Edit ModuleShow Tags

Pro Image Sports Giving Franchise to Fan of World Series Winner

One diehard Houston Astros or Los Angeles Dodgers fan will win a free Pro Image Sports franchise to bring the largest sports fan gift shop to their town. The company will waive its $30,000 franchise fee to a dedicated fan of the winning World Series team.

Arby’s Goes Big in Chicago, Including Downtown

Arby’s has signed development agreements to build 25 new restaurants in the Chicagoland area over the next five years, including the downtown area, creating nearly 700 jobs in the process. The company has made the Windy City a priority growth market for the brand, seeking to triple its footprint in the metro.

Finding the funny in mobile delivery, plus words you can use

Who knew food on demand could be so funny? But when you combine franchised restaurants and independents with the future, there’s lots of fodder. Cartoonist Dave Allred inked three ideas we thought readers of our Food On Demand e-newsletter would identify with.

Rave tests mobile delivery at Pie Five

Scott Crane joined Dallas-based Rave Restaurant Group as CEO in January, after the parent company of Pie Five Pizza and Pizza Inn had turned in some tough quarters and the former CEO was gone.

Private equity capitalizes on growing senior space

Agold rush of sorts is emerging in one franchising sector. Or perhaps “silver rush” is a more appropriate term.

At 40, an up-tempo plan for National Franchise Sales

‘You don’t come to me for a deal. It has to be fair,’ declares Jerry Thissen, the founder of National Franchise Sales, who over 40 years and with 26 employees has built the firm into the largest franchise brokerage outfit in the country.

Attorney Peter Lagarias’ work with kids ‘never gets old’

In his life as a franchise attorney, Peter Lagarias says, “things often don’t resolve for on and on and on.” By contrast, results are immediate from Rotaplast International’s work, in which teams of doctors, nurses and Rotary volunteers travel to foreign lands and repair cleft palates and lips for children whose families can’t afford the surgery.

To expand, first choose your lifestyle, as two ‘zees show

Life’s many attachments and entanglements have a way of tying a person’s life down to a single geographic location. Dreaming of winters in Key West? Tell that to your operations manager expecting you down at the store. Summers at the cabin? Don’t forget about that site selection tour already on the docket.

Restaurants shuffle space to accommodate mobile orders

Just as e-commerce is shaking up the retail industry, m-commerce—purchasing from mobile devices—has the potential to be a game changer for quick serve restaurants.

Joint employer tops list at Franchise Action Network event

Matthew Patinkin said there’s “no way” he would have become a franchisee if the joint employer rule had been an issue 25 years ago. Patinkin, a multi-unit franchisee with dozens of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels stores in several states, was talking to Julius Niyonsaba, a legislative aide to Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin, during a meeting as part of the International Franchise Association’s Franchise Action Network event in Washington, D.C., in September.

Order Food Without Leaving Facebook

Several franchise brands and Facebook are coming together to capitalize on consumers’ desire for convenience by offering food ordering directly on the social media site or app.

Office Pride Giving Away a Franchise to Honor Veterans

Many franchises offer significant discounts and deals to U.S. military veterans looking to break into franchising. Completely waiving the franchise fee in a Veterans Day contest, however, is certainly a new angle.

United PF Continues March to Buy Planet Fitness ‘Zees

United PF Partners, winner of a Franchise Times Dealmakers award in 2016 for its complicated and ambitious formation, has added two more acquisitions of Planet Fitness franchisees, in Phoenix and New Orleans, to increase its operating club count by 11 clubs to 78 across 10 states.

Is your city resilient? The Urbane Franchisor suggests a check

Business owners and operators rightly think of themselves as a resilient bunch, generally ready for anything and unfazed by the unexpected. But sometimes problems are bigger than any individual or company, as we starkly witnessed while two U.S. states buckled from simultaneous natural disasters, and then Puerto Rico was battered by Hurricane Maria.

Most Franchises Struggle to Grow, but Then There’s the 20%

We routinely write about young franchise concepts because everybody likes to know what’s new in franchising, but a study released today by Franchise Grade shows how long the odds are for those so-called emerging brands. Just over 30 percent of brands that started four years ago had one or fewer locations, the study said.

Two tax tips, often overlooked, may be worth the work

Everyone loves tax time, so certainly business owners know their deductions, allocations, recaptures and exclusions inside and out, right? Here are a couple of tax considerations that are easy to overlook.

UK, Malaysia operators freshen up Wingstop

Rick Ross catches the ear of a United Kingdom operator, who forms Lemon Pepper Holdings in homage to the rapper. In Malaysia, meanwhile, a new developer moves away from counter service to appeal to local customers.

Country Profile: Hunting for growth in Argentina

The sky blue and white bands represent the clear skies and snow of the Andes, while the yellow sun symbol with a human face commemorates the appearance of the sun through cloudy skies on May 25, 1810, during the first mass demonstration in favor of independence.

Start early to safeguard intellectual property, advise Living Large subjects

Patents help ensure proprietary technology is secure at Watermill Express and Spray-Net. For Blink Fitness, being aggressive about trademark infringement is important, especially as the brand continues to grow.

In the age of Twitter, consider three cautionary tales with a viral theme

Imagine if two of your Motel 6 hotels in Phoenix were the sites of at least 20 arrests by Immigration & Customs Enforcement or ICE, between February and August this year, as the Phoenix New Times reported in September.

Franchising’s success around world draws attention—and legal proposals

Editor’s note: Philip Zeidman, our regular columnist, is away and his colleague Tao Xu is filing this and the next report. By the time you read this column, I will have traveled to Sydney, Australia, for the International Bar Association’s annual conference.

Battle of the heavyweights: Here’s what happens when SEO fights PPC

When it comes to franchise lead generation, two heavyweights dominate the ring. In one corner looms search engine optimization (SEO)—an opponent who fatigues the competition with stamina and endurance. And in the other, we have pay-per-click advertising (PPC)—the knock-out artist known to deliver power punches in the early rounds.

265 restaurants, 3 brands, 9 states—a peek inside Shawn Eby’s playbook

Shawn Eby, 48, brims with confidence about his baby—Goalz Restaurant Group, a franchise company he formed last February. Eby, a veteran of Dairy Queen, Burger King, Arby’s and Taco Johns, is counting on employees he’s met along the way to help him open 265 fast-food restaurants across three brands and nine states, all within five years.

Adieu to everyone’s fave writer, including my dad’s

When you’re a kid and you just finished your seventh grade band concert, you expect your parents to tell you how great the performance was. Even if the band concert was painful to most within earshot. Sometimes that’s their job, to praise you when you try your best, even though you might come up short performance-wise to the guy next to you. I wouldn’t say that my parents over-complimented me, as is society’s complaint of the baby boomers’ treatment of their millennial offspring. But they were enthusiastic, whether it be that band concert or my marching with my baton in the July Fourth parade.


Activist investors won 131 board seats last year. While 2017 won’t be quite as active as that, public companies have already spent $43 billion on proxy contests.

Executive Ladder

As the new VP of marketing at Pita Pit, Doug Reifschneider finds himself in a familiar place even though he and his wife moved nearly 2,700 miles from Jacksonville, Florida, to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. After spending 11 years in the same role at Firehouse Subs, he’s once again building a marketing team almost from the ground up as Pita Pit accelerates its recent growth streak.

I’m bidding farewell before I become a caricature of myself—hey, wait...

A lifetime ago I was the editor of a newsletter on franchising. On my first day the owner gave me a list of people in the industry to call, saying they would be happy to get me up to speed on franchising. That list included Neal (perhaps Neil, it’s been awhile) Simon, David Kaufmann, Phil Zeidman and Michael Seid. Mort Aronson, who was the general counsel at Holiday Inn at the time, was another early contact, as was Joyce Mazero. All but one were attorneys and so much of my early franchise education was legal and pro-franchisor.

More of the Multi-unit News You Need to Know

Twice a month I’m plucking the key details from dozens of multi-unit development agreements to give you everything you need to know to stay informed and, of course, keep an eye on what the competition is doing.

Hand & Stone Massage CEO Links Skincare to Sales Growth

Though it’s smaller in unit count by nearly 900 than the industry giant that is Massage Envy, Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa leads the segment in sales growth percentage for 2016.

Muscle Maker Jumps On Reg A+ Bandwagon

T-shirts and pop-up ads are among the tools Muscle Maker Grill is using to promote its upcoming initial public offering via a new option known as Reg A+, said Bob Morgan, CEO of the franchised restaurant chain seeking just under $20 million. Regulation A+, passed as part of the JOBS Act in 2016, allows any qualified investor to buy shares in an IPO, in the past something that was effectively reserved for institutions and high-rolling insiders.

Goodbye (Public) Ruby Tuesday

NRD Capital is set to take Ruby Tuesday private in a deal that values the storied casual diner at $335 million.

Culver's Founder Took Long Path to Roark Buy

Craig Culver inked a deal last Friday with Roark Capital, the private equity firm that bought a minority stake in the 640-unit Culver’s chain, but it’s a move Culver had resisted for years.

Employees Just Want to Belong, Dwyer COO Says

Everybody is talking about the labor shortage these days, and one of the most respected names in franchising, Mary Kennedy Thompson of the Dwyer Group, has several astute things to say on the topic as well as research to back it up.

Fitlife Wants Bigger Piece of Prepared Meals Pie

Here’s the latest entry on the prepared meal scene—Tampa-based Fitlife Foods, which operates stores that sell nothing but already cooked meals ready for customers to pick up or to have delivered. Fitlife spent more than six years improving its business model, and is now rolling out a franchise program in Florida.

‘On the Leading Edge,’ Kiddie Academy Climbs Franchise Times Top 200+ Rankings

Millions of parents need child care and increasingly, as our recently released Franchise Times Top 200+ segment numbers show, they want that care to include education. It’s double-digit sales increases all around for this year’s top three early education and care provider concepts, with Kiddie Academy leading the way.

Consistency, not Magic, Propels Jersey Mike’s Up the Franchise Times Top 200+

Jersey Mike's jumps 14 spots to No. 102 on our annual ranking, and while the company’s president says he wishes he could point to one defining move Jersey Mike’s made last year to boost sales, the reason for the notable growth is much more basic.

Conserva Irrigation Expands With New Deals

I interview a lot of business people about countless interesting companies in franchising, but every now and then one really sticks with me and gets my gears turning. The latest such example is Conserva Irrigation, a MN-based brand under the Outdoor Living portfolio that bills itself as the only national outdoor irrigation company founded on the concept of water conservation.

Power Trio Backs DMK Burger Bar

Michael Kornick is not a very good person to talk to when you’re hungry and stuck in the office. He’s a five-time James Beard-nominated chef and one of three partners rolling out a franchising program for DMK Burger Bar, and he described the burger pictured nearby, along with the favorites of his partners’, in mouth-watering and excruciating detail one day this week, at lunchtime.

Research Complete, Rave Tests New Ideas

Scott Crane joined Dallas-based Rave Restaurant Group as CEO in January, after the parent company of Pie Five Pizza and Pizza Inn had turned in some tough quarters and the former CEO was gone. Several months of research have led to some promising tests, especially of delivery at Pie Five.

Planet Fitness Rises in the Franchise Times Top 200+ Ranks

For the big box, value-priced gym concept, it’s a leap President and CFO Dorvin Lively attributes to three factors: brand positioning, franchisees’ growth and attracting members.

Gen Z Dipping Its Toes Into Home Buying

Who’s sick of reading about millennials? I am, and I am one, albeit on the crustier end of the scale. A new report from Zillow shows that Generation Z, those born between 1995 and 2010, are beginning to enter the housing market. It’s time to learn about these little tikes, and start drafting plans with their interests in mind.

Your Guide to 2017's Top 200+

Now in its 19th year, 2017’s Top 200+ is bigger than ever before, with additional coverage and analysis throughout the Franchise Times website and in our October issue.

Subway’s CEO Leads Lineup of Top 200+ Interviews

“It is our strategic plan to improve every consumer touch point,” says Suzanne Greco, the CEO of Subway and sister of its late founder, Fred DeLuca, in an exclusive interview with Franchise Times’ contributor Julie Bennett, available today in print and online. She is one of four CEOs profiled in the Franchise Times Top 200+ package, our annual ranking of the 500 largest franchise brands by global sales.

CEO Dave Long On Orangetheory’s Explosive Growth

Fueled by franchisee development and a high-intensity, group interval training model that’s attracted tens of thousands of members, Orangetheory Fitness rocketed to No. 153 on the Franchise Times Top 200+, our exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises.

Monster Tree Service Branching Out

Did you know that almost everything is franchised? It’s true, including tree removal services. From my own experience as a new homeowner, I know how much money can be made in this field. At Pennsylvania-based Monster Tree Service, recent growth has been coming at a breakneck pace—with expectations of growing the system 30 percent by the end of 2017.

Franchising Deserves a Stake in Urban Planning

I’ve passed a milestone I’m quietly celebrating on this fine fall day. My first-ever magazine column, The Urbane Franchisor, is going strong after a year and a half in the pages of Franchise Times. Now more than ever, I’m convinced the franchise industry has much to gain by learning about modern trends in urban planning.

Are Brand Events the Next Big Thing?

After writing a story about Tough Mudder transitioning from (somewhat crazy) endurance races into low-cost exercise gyms, I wondered what other brands might find value in creating an in-person event.

Operator Adds 'No Buy' Push to Complaint Against Dunkin'

A franchisee claiming widespread discrimination against African-American women by Dunkin’ Donuts added a second punch to her lawsuit filed today: a coupon saying “Dunkin’ Discriminates” and urging people not to buy Dunkin’ products, which she plans to circulate on social media. Dunkin' Brands "categorically denies" the allegations of discrimination.

Dunkin’ Donuts coffee now available for Amtrak travelers

With the expanded partnership, Dunkin’ Donuts’ signature hot coffee will be available to nearly 12 million customers who ride Northeast Regional and Acela Express services each year.

Hyatt Selects Mark Vondrasek as its new executive vice president

Hyatt Hotels Corporation (NYSE: H) today announced the selection of Mark Vondrasek as executive vice president, global head of loyalty & new business platforms, reporting to Mark Hoplamazian, president and chief executive officer.