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You Can Try This at Home, but Meditation Studios Are Currently in Vogue

The trials and tribulations of multi-tasking as an intellectual properties litigator brought Hamid Jabbar to the mat, first as a yoga instructor and then as a meditation guide. The 37-year-old is one of the instructors at a new franchise, Current Meditation, in Phoenix.

NFL Vet Donnell Thompson Signs With Del Taco

There’s no denying the trend of active and retired athletes getting into franchising. Former NFL player Donnell Thompson is the latest with the announcement that he signed a development agreement to build five new Del Taco locations on the east side of Atlanta, further supporting the brand’s recently announced expansion plans in the Southeast U.S.

From Popeyes Former CEO, Words of Encouragement

“Work transition, particularly when it is unexpected, brings with it a range of emotions, the primary one being a sense of loss,” writes Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen until it was sold March 27 and she lost her job, as she put it, in an unusually candid and insightful blog post that might buoy others in her shoes.

Crummy Cross-Sales Prompts Launch of Neighborly

A sad statistic—only 2 percent of customers had used more than one of the 13 service franchises owned by The Dwyer Group—has led to the launch of a new umbrella company, called Neighborly.

Opportunities for Franchisors as Malls Evolve

There’s a lot of hand-wringing about what can get millennials off the couch (or their phones) and into stores. As many legacy retailers close locations by the dozen or hundreds, let’s concede that most retail is in for a bumpy ride. That doesn’t guarantee the end of malls. Focus on what people actually need in a given week and move forward. Franchising can be a big part of this next phase of indoor shopping centers.

Domino's opens 14,000th store worldwide

Domino's Pizza is celebrating the grand opening of its 14,000th store in Cyberjaya, Malaysia, outside of the nation's capital of Kuala Lumpur.

Baymont’s New Partnership Employing People With Disabilities

Wyndham’s Baymont Inn & Suites recently completed a subtle rebranding that included adding new Hometown Host positions to bring local flavor and welcoming faces into its hotels to make its guest experiences more memorable. Taking the concept a step further, Baymont partnered with workforce development firm The Arc@Work to allow people with intellectual and developmental disabilities to fill some of the Hometown Host roles.

Olympian Quest Comes to End for Zerorez Operator

A Zerorez franchisee in Minnesota who took on the U.S. Olympic Committee over free speech rights has had his day in court—and lost. “Unfortunately, the court decided on Tuesday, April 4, to dismiss our case,” said his lawyer, Aaron Hall of JUX law firm in Minneapolis, via email.

Submarina Still Docked in Bankruptcy Court

Last September, CEO Bruce Rosenthal told Franchise Times he expected to exit the Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization process for Submarina, the Houston-based sandwich chain he owns, by the end of that month. Reached today by phone, he’s still waiting, with his plans to again start growing the company on indefinite hold.

UBreakIFix Expands South of Atlanta, Opens In Fayetteville

Eight Apps to Improve Your Restaurant Operations

Technological advances in the restaurant industry can help owners increase sales, make their restaurants more productive, and give their business a competitive edge. Unfortunately, most hardware-based systems are expensive and tricky to set up.

El Pollo Loco, Firehouse Seek Multi-Unit Operators With Aggressive Incentives

It's not easy to expand a restaurant through franchising in a chosen market. Every time a new market opens up in Texas, you’ll have a prospective franchisee say, “How about Virginia?”

Papa John's International opens 100th restaurant in Mexico

Papa John's International, Inc. (NASDAQ: PZZA), announced the opening of its 100th restaurant in Mexico. The 100th Papa John's is located in Zona Azul in Ciudad Satélite in the Metropolitan area of Mexico City.

Panera: You’re Welcome

In winter of 2000, I was putting Panera on a path to being one of the most expensive restaurant acquisitions in history by a group of highly caffeinated Luxembourgers.

Frisch's Big Boy Loses His Checkered Pants

Frisch's Big Boy, the statue that invites hungry diners into the restaurant, has gotten a makeover. Gone is the paper hat—all the better to see his Elvis-like hair—and the bright-red lips. Striped overalls have replaced the vintage red-and-white checked version. He's also stronger. Instead of using two hands to show off the Big Boy hamburger, he holds it high over his head.

Quaker Steak & Lube Pumps Up Rebirth

After being purchased by TravelCenters of America last spring, Quaker Steak & Lube is stepping back on the gas and looking to get back on a road to growth after traveling through bankruptcy in 2015.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit launches new website

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has launched its latest phase of technology development with the new website, www.smokedonsite.com.

It’s About Time: Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. Marketing Matures

Yeah, yeah, yeah—sex sells. But it’s certainly not a sophisticated approach when a major international brand resorts to scantily clad models and junior-high-level sexual innuendo to sell its products. I suspect I’m but one of many in the franchising industry breathing a sigh of relief as Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. finally, mercifully announce a new marketing approach that’s focused on food quality, innovation and its history as a QSR pioneer.

Domino’s Expands Robot Delivery Service to Europe

Last September we covered Domino’s first foray into robot delivery with the Domino’s Robotics Unit, or DRU, as it tested delivery of its pizzas to customers in Australia. Now Domino’s customers in Germany and the Netherlands will be able to test out the service—as long as they live within a one-mile radius of certain Domino’s pizza shops.

El Pollo Loco continues Texas expansion

El Pollo Loco (Nasdaq:LOCO), announced it has expanded its franchise development deal with Chicken Time Holdings, LLC, an affiliate of Henry Investment Group (HIG) to open an additional 13 new restaurants in Texas.

Restaurant Brands International Inc. expects to complete acquisition of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI") (NYSE/TSX: QSR, TSX: QSP) announced that it expects to complete the acquisition of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, Inc. ("Popeyes") (NASDAQ: PLKI) today, following the successful completion of its tender offer to purchase all of the outstanding shares of common stock of Popeyes.

Sirius Day Spa Begins Expansion in Arizona with 20 Spas Being Developed in Next 5 Years

UbreakIFix Becomes Downtown Brooklyn's Tech Repair Resource

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts opens 1000th international shop in Peru

Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corporation today announced the first shop in Peru is open for business. The shop is in Lima and is the 1000th Krispy Kreme international location.

Kevin Hochman promoted to president and chief concept officer of KFC U.S.

Yum Brands, Inc. announced that it has promoted Kevin Hochman to president and chief concept officer of KFC U.S., reporting to Roger Eaton, chief executive officer of KFC Global, effective immediately.

BurgerFi Jets Into First Airport Location

Non-traditional is the new black in franchising, as more restaurant and retail brands are finding new places with guaranteed foot traffic: transit stations, airports, stadiums and college campuses to name a few. BurgerFi is the latest to hop on this train with the upcoming opening of its first non-traditional location at Terminal One at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in Florida.

How Jimmy John’s landed FT’s deal of the year

"Sarah, SARAH,” bellows Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and chairman of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, leading me on a fast-paced tour around his Champaign, Illinois, headquarters. “SARAH! Walk with me, and if I go all A.D.D., set me straight.”

Plus nine more award-winning dealmakers

Two camps rule in the restaurant business—on one hand, those who think they can get higher returns by selling and leasing back their real estate and deploying the freed capital into more restaurants.

Q&A with Faegre’s Kerry Bundy and Dairy Queen

Among the 2017 class of Hall of Famers, Kerry Bundy of Faegre Baker Daniels is a seasoned attorney with a breadth of experience in and out of the courtroom. She and her clients Jen Beck and Shelly O’Callaghan, both of Dairy Queen, discuss their longstanding legal relationship and how they work together to tackle the legacy brand’s unique legal issues.

Q&A with David Paris, Vik Patel and Tim Cloe

David Paris of Paris Ackerman & Schmierer is in this year’s newest Legal Eagles Hall of Fame class, those who have been so named for 10 years. The franchisee attorney sees issues from the other side of the FDD, especially where mergers and acquisitions are concerned. Paris and two of his clients, Vik Patel and Tim Cloe—both large operators in the Dunkin’ Donuts system—discuss the importance of having an attorney with a business mindset.

Introducing the 2017 class of Franchise Times Legal Eagles

People often ask what it takes to become a Legal Eagle. Well, it’s not easy. It takes experience, smarts and the wisdom to connect the two.

What to do when turmoil strikes your country of choice

If turmoil strikes, franchisors can feel the heat Economic disasters, political meltdowns, wars and unrest—these are just a few of the situations U.S. franchisors must prepare for as they execute international development plans. Have protections in place, experts say, and be aware of how unrest affects local consumers.

From Wall Street to Bubbleology

Assad Khan vividly remembers his first taste of bubble tea while strolling through New York City’s Chinatown district back in 2009. He should remember, because that day—and his instant love for the Taiwanese tea drink—changed his life.

Franchisors should step up to the food hall craze

With consumers demanding Snapchat-worthy meals, developers across the country are embracing the food hall trend. Our columnist checked out three locations in Chicago, and extended an invitation to more franchise brands to jump in.

HomeVestors franchisee relishes his ugly win

Like the cobbler’s shoeless children, HomeVestors franchisee Tom Beerley says his family’s home pales in comparison to the houses he fixes up to sell. “The joke is that someday we’ll call HomeVestors to buy our home (and) we’ll flip ourselves into one of our houses,” he says, laughing.

Bar-B-Clean tackles dirtiest work

What’s the grossest thing you’d do for money? The possibilities are endless for parents of young children, pet owners and Fear Factor fans, but a young barbecue-cleaning franchise is asking that question of its courageous franchisees.

Trend Transformations rides reality shows’ wave

We’ve come a long way from ‘This Old House’ to ‘Flip or Flop,’ featuring stars that make for tabloid fodder. All the drama is good news for a franchise offering veneers of high-quality materials to cover up grungy stuff, from backsplashes to showers to flooring

UBreakIFix Opens in Shaw

Meet four emerging players in the services niche

With six franchisees in Africa, Got Produce? Franchising has disrupted the global agricultural industry for six years using hydroponic greenhouses to grow produce.

Country Profile: All about United Arab Emirates

Slightly larger than South Carolina and bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, the UAE is located between Oman and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

Our Living Large franchisors talk money

Watermill’s CEO believes bank loans keep her accountable. Spray-Net’s founder so far has bootstrapped his operation, pouring back profits into the brand. And Blink Fitness has backing from corporate parents, but still needs to meet high expectations.

McDonald’s previews ‘experience of the future’

McDonald’s included a pack of surprisingly bold McNuggets with its Investor Day in downtown Chicago last month as the fast-food giant unveiled plans for meal delivery, app-based mobile ordering, curbside pickup and a “more modern, more exciting restaurant environment” as part of its new Experience of the Future restaurant concept that’s already delivering sales gains in markets outside of the United States.

What they did for a deal—Trump, camels and other ‘super hairy’ acts

Steven Parker was in his early teens when he watched a documentary about a successful entrepreneur, who for his first deal ever had to meet with his bankers. The bank’s president wanted to come to the construction site to see progress on the project.

Sears Fades While Retail, Restaurants Retreat

Last year’s talk of a restaurant recession has morphed into broader, more sustained hard times for many of the best known retail and restaurant brands, led today by the apparent demise of Sears that’s been a very long time coming. The 'Trump bump' appears over, oil prices are back in the toilet, mortgage applications are falling, interest rates are rising, institutional investors fear U.S. stocks are overvalued and we have officially entered a new wave of economic uncertainty.

In Boardroom Shuffle, Puzder Exits CKE, KFC’s Marker Takes Over

Jason Marker will take over as CEO of CKE Restaurant Holdings, replacing Andrew Puzder, who served at the head of the company since 2000. Puzder, who served through the Great Recession, plotting a new course for growth, became a household name as President Donald Trump’s Labor Secretary nominee.

When the extraordinary seems ordinary, it’s a reason to toast

When reporting on the international features of the International Franchise Association’s annual convention, I’ve commented on how remarkable it is that a gathering that for years was almost entirely domestic in nature has taken on an international, or cross-border, flavor. The 57th annual convention—one of the largest ever held— was most assuredly no exception.

Death and taxes are sure bets, others are less so in marketing

Since Donald Trump’s surprising November election, one of his most discussed issues is the simplification of the American tax code. As is stands, the tax code is a robust 3,728 pages, boasts seven differing tax brackets and has enough loopholes to make an economist’s head spin.

Coming on strong at Moe’s SW, Rush Bowls and Retro Fitness

“We’re looking at a new normal—very slow growth and just managing your business well is how we’re looking at it,” said Moe’s Southwest Grill franchisee Mark Monroe, having been reminded of the static foodservice outlook for 2017 from two foodservice research firms.

Stories to help readers feel like a million bucks

The stories in Silicon Valley abound: The first employees of a tech company are overnight millionaires as soon as the company owners take the business public. The assistant who took stock in lieu of a raise, she’s now out buying a yacht.


Two of franchising’s strongest female leaders are retiring from very different companies. Cheryl Bachelder and Julia Stewart presided over two major brands, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken (NASDAQ: PLKI) and DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) respectively.