I’ve attended my fair share of soft openings, witnessing everything from dazzling to disaster. With franchisors more savvy than ever and more franchisees realizing the importance of opening with a bang, I’d like to share my thoughts on what makes a good soft opening or media invite in the wake of a fine experience at a new Capriotti’s.
Scott Fischer, CEO of Dippin’ Dots and a speaker at the upcoming Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, isn’t one to shy away from controversy. Last year he famously invited Sean Spicer, then the White House press secretary, to a Dippin’ Dots ice cream social after Spicer criticized the brand.
Jibu, the Kenyan-based social enterprise has a few new backers in a successful, $7 million funding round that included the new NRD Foundation.
Twice a month in the Development Deal Tracker, 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.
In move to extend its nationwide presence, in-home care franchise BrightStar Care acquired HomeChoice Senior Care, an Iowa-based provider of non-medical care, housekeeping and 24-hour assistance. The deal gives Chicago-based BrightStar a presence in Iowa markets including Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and Des Moines.
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. Now he’s taking those lessons to anyone who wants them through a new program focused on helping companies develop their leaders.
Franchisees have a new spot to market locally, and one that might bring literal traffic.
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. She will talk about the ins and outs of that deal, along with two other award winners in the Franchise Times Dealmakers project, at the Franchise Finance & Growth Conference, May 7-9 at the Mirage Hotel in Las Vegas.
Adding to its stable of home and commercial services brands, the parent company of Chem-Dry Carpet and Upholstery Cleaning and N-Hance Wood Refinishing acquired restoration concept Delta Disaster Services in a deal announced this week.
International franchise expansion is on the menu for The Melting Pot now that it has refined its criteria to target established franchisee partners with the infrastructure to develop at least three restaurants.
As Yogi Bear enjoys his return to the spotlight thanks to the recent Quicken Loans TV commercials, his day job—Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park Camp-Resorts—announced the addition of two new campgrounds in Tennessee and Newfoundland.
With excellent timing as March Madness brings basketball to the fore, NBA star Draymond Green of the Golden State Warriors has signed a franchise development deal to bring at least 20 Blink Fitness gyms to Michigan and Illinois.
The big theme among founders is not always distinctly separate duties, but the role of strategy and operations.
Even though snowflakes are still flying, baseball is in the air as Regis Corporation announces an industry-exclusive, multi-year partnership with Major League Baseball for Supercuts by ringing the opening bell at the New York Stock Exchange. Supercuts is now the official hair salon and official hair stylists of MLB.
McDonald’s is working to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as news drops that the famed Pacific Ocean garbage patch has grown to twice the size of Texas. McDonald’s is partnering with franchisees and suppliers to reduce its system-wide greenhouse gas emissions by 36 percent by 2030.
Food delivery is “not some cute fad” as some restaurant CEOs would suggest. “This is a fundamental shift,” declared Noah Glass, founder and CEO of Olo, speaking at the first Food On Demand Conference in Dallas today.
“It’s the very earliest innings of on-demand food delivery,” says Christopher Payne, COO of DoorDash, the third-party restaurant delivery service that is now in 60 markets and 600 cities and is about to blow up to three times that, he said during an on-stage interview at the debut Food On Demand Conference in Dallas today.
Denver-based Ocedon, a restaurant management company and Burger King franchisee, added to its unit count in Colorado with the acquisition of 11 additional BK stores in the Denver area.
Everyone knows you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar, but what about a clever and complimentary email seeking coverage from yours truly that includes the immortal words of the great KISS song: “Beth, what can I do?” That's what Tony Lamb of Kona Ice did.
Anytime Fitness will open its 4,000th gym March 16 in Shanghai, China, and then will pursue plans to open at least one new gym in Antarctica. That’s according to Mark Daly, national media director, who has produced a video in celebration that answers a burning question.
Saudi Arabia is launching a major initiative as part of its Kingdom 2030 Vision to support the growth and development of franchising.
Jim Rand, a longtime restaurant exec who built the catering business at Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s, has joined ezCater, a national marketplace for business catering that’s revolutionizing the game of feeding hungry corporate offices.
As the author of our Urbane Franchisor column, my ears perk up whenever a franchise mentions the appeal of the city in its business plans. The latest example is national staffing franchise, AtWork Group, which opened its newest office in greater Birmingham as the company pushes toward 100 locations.
Anand Gala is a long-time franchisee of Jack in the Box, Del Taco, Famous Dave’s and others, and he has now crossed the aisle to form Gala Capital and purchase his first franchisor, Mooyah Burgers, Fries & Shakes. He believes many franchises stumble over a few common mistakes, which he plans to avoid at Mooyah and any additional brands he buys.
Nicole Ossenfort had been CEO and president of Liberty Tax for just two-and-a-half weeks when reached Thursday, but she was already putting her focus squarely on franchisees. “I believe that happy, successful franchisees and employees are the basis and essential for the success of this company. They are the reason we exist, and we have to start making decisions and strategies that support that core belief,” said Ossenfort, the third CEO in six months at Liberty Tax. “In fact, we believe that so much, we changed our mission statement: creating happy, successful franchisees and employees.”
QSR brand marketing continues to get weirder and more personal, with the latest example being Hardee’s who has gone all out for award-winning author Brad Parks, who’s been using his local Hardee’s as the backdrop for his famous crime series.
As more brands and customers add social and environmental responsibility to their list of must-haves, the latest announcement is several major food brands banding together to improve the health of agricultural soils and fend off climate change.
Cheers, upbeat music and a general sense of female empowerment dominate the WFF’s Annual Leadership Development Conference, where career advancement and leadership growth of women in the food industry are the focus and premier speakers champion the strides made. It was a sobering start to the day, then, when Celia Huber, a senior partner at McKinsey & Co., pulled up a slide reading: “At current rates, it will take more than 100 years to reach gender equality in the C-suite.”
Wendy’s sold the restaurants to JAE Restaurant Group as part of its System Optimization Initiative, a shift from company-owned to franchise transactions with the goal of Wendy’s owning just 5 percent of its 6,500 restaurants.
The Browning-Ferris standard for joint employer—which many in franchising despise— is back in business for now, after the National Labor Relations Board on Monday vacated its Hy-Brand decision on the grounds that one of its board members, William Emmanuel, had a conflict of interest and should have recused himself. “Which means that, for now anyway, Browning-Ferris is again operative law,” explained David Kaufmann with Kaufmann Gildin & Robbins in an email Monday,
Courtyard by Marriott took the wraps off its new Bistro Bars this week, which the company bills as an “elevated evening experience” for business travels and lobby bar enthusiasts like the Franchise Times edit staff.
CircusTrix Holdings of Provo, Utah, bought Sky Zone last month, bringing the 195-unit trampoline park chain under its umbrella and changing the game for Jeff Platt, former CEO of Sky Zone and now president, reporting to the founder and CEO of CircusTrix.
After the dust-up created by its recent $4.99 footlong sandwich promotion, which several franchisees said was a strain on their profit margins, here’s hoping Subway’s upgraded loyalty program is better received by its franchisee network.
Franchise Times and RSM had a webcast on Wednesday, January 3, 2018 to discuss the recently passed tax bill. You can now watch a replay of that session here.
With its new CEO in place, in-home care franchise ComForCare took another step in executing its strategic growth plan with the acquisition of CarePatrol, a senior placement franchise.
A detailed knowledge of the numbers set Andrew Cameron and his fledgling Donutology franchise apart from the rest of the contenders in last week’s NextGen competition at the International Franchise Association’s annual conference.
Two franchised burger chains expanded the Impossible Burger this week to the masses, with Fatburger and Wahlburgers bringing the meatless option that is made entirely from plants available to its customers—which raises the question: how can a product made entirely from plants cook, taste and smell like ground beef from cows?
BurgerFi, a Florida-based fast-casual franchise, is savoring a heaping PR boost after the car it sponsors in the NASCAR Xfinity Series won the season opener at Daytona International Speedway over the weekend.
Trying out so many franchised concepts is one of the coolest parts of my job. My recent trip into a frigid cryotherapy chamber was only the latest—and most literal—example, showing me cryotherapy is more than a fad for hard-charging athletes and regular Joes like me.
In $100 million deal, Jollibee Foods Corp. will acquire an additional 45 percent of Smashburger, the Denver-based burger franchise that has more than 360 restaurants.
Valentine’s Day is one of the busiest days for restaurants, but there are some major standouts when it comes to romance-related sales spikes.
"Oh Arby’s sign, the meats, the meats are calling..."
Paul Brown has begun his balancing act at the helm of Inspire Brands, which is now one of the largest owner-operators of restaurants out there with 1,700 company restaurants and 4,600 locations when including franchise operations.
I play the flute, trombone, piano and organ and sang in a symphonic choir, and my alternative career path, albeit never followed, was to be an orchestra conductor, so the Music Paradigm presentation today at the IFA’s annual conference was right up my alley.
All were young, fresh and impressive, but otherwise the 20 finalists competing in the NextGen competitition (said to be culled from 900 applicants from around the world) at the International Franchise Association annual convention Sunday were individually brash, confident, soft-spoken, intellectual, nervous, sloppily dressed or perfectly prepared.
Charlotte Haigler Proctor likes to tell prospective franchisees, “I hope you’re not considering being an absentee owner.” She is one of the super-smart franchisees our edit team has been interviewing for the last several weeks, preparing stories for our March cover package, the Franchise Times Zor Awards. Here’s a sneak peek.
Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2018 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the sixth annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.
Even after several years of revenue and occupancy gains, new hotel construction and brand rollouts, U.S. hotel occupancy is still increasing as North American hoteliers in general see widespread gains in bookings across all travel segments.
A new study from the National Restaurant Association shows that, on the whole, the U.S. restaurant industry is boosting sustainability efforts, which include energy-saving equipment, food waste reduction and water conservation.
With its $2.9 billion acquisition of Buffalo Wild Wings a done deal, Arby’s Restaurant Group renamed itself Inspire Brands Inc., the new multi-concept operator encompassing Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and R Taco.