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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.

Putting the HEART in Franchised Auto Care

Brian Moak, president of HEART Certified Auto Care, realizes how most people feel about getting their vehicles serviced—that red-faced, ashamed feeling of being talked into something they either don’t want or don’t need. After buying the Illinois-based auto repair chain from his father in 2009, Moak began his quest to build a brand that rivals the largest names in the car repair world.

New Home for Home Franchise Concepts Boosts Training Features

Home Franchise Concepts prides itself on consistently training its franchisees, and with the move to new company headquarters in Irvine, California, the franchisor plans to further increase its level of support.

New Education Support Keeps Employees From Feeling ‘Stuck’

The tuition help and education benefits of yesteryear were a little clunky, but new options keep employees engaged and working.

Newly Posted Videos Show Gamut of Franchising Talent

What is the per capita consumption of seafood in the United States? Which franchise CEO’s wife believes that breathing counts as exercise? And which franchise brand developed its own video game? You can find these and many other fun facts in our newly posted coverage of 54 presenters at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in May.

FAT Brands Completes Hurricane Grill Acquisition

We first brought you the story of Andy Wiederhorn and FAT Brands acquiring Hurricane Grill & Wings as part of our coverage for the Franchise Times Dealmaker of the Year. Now we’ve got the rest of the details as the parent company has completed its purchase of the Florida-based restaurant franchise.

Cody’s Owner Looks to Leverage Strong Reputation at Home

Shane Morrison’s eye is fixed firmly on growth for the three restaurant brands he operates, which he said all have the right operations, culture and concept positioning to outperform the competition. One of them, Cody's Original Roadhouse, is bucking the downward trend in casual dining, says Morrison.

Your Pie Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary With a Bang

Your Pie, based in Athens, Georgia, with 56 stores, is running two months of promotions in celebration of its 10-year anniversary that culminate in a grand prize of $5,000 toward a trip to Ischia, Italy, where it all began.

Privacy Rules Mean Pivot From ‘Push’ to ‘Pull’ Marketing

New privacy rules could change marketing outcome as customers demand more control and better security.

Pearle Vision ‘Zee Puts Money in Stores, Not Toys

“The key to franchising is re-investing in the business,” declares Mike Arends, a long-time Pearle Vision franchisee in Minnesota with four stores, including a newly remodeled store in Eden Prairie Center that I recently visited to report a story about the brand. You could call his attitude a dream for the franchisor and instructive for other franchisees.

New 10 Point Capital Looks to Invest Own Money, Too

One criterion stands out to Tom Wells, co-founder of new private equity firm 10 Point Capital, when deciding which deals to do. “We have the lens of wanting to invest our own money, personally,” he said, along with that of family offices and high-net-worth individuals. 10 Point Capital has made its first deal, taking a minority stake in Phenix Salon Suites, founded by Gina and Jason Rivera.

Taco Bell Signs Deals for 400-plus Restaurants in Brazil, Spain

With its first-ever master franchise agreements, Taco Bell is in global expansion mode. The Irvine, California-based Mexican chain signed deals with franchisee groups in Brazil and Spain that call for the development of more than 400 total restaurants over the next decade.

Select Marriott Hotels Have a New Permanent Guest: Alexa

As emerging technologies become more and more a part of our everyday lives, the hospitality sector is following suit. Starting this summer, Marriott International is rolling out Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality, a version of the Amazon Echo specifically for hotel rooms.
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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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