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We’ve done the hard work so relax, enjoy the show

If you are a regular reader of this column, you may remember last month I opened with an accounting of my first jobs as a teenager, one of which was the unenviable task of “walking beans” on my grandfather’s farm, which means walking down rows of soybeans with a hoe in tow, pulling the weeds. (Soybeans sold with weeds in the mix lowered the price.)


The franchising sector is beating the pants off other industries. According to Hachemi Aliouche, director of the Rosenberg International Franchise Center at the University of New Hampshire, the industry is doing incredibly well, and it has since 2000, when the center started watching.

Executive Ladder

Randon Clayton was hired as technology associate at Assisting Hands Home Care’s home office. Preparing for expansion, Mici Handcrafted Italian hired Elliot Shiffer as partner and CEO.

Why I’m a newfound fan of rereading what I’ve written in the distant past

I came up with the idea for this column after interviewing Dear Abby’s grandson, Dean Phillips, who is operating a coffee shop chain while running for Minnesota’s 3rd Congressional District seat (the interview was for our sister publication Foodservice News).

Arby's Named One of Best Workplaces for Women

Arby’s has been named to FORTUNE’s 100 Best Workplaces for Women list. Arby’s is the highest-ranked restaurant brand on the list and is the only quick-service restaurant selected.

Golden Corral announces partnership with Coca-Cola

The Golden Corral Corporation, the nation’s largest grill-buffet chain, recently awarded its beverage agreement to The Coca-Cola Company.

Starting a Juice Concept With 5 Kids in Tow

Two young parents with five young kids stumbled upon an idea that seems crazy from an outside perspective: starting a food-based franchise from scratch as a way of improving their work-life balance. With seemingly no fear, they took the plunge and launched Clean Juice Bar in 2014.

These 4 ‘Super Elements’ Are Key to Hiring the Right People

Last week’s IFA Franchise Action Network event in Washington, D.C., put the politics impacting franchising front and center. But mixed in with the various labor law concerns and worry about the joint employer rule was the general sentiment that it’s never been more difficult to find and hire the right person.

The UPS Store hits 5000 retail locations

The UPS Store, Inc., the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, print and business service centers, is now 5,000+ locations strong, the company announced today.

Ethics Complaint Dismissed in SoR Case, 'Ambiguity' Remains

An ethics complaint against Craig Tractenberg, a prominent franchise attorney for Fox Rothschild in Philadelphia who represented School of Rock, was dismissed September 7 by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, but the contents of a letter “expressing this office’s concerns regarding his conduct” will not be made public under board rules.

Maaco and Meineke honor 45th birthday with national celebration

This fall, Maaco and Meineke are hosting a very special Happy 45th Birthday event at participating U.S. locations, and consumers have an opportunity to unwrap 45 percent discounts on core services at both brands.

Liberty Tax Situation Not a Problem, General Counsel Says

It may seem awkward if your CEO gets booted by the board of directors but keeps his status as chairman, holds all the Class B shares and so retains the right to name a majority of board members, as happened to founder John Hewitt at Liberty Tax Service last week. But Liberty’s general counsel, Vanessa Szajnoga, doesn’t think so.

Learn, Play & Grow (Really Fast) at The Learning Experience

The franchised education space is morphing from competitive to crowded, mirroring other categories—such as medical franchising—that is undergoing a massive shift away from established systems. The Learning Experience is growing rapidly and focusing on its corporate culture as the education category hits a critical inflection point.

New Pillar to Post Owner Has Sept. 11 Story

This Monday, September 11, was a special day for Matt Robertie of Doylestown, Pennsylvania. He became a new franchisee for home inspection franchise Pillar to Post, 16 years to the day after the 2001 terrorist attacks.

Joint Employer ‘Could Be Catastrophic’ for Franchise Model, ‘Zees Say

Hundreds of franchisees and franchisors are meeting with representatives and senators on Capitol Hill today as part of the International Franchise Association’s Franchise Action Network event and to push for support of the Save Local Businesses Act.

Franchisors, ‘Zees Gather in D.C. to Talk Joint Employer Issue

Introduced in July by a U.S. House committee, the Save Local Businesses Act counters the NLRB’s August 2015 ruling in the Browning-Ferris Industries case that adopted a broad joint employer standard based on “indirect” or “potential control” of employees, meaning franchisors can be held liable for a franchisee’s employees.

HealthSource Chiropractic Focuses on Injuries, Rehab

Compared with The Joint, a large chiropractic franchise that focuses on maintenance care, Ohio-based HealthSource Chiropractic is different, geared toward patients with fresh injuries looking for progressive rehabilitation treatment.

On The Border announces new chief financial officer

Just ahead of celebrating its 35th year in business, On The Border Mexican Grill & Cantina® announced today the addition of Tom Pennison as the company's new Chief Financial Officer.

Hurricane Harvey Relief From ‘Zees and ‘Zors, Part II

Countless other organizations are providing what they can to assist in the recovery efforts, and it’s nearly impossible to list all of them. Here are 10 other national franchise brands and franchisees harnessing their coast-to-coast presence in support.

Hilton’s All Suites Keeps Rocking

Times are good in the hotel biz—really, really good—as a multi-year growth streak continues. As one nugget of continuing good news in the category, Hilton’s All Suites brand just released a midyear update that points to continued growth for the brand, and likely many others in hospitality.

Toppers Pizza’s 'Big, Hairy, Audacious' Goals

With a meaty investment in consumer-facing tech and fast-rising unit growth, Wisconsin-based Toppers Pizza thinks it can challenge the biggest pizza brands after doubling in size over the last three years.

Tropical Smoothie Café Eyes Minnesota Expansion

Tropical Smoothie Café positions itself as a healthier option in the fast-casual segment with flatbreads, sandwiches and wraps to go along with classic and “Superfood” smoothies, which is why company execs believe the concept is a perfect fit for an active, outdoor-focused Twin Cities metro population.

Liberty Tax Founder Gets Boot, but He May Be Hard to Jettison

That bombshell the franchising world felt today was Liberty Tax Service announcing the termination of John Hewitt, who is the founder, chairman and CEO of Liberty Tax as well as the founder of competitor Jackson Hewitt and a giant in the business.

Franchisors and ‘Zees Line Up to Help Hurricane Harvey Victims

As the devastation and damage piles up in Houston and in other Texas areas hit by Hurricane Harvey, plenty of franchisors and franchisees are offering what they can to help. Here are 10 franchisors, both big and small, offering their services and resources:

Dunkin' Donuts appoints new chief marketing officer

Dunkin’ Donuts today announced the appointment of marketing veteran Tony Weisman, 57, to the position of U.S. chief marketing officer (CMO). Weisman, formerly the North American CEO of DigitasLBi, a global digital agency network, will officially join the company in late September.

Labor Day Economic Snapshot

Given the level of political instability throughout this year and the heartbreaking disaster unfolding along the Gulf shore, it’s remarkable that the economy has chugged along as well as it has. Here’s a look at some of the latest key economic indicators for a pre-fall check up on the economy.

Subway Launches Striking New Store Design

As it rolls out a dramatically new store design, complete with a new brand logo, Subway is looking to catch up to the fast-casual competition with a new store concept that includes a bright vegetable display front and center. For Subway’s thousands of franchisees, the mandatory remodel program includes three tiers that allow varying levels of equipment reuse.

Franchise Execs Talk Delivering on a Brand's Promise

Franchise leaders gather at annual Faegre Baker Daniels summit to share how they work to develop and maintain a successful franchise system.

DineEquity’s head of international resigns

DineEquity Inc.’s president for international, Daniel del Olmo, is resigning, reports Nation’s Restaurant News.

Secrets of the Lost Cajun

There’s a reason no one has successfully franchised a gumbo-based chain before—it’s a long, arduous process to make it just so. But the real secret isn’t in the recipe. Meet the founding father of The Lost Cajun, Raymond Griffin, a widower franchising the concept he and his late wife dreamed up that’s grounded in courtesy and respect.

FGB winners go beyond the bottom line

At its third annual Franchising Gives Back celebration on September 11, the International Franchise Association will continue its recognition of franchise companies’ charitable programs and the impact they have on their communities. One winner in each of five categories (Spirit of Franchising, Newcomer, Enduring Impact, Support Our Veterans, Innovation and Impact) will receive the Gold distinction from the stage prior to the IFA’s Franchise Action Network initiative, where members visit their congressional leaders.

Retailers get personal to keep customers loyal

Who wants a plain leather handbag when you can have one with a skull and crossbones, a golden wheel with silver angel wings or a dinosaur keychain instead? Retailers are finding success with customization, to help customers create their personal brand.

‘Treated like trash,’ young ‘zees win in end

Getting financing for a new franchise endeavor isn’t what many would call a fun time. But when you’re lumped in with a group as maligned as millennials, it’s even more of a chore.

China’s next as Anytime Fitness tackles world

Since hitting 3,000 gyms worldwide in 2015, Anytime Fitness isn’t slowing its global growth, recently announcing plans for 300-plus locations in China. What’s the game plan? We asked to peek inside their playbook.

Car repair franchises stay steady on rough road

Auto repair shops are riding steady gains as cars sprout minds of their own. Where will they land when the electric car and self-driving crazes shake out? ‘Plenty of things’ will still need repair, says a Christian Brothers exec.

Drug labs offer ultimate in high-stakes testing

When it comes to drug testing, Dave Claflin has seen and heard it all. “I could write a book on it,” says the CEO of Fastest Labs. “We have people that try to trick us every single day. And the funniest thing is when they get caught they just say, ‘OK, you got me.’”

'You are getting very insolvent...’ Hypnosis chain stumbles in NW

Positive Changes uses life coaching and hypnosis “to advance relaxation, create focus and thereby achieve behavioral change,” its website says, but the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing by its largest franchisee is stressing both customers and the franchise system.

The internationalization of the IFE, from soft impressions to hard facts

For many years I’ve been reporting from the International Franchise Expo—for most of those years from Washington, DC; in more recent years from New York City; once, if memory serves, from Miami.

Straight-A strategy—launching a sales program that makes the grade

There’s no time of year quite like back-to-school season. The summer heat gives way to crisp autumn air, school buses return to line city streets and a collective sigh can be heard from coast-to-coast as children everywhere mourn the end of vacation.

From one to nine B-Wings & Rings, plus ‘lots of adventure’ at Two Men

Todd Fetter concedes he and his family have been winging it since 2012. That was the year they opened the first of nine Buffalo Wings & Rings, now spread across Ohio, South Dakota, Nebraska and Minnesota. None of the seven family members family had ever operated a restaurant.

We Have the Multi-unit News You Need to Know

Twice a month I’m plucking the key details from dozens of multi-unit franchise development agreements to give you everything you need to know to stay informed and, of course, keep an eye on what the competition is doing.

Church’s Chicken® announces $5 Real Big Deal

As part of its strategic realignment to ignite system-wide growth, Church’s Chicken® announced the $5 Real Big Deal, a customized meal offering thousands of different combinations of fried chicken and Tender Strips®, home-style sides, a honey-butter biscuit, and a Jalapeño pepper.

AAMCO expanding brand's footprint with 18 new centers nationwide

AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. (“AAMCO”), announced today that it plans to open 18 new service center locations with new and existing franchisees across the country.

Acrobats kick off Hilton re-do

The multi-jointed acrobats dangling from bolts of cloths anchored to the ceiling of the newly remodeled Hilton Minneapolis during its grand reopening won’t be hanging around when future conferences book the center, but attendees will still be impressed.

Flynn on way to ‘nice round number’

The Flynn Restaurant Group is one of the master operators in franchising. So when he changes tactics, the industry takes notice. The Applebee’s and Taco Bell operator has shifted his focus in the past two years with a massive diversification play that has him gobbling up locations in the Panera system.

Harsh regs sink Palm Beach Vapors

Co-founder Chip Paul is snuffing out his electronic cigarette franchise, Palm Beach Vapors, citing new Food & Drug Administration regulations that he says torpedo the business model.

Club Pilates owner learns as she grows

Passion comes first for Keely Watson, who owns five Club Pilates units in California. ‘I think with any business you dive in headfirst. That’s much easier to do when you’re passionate about it,’ she says.

Capital still flowing for construction, remodels

Saladworks is among the chains with a mandatory update program, with franchisees spending $5 million all told. Many other franchisors are demanding the same, and lenders with existing relationships seem happy to oblige.

Expert weighs REITS vs. other capital options

Pick a market: Commercial real estate prices are going up and up. It’s not just the major cities like New York or San Francisco that are exploding. Satellites like Oakland, California, hip meccas like Austin and important hubs like Louisville, Kentucky, and Dallas are too.

When small towns make the brand

Much of the action in franchising happens in the suburbs, where power centers, strip malls, enclosed malls and bustling interchanges provide captive consumers and high visibility to lure them in—with sky high rents to match the possibilities. Truly urban environments like city centers are even more exclusive in terms of availability and cost.