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Snap Together and Other April Fools' Jokes

Snap Together and Other April Fools' Jokes

When Snap Fitness’ Communications Manager Hayley Schnell sent over an email sharing their new dating app, Snap Together, I was pretty sure it was an April Fools’ joke (mainly because the subject line of the email said April Fools), but a journalist can’t be too careful.

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Cleaner Restaurant Cleaners on the Way

Cleaner Restaurant Cleaners on the Way

The ideal restaurant kitchen is a pristine, almost pastoral environment—gleaming vegetables, shimmering equipment and spotless surfaces—but anyone in the biz knows the reality is far different. Pests, toxins, contaminants and dirt all need to be kept at bay, so the bucolic kitchens of our imaginations are also home to a host of harsh chemicals that could pose a danger to food safety and employee health.

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'Bidness' in Texas Is a Big Deal

'Bidness' in Texas Is a Big Deal

I know every state is proud of itself, but Texas seems especially enamored with all things Texan. I noticed this a couple of years ago when I attended the Houston franchise expo and my hotel’s waffle maker turned out waffles in the shape of Texas. I have never had an Ohio-shaped waffle, nor a California one.

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I Found My Thrill on Blackberry Farm’s Rolling Hills

I Found My Thrill on Blackberry Farm’s Rolling Hills

The only restaurant/bar on our concourse at the Knoxville airport was a Ruby Tuesday, which was fitting because we were headed to Blackberry Farm, the homestead/resort of Ruby Tuesday’s founder Sandy Beall. Beall and his wife Kreis took over the 9,200-acre estate in the Smoky Mountains in 1976, where they raised both their family and the bar on luxury resorts.

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A Fictional Drinking Game From FT's Conference

A Fictional Drinking Game From FT's Conference

We deployed our entire five-person editorial staff to cover the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in March, and over three days, 33 franchisor presentations and two panel discussions on finance, we got a little punchy. What if we created a drinking game, and took a sip every time a presenter uttered a time-worn phrase?

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Detroit Could Be Your Best Opportunity

Detroit Could Be Your Best Opportunity

The popular conception of Detroit is about five years behind the curve, and the new reality is that America’s 14th largest metropolitan area is undergoing a resurgence that’s bringing a massive amount of investment to the city, particularly its fascinating, sometimes gritty and beautiful downtown district.

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Selling Everything from Skulls to Heirlooms

Selling Everything from Skulls to Heirlooms

Mother-and-son duo Debra and David Blue see a lot of unusual stuff as the founders of Blue Moon Estate Sales. Going from one house to the next, appraising items, doing pop-up sale marketing, participating in the downsizing or end of people's lives, the estate sale business is unlike any other—and in this age of "American Pickers" and "Pawn Stars," business is booming.

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Focus on Your Brand's Audience

Focus on Your Brand's Audience

Situational awareness is one of the keys to success in life—whether it’s appropriate behavior at a cocktail party, realizing when an opportunity is knocking on your door or promoting your brand at in-person events. I say this as I pack my bags in the wake of this year’s Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in Las Vegas.

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Eating Up the Atmosphere and Food at Franchise Finance & Growth Conference

Eating Up the Atmosphere and Food at Franchise Finance & Growth Conference

There’s more to the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference than just learning about 30-plus franchise concepts and the lenders who want—or should want—to fund them. There’s eating.

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Moe’s Celebrations Help Drive Profits

Moe’s Celebrations Help Drive Profits

Moe’s Southwest Grill stays away from promotions, instead opting for what it calls celebrations to attract customers and get them excited about the brand’s fresh approach to Mexican.

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Need Traffic? Create a Holiday

Need Traffic? Create a Holiday

There seems to be a holiday for just about everything, from National Hot Dog Day to Make Up Your Own Holiday Day—seriously, it's March 26.

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Del Taco Leads List of Franchise Times Dealmakers Winners

Del Taco Leads List of Franchise Times Dealmakers Winners

Del Taco today received the Franchise Times Deal of the Year award, for its merger with Levy Acquisition Corp., the shell company controlled by Chicago restaurateur Larry Levy, and its subsequent refinancing of debt and debut on the public markets.

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Finding Real Estate Before the Market

Finding Real Estate Before the Market

Anyone looking to expand knows just how tricky it is to find the ideal space.

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Franchise Finance & Growth Conference Has a New Hip Home

Franchise Finance & Growth Conference Has a New Hip Home

One floor above the casino, the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference attracted a sea of suits that conflicted sharply with the more casual, and dare we say, more skimpy, clothing on the main floor. In case you, like my daughter, think I exaggerate, I can back up my observation.

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Massage Heights Adds The Gents Place to Stable

Massage Heights Adds The Gents Place to Stable

I had the opportunity to interview Shane Evans, president of Massage Heights, while at the International Franchise Association annual convention in February, for an upcoming story. At that time she was not quite ready to announce her family-owned brand’s new acquisition. Now the news is out about the purchase of The Gents Place.

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Friendly’s Continues Brand Resurgence

Friendly’s Continues Brand Resurgence

After falling on hard times, Friendly's is reviving itself and its restaurants, explains CEO John Maguire during the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference.

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Not Changing, but Just Getting Started

Not Changing, but Just Getting Started

As the keynote speaker at this year’s Franchise Times Finance and Growth Conference in Las Vegas, Wingstop CEO Charlie Morrison highlighted the brand’s adherence to core principles while simultaneously preparing for massive additional growth in the United States and abroad.

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Gigi's May Be Poised to Live Up to Her Story

Gigi's May Be Poised to Live Up to Her Story

Gina Butler was telling the same story on the first day of the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in Vegas today, but the brand she founded, Gigi's Cupcakes, may soon start living up to the tale.

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Inventing on a Jet Plane

Inventing on a Jet Plane

What do you do on plane rides? If you’re like me, you thumb through a stack of magazines while drifting in and out of an uncomfortable slumber. If you’re Jeff Mateka, founder of Redbox+, you kill time by dreaming up entire new business ideas—successful ones, at that. So the story goes from Lyle Blanchard, franchise development director at the Winona, Minnesota-based company that’s been cleaning up job sites since 2007.

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Words of Wisdom from FT's Dealmakers Winners

Words of Wisdom from FT's Dealmakers Winners

The Franchise Times Dealmakers cover story for April is on the page and headed to the printer, but meanwhile I’d like to share some notable quotables from the package.

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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 assistant 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
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 
Nancy WeingartnerNancy Weingartner can be reached at 612-767-3200 or at nancyw@franchisetimes.com.
Follow her on Twitter at http://twitter.com/nanweingartner.
 

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