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Ike’s Love & Sandwiches Lands Multi-Unit Denver Deal

In its marketing materials, Ike’s Love & Sandwiches likes to say it has a “cult-like following” of fans and celebrities, a following it’s now turning into franchisees.

Men’s Groomer Hammer & Nails Looks to Double Up for Years

Once they come in to get a mani or pedi, men begin to understand the need for self care, says the president of Hammer & Nails, and that's driving explosive growth.

Wingstop CEO Shares Details of DoorDash Partnership

Buried in a very nice fourth quarter for Wingstop were some key details about a smart partnership between the brand and delivery provider DoorDash.

Launch Near for New Franchise, Ace Handyman Services

Ace Hardware is two weeks away from re-launching its new franchise, to be called Ace Handyman Services after an acquisition last September, and has hammered out details about one of 2020’s most intriguing new offerings in an amended franchise disclosure document.

Signature Dish Steals Show at Chicken Salad Chick 150th Opening

The first guest in line for the grand opening today of Chicken Salad Chick in Baton Rouge, Andrew Doan, showed up at 5 p.m. the evening before, slept in his camp chair and waited out the drizzle until opening time 10:30 a.m. Wednesday.

How Stumpy’s Became America’s First Indoor Hatchet Throwing Franchise

Will axe throwing have the same staying power as bowling? Stumpy’s Hatchet House seems to think so.

Famous Dave’s Parent to Buy Granite City Out of Bankruptcy

In its first big deal, BBQ Holdings Inc., the parent company of the Famous Dave’s franchise, will buy fellow Minnesota-based chain Granite City Food and Brewery. The acquisition of the 25-unit casual dining concept comes two months after Granite City filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

As Growth Explodes, Chicken Salad Chick Sticks to ‘Secret Sauce’

Now at 150 locations, Chicken Salad Chick had a good 2019 and it’s looking like a good 2020, too. But as the good times roll, CEO Scott Deviney said a key part of his job is keeping the concept feeling like it did at 15 locations.

Tips From Top Brands on Improving Franchisor-Franchisee Relationship

Experts from haircutting franchise Sports Clips, home service parent company Neighborly, and women-only kickboxing circuit 30 Minute Hit converged for a panel on building trust and engagement with your franchisees at the International Franchise Association convention in Orlando. Here are their top tips, ranging from surprisingly simple to easier-said-than-done.

If the KFC X Crocs Shoes Fit, Wear ‘Em

Broke fashionistas, this one's for you: Kentucky Fried Chicken X Crocs Clogs are billed as this spring’s hottest shoe, looking like a bucket of KFC chicken and complete with two removable charms that look like a fried drumstick.

Detail Garage VP Calls Lawsuit ‘Distressing,’ Touts the Positives

Detail Garage VP John Mansfield gave a general defense against allegations in a sweeping lawsuit filed in California District Court in late January, but did not address specific claims made in Cardinal Investments One v. Detail Garage.

Clean Water Franchise Jibu Grows to Eight Countries in Africa

I caught up with Galen Welsch at the International Franchise Association convention in Orlando to get an update on the status of Jibu, a social franchise providing clean drinking water in Africa.

Return of Colonel Sanders Helps KFC Climb Back From ‘Rock Bottom’

Speaking today at the IFA Convention in Orlando, Kevin Hochman, who as chief marketing officer in 2015 was part of the campaign to resurrect the Colonel, shared how KFC revamped its strategy in the face of slumping sales and franchisee unrest.

Popeyes’ Game Changer: 393 Million Reasons to Innovate

When Popeyes chicken sandwich launched, it was clearly a phenomenon and shows yet again that when brands innovate, good things happen.

CaliBurger’s First Futuristic Location Two Months In

For two months, a CaliBurger operator has been plugged into the company's “restaurant operating system." So far, so good.

Pop-up Fashion Franchise TaylorMarie’s Targets Senior Market

TaylorMarie’s Apparel provides personalized customer service and empowers senior women to model in fashion shows.

Former ‘Zee Takes Top Job at Tough Mudder Bootcamp

The fitness franchise is targeting “high-level investors” in an attempt to grow the brand in a studio fitness segment brimming with competitors. Britt Canady, named CEO in January, said Tough Mudder Bootcamp has a “controlled but very aggressive growth strategy,” and benefits from the “national and international brand awareness” that comes with the Tough Mudder name.

Lawsuit Calls Detail Garage ‘A Sham’ to Enrich Founders

A sweeping lawsuit against Detail Garage claims the founders of the auto-detailing supplies retailer are running a “shell-franchise operation” and “anticompetitive scheme” whose actual purpose is to boost revenue for their affiliate companies, primarily Smart LLC and ChemicalGuys.com and including 14 entities in all.

12 Capture Franchise Times Dealmakers Awards

Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2020 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the eighth annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.

Wendy’s Breakfast Officially Launches Nationwide March 2

Get ready for Breakfast Baconators, Frosty-ccinos and Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits.

For Founders Considering Outside Investors, ‘Have a Plan’

An understanding of what exactly they want is something too many franchise founders overlook before jumping into talks with outside investors, said Anthony Polazzi, president and CEO of AP Franchised Concepts, which he established in 2016 to invest in and operate restaurant and retail concepts.

Greene Turtle Field Trainer Takes 24-hour Super Plunge For Special Olympics

Rachel Grant dove into the icy Chesapeake Bay every hour for 24 hours. Crazy? Maybe, but it was for a good cause—raising money for Special Olympics Maryland.

Three Dough Boys Chapter 11 Closes Episode in Mr. Gatti’s Saga

When Three Dough Boys, comprised of former Papa John’s execs Jeff Tisdel and Kenny Starks plus a third partner, bought 13 corporate locations of Mr. Gatti’s Pizza in Austin, Texas, in 2018 for $4 million, the three were hailed as “a powerful addition for our brand.” Now the investment group has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

‘No Two Alike’ Motto Is One Factor in Bar Louie Decline

Bar Louie hired an investment banker to sell the chain of 134 restaurants last fall, but three letters of intent turned up no deal. Now the Addison, Texas-based chain has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.

The Big Game at Wing Zone? Selling 1 Million Wings in Three Hours

At Wing Zone, the company’s “big game” is the days and hours right before kickoff of the actual Super Bowl.

'Bachelor' Pilot Pete’s Vintage Sylvan Commercial Goes Viral

"The Bachelor's" Pilot Pete starred in a Sylvan Learning Center commercial when he was a kid in 2005 which recently resurfaced.

Amid Uncertainty, Burgerim Franchisees Form Association

Working with the American Association of Franchisees and Dealers, a nonprofit trade group, the Burgerim franchisee association formed following reports of mismanagement and misappropriation of franchisee funds within the system.

FT Dealmakers Judges Cite Complexity, Win-Win as Award-Worthy Attributes

It’s selection time for this year’s winners of the eighth annual Franchise Times Dealmakers project, and the eight outside finance and M&A experts and four staff members who helped us choose gave an inside look into what they believe makes for successful deals.

For Farmer Behind Franny’s Farmacy, ‘World Is Very Small’

Freshly home from a trip to Cuba where she talked and toured with farmers, Franny Tacy is on a mission to educate people worldwide how to grow hemp profitably and produce CBD products derived from it with integrity.

88-Year-Old Krystal Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The 88-year-old Krystal company has filed for bankruptcy protection in an attempt to hit the reset button and get back to its path toward growth.

In Burgerim Saga, an Unfortunate Set of Predictions

When Burgerim began selling franchises in the U.S., it did so without the usual validation. What Burgerim did have was its president, Oren Loni, an Israeli citizen who claimed to have extensive experience in launching "highly successful" restaurant franchises in Israel and other European countries.

ICR Hot Topic: Virtual Restaurants

As the virtual restaurant segment grows, there seem to be three dominant paths that take full advantage of the potential for new ways of doing business.

Is Your Lawyer a Legal Eagle? Nominate Them!

As we get closer to the announcement of the 2020 class of Legal Eagles, let’s look back at what makes them so great.

Curry Up Now Snags Investment From Joe Montana’s VC Firm

Liquid 2 Ventures, a seed-stage venture capital firm, is getting into the restaurant business, investing in fast-casual Indian franchise Curry Up Now. The San Francisco-based firm counts among its founders Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana, also a serial angel investor whose investments include Pinterest and Dropbox.

Latest Illinois Case Shows Risk in Using Biometric Data

A lawsuit filed last month in Illinois against the retailer Target for its use of facial recognition technology illustrates the potential liability for franchises, points out Dawn Johnson, attorney at Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale.

Regis Take-Back Shows Road to Asset Light Can Be Rocky

A deal has come undone between Regis Corp. and The Beautiful Group, the Los Angeles-based franchisee that acquired some 500 Regis and Mastercuts mall-based hair salons in 2017.

Anita Adams Moves Into CEO Role at Black Bear Diner

In a long-planned leadership change-up, Anita Adams has been named CEO of casual dining concept Black Bear Diner.

Final Joint Employer Rule Gives ‘Clarity’ to Franchise Industry

One month after the National Labor Relations Board absolved McDonald’s of responsibility for alleged labor violations by its franchisees, the franchise industry received further clarity on the issue of joint employment after the U.S. Department of Labor issued a final rule January 12.

South Korean Bonchon Crests 100 U.S. Locations

Not many international brands get beyond a few locations in big, global markets. But Bonchon just inched over the 100-location mark.

Women-only 30 Minute Hit Continues U.S. Expansion

30 Minute Hit offers a circuit training model that doesn’t restrict members to specific class times. But that’s not the only differentiator in a boxing sub-segment that’s become increasingly competitive, with the likes of 9Round, Title Boxing and I Love Kickboxing vying for members—and for franchisees.

Picnic’s Pizza Robot Takes Aim at Big Pizza Operators

Picnic's pizza bot got some viral attention at the Consumer Electronics Show, but it's best suited for big pizza.

Minuteman Press ‘Zee Shares How He Hit $1 Million

Andy Kiecker is the latest Minuteman Press franchisee to join the President’s Million-Dollar Circle, achieving yearly gross sales of at least $1 million.

Elder-Well Is Former ‘Zees' First Try as Franchisor

Two former Home Helpers franchisees are launching Elder-Well, what they call a first-to-market franchise in which owners offer an adult day program for seniors in their own homes or in leased single-family homes or commercial buildings.

Yum’s Bid for Habit Burger Signals New Stance on M&A, Analyst Says

Habit Burger shareholders gave a thumbs up to the proposed purchase of the California-based chain by Yum Brands, pushing the stock up 32 percent in its first day of trading after the $375-million acquisition ($14 per share) was announced.

Former Fridays President Set to Crack Growth at Eggs Up Grill

Ricky Richardson is eager to jump back into start-up mode as the new CEO at Eggs Up Grill.

Hot State or Not? United Van Lines Reports

Idaho’s hot but New Jersey’s not, at least according to United Van Lines 43rd annual survey.

'Let’s Go' Is Christian Bros’ Mantra to Fix Cars for Single Moms

“There are 24,000 single women in Houston living under the poverty line, and I want to just knock that down in the next 10 years,” declared Jonathan Carr, president of Christian Brothers Automotive Foundation. His vehicle to meet that goal is The Hub Garage.

Traffic Data Quantifies Popeyes' Explosive Chicken Sandwich

Some new traffic data shows just how explosive the Popeyes chicken sandwich—and the re-launch in November—really was.

Italy Emerges as Ripe Market for Johnny Rockets

Highlighting the food quality at Johnny Rockets, along with its “American origins and spirit,” have been crucial to the brand’s success in Italy, said franchisee Giangiacomo Groppetti.

Everything but Marijuana at MJBizCon Show

A Samuel Taylor Coleridge paraphrase could have described the buttoned-down MJBizCon show in Las Vegas last week.
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