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ETF Fitness founder shares advice from fellow Olympians

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Will Smith would be good, I think. Not because he looks anything like me, but I think he does a really good job of crossing over between being fun and silly and then still being able to take on that serious role. That’s more like me. What’s your favorite franchise brand that’s not your own? I’d probably say Chick-fil-A. What they stand for with customer service and stewardship … the way they interact with their customers. They’re a family favorite.

First Naf Naf franchisee takes on CEO role

Almost exactly a year ago, Greg Willman made franchise news as the first franchisee of emerging concept Naf Naf Middle Eastern Grill. Since then, he’s opened the first franchise location, broke ground on his second and was named CEO of the now 40-unit company.

A&W franchisee aims for destination locations

Longtime c-store operator Eddie Khoury plans to differentiate his A&W restaurants by making them into destinations—and having the cleanest stores around.

Ziebart franchisees find success with family business

Along with his four kids, Tony Mattiacio operates six Ziebart auto detailing shops, having turned an after-school job into a successful business. Dividing roles to match skillsets is one lesson learned, along with the kids working their way up to build credibility.

Pool Scouts, Salata, share ways data can improve operations

Data, when understood and effectively scrutinized, can help identify opportunities to boost sales, reduce expenses and market more effectively. Capturing it can give franchisors and their franchisees a competitive edge.

CityRow CEO finds inspiration in female founders

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Gal Gadot. She played Wonder Woman so, what else do I need to say? And she’s stunning. I’m partial to the strong female lead. She’s Israeli and she served two years in the IDF (Israel Defense Forces); she’s so badass.

Anago franchisee pushes operators to strategize

One-on-one business strategy meetings helped Andrew Navarro connect with his franchisees after he took over Anago’s Philadelphia market, where he’s continued to grow sales.

Amid pandemic, Moe’s operator looks on the bright side

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis closed restaurant dining rooms on March 20, just 10 days after franchisee Quality Fresca acquired 46 Moe’s Southwest Grills in the state from four different franchisees. The new franchisee now sold burritos curbside. Predictably, revenues slumped.

Five Guys vet jumps in on Popeyes, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Now just could be the time to lean in on growth, says multi-concept operator Rick Fisher­—if you don’t go in undercapitalized. It’s about being cautious, ‘but not risk averse.

Meet the ukulele-playing founder of Stumpy’s Hatchet House

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I know this right off the top of my head. I just finished ‘Little Fires Everywhere’ on Hulu, and it’s one of my favorite books. Reese Witherspoon is my favorite actress hands down. She’s also of a smaller stature, like me, so I think she’d be perfect to play me in the movie of ‘Trish and Stumpy’s Hatchet House.’

Revamped Noodles & Co. brings operator back for more

After Noodles dialed back the complexity and created a new prototype, longtime franchisee Mike Lamb is ready to start building again and knows to be successful, every detail matters.

Get to know the founder of Everbowl, in Grab Bag

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Oh, that actor who played Rocky Balboa’s son, he was also in ‘Heroes’ (looks it up on IMBD) … Milo Ventimiglia. Just from watching his personality, he’d be a goofy, funny guy. Or Sean Connery, but he’s a little old for me.

Hiring right helps Human Bean franchisee grow

The Baumkirchners took over a failed location of The Human Bean, first revamping the staff.They’re now at seven locations and growing.

FranConnect CEO shares leadership advice, more in Grab Bag

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I would be flattered if Tina Fey played me. She’s amazing, she’s a groundbreaker, the first female head writer for SNL. She’s sharp, funny and just so witty.

Multi-unit Halal Guys operator talks restaurant training

It’s not just about putting out a platter, says franchisee Joe Hafez, who also focuses on teaching soft skills as part of the training program at his Halal Guys restaurants.

Learning Experience SVP wants to stockpile ice cream, eliminate email

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I have a very weird response for this one. I chose Robin Williams, just his method of comedy it kind of mirrors my life—chaotic, frantic but still having fun. In marketing, it’s never slow … you’re handling and juggling a lot of balls.

Sonic ‘zee diversifies with Take 5, is first female owner

Training and a strong franchisor relationship drew Candice Winterringer to Take 5 Oil Change, where she says her ‘concise communicator’ skills will help drive success.

‘Full bore’ growth for Floyd’s owner, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Franchisee Jay Palmer handles every customer complaint himself and also spotlights sales rock stars to help build a strong culture.

Jabz CEO talks pet pigs and why she wants to ‘be like a pineapple’

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Jennifer Aniston would be a good person to play me. Everything she’s been through, she’s really resilient. Just going through that divorce from Brad Pitt and everything else, and she’s continued to triumph no matter what’s thrown at her.

Training at core for Jimmy John’s ‘zee, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Dan Vansteenburg wants his employees to find a deeper meaning in working at his restaurants, and his Spinability program is rooted in ‘doing something for someone else’ to make the world better.

Self Esteem Brands CMO on how not to fail like the Fyre Fest

“I heard Kelly Clarkson say this and I think it’s great advice: Don’t take advice from anyone you wouldn’t trade places with.” — Amy Halford, Global CMO, Self Esteem Brands

Wings Over chief shares his celebrity crush and why he’s over avocados

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I haven’t given this a lot of thought, but one of my favorite movies right now is ‘The Founder.’ It’s not apples to apples, but a lot of what they went through is what we’re going through now with building the brand. I don’t know if it’d be Michael Keaton who plays me though.

Waters Edge makes wine sans vines

You don’t need a wheat field near your microbrewery to make beer, so why would you need a vineyard by your winery to make wine? You don’t, is the answer from Ken Lineberger, founder and CEO of Waters Edge Winery & Bistro, to the most-asked question about his 16-unit franchise.

Taco John’s boss aims to nurture, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Tam Kennedy treats employees and guests like customers while putting data to work for her nine Midwest restaurants.

Kitchen Royalty spotlights 5 franchise chefs who rule

Heidi Gibson works with cheese the way another artist might manipulate paint, pencils or paper. Creamy chèvre, Tillamook cheddar and subtle Havarti are her implements, among so many others.

Pincho boss shares midnight donut order obsession in new Grab Bag Q&A

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Probably Leonardo DiCaprio, for sure. I don’t know why. I love him in ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ and his hustle as an entrepreneur.

On the water with finance pro and sailboat captain Bob Solliday

Some people dream about retiring and then sailing into the sunset, but longtime franchise finance pro Bob Solliday is finding a way to build a second career of sorts on the high seas.

Culver’s ‘zee diversifies with Blaze, in Multi-Unit Mindset

To provide opportunities for her people—and shift into a smaller footprint model—Dianne Mayer adds Blaze Pizza, keeping in mind the need to ‘show up every day’ as her portfolio continues to grow.

Can Tom Garrett guide GPS Hospitality to $1 billion?

Tom Garrett is charting an impressive course at GPS Hospitality, thanks in part to top execs who answered his call and share his motivation to grow. Approaching $600 million in sales from 400-plus Burger King and Popeyes restaurants, GPS is on its way to a new target. Can Garrett guide it all the way?

Refugee turned IHOP franchisee brings the hustle

Though she was among the youngest IHOP franchisees in the country when she opened her first New Jersey restaurant at 27, Adenah Bayoh’s business acumen was evident much earlier as a 6-year-old navigating the market in her Liberian village of Foya. Her grandmother sold bread at the market and “I’d carry it around in a basket on my head,” Bayoh says. “I had the idea to lower the price at the end of the day to get rid of inventory and my bread basket would be completely empty.”

Kat Cole talks naps, eating bugs in new Grab Bag Q&A

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I would hope Sandra Bullock. Reputationally she’s got a perception and she’s played roles of no bullshit and also lighthearted, so that seems fitting.

‘Market your buns off’ says finance pro turned Modern Acupuncture ‘zee

When Shannon Tolbert, formerly a marketing exec with GE Capital Franchise Finance, decided to jump across the table and become a franchise owner, she quickly zeroed in on Modern Acupuncture and was set to buy a unit of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based emerging brand.

Building leaders goal No. 1 for Mike Hamra, in Multi-Unit Mindset

A focus on unit-level leadership helps Mike Hamra turn lemon locations into superstars. And when it comes to acquisitions, ‘you have to see a way to enhance value,’ he says.

New CEO believes now is Greene Turtle’s ‘time to shine’

Geo Concepcion, the newly named president and CEO of Greene Turtle, had strong bragging rights from his tenure as COO at Famous Dave’s. “I helped them with three new prototypes, two full-service and one fast-casual, and then I led the third-party delivery” effort at the barbecue brand.

Deka Lash attracts cast of characters

John Bianco answers the phone in his thick Brooklyn accent—“How ya doin?’”—and the Deka Lash franchisee in New Jersey sounds exactly like his memorable character in “The Sopranos,” Gerry Torciano.

No sneaking in for Del Taco operator, in Multi-Unit Mindset

In going from worst to top of the system, Paul Hitzelberger put focus on the guest experience and building a team through real incentives.

Gina Rivera is the maven behind the mohawk of Phenix Salon Suites

How a high school dropout with 27 hairdressers in her family built Phenix Salon Suites, a 250-unit franchise that gives salon professionals their own space and all the respect founder Gina Rivera believes they deserve.

Doctor by day focuses on finance, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Cousins Subs deal is latest for a multi-concept franchisee who uses cash flow and growth potential to evaluate concepts. Ultimately, he says, success is all about the people.

From surf bum to SoBol founder, in The Boss

Tell me about your upbringing? I grew up in the town my parents went to school in, which is good and bad, South Shore Long Island. My mom is a big cooker. My grandparents, big cookers. My mother got that from them and passed it to me.

Checkers operator hires all the time, reports Multi-Unit Mindset

Performance reviews are a one-pager at a Checkers franchisee operation that numbers 15 stores, and feedback goes both ways, with employees commenting on management and the other way around.

The Boss: From The Wallflowers to growth at LemonShark Poke

Tell me about your upbringing. My parents got divorced when I was three. My mother had four kids to raise on her own, and finished her master’s degree at Berkeley with us four kids. I didn’t really see this as a big family tragedy. I got sort of an independent spirit. One of my childhood friends, my closest friend, was Richard Gottlieb. We met in third grade, and he’s my partner today in this poke business.

Difficult recovery inspires Pilates ProWorks

It’s not every day a plane crash is the start of a happy story, but surviving a horrible accident in Colombia years ago began Oscar Sanin’s quest to build a better Pilates machine and, years later, the Pilates ProWorks franchise system.

Founder is gung-ho about Dryer Vent Wizard

Dave Lavalle, the founder of Dryer Vent Wizard, has more enthusiasm than you can possibly imagine for cleaning your home’s dryer vent. First, there’s the dark and stormy angle: clogged vents can be terribly dangerous, causing 2,900 house fires, $35 million in properly damage and an estimated five deaths and 100 injuries each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Panera founder Ron Shaich acts as ‘Sherpa’ to operators

Summiting Mount Everest is a daunting feat that few achieve alone. Most climbers rely on someone who has been there, someone who knows the route and how to avoid the many pitfalls.

Forced out of Liberty Tax Service, founder John Hewitt will try again

John Hewitt is poised to launch his third tax prep franchise from scratch after the other two brands he founded, most recently Liberty Tax Service where his alleged actions wreaked havoc, pushed him out in a chaotic mess. Can the man who sold 5,000 units, which he figures has ‘got to be the top 10 in the world,’ gain franchisees’ trust and do it all over again?

Convert to craft beer taps Beerhead Bar

For Krupal Patel, it was a can of Daisy Cutter Pale Ale. Dry, with notes of citrus, papaya and mango, that beer, from Chicago brewery Half Acre, set Patel on a course that’s led him to home brewing and, more recently, to becoming a franchisee of Beerhead Bar & Eatery.

Jollibee’s all in for Smashburger makeover, says CFO Brad Reynolds

As Jollibee Foods moves into the driver’s seat, CFO Brad Reynolds expands his influence on Smashburger’s coming rebirth. ‘We have the right scar tissue,’ he says, and so plans to never make the same mistakes again.

Everything’s local for Jersey Mike’s ‘zee

An operating partner program helps Matt Patterson attract and retain talent, but one rule holds for all. ‘You gotta start by sorting tomatoes,’ he says.

Taking ramen to world is Chef Orkin’s new challenge

Serving delicious, slurpable noodles in two Manhattan restaurants is one thing. Bringing them to the masses via a franchised chain is another. Ivan Orkin, known as Ivan Ramen from Netflix’s ‘Chef’s Table,’ will try to make it work with backing from the new Corlex Capital.

Ripken’s a home run for Roy Rogers

Cal Ripken Jr. fielded dozens and dozens of questions during the past year as part of his marketing partnership with Roy Rogers, including these: Who’s the hardest pitcher you’ve ever faced? How do you hit a 100-mile-an-hour fastball? Should Pete Rose be allowed in the Hall of Fame?
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