Why did Cathy and Renee start Painting with a Twist? >
After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the New Orleans and Gulf Coast area was devastated. Cathy and Renee, who were both neighbors and moms, wanted to come up with a plan to help out their community, their neighbors, and their families all in one. Cathy had been the president of a non-profit art association, and Renee had been commuting two hours a day to manage a large orthodontic practice that was too far away from her family. They wanted to invest their time and energy into something meaningful and with a purpose they were mutually passionate about. Corks N Canvas (soon to be Painting with a Twist) was established in 2007, with four core principles:
Since 2007, Painting with a Purpose has raised over $3,000,000 for local charities, and the Painting with a Twist system now employs over 2,500 artists. Additionally, the PWAT experience has expanded into business team building, private parties and date nights.
What differentiates Painting with a Twist from competitors? >
How much is the Painting with a Twist initial Franchise Fee? >
The initial Franchise Fee is $25,000 per location. We proudly offer a 20% discount to veterans. If you are a veteran, your initial Franchise Fee is $20,000 per location.
What is the initial term of the Franchise Agreement? >
The Initial Franchise term is for seven (7) years, and we offer four (4) five-year renewal options for a total of 27 years. The renewal period comes at the end of each term, and you will have the option of four (4) consecutive five-year renewal terms (subject to approval by Painting with a Twist).
Is there a renewal fee for the initial Franchise Agreement? >
Painting with a Twist has not designated a renewal fee for the first renewal term of the Franchise Agreement. Therefore, your Franchise Fee for the initial term and the first renewal term (12 years) is $25,000. Our primary costs to get you started into our system (training, real estate, administrative, etc.) are realized at the onset of our partnership and after your grand opening. As a strategic partner, we do not believe in burdening our franchisees with exorbitant renewal fees for work that has already been done.
I read somewhere that your Franchise Fee is $35,714 for a ten-year term. Is this true? >
Absolutely not. Painting with a Twist’s initial franchise fee is $25,000 for a seven-year term. Upon the first renewal period of five (5) additional years, the renewal fee is $0. Therefore, you get a total of 12 years for one franchise fee of $25,000. You will also have three (3) more five-year renewal options.
Painting with a Twist has a seven-year initial franchise agreement term. What happens after the initial term? >
Painting with a Twist’s initial franchise fee is $25,000 for a seven-year term. Upon the first renewal period of five (5) additional years, the renewal fee is $0. Therefore, you will enjoy a total of 12 years for one franchise fee of $25,000 after renewal and you will also have the option of three (3) more five-year renewal options. Some competitors charge exorbitant renewal fees of up to $15,000 after the initial term is over – we do not.
How much is the total cost of investment to open a Painting with a Twist studio? >
The average total range is $89,300 to $143,300*. Included in that estimate, we ask that you carry $15,000 in operating capital. Because of the various sizes of our studios, these estimates may vary.
What is the return on my investment, and how much money can I make? >
It is equally important to qualify this question as it is to quantify it. We do not make any earnings claims or guaranties on financial performance because of the unpredictable and various factors involved with your success. However, we offer an Item 19 Financial Performance Representation in our 2016-2017 Franchise Disclosure Document to help you accurately compare our business model to others. The following disclosure is posted in our 2016 Franchise Disclosure Document Item 19:
What is the cost of my supplies? >
Our system average for operating supplies for 2015 was 12% of sales. Painting with a Twist has negotiated vendor agreements and you will have access to our low prices for your goods. As the largest paint & sip franchisor, we are continuing to leverage our system size to achieve the lowest costs available for our franchise partners. Our primary vendor stocks a six-month supply of inventory for our studios system-wide at all times. Painting with a Twist does not profit from or mark-up the goods that you will be required to use in your studio.
How much out of pocket will it cost me if I finance? >
Depending on your credit and collateral, it will take a minimum of $30,000-$35,000 cash to attain financing. With excellent credit and sufficient collateral, lenders require a minimum of 30% equity (cash) of the total amount borrowed from you.
Is the Gross Revenue amount the same as my return on investment? >
No. Gross revenue is the total amount of sales. From your gross revenue you have to subtract expenses such as cost of goods sold, labor, royalty, ad fund contribution, taxes and overhead – rent, utilities, etc. As posted in our 2016-2017 Franchise Disclosure Document, the expenses of ALL Painting with a Twist locations in 2015 averaged:
Artist pay (labor) = 22% 
Operating supplies = 12% 
Rent = 9% 
How much is the on-going royalty fee? >
Our royalty is 6% of gross sales, and it is remitted weekly. By joining our franchise you will: have access to our extensive and growing library of over 8,000 copyright-protected original works of art; enjoy the brand awareness of the most recognized and largest paint & sip brand; have access to our innovative technology and central reservation system; enjoy the benefits of the largest system advertising and marketing fund in the category; enjoy the volume discounts on products while increasing your margins; have the continuous support of our experienced franchise professionals; and you will be connected to the largest artist network in the industry.
What does the term “unrealized sales” mean? >
In the context of our franchise agreement, you are required to remit royalties on our predetermined price points for classes. Currently, we recommend $35, $45, and $55 price points, and royalties are remitted on those price points. Discounted classes have to be approved by Painting with a Twist's home office. Since franchise partners are not allowed to discount without home office approval, unrealized sales are not common in our system.
Do competitors charge royalties on gross sales? What does the term net sales mean? >
Some competitors claim they charge royalties on net sales. They do not mean you pay a royalty on net profit. They charge royalties on gross and net revenue. What they mean is you pay on the amount charged rather than a standard set price – which leads to a larger issue… unauthorized and reckless discounting among the franchisee’s of the same system. The Painting with a Twist system does allow certain discounts, and we do not collect a royalty on those discounts. We simply manage the process of discounting among our franchise partners so they do not get into a discounting war.
Does Painting with a Twist collect a royalty on charitable events by franchise partners? >
Painting with a Twist was built on a platform of giving back to the communities we serve. Through our national program (Painting with a Purpose) we encourage our franchise partners to host (1) charitable event per month, and we do not collect a royalty for those events – it’s our way of giving back, too! We also have additional charitable programs our franchise partners participate in monthly, and we absolutely do not collect a royalty on those events either. To date, our system has collectively raised over $3,000,000 for charities – all royalty free.
Does Painting with a Twist collect a royalty on any alcohol sales from the franchise partners? >
No. Royalties are not collected on alcohol sales. Royalties are only collected on our painting classes. For studios that need alcohol permits, our alcohol royalty-free policy is another major profitability advantage over competitors.
Is Annual Conference attendance mandatory? What is the cost? >
Yes, we mandate that our franchise partners attend our annual conference. Collaboration and teamwork is woven into the fabric of our culture and helps us continue to grow as the number one brand in the Paint & Sip category. Our 2016 annual conference cost was $375 to attend. The three-day conference includes creative and financial workshops, guest speakers and industry experts, team building and celebration!
How big is your art library? How many artists do you have? >
Our franchise partners have access to the largest and most diverse paint & sip gallery in the business! We have over 8,000 original copyrighted works of Painting with a Twist art. Our extensive library is continuing to grow with our studio count. We now have over 2,500 trained artists within the Painting with a Twist system.
Do you instruct your artists how to teach each painting? >
We train artists… not teachers.
Painting with a Twist artist training offers technique over instruction, and therefore, encourages improvisation that truly defines the Painting with a Twist experience. We prefer that our trained artists have the liberty to instruct their classes according to their own style they are comfortable with. Our artists perform best in a working environment where they have the opportunity to be themselves. Consequently, we continue to attract the top artists for each new studio opening.
What type of initial training do you offer and how much does it cost? >
Painting with a Twist training is separated into three phases:
1. Orientation (Pre-studio opening)
2. Management Training
3. On-site/Grand Opening
We do not charge a fee for artist training. Artist training is all-inclusive and included in the initial franchise fee.
Orientation is conducted via phone and/or Skype. During orientation you will learn how to efficiently plan the pre-opening steps to open your new Painting with a Twist studio, including site selection, timelines, interviews and hiring (done on-site), ordering equipment, design and build plans, creating vendor accounts, and signage.
Real Estate and Site Selection is a vital component of your success. We utilize the experience and wisdom of our co-founders Cathy and Renee and the franchise expertise of our managing director, Michael Powers, to strategize, assess, evaluate, and negotiate right along with you. Powers has successfully licensed and located over 1,100 franchise locations in seven (7) countries since 2000.
Management Training is conducted at Painting with a Twist home office in Mandeville, LA. Includes four (4) days of training; financial & accounting, artist training, the guest experience, general operations, and shadow studio time.
On-site/Grand Opening is conducted at your studio. We train your staff on-site regarding store operations, tips and tricks, grand opening and pre-studio marketing. We observe and assist throughout the grand opening event. We train and assist you at your location for up to three (3) days.
Regional Artist Workshops are done on a monthly rotating and per region basis. Our regional workshops keep your artists informed and up to date with our latest strategies and techniques.
Total Training: over 200 hours and ongoing
What are the qualifications of your support and leadership team? >
Cathy Deano, CFE and Renee Maloney, CFE are true entrepreneurs. They built the Painting with a Twist franchise from an $8,000 investment (along with plenty of sweat, determination and passionate franchise partners). After just seven (7) years of franchising, they have built the number one ranked franchise in the paint & sip category for 2016 by Entrepreneur magazine (January edition Franchise 500 - third consecutive year).
Having been in the trenches from the beginning and always relentless in their search for new innovative ways to enhance the Painting with a Twist guest experience, Cathy and Renee provide an authentic long-term vision and a leadership platform built on purpose, ethics and integrity.
The leadership team is a blend of various professional backgrounds ranging from business management, systems engineering, information technology, accounting, art, and eight (8) Certified Franchise Executives (CFE) from the Institute of Franchise Executives (International Franchise Association).
Michael Powers, CFE 2005, was recruited in 2013 as the company’s managing director with the assignment of building franchise infrastructure to support the rapid growth of the franchise both internally and externally. An expert in franchise management and business development, Powers has over 16 years of international franchising experience, and was the former Executive Vice President of a top-ranked international franchisor for 12 years.
Painting with a Twist currently employs a growing home office support staff of 27 with various professional backgrounds that complement their roles.
I saw that Painting with a Twist was ranked number one in category with Entrepreneur magazine’s Franchise 500 edition for 2017 (2014, 2015 and 2016 as well). How does Entrepreneur measure one company from another to determine who is the best choice? >
Painting with a Twist was ranked number one in the paint & sip category for 2017 by Entrepreneur magazine (January edition Franchise 500 - fourth consecutive year).
Entrepreneur’s criteria for number one in category is:
“All companies, regardless of size, are judged by the same criteria: objective, quantifiable measures of a franchise operation. The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years a company has been in business and the length of time it has been franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. An independent CPA analyzes financial data. We do not measure subjective elements such as franchisee satisfaction or management style. The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500® formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score. The 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500®."
What percentage of the Painting with a Twist franchise partners have multiple studios? >
Our organic growth rate is quite impressive with 32% of our franchise partners having multiple studio locations. When franchise partners continue to grow within a system it is a strong indicator that the organization is healthy and heading in the right direction!
What type of professional backgrounds do your franchise partners come from? >
We have a very diverse group that ranges from physicians and management professionals to moms make up our franchise system; however, accounting professionals most likely make up the highest percentage as a group. Our system is operational-friendly for most individuals regardless of their business experience, provided they are passionate about creating an exceptional experience for our guests each and every day. Our support systems are designed to amplify your strengths and support your weaknesses. Usually, after six (6) months in business you will become comfortable in all areas and well-rounded to grow in the system.
To date, how many franchises has Painting with a Twist closed, transferred, and terminated? >
From years 2013-2015, Painting with a Twist has closed three (3), transferred twenty (20), and terminated zero (0) franchises*.
What is a transfer? >
Our franchise partners have the ability to transfer and sell their studio to another qualified candidate. Transfers are an essential part of your business plan, and they provide an exit strategy to our franchise partners. Since our first franchised locations in 2009, we have smoothly transferred 20 studios.
How long does it take to open a studio? >
A store's grand opening typically occurs three to eight months after completing Discovery Day.
Why are we required to attend a Discovery Day, and what is it all about? >
Discovery Day is one of the single most important steps in your due diligence period. Spending the day together at our home office will help you understand our culture, systems, support and vision. On a personal level, entering into a franchise agreement is similar to a marriage. It is ill advised to commit into an agreement without first meeting and understanding the compatibility of your partner. We believe our success rate can be credited to a thorough understanding of our business model and mutual expectations from the very first meeting. Furthermore, we want you to see for yourself the business assets and human resources that set us apart from the competitors. Our Painting with a Twist home office currently houses a total of 35 employees (9 studio staff and 26 support team members), consists of two buildings (owned by Cathy and Renee) with over 9,000 square feet of office/training space and a 2,400 square foot model Painting with a Twist studio. We strongly recommend visiting any home office of franchisors you may be considering for a Discovery Day to meet and validate the resources that will be supporting you after you become a franchise partner.
Do you have a technology fee? >
Yes. Our technology fee is $105 per month, and it supports our shared network system. Included in our technology fee is the use of our proprietary intranet system and benchmarking/performance tools. Your contribution allows us to keep current and fresh with technological advancements.