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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.

Tropical Smoothie offers ‘intense’ training stint

Tropical Smoothie Cafe was launched in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1997, and grew to 310 franchises before being purchased in 2012 by BIP Opportunities Fund, an Atlanta investment firm. The total investment for a Tropical Smoothie Cafe is $210,550 to $478,550.

‘Do not botch the app’ is clear lesson

The importance of having a mobile app is not lost on franchise execs, but there is always a grey area of what exactly a company should look for in results. With a new collection of data from Sense360, there’s a little more clarity on what kind of results franchisors should expect from a mobile app project.

Country profile: India’s info in one place

Saffron (subdued orange), which represents courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation, is the color of the top horizontal band. White signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility. The blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation.

Solid data help emerging brands stay sound

Navigating the legal maze is not easy but necessary and can reveal important details about the business. Our three Living Large franchisors share their experiences.

A chill wind blows in from the North

Fifteen years ago this column called the reader’s attention to the myth that the world beyond the United States “is an oasis free of lawyers and litigation.” Focusing on Canada, the column summarized a “raft of franchise legal disputes in recent days,” sounding an alarm for franchisors. Only a year later, in August 2003, the column found ample validation for that prediction.

Making progress on your new year’s resolutions?

Each and every year, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and more commonly than not, by February, they’re broken and long forgotten.

Flexibility is watchword, at Club Pilates and Huddle House

To the uninitiated, Pilates equipment plausibly looks like tools of torture. Yet growing numbers of Americans pay professionally trained instructors to help contort themselves on these strange devices.

First Things First

When I was in college, my roommate and I ate every meal at the food hall, except on the occasional Friday night when yes, you guessed it, we splurged on Domino’s.

Executive Ladder

KeyBanc Capital Markets appointed Alex Jacobs as head of the Food & Beverage Group. Wienerschnitzel promoted J.R. Galardi, son of the chain’s late founder, to the role of executive vice president.

Scoreboard

At the 2017 ICR Exchange conferece, where public and private brands across restaurants and retail come together to share news with investors, there was an upbeat outlook for the year despite some ongoing difficult conditions.

If only I had known then what I know now...I’d still know nothing

I rarely go back and reread what I’ve written once it’s published. I used to think it was a lifesaving technique, because when I found a misspelled word or a particularly awkward sentence I wanted to slit my wrists. Or because I didn’t want to relive the embarrassment that a point I thought was so funny at the time, completely missed the mark.

CoreLife Lands Experienced Michigan Operator as First 'Zee

A long-standing relationship with Larry Wilson, founder of CoreLife Eatery, convinced Stevensville, Michigan-based operator Joyce Lunsford to sign on as the healthy restaurant brand’s first franchisee—that and a taste of beet lemonade, something Lunsford thought she’d hate.

Amazing Lash Operators Don't Hesitate to Enlist Family

If you think your holiday gatherings with family can be fraught, consider John and Janet Mok, Amazing Lash Studio franchisees in New Jersey who have convinced all four of John’s siblings to buy into the franchise, as well. “We’re either heroes or goats, right?” says John with a laugh.

Red Roof opens 500th Inn and 50th Plus+ location

Red Roof® has opened its 500th Inn in Biloxi, MS and 50th PLUS+ location in Irondale, Alabama. To celebrate the milestone, Red Roof is rewarding existing and new members of their RediCard loyalty program with 500 RediCard bonus points no matter where they are headed from January 15, to February 28, 2017.

Hyatt announces acquisition of Miraval Group

Hyatt Hotels Corporation announced that Hyatt has acquired Miraval Group, from an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners, LLC.

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service names Alan D. Ferber as new CEO

Jackson Hewitt Tax Service recently named Alan D. Ferber its chief executive officer. Ferber joins the tax brand from ADT Residential, the No.1 home security brand in North America, where he served as president. Before ADT Residential, he was chief operating officer and chief marketing officer of US Cellular.

Captain D’s names Bob Kraut chief marketing officer

Captain D’s LLC announced today that Bob Kraut has joined its executive team as chief marketing officer. Kraut will be responsible for leading, developing and executing the company’s marketing strategies to further increase brand awareness and continue the brand’s strong sales growth.

Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc. accelerates refranchising strategy

Papa Murphy’s Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:FRSH) announced that it has expanded the scope of its relationship with Franchise Performance Group, a strategic franchise recruiting advisory firm, to include the refranchising of company-owned stores in select markets.

Capriotti’s Founder Lois Margolet Passes

Lois Margolet, founder of Las Vegas-based Capriotti’s Hand Crafted Sandwiches, passed away on Thursday following a battle with lung cancer. She was 68.

FASTSIGNS reports record signing of 63 new franchise agreements in 2016

FASTSIGNS International, Inc., franchisor of FASTSIGNS®, announced that it has signed 63 franchise agreements in 2016 with new and existing franchisees in the U.S., Canada and U.K. In the third quarter alone, the brand inked 22 new agreements, including 13 locations in western and midwestern states, such as California, Florida, Texas, Kansas, New Mexico and Washington.

Former NFL Linebacker, Mooyah ‘Zee Shares Franchise Experience

“Just like in football, coaches move, so you can’t pick a franchise just for the people, the leadership; you pick it for the model,” said Bradie James, speaking during Franchise Expo South in Dallas. James, a multi-unit franchisee of Mooyah Burgers, Fries and Shakes, is also the company’s director of brand engagement.

Can Taco Bell Actually Win Market Share in China?

Yesterday Yum China announced the grand opening of a new Taco Bell in Shanghai, the chain’s first location in China after a decade-long absence. With a potential customer base of 1.3 billion, Yum Brands and Taco Bell seem excited about the likelihood of a big expansion in China.

Famous Toastery says ‘happy holidays’ with artful pancakes

Famous Toastery opted not to put too many guardrails on a holiday social media campaign, instead having a little fun with a hypnotizing pancake artist.

'Idea Guy' Founder Sells Pizza Patron, Pivots to What's Next

Antonio Swad, founder of Dallas-based Pizza Patron and Wingstop, is on to a new venture after selling this week Pizza Patron to the brand's largest franchisee, Charles Loflin of San Antonio.

Dueling Surveys Blast, Praise Labor Nominee Puzder

The headlines this week were negative for Andy Puzder, Trump’s choice for secretary of labor and CEO of CKE Restaurants—so much so that the International Franchise Association commissioned a survey of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s employees to counteract a damning one released Tuesday by Puzder foes.

Yum China launches Taco Bell brand in China

Yum China Holdings, Inc., and Taco Bell Corp., the world's largest Mexican-inspired restaurant chain, today announced that they have opened the first Taco Bell restaurant in the second largest economy in the world: China.

FirstService expands Paul Davis Restoration company-owned operations

FirstService Corporation today announced that its Paul Davis Restoration business has further expanded its company-owned operations through the acquisition of Paul Davis National, a specialized commercial and large loss operation within PDR

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.