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Pearle Vision ‘Zee Puts Money in Stores, Not Toys

“The key to franchising is re-investing in the business,” declares Mike Arends, a long-time Pearle Vision franchisee in Minnesota with four stores, including a newly remodeled store in Eden Prairie Center that I recently visited to report a story about the brand. You could call his attitude a dream for the franchisor and instructive for other franchisees.
06.28.2018

New 10 Point Capital Looks to Invest Own Money, Too

One criterion stands out to Tom Wells, co-founder of new private equity firm 10 Point Capital, when deciding which deals to do. “We have the lens of wanting to invest our own money, personally,” he said, along with that of family offices and high-net-worth individuals. 10 Point Capital has made its first deal, taking a minority stake in Phenix Salon Suites, founded by Gina and Jason Rivera.
06.28.2018

Taco Bell Signs Deals for 400-plus Restaurants in Brazil, Spain

With its first-ever master franchise agreements, Taco Bell is in global expansion mode. The Irvine, California-based Mexican chain signed deals with franchisee groups in Brazil and Spain that call for the development of more than 400 total restaurants over the next decade.
06.28.2018

Select Marriott Hotels Have a New Permanent Guest: Alexa

As emerging technologies become more and more a part of our everyday lives, the hospitality sector is following suit. Starting this summer, Marriott International is rolling out Amazon’s Alexa for Hospitality, a version of the Amazon Echo specifically for hotel rooms.
06.28.2018

Culver’s New CEO Pulls His Punches

Two years after Culver’s CEO and President Phil Keiser died, the brand’s new leader, Joe Koss, has struck a balance between comforting his team and franchise community, while also continuing the burger chain’s slow and steady growth that has taken the system from 40 restaurants in the mid-1990s to more than 660 locations today.
06.22.2018

Early Name for Modern Acupuncture Didn’t Hit the Spot

Shane Sender isn’t a typical regional developer for Modern Acupuncture, the fast-growing franchise that’s our cover story in August. He's also got a funny story about the evolution of the franchise's name.
06.22.2018

Jamba Juice Deal Adds NFL Star Power

NFL players Vernon Davis and Mohamed Sanu announced this week they’re working together to bring more Jamba Juice stores to the Washington, D.C. area.
06.22.2018

Learning Rx Boss Is Hands-On in Work, Life

Learning Rx CEO Kim Hanson has a big job on her hands—“My target is to take the 100,000 brains we’ve trained to 300,000 brains,” she told me during an interview at the International Franchise Expo, but that doesn’t keep her from other handiwork. She creates beautiful pottery, from yarn bowls to mugs to funky vases.
06.22.2018

KFC to Join Vegetarian Bandwagon?

Buzz about KFC’s efforts to create vegetarian options in the UK and Ireland markets have delighted many, but disappointed some. Are fast-food chains responding to meatless markets in Europe, but not the U.S.?
06.21.2018

Eco Efforts Are Part of the Nature’s Table Package

“Without the meaning, we’re just selling a commodity.” That’s how Rich Wagner thinks about the eco-conscious efforts of his brand, Nature’s Table, which is nearing 70 locations and continues to work toward reducing its carbon footprint.
06.21.2018

New Quiznos Owners See Strong Brand Foundation

High Bluff Capital Partners, the new owners of “substantially all of Quiznos’ assets,” have quite a job ahead.
06.19.2018

Consumers Are 'Passionate About Potholes'—and so Is Domino’s

Domino’s is changing the marketing landscape with a new initiative launched last week: filling actual potholes to aid the delivery and carryout experience.
06.18.2018

Was That Ad Written by a Robot?

Just about every marketer knows the joy of tweaking and testing online ads. But what if artificial intelligence could do it instead?
06.15.2018

Others ‘Create Holes Every Day,’ and PatchMaster Will Fix Them

Raise your hand if you have a hole in your home’s drywall. Yep, Kathleen Kuhn thought so, which is why the president and CEO of HouseMaster launched a new franchise called PatchMaster.
06.15.2018

Try, Try Again Is Melt Shop Founder’s Motto

How hard could it be to create the perfect grilled cheese sandwich? Spencer Rubin, founder of the Melt Shop whom I recently met in his New York City flagship store, says it’s far more difficult than you might think.
06.15.2018

Choosing the Right Franchisee

What kind of franchise do you want yours to be? Few decisions answer that question better than the people you decide to do business with as franchisees. Choosing the right franchisee can set the tone for your business.
06.14.2018

Hotel Building Spree Continues, Hilton Adds 40 New Hotels

As the current hotel boom approaches the decade mark, there’s no end in sight as most major hoteliers continue adding new rooms, remodeled properties and entirely new builds. Following an impressive first quarter, Hilton—13th on the Franchise Times Top 200+—is opening an average of four properties per week.
06.14.2018

More Growth as Code Ninjas Inks 33-unit Deal

A screen of text, brackets and semicolons wasn’t going to hold the attention of kids, even those interested in coding, so David Graham took a different approach in creating his startup franchise, Code Ninjas.
06.12.2018

Wendy’s Embraces Vine-ripened Tomatoes

Will the next next battle in the QSR freshness war be over tomatoes? If it is, Wendy’s has quite a lead on the rest of the industry.
06.07.2018

Taco Bell ‘Zee Adds 25 More Units

Virginia Beach, Virginia-based Taco Bell franchisee Burgerbusters added 25 units of the quick service Mexican chain to its growing portfolio, bringing its total Taco Bell count up to 142.
06.07.2018

A&W Looking Good, Still Growing at 100

Making it to 100 is a gift for anything or anyone, and A&W Restaurants is looking unusually spry as America’s first and oldest restaurant chain approaches the century mark. The food and treats brand expects to open 12 new units this year after adding 15 franchise locations in 2017.
06.07.2018

A Notebook Full of Stories from the IFE

When the founders of Cinnaholic got an offer on Shark Tank four years ago, they took the money on the TV show itself but didn’t sign the contract afterward. Why? “Different visions. They didn’t want to franchise,” said Marty Welch about the Shark Tank judges. Welch was one of many engaging individuals exhibiting at the International Franchise Expo in New York City last week.
06.06.2018

‘Big Ambitions’ as Harvest Acquires Dwyer Group

One every four months. That’s the number of acquisitions, or 11 in total, the Dwyer Group made since August of 2014 when The Riverside Co. acquired the franchisor. Harvest Partners of New York is the new majority investor, announced June 4.
06.06.2018

Manna Buys Growth Without Giving Up Equity

When a large franchisee wants to make a big acquisition, it typically means giving up equity.
06.06.2018

Planning Protest, Tim Hortons Zees ‘Will Not Be Intimidated’

A group of Tim Hortons franchisees in Canada plan to gather June 20 at the head office of parent company Restaurant Brands International to protest RBI’s termination of franchisee Mark Kuziora, the named plaintiff in GWNFA’s lawsuit against the brand that seeks more than $500 million in damages.
06.06.2018

More International Buzz for Mosquito Squad With Indonesia Deal

After launching in East Africa earlier this year, tick and mosquito control franchise Mosquito Squad added another international deal to its development lineup, this time in Indonesia.
06.01.2018

Dinner with the New Famous Dave

Having dinner with “Famous” Dave Anderson is a treat; there are just not many people as excited about food as he is. And with a new look for the restaurant and some delectable new menu items, there’s a lot to be excited about as the 24-year-old brand gets a refresh.
06.01.2018

Small Business Optimism Hits Record High

Are you having a good day? If so, you’re in good company, as small business sentiment has reached a new high driven by the strongest local economic outlook on record, a “firmer hiring environment” and a stronger backdrop for investment according to MetLife and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
05.30.2018

Domino’s new Hotspots get Major Marketing Push

Domino’s put a huge marketing push behind Hotspots, the 150,000 new non-traditional addresses to which Domino’s will deliver, including a new national TV spot and the company’s first-ever print ad in the New York Times.
05.29.2018

Fireman Capital Boosts Anytime Fitness Operator Bandon

Bandon Holdings, the biggest franchisee in the Anytime Fitness system with 38 gyms, has gained a majority investment from private equity firm Fireman Capital Partners that will allow the Texas-based partnership to become even larger.
05.25.2018

After Curves, Gary Findley Loves the Franchising Ride

“That Curves ride was a ride I’ll never see again, but now here I am, 56 years old, two grandbabies, but I still love what I do. I love, love, love franchising,” says Gary Findley, the subject of next month's The Boss column in Franchise Times with outtakes featured here.
05.25.2018

Greene Turtle, But Not McD’s, Says Goodbye to Straws

It’s the final straw for The Greene Turtle, and that’s a good thing, is how Greg Pitkoff of Grip Communications cleverly put it, with the 46-unit sports bar and grill announcing its restaurants would go straw-free as of yesterday, May 23.
05.24.2018

Robin Autopilot Puts Robo-Mowers to Work in U.S.

Justin Crandall, co-founder of Robin Autopilot, doesn’t want you mow the yard. He’d prefer you install one of his robotic lawn mowers instead.
05.24.2018

International Deal Could Add 2,000-plus Pizza Huts to the Map

Pizza Hut already says it has more restaurant locations in the world than any other pizza company: nearly 17,000 in more than 100 countries. Now the brand is planning another international push, this time with Madrid-based pizza giant Telepizza Group.
05.23.2018

Tough Mudder Bootcamp Forges Ahead, Opens Flagship

In the six months since we brought you the story about rough-and-tumble Tough Mudder expanding into the fitness business, the brand has crossed some impressive milestones as it prepares to open its new flagship location in Massachusetts.
05.23.2018

The Culpability Question in RMH Franchise Bankruptcy

The second-largest Applebee's franchisee filed for bankruptcy protection, dragging a ‘zor-‘zee spat out into the open.
05.18.2018

El Pollo Loco Verdict Makes ‘New Law,’ Attorney Says

A California court’s $8.8 million jury award to El Pollo Loco franchisees Michael and Janice Bryman in early May breaks new ground in franchise law, said their attorney, Robert Zarco of Zarco Law in Miami, although the franchisor said it will appeal the verdict and outside attorneys don’t necessarily see it the same way.
05.18.2018

Denny’s Targets the ‘Everyman’ in International Expansion

“Denny’s has been off again, on again with international,” said Steve Dunn, the company’s chief global development officer. Now the brand is focusing its efforts on finding experienced operators in countries and regions where Denny’s is already in demand.
05.17.2018

King’s Bierhaus Partners With Fransmart

At the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference, I was extremely impressed by Philipp Sitter of King’s Bierhaus, a German beer and bratwurst concept based in Houston. As he seeks to grow beyond its single company unit, I was pleased to see news that the brand partnered with Fransmart to aid its expansion.
05.17.2018

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Partners With Marques Colston

Main Squeeze Juice Co. and former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston have announced a partnership to open a flagship store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Colston and his wife, Emily, will also assist the brand’s executive team to support its national expansion plans.
05.17.2018

Dwyer Group Brands Finally Acting ‘Neighborly’

Dwyer Group CEO Mike Bidwell says a longstanding company vision to market a family of brands is in place, and he's gearing up for a nearly $2 billion year.
05.16.2018

NLRB Move on Joint Employer Could ‘Accelerate’ Resolution​

The National Labor Relations Board said last week it may take up the joint employer issue and resolve it by means of rulemaking, a move that many in franchising say they’d welcome.
05.15.2018

Cooking Commodities: More Brands Buying Whole Ingredients

Some brands are going beyond fresh, using whole ingredients right from the farm, fishery or field.
05.09.2018

Edgy Ads, Low Food Costs, All Part of Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith’s presentation started with a rap on Asian food: “Teriyaki madness, you’ve got to have this, if you haven’t had this, teriyaki madness," (repeat again and again at a staccato cadence).
05.09.2018

With a Whoosh, Sub Zero Creates Spectacle and a Treat

“I’ve been waiting for this presentation all day,” said a man in the front row as SubZero Ice Cream founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock hauled in their equipment—three gallons of cream, a stainless steel bowl, a big blue cooler on wheels and, most unusually, a 50-liter tank of liquid nitrogen at a cool minus-350 degrees F.
05.09.2018

ZIPS Dry Cleaners CEO Wants to See Your Dry-Cleaning Bill

Drew Ritger wants to see your dry cleaning bill. Go ahead, take it out and see how much it cost to get your jacket or shirt cleaned.
05.08.2018

Smoothie King Catches the Fitness Wave

You might not know it at first blush, but Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim is a hilarious and entertaining guy, which I learned over dinner a few years back in the company’s previous home in New Orleans. His presentation at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference was funny and direct as the company rides a wave of enthusiasm for health and fitness across the globe.
05.08.2018

Black Bear Charging Eastward

Twenty-three years after starting the company with $15,000 that came, in part, from selling his boat, Black Bear Diner CEO and co-founder Bruce Dean never thought he would be here at the helm of a successful brand that’s suddenly breaking out and epitomizing the American Dream.
05.08.2018

Del Taco's ‘QSR Plus’ Position Continues to Pay Off

The repositioning of Del Taco as a “QSR plus” concept is working, says CFO Steve Brake, and last week the Lake Forest, California-based Mexican brand reported its 23rd consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth for company-owned restaurants.
05.08.2018

Never Sell a Deal You Wouldn’t Sign Yourself, NRD’s COO Says

Susan Beth brings an operator’s mindset to her COO role at NRD Capital, winner of a Franchise Times Dealmakers award at a gala luncheon today, for the private equity firm’s acquisition of Ruby Tuesday last December. So her advice for other dealmakers is no surprise.
05.08.2018
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