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Rising food prices pack a punch

With skyrocketing chicken and beef prices, California’s drought and Minnesota’s bird flu outbreak, restaurant watchers have also taken notice of this year’s historically unpredictable food prices.

Roy Rogers seeks to double in size

After peaking at nearly 650 restaurants, and then shrinking drastically, the current owners of Roy Rogers are re-franchising the brand with a goal of doubling the number of locations within five years.

Dealmakers Winners Believe Right Partner Matters More than Money

You’re not just hunting for capital, when looking for a new investor. You’re looking for a partner to build a bigger business. So said Greg Flynn, Flynn Restaurant Group, at a panel today featuring three winners of this year’s Franchise Times Dealmakers awards.

Panelists Share Tips to Ease Costly Rollouts with Franchisees

Communication is key when franchisors roll out changes that cost franchisees money, according to a panel exploring the topic, “What do franchisees want?” at the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference Tuesday morning in Las Vegas.

FFGC: Franchisee follows the bouncing ball to entrepreneurship

Years ago there was a debate in franchising centered on whether franchisees qualify as true entrepreneurs. After all, they were “just” following a game plan the franchisor dreamed up.

Roark Capital Acquires Driven Brands

Roark Capital Group has acquired Driven Brands, a nationwide franchise automotive company, from Harvest Partners. Driven Brands’ CEO, Jonathan Fitzpatrick, will continue to lead the business, which will remain headquartered in Charlotte, N.C.

Captain D's Moving Back to the Beach

Fast-casual seafood chain, Captain D’s, in the middle of a reinvention centered around beachy restaurant redesigns, a retooled, healthier menu and increasing its share of franchised locations.

Legacy Concepts Boosts Dunkin' Push in Minnesota

Legacy Concepts answered Dunkin’ Donuts call to re-introduce the coffee-and-donuts brand to the Twin Cities in Minnesota, a state it abandoned when it closed its last store in 2005.

Q&A with Dan Tarantin, president and CEO at Harris Research

After becoming the CEO of Jackson Hewitt at 31, Dan Tarantin is now the head of Chem-Dry and N-Hance international home service brands.

For Emerging Franchisors, Three Mistakes to Avoid

Brent Dowling, COO of franchisor consultant RainTree, counts three mistakes often made by emerging franchisors in their quest to grow, and he offers them in response to Franchise Times’ Living Large column, which is following young franchisors all year to see how they tackle various challenges.

New Design for Welcyon Aims for Upscale Clientele

Welcyon, the Edina, Minnesota-based chain of health clubs for people over 50, has a new design executives hope will appeal to choosy baby boomer clients with sophisticated tastes.

3 New Clients Sign on for ApplePie Capital’s Funding Model

Three new franchise clients push the total to 11 for ApplePie Capital, the fledgling website connecting investors to franchise loans in a version of crowdfunding. They are Brain Balance Achievement Centers, Brightway Insurance and Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop.

GE Capital Franchise Finance Anticipates Sale

GE said it would sell most of its GE Capital assets by 2018, in a move to refocus on its industrial businesses. GE Chairman and CEO Jeff Immelt said market conditions are favorable to pursue the sale of GE Capital assets not specifically tied to it industrial units. What does that mean for GE Capital, Franchise Finance, one of the largest lenders in the restaurant finance arena?

It's Bo Time, as Bojangles' Plans its IPO

As Bojangles' looks to go public, most analysts expect another stock market pop in the mold of Shake Shack and other recent franchised restaurant brands.

Q&A with David Kaiser, VP of Great American Cookies

David Kaiser, VP of Great American Cookies, on the appeal of the Middle East for American brands, and its major initiatives for 2015.

Dairy Queen Heads Back to Europe with Polish Expansion

After Dairy Queen announced its plans to expand to Poland, giving the company its first European presence in more than 20 years, we decided to take a look at that country's economy.

Q&A with Dan Stone, VP of Franchise Development at The Melting Pot

Dan Stone on the highs, lows and enduring challenges of the fondue chain's international expansion.

Decorative Concrete is Latest Addition to Home Franchise Concepts

Confirming the rise of concrete’s popularity in home décor, All American Decorative Concrete is the latest acquisition for Home Franchise Concepts based in Orange, California, also the parent company of Budget Blinds and Tailored Living.

Bird's-Eye View after Appeal on Seattle's Minimum Wage Case

The International Franchise Association will appeal a federal judge’s ruling last week in the Seattle minimum wage case, in which the court denied a petition to block a portion of the ordinance the IFA and five franchisee plaintiffs deem discriminatory. At least one outside attorney thinks the judge got it wrong.

Q&A with Dan Brinton, CEO of Fractured Prune Doughnuts

In the age of technology, Fractured Prune CEO Dan Brinton has intentionally kept things simple in a fast-growing restaurant chain that allows customers to customize their own doughnuts.

Q&A with David and Carlo, co-founders of Kono Pizza USA

After discovering Kono Pizza on an Italian vacation, serial entrepreneurs David Ragosa and Carlo Ruggiero immediately got to work bringing the QSR concept to the United States.

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.