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Experts on Rethinking, Reimagining & Reopening Your Restaurant

What’s been working for restaurants already open, and what’s in store for the future? Hear from Lazy Dog Restaurants, CapitalSpring and Hub International on operations, technology, guest flow and more.
05.28.2020

For Retirement Play, Father Joins Daughter in Dogtopia

John Ledbetter spent 30 years with Liberty Mutual, serving large, commercial customers in insurance, risk management and crisis management. Now he owns a Dogtopia franchise in The Woodlands, Texas, north of Houston, with his daughter as operations manager. "It has been an incredible ride," he said, in this week's series of articles revisiting brands that won Franchise Times Zor Awards honors.
05.28.2020

Nonstop Cleaning Part of Another Broken Egg Operator’s Strategy

Jake Alleman, who as co-founder of Cojak Investments operates eight Another Broken Egg Cafes in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, says a retraining phase "hugely focused on safety," has helped his restaurants reopen. Another Broken Egg was chosen in 2018 as a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner, and this week we're checking in on some of those brands to see how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.
05.28.2020

COVID-19 ‘Shifted’ Business for Toppers Franchisee

Toppers was named a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner earlier this year, and this week we’re checking in with some of those brands to learn how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.
05.27.2020

Paul Davis ‘Zee Deploys Resources to Help Limit Spread of COVID-19

Ofelia Lucas, a United States Air Force veteran, invested in Paul Davis Restoration in April 2015 and has become a top-performing franchisee. But in March, sales at her Miami location dropped 25 percent—even with Paul Davis being classified as an essential business during COVID-19 shutdowns. We’re checking in this week with past Zor Awards winners to learn how franchisees are navigating the pandemic.
05.27.2020

Reopening a ‘Double-edged’ Sword, Says Pinot’s Palette ‘Zee

“January and February of this year were actually the best two months we’ve ever had, so yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking,” said Pinot's Palette franchisee Cherisse Lockerd, whose studio in Tustin, California, has been closed since March 15. Pinot’s Palette in 2017 was named a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner, and this week we’re checking in with some of those brands to learn how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.
05.26.2020

Fellow Operators Help Right at Home 'Zee Navigate COVID

A "profit mastery group," consisting of about a dozen fellow franchisees located up and down the East Coast, has been a lifeline for Ken Helmuth, a Right at Home franchisee. Franchise Times in 2019 named Right at Home a Zor Awards winner, our annual project identifying 10 best brands based on operator profitability. This week, we're revisiting some of those brands to see how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.
05.26.2020

Krystal Announces New Ownership, Leadership

Krystal announced May 22 that it was under new ownership and new management, a week after a bankruptcy court approved a deal with senior lender Fortress Investment Group.
05.22.2020

BurgerFi Joins Reef Kitchens in Delivery-Only Expansion

BurgerFi will expand via Reef Kitchens to markets such as Seattle, Nashville, Minneapolis and Houston, where Reef Technology owns parking facilities that house its delivery-only kitchens.
05.22.2020

CorePower Yoga Lawsuit One to Watch for Failed M&A Deals During COVID-19

Litigation is swelling from deals whose failure is being blamed on COVID-19, and how the Delaware Chancery Court rules on a CorePower Yoga franchisee lawsuit against the franchisor will be key to future cases.
05.21.2020

Franchise Finance After the Dust Settles—Wrap-Up Webinar

Sale-leasebacks of real estate, mergers & acquisitions, credit availability and other finance topics are the focus of a webinar today presented by Franchise Times, Restaurant Finance Monitor, Food on Demand and Foodservice News.
05.21.2020

Traffic Surges in Some Sectors, but Year-Over-Year Trends Dismal

As many more states plan to reopen in some capacity, the data from those that took the lead is not exactly encouraging.
05.21.2020

What to Do When Franchisees Defy Shutdown Orders

Tune Up-The Manly Salon's CEO Anthony Milton led his system in defiance of the governor's order in Texas that shut down barbershops longer than other businesses. Many attorneys recommend franchisors take swift action against such violations, as happened with an Anytime Fitness operator in Texas and a Rosati's store in Illinois.
05.21.2020

Here’s How 3 Franchises Approach Data Privacy During COVID-19

From taking temperatures to screening questionnaires, execs from The Lash Lounge, Dave’s Hot Chicken and BrightStar Care share how they’ve approached the issue of data privacy as they’re implementing safety technology during COVID-19.
05.20.2020

As Restaurants Reopen, Employee and Guest Safety Comes First

'Learning' is the operative word for navigating the COVID-19 pandemic, and attendees of today’s Franchise Times webinar were able to learn from panelists as they discussed the new normal in hiring and keeping employees safe.
05.20.2020

Tips for Welcoming Back Restaurant Staff and Customers

As states start allowing dining rooms to reopen, how do restaurant owners keep employees and customers safe? Here are best practices and tips from industry experts on getting back to business.
05.19.2020

As Freddy’s Reopens Dining Rooms, Off-Premises Focus Remains

While its drive-thrus remain a crucial way for customers to access Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers, the brand also quickly shifted what was a limited test of third-party delivery at a couple dozen locations to a full-fledged rollout across the system. A new mobile ordering initiative is also in the works.
05.19.2020

What’s Working for Franchise Off-Premises During COVID-19?

States are reopening, but major challenges persist for all restaurants out there, maintaining the need for strong delivery and off-premises operations.
05.18.2020

Market Share Data Gives COVID-Era Look at Delivery Players

In a new look at more than 190,000 transactions through April, Edison Trends showed off its recent market share snapshot of third-party restaurant delivery platforms. In essence, trends continued, perhaps magnified slightly by the pandemic. As more people tried delivery for the first time, they piled on to well-known brands.
05.18.2020

Pet Adoption Increase Will Mean Rise in Business, Says Hounds Town CEO

Pet fostering and adoption have increased significantly during COVID-19, but as folks are slowly returning to work, pet care franchise Hounds Town USA expects to see a rise in business.
05.15.2020

Massage, Salon Franchises Discuss Reopening Plans

Like the entirety of this pandemic, which for most businesses has been a dizzying series of adjustments, the process of reopening storefronts is anything but straightforward. For those brands operating in beauty and wellness segments where close contact is unavoidable, turning the salon lights back on takes careful consideration.
05.15.2020

Ruby Tuesday Parent Creates Host Kitchen Concept

The parent company of Ruby Tuesday launched a new initiative called Franklin Junction that introduces a delivery-focused model it calls “host kitchens.” At its core, the plan is relatively simple: allowing outside restaurant brands to use the excess kitchen capacity at existing casual restaurants across the country—strictly for delivery and as an option for brands looking to enter new markets.
05.15.2020

Experts on How Franchises Should Market to Consumers During a Pandemic

Experts from ad agency OBI Creative and loyalty program tech company Poln8 offer best practices to franchises on how to market smartly yet sensitively to anxious customers during a pandemic.
05.14.2020

Franchise Growth Continues Despite COVID-19

Despite the global pandemic and the potential for economic turmoil ahead, franchise growth charges forward, spurred by the entrepreneurial spirit that sees opportunity everywhere.
05.14.2020

Franchises Scramble to Rehire Amid Employee Fears

Talk about whiplash. Wisconsin-based Cousins Subs immediately went into reopen planning mode, said President Jason Westhoff, after the state's Supreme Court struck down the governor's stay-at-home mandate May 13.
05.14.2020

Children's Lighthouse Franchise Uses Airplane Theory in Crisis

The "airplane theory"—place the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others—is guiding Children's Lighthouse execs through the pandemic, said Stephanie Russ, vice president and general counsel.
05.14.2020

Positivity, not Panic, Helps Propel Fuzzy’s Taco Shop

“We’re not going to panic,” said President Mel Knight, referring to a guiding principle in place at Fuzzy's Taco Shop throughout the crisis. “We chose to not focus on the negative. A negative for us is we don’t have drive-thrus,” so the franchise immediately set a goal of identifying a new idea to execute around its off-premises operations every three to five days.
05.13.2020

Boston Market Buyer Is Cricket Booster, P.M. Modi Fan

Jay Pandya spent the days after buying Boston Market, the rotisserie chicken restaurant chain that has seen fatter times, in a mad dash to get stores open again.
05.12.2020

Calming Words, Quick Moves by American Family Care CEO

Dr. Bruce Irwin, CEO of American Family Care, is rolling out a new service for his chain of urgent care clinics: rapid testing for the novel coronavirus or its antibodies for employers. That's just one of a handful of moves quickly implemented since March that has put the franchise front and center in providing healthcare during the pandemic.
05.12.2020

Getting Back to Work: Hand Scanners and Social Distancing Apps

As states and companies begin to reopen and employees head back to work, brands are coming up with creative solutions to safety issues. Dave’s Hot Chicken has implemented a new technology called PathSpot that scans hands to make sure they’ve been washed properly. New York-based consulting firm From, The Digital Transformation Agency, has developed a social distancing app that alerts employees if they’re within six feet of each other.
05.12.2020

Discovery Days Go Virtual as Brands Keep Up Development

LunchboxWax is still in development mode, quickly adjusting to host a virtual discovery day in April that yielded two multi-unit deals: a five-pack in Detroit and a three-pack in Sacramento, California, both new markets. Restaurant franchise Checkers & Rally's also recently signed four new franchisees after its version of a virtual candidate day.
05.12.2020

AFC Urgent Care Franchise Leads Testing Battle in Boston

Two military veterans who operate six American Family Care clinics in Boston have rolled out rapid testing for the COVID-19 virus in one of its hardest-hit locales. They’re also providing one of the most inspirational stories to date in the pandemic.
05.11.2020

Papa John’s Posts Biggest Sales Gains Since Schnatter Era

Less than nine months after appointing former Arby’s President Rob Lynch as its new president and CEO, Papa John’s posted systemwide sales growth of 5.3 percent during the first quarter of 2020.
05.11.2020

With PPE Shortages, BrightStar Care Creates Fulfillment Center for Franchisees

Home care and medical staffing franchise BrightStar Care partnered with FranWorth to create a centralized fulfillment center where franchisees can access PPE, now the common term for personal protective equipment, for their employees.
05.08.2020

New Metrics for the Franchise Accounting Health Check

Accountants are key folks to constantly measure the health of a business, but the metrics and tactics during the COVID-19 pandemic have changed in a few meaningful ways.
05.08.2020

Riverside Touts Ability to Fill Gaps During M&A 'Giant Pause'

As many M&A deals ground to a halt in the pandemic, private equity firm Riverside took an unusual step: sending an open letter saying they had capital to provide to get deals done.
05.08.2020

Feelings of Helplessness Turn to Feeding the Front Line

While feelings of helplessness seem to echo across the board, several food franchises are channeling those feelings into doing what they can do to help: feeding front-line workers. Teriyaki Madness, Saladworks and Huey Magoo's Chicken Tenders are among many that launched initiatives recently.
05.07.2020

For Fitness Franchises, a Calculated Return to In-studio Sweat

Sixteen Burn Boot Camp locations are back open in five states, with more on the way as governments lift COVID-19-related restrictions. “We understand that we’ve never lived through COVID-19 before and it’s impacted everyone differently,” said VP of Operations Amanda Hall. “So keeping that member-first mentality is key.”
05.07.2020

So You Received PPP Funds—Now What?

Three separate franchisees who received Paycheck Protection Program loans provide a road map about how to spend the funds in the required way. They say others who haven't yet applied should 'absolutely' do so.
05.07.2020

For PPP Lenders, a Mad Dash to Loan $660B

“We had our whole company, 44 people, working 18-hour days for 47 straight days,” said Ron Feldman about the race to get ApplePie Capital’s customers connected to Paycheck Protection Program funds. Three other lenders or intermediaries, including Pinnacle Commercial Capital, Boefly and Live Oak Bank, tell similar tales.
05.06.2020

COVID Turns Franchise Janitors Into ‘Infection Experts’

While cleaning concepts have taken their own lumps during the COVID-19 pandemic, the crisis has also shown the resilience of this “less sexy” side of franchising.
05.06.2020

Letter to FTC Calls Out 'Coercive Practices' in COVID-19 Relief

A letter to the Federal Trade Commission urges changes to the Franchise Rule in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, in part to stop "coercive practices" by franchisors as they offer financial relief to franchisees. At least one attorney, David Kaufmann of Kaufmann Gildin & Robbins, calls the letter "a political stunt."
05.05.2020

As Gold’s Gym Files for Bankruptcy, CEO Vows It’s ‘Not Going Anywhere’

Gold’s Gym, which in early March was touting its resurgence via franchising, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Monday, a move CEO Adam Zeitsiff said “is a direct result of COVID-19 and what this is doing to our business.”
05.05.2020

Pandemic Pushes Cousins to Add More Delivery Providers

Cousins Subs moved quickly and aggressively to blunt the impact of statewide lockdowns on the sandwich brand, including the fast-track addition of three more national delivery providers and leaning into drive-thru operations. The brand is now seeing its best sales growth during the pandemic.
05.05.2020

Raw Juce Partners With House of Athlete to Help Feed Florida Healthcare Workers

House of Athlete—founded by NFL veteran Brandon Marshall—recently teamed up with Raw Juce, a South Florida-based concept that offers organic cold-pressed juices smoothies, acai bowls and other organic foods. Their goal is to raise enough money to purchase and donate at least 30,000 Raw Juce meals to South Florida’s healthcare workers.
05.04.2020

As Builders Shed Projects, Epcon Sees Opportunity

Epcon Communities Franchising signed seven new franchisees this year, including five in the last month during COVID-19, by emphasizing the law of supply and demand.
05.04.2020

Mooyah Tweaks New Store Design in COVID-19 Response

Mooyah is tweaking its still-new restaurant prototype design to reflect the post-COVID-19 reality of smaller dining rooms and more space for off-premises curbside and delivery orders. That’s one of many quick shifts as the burger franchise executes an ongoing five-year plan that includes a more mature logo that’s less “Yahoo!” and more “this is a burger establishment.”
05.01.2020

Restoration 1 Lands New Investors, Standing Out Amid M&A Pause

Restoration 1 and Bluefrog Plumbing + Drain landed a majority investment from MPK Equity Partners and Princeton Equity Group, standing out when COVID-19 woes have paused or scuttled many mergers and acquisitions.
04.30.2020

Restaurant CEOs Discuss the Return of Dine-In Service

“I think people are ready now. They wear the masks, they bring their little tube of Clorox wipes, they don’t touch the handles … everybody is really, I think, pretty focused on it,” said Jersey Mike’s CEO Peter Cancro, speaking April 29 during a webinar hosted by FT sister publication The Restaurant Finance Monitor.
04.30.2020

SBA Discriminates Against Franchises Seeking PPP Loans, Lawsuit Says

The Small Business Administration has discriminated against "franchised businesses in general and commercial cleaning franchises in particular" by "unlawfully restricting eligibility for loans" under the temporary Paycheck Protection Program, says a lawsuit filed in federal court in Washington, D.C.
04.29.2020
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