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Drew Brees Aims to Score With Dunkin’ Donuts

As speculation mounts about how long Drew Brees will continue as quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, it’s becoming clearer that one of the most famous and talented players in the NFL has teed himself up to be a major player in the franchise world for many seasons to come. Adding to his growing empire of Jimmy John’s and Walk-On’s restaurants, he is set to build 69 new Dunkin’ Donuts restaurants in Louisiana.

How the Housing Market in India Differs From U.S.

Real estate in India is like football in the U.S., says Ramnik Chopra, managing director and lead investor in Coldwell Banker India. He’s not saying it’s a game, only that homeowners are fanatical scorekeepers. “Everyone wants to know the price of their property” and every weekend they’re checking the newspapers for the stats, he says.

Retail, Labor Indicators Looking Good

As the numbers begin trickling in after the cash registers cool down from the holidays, initial reports suggest it was a good Christmas for U.S. retailers in general, with First Data reporting a 4.7 percent year-over-year increase in retail sales during the season as part of its SpendTrend Holiday Season numbers.

Johnny Rockets Celebrates 30 Countries in 30 Years

Johnny Rockets recently celebrated its 30th anniversary by announcing the opening of a new restaurant in its 30th country.

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. Announces Preliminary Unaudited Fiscal Fourth Quarter and Fiscal Year 2016 Sales Results

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. (“Del Taco” or the “Company”), (NASDAQ:TACO), the second largest Mexican-American QSR chain by units in the United States, operating restaurants under the name Del Taco, today announced preliminary unaudited fiscal fourth quarter and fiscal year 2016 sales results ahead of its presentation tomorrow morning at the ICR Conference.

Alexius Aims to Upend Traditional Legal Billing

Kevin Hein spent 20 years in traditional law firms, most recently at Faegre Baker Daniels in Denver specializing in franchise law, but he’s now joined with an upstart firm called Alexius that provides defined legal services for a fixed fee rather than all-encompassing work for the almighty billable hour.

Heavyweights Tell How to Avoid 'Unforced Errors'

Amit Pamecha and Joe Bourdow have seen it all in franchising, mistakes and triumphs alike, and have now joined with two other partners to form Premier Franchise Advisors. Their goal is to help franchises and private equity firms avoid the former and achieve the latter. FT asked them to share lessons learned.

Jean Birch appointed interim CEO of Papa Murphy’s

(GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Papa Murphy's Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRSH) announced that, effective immediately, chair of the board, Jean Birch, has been appointed interim chief executive officer.

Wendy’s Sassy Twitter Clash

That sassy red-head Wendy has been showing her frosty side on social media, as the legacy hamburger chain’s Twitter account has become the subject of mass media articles in recent days.

Cashing in On Backyard Dirty Work

Bryan Weinstein is the founder and CEO of Bar-B-Clean, a California-based grill cleaning business whose franchisees encounter more gross stuff than I could find in the darkest recesses of the Franchise Times company refrigerator.

Valvoline signs agreement to acquire Time-It Lube

Valvoline Inc. today announced that its subsidiary, Valvoline LLC, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the business assets related to 28 quick-lube stores from Time-It Lube L.L.C. and Time-It Lube of Texas, LP (together, “Time-It Lube”).

Former Velocity CEO Joins Athletic Republic

Athletic Republic announced today that sports performance training executive Peter Barbaresi has joined Athletic Republic as an advisor. Barbaresi, who served as the CEO of Velocity Sports Performance since 2009, left his post this past summer to serve as CEO of Yoga Six, a growing yoga studio chain business.

Dickey's Barbecue Pit announces capital group and leadership reorganization

Dickey's Barbecue Pit announces the formation of Dickey's Capital Group and reorganization of leadership positions in order to more effectively meet the demands of rapid growth.

Comfort becomes largest smoke-free hotel brand in U.S. and Canada

Choice Hotels International, Inc. announced today that Comfort Inn has joined Comfort Suites in offering guests 100-percent smoke-free rooms at its more than 1,800 franchised hotels across the United States and Canada.

Burger King and Tim Hortons say their chicken will be antibiotic-free by next year

Burger King and Tim Hortons are planning to use chicken with fewer antibiotics in the upcoming years. Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Burger King and Tim Hortons, says it will be making the changes in antibiotics in its chicken supply due to public health concerns.

Express Employment Professionals CEO Bob Funk named 2017 ACTE Business Leader of the Year

Bob Funk of Express Employment Professionals has been named as the 2017 Business Leader of the Year by the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

Wingstop announces appointment of new independent board member

Wingstop Inc. today announced the appointment of seasoned public company director and former McDonald’s executive Lynn Crump-Caine to its board of directors.

Franchise Times Top 10 Stories of 2016

As we move into 2017, it’s time for a little year in review. It’s been another strong year at Franchise Times, and the editorial content here was booming with features, special projects, and franchise news items.

Del Taco introduces mobile app test in Sacramento

Del Taco Restaurants, Inc. has announced the test on its mobile app developed by the brand’s online ordering partner, Olo. Although the free app is currently available for download by iOS and Android users nationwide, the app’s full functionality will be limited to the Sacramento test market.

Don’t mess with MOD: How to build a fiercely loyal workforce

‘If you treat people like they matter they will do anything,’ says Kory Harp softly, belying his burly looks to explain why he believes the culture at MOD Pizza is a precious treasure. He and others in the MOD Squad, as more than 3,000 employees and eight franchise partners are known, are determined to keep that enviable culture alive even as the chain expands nationwide. Founders Scott and Ally Svenson have their backs, insisting they care much more about purpose than pizza.

Jersey Mike’s tops this year’s Fast & Serious list

The No. 1 franchise on this year’s Fast & Serious list—designating the fastest-growing franchises over three years, in order to ensure sustainability—ironically talks more about being methodical than pushing to the max. “We’re very diligent—some people would call it slow, but we try to be real thoughtful about it,” says Hoyt Jones, president of Jersey Mike’s, the sub sandwich chain that requires a full-week training for every franchisee in New Jersey headquarters. Learn his growth strategies, plus those of 39 more franchise bosses who are intent on growing quickly but only in ways that can last.

Wisdom from the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

Political pundits, restaurant CEOs and financial wizards shared advice and philosophies at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, presented each November by the Restaurant Finance Monitor, FT’s sister publication. Here are some highlights, with many more online at franchisetimes.com.

Apple Pie Capital strives for new finance normal

‘If I can do so much on the internet, why can’t I do my financing?’ That simple question drove Denise Thomas to start ApplePie Capital, which a couple of rounds of funding and a couple of years later is marrying tech with money.

Spray-Net, Blink Fitness and Watermill Express tackle challenges

Spray-Net, Blink Fitness and Watermill Express are the emerging franchises we will follow all year as they tackle their challenges. Our first installment of Living Large for the new year examines how the brands work to increase revenue and control expenses at the unit level.

Backing away from the ledge after Trump

After the election I had this reaction, like a popular majority of the voting public unless in fact 2.8 million of those votes were illegal: UUUUGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHH. But I didn’t think I could fill this column with that word, so I began moving through the seven stages of grief.

Proposal by Euro parliament: a realistic solution?

It is rare that the European Parliament has anything to say about franchising. Recently though, that august institution spoke up, in the form of a study published by one of its committees, looking at the impact of regulation on franchising in Europe. While it is not the official position of the parliament, it cannot safely be ignored.

When social media meets SEO

Over the years, I have heard dozens of franchise salespeople lament the social media efforts of their franchisors. They often feel the money spent on social media is wasted when it comes to franchise lead generation. And while there are numerous ways that a franchisor can ineffectively utilize social media, savvy franchisors have found that social media, done right, can have a profound impact on their franchise marketing efforts.

After Wendy’s purchase, JAE banks on ‘The Machine’

Back in September, Pompano Beach, Florida-based JAE Restaurant Group announced it was now one of South Florida’s largest employers, having acquired 97 Wendy’s re-franchised restaurants within a year.

Astrological signs and your bathroom habits

Most likely the last time bathroom humor was top of mind for the team at Fish Consulting was when they were in the third grade (junior high, maybe high school, for the boys). But when their client, Mr. Rooter, wanted to create consumer buzz around the plumbing brand, Fish drilled down and asked themselves, “How can we make this sexy?” according to Andie Biederman, senior account executive for the south Florida PR/advertising agency.

India’s cash dearth upsets trade mission

Problems due to India’s prime minister’s demonetization of 500 and 1,000 rupee notes didn’t amount to a hill of beans compared to what the average Indian has had to put up with, but it was still upsetting to members of the franchise trade mission in December, as FT’s Nancy Weingartner reports

Dream email sparked Dog Haus deal

A massive development deal for Dog Haus started with a simple email on the franchise’s website— you know, that generic contact form that rarely coughs up a promising lead.

Erbert and Gerbert’s franchisee aims high

Spend just two minutes on the phone with Aubrey Janik, age 23, and you’ll quickly have an appreciation for her outsized share of ambition and fearlessness. She’s got a two-, three- and five-year plan, and if it all works out, franchising may have found its newest up-and-coming star.

Fear is relative for Best in Class CEO

Failure is a subjective term for Hao Lam. The founder and CEO of Best in Class has had life-changing failures—10, he says—including running from gunfire and being sent to a Vietnamese prison on several occasions.

DQ boss likes the word ‘accountable’

This operator grew from seven locations to 180, all in the Dairy Queen brand, while still in his early 30s. But his advice for other young operators is to make one unit profitable before adding another.

What happens when technology weds capital

Lending tech, insurTech, blockchain, oh my! The financial world is changing dramatically, but what on earth does it mean for business owners who don’t live in the cloud?

Public transit adds to Denver’s zip

Stepping off the sleek, new A-line train that swept me from the gates of DIA into the heart of downtown Denver—23 miles away—I was easily impressed by the Mile High City.

High standard of living attracts attention in Taiwan

Business ownership is revered in Taiwan, where entrepreneurs are seeking well-known franchise brands they can develop and where U.S. franchisors can test their concepts before launching in mainland China.

Taiwan, at a glance

Location: In Southeast Asia, Taiwan borders the East China Sea, Philippine Sea, Taiwan Strait, and the South China Sea just east of mainland China. Size and name: The island is about the size of Maryland and Delaware combined. Officially known as the Republic of China.

After a year of vitriol, a dose of inspiration

The year 2016 was a stressful and vitriolic one—at least if you watched the news. From every which way, it seemed all the loudest voices were intent on tearing down other people. As the old (really old) Simon & Garfunkel song laments, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?”

Scoreboard

There are headless companies among us! Four public restaurant companies are currently without a permanent CEO, fallout from a transformative era and a difficult year for the industry.

Executive Ladder

Executive Vice President and COO of Midas, Mike Gould, retired after 36 years with the business. Focus Brands promoted Paul Macaluso to president of McAlister’s Deli. SpeedPro Imaging appointed Ryan Reeves as its vice president of franchise sales. Reeves previously held directorial positions at McAlister’s Deli and Dickey’s Barbecue Pit.

Why I never skirt the issues when covering bigwigs or trade missions

Most people who go to Vegas lose their shirt. I lost my skirt.

Inside the Wide-Sweeping Chalak Mitra Group

Chalak Mita Group Managing Director Pushpak Patel gives a glimpse inside the well-diversified company built on the trust between best friends at the 2016 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. The group is growing every which way from QSR to hotels and even a Jamaican cricket team.

M&A Update: The Market Bears What the Market Bears

Partner and attorney Derek Ladgenski of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP discusses the “active” M&A market at the 2016 and his outlook for 2017 at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. And what’s going to happen when interest rates ticket up? Ladgensky says nobody really knows, “all you can do is get ready.”

Area Director and Multi-Unit Owner Bill Mapes Talks Jersey Mike’s

Area director and multi-unit franchisee Bill Mapes discusses what kind of franchisee Jersey Mike’s is looking for, and how the company looks for people who fit the company values before they’re in the system.

Right-Sized Rent Metrics the 'Single Most Important Factor' for Restaurants

What can a restaurant do in this landlord’s market? Jim Haslem of CS Advisors has more than three decades of experience negotiating leases and seeing what works at restaurants. He explains how to get to the right rent metric at the 2016 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

DineEquity, Inc. announces first co-branded IHOP and Applebee's restaurant to open in Detroit

DineEquity, Inc. announced plans today for a new location in Detroit that will for the first time leverage both its category leading brands, IHOP® restaurants and Applebee's Grill and Bar® in one restaurant destination to be at Millander Center in Detroit.

Marriott International’s Residence Inn brand now present in all 50 states

After its latest opening in Wyoming, Marriott International announces that its extended-stay brand, Residence Inn, now touts a presence in all 50 states.

BoeFly Webinar Tackles Issues Around New SBA Rule

All the gnashing of teeth over the SBA Registry rule change may be for naught, since the four points the SBA has pulled out into an addendum are best practices most franchisors are already doing. Or so said a panel of franchisors and lenders that discussed the rule change on a webinar today presented by BoeFly.

GPS Hospitality acquires 194 Burger King locations in Southeast

When a franchise operator announces 200% growth through a single deal, it’s generally a second location. At GPS Hospitality, it means nearly 200 additional restaurants.