 months)
$7,500 to $15,000
As Incurred
As Arranged
$1,000 to $2,500
as required
As Incurred
Insurance Company
Additional Funds - 3 Months
$30,000 to $50,000
As Incurred
As Arranged
Employees, Suppliers
and Utilities
$137,100 to $261,500
Who Makes a Good
Fantastic Sams wants owners with
great business sense, not salon
We want to clear up a misconception about
the salon franchise industry right away: You do
NOT have to have any experience as a stylist or
working in a salon to be a successful franchisee.
You just need a head for business.
A salon stylist who also acts as the
manager, however, does have to be a licensed
cosmetologist. However, many franchisees have
managers who oversee more than one salon who
are not stylists. You have the flexibility to fit your
business needs. It’s what we call a “manage the
manager” business. Others call it “semi-absentee”
because it can be launched on a part-time basis.
In addition to your General Manager, who will
handle day-to-day management of the stylist staff,
you will work closely with Fantastic Sams stylist
educators, who train every new stylist and keep
our franchise staffs nationwide up to date on the
latest cutting and coloring techniques and styles.
“I tell my salon managers that one of the
reasons we’ve been so successful is that we have
a balance,” says Ft. Worth, TX, franchisee LaRonda
Hunter, a former American Airlines accountant.
“My stylists come at the business from a technical
side, and I come at it from a customer’s side and
from having a background in accounting. I feel like
I know the level of customer service people want
in salons because I’ve been a customer. Between
us we’ve got it all covered.”
Multi-unit franchisee Marilyn Tokatly, who has
six Fantastic Sams salons in California, also owns
a flooring business and a glass company. Marilyn
finds that her background as a recruiter helps her
“To become successful in this business,
everything is about the quality of the hairstylists.
It’s an individual service, and everybody does
things a little differently,” she says. “To have a
strong business, you have to have stylists who are
skilled and provide great customer service. As a
recruiter, ideally you find people who have that
skill level, but you often have to take people with
the right attitude and desire and then help them
develop the right skills.”
That’s why Fantastic Sams provides every
franchisee with a Franchise Business Consultant.
“You will have a partner to help you grow your
business within the market,” says CEO Linda
Chadwick, whose own background is in fast-food
franchising. “The educator will help you train your
Once everyone is on board with the same
trend-right skill set, it’s a matter of each franchisee
making sure to promote the business within the
community and helping to create an appealing
atmosphere that will bring customers back time
and again. We help our franchisees make the
most of the power of our 40-year-old brand name
to foster customer loyalty and drive revenues.
“Women who color their hair are more
likely to change their doctor than change their
hairdresser,” notes Susan Peace, Senior Director
of Retail Beauty Products.
A system that works
LaRonda sees the ideal franchisee as someone
who is a confident decision-maker who is willing
to rely on the support offered by the franchise.
Franchisee Rick Tonet, a former steel company
manager, thinks the biggest assets are common
sense and a willingness to be hands-on.
“With Fantastic Sams, you don’t have to have
an MBA,” says Rick, who owns four salons in the
Pittsburgh area. “You just have to have good
common sense. You cannot be an absentee
owner. You have to have yourself or someone
else in there routinely to make sure everything is
going well.”
Fantastic Sams has built an infrastructure that
caters to entrepreneurs. We have proven systems
in place that we have honed and updated over the
“Fantastic Sams has excellent training,” Marilyn
says. “I took all my managers through the
management certification program, so they know
everything they need to do to run a successful
Fantastic Sams, and they do it. I still do a lot of
work, but they handle the daily operations.”
Is Multi-Unit Ownership
More than 70% of our salons are
operated by multi-unit owners
John and Patti Prichard are the largest multiunit franchisees in the Fantastic Sams system,
with 27 salons in the Minneapolis area. He knew
from the outset he wanted to own more than one
salon, based on the research they did before they
joined our franchise family.
With such an easy-to-scale, simple business
model, John, a former CFO for a national bakery,
was impressed with Fantastic Sams performance
in an already-stable industry. He and Patti
appreciate the level of support offered to
franchisees, which makes it easier to be profitable
and own multiple units.
“We follow the guest services model very
closely, as well as the operational model. We are
very active and involved in leading our teams and
holding them accountable to providing a high
level of guest services, and we also expect them to
take advantage of training to develop their skills,”
says John. “We get great support from Fantastic
Sams corporate, which offers a lot of coaching,
mentoring and training.”
Multi-unit owners Richard and Laurie Upson
were looking to replace their income from
Richard’s job as senior VP of logistics for a large
retail company. Like the Prichards, they were
drawn to the stability of the salon industry, and
they trusted the Fantastic Sams name. From
there, it was a matter of scaling up sensibly.
Most of our salons are operated by multi-unit
owners, although many of them started with a
single unit. Fantastic Sams is in an industry with
long-term economic stability, and we make it
easier for investors to own multiple units through
financial incentives for purchasing more than one
“We looked at a break-even point for a salon
and at what we thought we could accomplish as
we got salons up and going,” Richard says. “We
felt that we’d eventually need about five salons
to do that. So we bought five license agreements
right out of the chute. We figured if we were going
to do this, we were going to be all-in. Also, we got
a better price by buying multiple licenses.”
Manage the manager
How do they and other multi-unit owners
manage? Our business model makes it easy. Our
franchisees don’t need any salon experience, they
just need a solid business background. Owners
typically hire licensed cosmetologists to manage
the salons and work with the stylists day-today. A multi-unit owner can shine by staying on
top of marketing and “managing the managers”
for their salons, making sure customers always
have a positive experience and always leave
happy. One General Manager often can handle
two or three salons, so franchisees can create a
tiered management system that makes it easy
to understand what’s going on at any salon at
any given moment. Buying multiple salons is
something of an insurance policy for the savvy
“Everybody’s got to get a haircut. During tough
times, they may go a week longer or two weeks
longer, but the need for a haircut never goes
away,” says Richard, of San Antonio, TX. “Women
may wait a few weeks longer to get their hair
colored, but they’re still going to want the service.”
He and Laurie, like most of our franchisees, had
never worked in the salon industry before — but
they didn’t need that experience. “We wanted
something that was not beyond our knowledge
technologically,” he says. “Also, we wanted
a business model that would let us invest in
multiple locations. Some franchises require more
than $1 million for that level of investment, but
we didn’t have that kind of money. We liked the
protection of having geographic dispersion. If one
salon is a little off, then you’re still OK.”
In the franchising world, there are almost
limitless options to choose from. Savvy investors
will be able to spot Fantastic Sams’ advantages
almost right away.
“I looked at Fantastic Sams, along with a lot
of business models, and Fantastic Sams stood
out,” says John, the former CFO. “I did a lot of due
diligence, talking to existing franchisees and going
into a lot of detail with them so that I could get a
feel for the profit-loss metrics and the cash-flow
model — things that the franchisor is precluded
from talking about. It was easy for me to come
up with break-even points and see the upside
opportunity. The financial exercise was key to me
deciding to get into the business.”
What are our Target
Growth Markets?
Many markets are still available
across the United States
Fantastic Sams is a versatile salon franchise
that has the impressive ability to work in large and
small markets. High-frequency shopping centers
in densely populated, middle-income residential
areas are our “sweet spot” — that ideal place
that gives a franchisee the best opportunity to
thrive. We have successful franchisees in markets
as large as Los Angeles and Boston and as small
as Adrian, MI, and Weaverville, NC, (population
3,780). Our simple, scalable business model works
anywhere that people embrace affordable hair
care in a full-service salon atmosphere.
We have the advantage of a recognizable brand
name with a 40-year history, but with 1,100 units
across the country, we still have plenty of room to
Currently, we are especially excited about
opportunities to grow in the states of Georgia,
Illinois, Michigan, New Mexico, Northern
California, North Carolina, South Carolina
and Texas. Beyond these states, there are
still hundreds, if
not thousands, of
untapped territories —
communities where a
full-service, affordable
salon franchise would
be more than welcome.
Franchise owners can
build a solid customer
base because there
always is a need for
what we provide.
In addition to our
three core services
of haircuts, color and
facial waxing, we also
provide high-quality,
frequent education
to our stylists to keep
them abreast of the
latest trends. Our
support system and
training for franchisees
are designed to help them provide trend-right
services in their communities, which makes
customers happy and gives owners greater
opportunities for success.
How Fantastic Sams shines
There are a lot of cut-only salons in the market.
Some of them cater to kids, while others cater to
men. Fantastic Sams has an edge because we not
only offer affordable services for the whole family,
we offer a much broader range of services than
a mere “chop shop.” We pamper our customers
with beverages and scalp massages, offering them
fashionable haircuts and styles, chemical services
like perms, straightening and color, as well as
facial waxing. Our salons are stocked with our
exclusive line of Fantastic Hair products, which
we offer for sale to customers who want to keep
their styles looking sharp until their next visit.
That business model provides a win-win — clients
leave looking and feeling great about themselves
and about the price they paid, and franchisees
get an opportunity to
boost their bottom lines
through multiple streams
of revenue.
Fantastic Sams has
single- and multiunit development
opportunities available
in numerous areas, and
many of our owners start
part-time with one salon
and grow their territories
with more salons. Our
experts will help guide
you through the siteselection process once
you’ve chosen your ideal
“I think it’s recessionresistant,” says franchisee
Jerry Dalzell, who currently
owns nine salons in the
Las Vegas area. “Everybody needs haircuts. We
offer family hair care at a mid-range price point.
We are not going after the high-income folks, but I
have stylists I’d put up against anybody — stylists
who are very skilled and talented, as well as some
who are young and whom we are developing. We
offer a great value at a reasonable price. When
you can get an adult haircut and shampoo for
$14.95, that’s a pretty good thing in this market.”
What Training and
Support Does Fantastic
Sams Offer?
Franchisees get business coaches,
help with operations and more
Fantastic Sams offers our franchisees
extraordinary field support. Many members of
our support team have 20-plus years as successful
managers and owners themselves, so they
understand what it means to learn a business
from the ground up.
We provide education to our stylists three times
a year to make sure they stay on the forefront of
the latest in hair care. Fantastic Sams is a trendright salon, meaning we provide our clients with
the latest styles to make them feel fashionable —
not avant-garde. And we provide our franchisees
with as much guidance and support as possible to
help them make the most of franchise ownership.
The safety net of support we offer franchisees
made a difference to Michael Kuryllo, who owns
six salons in Southern California.
“I looked at Supercuts, Subway and coinoperated Laundromats. I didn’t think Supercuts
and Subway were user-friendly for new
franchisees; Fantastic Sams was much easier to
work with,” Michael says. “As we looked into it,
we liked the education program they had, and
it seemed like they had more support for new
“I chose Fantastic Sams because they had the
best training for owners.”
How we work for franchisees
One of the things Linda Chadwick has done
since joining Fantastic Sams as CEO is take stock
of everyone’s strengths. No one person can be
the best at everything, she notes, so it’s better
to play to people’s strengths. Linda comes from
an executive-level background in quick-service
franchises, so she has a deep understanding of
what it takes to succeed in franchising.
And franchisees can count on one thing: Linda
and her team always call back. While some
franchise companies frustrate their owners by
being very hard to get in touch with, Linda prides
herself on a quick response.
Across the country, franchisees can count on
access to their own regional franchise experts.
Every region has its own regional director,
operations person and educator for the stylists.
When a salon opens, the educator helps interview
stylists to make sure their technical skills are up
to par. Once the staff members are in place, they
attend a training boot camp of sorts, led by the
educator, where they learn everything from how
to greet customers at the door to the ins and outs
of the Fantastic Hair product line.
The operations team trains franchisees on
salon fundamentals like scheduling. Franchisees
also join a quarterly conference call for every
owner in the company, called Ramp Up 4 Success,
about upcoming events like promotions and
There are monthly meetings for franchise
owners and their managers. Within their regions,
many meetings are held in the evenings so the
manager can work in the salon during peak times.
The educator also holds monthly meetings and
periodic classes on color, cutting techniques
and more. The leadership of Fantastic Sams is
committed to serving franchisees.
Franchisors and franchisees sometimes have
contentious relationships. At Fantastic Sams, we
believe we’re here to serve you. If your business is
a success, then so is ours.
“I love franchising. I think you have to
appreciate that the franchisee is a unique
individual,” says Linda. “They’re entrepreneurs,
and that’s what America’s built on. It’s really their
business, and you have to have the mentality of a
servant leader. You have to if you’re going to be in
franchising. You have to be willing to help.”
Who are my Customers?
Fantastic Sams works with
franchisees to market to the whole
Imagine being able to walk into a great salon on
a whim and get your hair cut, your color done and
your eyebrows waxed, all for an affordable price.
Or rounding up your whole family and dropping
off your kids and spouse at the salon for haircuts
while you do the grocery shopping.
Fantastic Sams offers the convenience of walkin service, but we focus on creating the in-store
salon experience and building customer loyalty
to our brand. It’s a simple but effective business
model that’s easy to replicate across a franchise
system, while drawing in a large demographic.
They love it when their favorite Fantastic Sams
stylists recommend the shampoos, conditioners
and other products they need to maintain their
look between salon visits. Our core demographic
is families, and our go-to locations are places
where families go to do errands. We make it
convenient for clients to stop by while they’re
busy doing other things.
Consider: A family of four with an income of
$80,000 or more, mostly college-educated, living
in new suburbia. A young couple with one child or
no children. Young, suburban singles looking for a
way to be on-trend without paying a fortune. Gen
X’ers and Baby Boomers who are old enough to
get gray hair but young enough to want to keep it
at bay. These are our people.
Why they choose Fantastic Sams
At a certain point in a woman’s life (or a man’s,
for that matter), she’s fed up with paying tripledigit prices every five weeks to keep up her color.
But she feels she’s worth more than the onedimensional shade she’ll end up with from the $8
box of drugstore color. Fantastic Sams is perfect
for her.
Of course, it’s not unusual for her to send in a
scout: her husband. We often get the male clients
first, followed by the kids — and then the mom,
once she sees what a great job we do. There are
“chop shops” that cater to just men and those
that cater to just kids, but Fantastic Sams is a
The hair and beauty business is segmented
into three price-based categories: luxury, upscale
and affordable. Fantastic Sams falls into the
affordable salon category, offering a great value
for the money customers pay. Because we are a
full-service salon franchise, we have the edge over
many of the cut-only shops that usually fall into
this category. Customers love being able to come
to us for a cut and color for $50, $10 for a brow
wax or $17 for a haircut.
salon that works for
everyone. We make
an effort to welcome
all guests, offer them
tea or coffee and make
sure their experience
is as pleasant as it is
efficient. That’s an
important part of
building brand loyalty,
and once someone
feels loyal to a salon, it
takes a lot to get them
to go elsewhere.
We also offer
coupons on a regular
basis to make our prices even more enticing,
particularly for first-timers who might have been
hesitant about giving us a try. Our managers and
franchisees are very responsive to our customers,
because without client satisfaction we wouldn’t
stay in business long. We train every Fantastic
Sams staffer on how to treat our guests. Our
winning formula has been effective so far — and
remember, we’ve been around for 40 years.
How they find us
It’s important for potential customers to know
that Fantastic Sams offers a full menu of services,
and that color is our specialty. To that end, our
corporate marketing team helps franchisees
promote color events, particularly in those dips
between big salon seasons like back-to-school and
the holidays.
We promote the grand opening for every new
Fantastic Sams and assist with mass mailings. We
let communities know they can walk in anytime,
but they can also sign up for a service reminder
on our website. Some of our salons even have
one-hour call-ahead service. In some markets,
we rely more on grassroots marketing. Others
demand TV and radio presence.
“You’re going to have a marketing plan that
we’ll help you create,”
says Ruth Swanson,
Vice President of
Marketing. “We have
materials with printed
templates, and we’ll
work with you to get
a mass mailing out to
about 5,000 homes,
depending on the
market. We’ll help you
determine how much
to spend on marketing
for your grand opening
and come up with a
great promotional
grand-opening plan.”
We’ll help you with a soft launch and guide you
through the steps it takes to draw in customers
and keep them happy. In the salon industry,
loyalty is especially prized. “Once you get a
customer in three times, they usually stay for
years,” Ruth says.
Why Stylists Love
Working for Fantastic
We offer top-notch education and a
chance to upsell products and services
When a customer walks in for a haircut at
Fantastic Sams, our stylists find out whether they
want to take advantage of a few other services,
like color and facial waxing. When the services
are complete, the stylist makes recommendations
about the products we sell that a customer can
use to keep looking great until the next visit. It’s
a great convenience for the customer, and it lets
stylists essentially give themselves a raise.
“They can make a pretty good wage. We pay a
guaranteed base wage plus commission, which
is a percentage of product sales and other
categories. The faster they go and the better they
are, the more money they can make,” says Rick
Tonet, a Pittsburgh franchisee with four salons.
“Stylists have an opportunity to upsell. If a person
comes in for a cut and you sell them a perm or
a color, you just put $20 in your pocket. If they
can follow up the perm and color with some
supporting shampoo and conditioner, you have
put another $5 in your pocket. Some of these
stylists, it’s impressive what they can earn.”
John Prichard of Minneapolis, who owns 27
Fantastic Sams salons, sees the same thing
happening over and over again. The stylists
love it, and it also boosts the bottom line for the
“Yes, we can deliver an inexpensive haircut, and
we can also deliver the private salon experience,”
John says. “When customers find a stylist who is
extremely skilled and can offer suggestions and
services, they love it!”
Our franchisees tend to be businesspeople who
don’t have salon experience themselves, so they
rely on a General Manager who may also be a
licensed cosmetologist. The GM usually hires the
stylists, although Fantastic Sams’ regional support
staff offers assistance in that area.
“They are creative, sensitive people. They’re not
always motivated by money, but the ones who
are? They’re a godsend,” says Michael Kuryllo, a
franchisee with six Southern California locations.
“They can make a lot more money an hour by
upselling services and products that help the
customers look better and keep their styles
looking great longer. When somebody says, ‘Hey,
I want a raise,’ I pull out a chart and show them
what they need to do to earn more.”
That’s a lot of freedom and flexibility for a salon
stylist. In addition, they don’t have to deal with
the hassle of renting a chair and providing their
own equipment and products. By the time they
factor in their hourly wage, commission from
the sales of extra services and products, and tips
from customers, stylists are looking at an exciting
opportunity to earn more money at Fantastic
Sams. But perhaps the best benefit for hair stylists
is a perk we offer that will help them throughout
their careers.
The best stylist education
Every region across the country has its
own stylist educator. These experienced
cosmetologists train the staff at every Fantastic
Sams three times a year on the latest techniques
in haircuts, styling, product use, chemical
treatments and more.
While our franchisees are focusing on the
business metrics of running a salon franchise,
Fantastic Sams educators are attending to the
artistic side of the business. They help interview
new stylists to ensure their technical skills are
where they need to be. They make sure existing
stylists are properly educated about the latest
in hair care, so Fantastic Sams can maintain our
reputation as a trend-right salon. Think classes on
highlights and lowlights, applying fashion colors
like fuchsia or blue streaks, technical hair-cutting
skills and following the Fantastic Sams customer
etiquette protocol. We consider it an important
part of our stylists’ education to understand
exactly how to treat a customer.
When stylists can combine all of the technical
education with their new customer-service
skills provided by Fantastic Sams, their earning
capacity shoots up. Consider this anecdote from
franchisee John Prichard:
“We had kind of a crazy story happen recently,”
John says. “A stylist in one of our salons did an
exceptional job providing a family with hairstyle
services — cutting, curling, coloring and hair-care
products. It was a mother and daughter, and they
walked out having spent $400. The stylist offered
an incredible consultation, but we were worried
that she might have pushed too hard. ‘Are we
going to get an angry call tomorrow? This is a
value-priced salon, after all.’ Well, my wife was at
that salon the next day, and the same mom came
in with two more of her children and raved about
the great experience they had.”
Not every stylist will earn $400 on every job at
Fantastic Sams, of course. As John says, we are,
after all, an affordable salon. But the opportunity
exists, and that makes Fantastic Sams an
attractive workplace for experienced and up-andcoming stylists alike.
What Customers Say
About Fantastic Sams
Customers are loyal to our
convenience, services and
To fully understand why Fantastic Sams is the
largest full-service salon franchise in the country
— and why we’ve been a successful brand for 40
years — take a look at some recent 5-star Yelp
reviews from around the country:
It’s been 3 years since I moved from CA &
been trying to find a hair dresser until I went
to Fantastic Sams by my fiancé’s house. I was
immediately greeted by the crew & Martina who
is now my hair dresser did such a great job with
my hair. I would recommend her to anyone. She
suggests good stuff to do with your hair and you’ll
know that she cares because she would tell you
if it’s bad for your hair and if it’s not the right way
to go. The entire crew here is nice but she’s my
personal favorite. If you go to this place make
sure you ask for her, she’s the best!
— Kervie C., Las Vegas
This place is great: local, affordable, clean and
they use good color. I get a color and cut from
Theana. Super cool Greek lady. If you run errands
on weekends like I do, try to get there right at 9am
on Saturdays, she knows tons of people and they
wait/ask for her. I don’t mind waiting, I just rather
get there at opening time or a little after to be
seen quicker. She will take another patron while
my color is setting, which is fine, more time for
me to play on my phone, lol. She’s stayed there
for years when most of the stylists are fresh from
cosmo school and move on after awhile.
— Amanda P., Las Vegas
I was really impressed with the level of service
and treatment of customers. This is definitely my
new spot.
— Matt M., Oak Park, IL
This place is great! I’m a repeat customer of
Lora but have also gone to Tina when Lora is
not available — and both are wonderful stylists
who really know how to give you exactly the cut
you want if you just show them a photo. VERY
IMPRESSIVE! I’m surprised the prices are so
cheap b/c the quality here is every bit as good as a
higher-end salon. I have very short hair so I need
to get it cut often and going somewhere that is
$40+ every 4-6 weeks is just not practical for me.
Highly recommend :)
— Kelly B., Chicago, IL
I have straight long hair that is fine and there
is no “style” anyone has ever been able to do.
I have paid $150 for a cut and let me tell you,
Denise at Fantastic Sams gave me a haircut that
was worth twice the money. You walk in so there
are no appointments but I have never waited. She
was awesome. She listened that I only wanted an
inch taken off. She did exactly that! I always was
a salon snob but not anymore!!! Easy parking and
great location!
— Dawn W., Beverly Hills, CA
I just got my haircut today and was very
satisfied with everything about this store. It was
my first time coming here since I was in the area
and I will now make the effort to come back to
the area next time for my haircut. My stylist was
hot, she cut my hair exactly how I wanted it, the
receptionist put money in my meter for me, and
even brought me coffee! this is exactly what a
haircut experience should be.
— Elliott L., Los Angeles, CA
They are amazing!!!!! I had Bri.... I’m very picky
about my hair and she listened to what I wanted
done to my hair.... I got a groupon for highlights,
cut, shampoo, & deep conditioning. When I came
in I was already iffy due to me not ever being at
that particular hair salon but Bri was awesome!
She was very personable, she listened, & she did a
fantastic job!!!! I LOVE MY HAIR! I will def be going
back there!!!! Also, even though another stylist did
not cut my hair I want to give her kudos as well. I
was watching her cut another clients hair along w/
some color & it looked great. I believe her name is
Jess. Overall, great experience :-)
— Jay W., Ft. Belvoir, VA
What Franchisees Say
About Fantastic Sams
Meet the Fantastic Sams family
Other franchises are “cutting salons.” They have
a few extra services, but those services are pretty
minor in terms of what they provide. The guest
service and training and development model that
we have allows franchisees to come in and step
into a full-service hair salon environment and be
well-supported and stronger than what I’ve seen
from competitors. As we have more services, we
also need to offer more training and education for
those services.
— John Prichard, Minneapolis
Fantastic Sams has been great for me. I
wouldn’t go back and change it for the world. I
wish I had done it five years earlier. I tell my salon
managers that one of the reasons we’ve been so
successful is that we have a balance. My stylists
come at the business from a technical side, and I
come at it from a customer’s side and from having
a background in accounting. I feel like I know the
level of customer service people want in salons
because I’ve been a customer. Between us we’ve
got it all covered.
— LaRonda Hunter, Fort Worth, TX
I never thought I’d own a hair salon. It was
the furthest thing from my mind. But it made
total sense, especially from an affordability
standpoint. As it turned out, I didn’t really need
to have experience in the hair and beauty field.
It probably would have helped me if I had, but it
wasn’t necessary.
— Earl Wise, Brighton, MI
We came to the conclusion that our business
consisted mainly of doing two things. The first
thing is taking care of guests — doing what they
want, when they want it, the way they want it.
The second thing is providing good jobs for
some really great folks who work for us. That’s
the business. Once we realized those two basic
elements, it took the pressure off. It makes things
a lot simpler to think in those terms. You ask of
just about everything you do, “How is this going to
either take care of my employees or my guests?
— Richard Upson, San Antonio, TX
I think sometimes previous salon experience
can be a hindrance. Starting fresh helps you not
have a paradigm in your head that holds you
back. Fantastic Sams gives you everything you
need to be successful. You are the background
support system for the business — you’re not the
one doing the haircuts.
even. I think, on average, you should be able to
do it in four to six months in a good location. One
of the important things is to follow the model.
Entrepreneurs tend to want to do it their own
way — when I started, even though I said I wanted
to follow a system, I often did my own thing. It
slowed me down. My advice: Do what corporate
tells you to do!
— Michael Kuryllo, Southern California
— Rick Tonet, Pittsburgh, PA
I think it’s recession-proof. Everybody needs
haircuts. We offer family hair care at a midrange price point. We are not going after the
high-income folks, but I have stylists I’d put up
against anybody — stylists who are very skilled
and talented, as well as some who are young and
whom we are developing. We offer a great value
at a reasonable price. When you can get an adult
haircut and shampoo for $14.95, that’s a pretty
good thing in this market.
— Jerry Dalzell, Scottsdale, AZ
Here in California we have a good brand.
Fantastic Sams is known to be a full-service
company that provides high-quality service at
an affordable price. In terms of the experience,
it’s like the difference between shopping at
Walmart or Target and shopping at Macy’s. The
difference in quality and style is clear, and the
value proposition is totally different. We are more
expensive than pure hair-cutting franchises,
but we offer a much better cut — one that is
comparable to a much more expensive salon.
— Marilyn Tokatly, California
Good operations make a big difference. I took
over a salon in October that was struggling under
a previous owner. I closed it for remodeling, reopened it and within four months was at break-
What Makes a Good
Opening your salon where people
already shop is key
A big part of success in any business is location,
and that’s a key part of our strategy at Fantastic
Sams. Our customer calling card is all about
convenience, so that’s the most important factor
in any of our salon locations.
Our business model works well in areas where
there’s a certain density of middle-income families
— perhaps 30,000 rooftops within a 3-mile
radius. Over the years we’ve learned that our
customers are looking for free parking and easyin, easy-out access. Fantastic Sams Hair Salons
work best in shopping areas anchored by bigbox concentration centers such as grocery and
drug stores, places where people are likely to go
shopping two to four times a week.
That’s when our walk-in model pays off. If a
customer knows she can drop off her husband
and the kids for haircuts while she does the
weekly shopping, drop the groceries at home and
then pack the husband and kids off to the soccer
game while she gets her color done, it’s a win-win.
Earl Wise owns several Fantastic Sams salons
in the suburbs surrounding Detroit, including the
salon with the highest-average weekly guest count
and highest-average weekly sales in our system.
He understands what it takes to be successful
as a franchise owner. “Location is extremely
important,” he says. “Having an anchor store in a
good location is key.”
Part of the community
Part of finding the right location is making sure
the shopping center has a lot of foot traffic and
includes a high-frequency retailer, which helps us
intersect with the customer we want. Our support
team helps franchisees pinpoint the best locations
to start new salons, reviewing and rating site
selections and calling on our existing relationships
with commercial brokers.
One of the things we advise when someone
first opens in a new space is to send the
stylists to the retail neighbors bearing gifts of
discount coupons. It’s a great way to get to know
neighbors, while generating some early business
and word-of-mouth. And it’s a great way to start
carving out your niche in the community, which is
an important piece of the marketing puzzle.
The salon needs to be large enough to
accommodate eight chairs, as well as shampoo
stations, a front desk and a storage area for
products. Our benchmark for customers is about
250 or more per week, although obviously our
more successful franchisees handle many, many
LaRonda Hunter owns four salons in the
Dallas-Fort Worth area, including one that’s in the
Fantastic Sams Top 50. She says she can attribute
some of that success to the Saginaw, TX, salon’s
If you can build a 1,200-square-foot shop in
retail space that is seen by about 20,000 cars a
day, in an easily accessible area near or in the
midst of densely populated neighborhoods, you’ll
be starting strong right out of the gate.
“I knew nothing about the hair salon business
whatsoever. That’s actually why I decided to buy a
franchise versus trying to open my own business,”
LaRonda says. “I knew I’d need help in learning the
ropes. I wanted access to people who could teach
me. Fantastic Sams has certainly done that for me.
I have a manager and stylists who always want to
do their best. They help me be successful. They
work at it, and it makes all the difference in the
world to the bottom line. Of course, your location
can make a big difference. My Top 50 salon is in a
great location with a lot of foot traffic.”
How do I Finance my
Franchise owners can choose among
a variety of financing options
Funding your own business is not as daunting
as you might think, especially not with an iconic
brand like Fantastic Sams, which has a 40-year
history of success. Our franchisees have tapped
a variety of financing sources over the years —
conventional loans, SBA loans, retirement loans
and home-equity loans, as well as unconventional
funding sources.
Here’s a closer look at some of the ways you
can fund your Fantastic Sams franchise:
Local and community banks. The biggest
single source of financing is local banks, which are
supported by guarantees through Small Business
Administration loan options. Local banks are often
less restrictive with candidates who are locating in
their areas.
Small Business Administration loans.
Fantastic Sams is an approved franchise on the
SBA National Registry, which is accessible to all
SBA commercial lenders. The SBA registry offers
a list of franchises that have had their Financial
Disclosure Documents and operations vetted by
the Small Business Administration, giving lenders
access to information that minimizes their risk.
Fantastic Sams’ presence on the registry saves
several steps in the SBA lending process for
Tapping a 401(k) or IRA. A franchisee or
a family member can tap into a 401(k) or IRA
retirement savings to fund a business without
facing financial penalties for early withdrawal
— as long as they do it the right way. Tapping
retirement funds requires a series of legal steps,
including the creation of a C corporation and
corporate retirement account, and movement of
corporate stocks. It’s become a popular financing
option because it allows you to, in effect, lend to
yourself, sidestepping reluctant banks.
Cash. While Fantastic Sams only requires a
minimum liquidity of $70,000, you may have more
capital you could use to get started. If you have
the liquidity, cash is always a great way to invest.
Your savings could be the key to unlocking a richly
rewarding investment without the hassle of third
parties, tax penalties or interest rates.
Home refinance or equity line of credit.
As the housing market rebounds, you might
have more equity in your home. Often potential
franchisees are able to refinance their homes,
thanks to low interest rates, and pull enough
capital out to purchase a franchise. You also
might be able to secure a line of credit based on a
portion of your home equity, which can help with
ramp-up costs.
Minimum requirements
The typical investment for a Fantastic Sams
franchise is $185,000. Franchise candidates need
a minimum net worth of $300,000 and at least
$70,000 in liquid capital. The numbers will vary
depending on how many units are purchased,
since we do offer deals on three- and five-salon
packages. The investment also is dependent on
whether you will renovate an existing salon or
build a new one.
Meet the Management
Our brand is backed by experience in
franchising and the salon business
Linda Chadwick
for quality and value, Susan reformulated the
Fantastic Sams product portfolio, increasing
revenues and reducing operating costs for our
franchisees. Her celebrity hairstyle role model is
fellow redhead Julianne Moore.
Ruth Swanson
Vice President of Marketing
President & CEO
Ruth started her career at Arnold
Worldwide on the agency side
Before being named
working on franchise accounts,
President and CEO of Dessange
giving her insight on the complexities
Group North America in 2015,
of large franchise networks. This first
Linda was the President and
glimpse into the industry taught her
Chief Operating Officer of
lasting knowledge for the dynamics
Fantastic Sams. She oversees
that occur regionally and nationally.
the three beauty brands in the
After an agency position in NYC,
United States that are owned by
she returned to Boston to join
our parent company Dessange
Dunkin Brands for 10 years. In 2010,
International — Fantastic Sams,
Swanson made the jump to Fantastic
Camille Albane and Dessange.
Sams Hair Salons, where she
revamped marketing and messaging
Linda is a veteran franchising
Linda Chadwick, President & CEO
and implemented a revitalized
executive with more than
campaign using both advertising
20 years at Burger King
and digital space. Ruth has served as a speaker
Corp., including three years as Vice President
panelist at the 2013 Multi-Unit Conference and
of Franchise Operations and a stint as Senior
the 2013 Cross Marketing Channel Conference.
Director of North America, Training and
Ruth’s celebrity hairstyle role model is Jennifer
Development, where she implemented new
Lopez, because she always has healthy, shiny,
training systems, established ROI training metrics
radiant hair that looks great long and loose or
and restructured training delivery processes.
pulled back.
As a proud sponsor and former member of the
Women’s Foodservice Forum, Linda is passionate
Gerald Wells
about franchising and developing people at all
General Counsel
levels. She is a graduate of Mary Baldwin College
in Staunton, Virginia, and holds a B.A. in Business
Gerry joined Dessange Group North America in
Administration, Cum Laude. Linda most admires
2014 and is currently General Counsel, Secretary
the hairstyle of Julianna Margulies, because it’s
and a member of the Board of Directors for
sassy and classic at the same time.
parent company Dessange International. Prior
to his current position, Gerry was a partner at
Susan Peace
Quarles & Brady, LLP in Washington, DC and prior
Senior Director, Retail Beauty Products
to that he was a partner at DLA Piper LLP (US)
in Atlanta, GA. He also previously worked in the
Susan has been with Fantastic Sams since
legal departments at Hewlett-Packard Company
2008 and has more than 20 years of experience
in Gaithersburg, MD and US Office Products
in product development and retail. With an eye
Company in Washington, DC. He received his B.S.
from the University of Maryland and his J.D. from
the College of William and Mary, Marshall-Wythe
School of Law. Gerry most admires the hairstyle of
Julia Roberts.
Mark Achorn
Corporate Controller
Mark joined Dessange International in May
2013, bringing with him 25 years of financial
and operating experience. His experience
includes the management of all aspects of the
finance operations, including monthly and
year-end financial statement preparation with
related commentary, SEC public filings, bank
covenant compliance reporting, foreign exchange
modeling, financial planning and analysis, as
well as responsibility for the company finance
functions in Brussels, Belgium, where he lived
for a several years. Mark received a Master of
Management from Pennsylvania State University,
Great Valley, PA, and a Bachelor of Science in
Business Administration from Stonehill College, N.
Easton, MA. His favorite celeb hairstyle belongs to
Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lisa Counts
Region Director, South
Lisa has more than 30 years of experience in
the beauty industry, including 20 in hair salon
franchising. She is a chairperson of the National
Skills U.S.A. cosmetology program and judges the
national competition of cosmetology once a year.
Lisa has held virtually every position in the salon
industry, including manager and educator, and
has owned her own salon. The celebrity whose
hair she most admires is Katy Perry, because she
changes her look often with her color and style.
Roxann Huebl
Region Director, Lakes
Roxann brings a wealth of franchising
knowledge to the position, having worked with
Burger King Corp. for 26 years. In her final
position with the food chain as Director of
Franchise Performance, Huebl provided business
and operations support to franchisees over
three states in the Midwest, working closely to
help departments achieve company goals. With
experience overseeing the operations of 330
restaurants, Roxann brings to Fantastic Sams
extensive experience in franchise operations and
systems execution. Her favorite celebrity hairstyle
belongs to… Marge Simpson!
Vernon Suemnicht
Region Director, Central
Vernon became a Fantastic Sams Region
Director in 2002. His role includes franchise
sales consultant, site selection, new owner
training, assisting owners with operations
and salon marketing and regional marketing.
Previously, Vernon was a District Manager for
Medicine Shoppe Pharmacies, where he assisted
franchisees with marketing and advertising
strategies and worked with pharmacists on
pricing to maximize revenue from various benefit
plans. Vernon was also in Wal-Mart management
for 20 years. His first store as store manager was
a 32,000-square-foot store that incrementally
progressed to a 118,000-square-foot store with
more than 300 associates.
Mark Akins
Region Director, Mountain Region
Mark has been with Fantastic Sams since June
of 2001. He was previously with Citi Capital from
1998 to 2001 and GE Capital from 1984-1998
as Portfolio Manager and Customer Services
Manager. He loves to assist small business owners
fulfill their dream of owning a business and seeing
them be successful. Mark is a big traveler with
Italy being his all time favorite destination. He
enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
His favorite celeb hair role model is Val Kilmer in
Top Gun… Love the short spike look.
for Burger King Corporation’s South East Division.
Anita has over 30 years of experience working
with Franchisees with both Burger King and
McDonald’s. She received her MBA from Georgia
State’s J Mack Robinson School of Business
in 2000, and combines her experience and
education to assist Franchisees in growing their
business profitably. Her favorite celebrity haircut
is Meg Ryan’s tousled bed head style.
Robert Loffredo
Senior Director, Real Estate and Construction
Carla Simpson
Region Director, Midwest
Carla Simpson has been in the beauty and
franchise industries for 25 years. Her beauty
experience has spanned manufacturers, salons
and schools, focused on training and operations.
Most recently, Ms. Simpson was a Business
Director for Sport Clips, Inc., a franchisor of mens
hair salons. Prior to that she was Vice President,
Education for Regency Beauty Institute. Her
other training positions include time at Regis
Corporation in the franchise division, Aveda
Corporation and a start-up franchise. Ms.
Simpson also ran her own consulting business
writing franchise operations manuals and
trainings for various franchisors. She is passionate
about beauty and fashion and loves the industry
because of the opportunities available for
cosmetologists and their ability to make people
look and feel good for all the special moments
in their lives. Her favorite celebrity hairstyle role
model is Audrey Tautou because she always looks
fresh and channels Audrey Hepburn.
Anita Oetgen
Region Director, East
Ms. Oetgen has been with Fantastic Sams since
October 2014 and was promoted to Regional
Director of the East Region in June 2015. Prior to
joining Fantastic Sams Anita was Director of Field
Marketing and Director of Franchise Performance
Robert joined Fantastic Sams in January 2004.
Over the years Robert has owned Fantastic
Sams salons, as well as other chain salons, and
was the general manager of a multi-unit salon
chain in New England. Robert occasionally helps
teach Salon Fundamentals for new owners and
has written parts of the operations manual for
Fantastic Sams. Previously, Robert held the
position of Vice President of Sales. He believes in
giving back to the community and was President
of the local Lions Club for many years and served
as a director of the RI Lions Cancer in Children
Fund. Robert is a graduate of Northeastern
University in Boston and has an MBA from
Providence College in Rhode Island. Robert’s
celebrity hairstyle role model is actor Robert De
Niro, possibly because they share the same first
Jay Capperella
National Sales Director
With nearly 25 years of franchising experience,
Jay is skilled in sales management, marketing
communications and field support. He started
his career with international real estate giant RE/
MAX and has worked for several major business
service franchisors such as Entrepreneur’s Source
and BrightStar Healthcare. Franchise candidates
can count on Jay to shoot straight about what it
takes to win as a Fantastic Sams franchisee and be
responsive to all questions. Jay lives in southern
New Jersey, just outside of Philadelphia, with his
wife, Patty, and their three children.
Answers to common questions about
owning a Fantastic Sams franchise
one that relies on appointments, our salons work
best in places where busy people are already
doing their errands three or four times a week,
like shopping centers anchored by big-box
retailers and grocery stores.
How much does a franchise cost?
How stable is the salon industry?
The typical investment for a Fantastic Sams
franchise is up to $185,000, including franchise
fee and working capital.
The $75-billion-a-year hair-care salon industry
grew by 8% last year and is on pace to continue
growing steadily. Even when the economy is
tough, people still need haircuts, and they still
want to look good. Hair color and haircuts at
Fantastic Sams are affordable and convenient,
which brings clients back again and again.
How long does it take to open a Fantastic Sams?
On average, from the time you sign a franchise
agreement to the time you open is 26 weeks.
Do I need to have salon experience to be a
franchise owner?
No. We’re looking for experienced
entrepreneurs and managers who understand
how businesses work. Fantastic Sams provides
an easy-to-operate, scalable investment. You’ll
hire others who understand the hair-care and
salon business; all you need to do is handle the
business side of things.
What are the financial qualifications to become a
We are seeking someone with a minimum net
worth of $300,000 and at least $70,000 in liquid
How much is the franchise fee?
New franchisees pay a $30,000 franchise fee
upon signing the franchise agreement.
How long is the franchise agreement?
We offer 10-year renewable franchising
What is the best location for a Fantastic Sams?
How many employees will I need?
Most of our salons start with eight employees.
What’s my marketing support?
Our marketing department and a region
director work with each franchisee to tailor the
perfect plan designed to promote Fantastic Sams
salons within their communities — providing
printed materials, coordinating mass mailings and
helping with limited-time promotions and grand
How can I get a copy of the Franchise Disclosure
If you fill out the form at right, a member of our
franchise development staff will be in touch with
you quickly for an initial conversation. You will be
asked to fill out a Confidential Questionnaire, and
we will respond with a copy of the FDD.
Who are my main customers?
Fantastic Sams salons offer a full roster of salon
services, including trend-right haircuts and facial
waxing, and hair color is our specialty. About
9% of our customers are children, and we have
slightly more female clients than male clients.
Because ours is a walk-in business, rather than
Can I hire someone to run my franchise?
Most of our franchisees are owner/operators,
and if you start out with one salon, you can
oversee the business part time and work your
way up to full-time involvement as you add
more salons. You can hire a licensed operator
to manage your Fantastic Sams salons, so we’re
looking for franchisees who can “manage the
Next Steps
What to expect when you buy a
Fantastic Sams salon franchise
Fantastic Sams has been making people
feel good about themselves at an affordable
price since 1974. We have longevity and brand
recognition in an industry that is famously stable
— $75 billion a year and growing. We are one of
the few franchises in any industry that has more
than 1,100 units across the country, and, like the
industry we’re in, we’re continuing to grow.
The leadership of Fantastic Sams is uniquely
positioned to help the
brand grow and to help
franchisees scale their
investments: CEO Linda
Chadwick has more than
three decades of experience
in franchising with a global
quick-service company, so
she knows how to navigate
the path to success. Our
franchisees can count on
guidance for every step of
the journey to your grand
opening and as long as
you’re in business with us.
passion for people. If you’d like to open your own
Fantastic Sams salon in as little as 60-90 days, the
first thing you need to do is fill out a lead form.
Someone from our corporate franchise team will
email or call you to go over the basics.
We’ll ask you to send in a qualifying form, and
then we’ll send you our most recent Franchise
Disclosure Document (FDD), which explains the
initial investment and your startup costs, and lays
out details of the Fantastic Sams franchise system.
This gives you a chance to look over our business
Our average investment is about $185,000 —
our range over the past year has been $137,100
to $261,500 — and we are looking for franchisees
with a net worth of $300,000 and a minimum
liquidity of $70,000.
You’ll want to research Fantastic Sams on your
own and talk to our existing franchisees about
the ins and outs of their business and about the
franchisee-franchisor relationship. If we’re both
still interested, we’ll help you schedule a Discovery
Day at our corporate offices just outside Boston.
You’ll meet the leadership and tour some of our
Our salons could be
the ideal investment for
a franchisee who has an
entrepreneurial bent and a

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