June 17, 2024

Client Spotlight: Sticky Fingers Cooking®

Founded by Erin Fletter in 2011, Sticky Fingers Cooking® has grown from a kitchen table idea into a national franchise that has taught over 150,000 students through 3,000 unique recipes. This after-school program combines education with fun, covering subjects like language, geography, and science. Utilizing their tech platform, Sticky Fingers Cooking Dash®, the company operates efficiently with low overhead and high community engagement. Partnering with SMB Franchise Advisors, they expanded from zero to eight units in their first year, aiming to be in every major city by 2030. Their mission enhances children’s culinary education and empowers female entrepreneurs across the USA.

SMB Franchise Advisors: In a few sentences, describe what your brand does and what your company is all about.

Erin Fletter, Sticky Fingers Cooking: A bit about Sticky Fingers Cooking®: I started this pioneering after-school program from my kitchen table in 2011. Now, with an incredible team, we’ve created over 3,000 unique recipes and taught 150,000+ students. We blend education with fun, covering subjects like language, geography, world cultures, history, math, science, and art.

Erin Fletter, founder of Sticky Fingers Cooking®, smiling and looking upwards while wearing a white chef's coat.

Erin Fletter, Founder of Sticky Fingers Cooking®

Our state-of-the-art tech platform, Sticky Fingers Cooking Dash®, handles 85% of daily operations. As a non-brick-and-mortar company, we enjoy low overhead, high-profit margins, low lead time, and high community engagement. We host classes wherever kids are, from schools to community centers, teaching essential kitchen skills and confidence.

Now a national franchise, we operate across multiple territories, combining tech innovation, community impact, and exceptional FRUITFUL financial rewards!

SMB: What makes your service/product unique?

Erin: Our unique blend of hands-on cooking experiences, comprehensive curriculum with thousands of recipes, our state-of-the-art tech platform, the Sticky Fingers Cooking Dash®, that runs 85% of operations, our collection of five cookbooks, our ongoing training and support, our prestigious track record of 13+ years of success, and the hospitality we have baked into our brand sets us apart. We empower franchise owners to deliver exceptional classes to kids in their communities while streamlining operations.

Two children wearing aprons, focused on cutting dough with a round cutter on a flour-dusted table.

Kids learning hands-on cooking skills in a Sticky Fingers Cooking® class.

SMB: What inspired you to franchise your business?

Erin: We were inspired to franchise to expand our reach and impact, bringing our innovative cooking program to more communities across the country while creating more female business owners in the USA. Franchising allows us to share our passion for culinary education with a wider audience.

SMB: Why did you partner with SMB Franchise Advisors?

Erin: SMB Franchise Advisors has been instrumental in helping us navigate the franchising process and achieve our growth goals. Their expertise and support have been invaluable in shaping our franchise model and expanding our brand. We love SMB!

SMB: How many units did you have before SMB? How many units have you grown to since partnering with SMB?

Erin: Before partnering with SMB, we had ZERO units. We signed with SMB the moment we decided to franchise and well before we had a FDD. Since partnering with SMB, we have grown to 8 units, in our first year, experiencing a significant launch with expansion and success.

SMB: What are your long-term goals for your franchise? How big do you want to grow your brand?

Erin: Our long-term goal is to continue growing Sticky Fingers Cooking® into a nationally recognized brand with a presence in communities across the country. We aim to provide meaningful opportunities for franchise owners while making a positive impact on children’s lives. We aim to have a presence in every major city by 2030.

A group of children wearing green Sticky Fingers Cooking® aprons and colorful paper chef hats, standing behind a table with cups of lemonade.

Young chefs proudly displaying their homemade lemonade in a Sticky Fingers Cooking® class.

SMB: What advice do you have for people looking to franchise?

Erin: My advice for those looking to franchise is to carefully and objectively look at your operating systems. Are your systems airtight? Have you successfully run your business in other regions and markets? Research and plan every aspect of the franchising process. Find mentors and ask all the questions! Surround yourself with experienced advisors, like SMB Franchise Advisors, who can guide you through the journey and help you achieve your goals.

SMB: Is there anything else you would like for us to share about you and/or your brand?

Erin: We are committed to creating successful and sustainable small business owners through our social enterprise business model. At Sticky Fingers Cooking®, diversity and inclusion are core values. Our exceptional leadership team at headquarters is entirely female, and we are proud of the diversity among our franchise owners, with 60% being people of color and 80% being women. This inclusivity reflects our belief in providing equal opportunities for all aspiring franchise owners.