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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.

Subway’s CEO, Who Stepped Up After Tragedy, to Retire

Suzanne Greco’s retirement from Subway, announced yesterday, ends her tenure as chief executive of the world’s largest restaurant company, a position she took after the death of her brother and company founder Fred DeLuca in 2015 left the company reeling.

Juice It Up’s New Owner, Britt Capital, Likes to Buy and Build

Juice It Up is the second acquisition in 12 months for Britt Private Capital, a young family office founded by Chris Britt that allows the West Coast-based financier to shed the stricter time requirements of private equity funds.

Market Force Releases Massive QSR Preferences Study

A new, large-scale consumer study conducted by Market Force Information reveals America’s favorite quick-service restaurant chains in five popular food categories: burgers, sandwiches, Mexican, pizza and chicken. The study found In-N-Out is America’s favorite burger chain, Wawa ranked first for sandwiches, Chipotle for Mexican food, Pizza Ranch for pizza and Chick-fil-A for chicken.

New Wyndham Property Boosts Newark’s Renaissance

There are few news tidbits I enjoy more than a franchise business contributing to a city’s turnaround. The latest example of that is TRYP by Wyndham opening its latest hotel in the heart of downtown Newark, New Jersey, which has been seeing significant revitalization through business development and its blooming art and cultural scene.

More From Our Cover Subject, HFC’s Shirin Behzadi

Check out more from my conversation with Shirin Behzadi, CEO of Home Franchise Concepts, in which we cover everything from doing what's best for franchisees to taking ownership of your work.

TGI Fridays CEO to Talk Growth at Finance Conference

Aslam Khan, the mega-franchisee at Falcon Holdings who took the chief executive job at TGI Fridays last year, will reveal his growth plans for the legacy chain at the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference May 7-9. His much-anticipated talk follows a months-long listening tour with franchisees to hear their concerns.

Orangetheory Continues to Accelerate Growth in Q1

In announcing its first quarter growth numbers today, Orangetheory Fitness noted its 61 new studio openings throughout the world, along with the franchise's 54 signed lease agreements and 34 franchise agreements.

Claim your life, urges Budget Blinds’ CEO

Eight years ago Shirin Behzadi was recovering from surgery to remove a life-threatening brain tumor. During a rehabilitation process that took two years, Behzadi had to learn to walk again, to speak and, as she tells it, to take ownership of her life and help others do the same.

Post-sale, cupcake wars hit Gigi’s

The cupcake business is hard work, but it’s not incredibly complex. Mix flour, butter and sugar and sell the treats. That simple but effective model was the foundation for Gigi’s Cupcakes, the cupcake chain started in 2008. But a group of franchisees say that simple model became unsustainable.

Ex-Banfield vet bites Zarco with suit

Zarco Law is one of the brashest in franchising, boasting an “aggressive litigation style” on its website, deployed in high-profile cases against franchisors.

Camp Transformation loves to lose

Alejandra and Louis Font are in the business of selling dramatic life transformations, and have the personal experience to back up the you-can-do-it messaging that’s the foundation of their Camp Transformation Center weight loss boot camps.

Two education brands talk teaching

Huntington Learning Center and The Goddard School each fills its own niche in the education space. But one thing they have in common—decades of franchising experience and the tales of ups and downs to show for it.

HouseMaster prez walks in franchisees' shoes

What was your upbringing like? My father founded HouseMaster but growing up he was a Fortune 500 marketing executive. His father immigrated from Ireland and my father grew up working with his dad in food and beverage. That taught him he wanted to be in business himself and that he didn’t want to be in food and beverage. After 15 years of corporate America he was ready to jump. In the early ‘70s, there was no franchising in the home inspection market.

Startups try to entice kids to code

There’s a new breed of kids education, preparing them not just for the jobs of the future, but the logic of the future. If everything is digital, then kids today need to understand the basic logic of code.

Hurry-up-and-wait is historic refrain

Real estate is bonkers. The competition for inline spaces is stiff and it’s a brawl for a coveted end cap. That means franchisees are looking at every way to keep growing, including taking on the challenge of historic buildings.

FT Undercover checks out three grooming brands

When I asked Jameson, The Gents Place barber behind my straight razor shave, what was up with my hot-towel blindfold, he said it’s meant to be relaxing. But as a first-timer at the business end of a straight razor, it was not.

No toxic leadership, says Yum’s former CEO

When David Novak was CEO of Yum Brands, he said his greatest pleasure was teaching leadership development programs reaching 4,000 people in the company until his retirement in 2016.

Straight talk from Erbert’s operator

Aubrey Janik is wise beyond her years. Just two years after opening her first Erbert & Gerbert’s location in Plano, Texas, the 23-year-old franchisee has pushed pause on her ambitious five-year business plans to instead create The Franchise Blueprint, an online video-based franchise training course that helps other beginning franchisees avoid some of the frustrating mistakes that often cost newbies precious time and mental anguish.

Sugar plums, flip-flops and now MVS

As the owner of two dogs who have the preternatural ability to tell when grabbing the leashes means a scary vet appointment rather than a lovely walk, paying a little extra for the convenience and serenity of an at-home visit makes plenty of sense.

How reality meets stardust at Epcon

Virtual reality is being used to create incredibly immersive—borderline freaky—video games, but it’s also uncorking a range of new sales and marketing opportunities for companies willing to take a leap into hyperspace.

'It’s OK to dream big’ says Goalz boss

Franchise exec turned franchisee Shawn Eby has big plans to develop hundreds of locations with American Development Partners. His main goal: helping 100 employees become owners

Lining up behind restaurant kiosks

The first commercial kiosk went live in 1985 to sell shoes. It worked OK. But just watch the lines at the airport or the grocery store, and the logjam of people behind check-in or self-checkout kiosks makes it clear— today’s consumers love to do it themselves.

Art of the deal panel to highlight FFGC

It’s not news to Susan Beth, COO of NRD Capital, that plenty of people questioned why the Atlanta-based private equity firm purchased Ruby Tuesday. When the $335-million take-private deal was announced last year, Beth said, all of her colleagues called and wondered why—they told her they hadn’t even bothered to look at the book promoting the deal.

Onus on operator to make delivery work

What’s at the intersection of food, technology and mobility? Food On Demand, a media project developed by FT’s sister pubs. At the debut Food On Demand Conference in March, nearly 400 operators and tech experts tried to sort out the promise and peril. Here are highlights.

How to do franchise resales right

Jumping into discussions about resales before the ink is dry on a franchise agreement is a little like discussing divorce before the wedding. However, exit strategies are a natural part of the life cycle for any business, and franchisors are recognizing that addressing resales early on can help to pave the way for a smoother transition in the future.

How to breathe life into plastic cities

After passing Philadelphia in 2017, Phoenix is now the fifth-largest U.S. city—but you’d never know it from the sidewalks of this largely desolate downtown. Everything in Phoenix is too diffused for any sort of critical mass that gives the best downtowns their zip.

Operators take Denny’s, Which Wich to U.K.

In London, Which Wich aims to capitalize on a craving for hot sandwiches via a new deal with AAA Investment House and the brothers Awada. In Wales, Denny’s banks on demand for diner fare, with its new operator there saying he’s a ‘massive’ fan.

Brexit puts U.K. in uncertain position

The red cross of Saint George (patron saint of England) edged in white is superimposed on the diagonal red cross of Saint Patrick (patron saint of Ireland), which itself is superimposed on the diagonal white cross of Saint Andrew (patron saint of Scotland).

Finding right site takes strategic thinking

How important is site visibility? What about convenient access or tenant mix? This month our Living Large brands—including the newest entrant, CPR Cell Phone Repair that purchased Digital Doc—explore these topics and more as they seek to grow.

Everybody loves franchising—or do they?

For most of the lifetimes of most of the readers of this publication, the trajectory of general approval of franchising has been steadily upward.

Darwin’s theory of owner selection

It’s been said before, but it bears repeating—the success of your franchise system depends heavily on the success of your franchisees and the validation they provide. Without successful franchisees, your franchise program simply cannot flourish.

CoreLife operator says no thanks to finance calls

Franchise lenders, be advised. If you cold-call Bill Janikies (as many regularly do) he’ll take your name and politely tell you Jan Companies may in the future need the capital you’re offering. But right now, well . . . no thank you.

A hurdle or two shouldn’t keep you from finish line

Years ago—please don’t make me give you a number—when I first began working for this company I was a young journalist in my 20s. It was my job to write about franchise lenders, banks and finance companies, and to get to know the players, especially when they were all in one room together at the Restaurant Finance Monitor’s annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. (The Monitor is the sister publication to Franchise Times.)

China, Saudi Arabia Up Next as Sylvan Learning Expands Overseas

Sylvan Learning is taking its tutoring programs to China, where the franchise has plans to develop 200 locations over the next 10 years. In Saudi Arabia, franchisee Haitham Ahmed is set to open his first Sylvan location this month, with a goal to open at least 10 total.

Who Will Do Our Stuff For Us?

As more of our economy is digitized and desk based, American consumers increasingly rely on the manual labor of others to enable our cushy lifestyles. With almost-crippling labor shortages in everything from quick-service restaurants to handyman-style companies that clean, care, repair and renovate, who’s going to actually do this work as the labor pool shrinks even more?

Marco’s Opens 900th Location in Puerto Rico

It’s truly hard to imagine what life is like for our fellow Americans down in Puerto Rico, who are still grinding their way through many lingering aftereffects of Hurricane Maria’s devastation. On a brighter note, Marco’s Pizza has announced that its 900th location has opened in the island city of Bayamόn—a minuscule piece of good news on an island that was already in dire straits before the hurricane ever made landfall.

Restaurants Expect High Traffic for 4/20 Offers

A lot of hungry, funny smelling people are out and about today and restaurants are taking full advantage.

Relationships First, Then Advocacy, Believes Primrose CEO

Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools, believes effective advocacy starts long before a leader pushes to get something done. “The key is building trusted relationships, and before they’re needed,” she told Franchise Times. Kirchner received the Bonnie LeVine Award from the International Franchise Association.

A Traffic-Driving Veggie Burger? ‘Impossible’

The days of veggie loaf, bean patties and cardboard with corn are coming to an end.

Clean Juice Is ‘First and Only,’ as Founder Will Tell FFGC

Different is good for Landon Eckles, co-founder of Clean Juice, who will present his brand’s story at the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, May 7-9 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.

With ‘Hotspots’ Launch, Domino’s Delivers to Parks, Beaches

With its announcement Monday of the launch of Domino’s Hotspots, the pizza chain will now deliver to more than 150,000 outdoor locations that don’t have a traditional addresses—parks, beaches, sports fields and landmarks such as the Las Vegas welcome sign or the Atlantic City boardwalk.