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Juice It Up’s New CEO to Prioritize Brand Refresh

Susan Taylor spent 14 years working in franchise operations at Jamba Juice. Now, she’s been promoted to president and CEO of Juice It Up!, a raw juice, smoothie and açaí bowl franchise.

Pandemic Doesn’t Slow Down Original Hot Dog Factory Franchisee

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.

Huntington Franchise Launches Study Hall Amid Chaotic School Restart

Huntington Learning Center is rolling out a new service aimed at families facing gyrating plans for back-to-school: Huntington Study Hall.

How Franchise Operator WKS Does Better Than the Last Guy

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.

Open/Close: Cinnaholic Owner Handles Tough Customers With Kindness

"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.

‘Not All Growth Opportunities Are Created Equally,’ Says Dine Brands Development Exec

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.

Domino’s Franchisees Raise More Than $1 Million to Help Workers

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.

Open/Close: Broken Yolk ‘Zees Cope With Pandemic Pressures

“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.

Dunkin’s 800 Closures Not as Bad as They Sound

Along with second quarter earnings, Dunkin’ Brands announced the likely closure of 800 locations in 2020. It’s a shocking number, but not as bad as it sounds.

Open/Close: Salon Suite Franchisees Forge Ahead

Sola Salon Studio franchisees, along with operators of other salon suite concepts, are lobbying officials in California as they face another round of COVID-19-related closures.

Fastsigns ‘Zee Designed & Donated Gown Patterns to Hospital

Melanie Hossler, a Fastsigns franchisee in Augusta, Georgia, noticed a shortage of disposable gowns at her local hospital, so she designed a pattern and got to work.

Open/Close: 2 Days Open After 4 Months Shut, Then Locked Again

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.

Green Home Solutions Touts Ability to ‘Reset Indoor Air Quality’

"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.

Fastsigns CEO Fortifies Franchise Leaders in Tough Times

"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.

Open/Close: Pandemic Raging, BrightStar Owner Buys Anyway

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.

Despite the Pandemic, Large QSR Operators Still Optimistic

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.

COVID Spurs Drive-Thru Shift at Cousins

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.

Plotting Growth, Greek From Greece Makes NBA Star Connection

NBA All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo is partnering with Greek From Greece Café Cuisine in a brand ambassador role. GFG is also targeting franchise expansion, said CEO Georgios Drosos.

Domino’s Shows Again: ‘You Want to be in Delivery’

Domino’s just released its second-quarter results, and shows yet again that delivery and digital is the place to be during the shaky COVID-19 recovery process.

Open/Close: Title Boxing Owners Grapple With Second Shutdown

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.

Sola Forms New Holding Company, Acquires Woodhouse Spa Franchise

“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.

COVID-Era Opening a Blockbuster No. 100 for Clean Juice

Clean Juice blew the doors off its 100th location, with a little celebrity help.

Buzz Brands Prove Attractive for PE Firm FranBridge

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.

Berlin's RSG Group Bids $100M for Gold's Gym

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.

iFly Indoor Skydiving Is a Fun Flight Alternative During a Pandemic

Franchise Times tried out iFly Minneapolis, Minnesota’s first indoor skydiving facility, after the chain's post-pandemic shutdown reopening.

Open/Close: Prose Nails Owner Tells How to Navigate Restart

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.

Smoothie Chain Pure Green Raises $1M Through Crowdfunding

Pure Green, a New York City-based juice and smoothie chain, launched a crowdfunding campaign through Republic.co and raised $1.07 million from 5,104 micro-investors.

Multi-unit Deal Brings Slim Chickens to Montana

Mike Sartwell, CEO of Preferred Restaurant Group and an existing Slim Chickens franchisee in North Dakota, will grow the fast-casual chicken chain in Montana, starting in Helena.

Digging Through the PPP Loan Data for Restaurants

Data from the $2.2 trillion Paycheck Protection Program is already flowing out of the Treasury department. We dug into the numbers.

Sandwich Brand D’Angelo Gets in Front of New Audiences With Delivery

“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.”

Germinator Franchise Launches, Then Comes COVID

It's better to be lucky than good, the saying goes. But in the case of six-month-old Germinator Mobile Sanitizing and Disinfecting, founder Jeff Gill figures he's been both.

More People at Home Means More Business for Neighborly Brands, Exec Says

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.

COVID Impact Statement Becomes Key Transaction Document

Buying or selling a business in the middle of a pandemic has a lot of oddities, but a COVID impact statement can answer a lot of questions.

Conserva Irrigation Finds Women-Owned Franchises Perform Better Amid Pandemic

Conserva Irrigation is finding that its women-owned franchised territories are some of the most successful within the system, including Vanesa Ellis’s location in Northeast Florida.

NPC International Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The second largest franchise operator in the U.S., NPC International, has just filed for bankruptcy protection in a Texas bankruptcy court.

Title Boxing Prez Finds Courage to Lead

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 Steps Into Code Ninjas

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.

Wellness Franchise Restore Attracts Investment From Level 5 Capital

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.

As PPP Winds Down, Other CARES Opportunities Shine

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 Franchise Sues Texas as Governor Closes Bars

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.

Drybar Taps Former Taco Bell Exec Liz Williams as CEO

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.

Harbin Bids $760M for GNC Amid Chapter 11 Filing

GNC had about 1,000 franchises in the U.S. and 1,949 outside the U.S. in 2019. They'll have to get in line with other unsecured creditors to be heard during the bankruptcy process, said one expert.

Hand & Stone Sees Surge After Reopening, Despite High-Touch Services

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.

Wingstop to Subdivide Territories, Explore Ghost Kitchens

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.

Wag N’ Wash Founders Use Social Media to Support LGBTQ+ Pride, BLM Movement

Jef Strauss and Dan Remus, the founders of Wag N’ Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming, took to social media to express their support for LGBTQ+ Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Court Upholds Force Majeure Defense for Missed Rent

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.

Sales, Traffic Claw Back as Consumers Opt to Go Out

New data from across the restaurant industry is encouraging, but there is still a long way to go to get anywhere near normal.

The Race Conversation Is Tough, but Crucial

As the anguish surrounding George Floyd’s death evolves into an ongoing conversation about race, business leaders face more and more pressure to address that very big, very sensitive topic.

Will Carbon Join Calories on the Menu Board?

It took a long time to get calories on the menu, but when they arrived, consumers actually started eating fewer calories. Will the same happen with carbon emissions?

Franchise Execs Talk Next Steps as Restaurants Reopen

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.
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