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What the Heck Is Securitization?

Securitization has been a hot topic for other industries in the past. But now, some of the biggest franchised brands are turning to securitization to finance their companies.

Bobby Flay Announces Franchise Plans for ‘Burger Palace’ Concept

“I’m really just a burger guy, that’s what I want to eat,” says Bobby Flay, speaking this morning at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas. Cheeseburgers are what he craves after a long night in the kitchen and are at the core of Bobby’s Burger Palace, which is poised for rapid expansion following Flay’s announcement today that he’s going to start franchising and licensing the fast-casual concept.

Founders Cite Highs, Lows of 3 Restaurant Brands

The founders of Walk-On's, Culver's and Toppers revealed some alternative names for their brands, on a panel today at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

Are Malls the New Four-Letter Word?

During the second day of RFDC in Las Vegas, Stephen Polanski from Buxton spoke all about the changing world of shopping malls and what that means for the restaurant and retail brands that are heavily invested in malls or curious about which centers are worth expanding into in this era of changing consumer tastes.

The Kids Are All Right, Toppers Founder Says

For any boomers or Gen X-ers who love to hate on the “kids today,” the founder of Toppers Pizza has a few words for you: knock it off. “I meet so many 20-year-olds in my business, and these people can do anything. They are special people,” Scott Gittrich told me in an interview today at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

Chicago Next as Wingstop Expands Delivery Test

Wingstop will continue its exclusive partnership with third-party delivery service DoorDash, said Charlie Morrison, CEO of the Dallas, Texas-based chicken wing franchise.

House Passes Bill to Roll Back Joint-employer Ruling

The Save Local Business Act, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), passed by a vote of 242-181. No Republicans opposed the bill, and they were joined by eight Democrats: Reps. Ami Bera, Lou Correa, Jim Costa, Henry Cuellar, Stephanie Murphy, Scott Peters, Colin Peterson, and Kurt Schrader.

Regis Partners with Buxton on Consumer Analytics

Regis Corporation, the franchisor behind Supercuts, Cost Cutters, Pro Cuts, Roosters and many others in the haircare industry, announced an industry-exclusive agreement with LSMx, a Buxton local store marketing application, to beef up its marketing for company and franchise salons.

Shelly Sun Honored by Alma Mater

BrightStar Care CEO and Co-Founder Shelly Sun—arguably one of the nicest people in all of franchising—was recently named 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year by her alma mater, Haslam College of Business.

Person in Mirror May Be Emerging Franchisor's Worst Enemy

Most speakers urge their audiences to turn off their phones and focus on the presentation, but not Philip Schram. “Take out your smartphone. Go on the photo app. Put it in selfie mode. Point the camera toward you,” he urged attendees at the IFA’s Emerging Franchisor Conference in Phoenix Tuesday morning.

Harrowing Start for The Joint's CEO Led to Cultural Do-Over

Suppose you join a franchise system as COO and within a handful of weeks everyone resigns, cash dwindles and franchisees complain. If you're Peter Holt of The Joint Corp., you view it as an opportunity to re-build the culture from the ground up, he told the crowd at the IFA's Emerging Franchisor Conference today in Phoenix.

Key Restaurant Credits at Risk in Tax Plan

Tax reform is grinding along in D.C., and some key tax credits are at risk in a new plan.

Huey Magoo’s Starts Spreading Its Wings

The chicken tender-focused restaurant chain was bought by former Wingstop execs last year and has opened three locations since April.

Super 8 Partners with Human Hug Project for Veterans

Super 8 has partnered with Human Hug Project, an organization founded by combat veterans to bring awareness to PTSD and dole out hugs to at-risk veterans. With this partnership, the company is committing to help the founders, Ian Michael, Gino Greganti and his wife, to accomplish their goal of hugging veterans at every VA Medical Center in the United States.

Don’t Be Like Papa John

I’ve never met Papa John’s founder John Schnatter, but his recent decisions as CEO have exposed the company and its shareholders to needless ire. There are a lot of valid external reasons that could be blamed for lowering future sales projections, but pointing to something as divisive as NFL players taking a knee is absurd.

Some Hail Return of Directory to SBA Loan Process

The U.S. Small Business Administration is creating a directory of franchise systems eligible for government-backed loans, and at least some lenders are hailing the move as good for the process of speeding loans to franchisees.

3 National-Alamo ‘Zees Get Termination Notices; Attorneys Cry Foul

Alaska Sales & Service has built a $12-million business as a National-Alamo car rental franchisee since 1967. Corpat has been in the game since 1986 and posts $47 million in annual sales. And Midwest Car boasts $90 million a year from a franchise started in 1968. All three received termination notices effective January 14, 2018, from their franchisor, known as NACRS or National-Alamo Car Rental System, which their attorneys say are without cause and so constitute an unlawful breach of contract.

Team Sizzler—Gary and Sally Myers and their son Bryce—starts early and stays late

‘The kids’ first solid food was baked potato,’ jokes Sally Myers, half of the husband-and-wife pair who have grown their Sizzler empire to 23 stores. Sally got an early start, learning from her father in the booth where he always held a seat open so a guest, busboy or VIP could join them. Today their firm, BMW Management, is the ultimate driven machine.

No bad Thanksgivings for Flis family

Dominic Flis cannot pinpoint one particular day that was the best ever for his family’s Little Rock, Arkansas-based Burger King operation. But naming the worst day ever is painfully easy: There are two. “The day my Mom passed away and the day my Dad passed away,” he says, in 2007 and 2009, respectively.

At My Eyelab, the doctor won’t see you now

Close your eyes and bring yourself on a virtual journey to your last eye exam. After filling out the insurance paperwork, an assistant brings you down a hall and into a dimly lit room with the big machine front and center.

Getting on a meal plan is job one for campus franchisees

Campus dining is no longer bland pasta, iceberg lettuce and ranch dressing. A wide range of franchise brands cater to on- and off-campus student populations, and great food is becoming a draw for prospective students.

To finance remodel programs, document the sales bump

If you can’t prove a ‘kick’ in revenue from your remodel program, don’t expect franchisees to buy in. But a 6 to 7 percent increase in sales is likely to attract operators and financiers alike.

Future’s at curb with Domino’s, Ford test

The future is officially here, and it’s smothered in mozzarella cheese. Domino’s Pizza and Ford, through a home-state partnership in Ann Arbor, Michigan, have teamed up on a live-action research project that’s resulted in the world’s first pizza deliveries made by fully autonomous cars.

Tough Mudder without the tear gas

Will Dean, CEO and founder of the extreme Tough Mudder endurance events, is broadening his portfolio beyond the now-infamous obstacles such as Arctic Enema and Electroshock Therapy—which are basically what they sound like, but safe enough to insure—into the cutthroat world of franchised fitness.

C Squared and Sport Clips partner walks the talk

When Carty Davis works with clients of C Squared Advisors, the investment banker and franchise advisory firm he co-founded in August 2016, he’s not spouting abstract theories. Rather, he’s employing practical know-how based on decades in the restaurant business—and especially 15 years in the barbershop.

‘Two inches of goo’ doesn’t faze Filta

“The moment I saw it I fell in love with it, because no one wants to clean their fryers,” declares Lauren Wanco, a franchisee since May for Filta Environmental Kitchen Solutions in Las Vegas, a mobile service that handles the dirtiest of restaurant jobs.

Gig economy fuels Office Evolution

There must be some great kindergarten teachers out there because we’ve all learned how to share really well. We share our rides, our boats and even our homes through various portals.

Three brands to one for Moe’s operator

Focus became the name of the game for Matt Rusconi, a Moe’s Southwest Grill operator with 14 stores who believes in ‘rewarding versus threatening’ employees

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.