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Restaurant Franchises Jump Into Early-Bird Shopping Act


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Franchised restaurants are diving into the early-bird shopping frenzy, especially in malls experimenting with pre-empting Black Friday to open on Thanksgiving.

Last year, Auntie Anne’s reports, the pretzel stores chalked up the highest-volume Black Friday week ever, when stores opened between 10 p.m. Thanksgiving and midnight Friday, earlier than in 2011, according to CNBC. They’re planning to repeat the move this year.

Moe’s Southwest Grill, meanwhile, decided to fill a slow catering week for the chain by targeting all those retail employees working extra hours. Retailers from Target to Old Navy to Apple to Ann Taylor Loft last year used Moe’s catering services to reward their workers with burritos, and Moe’s increased catering sales for the week by 32 percent, Entrepreneur magazine reported.

About 38 million people are expected to visit restaurants during Black Friday shopping sprees, and another 8 million will do so while shopping on Thanksgiving this year, according to a National Restaurant Association survey. That's up from 32 million Americans who planned to eat out while shopping on Black Friday in 2011.

Restaurant franchises aren’t the only chains taking part. Children’s Lighthouse, which provides childcare, plans to offer 4 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Black Friday coverage at nine of its Texas sites, the company said.

 

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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is associate editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
 
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
 
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is staff writer at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at
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Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
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