Edit ModuleShow Tags

Culver’s New CEO Pulls His Punches

Two years after Culver’s CEO and President Phil Keiser died, the brand’s new leader Joe Koss has struck a balance between comforting his team and franchise community, while also continuing the burger chain’s slow and steady growth that has taken the system from 40 restaurants in the mid-1990s to more than 660 locations today.

Early Name for Modern Acupuncture Didn’t Hit the Spot

Shane Sender isn’t a typical regional developer for Modern Acupuncture, the fast-growing franchise that’s our cover story in August. He's also got a funny story about the evolution of the franchise's name.

Jamba Juice Deal Adds NFL Star Power

NFL players Vernon Davis and Mohamed Sanu announced this week they’re working together to bring more Jamba Juice stores to the Washington, D.C. area.

Learning Rx Boss Is Hands-On in Work, Life

Learning Rx CEO Kim Hanson has a big job on her hands—“My target is to take the 100,000 brains we’ve trained to 300,000 brains,” she told me during an interview at the International Franchise Expo, but that doesn’t keep her from other handiwork. She creates beautiful pottery, from yarn bowls to mugs to funky vases.

KFC to Join Vegetarian Bandwagon?

Buzz about KFC’s efforts to create vegetarian options in the UK and Ireland markets have delighted many, but disappointed some. Are fast-food chains responding to meatless markets in Europe, but not the U.S.?

Eco Efforts Are Part of the Nature’s Table Package

“Without the meaning, we’re just selling a commodity.” That’s how Rich Wagner thinks about the eco-conscious efforts of his brand, Nature’s Table, which is nearing 70 locations and continues to work toward reducing its carbon footprint.

New Quiznos Owners See Strong Brand Foundation

High Bluff Capital Partners, the new owners of “substantially all of Quiznos’ assets,” have quite a job ahead.

Consumers Are 'Passionate About Potholes'—and so Is Domino’s

Domino’s is changing the marketing landscape with a new initiative launched last week: filling actual potholes to aid the delivery and carryout experience.

Was That Ad Written by a Robot?

Just about every marketer knows the joy of tweaking and testing online ads. But what if artificial intelligence could do it instead?

Others ‘Create Holes Every Day,’ and PatchMaster Will Fix Them

Raise your hand if you have a hole in your home’s drywall. Yep, Kathleen Kuhn thought so, which is why the president and CEO of HouseMaster launched a new franchise called PatchMaster.

Try, Try Again Is Melt Shop Founder’s Motto

How hard could it be to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Spencer Rubin, founder of the Melt Shop whom I recently met in his New York City flagship store, says it’s far more difficult than you might think.

Hotel Building Spree Continues, Hilton Adds 40 New Hotels

As the current hotel boom approaches the decade mark, there’s no end in sight as most major hoteliers continue adding new rooms, remodeled properties and entirely new builds. Following an impressive first quarter, Hilton—13th on the Franchise Times Top 200+—is opening an average of four properties per week.

More Growth as Code Ninjas Inks 33-unit Deal

A screen of text, brackets and semicolons wasn’t going to hold the attention of kids, even those interested in coding, so David Graham took a different approach in creating his startup franchise, Code Ninjas.

Wendy’s Embraces Vine-ripened Tomatoes

Will the next next battle in the QSR freshness war be over tomatoes? If it is, Wendy’s has quite a lead on the rest of the industry.

Taco Bell ‘Zee Adds 25 More Units

Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Taco Bell franchisee Burgerbusters added 25 units of the quick service Mexican chain to its growing portfolio, bringing its total Taco Bell count up to 142.

A&W Looking Good, Still Growing at 100

Making it to 100 is a gift for anything or anyone, and A&W Restaurants is looking unusually spry as America’s first and oldest restaurant chain approaches the century mark. The food and treats brand expects to open 12 new units this year after adding 15 franchise locations in 2017.

A Notebook Full of Stories from the IFE

When the founders of Cinnaholic got an offer on Shark Tank four years ago, they took the money on the TV show itself but didn’t sign the contract afterward. Why? “Different visions. They didn’t want to franchise,” said Marty Welch about the Shark Tank judges. Welch was one of many engaging individuals exhibiting at the International Franchise Expo in New York City last week.

‘Big Ambitions’ as Harvest Acquires Dwyer Group

One every four months. That’s the number of acquisitions, or 11 in total, the Dwyer Group made since August of 2014 when The Riverside Co. acquired the franchisor. Harvest Partners of New York is the new majority investor, announced June 4.

Manna Buys Growth Without Giving Up Equity

When a large franchisee wants to make a big acquisition, it typically means giving up equity.

Planning Protest, Tim Hortons Zees ‘Will Not Be Intimidated’

A group of Tim Hortons franchisees in Canada plan to gather June 20 at the head office of parent company Restaurant Brands International to protest RBI’s termination of franchisee Mark Kuziora, the named plaintiff in GWNFA’s lawsuit against the brand that seeks more than $500 million in damages.

More International Buzz for Mosquito Squad With Indonesia Deal

After launching in East Africa earlier this year, tick and mosquito control franchise Mosquito Squad added another international deal to its development lineup, this time in Indonesia.

Dinner with the New Famous Dave

Having dinner with “Famous” Dave Anderson is a treat; there are just not many people as excited about food as he is. And with a new look for the restaurant and some delectable new menu items, there’s a lot to be excited about as the 24-year-old brand gets a refresh.

Small Business Optimism Hits Record High

Are you having a good day? If so, you’re in good company, as small business sentiment has reached a new high driven by the strongest local economic outlook on record, a “firmer hiring environment” and a stronger backdrop for investment according to MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Domino’s new Hotspots get Major Marketing Push

Domino’s put a huge marketing push behind Hotspots, the 150,000 new non-traditional addresses to which Domino’s will deliver, including a new national TV spot and the company’s first-ever print ad in the New York Times.

Fireman Capital Boosts Anytime Fitness Operator Bandon

Bandon Holdings, the biggest franchisee in the Anytime Fitness system with 38 gyms, has gained a majority investment from private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners that will allow the Texas-based partnership to become even larger.

After Curves, Gary Findley Loves the Franchising Ride

“That Curves ride was a ride I’ll never see again, but now here I am, 56 years old, two grandbabies, but I still love what I do. I love, love, love franchising,” says Gary Findley, the subject of next month's The Boss column in Franchise Times with outtakes featured here.

Greene Turtle, But Not McD’s, Says Goodbye to Straws

It’s the final straw for The Greene Turtle, and that’s a good thing, is how Greg Pitkoff of Grip Communications cleverly put it, with the 46-unit sports bar and grill announcing its restaurants would go straw-free as of yesterday, May 23.

Robin Autopilot Puts Robo-Mowers to Work in U.S.

Justin Crandall, co-founder of Robin Autopilot, doesn’t want you mow the yard. He’d prefer you install one of his robotic lawn mowers instead.

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Tom Ryan wasn’t interested in being CEO of the Smashburger brand he co-founded in 2007, but as he rolls up in his BMW X6, impeccably dressed and with a full tank of confidence, it seems he was born ready for this role—and this interview. Ryan’s impressive resume precluded his arrival at the restaurant. With a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry and the inventions of the McGriddle and Stuffed Crust Pizza under his belt, he looked more like a flashy executive than a food science savant that’s the bedrock of his career.

Scooter’s CEO mentors a local hero

The newest Scooter’s Coffee in the brand’s home city of Omaha was conceived and built to help a struggling neighborhood get on its feet. It’s a living, steaming, grinding embodiment of generosity, as Scooter’s built out the new location in a formerly abandoned building and is gifting the franchise free of cost to Julian Young, a friend of CEO Don Eckles and a lifelong North Omaha resident who has dedicated his adult life to helping others find their own success.

Hard work is veterans’ common bond

When Jamelle Garner was ready to take up franchising after serving in the military for close to 20 years, her first go-to was Chick-fil-A. But she was intimidated by the investment it needed and the tight territories assigned.

Eradicating your #MeToo moments

The names have been in the headlines—John Besh, Mario Batali, Ken Friedman, Steve Wynn, Mike Isabella. All prominent, powerful men in the restaurant and hospitality industry and all accused of sexual harassment or misconduct over the past eight months.

Farm hand, railman, bankrupt—and then Findley bet on Curves

I grew up in a little small town in Texas. I had 23 people in my graduating class, and I married one of them. I worked for a custom farmer for years, driving combines and building fence. We learned, I think, a very, very strong work ethic.

Mosquito Squad mission turns personal in Kenya

As a malaria survivor, preventing needless deaths from mosquito-borne diseases is the goal for Mosquito Squad franchisee Fred Rariewa, along with building a business that improves people’s quality of life.

FT Undercover checks out three auto brands

I looked at the small TV in the oil-smelling waiting area of Jiffy Lube in alarm. A car tech was laughing and loudly revving the engine of my Honda as a crowd of his fellow techs cheered him on. I am not a car guy.

Tim Hortons president speaks plus more from our bloggers

Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools, believes effective advocacy starts long before a leader pushes to get something done.

Great American Expo keeping it (virtually) real

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, videos showing more than 100 franchises inside and out may be priceless, according to Nick Neonakis—or at least worth the cost of a six-figure investment his new company has made in a virtual reality platform.

Juice It Up’s new owner buys to build

Chris Britt has a long career in mergers and acquisitions, but now that he’s out on his own he’s targeting founder-led companies to acquire and then help to build.

International Deal Could Add 2,000-plus Pizza Huts to the Map

Pizza Hut already says it has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company: nearly 17,000 in more than 100 countries. Now the brand is planning another international push, this time with Madrid-based pizza giant Telepizza Group.

Frenchies has celebrities at its feet

From Kesha to Idina Menzel, Rachel Brosnahan to Daniela Vega, Frenchies Modern Nail Salon’s Ryan McEnaney has pulled a few strings to land the fledgling nail franchise valuable celebrity endorsements both on and off the Hollywood red carpet.

British Swim operator stays in lane

A fast growth pace, including a new store in another city, proved a problem for a British Swim School operator. He put renewed focus on profitability and is now back on track.

Which Wich talks innovation—and yolk porn

The founder of Which Wich doesn’t like to set a lot of rules. His latest find, a ‘surfer dude’ with a culinary school background, has free rein to invent any sandwich he wants. Results include the Brunchwich, a viral sensation and one example of this brand’s innovative M.O.

Tough Mudder Bootcamp Forges Ahead, Opens Flagship

In the six months since we brought you the story about rough-and-tumble Tough Mudder expanding into the fitness business, the brand has crossed some impressive milestones as it prepares to open its new flagship location in Massachusetts.

Hotels go beyond bedsheets to attract guests

Continued economic and job growth have been a boon to hotel operators, who are seeing steady demand from both leisure and business travelers. Deloitte is predicting a robust year ahead for hotels with growth between 5 and 6 percent that will push the volume of gross bookings for the year to a record high of $170 billion.

Restaurant biz helps veteran on ‘Survivor’

What do you need to survive a month on a desert island? For U.S. Army veteran Angela Perkins, 21 years in the military didn’t hurt. “While my training definitely did help me physically, I think my social game was more important,” said Perkins.

How four brands proved their NextGen chops

A different concept. Command of the numbers. Intense passion. These were among the quivers in the bow for four emerging concepts that captured prizes in the NextGen contest. If they’re representative of their peers, the kids are all right.

To keep staff, treat them like owners

The ideal employee is one who wakes up every morning and thinks, “How can I help my company do better today?” The average franchise operator can probably count those ideal employees on one hand and they are are harder to find and retain than maybe ever. And nothing works for long—money might for a while, a cool culture may help for a time.

A flight to walkability and Richmond

In times of confusion or upheaval, investors recommend flights to quality—financial moves that tend to have less upside, but are safer and more predictable. Boiled down even further, it’s the difference between classic and trendy. For retailers rightly scared by this ongoing retail apocalypse, allow me to offer a timeworn salve: compact, walkable downtowns.

Franchising’s fans grow in Czechia, in Country Profile

The Czechia flag combines the white and red colors of Bohemia with blue from the arms of Moravia. It is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia.

Do more than check the box with training, Living Large brands say

Franchisee training and support doesn’t end after the grand opening, our three Living Large brands say, and effective field staff members go beyond a checklist to not just correct issues but also to coach and communicate.