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.
Randy Icard heads up development for Bojangles, and he’s signed a number of franchise agreements in the Southeast recently. “We’ve got a lot of traction and a lot of movement right now in the state of Florida,” he said. All-day breakfast—and the homemade biscuits, especially— is a huge attraction, and their restaurants do 38 percent of their business by 11 in the morning. “We’ve made biscuits from scratch every 20 minutes from day one,” Icard told Beth Ewen of Franchise Times, at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB), which sets U.S. GAAP standards, has clarified key language around its new revenue-recognition guidelines.
Could there be anything more soothing and perfectly timed than the current Applebee’s special offering $1 Long Island Iced Teas? The answer is no, and judging from my social feeds, this is one of the most effective and widely shared LTOs in recent memory. We all owe Applebee’s our deepest gratitude in this difficult time.
Ed Yancey considers Cleveland Avenue, a private equity firm created by former CEO of McDonald’s Don Thompson in Chicago, as an incubator for innovative restaurant concepts. Cleveland Avenue invested earlier this year in PizzaRev, a 40-plus-unit pizza chain in Los Angeles. “It’s a great concept, and we have the capability to expand its growth,” said Yancey, who sat down with Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in early November.
Quaker Steak and Lube was bought out of bankruptcy by TravelCenters of America about 18 months ago, and for several months newly promoted VP of Operations Bruce Lane has been working on relationships with franchisees and making the restaurants more profitable. Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen sat down with Lane at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Vegas to learn more about the growth plan.