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April 2017

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In this issue

How Jimmy John’s landed FT’s deal of the year

"Sarah, SARAH,” bellows Jimmy John Liautaud, founder and chairman of Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches, leading me on a fast-paced tour around his Champaign, Illinois, headquarters. “SARAH! Walk with me, and if I go all A.D.D., set me straight.”

Plus nine more award-winning dealmakers

Two camps rule in the restaurant business—on one hand, those who think they can get higher returns by selling and leasing back their real estate and deploying the freed capital into more restaurants.

Q&A with Faegre’s Kerry Bundy and Dairy Queen

Among the 2017 class of Hall of Famers, Kerry Bundy of Faegre Baker Daniels is a seasoned attorney with a breadth of experience in and out of the courtroom. She and her clients Jen Beck and Shelly O’Callaghan, both of Dairy Queen, discuss their longstanding legal relationship and how they work together to tackle the legacy brand’s unique legal issues.

Q&A with David Paris, Vik Patel and Tim Cloe

David Paris of Paris Ackerman & Schmierer is in this year’s newest Legal Eagles Hall of Fame class, those who have been so named for 10 years. The franchisee attorney sees issues from the other side of the FDD, especially where mergers and acquisitions are concerned. Paris and two of his clients, Vik Patel and Tim Cloe—both large operators in the Dunkin’ Donuts system—discuss the importance of having an attorney with a business mindset.

Introducing the 2017 class of Franchise Times Legal Eagles

People often ask what it takes to become a Legal Eagle. Well, it’s not easy. It takes experience, smarts and the wisdom to connect the two.

What to do when turmoil strikes your country of choice

If turmoil strikes, franchisors can feel the heat Economic disasters, political meltdowns, wars and unrest—these are just a few of the situations U.S. franchisors must prepare for as they execute international development plans. Have protections in place, experts say, and be aware of how unrest affects local consumers.

From Wall Street to Bubbleology

Assad Khan vividly remembers his first taste of bubble tea while strolling through New York City’s Chinatown district back in 2009. He should remember, because that day—and his instant love for the Taiwanese tea drink—changed his life.

Franchisors should step up to the food hall craze

With consumers demanding Snapchat-worthy meals, developers across the country are embracing the food hall trend. Our columnist checked out three locations in Chicago, and extended an invitation to more franchise brands to jump in.

HomeVestors franchisee relishes his ugly win

Like the cobbler’s shoeless children, HomeVestors franchisee Tom Beerley says his family’s home pales in comparison to the houses he fixes up to sell. “The joke is that someday we’ll call HomeVestors to buy our home (and) we’ll flip ourselves into one of our houses,” he says, laughing.

Bar-B-Clean tackles dirtiest work

What’s the grossest thing you’d do for money? The possibilities are endless for parents of young children, pet owners and Fear Factor fans, but a young barbecue-cleaning franchise is asking that question of its courageous franchisees.

Trend Transformations rides reality shows’ wave

We’ve come a long way from ‘This Old House’ to ‘Flip or Flop,’ featuring stars that make for tabloid fodder. All the drama is good news for a franchise offering veneers of high-quality materials to cover up grungy stuff, from backsplashes to showers to flooring

Meet four emerging players in the services niche

With six franchisees in Africa, Got Produce? Franchising has disrupted the global agricultural industry for six years using hydroponic greenhouses to grow produce.

Country Profile: All about United Arab Emirates

Slightly larger than South Carolina and bordering the Gulf of Oman and the Persian Gulf, the UAE is located between Oman and Saudi Arabia in the Middle East.

Our Living Large franchisors talk money

Watermill’s CEO believes bank loans keep her accountable. Spray-Net’s founder so far has bootstrapped his operation, pouring back profits into the brand. And Blink Fitness has backing from corporate parents, but still needs to meet high expectations.

McDonald’s previews ‘experience of the future’

McDonald’s included a pack of surprisingly bold McNuggets with its Investor Day in downtown Chicago last month as the fast-food giant unveiled plans for meal delivery, app-based mobile ordering, curbside pickup and a “more modern, more exciting restaurant environment” as part of its new Experience of the Future restaurant concept that’s already delivering sales gains in markets outside of the United States.

What they did for a deal—Trump, camels and other ‘super hairy’ acts

Steven Parker was in his early teens when he watched a documentary about a successful entrepreneur, who for his first deal ever had to meet with his bankers. The bank’s president wanted to come to the construction site to see progress on the project.

When the extraordinary seems ordinary, it’s a reason to toast

When reporting on the international features of the International Franchise Association’s annual convention, I’ve commented on how remarkable it is that a gathering that for years was almost entirely domestic in nature has taken on an international, or cross-border, flavor. The 57th annual convention—one of the largest ever held— was most assuredly no exception.

Death and taxes are sure bets, others are less so in marketing

Since Donald Trump’s surprising November election, one of his most discussed issues is the simplification of the American tax code. As is stands, the tax code is a robust 3,728 pages, boasts seven differing tax brackets and has enough loopholes to make an economist’s head spin.

Coming on strong at Moe’s SW, Rush Bowls and Retro Fitness

“We’re looking at a new normal—very slow growth and just managing your business well is how we’re looking at it,” said Moe’s Southwest Grill franchisee Mark Monroe, having been reminded of the static foodservice outlook for 2017 from two foodservice research firms.


Two of franchising’s strongest female leaders are retiring from very different companies. Cheryl Bachelder and Julia Stewart presided over two major brands, Popeyes Louisiana Chicken (NASDAQ: PLKI) and DineEquity (NYSE: DIN) respectively.

Executive Ladder

Back in 2011, Ann Littmann accepted an internship at Safeway Driving, a small Texas company with 5 locations. Six years later, after helping Safeway grow to 22 units in Texas, the 28-year-old Littmann has been promoted to CEO of the company.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Stories to help readers feel like a million bucks

The stories in Silicon Valley abound: The first employees of a tech company are overnight millionaires as soon as the company owners take the business public. The assistant who took stock in lieu of a raise, she’s now out buying a yacht.

Loose Ends

Pinch me (no, not you, Gene), I must be dreaming: backstage with KISS

Thirty minutes into a conference call on the road, I had to break into the conversation to beg off: “I am so sorry to interrupt, but I’m just about to jump in an elevator to go downstairs to interview KISS.” Some people wait a lifetime to say something that cool. But at Franchise Times, that’s just how we roll. And rock.
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