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Demonetization Hits a Low Note With Indians and Trade Mission Delegates

Just weeks before the latest franchise mission board planes to go to India, the prime minister demonetized the two bills that account for 85 percent of the cash spent on a regular basis.
12.09.2016

Picked for Labor, Puzder Called Government 'Coercion' too Heavy

“The weight of government coercion has become so heavy, it is no longer possible to ignore,” declared Andy Puzder, CEO of CKE Restaurants, who was reportedly picked today to be secretary of labor by President-elect Donald Trump. We didn’t have to go far to learn his views, because Puzder was a keynote speaker last month at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, presented by FT’s sister publication.
12.08.2016

It's Christmas Time In Sri Lanka

Americans think we know how to decorate for Christmas, but we can’t hold a candle to the décor at the Cinnamon Grand in Sri Lanka. Here's the next installment in Editor Nancy Weingartner's adventures on the South Asia franchise trade mission.
12.08.2016

Getting to a Franchise Trade Mission is Half the Fun

Editor at Large Nancy Weingartner joined the franchise trade mission to India and Sri Lanka the first week in December. Here is the first installment of her adventures in international franchising.
12.07.2016

Technology Plays Key Role in Driving Sonic’s Sales

Sonic is a chain of drive-in restaurants, and its CFO Claudia San Pedro says interactive touchscreens in each of 18 to 24 stalls at each unit is one key to drive sales growth.
12.02.2016

Easy-to-Operate Stores Is Differentiator for Wayback Burgers

Scott Milas chatted with Franchise Times’ Beth Ewen at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. They discuss Wayback Burgers franchise, which touts a relatively low $300,000 to $400,000 cost to get a unit started and a stripped-down operating plan.
12.02.2016

New SBA Rule Upends Franchise Lending in December Surprise

After waiting for months for new rules from the U.S. Small Business Administration, lenders and franchisors just received them in a surprise notice—and they’re upending the usually routine business of making government-backed loans to franchisees.
12.02.2016

Food on Demand Is the Gift That Keeps on Giving

After working on our Food on Demand media project, this editor's holiday gifts will not only be delivered by a third party, they'll be reoccurring. And her gift to you is an informative e-newsletter on this demanding and disruptive new trend for restaurants and the foodservice industry.
12.02.2016

Freshii Expands Down Under, Inks Walgreens Partnership

Freshii, the Toronto-based fast-casual brand with a focus on healthy eating, announced a master franchise agreement that will add 20 new locations in Australia. In addition, it has inked a new retail partnership with Walgreens, its second big-name non-traditional partnership after signing a similar deal to add locations within Target stores.
12.01.2016

Chronic Tacos Goes Transparent

In unveiling a range of new sustainable practices, California-based Chronic Tacos is the latest franchised brand to turn its transparency mantra into a marketing message with its new “Nothing To Hide” campaign.
12.01.2016

Judge Puts New Overtime Rule on Hold

In a last-minute decision, a judge in Texas has put the nationwide overtime rule on hold just days before it was set to go into effect December 1, 2016.
11.23.2016

Three Franchisors Banking on Trump

Whatever side of the aisle you’re on politically, most agree that the election of Donald Trump as the next President of the United States was a surprise. Like most industries (and people), franchising is trying to asses the implications of our next president, and his agenda that promises to be a significant departure from what we’ve seen under the Obama Administration.
11.21.2016

Wall Street's Outlook for the Restaurant Industry

It's been a volatile year for restaurant stocks, especially many franchised restaurant brands. But since the election, most stocks on the Franchise Times watch list have seen a dramatic lift.
11.18.2016

Zingerman's Boss Outlines Strategy of 'Sharing Lavishly'

The founders of Zingerman's Deli shared their strategy of "sharing lavishly" at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Wednesday, an antidote to all the laments over a rising minimum wage heard elsewhere at the conference.
11.18.2016

Craveability and Customization Appeal to New Breed of Restaurant-goers

To stay current and relevant in this overcrowded restaurant environment, eateries need to maximize value with a focused menu, serve craveable food and give a sincere nod to customization, according to Larry Reinstein, president of LJR Hospitality Ventures.
11.17.2016

The Art of Curating Restaurants

Americans are more familiar with the concept of a food court than with a food hall. And while “there’s no meaningful difference” between the two versions of a collection of restaurants under one roof, one is associated with fast food and pit stops for shoppers, while the other, a British term, conjures up visions of trendiness.
11.16.2016

Food Halls Could Serve as Urban Opportunity

Instead of fighting over the same box everyone else wants, many brands are looking seriously at shared spaces such as food halls.
11.16.2016

Bringing All-American Brands to International Markets

As a franchise reporter for two years now, I’m continually amazed by the amount of research, brainpower, cultural/regulatory awareness and personal time spent traveling to bring U.S.-based brands to overseas markets.
11.16.2016

Rising Employee Costs? Don’t Cut Your Way Out

With more cities adopting higher minimum wages across the country, and talk of a nationwide wage increase, franchisors and franchisees of restaurant brands have some real decisions to make. Primarily, where does the money come from to pay employees wages that are much higher in some municipalities?
11.16.2016

What Can Independents Learn From Chain Restaurants?

The session was titled “Revenge of the Independents: How Multi-unit Independents and Chefs Are Shaking Up Legacy Chains.” But as the discussion progressed on the last day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, it became clear independents actually look to emulate chains in some ways.
11.16.2016

Why CKE's Andy Puzder Thinks the Government Doesn't Understand Job Creation

By the time CKE’s CEO Andy Puzder was introduced on the second day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, no introduction was needed.
11.16.2016

Restaurant Founders Share Success Strategies at RFDC

Launching Freshii, the Toronto-based fast casual restaurant concept focused on health and wellness, was “scrappy and at times quite painful,” founder Matthew Corrin told those gathered for the founders panel at RFDC. “But now we maximize every dollar we spend."
11.15.2016

One Small Step at a Time for Astronaut Kelly, Speaking at RFDC

“It’s great to be here,” said astronaut and U.S. Navy Captain Scott Kelly, to open his keynote address at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today. “After being in space for a year it’s great to be anywhere with gravity.”
11.15.2016

RFDC Speaker Tells How to Survive 'Sugar Water Revolution'

Goodbye, Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry Vanilla. Hello, probiotic-infused drinking vinegars. That’s the gist of the beverage forecast from George Hiller, Hiller & Associates, who presented on “The Sugar Water Revolution” at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.
11.15.2016

Hewitt, Williams Agree on This: No One Saw Trump Coming

“Anyone who tells you they saw it coming is lying—the data was not there to support the outcome,” said Hugh Hewitt, a radio commentator and a conservative political analyst on NBC, speaking, of course, about Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election, along with Juan Williams, a Democrat who opines for Fox News.
11.15.2016

Fast & Serious Execs Share Mottos That Drive Growth

C-level officers of the smartest-growing franchises are sharing their wisdom with our reporters, as we prepare our exclusive Fast & Serious ranking for the January issue. Here are a few of my favorites so far, with many more to come.
11.11.2016

Franchising in the Age of Trump

A changing U.S. administration will likely represent a major course change at the International Franchise Association now that several of its most pressing issues are teed up for a more favorable outcome under the future President Trump.
11.10.2016

Arby's Attracts Parikh Brothers With 50-Store Deal

The Parikh brothers added a new brand to their restaurant portfolio, inking a development agreement this week to open 50 new Arby’s restaurants over the next eight years, and purchasing 18 corporate-owned Arby’s restaurants in Baltimore, Maryland, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
11.09.2016

It’s No Fantasy: There Is Such a Thing as a Free Lunch

I wasn’t really complaining when I wrote last month’s Franchise Times column about our fruitless quest to have a medium Pizza Hut box delivered at work so our FT Fantasy Football league could play the chain’s flick football game.
11.09.2016

Crunch Time at Franchise Times

As we prepare for our annual Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas next week, it’s the busiest time of the year here at Franchise Times. With more interviews on my plate than any other month thus far in 2016, here’s a look at what we’re working on as our nation collectively bites its nails on Election Day.
11.08.2016

Cubs Historic Win Opens Floodgate for Freshii Offer

“It was just electric!” exclaimed David Grossman, the diehard Cubs fan and master franchisee in Chicago for Freshii, who was in Cleveland for Game 7 of the World Series when the Cubs reversed the curse and won it all. By this morning, applications were still flooding in for Freshii’s offer to waive the $30,000 franchise fee for a rabid Cubs fan—if the Cubs went all the way.
11.04.2016

Dinnertime Was Source of Innovation for Chicken Salad Chick

Stacy Brown’s entrepreneurial roots go back to family conversations around the dinner table, said the CEO and founder of Chicken Salad Chick, an Auburn, Alabama-based franchise. She was on a recent conference call to prepare for a Restaurant Finance & Development Conference panel in Las Vegas on November 15.
11.04.2016

Checking in on Captain D’s

From countless interviews every year, I write about a lot of brands. Some of these stick with me—for a variety of reasons—while others fade to background knowledge. One restaurant brand I’m still itching to try and that I enjoy following is Captain D’s, a 50-year-old seafood brand based in Tennessee.
11.03.2016

A Pre-Election Economic Update

A cold shadow has fallen over America as we enter a new moon phase this Halloween weekend. Election jitters have people drawing the shades and staying close to home. This autumn is more foreboding than most, but rosy economic numbers offer a sharp contrast to our current period of angst and uncertainty.
10.28.2016

Dog Haus Deal Started With Dream Email

Usually huge development deals never actually get completed, especially when an emerging brand with just 21 units is the franchisor, but a massive contract to build 300 Dog Haus locations in 12 states over the next seven years just may be the exception, if co-founder Andre Vener’s math holds up.
10.28.2016

Hilton Breaking the (Prototype) Rules

As a frequent traveler, I’ve become a hotel snob. When it’s time to pick out a room for my next trip, I look for something unique rather than a cookie-cutter hotel that could be in any city or under any flag.
10.27.2016

Freshii Jumps on 'Huge' Cubs Story With Promo

A big win by the Chicago Cubs last night puts Freshii’s promotional campaign one step closer to reality. If the Cubs win the World Series, the healthy fast-casual chain says it will give away a free franchise to an applicant who also expresses undying Cubs love.
10.27.2016

Why Your Franchise Needs Delivery

Currently, only about a third of the population orders delivery food that’s not pizza; demand for a wider variety of take-out food is consistent in cities, suburbs and rural areas; and, the delivery category as a whole is only scratching the surface of its massive potential as third-party services literally bring more meals, goods and services to more people.
10.21.2016

Can Domino’s Be Stopped?

It’s that time of year again: leaves falling, temperatures chilling and, once again, Domino’s is the star of the quarterly earnings show. On the eve of my trip to the pizza giant’s headquarters in Ann Arbor, Michigan, I’m writing questions and wondering if this high-tech pizza brand can be stopped in light of its 22 consecutive quarters of positive sales growth.
10.19.2016

Minimum Wage Is 'Existential' Issue for Restaurant Owners

“I’m going to start at the city halls because that’s where the action is,” said Dan McElroy, president and CEO of Hospitality Minnesota. He was referring specifically to Minneapolis and St. Paul, where city councils are considering proposals to raise the minimum wage or mandate paid sick and safe leave. But he also noted cities and counties across the United States are increasingly at the center of workforce regulation while the U.S. House and Senate dither.
10.18.2016

Massage Heights 'Zee Thinks Workplace Culture Is on Her

Jennifer Burlington, a three-unit Massage Heights franchisee in San Antonio, has a simple yet often overlooked way of finding out what her massage therapists want in the workplace: She asks them. Her approach is instructive for anyone facing a shortage of good employees (which means everyone).
10.18.2016

Phil Keiser, CEO of Culver’s, Dies at 60

Phil Keiser, named CEO and president of Culver’s restaurants last year, has died, the company said on Monday.
10.18.2016

Franchise Times Launches Food On Demand

It’s a new era in food, with companies like Domino’s designing their own cars and drone technology that’s ready and waiting once regulatory hurdles are cleared. This will impact everything from independent restaurants to the largest players in industry, and we’ve started a brand-new media project called Food On Demand to cover it all.
10.14.2016

What I Found in Denver

As previously mentioned here, I flew out to Denver last week to check out Franchise Expo West in its new, mile-high home. Foot traffic at the show was slow, but I enjoyed exploring the city’s excellent downtown while catching up with industry contacts and meeting some new franchise friends.
10.14.2016

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse Promotion: Genius or Flop?

Ruth's Chris Steakhouse in Ann Arbor thought it had a great deal on the docket for University of Michigan football fans. For every point the Michigan football team scored, guests were able to get 1 percent off their check. It was a fun, creative idea until the Wolverines actually took the field and dominated the Scarlett Knights 78-0 last Saturday.
10.11.2016

Design Is Secret Weapon for Growth-Minded Franchises

For a story about how architecture can help franchise brands expand, we peeked at the drawing board of Greg Terry, design director at Studio Four Design in Knoxville, Tennessee. He offers these design tips, with more to come in next month’s issue.
10.06.2016

Grandson of Founder Criticizes CKE With Poison Pen

The poison pen of Jason LeVecke is rattling management’s cage at CKE Restaurants, the California-based franchisor of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s restaurants.
10.06.2016

Going Where My Feet Can Take Me

With this week’s upcoming Franchise Expo West in Denver, I’m packing my bags and building an itinerary to see the best sights in the Mile High City. The one requirement? I’m only going where my feet and public transit can take me. Surprisingly, in such a transit-friendly town, this gives me a lot of options.
10.04.2016

Best Performers in This Year’s Franchise Times Top 200+

In a year with stunning sales drops at some of franchising’s largest brands, it’s equally notable how many brands posted excellent sales growth numbers. Take RE/MAX, for example, which increased its year-over-year sales by 13 percent and moved from No. 11 to No. 8 on our exclusive annual ranking of the largest U.S.-based franchise companies.
09.30.2016

Belski Picks Best Debate Stocks on Economics & Politics Panel

As we enter presidential debate season, there are four stocks everyone should own, believes Brian Belski, chief investment strategist at BMO Capital Markets, who spoke on an “Economics & Politics” panel in Minneapolis last week.
09.29.2016
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