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Deal with 3M to Boost Window Genie Sales, VP Believes

Window Genie is banking on a new partnership with 3M to boost sales of residential window film, an arrangement that will begin in April.

Judge Rejects Bid to Block Seattle's Minimum Wage Hike

A federal judge this week denied the attempt by five franchisee plaintiffs and the International Franchise Association to block portions of Seattle’s minimum wage law, scheduled to become effective April 1. The issue isn’t the wage itself, which will increase to $15 an hour, but rather that it treats franchisees as large employers rather than small because they are part of a large franchise system.

Forecasting a Springtime Pop

Although several economic indicators have softened, fundamentals remain on course for a growth spurt as summer approaches.

Q&A with Dan Schneider, CEO of SIB Fixed Cost Reduction

Dan Schneider saw an opportunity to help companies reduce costs during the recession. Now his company, SIB, is in 20,000 locations throughout the United States.

Client Won't Pay its Fees? Too Bad, Judge Tells Larkin Hoffman

Talk about adding insult to injury: A federal judge last week denied Larkin Hoffman’s motion to withdraw as counsel for its franchisor client, Maid-Rite Corp., even though the firm says Maid-Rite has not paid its legal fees.

Wendy's 'Zees Need More Data to Evaluate Remodel Mandate

Wendy’s needs to provide more data about return on investment from the franchisor’s remodeling mandates, says Curt Staab, president of the Old Fashioned Franchise Association, the “one and only” independent association for Wendy’s franchisees.

Q&A with Ray Titus, CEO of United Franchise Group on new Experimac brand

Experimac is the latest brand from United Franchise Group is a retail sales and service outfit specializing on repairing, upgrading and selling pre-owned electronics.

Guidant Builds Partnerships to Go Beyond Financing Start Ups

Guidant has entered into a partnership with MultiFunding, a loan advisory that helps existing small businesses access capital through SBA loans, peer-to-peer lending, merchant capital and more.

RadioShack Owners Band Together in Hopes of Influencing Bankruptcy Case

The news keeps coming for RadioShack, none of it good since the retailer filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection February 5. Now, a group of franchisees has formed a committee to try to exert some control over the court process and influence what might happen to their stores.

A Holdout, Dunkin' Will Now Sell Single-Serve Coffee in Supermarkets

Dunkin’ Brands reversed itself today and announced it will sell Dunkin’ K-cups, the plastic pods used for single-serve coffee, in grocery stores and online. The franchisor had limited such sales, begun in 2011, to its restaurants for fear of cannibalizing store sales.

Candid Panel of Pros Admit to Making Mistakes

A panel of pro shared tips at IFA's leadership conference on how to be a better leader, while admitting that sometimes even the pros don't do everything right all the time.

Bennigan's CEO Buys Chain, Will Re-Launch Steak and Ale

Bennigan’s CEO and his wife, Paul and Gwen Mangiamele, this week bought the casual dining chain, renamed its parent company to Legendary Restaurant Brands, and will bring back the storied Steak and Ale to boot—“of which there are zero today,” Paul said.

Wendy's Remodel Offers 'No ROI," DavCo Counters in Lawsuit

DavCo slapped back this week against Wendy's lawsuit filed in December, claiming franchisees "stand to make little or no return on their investment" in the franchisor's mandated remodeling program, and claiming Wendy's demands could bankrupt the company.

Q&A with Tom Portesy of MFV Expositions

During the final day of Franchise Expo South we sat down with Tom Portesy of MFV Expositions to discuss the show’s future, impacts of the internet and what’s coming in New York City.

Fast Times in Franchising

Last week’s Franchise Expo South was my first trip in my new gig as assistant editor at Franchise Times. Not knowing what to expect in a new world, it was more invigorating than typical three-day stints at a convention center.

Moe's Southwest Founder Calls Judge's Ruling Vindication

Martin Sprock, co-founder of Moe’s Southwest Grill and Raving Brands, says he’s back in the franchise sales business after a federal judge last week rejected “100 percent” of the claims against his system.

Q&A with John Richards, CEO of The Joint

With big ambitions and a $20 million war chest to fund his national expansion, Franchise Times caught up with Richards about the company’s post-IPO progress, his view on franchised medical care and how his company is revolutionizing chiropractic care — an $80 billion industry.

Subway Founder's Younger Sister Takes on More Duties

Founder Fred DeLuca remains at the helm of Subway, but his younger sister, Senior Vice President Suzanne Greco, is taking on more leadership duties, a company spokesman said in a statement that countered a New York Post report yesterday.

Fast and Serious Ranks the Smartest-Growing Brands

Bruce Dean, CEO of Black Bear Diner, gave one of 40 insightful responses when Franchise Times set out to learn how the smartest-growing brands in franchising soar above the rest. We’re proud to present the second annual Franchise Times Fast and Serious list, the only ranking to report the franchisors growing quickly, yes, but in a sustainable way.

10 Win Prestigious Franchise Times Dealmakers Awards

Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2015 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the third annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.

5 Questions with Miracle Method CEO Chuck Pistor

We recently spoke with CEO Chuck Pistor on a variety of topics including what to ask yourself before getting into franchising, his company’s greatest opportunities in the current economy and how he’s increased the number of franchisees by more than 300 percent since buying the company 18 years ago.

Attorney John Baer dies

John R. F. Baer, an attorney with Greensfelder in Chicago, died January 29, after a long battle with cancer. A memorial service is planned for 11 a.m., February 9, at U.S. Cellular Field, the home of the Chicago White Sox, a team Baer was a rabid fan of.

McDonald's Headless, Thompson a Goner

A poem about the recent McDonald's CEO ouster from John Hamburger, president of Franchise Times Corp.

Back to the Future for Edible Arrangements Founder

Tariq Farid, founder of Edible Arrangements, was a techie long before he started his fruit bouquet franchise. Now he’s returned to his roots by launching a new technology company, Naranga.

Applebee's Operator Likes Roy's so Much, He Buys It

Sunil Dharod, a long-time Applebee’s franchisee in Dallas with 69 stores, now owns a brand of his own: the Roy’s Restaurant chain, started in 1988 by chef Roy Yamaguchi in Honolulu.

Auto and Collision Repair Franchises Struggle with Labor Shortage

Focus on white-collar careers, improving job market creating widespread technician shortage in the auto repair and collision repair industries.

Fight Against Joint Employer Will be 'Long, Arduous, Costly': Caldeira

"You either punch and counterpunch, or you get your rear end handed to you," said Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association, in Minneapolis Tuesday, about his aggressive stance against the NLRB holding McDonald's jointly responsible with franchisees for alleged labor violations.

IFA Reacts to Obama's Penultimate State of the Union Address

Local franchise business owners around the country watched the State of the Union with eyes and ears focused on the administration's job-creation and small business message.

Former Super Wash COO Leaves Family Business to Join NRD

“We are exactly two hours into this new adventure, and it’s going great so far. It’s going to be a wonderful and fun ride.” So said Susan Beth, formerly known as Susan Black-Beth, on January 19 about her new job. She’s the operating partner at NRD Capital in Atlanta, the franchisee-controlled private equity fund launched by Aziz Hashim last August that is now gaining steam.

EB-5 Program is Top Way to Gain Restaurant Investors

The restaurant industry is embracing the EB-5 program as a way to gain investors, says Dennis Monroe, Monroe Moxness Berg law firm, in a new video with Franchise Times.

Roark Starts New Year with Bigger War Chest

Roark Capital Group in Atlanta has a big, new war chest to acquire companies—it raised $2.5 billion to close its Fund IV at the end of 2014.

IFA’s Cresanti: Joint-Employer “Existential Threat” to Franchising

Franchise Times spoke with Robert Cresanti, executive vice president of government relations and public policy at the International Franchise Association (IFA) about the latest news in the joint-employer saga. He and his colleagues have begun a massive effort to lobby members of Congress, including organizing direct meetings between representatives and franchise constituents in their districts.

Franchise Indicators to Watch in 2015

From the price of kiwis to tonnage of crude coming into port from the North Sea, there are countless economic indicators for the savvy businessperson to watch. As everybody will be talking about oil prices and the unemployment rate, here are a few indicators I think will have the biggest impact on franchisors of all stripes throughout 2015.

Newk's COO, Backed by Sentinel Investment, Aims for Next Level

Execs at Newk's Eatery are working to bring the fast-casual chain to the next level, after Sentinel Capital bought a majority stake last spring, said Jim Greco, COO, in a new video interview with Franchise Times.

CEO Hopes Pizza Inn Watchers Rave about Name Change

“Names are important. Names communicate to people what you’re about, what your aspirations are,” said Randy Gier, CEO of the former Pizza Inn Holdings. “We’re no longer tired, old, sleepy Pizza Inn. The company changed names today to Rave Restaurant Group, with the Nasdaq stock symbol RAVE.

IFA Predicts Franchising Will Again Outpace Economy in 2015

The International Franchise Association joined the chorus of this week's good news: franchise businesses are projected to once again grow faster than the rest of the economy in 2015.

Private-Sector Franchise Businesses Add 38K Jobs in December

According to ADP, U.S. private-sector franchise businesses created 38,000 new jobs in December.

CIT Group: 'Absolutely Great Time' to Sell your Restaurant

"It's a great time, an absolutely great time, to sell your restaurant," says Bob Bielinski, The CIT Group, in a new video interview with Franchise Times.

Chain Restaurants End Year with 'Record' M&A Pace

Mergers and acquisitions are hot in the restaurant space, says Kevin Burke, Trinity Capital, in a new video interview with Franchise Times.

Exclusive Q&A: Erik Wulff on the Cuba Policy Shift

Franchise Times spoke with Legal Eagle Erik Wulff, lawyer and partner with DLA Piper, Washington DC, for his take on the significance of last week's historic Cuban announcement.

NLRB: McDonald’s Joint Employer of Franchise Employees

The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) Office of the General Counsel on December 19 cemented its plan to hold McDonald’s liable as a joint employer.

Q&A: IHG’s Acquisition of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants

InterContinental Hotels Group, the world’s largest hotel operator in terms of number of rooms, purchased Kimpton to create the world’s largest boutique hotel group.

Cuba: Land of Opportunity?

A possible end to the Cuba embargo could be one of the biggest North American business stories of the decade, and franchisors could a primary beneficiary.

Labor Shortages On the Horizon?

Thanks to a healthy economy, auto repair shops, manufacturers, restaurants and retailers are finding it increasingly difficult to find high quality workers to fill open positions.

RadioShack Again Warns of Bankruptcy in Amended Report

The holiday season looks ugly at RadioShack, causing the electronics retailer to file an amended annual report again warning it may be heading to bankruptcy court.

The Social Science Behind Office Holiday Parties

Our Exit Interview reporter gives cutting-edge advice on the pros and cons of bad behavior at office holiday parties.

Financier Looks Beyond Legacy Brands for Lending Candidates

Even the largest players in franchise finance are looking beyond the tried-and-true brands as potential funding candidates, says Cristin O'Hara, who heads the restaurant finance group for Bank of America Merrill Lynch in Boston.

Out with Trays, in with People at La Madeleine

A new service model is proving to be popular at La Madeleine, which calls itself the country French cafe, said Paul Carolan, chief development officer, in a new video interview with Franchise Times.

Dogging the ADA system

We all know—or should know—not to pet a service animal on duty, but did you know service animals aren’t just golden retrievers wearing vests? They also might be that cute purse dog or a miniature horse. And they’re not required to be in uniform when on duty.

GE Capital Finance Pro Talks Money, and Plenty of It

In a new video, Trey Brown of GE Capital, Franchise Finance outlines the state of the capital markets for franchise operators, in a discussion with Franchise Times managing editor Beth Ewen.