Homecare franchises are on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, and are seeing growth rather than shutdown. "We're hiring across the nation," said Best Life Brands' chief revenue and operating officer.
The franchisee association is suing Edible Arrangements and its founder, Tariq Farid, alleging "self-dealing" and improper use of the advertising fund among other complaints. Now they're adding retaliation to the list.
Triage pods in the parking lots are among the innovations rolled out at five AFC Urgent Care clinics in Portland, Oregon, where owner Guru Sankar is trying to relieve an overburdened hospital and ER system while at the same time keeping his clinics' doors open.
For brands with franchisees operating in regions around the world, they’re planning for what’s next—even as situations during the COVID-19 pandemic are sometimes wildly different from market to market.
"If it looks like you're overreacting, you're probably doing the right thing." That's a quote from Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's point medical man on the pandemic, that Kevin Wilson, CEO of Buzz Franchise Brands, takes to heart. But he also advised playing offense, on a webinar sponsored by FranConnect.
A Taco John’s franchisee is offering free meals to elderly citizens, a Junk King franchisee has partnered with a local food bank to deliver meals to seniors stuck at home, and Assisted Living Locators has partnered with Love For The Elderly, a nonprofit organization that mails handwritten letters to seniors.
Several franchise registration states are making adjustments to filing deadlines and are updating other guidelines for renewals and applications in an effort to assist franchisors experiencing a severe disruption to their business.
Options for beleaguered restaurants owners are mobilizing quickly. Here is what you need to know. The CARES Act, recently passed by Congress and signed by President Trump on March 27, allows the Small Business Administration to guaranty $349 billion in loans to small businesses that have been impacted economically by the COVID-19 virus.
Like their counterparts in the restaurant segment, fitness franchises have had to close their doors following various state mandates to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus and, much like restaurants, they’re pushing their business model online. Perhaps better prepared for this shift thanks to the rise in at-home fitness classes, brands are rolling out virtual workouts and giving many people—FT’s editorial team included—a much-needed outlet as the lockdown continues.
Nicholas Upton, Laura Michaels, Beth Ewen, Tom Kaiser, Callie Evergreen
With support from celebrity chef Guy Fieri, the National Restaurant Association Educational Foundation created a Restaurant Employee Relief Fund that will provide one-time $500 checks to restaurant workers.
If your restaurant is keeping the lights on amid the coronavirus pandemic, status-quo business plans no longer apply. Two experts in the off-premises space are recommending operators make critical changes immediately to get through this crisis, while also setting their restaurants up for success when normalcy finally returns to the dining room.
If your local gym isn’t closed due to COVID-19 already, it likely will be soon. TruFusion, an everything-in-one studio backed by athletes such as Russell Wilson and Alex Rodriguez, decided to offer online classes for members ranging from bootcamp to yoga to Pilates.
Franchises are—or should be—in the third wave of crisis communication, said Lorne Fisher, CEO of Fish Consulting. “It’s how do we re-engage with customers” and keep the brand relevant “even if you’re not open." Fisher and other industry professionals in PR and brand marketing offered tips for franchises as they navigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franchisee attorneys Robert Zarco and his partners have a new big target: insurance companies, which are routinely denying business interruption claims made by restaurant, hotel and other operators amid COVID-19 shutdowns mandated by the states.
“This is the time for smart people … to double down and really become aggressive with what you’re doing,” said Bryon Stephens, co-founder of Pivotal Growth Partners, which focuses on accelerating emerging brands. “Be a contrarian” while others are pulling back.
Red Robin smartly began investing in its off-premises channels a few years ago, bolstering its online ordering platform and partnering with third-party delivery services to meet consumer demand. But, as the brand noted back in 2018, the most profitable transaction is when guests order online and pick up their food in the restaurant, which saves on front-of-the-house labor and skips the commission charge normally paid to the delivery service.
By Laura Michaels, Nicholas Upton, Tom Kaiser, Callie Evergreen
While it’s probably obvious that restaurant traffic is down as state and federal mandates require the majority of U.S. dining rooms close, traffic and sales data show the full breadth of the damage so far.
Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A were the first brands to announce they would shut down dining rooms but remain open for delivery and to-go orders. Short of full closures, many restaurant companies are significantly tweaking operations as coronavirus-necessitated social distancing radically impacts the industry.
The International Franchise Association and National Restaurant Association are requesting billions in industry-specific recovery funds as businesses are forced to close or adjust operations in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Job losses in franchising alone could be near 400,000, according to FRANdata.
While scientists scramble to find a treatment for COVID-19, unprecedented quarantines and social distancing measures urged by the CDC have prompted closures of restaurants, bars, fitness clubs and other franchising sectors. This means a lot of business activity is grinding to a halt—except for drive-thru and delivery services.
With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force, what can you do to stay in business and protect the long-term viability of your restaurant operation? Two things are paramount: First, keep your employees informed and try to keep them working as much as possible. Second, as sales slow, cash must be protected at all costs.
As cities and states across the country order the temporary shutdown of bars, restaurants, gyms and other public gathering places in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, franchise business owners are grappling with how and if they can continue to pay workers—and wondering what requirements new legislation could impose.
As some attendees replaced hugs or handshakes with elbow bumps, we asked several attendees at the Franchise Investment Conference what they and their brands were doing to guard against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.
Inspire Brands is promoting "cross-brand development" to prospective franchisees, trying to attract sophisticated, multi-unit operators who want to build Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John's, Arby's and/or Sonic stores.
“We’re the premier luxury brand of the salon suite industry,” said Shaun Olsen, who with brother Jason Olsen began franchising Image Studios 360 in 2015 and have 29 open locations in 11 states. “Our franchisees are doing amazing.” The brothers presented March 10 at the Franchise Investment Conference.
The current economic expansion is the longest on record, 127 months, said Peter Ricchiuti, and a lot of people think the good times will last forever. They believe the most dangerous words in investing, he added: "This time it's different."
Proprietors Capital Holdings, the owner of Pedal Pub since 2017, formed a new umbrella company called Go Xperia and embarked on a strategy to buy and franchise "experience entertainment" brands in four categories, said Go Xperia CEO Bob Ruhland at the Franchise Investment Conference today in Dallas.
“Our food tastes great in the moment and also feels great after,” said Renee Israel, Modern Market Eatery's chief franchise officer. Israel presented today at the Franchise Investment Conference, hosted by Franchise Times.
Chicken Salad Chick's attraction of a much-larger majority investor, Brentwood Associates with its $2.4 billion fund, captured the Franchise Times Deal of the Year award today at the Franchise Investment Conference, and CEO Scott Deviney invoked an African proverb when accepting the award.
“We are in deal mode,” said Devin Hughes, director of franchise sales at Meineke, which is looking to attract multi-unit owners. Hughes presented today at the Franchise Investment Conference, hosted by Franchise Times.
An alert sent to Detail Garage franchisees last Saturday announced a deal to pilot "Shine Shops" in 500 Walmart stores that will sell popular Chemical Guys car-detailing products. A plaintiff in a lawsuit against Detail Garage founders calls the deal "complete madness."
Most franchisors abhor (or at least dislike) when their franchisees want to form an association independent of corporate influence. The founder of Oxxo Care Cleaners, however, is exhorting franchisees to do so.
Julie Eash, a Waxing the City franchisee in Texas, faced seven months of opening delays—but she decided to keep her entire staff on payroll and turned it into a grassroots networking and volunteering opportunity.
The Great White North Franchisee Association-USA is suing Tim Hortons USA and parent company RBI, alleging an “illegal and fraudulent business scheme” that aims to “convert the Tim Hortons franchise supply system into a supply chain business disguised as a franchise system.”
Bernie Sanders’ declaration about marijuana during the Democratic presidential candidates’ debate this week was a boost to Dennis McKinley. “I just heard Bernie Sanders say, if I’m elected, it will be legal,” said McKinley, who owns two cannabis franchises—Cru Hemp Lounge and Carolina Hemp Company—with business partner Greg George.
Seeing the unstoppable rise of delivery and catering, a New York City-based entrepreneur with a background in farming, engineering and philosophy is turning his attention to helping restaurants streamline their third-party delivery programs and avoid worst-practices that don’t help restaurants build loyalty, traffic or profits.
If signing a franchise agreement is akin to marriage, as the frequent analogy goes, does that make a franchise resale the divorce? That’s not the right attitude for franchisors, who should instead understand that resales are a natural part of the life cycle of a brand, and addressing them early will make for a smoother transition for all involved.