Edit ModuleShow Tags

Hard work is veterans’ common bond

When Jamelle Garner was ready to take up franchising after serving in the military for close to 20 years, her first go-to was Chick-fil-A. But she was intimidated by the investment it needed and the tight territories assigned.

Eradicating your #MeToo moments

The names have been in the headlines—John Besh, Mario Batali, Ken Friedman, Steve Wynn, Mike Isabella. All prominent, powerful men in the restaurant and hospitality industry and all accused of sexual harassment or misconduct over the past eight months.

Farm hand, railman, bankrupt—and then Findley bet on Curves

I grew up in a little small town in Texas. I had 23 people in my graduating class, and I married one of them. I worked for a custom farmer for years, driving combines and building fence. We learned, I think, a very, very strong work ethic.

Mosquito Squad mission turns personal in Kenya

As a malaria survivor, preventing needless deaths from mosquito-borne diseases is the goal for Mosquito Squad franchisee Fred Rariewa, along with building a business that improves people’s quality of life.

FT Undercover checks out three auto brands

I looked at the small TV in the oil-smelling waiting area of Jiffy Lube in alarm. A car tech was laughing and loudly revving the engine of my Honda as a crowd of his fellow techs cheered him on. I am not a car guy.

Tim Hortons president speaks plus more from our bloggers

Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools, believes effective advocacy starts long before a leader pushes to get something done.

Great American Expo keeping it (virtually) real

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, videos showing more than 100 franchises inside and out may be priceless, according to Nick Neonakis—or at least worth the cost of a six-figure investment his new company has made in a virtual reality platform.

Juice It Up’s new owner buys to build

Chris Britt has a long career in mergers and acquisitions, but now that he’s out on his own he’s targeting founder-led companies to acquire and then help to build.

International Deal Could Add 2,000-plus Pizza Huts to the Map

Pizza Hut already says it has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company: nearly 17,000 in more than 100 countries. Now the brand is planning another international push, this time with Madrid-based pizza giant Telepizza Group.

Frenchies has celebrities at its feet

From Kesha to Idina Menzel, Rachel Brosnahan to Daniela Vega, Frenchies Modern Nail Salon’s Ryan McEnaney has pulled a few strings to land the fledgling nail franchise valuable celebrity endorsements both on and off the Hollywood red carpet.

British Swim operator stays in lane

A fast growth pace, including a new store in another city, proved a problem for a British Swim School operator. He put renewed focus on profitability and is now back on track.

Which Wich talks innovation—and yolk porn

The founder of Which Wich doesn’t like to set a lot of rules. His latest find, a ‘surfer dude’ with a culinary school background, has free rein to invent any sandwich he wants. Results include the Brunchwich, a viral sensation and one example of this brand’s innovative M.O.

Tough Mudder Bootcamp Forges Ahead, Opens Flagship

In the six months since we brought you the story about rough-and-tumble Tough Mudder expanding into the fitness business, the brand has crossed some impressive milestones as it prepares to open its new flagship location in Massachusetts.

Hotels go beyond bedsheets to attract guests

Continued economic and job growth have been a boon to hotel operators, who are seeing steady demand from both leisure and business travelers. Deloitte is predicting a robust year ahead for hotels with growth between 5 and 6 percent that will push the volume of gross bookings for the year to a record high of $170 billion.

Restaurant biz helps veteran on ‘Survivor’

What do you need to survive a month on a desert island? For U.S. Army veteran Angela Perkins, 21 years in the military didn’t hurt. “While my training definitely did help me physically, I think my social game was more important,” said Perkins.

How four brands proved their NextGen chops

A different concept. Command of the numbers. Intense passion. These were among the quivers in the bow for four emerging concepts that captured prizes in the NextGen contest. If they’re representative of their peers, the kids are all right.

To keep staff, treat them like owners

The ideal employee is one who wakes up every morning and thinks, “How can I help my company do better today?” The average franchise operator can probably count those ideal employees on one hand and they are are harder to find and retain than maybe ever. And nothing works for long—money might for a while, a cool culture may help for a time.

A flight to walkability and Richmond

In times of confusion or upheaval, investors recommend flights to quality—financial moves that tend to have less upside, but are safer and more predictable. Boiled down even further, it’s the difference between classic and trendy. For retailers rightly scared by this ongoing retail apocalypse, allow me to offer a timeworn salve: compact, walkable downtowns.

Franchising’s fans grow in Czechia, in Country Profile

The Czechia flag combines the white and red colors of Bohemia with blue from the arms of Moravia. It is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia.

Do more than check the box with training, Living Large brands say

Franchisee training and support doesn’t end after the grand opening, our three Living Large brands say, and effective field staff members go beyond a checklist to not just correct issues but also to coach and communicate.

Executive Ladder feature Office Evolution director

Boston Market named Frances Allen as CEO, succeeding George Michel. Jersey Mike’s added Stephen Sweetman as senior director of franchise sales and Corby Cronin as director of franchise sales. Nik Rupp has been appointed chief financial officer at Papa Murphy’s.

Tim Hortons prez starts charm offensive as civil war spills across border

The civil war simmering among Tim Hortons franchisees in Canada boiled over into the public eye in late April. Now a group of U.S. franchisees, who just last fall were sounding a conciliatory note even as they formed their first independent association, are joining the warfare against their parent company, RBI or Restaurant Brands International and its private equity firm backer, 3G Capital of Brazil.

Still a laid-back and easygoing land? How things are changing down under

U.S. franchise lawyers have long ago become accustomed, while traveling and working on franchise matters abroad, to being bombarded with none-too-friendly observations about the legal and legislative atmosphere in the United States.

Best-in-class training and support can lead to faster signing of ‘zees

People occasionally will ask me, “Why should I buy a franchised business instead of starting up an independent business?” The answer is easy. It’s the support.

Chinese investors in ‘disastrous’ spot, suit says, after EB-5 deal goes wrong

By the time you read this, we likely still won’t know whether former multi-unit franchisees Terry Chan, wife Jacquelyn and his brother Gary used the EB-5 program “to enrich themselves” at the expense of seven Chinese nationals who each poured $500,000 into the Chans’ businesses. That’s because the civil case against them, in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, remained, at the end of April, in pre-trial phase. A trial, if there is one, may not be scheduled until fall.

The Culpability Question in RMH Franchise Bankruptcy

The second-largest Applebee's franchisee filed for bankruptcy protection, dragging a ‘zor-‘zee spat out into the open.

El Pollo Loco Verdict Makes ‘New Law,’ Attorney Says

A California court’s $8.8 million jury award to El Pollo Loco franchisees Michael and Janice Bryman in early May breaks new ground in franchise law, said their attorney, Robert Zarco of Zarco Law in Miami, although the franchisor said it will appeal the verdict and outside attorneys don’t necessarily see it the same way.

Denny’s Targets the ‘Everyman’ in International Expansion

“Denny’s has been off again, on again with international,” said Steve Dunn, the company’s chief global development officer. Now the brand is focusing its efforts on finding experienced operators in countries and regions where Denny’s is already in demand.

King’s Bierhaus Partners With Fransmart

At the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference, I was extremely impressed by Philipp Sitter of King’s Bierhaus, a German beer and bratwurst concept based in Houston. As he seeks to grow beyond its single company unit, I was pleased to see news that the brand partnered with Fransmart to aid its expansion.

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Partners With Marques Colston

Main Squeeze Juice Co. and former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston have announced a partnership to open a flagship store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Colston and his wife, Emily, will also assist the brand’s executive team to support its national expansion plans.

Dwyer Group Brands Finally Acting ‘Neighborly’

Dwyer Group CEO Mike Bidwell says a longstanding company vision to market a family of brands is in place, and he's gearing up for a nearly $2 billion year.

NLRB Move on Joint Employer Could ‘Accelerate’ Resolution​

The National Labor Relations Board said last week it may take up the joint employer issue and resolve it by means of rulemaking, a move that many in franchising say they’d welcome.

Cooking Commodities: More Brands Buying Whole Ingredients

Some brands are going beyond fresh, using whole ingredients right from the farm, fishery or field.

Edgy Ads, Low Food Costs, All Part of Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith’s presentation started with a rap on Asian food: “Teriyaki madness, you’ve got to have this, if you haven’t had this, teriyaki madness," (repeat again and again at a staccato cadence).

With a Whoosh, Sub Zero Creates Spectacle and a Treat

“I’ve been waiting for this presentation all day,” said a man in the front row as SubZero Ice Cream founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock hauled in their equipment—three gallons of cream, a stainless steel bowl, a big blue cooler on wheels and, most unusually, a 50-liter tank of liquid nitrogen at a cool minus-350 degrees F.

ZIPS Dry Cleaners CEO Wants to See Your Dry-Cleaning Bill

Drew Ritger wants to see your dry cleaning bill. Go ahead, take it out and see how much it cost to get your jacket or shirt cleaned.

Smoothie King Catches the Fitness Wave

You might not know it at first blush, but Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim is a hilarious and entertaining guy, which I learned over dinner a few years back in the company’s previous home in New Orleans. His presentation at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference was funny and direct as the company rides a wave of enthusiasm for health and fitness across the globe.

Black Bear Charging Eastward

Twenty-three years after starting the company with $15,000 that came, in part, from selling his boat, Black Bear Diner CEO and co-founder Bruce Dean never thought he would be here at the helm of a successful brand that’s suddenly breaking out and epitomizing the American Dream.

Del Taco's ‘QSR Plus’ Position Continues to Pay Off

The repositioning of Del Taco as a “QSR plus” concept is working, says CFO Steve Brake, and last week the Lake Forest, California-based Mexican brand reported its 23rd consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth for company-owned restaurants.

Never Sell a Deal You Wouldn’t Sign Yourself, NRD’s COO Says

Susan Beth brings an operator’s mindset to her COO role at NRD Capital, winner of a Franchise Times Dealmakers award at a gala luncheon today, for the private equity firm’s acquisition of Ruby Tuesday last December. So her advice for other dealmakers is no surprise.

Wendy's Strives to Delight the Customer, Engage the Operators

Wendy's Chief Development Officer Abigail Pringle kicked off the franchise presentations at Franchise Times' Finance & Growth Conference.

Testing Cupping, Float Tanks, Elements Massage Aims to Innovate

While other franchised massage brands are leaning heavily toward skincare and other beauty services, Elements Massage wants to innovate, says CEO Jeremy Morgan.

For Honey Do Founder, Corporate Stores Lead to Product Rollout

Brad Fluke, CEO and founder of The Honey Do Service, which sends general contractors to your house to take care of all homeowner needs, owns two corporate stores for two good reasons, he told the audience at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

Wing Zone to Re-Brand as WZ Eats After Tough Year

After a “brutal year in the wings business” in which product prices soared and Wing Zone closed 17 stores, the 25-year-old franchise born out of a Florida frat house is re-branding as WZ Eats, CEO and co-founder Matt Friedman announced at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

‘Radical’ Change Leads to Salsarita’s Growth, FGC Speaker Says

Phil Friedman bought Salsarita’s in 2011, and for a while operated it just as it was. But about four years ago he decided a complete overhaul was in order. “I thought it needed a radical change,” he told the audience at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

Tim Hortons Prez Touts Plan to Change Narrative

When Alex Macedo took the president’s role at Tim Hortons in December 2017, he stepped into the midst of franchisee dissent on both sides of the border. Starting the first week of May, he’s trying to change the narrative by taking management’s story to the public and to the franchisees.

Togo’s Sprucing the Place Up

Togo’s, the California-based sandwich chain known for meaty sandwiches, has announced a systemwide refresh of the brand complete with a new anthem, “True to the Sandwich,” and a new Pretzelrami signature sandwich.

Nine Free Franchise Ideas

After four years at Franchise Times there are a few concepts I’m still waiting for. Perhaps they don’t yet exist, but I want them—and this is an industry based on giving the people what they want. Here are nine free franchise ideas in the food, retail and experiential categories.

Judge Mulls Proposed McDonald's/NLRB Settlement

More than three years have passed since the National Labor Relations Board’s bombshell in late 2014, when it said it would hold McDonald’s liable for alleged workplace violations along with its franchisees as a “joint employer.” Now a federal judge is considering a proposed settlement.

Sweetfrog Acquires 5 NY Hoopla Frozen Yogurt Shops

In its first deal as part of an acquisition and rebranding strategy announced last year, Sweetfrog Frozen Yogurt acquired five New York-based Hoopla Frozen Yogurt locations in Camillus, Middletown, New Hartford, Newburgh, and Poughkeepsie.