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1,000 Units and Counting for Orangetheory Fitness

When I met Dave Long at one of Orangetheory’s studios in Houston in November, the fitness franchise had just crossed the 800-unit mark and Long, its CEO, was talking about one week when the brand opened 11 locations, calling it “kinda crazy.” Ranked No. 1 on our 2018 Franchise Times Fast & Serious list of the smartest-growing brands, Orangetheory has kept up the pace, cutting the ribbon last week on its 1,000th location.

Café D’Avignon’s First Retail Store Coming to NYC’s Moxy Hotel

Set to open before the end of 2018, it’s the first non-food hall location for a concept that was conceived from wholesale bakery Pain D’Avignon. At 875 square feet, the new, larger store model will serve as the blueprint for future Café D’Avignon retail locations, as the brand seeks to open in high-traffic, mass-gathering areas in major markets nationwide.

Buffalo Wild Wings Tests Self-Serve Beer Wall

'Self-serve beer wall' is the kind of phrase that gives lawyers heart palpitations. But at the latest iteration of B-Dubs Express, it’s not quite the bacchanalian horror show one might expect.

Crisp & Green Inks Multi-Unit Deal, Seeks National Expansion

With its menu of salads, grain bowls and smoothies, Crisp & Green joins a growing franchise segment aimed at the health-conscious consumer. The brand recently signed its first multi-unit franchisee, former NBA player Kris Humphries.

Crisis Experts Debate Future of Papa John’s

Eight months into the rolling catastrophe formerly known as Papa John’s, it appears the franchised pizza giant and PJ himself have not yet reached the bottom of this murky barrel. Three crisis management experts shared their thoughts on mistakes made, along with best practices to follow if your brand ever finds itself in similarly dire straits.

Seven Brands Agree to Excise Poaching Verbiage

No sooner had one prominent franchise attorney, Amy Cheng of Cheng Cohen, told Franchise Times that franchisors should not unilaterally yank anti-poaching clauses out of their contracts than seven franchise brands did just that. The chains are Arby’s, Auntie Anne’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, Carl’s Jr., Cinnabon, Jimmy John’s and McDonald’s, in a settlement with Washington state's attorney general.

Back to Drawing Board in NLRB/McD’s Deal

An administrative law judge nixed as “inadequate” and too narrow in scope the proposed settlement in the long-running saga between McDonald’s and the National Labor Relations Board over the joint employer issue.

Franchise agreements in black and white – with respect for the grey areas

Segmenting and selecting franchisees is a way to steer a relationship toward certain characteristics. To be certain those decisions will work as intended, a franchisor needs to be able to back them up effectively on paper.

Black Bear Diner Launches Bears Brew Back Program in Nicaragua

Bruce Dean, co-founder of Western family restaurant chain Black Bear Diner, has always had an interest in the political and social issues in Nicaragua, where the company sources the majority of its coffee. Using the success of his company to help the communities growing this coffee, Black Bear Diner launched Bears Brew Back.

New Owners Coming for Tilted Kilt

Sports bar franchise Tilted Kilt is about to have new owners following the announcement of an acquisition by ARC Group. ARC, the owner, operator and franchisor of Dick's Wings & Grill, is set to purchase Tempe, Arizona-based Tilted Kilt, with plans to lay out a refined strategy and action plan for the brand over the next 60 to 90 days.

Data Dive Gives a Glimpse at the McDonald’s Playbook

Ahead of McDonald's second-quarter earnings, some data shows how the QSR giant is maintaining its lead over the rest of the segment.

Franchised Education Growth Continues With Learning Experience Acquisition

From janitor to CEO of early-education franchise The Learning Experience, Richard Weissman is no stranger to impressive growth in the education industry. After “significant interest” from multiple holding companies, TLE was recently acquired by Golden Gate Capital—the next step in its consistent progress.

High Bluff Takes on the Turnaround of Quiznos, Taco Del Mar

There are a handful of new multi-brand operators out there, pooling resources to take on the big challenges in the restaurant space, including turning around tired brands. The private equity firm High Bluff Capital Partners is doubling down on the model and seeks to return both Quiznos and Taco Del Mar to growth.

Fleet Feet Runs From 'Retail Apocalypse' With New Experiences for Consumers

As online conglomerates take over the retail world, brick-and-mortar stores are scrambling to find ways to lure consumers into their stores. North Carolina-based Fleet Feet, formerly Fleet Feet Sports, is overcoming this trend by combining a rebranding effort with new features such as an app mimicking the millennial favorite Bitmoji.

Difficult Job a Perfect Fit Says Edible's New CEO

Here’s a daunting job description: Become the first CEO other than the legendary founder for a 19-year-old franchise involving fresh-cut fruit arrangements with more than 1,200 units. Reverse declining same-store sales and promote a new brand, launch a new prototype store and enter into an entirely new category of offerings. For Mike Rotondo, it sounded perfect.

RBI Bets Big on China’s Burgeoning Coffee Market

Restaurant Brands International announced a deal to build 1,500 Tim Hortons locations across China in the next 10 years.

Now at 400 Units, The Little Gym Continues to Evolve

“While children are the same today as they were when The Little Gym was first founded, moms are not,” said Alex Bingham, CEO of The Little Gym. Evolving to meet the needs of parents is what's helped The Little Gym not only stay relevant but continue to grow.

Anti-Poaching Probe Ushers in Long, Hot Summer​

So much for summer vacation for the eight franchises targeted by 11 attorneys general in an investigation announced Monday into anti-poaching clauses they may have in their franchise agreements. That’s the wry comment made by Carl Zwisler of Gray Plant Mooty in Washington, D.C., when reached Wednesday. He and partner Mark Kirsch say they are representing a number of franchise brands targeted in the probe, who will need to provide detailed answers to the attorneys general in 10 states and the District of Columbia.

Winging It On an Electric Bird

I just spent an extended lunch hour careening down the streets of downtown Minneapolis on an electric scooter and nothing will ever be the same—my life, your life, urban mobility and that persistently challenging last-mile problem faced by delivery companies and transit services.

IHOP Reverts to Roots, Everyone Is Now Dumber

Tweeters clutched their digital pearls when IHOP announced it was changing its name to IHOB to highlight burger offerings, but it was quickly apparent that this was done in jest, rather than actually legally changing its name. A few weeks after the fact, are you more likely to visit an IHOP outside of breakfast/brunch hours? I am not.

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Covers everything from good news to bad judgment

About This Blog

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

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior 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 restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
 
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@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
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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