For Aaron Anderson, the motivation to push forward and even accelerate development came from a combination of personal determination, belief in The Original Hot Dog Factory concept and a desire to keep workers employed.
WKS Restaurant Group, an operator of El Pollo Loco, Denny’s, Wendy’s, Blaze Pizza, Krispy Kreme and Corner Bakery, is among the many acquisitive companies that climbed in the ranks of this year's Franchise Times Restaurant 200.
"Cinnamon rolls are essential!" declared Holly Roe, owner of a Cinnaholic vegan bakery in Knoxville, Tennessee. Her actions during the pandemic, particularly how she trains employees to deal with difficult customers, are a model for others as businesses open and close during COVID-19. Seventh in a series called Open/Close.
When Tony Moralejo transitioned to his role as president of international and global development at Dine Brands, he came in with two main goals: To make sure the company was embracing innovation, and to ensure the brand was well-defined worldwide.
When Domino’s bi-annual Worldwide Rally, “normally a significant fundraiser for the Partners Foundation,” said Ken Peebles, was canceled this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Domino’s Franchisee Association stepped up.
“There was a time when we were calling the health department every week,” recalls Jim Bailey, a Broken Yolk Café franchisee with two restaurants in Bakersfield, California. Bailey and Jay Marble, who operates a restaurant in Arizona, share their experiences as part of our Open/Close series.
The co-owners of a Pigtails & Crewcuts in Los Altos, California, were excited to reopen their kids' haircut salon in July after a four-month lockdown. But the restart was short-lived. Fourth in a series called Open/Close.
"PPE, proper protocols, dwell times, spray techniques—these are all things we’re experts at. To leave this in the hands of an employee could leave a business at risk," said Jeff Panella, president of Green Home Solutions.
"My thought process is, leaders lead," declared Catherine Monson, CEO of Fastsigns and chair of the International Franchise Association, in a bracing interview with Franchise Times this week about leadership, fear and the courage to rise above it.
Ari Tiktin, a New Jersey man with a media background, closed his purchase of a BrightStar Care agency on March 30, two weeks after a statewide stay-at-home order was issued. "If it's not difficult, I'm not interested," he joked about the timing. Third in a series called Open/Close.
With portfolios primarily made up of quick-serve restaurant brands, three of the largest franchisees in the U.S. are bullish in their outlooks as they and their stores continue to climb out of the hole created by COVID-19 shutdowns.
Cousins Subs had been working toward more drive-thru operations for years as the nearly 50-year-old brand remodeled locations, but the COVID-19 pandemic has been another reason to push in that direction.
Reggie Orchid, co-owner of two Title Boxing clubs in the Houston area, managed to break even after gyms were allowed to reopen in Texas in May. Then came a spike in COVID cases and another round of shutdowns. Second in a series called Open/Close.
“There was no intention to pull off the gas pedal and not get the deal done,” said Christina Russell, the CEO of Sola Salon Studios who's now leading Radiance Holdings, which acquired the Texas-based Woodhouse Day Spa franchise.
FranBridge Capital, the Atlanta-based private equity firm that signed a 10-unit deal with Buzz Franchise Brands to open four Pool Scouts and six Home Clean Heroes locations in the area, plans to add more home services concepts.
With the slogan “Die Fitnesshalle fur Alle” and a banana for a mascot, Rainer Schaller opened his first McFit gym in 1997 in Wurzburg, Germany. Now his company, Berlin-based RSG Group, has placed the winning bid for Gold’s Gym.
Reopening is a challenge for every franchise, none more so than salons where patrons and staffers get up close and personal. At a Prose nail boutique in Orlando, owner Elsy Romero broke down her steps and missteps when business is starting and stopping due to spiking COVID-19 cases. First in a series called Open/Close.
“It’s a lot about awareness,” says Deena McKinley, CMO at D’Angelo Grilled Sandwiches, which signed with the four major third-party delivery platforms. “A lot of it is just being present. A lot of people go into these apps and they don’t even know what they’re going to order. It’s about being in the consideration set.”
Home improvement projects have been on the rise since COVID-19 began and people sheltered in place. As a result, Neighborly brands are seeing an uptick in services and franchise sales, yet home energy demands and utility bills have also increased.
Teaching classes outdoors. Making Title On Demand temporarily free. Adding plexiglass barriers and face shields. These are among the tactics at Title Boxing Club to make it through the pandemic. But President Susan Boresow says the most important element is courage.
Eagle Merchant Partners is taking a stairstep approach to investing in Code Ninjas, its entry into the kids' education space. Poised to take a majority stake earlier this year, the private equity firm switched to a minority investment.
The investment will help Austin-based Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy quicken the pace of its franchise growth, open more corporate locations, bolster research and development, and integrate new technology, said CEO Jim Donnelly.
The historic Paycheck Protection Program was a lifeline for a lot of franchise business, but as the program ends on June 30, the COVID-19-era financing questions are changing to how to meet the program’s forgiveness rules and what other finance options are out there.
Tune Up, a chain of men's barbershops that defied lockdown orders in May, is suing Montgomery County, the state of Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott, asking the court to declare unconstitutional a series of executive orders issued since March 19 aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calling Drybar, the blowout franchise founder Alli Webb launched in 2010 that now has 142 locations, a premium brand with a “passionate, loyal consumer base,” Liz Williams says there’s opportunity to put her international development experience to work as part of the company's growth vision.
Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa owners are seeing surges in appointment bookings at locations that hired back employees after furloughs and reopened, despite the obviously high-touch services offered.
While the COVID-19 crisis temporarily disrupted real estate operations, Dallas-based Wingstop is resuming its efforts to reach 6,000 locations, which will include a mix of traditional stores with dining rooms, delivery-only facilities in key neighborhoods and fortressing efforts to add new units in existing brand territories.
A court held that government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 “qualify as a force majeure event and represent a valid reason” for non-payment of rent and other contractual obligations, according to an alert by law firm Marks & Klein. The case underscores the importance of the exact language in a lease.
The conversation turned personal on a Franchise Times webinar today about reopening the economy with three leading restaurant franchisors: Had those executives—of BurgerFi, Focus Brands and Checkers & Rally's—been back to dine in if their states were open? "No way, no how," said one.