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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

Reopening a Conundrum Across Limited-Service Spectrum

As more states, areas and entire regions attempt to return to normal, limited-service restaurants have to navigate a lot of complexity.
04.29.2020

College Hunks Offering No-Cost Moves to Domestic Violence Survivors

As millions of people across the U.S. hunker down at home to slow the spread of COVID-19, domestic violence rates have skyrocketed as abuse victims are trapped at home with their abusers. College Hunks Hauling Junk & Moving is offering free moving services to anyone experiencing domestic violence.
04.29.2020

Franchisee Group Sues Urban Air Over Rising Costs

A group of franchisees is suing Urban Air Adventure Park, claiming changes to the family entertainment brand are adding untenable costs to their operations that were never disclosed in the FDDs when they signed.
04.29.2020

As Franchises Prepare to Reopen, Expect Scrutiny

Lorne Fisher, CEO of franchise public relations and marketing firm Fish Consulting, said close consultation and communication with franchisees and all stakeholders, including employees, customers and suppliers, is crucial as businesses begin formulating their plans to reopen. “And safety has to be the main message,” he said.
04.29.2020

CEO of NYC-based Delivery.com: This Is Our 9/11

New York City-based Delivery.com is national in scale through a franchise model, but smaller than rivals such as DoorDash, Uber Eats and Postmates. From its vantage point, it is seeing a tale of two cities as the pandemic hammers both car-based suburban markets, which are somewhat insulated, and large cities like NYC, where some merchants wonder if urban life can ever return to the way it once was.
04.28.2020

Employee Rally Calls Out Caribou Coffee’s COVID-19 Response

Caribou Coffee workers in Minnesota shut down the drive-thru lane of a location in protest of the company's COVID-19 response. Similar protests and rallies in California have targeted fast food brands such as McDonald's, Burger King, Taco Bell and Domino's.
04.27.2020

Pigtails & Crewcuts Franchise Details Plan to Reopen in Georgia

Hair salons were allowed to open last Friday in Georgia, the first state to loosen that part of its lockdown order. But Pigtails & Crewcuts operators sat it out and will wait to reopen until one week after the corporate store in Atlanta does so May 4.
04.27.2020

As New PPP Funds Flow, Perils Await—Wrap-Up Webinar

Paycheck Protection loans may offer a lifeline to restaurant owners, but borrowers should take care to understand the program's still-changing requirements, said panelists on the fifth of five Restaurant Recovery Week webinars.
04.24.2020

How to Reopen Is Top Topic on Today's How-to Webinar

With restaurants cleared to reopen Monday in Georgia, the first state to loosen the lockdown, talk turned to that more hopeful yet still daunting challenge amid COVID-19, as panelists on today's Restaurant Recovery Week webinar discussed.
04.23.2020

Grocery Sales Help Restaurants Keep the Lights On

As traffic trickles in, many restaurants are looking to grocery operations to bridge the sales pit.
04.23.2020

How Restaurants Can Survive and Thrive—Webinar Recap

Independent restaurants expect to be hit the hardest by the pandemic, but they are also in the unique position to quickly pivot to stay afloat amid shutdowns and successfully stay open after.
04.23.2020

Fires, Pandemic Don’t Stop Mountain Mike’s Operator

“For my family and Chandi Hospitality, we’ve been through a lot,” said Sonu Chandi, president of Chandi Hospitality, an area developer for Mountain Mike’s. The group just opened its newest location April 15.
04.23.2020

Earth Day: How Franchises Prioritize Eco-friendly Practices

Despite devastating economic impacts, the lockdowns from COVID-19 have resulted in decreased air pollution all around the world, giving residents of even highly polluted cities cleaner air. Meanwhile, a few environmentally focused franchises are reflecting on their best practices on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
04.22.2020

Lease Negotiation Tactics for COVID-19 Relief

One of the largest fixed costs in a restaurant is rent and it’s become a sword of Damocles hanging over operators looking to weather the storm without breaching their lease.
04.22.2020

Jimmy John’s Franchisee Sends Free Meals to VA Hospital Staff

Wyatt Batchelor and his partners at MBN Brands, operators of 23 Jimmy John’s shops, decided to launch #WeGotYour6, an effort to provide meals to workers at VA hospitals near their restaurants in the Denver area, along with Salt Lake City and markets in Arkansas and Missouri.
04.22.2020

Dale Carnegie Training Invests Heavily to Launch Virtual Classes

Dale Carnegie Training, a global franchise with 200 operations in 86 countries, had warning signs from countries hit the earliest by COVID-19. Its quick pivot to online vs. in-person classes was possible because of heavy investment.
04.21.2020

Travel Franchises Market to Daydreamers During COVID-19

As third-party online travel agencies are scrambling to handle an unprecedented amount of calls and requests to cancel due to COVID-19, many customers are experiencing problems with hours of wait time and delayed or no refunds. For independent travel agents and franchises such as Dream Vacations and Cruise Planners, now is their time to shine as they’re showing personalized customer service and offering creative solutions for travelers.
04.20.2020

Off Premises as the New Normal—First How-to Webinar in a Series

Restaurants large and small that vowed they'd never do delivery are doing it. And people above 60 who had never tried delivery, "they're doing it now. They're not going back after it's over. It's here to stay," said a panelist on day one of Restaurant Recovery Week, offering help to restaurant operators and presented by Food On Demand, Franchise Times, Restaurant Finance Monitor and Foodservice News.
04.20.2020

Dog Haus Rolls Out 3 Virtual Brands to Franchisees

As COVID-19 radically changed the company's operations, Dog Haus rolled out three virtual restaurant brands early in an effort to keep sales coming in.
04.20.2020

Documentation Key to Minimize Future Legal Woes

Franchisors should take swift action to terminate a franchisee that's violating government shutdown orders, and send clear, systemwide memos documenting royalty and fee relief for use if disputes arise later, said Faegre Drinker attorneys.
04.20.2020

Franchisees Not Satisfied With Many Large Systems' Relief, Attorney Says

Nearly all franchisors are offering relief to their operators during COVID-19, often saying "we're all in this together," but a Dady & Gardner attorney who represents franchisees says they're not all feeling the love.
04.17.2020

Franchisees Turn Focus to Reopening Plans

Though many businesses remain closed, franchisees are taking steps now to position themselves for a strong reopening. Focus on communication with employees and customers, they say, and make sure you realistically assess your financial situation.
04.17.2020

Hand & Stone Massage Furloughs Employees, Retains Members

With more than 450 units, nearly all Hand & Stone massage therapists and estheticians have been furloughed or laid off to allow them to collect unemployment benefits—yet the brand retained about 90 percent of members.
04.16.2020

4 Key Legal, Operational Insights for ‘Survival Mode’

Now, about a month into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., things might be starting to feel somewhat normal, but there are a lot of considerations as businesses get into survival mode.
04.16.2020

A Shout-Out to Operators from Checkers & Rally's New Boss

Local curfews are the latest problem torpedoing Checkers & Rally's late-night business, the most recent one imposed April 13 in its headquarters county in Tampa, said Frances Allen, new CEO of the 900-restaurant chain.
04.16.2020

Xponential CEO Tells Operators: Prepare to Reopen Franchises

The eight boutique concepts, with more than 1,500 locations, under the Xponential Fitness umbrella have a new set of marching orders: get ready to reopen.
04.16.2020

Global Franchise Group Taps Naf Naf Boss as New CEO

What’s it like to start a new CEO gig during a pandemic? “Surreal, it’s totally surreal,” says Paul Damico, whose first day on the job as CEO of Global Franchise Group was April 6.
04.15.2020

Pool of Franchisees Keeps Growing for Big Blue Swim School

“We started Big Blue Swim School really in the height of the last recession, and what we learned then is that parents will continue to spend money on their kids, especially when it’s for a life-saving activity like swim lessons,” said Chris DeJong, founder and president. And franchisees recognize the opportunity.
04.14.2020

Chick-fil-A Reports Record Revenue in 2019, Profits Up 54.2 Percent

Chick-fil-A reported record sales and earnings in 2019. The Atlanta-based quick serve operator, ranked last year by Franchise Times magazine as the 12th largest franchise company in the U.S., was poised for another strong year in 2020. However, dining room closures and restrictions to operate drive-thru lanes only because of the coronavirus,will set back the chain in 2020.
04.14.2020

School of Rock Connects Students With Real-Life Guitar Heroes

The School of Rock's new partnership that connects the franchise's music performance students and their real-life guitar heroes—from Phil X to Mark Schulman and more—has to be the coolest virtual offering born from the pandemic.
04.13.2020

Its First Merger Deal Off, Unity Rd Tries Again

The planned merger between Unity Rd (formerly called One Cannabis), the Denver-based franchisor of marijuana dispensaries, and Cannabis One Holdings Inc. is off after regulatory hurdles proved too difficult to overcome, said Mike Wienberger, COO of Unity Rd. Instead, he was working in early April to close a deal with Item 9 Labs.
04.13.2020

With Hybrid Delivery Model, Wing Zone Sales Are Up

Restaurants that self-deliver with their own drivers have seen their ups and downs, as labor costs and availability have fluctuated along with the universal rise of direct-to-consumer convenience. For Atlanta-based Wing Zone, which has always had its own fleet, sales have actually risen during the pandemic.
04.13.2020

Sola CEO Manages Fear With a Focus on Reopening

“What is the stylist fear and how do we put that at ease? We wanted to make it very clear that if your building is closed, we are not going to charge you rent,” said Christina Russell, CEO of Sola Salon Studios. “Then for franchisees, it becomes how do you negotiate that with landlords.”
04.10.2020

How to Fight Denials of Business Interruption Claims

By now, most restaurant operators with business interruption insurance have heard bad tidings from their brokers: forget about getting coverage for your claims. Legal experts say that's fake news.
04.10.2020

Restaurant Franchises Help Feed Frontline Workers

A Chicken Salad Chick franchisee in Ohio and an Apple Spice Box Lunch & Catering franchisee in South Carolina developed creative programs to donate food to first responders, medical workers and other frontline workers during COVID-19.
04.09.2020

Digital Prowess, Wing Prices Help Wingstop Bridge COVID-19 Sales Pit

Wingstop seems to be bucking the brutal sales trends brought on by COVID-19, even growing in the last few weeks of March when stay-at-home orders spread across the country.
04.09.2020

How 2 Learning Franchises Switched to Virtual Lessons

How two learning franchises, TheCoderSchool and Young Rembrandts, quickly retooled to offer virtual classes when school shutdowns began mid-March.
04.09.2020

Batteries Plus Bulbs Daily Briefings Boost Morale

Batteries + Bulbs CEO Scott Williams is convening a "war room" update every afternoon over Zoom for his 20-person management and field staff, all working from home. It's helping to boost morale.
04.08.2020

McDonald’s CEO Takes Pay Cut, Brand Reduces Capital Costs

McDonald’s will reduce the number of Experience of the Future remodels across the U.S. and also cut the number of new restaurant openings in most markets around the world, two moves the company expects will save about $1 billion in capital expenditures.
04.08.2020

Looking Beyond Turmoil, Franchisee Signs 5-Unit Deal With Rise Biscuits

Parker Simon and Bradley Turney are already scouting locations in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where they plan to open Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken after inking a five-unit deal despite an upheaval of the restaurant industry caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
04.07.2020

TGI Fridays SPAC Merger Is Terminated

Blaming “extraordinary market conditions,” the TGI Fridays SPAC merger with Allegro is off.
04.07.2020

How to Communicate in a Pandemic, by Cousins Subs' CEO

Christine Specht, CEO of Cousins Subs, believes communication—and especially, communication without all the noise—is the most important mission for franchisors right now.
04.07.2020

Pandemic Not Yet Boosting Big Third-Party Delivery Providers

Data from Gordon Haskett’s shows that nearly 60 percent of respondents don’t feel comfortable with a delivery person coming to their house. With data for the week of March 20, 58.6 percent of people included in the study said accepting deliveries at home made them uncomfortable.
04.06.2020

Advice From My Salon Suite Franchise on Staying Afloat

For My Salon Suite, a salon franchise offering fully-furnished suites where beauty professionals can own and operate their own businesses, COVID-19 closures require that all parties involved get creative to stay afloat.
04.06.2020

Hurry Up and Wait for SBA Help

The Small Business Administration shared its final guidance around the Paycheck Protection Program and financial institutions are reeling. But operators should get in line.
04.03.2020

Mayweather Boxing Sees Opportunity Amid Studio Shutdown

While the uncertainty is weighing on franchisees—“everyone is wanting to know when they’ll be able to reopen”—Mayweather Boxing CEO James Williams said there’s also opportunity to market memberships and even help franchisees in the sold-but-not-open stage find more attractive real estate.
04.03.2020

Walk-On’s Restaurants Go All In on Family Meals

Walk-On’s, the Cajun-themed sports bar and restaurant franchise partly owned by New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees, has gone all in on family-style meals after each of its 37 locations closed their expansive dining rooms due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
04.03.2020
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