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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
'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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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."
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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.
“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.
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.