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Say what you will about President Donald Trump, his election got the market moving to new heights. But even with the flurry of executive orders, he’s been mostly quiet on one of the biggest opportunities for public companies: corporate taxes. Trump promised to slash the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to “anywhere from 15 to 20 percent” by the end of 2017.

If it was called Kroc’s instead of McDonald’s, would we dine there?

I never thought the time Ray Kroc confiscated the play-by-play microphone at a Padres baseball game and heartlessly apologized for the deplorable way his team was playing would be my Woodstock. I kind of remember being there, although my son asserts he’d remember if we had been.

Food Halls: The Big Retail Trend of ‘17

With as many as 150 new food halls predicted to open in the next few years, these modern day food courts with higher-end food offerings are the bright spots offsetting tough times in the retail scene as many big-name brands are facing what may be their darkest year in business.

Keller Williams expands into Jamaica and Puerto Rico

Keller Williams, the world’s largest real estate franchise by agent count, has more than doubled its number of international agents, adding 1,900 new agents in 2016. Outside of the U.S. and Canada, the franchise is now home to 3,345 agents across the 23 countries and regions it has awarded master franchise agreements.

UBreakIFix Opens in Reno

SBA Tweaks Lending Rule, Relieving Some Franchisors

The Small Business Administration temporarily tweaked its new procedures governing lending to franchisees, to the relief of many franchisors and bankers who maintained the new rules would chill franchise lending.

Puzder's Withdrawal Pains Franchise Supporters, but Cheers Workers' Group

Just one day before his long-awaited confirmation hearing for secretary of labor, Andrew Puzder became the lone cabinet nominee to date to not get the nod, a blow to his many supporters in the franchising community who hoped the CEO of CKE Restaurants would set the department on a pro-business track. But at least one workers' group cheered.

New Stats on Women in Franchising

I’m all about encouraging diversity in franchising, and was pleased to see some new statistics on women in franchising from Franchise Business Review. On the whole, FBR’s numbers point to a clear majority enjoying operating the business, while barely more than half feel their work/life is balanced.

Additional 30,000 Temps Power Valentine’s Day Surge at Edible Arrangements

At Edible Arrangements, Valentine’s Day is the single biggest day of the year.

A&W Getting Back in the Game

With fond memories of A&W root beer floats with my parents and brother when I was a kid, I’m happy to hear the news that the brand is back on the gas five years after its sale by Yum. For the first time in more than 10 years, A&W is reporting systemwide revenue and store count growth, as it kicks off a new franchise sales initiative.

Noodles & Company Plans to Shed 55 Restaurants in Next Few Months

Noodles & Company, the fast casual concept struggling with declining sales for better parts of the last year, has announced plans to close approximately 55 “underperforming” restaurants in the coming months.

Noodles & Company plans to close 55 “underperforming” locations

Fast casual giant Noodles & Company said Thursday it will close 55 underperforming restaurants, more than 10 percent of its current store count.

TWO MEN AND A TRUCK Enters 2017 by Celebrating 85 Consecutive Months of Record Growth

In 2016, TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® experienced 10 percent growth in year-over-year sales compared to the year before, ultimately completing more than 500,000 moves nationwide.

TGI Fridays introduces two new executive hires

Marketer Stephanie Perdue and long-time restaurateur Jerry Comstock have joined TGI Fridays as chief marketing officer and president & chief operating officer, respectively.

Arby’s completes 25-restaurant development agreement with new franchisee, AR Chain of Restaurants

Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. (ARG), parent company of the franchisor of the Arby’s brand, announced that it has reached a new development agreement with franchisee, AR Chain of Restaurants, to open 25 new restaurants over the next six years with a focus on Pennsylvania and New York.

UBreakIFix Opens in Cutler Bay

Training New Drivers When Schools Won't

Things have changed since most of us received our driver education training during our teenage years. What used to be within the purview of brave school teachers has now been passed off to the private sector as many school systems have cut funding for in-school driver’s ed courses. As this trend spread throughout the United States, Washington-based 911 Driving School has profited and expanded to fill the void.

Franchise Exec Takes Unexpected Medical Detour While On the Road

One of the best decisions Marc Mushkin made in his lengthy career in international franchising is not putting the 'Do Not Disturb' sign on his hotel door in Kolkata (formerly Calcutta).

Domino’s Introduces Pizza Wedding Registry

Just weeks after my Franchise Times cover story on Domino's, the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based pizza giant has outdone itself with a pizza wedding registry. Seriously.

Following big gains, Captain D’s expects strong 2017

It was another terrific year for seafood franchising giant Captain D’s, as the company obtained a record-high systemwide AUV in 2016. It saw fourth quarter system wide sales increase 1.3 percent, along with a 2.3 percent systemwide same-store sales increase over the year. This marks six consecutive years of sales growth for the Nashville-based company.

Diversity on Display at IFA

Two days into my third trip to the IFA annual convention in Las Vegas, I’ve once again seen the remarkable diversity representative of the amazing, global shifts underway in franchising. And I’m not just saying that because it was part of my presentation on the first day.

At the Movies: 'The Founder' Is Made for Followers of Franchising

Restaurants are said to be a pennies business, so it was only fitting that when the Ray Kroc character in the film, 'The Founder,' meets his future wife, Joan, playing the organ at a fine-dining restaurant in St. Paul, he joins the attractive blonde at the keyboard to lustfully sing 'Pennies From Heaven.'

Forget Overtime; Undertime Is Real Villain, Anytime Fitness Says

Franchise operators spend a lot of time worrying about overtime, but the real villain in their businesses is undertime—the amount of money employers pay for disengaged workers who are present only physically. That’s advice from the kilt-wearing Dave Mortensen and Chuck Runyon, co-founders of Anytime Fitness, who gave a lively keynote address today at the IFA's annual convention.

There's Work to Do, IFA Chair Urges Convention Attendees

“It took 50 years to create this misperception about franchising. It will not be undone in 50 weeks,” declared Aziz Hashim, chair of the International Franchise Association board of directors, in the opening general session of its annual convention in Las Vegas yesterday.

Tim Hortons expanding its North American footprint to Mexico

Last week, Restaurant Brands International (NYSE: QSR) announced its brand, Tim Hortons, would expand into Mexico. The company says it will form a master franchise joint venture with an unidentified group of investors.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. announces master franchise joint venture to launch the Tim Hortons brand

Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI") has announced the establishment of a master franchise joint venture with a group of investors in Mexico. The joint venture company will be the master franchisee of the Tim Hortons brand in Mexico, responsible for developing and growing the brand in the country.

Advice Abounds for Would-Be Owners in Zor Awards Package

How do top-performing operators select the franchise brands that are right for them? We’re getting an earful on the topic, from multiple franchisees we’re featuring in our upcoming Franchise Times Zor Awards package, which will identify the best franchises to buy in each of 10 categories, to be published in March.

Coffee Pro Pivots to Building Dog Utopias

Neil Gill is the president and CEO of Phoenix-based Dogtopia, and is very enthusiastic about the business, but comes from Praise International, a subsidiary of Gloria Jeans Coffees where he helped turnaround and reenergize the brand in North America. He’s hoping to pull the same old tricks in the franchised dog space.

HoneyBaked Ham names Linda Heasley as its new CEO

The Honey Baked Ham Company, LLC, (HoneyBaked Ham), announced Linda Heasley as its new chief executive officer effective Feb. 6, 2017. Heasley, former president and CEO of Ascena Retail Group's plus size fashion segment, succeeds HoneyBaked Ham Chairman and interim CEO Paul Roth.

10 Win Prestigious FT Dealmakers Awards

Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2017 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the fifth annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.

Why Domino’s will eat Pizza Hut’s lunch

As the second-largest pizza chain eclipses $10 billion in sales and goes all-in as a high-tech pioneer, it expects to overtake Pizza Hut before 2020. CEO Patrick Doyle describes the fateful decisions that started Domino’s fast run-up.

‘Simple’ Wingstop opens 1,000th location

Dallas-based Wingstop has opened location No. 1,000, a major milestone for a brand defined by its simplicity.

We Rock the Spectrum aims to power a movement

“Finally a place where you never have to say ’m sorry.” Dina Kimmel’s voice caught as she recited her company’s motto and recalled the countless times she found herself apologizing for the behavior of her son, Gabriel, who in 2009 at the age of 2 was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Who’s advancing in the burger blitzkrieg?

The mission: See how the legacy burger joints stack up against the better burger guys. The players: The plucky editorial team at Franchise Times: Beth Ewen, Tom Kaiser, Laura Michaels and Nicholas Upton. The results: From ugh to wow, and everything in between.

Arby's CEO on Record Sales, Maintaining Growth in QSR

Arby’s CEO Paul Brown announced record systemwide sales of more than $3.6 billion, a 25% increase in AUVs and 3.8% same-store sales growth—more than double the growth rate of the QSR category. Those numbers represent 25 consecutive quarters of of same-store sales growth and 11 consecutive quarters of transaction growth for the Atlanta-based brand.

Drones help operators phone in their work

A few franchises are testing the latest equipment craze—drones, to do everything from deliver drugstore staples to monitor remote locations. We checked out a few early adopters, including ‘the dronemeister,’ who says ‘the sky is opening up.’

Whirlwind return to India, Sri Lanka, reveals change

Governments in India and Sri Lanka are both trying to be more business-friendly. In India the challenge is that a large, populous country can’t “turn on a dime,” and in Sir Lanka, it’s recovering from civil war and debt. And still, seven U.S. franchisors met interested partners.

Surprise SBA rules needn’t spook franchisors

Attorneys are offering advice to franchisors surprised by new U.S. Small Business Administration rules, issued last December and upending the usually routine business of making government-backed loans to franchisees.

Jerky vegans get their comeuppance

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and apparently in a parallel universe they don’t let them be vegans either.

Drew Brees adds Dunkin’ to holdings

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.

Brainiest cities are good bets for franchisors

My childhood was more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than Friday Night Lights, so I’ve always enjoyed that Bill Gates quote about being nice to nerds, lest you find yourself working for one.

Salt Suite tries to shake up industry

Anyone who has ever escaped to the sea to breathe in the medicinal properties of salt air soon may have a less scenic, but closer to home, solution thanks to franchising.

Deal is home run for Real Property

Lukas Krause’s baseball dreams fizzled after a stint in the minor leagues, but the 37-year-old CEO of Real Property Management can boast he’s batting at least .300 as his Salt Lake City-based company profits from tectonic shifts in American real estate.

Great Harvest works for better bread

Some things never change, but bread—elemental to human nourishment—has changed mightily since the first loaves were baked in the B.C. era of ancient Egypt. In more recent times, bread’s evolution has resembled a race to the bottom with supermarkets peddling simpler, cost effective, less- healthy breads.

Rockin’ the art world at One River School

Matt Ross wants to rock the art world. The founding CEO of the School of Rock believes anyone can learn to draw, just as he believed anyone could learn to play music. “It’s the time people are willing to put into it,” he says. “There’s a process, a technique. You don’t learn it all in a day.”

In & Out makes up for human error

In this age of exploding phones and shattered screens, a massive amount of investment is flowing into smartphone and electronic device repair to compensate for the ever-destructive human influence. No matter how amazing or expensive the latest devices may be, they’re still no match for a toddler’s slippery grasp, a dog’s wagging tail or the swirling waters of a toilet.

Unishippers owner is ‘luckiest guy’

But Frank Czar doesn’t leave everything to good fortune. The owner of eight Unishippers territories said he plans for the worst, especially big hits to cash flow.

New rivals enter the quick-service business

Xavier Artisan is targeting the United States as its next big step for growth. The Montreal-based franchise has a menu that includes sandwiches, coffee, soups and ice cream made artisan style with natural ingredients. It hopes to be a hit with Americans shifting away from common fast food. “We see an enormous need in the repetitive meal and QSR marketplace for a truly fresh and healthy dining option,” says Steven Elefant, chief development officer at Xavier Artisan’s parent company.

Transit hubs lure food brands, too

Mass transit is in the fast lane these days when it comes to expanding routes and boosting ridership, and food and beverage concepts are looking to get a foot in the door in those new high-traffic locations.

How to hire rockstar sales talent

Getting a prospective franchisee to crack open the 401(k) or mortgage their home takes more than a cold call—it takes an emotional connection and cultivating the hopes and dreams of business ownership. In short, it’s not an easy sell.