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Diving Into Delivery P&Ls

At the second day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, Neil Culbertson, founder and principal of Growth Partners LLC, led a panel entitled “Delivery Economics: How Do Operators Make Money?”

‘Better-for-you’ Beverages in Demand, Says RFDC Speaker

“The cola wars, they are alive and well—it’s a thing of beauty,” said George Hiller, of Hiller & Associates, sharing his beverage forecast with an audience of restaurant operators constantly looking to maximize drink sales.

‘Get a Grip’ and Travel, Rick Steves Urges RFDC Crowd

People used to say “bon voyage” when wishing you a good trip, says travel writer and teacher Rick Steves. But now they say “have a safe trip” or are too afraid to travel in the first place, and it drives him crazy. “Get a grip, America,” he told the luncheon crowd at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.

Author Tells How to Exit Your Company Without Regrets

Inc. magazine’s Bo Burlingham interviewed between 100 and 150 business owners when researching his book about company exits, and what he found was surprising, he told the audience at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.

‘Courageous Behavior’ Crucial for Restaurant Leaders, RFDC Panelist Says

Anyone who’s bearish on the restaurant business might take heart from consultant Alice Elliot, founder of The Elliot Group and an optimistic speaker at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference yesterday.

Panera’s Founder Shares Tale of Vulnerability at RFDC

The founder of Panera, Ron Shaich, railed against what he called short-termism in opening remarks at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference yesterday.

JPMorgan Chase Expands Coverage of Franchise and Restaurant Clients, Launches Dedicated Industry Group

JPMorgan Chase’s Commercial Bank announced the launch of the Franchise and Restaurant Group within its Middle Market Banking & Specialized Industries business and has appointed Michael Pura to lead the effort.

U.K., China Named Most Attractive Markets for International Growth

There are a lot of brands pondering global growth, and scholars say the U.K. and China are especially attractive depending on the goals.

Tough Mudder Splits Off Bootcamp Business

Will Dean, founder of CEO of Tough Mudder Inc., announced that the company is in the process of securing a capital investment that will include spinning off the upstart fitness business, Tough Mudder Bootcamp, into a separate enterprise from the well known, action-packed endurance events held across the globe.

‘Cute Doesn’t Cut It’ When Telling Your Brand’s Story

It’s important to tell your brand’s story online, which is where essentially all potential franchisees begin their search, points out Joseph Mathews, CEO of Franchise Performance Group, during the IFA's Emerging Franchisor Conference. And serious candidates want serious information.

Franchisors Are Like Good Parents, Ben & Jerry’s Exec Says

At the Emerging Franchisor Conference in Miami, young and established brands alike share their experience and advice, including being clear about the "never evers."

Xponential Adds Pure Barre to Fitness Brand Portfolio

With more than 500 studios in the United States and Canada, Pure Barre is the seventh brand to join Xponential Fitness, the parent company founded in 2017 by Anthony Geisler and backed by Snapdragon Capital to grow specialty fitness brands.

COO Part of Prize in Painting with a Twist Purchase

Painting with a Twist gained 20 units in nine states when the New Orleans-based brand acquired Bottle & Bottega, but that wasn’t the biggest prize from the transaction. That would be Nancy Bigley, co-founder and CEO of Bottle & Bottega, who will now be COO of the much bigger brand.

UK Survey Firm Yumpingo Aims for Actionable Data Only

There’s nothing like opening up a survey, any survey, and seeing a massive list of personal questions. Is this the doctor’s office or a French fry survey?

Ivan Orkin Is ‘Gift of a Client’ for New Corlex Capital

The first deal out of the gate for Corlex Capital is a doozy—the new private equity firm has signed Ivan Orkin, the celebrity chef known as the king of ramen, to develop and scale his new as-yet-unnamed concept, attract investors and ultimately franchise it, says Jeffrey Kolton.

Franchised Dog Bar Spurs Infinite Ideas

Mutts Canine Cantina is a Texas-based franchise that’s a hybrid between a bar/restaurant and a dog park. As an enthusiastic dog owner, this spurs a blizzard of new franchise ideas.

Hangin’ Tough with Emory Law Prof, Ex-Holiday Inn Counsel

Third-year law students at Emory University School of Law in Atlanta filed into Mort Aronson’s class this week on a late Wednesday afternoon, as they have every fall semester for the past 24 years, and I was there as guest speaker to witness the sweet rapport he has with students.

After Exit, Liberty Tax Founder Plans Launch No. 3

John Hewitt, founder of Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service, is planning a third launch of a tax prep franchise in March, when his non-compete expires, under the Loyalty Brands umbrella. "It was the worst battle ever," he said about the tumultuous past 18 months at Liberty Tax.

Is Dunkin’ the New IHOB?

Dunkin’ ditching Donuts (in name only) seems like one of those reincarnations we may look back on with a laugh in future years. I’m skeptical the company can achieve its objective of being a beverage-focused brand with a lame new name.

Free Week Helps Black Bear Increase Delivery Awareness

Many restaurant franchises now have digital delivery options, but customers may be unaware of their array of choices. Black Bear Diner, a California-based family restaurant concept, rolled out its new partnership with third-party delivery brand DoorDash by offering guests an attention-getting full week of free delivery.

Survey: QSR Operators See Sales Soften Further in Q3

In a new partnership with Franchise Times, investment bank Cowen did a quick check-in on third-quarter results with a collection of franchisees across the country.

Church’s Advisory Council to Tackle ‘How’ of Brand Goals

As some restaurant brands deal with contentious relationships with their franchisee associations, Church’s Chicken wants to enhance collaboration between corporate leadership and operators, forming an Excellence Advisory Council to help address improvements to the system.

Is Gen Z a Restaurant Worker Goldmine?

Just when the restaurant industry has figured out what millennials want, the next crop of employees is coming up.

Ex-NFL Star Growing Stacked Pickle Affordably

Like he focused on the block and tackle, Indianapolis Colts Super Bowl champion linebacker Gary Brackett is laser focused on ROI.

Australia Next as Abrakadoodle Expands Internationally

Denise Wang and Chris Li are banking on art education's global appeal as they launch Abrakadoodle in Australia. The couple already has experience in franchising, having brought the My Gym brand to Sydney last year.

Most Burger Chains Flunk Antibiotics Scorecard

A new report co-authored by a handful of public interest organizations doles out failing grades to 22 of the 25 largest burger chains in the U.S. because of their continued use of antibiotics in the beef they sell. While there’s no questioning the added expense of going antibiotic free, this kind of negative press does the franchised restaurant industry no favors.

With New Investors, Sola Looks to Dominate Suite Space

In its quest to “remain the leader and widen the gap” between it and its competitors in the salon suite franchise space, Sola Salon Studios attracted funding from a trio of firms that now have a majority stake in the brand and, CEO Randall Clark says, will accelerate growth.

Subway Celebrates a Year at the Top of the World

If you want to visit the Subway in Utqiagvik, Alaska, prepare for a long trip.

‘Resounding Yes’ to McDonald’s Franchisee Association

More than 400 McDonald’s operators at a National Owners Meeting in Tampa this week gave a “resounding yes” to forming a self-funded advocacy group representing franchisees, to be called NOA or National Owners Association, according to a meeting recap dated October 10. It would be the first franchisee association in McDonald’s history.

McDonald’s Operators Discuss Next Steps at Invitation of Caspers Co.

An overflow crowd of about 380 people attended a meeting of McDonald’s franchisees this week in Tampa, Florida, hosted by Blake Casper, chairman and CEO of the Caspers Company. That’s according to Carmen Caruso, a 35-year franchise attorney based in Chicago who presented at the meeting.

Goosehead Insurance and the Thrill of the Chase

Mark Jones, co-founder and CEO of Goosehead Insurance, is a former Bain Consulting guy who is fond of predatory metaphors in describing the philosophy behind his franchised insurance brand that’s feasting on the lackluster service provided by many rivals in the industry.

Therapeutic Focus Helps Elements Grow in Massage Space

Elements Massage jumped 24 spots in the Franchise Times 200+ ranking this year thanks to double-digit sales growth fueled in part by its new therapeutic offerings, along with what CEO Jeremy Morgan says is an intense focus on finding and keeping therapists.

Smoothie King’s Arduous Move to ‘Cleaner Blending’ Nearly Complete

Few people get as fired up about health food as Wan Kim, the CEO of Smoothie King. He's almost done with a long, long project to make his smoothies healthier.

Bold Ad Campaign Has Modern Acupuncture Tingling

If Matt Hale has that tingly feeling, it’s likely because the CEO of Modern Acupuncture has just launched a consumer-facing ad campaign called “Let’s Tingle” that punches far above the young franchise’s weight class.

Operators at Jack in the Box ‘Hit a Dead End’

The heavyweights at Jack in the Box have “hit a dead end” with their franchisor, according to their attorney Robert Zarco of Zarco Law, and so issued a press release yesterday calling for CEO Lenny Comma “to step down and relinquish his position as CEO, and for the board of directors to replace” the current leadership team.

Court Sides With Applebee's Franchisee in Bankruptcy Case

A judge sides with Applebee's franchisee RMH Franchise Holdings in an ongoing bankruptcy dispute.

Customer Service Focus Helps ServPro Drive Sales

ServPro grew sales 13.5 percent in 2017 to lead the disaster restoration segment and move up in the Franchise Times Top 200+ ranking.

Raising Menu Prices? Do it Strategically

Raising prices as traffic sinks is a tricky game, but there's still room for price growth if it's done right.

With Digital Shift, Mountain Mike’s Sales Climb

When a trio of private equity firms acquired Mountain Mike’s in April 2017, the Newport Beach, California-based pizza brand already had strong momentum, one of its new owners said, which carried through the year and put Mountain Mike’s on the Franchise Times Top 200+ for the first time.

Newcomers to This Year’s Franchise Times Top 200+

Eight companies stepped it up and found a spot among the leading 200 brands on the annual Franchise Times Top 200+, our ranking of the 500 largest U.S.-based franchised brands based on systemwide sales. Painting with a broad brush, food franchises are once again the most popular, with some unique outliers along the way.

What’s in a Name? Dunkin, Neighborly to Find Out

“Dunkin’ Donuts to change its name to Dunkin'. Apparently the company is sick of the hole thing.” So wise-cracked Mike Stobbe on Twitter, probably the best attempt to mock the name change of the storied brand. But at least one expert marketer approves of the change, as well as another, less high-profile switch from Dwyer Group to Neighborly announced in recent weeks

Hilton Launches 'Big Five' for Sustainable Tourism in Africa

Following the recent launch of Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 goals to double its investment in social impact and cut its environmental footprint in half, the hotel giant announced an initial investment of $1 million to drive sustainable travel and tourism in Africa.

Dealmakers, It’s Your Time to Shine in Annual FT Project

The good-looking crew pictured nearby are the folks from FAT Brands, winners of last year’s Deal of the Year award in the Franchise Times Dealmakers project, which recognizes excellence in mergers and acquisitions in the franchising space. Nominations open today.

Control of the NRA Show Shifts to Winsight

The National Restaurant Association will no longer manage or own its annual convention, commonly called the Restaurant Show.

Club Pilates Debuts on Top 200+, Sales Up Triple Digits

Club Pilates led all performers in the $5.9 billion fitness segment with its impressive percentage sales growth, as reported in the Franchise Times Top 200+, our exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises.

Oxxo Rolls Out Aggressive Franchise Conversion Program

Oxxo Care Cleaners rolled out a new business conversion initiative to convince competing dry cleaners to join the Oxxo family, which is known for its eco-friendly cleaning process.

Mr. Gatti’s Pizza Sells 13 Units, Continues Franchise Push

A former Papa John's executive is staying in the pizza game, buying 13 Mr. Gatti’s locations in the Austin, Texas, market. The sale of company restaurants comes as Mr. Gatti’s continues its refranchising program while also working to attract new franchisees to the system.

Inspire Brands to Take Sonic Private in $2.3B Acquisition

Inspire Brands added another legacy brand to its multi-brand stable.

Edible Founder Backs NextGen’s Social Standout

Sometimes the good guys and gals finish first, and such is the case for Stella Sigana, founder of Alternative Waste Technologies and winner of the 2018 NextGen competition in the social franchise category.

Amazing Lash Gains New Owner, Bids Founders Goodbye

When Heather Elrod joined Amazing Lash Studio two-and-a-half years ago, charged with building the semi-permanent eyelash extension franchise and creating an exit for the founders, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based brand had 75 units open. Now, it has 200 open, and Elrod’s concerted work since last November has attracted a new buyer, WellBiz Brands backed by KSL Capital.
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