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March 2015

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In this issue

Barkefellers offers ‘crush photos,’ and more pet tricks

Remember when no one would hang out with you on the playground in elementary school and you couldn’t wait to get home so your dog could make you feel loved? Well, you may now be in a position to return that favor.

Marilyn Monroe Spas backed by Disney alumni

Franchises are moving into the spa and nail arena, once the domain of individual operators. Can evoking the essence of the sexiest woman not living sell salon visits?

DeBolt patriarch realizes every dad’s dream at Sola

One day they may have to quit their day jobs. But for now Don DeBolt and his two sons are building up to 12 Sola Salons in the D.C. area, on the side. ‘It’s a dream of every father to have a family business,’ DeBolt says.

Vikings player tackles Pieology expansion

In the fourth grade, being different is every kid’s nightmare, so having the janitor called into his classroom to raise his desk higher so his knees could fit under it wasn’t the kind of attention Matt Kalil was seeking at the time.

Applebee’s Dharod likes Roy’s so much, he buys it

Sunil Dharod and his wife spent so much time eating at Roy’s Restaurant in Plano, Texas, the last several years, they decided to buy the 29-store chain.

Fast and Serious

Bruce Dean, CEO and co-founder of Black Bear Diner, doesn’t believe in grand gestures to grow his restaurant franchise. Rather, he works with people at every level, asking them to think of small steps to create incremental improvement, day in and day out. “It’s something I’ve always believed in,” he says. “How do we take it to the next level?” His is one of 40 insightful responses when Franchise Times set out to learn how the smartest-growing brands in franchising soar above the rest.

Restaurants dig into calorie-counting chore

Five years of fighting have ended, and the FDA’s new rules on displaying nutrition information are now law. Here’s how many franchises are wrapping their arms around a costly mandate.

Naming your ‘bundle of joy’ isn’t easy

Never market a brand name you cannot own. That’s the mantra from one branding guru, who says you’d be surprised how many people do just that. Here’s a look at franchises working to win the name game.

Finding success with games and contests

Hosting a game or contest is a great way to reach consumers, some brands that have tried it say. But it’s not child’s play to get a return on investment or stay on the right side of the law.

Ready to sell your business? Hurry

As a record number of baby boomers look to retire, don’t expect to be the only one selling your business. These seven tips will help any franchise owner get ready to exit.

How 10 franchises help ‘zees gain financing

We asked the 40 brands on our Fast and Serious list to describe financing assistance they provide to franchisees. Their responses ranged from minimal help to monumental. Here are samples, in their own words.

Shake Shack is latest to take first bow

The valuations are eye-popping, pegged at $150 per burger sold in 2014 at Shake Shack, as one analyst puts it. Can restaurant chains continue their strong debuts? It looks like anyone with a good growth story will try.

Food vendors up game at airports

High-end retailers are grabbing space in airports around the world, offering stiff competition to restaurants seeking the space. But don’t be wooed by big traffic numbers alone, as costs and hassles can be high, too.

Room for more U.S. brands in Japan

The best way to enter into an agreement in Japan is to think small and be patient. “American franchisors always seek the largest development agreements,” says Roy Fujita of I Fujita International, a consultant who works with both Japanese brands coming to the U.S. and U.S. brands going to Japan. His advice: “Don’t push too much in the beginning. Let it (your concept) prove itself.”

All about Japan, the No. 2 franchise economy

English is a mandatory subject in Japanese grade schools, but don’t expect to do business without an interpreter since many Japanese can understand some slowly spoken English, but are not used to speaking it.

Living Large franchisors try to pump up sales

Whenever young franchisors get together they discuss: How are you getting prospective franchisees? Our three Living Large CEOs, whom we’re following all year, share different approaches to ramp up sales. Executive Care’s CEO Lenny Verkhoglaz is taking the broker route to increase franchise sales. With 12 units of his home healthcare franchise sold, he believes it’s the best way for an unknown brand.

Former Super Wash COO jumps to NRD

“We are exactly two hours into this new adventure, and it’s going great so far. It’s going to be a wonderful and fun ride.” So said Susan Beth, formerly known as Susan Black-Beth, on the first day at her new job, in January. She’s the operating partner at NRD Capital in Atlanta, the franchisee-controlled private equity fund launched by Aziz Hashim last August that is now gaining steam.

Immigration unites Obama foes and fans

Jeff Salter, CEO of Caring Senior Service, is often at odds with the Obama administration. Most recently he lobbied hard against changes in how people who provide care in patients’ homes are compensated—they are no longer exempt from overtime and minimum-wage rules, as of January 2015.

Greene Turtle, Denny’s, Edible attract ‘zees

Raj Rana will be the first to tell you launching a restaurant in New Jersey is an expensive proposition. A liquor license, for example, costs $1 million compared to roughly $50,000 in New York. A $45,000 franchise fee for the first unit and a nearly $1 million investment in building and opening costs top it off.

Don’t take eye off potential Cuban price

Imagine the exciting prospect of a totally new marketplace for your franchise, one where no American franchise has ever ventured. Then, you begin to learn a bit more about it:
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Wisdom for the ages

If you are a parent of a teenager, you’ve lived this: From ages 13 to approximately 18, they know everything. It is the arrogance of the young. They can’t help themselves.

Loose Ends

Random musings on lost, and found, friends

The entire time Lisa Schultz of Barkefellers was describing the luxury suites at her facility in Indianapolis, I was trying to imagine my Jack Russell terrier Hank—may he rest in peace, because he never did when he was alive—as an overnight guest. Hank was a dog only a pet guardian could love. When we boarded him, he picked the locks on his cage and escaped, or chewed up the bedding—not his, of course, but rather the foam-rubber bed belonging to his much maligned canine sister Daisy. His human sister, Becca, referred to him as a jerk.
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