Orangetheory Fitness tops this year’s Franchise Times Fast & Serious list, its 218 percent unit increase over the past three years evidence of CEO Dave Long’s smart growth strategies, one of which is a commitment to the area representative model.
Code Ninjas, a new franchise dedicated to teaching kids software coding, announced a major milestone with 100 franchise agreements in development with 53 franchisees in 23 states. Noting that parents are “increasingly willing to pay for their children to learn while having fun,” the Texas-based children education brand is one of several brands seeing an uptick in interest in one of franchising’s hottest categories.
I first became a business reporter in 2005, and it's disconcerting seeing some of the same worrying trends both in the auto realm and also within the greater business community.
Continuing a national trend of franchisors offloading corporate-run restaurants, Church’s Chicken announced the sale of 70 restaurants to a new franchise operator with a goal of helping the company accelerate its reimaging program and expanding local influence in two of the brand’s most important markets.
From Jimmy John to Antonio Swad, we dove into our Google Analytics to compile this year’s most-read stories on FranchiseTimes.com. As always, there were a few surprises, but 2017 was the year of the mega-deal as highlighted by our web traffic.
There’s no better time to say “Look how good I’m doing!” than late December, and Dwyer Group is happy to announce that its 19 brands produced record growth during 2017 as many categories outside restaurants and retail ride the wave of widespread economic growth.
Valerie McCartney is the VP of franchise development for Broken Yolk Café, which in recent years has expanded beyond its home state of California to Arizona, Florida and Illinois. It’s the brand’s “wow” average unit volume that really stands out, McCartney tells Franchise Times Managing Editor Laura Michaels, because “at the end of the day, people want to make money.” Broken Yolk is also opening its first fast-casual format restaurant.
Captain D’s sold to Sentinel Capital and Qdoba went to Apollo Global Management this week, in separate franchise deals that come amid the usual flurry of end-of-the-year mergers and acquisitions.
Franchise expert David Grossman joined with DMK Burger Bar co-founders David Morton and Michael Kornick to launch a franchise expansion plan for the Chicago-based premium burger concept. He talks with Franchise Times Managing Editor Laura Michaels about scaling the brand to “bring it to small cities and neighborhoods across the country.”
“In welcome news for franchisors,” as a Gray Plant Mooty attorney put it in a franchise law alert today, last week the National Labor Relations Board decided to “expressly overrule the controversial joint employer standard espoused two years ago” in the Browning-Ferris Industries case. But anyone doing a happy dance should probably keep it brief, as Mike Gray said.
With the changing workforce, the ease of online shopping and the surge in streaming entertainment, there are fewer and fewer reasons to leave the house, and as market research company NPD notes, “the most popular place to eat out [in 2018] will be in the home.”
Whatever happened to the remaining ProCuts franchisees—six people who owned nine stores and invested more than $3 million into them—who sued Regis Corp., the franchisor of both Supercuts and ProCuts, back in 2015, saying they were owner/operators in a dead system? They settled with the franchisor for $1.305 million in total, the Supercuts FDD shows.
The franchisor-franchisee relationship can be a contentious one—that’s not news to anyone—but the Subway system is particularly prickly right now.
After previewing its strategy in a recent Franchise Times cover story, A&W Restaurants announced an expanded, multi-faceted franchising strategy that builds on its success since being acquired from YUM! brands. The centerpiece of the campaign is an all-new franchise information website.
Elie Khoury, one of FT’s Dealmakers of the Year award winners in 2017, is back at it with an acquisition of 18 Taco Bell corporate restaurants in New Orleans and other southern Louisiana cities. The news provides the perfect reason to point out that nominations for this year’s project are due by year end and can be made via the Dealmakers button on the home page.
Yesterday, Kyanna Isaacson, age 26, opened her first Jersey Mike’s store as a majority owner, a shop she was awarded by the chain’s founder last year, right after she was named manager of the year at the chain’s annual conference. Judging by the smile on her face in the photo, she’s excited. “There’s really no words that I can explain everything,” said Isaacson when reached the day before her store opening, in Valencia, California.
Seeded by a $1.5 million gift to Palm Beach Atlantic University, United Franchise Group founder and CEO Ray Titus has helped form the Titus Center for Franchising that will teach franchise-specific coursework to college students interested in pursuing a career in the franchise industry.
John Nicolopoulos from RSM sat down with Tom Kaiser to discuss whether the restaurant industry has moved too far into fast casual when research shows many consumers wanting an experience on the side.
Josh Morgan is operating partner at Aurify, parent company of the Melt Shop that has just begun franchising. Melt Shop has eight corporate locations and about six years of perfecting the brand before the rollout, not to mention lines down the street at its flagship location in Manhattan. Morgan described the brand’s ideal franchisee—“hard-core operators” like those in the Five Guys concept—in an interview with FT’s Beth Ewen at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. He should know, as Aurify is also a franchisee of Five Guys.
Michael Abt, CEO of Huddle House, concedes the family and casual dining segment is a tough one lately, but his brand has found its niche. “We’ve got a 54-year history of going into small towns. 74 percent of our restaurants are in counties with 45,000 population or less,” he told Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen, in an interview at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. The Evolution design is yielding a 30 percent bump in average unit volumes, too, which helps him make the case.