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Planet Fitness, Inc. announces secondary offering of Class A common stock by selling stockholders

Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: PLNT) ("Planet Fitness" or the "Company") today announced that certain of its existing stockholders (the "Selling Stockholders") intend to offer for sale 8 million shares of its Class A common stock pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-3 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Americans Playing With Less Fun Money

Although I’ve tended toward a generally bullish attitude on our economic future in recent months, a pronounced slowdown in the restaurant category along with reports like this from the SBE Council suggest the American economic recovery is slowing, if not stalling nine years after the technical end of the Great Recession.

Cottman Man Draws on Celebrity Status for His Own Book

Cottman Transmission is shifting the adult coloring book trend back to children with the release of its new coloring and activities book starring none other than the Cottman Man.

Harvard Case Study Attracts BBX Capital to MOD

It’s not often a franchisor attracts a prospect by being the subject of a Harvard Business School case study, but that’s what happened for Seattle-based MOD Pizza. BBX Capital just signed on as a franchisee, with plans to develop 50 or more of the fast-casual pizza chain’s restaurants across central and southern Florida over the next seven years.

Dunkin' Brands names David Hoffmann president of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada

Dunkin' Brands Group, Inc., (Nasdaq: DNKN), the parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins, today announced that David Hoffmann, 48, has been named president of Dunkin' Donuts U.S. and Canada, effective October 3, 2016.

TOMS Shoes CEO Reflects on MOD Pizza's Mission

How do you sustain a mission-driven company as it grows in units and geography? I put this question to Jim Alling in an interview this week, for an upcoming story I’m doing about Seattle-based MOD Pizza, where Alling is an early investor and serves on the board.

Can UFC Gym go mainstream yet keep its mojo?

Ultimate fighting started on the streets, featuring brawls so bloody that lawmakers tried to get it banned. Today, UFC just sold for a staggering $4 billion to a new group of owners, and events like UFC 200 in July draw sell-out crowds. Enter UFC Gym, a young franchise owned 50-50 by UFC and a group of private investors, trying to translate the sport’s worldwide popularity into unit sales.

What to do when your brand needs a facelift

Rebranding efforts range from a logo change to exterior updates to vehicle wraps, but they all share something in common—everything goes better when franchisees buy in. Three franchises describe their decisions to have a little work done.

Retain talent with health insurance options

Recruiting and retaining top talent are critical to a franchisee’s success. By offering competitive healthcare employee benefits, franchisees can utilize a proven retention strategy to hold on to quality store managers and ultimately help increase profitability.

Getting a foot in the door with developers

As competition for top real estate locations continues to heat up, franchise groups are finding that forging relationships with developers can pay big dividends when it comes to securing space in new retail projects.

Parsing the high cost of free parking

Think about your average trip to a shopping mall—the height of car-based convenience. You jockey for an open spot, park, then walk the gauntlet through a chaotic lot filled with other distracted drivers. Judging by the crowds at most malls, walking the equivalent of a few blocks to the entrance doesn’t appear to scare off any shoppers.

Jamba Juice feels investors’ heavy hand

A trio of healthy lifestyle young men started Jamba Juice by opening a single smoothie shop in California in 1991 that they called Juice Club. They began franchising, and in 1997 changed their company’s name to Jamba Juice. In 2000 Jamba Juice acquired rival Zuka Juice and in 2003 was acquired itself. The new owners took the company public in 2006 as JMBA, at a price of about $50 a share.

Marriott-Starwood Merger a Go; More to Come?

With this week's news that Marriott’s acquisition of Starwood received antitrust approval in China, the two hotel giants are slated to become a combined entity on September 23. As the hotel business remains hot with sales growth across the board and a raft of hip, new flags, there’s an obvious question: Are more hotel weddings on the horizon?

Scoreboard

Marcato Capital had some choice words for the Buffalo Wild Wings board after a tepid quarter and lackluster analyst day. The hedge fund’s founder and CEO Mick McGuire sent a scathing public letter and detailed presentation that questioned the company’s direction.

‘Softer’ issues loom large in overtime planning

Franchisees and other small-business owners have a number of ways to comply with new overtime guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Labor and the Obama Administration, but attorneys and lawyers working with such clients suggest getting started sooner rather than later.

Except for the top 10, a roaring year

The 10 largest franchised brands collectively lost systemwide sales for the first time in the history of the Franchise Times Top 200+, our exclusive annual research project. But 190 other big franchisors turned in their strongest sales increase in at least five years. Learn who’s up, who’s down and what’s behind the numbers.

Mixed numbers amid auto mergers

Change is a constant in auto-mobiles, but with the rise of shared-car services and fast-tracked driverless vehicle technology, the pace of upheaval in this massive industry is going faster than ever.

Service brands go wide for sales

Here’s a statistic that jumps right out: AtWORK Group’s systemwide sales zoomed up 56 percent last year from the prior year. The temporary staffing company’s gain was by far the biggest increase in a diverse category that also boasts a few other standouts.

Flat revenue challenges cleaners

Cleaning houses and businesses isn’t sexy, but with nearly $10 billion in sales across the top 16 franchised brands in the space, it’s still lucrative. The nearly flat sales growth, however, shows there is some stiff competition.

Healthcare booms, by a country mile

It’s the year’s most booming sector. As home healthcare franchises seek to serve an ever-aging population, every brand in this year’s health and medical group recorded growth to the tune of 14 percent overall, with all but two companies hitting double-digit increases on their own. That’s on the heels of 11.7 percent sales growth in 2014, with 281 total units coming online in 2015, a 6.1 percent increase.

Hotel brands extend long vacation

Fortunes are still rising in hospitality, with sustained increases in business and leisure travel fueling a multi-year growth streak that has fattened profits and spawned new flags from many established hoteliers.

Planet Fitness leads thriving market

The fitness industry is pumping up the personal services sector, which saw sales climb 7.6 percent from 2014 to $14.2 billion thanks in large part to the massive growth of brands such as Planet Fitness, Anytime Fitness and Snap Fitness. Together these concepts added more than 500 units in 2015 and each saw double-digit sales growth.

Five beat average but a handful sink

Printing, shipping and signage franchises posted a 3.6 percent increase in systemwide sales last year, one of the more modest gains by an industry sector.

Casual dining’s demise exaggerated

A lot of people think casual dining will soon disappear, that it’s a hot potato being tossed from one private equity group to the next before time runs out. Despite the segment’s issues, there is plenty of innovation among the best brands.

Sector still golden despite slowdown

What hasn’t already been said about the wonder that is the fast-casual restaurant: It’s what millennials want, it’s what busy families want, it’s true menu innovation, it’s making gobs of money.

Retail brands fight ‘Amazon effect’

When your industry sports a behemoth like 7-Eleven, it’s hard to escape from the shadows of the big dog’s results. While sales for the retail category as a whole decreased 1.5 percent, sales for the rest of the Top 200+ category sans 7-Eleven actually increased by 3.6 percent. Overall unit growth held strong at 4.1 percent from the prior year.

Innovation fuels risers like Popeyes

While it remains in the No. 1 spot overall, McDonald’s shows its behemoth status—though not how it would like as the company’s $5 billion-plus sales drop means the sector as a whole saw less than 1 percent growth.

Brands seeking ways to be different

The sandwich segment is touching on some familiar notes, but change is afoot at some of the strongest growth brands.

Carl’s Jr. beefs up its Indian menu for Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka doesn’t offer the population numbers its neighbor India does, but its inclusion in the December trade mission points to the fact that it’s ripe for expansion. Nothing is ever a given in international expansion, which is why a boots-on-the-ground approach is so valuable.

Country Profile: Sri Lanka at a glance

The lion represents Sinhalese ethnicity, the strength of the nation and bravery; the sword demonstrates the sovereignty of the nation; the four bo leaves—symbolizing Buddhism and its influence on the country—stand for the four virtues of kindness, friendliness, happiness and equanimity.

How three brands craft and control the message

What to do after a negative review. How to turn non-techie owners into social media mavens. These are two topics tackled this month by the participants in our year-long Living Large column. Read on to learn their tactics.

Executive Ladder

Becoming Mom Spa+ Ultrasound hired Susan King Glosby as its new vice president. Villa Restaurant Group added Enrico Cundari as the new controller of its corporate finance team.

Fame cuts both ways at Wahlburgers

Fame in franchising is a double-edged sword, as actor and former Funky Bunch member Mark Wahlberg and brothers Paul and Donnie just learned.

Only in America? Mais non!

The famous 1976 Saul Steinberg cartoon in The New Yorker depicts a map of the world from the perspective of a resident of that city: beyond Manhattan, a few cities and states, small and faint; the U.S. ending at the Pacific, with Japan barely visible; and the country turning its back on the Atlantic, with Europe nowhere to be found. That sardonic depiction has come to be a shorthand way of thinking about the U.S.: myopic, with tunnel vision, imagining itself as the center of everything.

Print media’s changing role in marketing

While touring London in 1897, American author and humorist Mark Twain caught wind of rumors that he had died. Upon hearing this news, journalist Frank Marshall White sent a fellow reporter to check on Twain’s well-being. “The report of my death has been grossly exaggerated,” was his response.

CMIT owner likes working remotely

By now, anyone not residing under a rock understands the importance of computer security. Just ask the folks at the Democratic National Committee if you harbor doubts.

Why great franchising is akin to forward-thinking grandparenting

I never realized how closely aligned franchising is with grandparenting until I volunteered to watch my daughter’s two boys, Perry, 5, and Fisher, 7, so she and her husband could go to work. The boys’ other grandmother watched them full time prior to this school year, so she gets the benefits of a new study finding that baby-sitting your grandchildren may reduce your risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease. Sadly, one day a year doesn’t give you much of a long-term health benefit.

Coverall North America, Inc. welcomes new vice president of marketing

According to a company press release, Commercial cleaning business Coverall North America, Inc. has hired Nicole Ivey as Vice President of Marketing to support the company's strategic growth plans in markets across the United States.

Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar raises $25k for Special Olympics

Boston’s Restaurant & Sports Bar’s (Boston’s) non-profit organization, the Boston’s Pizza Foundation, raised $25,000 for Special Olympics Inc. throughout the month of August.

International Adaptations in Franchising

There’s no topping the amazing adaptations cooked up by Mother Nature, but as an ever-growing flock of U.S.-based franchised brands expand overseas, I’m planning a deep-dive into international brand evolution at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in November.

A First-Timer at the IFA’s DC Fly-In

As a political junkie, I loved the chance to wander the halls of power surrounding the U.S. Capitol at this week’s IFA DC Fly-In. Aside from the fun of wandering around Capitol Hill, it was a clear demonstration that the International Franchise Association has learned how to appeal to its members in a less caustic manner.

Nunn to Lead Franchise Team at Chase

JPMorgan Chase recently announced that Clarence Nunn will join the firm to lead the continued middle market expansion strategy in the Southeast.

Healthcare Tops All Others in FT's Top 200+ Ranking

Here are a few things I learned about franchising while preparing the Franchise Times Top 200+ package: Healthcare franchising is booming, with systemwide sales for the industry segment up 14 percent, better than all 11 other segments.

IMC Bets On Healthcare With Right at Home Stake

RiseMark Brands, the parent company of Right at Home and IKOR, has a fresh infusion of capital now that Investors Management Corp. has invested in the Omaha-based senior care franchisor.

RE/MAX Signature Properties joins Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices real estate brokerage network

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, part of the HSF Affiliates family of real estate brokerage networks, today announced that RE/MAX Signature Properties has joined the network operating as Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Signature Properties.

Mooyah Franchisee Assists Flood-Ravaged Louisiana Coast

After severe Louisiana flooding soaked or destroyed an estimated 40,000 homes, people and communities are struggling to recover from its devastating effects. The Baton Rouge Mooyah location, along with franchisee Chuck Kerr, has been stepping in to lend a hand in the wake of the disaster.

Tim Horton's Smile Cookie campaign raises money for local charities

Yesterday marked the start of Tim Hortons Smile Cookie campaign running from September 12 to 18 in participating restaurants across the U.S.

Burger 21’s Better Burgers Catching On

Do you stop and think about how good we have it in terms of food here in the 21st century? It’s somewhat crazy how much better the average new-concept restaurant is these days compared with 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Rather than a new take on Sysco’s greatest hits, so many of today’s are both excellent and creative. Even so, the world’s a cruel place and even well-intentioned, high-quality concepts will fail.

Midas partners with Feeding America to launch 'Imagine' campaign to fight hunger

Midas, one of the world's largest providers of automotive services, has launched "Imagine" to support hunger relief efforts across the country, raising donations that will mean thousands of meals for the hungry.

Tutor Doctor Settles Dispute With Attorney Kestenbaum

Tutor Doctor has settled its lawsuit that sought $20 million in damages from East Meadow, New York, attorney Harold Kestenbaum for $3 million, putting to rest allegations Kestenbaum failed to properly register the franchise in nine states.