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Six Questions w/New Two Men and a Truck CEO Jeff Wesley

Jeff Wesley was recently named CEO of TWO MEN AND A TRUCK after serving as CFO for the brand for almost eight years. He took over for Brig Sorber, one of the original "Two Men" of the company. This comes on the heels of 57 consecutive months of growth for TMT.
01.14.2016

12 Newcomers Make FT's Exclusive Fast & Serious List

Twelve newcomers appear on the new Fast & Serious list, our annual ranking of the 40 smartest-growing franchises, based on a nine-point, proprietary formula.
01.13.2016

At FT Dealmakers Time, Notable M&A Trends Emerge

It’s Dealmakers time at Franchise Times, when we evaluate the mergers and acquisitions in franchising nominated last quarter by all sorts of players for our annual project.
01.13.2016

2015's Franchise Stock Market Winners & Losers

Last year was a strange one for investors. The DJIA gained only 130 points during the year and many fast-casual restaurant concepts went public to mixed results. Now that we’re into a new, equally weird year, let’s take a look at the winners and losers in franchising as determined by stock market performance.
01.12.2016

Are Roomy Pants Hot or Not? FT and Others Weigh In

“What’s Hot? What’s Not?” was the topic for real estate and retail pros gathered this week in Minneapolis to hear fashion, restaurant and franchise gurus, including our own Tom Kaiser of Franchise Times, at a Minnesota Shopping Center Association event. Some were obvious and others contentious.
01.10.2016

Brothers' Bond is Bread

Behind every freelance writer lurks another career option. We originally wrote a longer story on Robert Lillegard's bakery experience for our sister publication, Foodservice News, but thought Franchise Times readers would enjoy this family business profile, too.
01.08.2016

Is Industrial Chic on Its Way Out?

Whether you’re renovating your home or dreaming up a new look for your restaurant, it may be time to look beyond mixing metal and glass with distressed, barnwood-like wood. If it’s a large-scale redesign covering several/many units, you should be even more on top of these shifting winds, as a design lasting 5-15-plus years needs to be as timeless as possible.
01.08.2016

'Zombies' in the Restaurant Biz May Falter, Panelists Say

A slew of restaurant closings are coming, predicted panelists at a Minnesota Shopping Center Association event this week, as soon as patrons use up their holiday gift cards. “There’s a lot of zombies out there who are dead and they just don’t know it,” said Stephanie March, senior editor at Mpls.St. Paul Magazine. “February will be the reckoning.”
01.08.2016

No Skin in the Game?

Having started my career as a business reporter right before the good times ground to a halt in 2008, I'm especially sensitive to the warning signs cropping back up in the economy. The latest? Franchisors offering enormous discounts or even waiving the franchisee fee altogether. This cannot be a good thing.
01.06.2016

Can Buster Bluth erase Jared Fogle?

Whether it’s his portrayal of Buster Bluth in Arrested Development or Gary Walsh in Veep, Tony Hale is a delight who is regarded fondly by a wide audience. Subway is wise to use his talents in a new ad campaign clearly designed to turn the page from the Jared Fogle era.
12.29.2015

Franchise Times Top 15 Stories of 2015

Looking back on the last 12 months proves it's been a great year here at Franchise Times. We've added two new staff writers (myself included!), created some great content, won some industry awards and have even seen a dramatic increase in our web traffic. Not bad for a year's work! Below is a list of our 15 most-clicked stories throughout the year.
12.22.2015

Dogs Get a Leg Up on Holiday Spending

Americans are on track to spend $60 billion on their pets this year, according to Pet Supplies Plus. Naughty pets, as well as nice ones, can expect a gift valued at around $30 from their guardians. Not to mention what they can beg, borrow or steal from under the tree.
12.21.2015

Anytime Fitness Plus More on our New 20 to Watch List

Coming soon in a Franchise Times issue near you is our annual 20 to Watch feature, which highlights the people, brands and ideas in franchising that we think will be trending next year.
12.18.2015

Thinking of Selling? Tips to Getting the Best Price

“There is no greater opportunity to make money other than selling your business,” declared John Gordon, founder of Pacific Management Consulting Group, and he explained seven things to nail down before you do so, at a Restaurant Finance & Development Conference panel last month. A few highlights:
12.18.2015

Dear Chipotle, Get Well Soon

Poor Chipotle. With its formerly shiny reputation and lofty goals of locally raised, happy chickens marching straight to your plate, it has become the Jack In The Box of the 2010s. As is often the case with hindsight, nobody saw this coming, but it makes sense that the poster child for locally sourced clean eating now struggles to contain the damage from multiple outbreaks of foodborne unpleasantness.
12.16.2015

Better Food Movement is Now Unstoppable

Regardless of the motivation or science, there is no stopping the "better food" freight train and your restaurant brand (or supply company) better be prepared.
12.11.2015

Site Selection Gets Boost from Data, Captain D's Exec Says

“It’s a great time to do site selection because of all the tools out there and all the data out there,” said Michael Arrowsmith, chief development officer with Captain D’s, in a new video interview with Franchise Times.
12.11.2015

Get the Model Right Before Stepping on Gas, BIP Partner Says

Mike Rotondo is CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café and Tin Drum, and he said in a new video interview the first step in franchising is to make the model profitable before starting to grow.
12.11.2015

One Can Never Overdose on Too Much RFDC Coverage

When writing our coverage of our Restaurant Finance & Development Conference for our January issue, we decided to take the New York Times approach with a slight modification. Ours is all the news that fits in print.
12.10.2015

Looking Ahead to 2016

Groan, I know, here comes all the “year end” articles and lists, but I can’t resist! After joining the franchise industry a year ago, I’m anxiously looking forward to many things in the coming year, while being very thankful for everything that’s happening up to the present.
12.09.2015

The Joint Demonstrates Power of Franchising in Health Care

Have you heard of The Joint? It’s a franchised chiropractic chain that’s exemplary of the more modern vision of alternative health care without all the bulky infrastructure and insurance influence. As a recent and recurring patient, I see this company’s efforts as revolutionary for chiropractic, and it’s easy to see other health clinics following a similar path.
12.04.2015

It's a Borrower's World and Then Some, TD Bank Exec Says

Brian Frank of TD Bank says it’s a borrower’s market on steroids for restaurant operators seeking capital, in a new video interview.
12.02.2015

People are Worth Trusting Despite Risk, MOD's Boss Says

Scott Svenson, co-founder of MOD Pizza, discusses how hard it is to keep a strong company culture as a franchise brand grows, in a new video interview.
12.02.2015

Dogs in the Franchise Spotlight

According to the American Pet Product Association (APPA), Americans spent approximately $47.7 billion on pet products and services in 2010, an increase of 4.8 percent over 2009. That’s a lot of puppy money.
12.02.2015

The Art of Team Building with a Twist

When Cathy Deano and Renee Maloney, founders of Painting with a Twist, added team-building sessions about two years ago, they envisioned a completely different offering than their consumer-oriented paint-and-sip classes.
12.02.2015

Golden Corral Franchisee Dishes Out Helpings from the Heart

Now a successful businessman and the franchise owner of Metro Corral Partners, with 31 Golden Corrals in the Florida/Georgia area, Eric Holm has made a second career out of serving Thanksgiving meals.
12.01.2015

DLA Piper's (and FT's) Zeidman Gains Free Enterprise Award

Philip Zeidman, senior partner at DLA Piper and general counsel for the International Franchise Association, is the first recipient of the IFA Dennis Wieczorek Free Enterprise Award. He will accept the award during the IFA’s annual convention, Feb. 20-23 in San Antonio.
11.24.2015

Don't Miss the Delivery Boat!

We’re only months—a few years at most—away from drone delivery of everything from toilet paper to cheeseburgers, but many franchise brands are seemingly missing out on the wave of restaurant delivery companies like BiteSquad, DoorDash, GrubHub and Seamless.
11.24.2015

How Enlightened Brands Are Transforming Their Teams

Every employer wants his employees present, i.e. at their desk or workstation, and he, or she, also wants them engaged (in their work, not to another employee). But it’s not enough in the hospitality industry to just show up to work, Fred LeFranc, CEO of Results Thru Strategy, said during his panel at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas earlier in November.
11.23.2015

A Few Notes from Anaheim

As I begin to recognize more faces on the franchise expo circuit, I'm still amazed by the kindness of people in the franchise industry.
11.20.2015

Three Operators Display Power of the 'Zee at RFDC Panel

Anyone who doubts large, multi-unit operators can wield more power than their franchisors wasn’t at the “success breakfast” featuring three entrepreneurs on the last day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. Franchisors who want to attract such owners—and who doesn’t?—should note the mindset of such entrepreneurs.
11.20.2015

Smaller Operators have Outsized Hopes for Growth

Small to mid-sized restaurant operators are a bullish bunch, with 69 percent of respondents to a new survey by RSM expecting top-line growth next year and a mere 4 percent worrying about a decline, according to a Restaurant Finance & Development Conference presentation.
11.20.2015

Around the Restaurant Industry in 60 Minutes

It was almost like speed dating, as nine experts at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference provided quick market snapshots and nuggets of information from their unique corner of the restaurant industry.
11.18.2015

T-shirts from Franchise Brands Ship Out to Iraq

Not every thank you has to be a grand gesture. Sometimes showing appreciation to our military can be as simple as providing them what they ask for.
11.12.2015

Famous Chef Weighs in on the Taxing Issue of Tipping

During the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, Eric Ripert, chef and co-owner of Le Bernardin, considered one of the best restaurants in the world, had a different take on the hot issue of eliminating tipping.
11.12.2015

Decoding Success of Triple Bottom-Line Brands

A new crop of companies have emerged in recent years, in the mold of Whole Foods Market, with a purpose that goes beyond profits. Encompassing people and the planet alongside profits, so-called triple bottom-line brands are an interesting phenomenon, and were the subject of a seminar at this year’s Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
11.11.2015

MOD Pizza Tale Shows Power of Culture, at RFDC Panel

We’ve all heard tales about creating the right culture at our companies. But the story of Cory tops them all, as told by MOD Pizza’s founder at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.
11.10.2015

Economists Debate Policy at Restaurant Finance Confab

Who knew economists could be so entertaining? In a debate to open the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Monday, Arthur Laffer and Robert Reich mixed it up in a lively session, from a conservative and liberal point of view, respectively.
11.10.2015

Hot October Jobs Data Includes Franchising

Everybody’s talking about today’s blockbuster U.S. jobs report, with the BLS reporting an additional 271,000 jobs in October. That puts the unemployment rate at 5 percent. That’s not the whole story, as ADP reports U.S. franchise employment increased 52,500 during the month—nearly 20 percent of the total increase.
11.06.2015

Credit Compliance Issue No Death Knell for Famous Dave’s

The headlines about Famous Dave’s aren’t pretty. Turmoil, chaos, dive, darkest hour—this isn’t what you want to see from a quarterly earnings report. But Famous Dave’s might not be in that bad of shape despite the news the barbecue company is out of compliance with creditor Wells Fargo.
11.05.2015

What Happens when 800 Lawyers Meet Franchising's Bogeymen

Two of franchising’s biggest bogeymen, Dr. David Weil of the Department of Labor and Richard Griffin of the National Labor Relations Board, appeared before a group of franchise lawyers at their annual get-together last month—and it turned out they don’t have horns.
11.04.2015

Road to Crowdfunding Gets Shorter with New Federal Rules

It’s been a long time coming—more than three-and-a-half years—but the Securities & Exchange Commission approved last week final rules for Regulation Crowdfunding, also known as Reg CF and the last remaining component of the JOBS Act of 2012.
11.03.2015

The People Problem in Franchising

My day started with two divergent visuals on the challenge of hiring employees. First, a friend contacted me on behalf of his new-to-franchising father who’s having trouble finding employees. Then, I saw the horrible video of the (former) Taco Bell employee drunkenly assaulting his Uber driver. I don’t envy anyone whose livelihood depends on finding and keeping high-quality people.
11.03.2015

A Saucy Marco's Clear Winner in GOP Debate

Apparently, pizza makes watching the GOP debates more palatable. According to a survey of 650 Marco’s Pizza stores in 35 states, pizza sales spiked 28.5 percent during the most recent televised debate, October 28. Since the debate’s theme was the economy, we’re thinking maybe it got people thinking about dough.
10.29.2015

Driven Brands Adds Carstar to Burgeoning Holdings

Driven Brands continues its acquisition tear with the purchase of Carstar, the second-largest auto body repair franchise, which it’s adding to a new Paint & Collision division behind first-place Maaco.
10.28.2015

NextGen Young Entrepreneurs Program Gets Cash Infusion

David McKinnon, co-founder of ServiceBrands International, pledged a significant endowment to the IFA Educational Foundation, which will be used to bolster the coffers of the IFA’s NextGen In Franchising program.
10.28.2015

CEOs to Describe Brand Transformation at Restaurant Finance Confab

“The company was literally out of cash in September of 2008,” recalls James White about Jamba Juice, the company he was hired as CEO to fix that year. “For me to just save the company was job one.” White will detail how he transformed the brand, along with Scott Svenson of MOD Pizza and Phil Greifeld of Captain D’s, at a CEO panel at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, Nov. 9-11 at the Wynn in Las Vegas.
10.28.2015

Exclusive: Dave Anderson on Returning to Famous Dave’s

Earlier this week, we brought you the story about “Famous Dave” Anderson rejoining his namesake company, Famous Dave’s. Now we’ve got Anderson’s thoughts on choosing to return to the brand he founded in 1994 and left in 2014, as well as his plans for his fast-casual Jimmie’s Old Southern BBQ Smokehouse he founded last spring.
10.27.2015

Dave Anderson Puts Fame Back into Famous Dave’s

“Famous Dave” Anderson, founder of Famous Dave’s of America, has rejoined the company as part of a reorganization seeking to reverse the fortunes of the Minneapolis-based barbecue chain beset by falling sales and a succession of leadership changes.
10.23.2015

Kono Pizza Heading Into Walmart

Kono Pizza, the innovative pizza-in-a-cone brand started in 2013, is planning its first store location within a Walmart, as well as an aggressive 10-store expansion deal in the Dallas area.
10.23.2015
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