Multi-Location Listings (‘Franchises’)

Some directory listing types have the option of adding multiple-locations (with the additional locations known technically on the directory as ‘Franchises’). Although technically called ‘Franchises’ in the directory, these do not refer to separate shops/premises for the same business chain, but instead to different outlets/location where one business may be found at a particular time (different shops etc. of the same business will need to have their own separate main listings). Multi-location listings may be added by mobile businesses or some types of Alternative Buying Schemes (a category of listing with their own Directory page map), such as veg-box operations, where each box collection point can be included as a ‘franchise’ on a multi-location listing. For clarity, the multi-location packages than can be included on LoopyFood.net are set out below:

Mobile Caterers

For mobile catering vans, tea/coffee-wagons, etc. that have different temporary locations, stops or visits. Each stop can be added as a ‘franchise’ complete with its own marker on the map, with applicable times and other appropriate information included in the franchise’s details. Although multiple categories can be indicated on the listing to signify the different types of mobile caterers – such as Coffee Van, Takeaway, Sandwich Bar (see here) – allowing the listing to be found in appropriate customer searches, it is recommended that the main/default category of Mobile Caterer is selected when adding the listing.

Mobile Retailers

For mobile grocers, bakers etc. that have different temporary locations, stops or visits. Each stop can be added as a ‘franchise’ complete with its own marker on the map, with applicable times and other appropriate information included in the franchise’s details. Although multiple categories can be indicated on the listing to signify the different types of mobile caterers – such as Bakers, Greengrocers (see here) – allowing the listing to be found in appropriate customer searches, it is recommended that the main/default category of Mobile Retailer is selected when adding the listing.

Veg-Box Schemes and Food Hubs – Multi Collection/Drop-Off Points

Alternative Buying Schemes such as Veg-Box Schemes and Food Hubs can have multi-location listings where drop-off or collection point are added as ‘franchises’, each with applicable times and other appropriate information included in the franchise’s details.

Adding Main + Franchise Listings

1. First Submit the Main Listing with Appropriate Details

The Main or ‘Parent’ listing is added in the usual way, although there is an extra tick-box at the top of the Add-Listing form with the label ‘Enable Franchises’ – it is recommended that you ignore this in the first instance and move past it to enter the details for the Main/Parent listing; you can come back to Enable Franchises once the main listing is submitted, and by then you will have a better overview of the information that you have added to the Main listing and be able to decide which elements of that information you will want to ‘lock’ (copy to) all of your franchise listings so that you don’t have to re-enter that information every time you add another franchise. When selecting the Category for the Main listing, you can select as many appropriate categories that you would like the listing to be visible under, but be sure to include the Multi-Location Category (e.g. for a mobile van selling sandwiches, baps, teas and coffees, the appropriate categories for the listing would be ‘Sandwich Bars/Shops’, ‘Cafés’ and ‘Mobile Catering’ – with ‘Mobile Catering’ selected as the main/default category). Once you have submitted the main listing you can view it to check that you are happy with the information that you have put in.

2. Activate the Franchise Functionality

Once you have submitted the Main/Parent listing you can then go back to edit it – there will be an ‘Edit this Post’ link towards the top of the right-hand sidebar of your listing’s details page when you are logged-in. Now you can select/check the ‘Enable Franchises’ box at the top of the listing; this will open up a box that allows you to ‘lock’ selected information in the main listing (see next step).

3. Lock Desired Main Listing Information to Display on Franchise Listings

Now you have to decide which of the information you have submitted for the Main Listings you want to have ‘locked’ (e.g., website address, telephone number – selecting from whatever you have added for the Listing Description); locked information fields will automatically be copied from the Main Listing to any Franchise Listings that you add to that Main listing – meaning that you won’t have to enter that information over again each time you add a new Franchise. Perhaps it is best to think of this exercise in terms of what information you would like to not be locked for each Franchise that you add; the most logical might be to lock every information field except for:

  • Title (which for a franchise you might enter, for instance, ‘Tasty Mobile Van, High Street Stop’, or something appropriate – with another franchise being ‘Tasty Mobile Van, Viaduct Road Stop’);
  • Address (wherever the stop or collection point location is); and
  • Time (the times of stops or collections at different locations).

You can, though, decide whichever information fields you would like to lock, leaving others to vary for different Franchise Listings – although it would obviously make no sense to lock the Address field, since all Franchises would then be at the same location on the map as the Main Listing!

The way to lock Franchise Listing fields is as follows. When editing the Main Listing, ensure that you have selected/checked the Enable Franchises box at the top of the listing – this opens the Lock Franchise Fields box. Clicking on Select Fields in this box brings up a list of all the information fields that you can add information for in the Main Listing. By clicking on one of these fields you lock it so that the information that you have entered for that field in the Main Listing is displayed in all Franchise Listings that you add (and the field name will now appear in the Lock Franchise Fields box, along with a cross (x) that you can click on to unlock that field). You then have to click once more on Select Fields in the Lock Franchise Fields box to select the next field that you want to lock – unfortunately you have to lock fields one-at-a-time in this way; when a field has been locked it will be ‘greyed out’ in the list from which you are selecting further fields to lock. if you are unsure what one of the field names in the list refers to you can scroll down the main listing submission page to see what information can be entered. Any fields that you leave unlocked will be open for entering information in Franchise Listings, regardless of whether you have entered information in that field on the Main Listing. Once you have selected which fields you want to lock for Franchises, scroll down to the bottom of the page and submit by pressing the Review button and then confirm your Updated Main Listing. You will now be ready to add Franchise Listings for your Main listing.

4. Adding Franchises (Extra Location Listings)

When you are logged-in and go to your Main Listing details page you will see an ‘Add Franchise’ link towards the top of the the side panel on the right – clicking on this link will take you to the Add Listing page with the Manage Franchise section at the top. Clicking on the Add New Franchise selector allows you to either select a previously-added franchise in order to edit it or to Add New Franchise – select the latter by clicking on it. You can then enter information for that franchise and submit it – there will only be spaces to submit information for unlocked fields (see previous step). When you have submitted the franchise you will be given the option (via a link) of returning to the top of the page to add another franchise.

Displaying Franchises on Listings

Main/Parent and Franchise listings are displayed on the appropriate map as separate map-markers. Both the Main and Franchise listings have a Franchises tab when the listing is displayed, enabling a list of the Franchises to be seen (for technical reasons, clicking on this tab lists a maximum of 16 franchise listings in the first instance – if there are a greater number of franchises attached to a main listing the Show All Franchises link bust be clicked through to see them all). There are also links to the Main and Franchises listings in the side-bar of Franchise and Main listings.