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Safeguard Those Fingerprints Now That CCPA Looms

Franchises using biometrics—fingerprints, retinal scans and the like—for customer or employee ID should beware of the CCPA, according to Michael Cohen of Gray Plant Mooty. That’s the California Consumer Privacy Act that goes into effect January 1.

One Cannabis to Go Public via Merger With Cannabis One

One Cannabis, the parent of marijuana franchise Unity Rd, is going public via a “merger of equals” with Cannabis One Holdings Inc. (CBEI), a stock trading for 16 cents a share on the Canadian Securities Exchange. The two firms met under contentious circumstances.

It’s Gift Card Season for Franchising

'Tis the season for selling gift cards. And it could be a real benefit for the slow early months of 2020.

As Wages Rise, Operators Seek Efficiency Anywhere

In 2020, 20 states will raise minimum wages. As they do, unemployment remains at historic lows and turnover at or near historic highs in the restaurant industry.

New ‘Franchise Book of Mentors’ Benefits VetFran

When picking up a new subject of study or profession, a book chock-full of advice from mentors is something few people would turn down. Franchising is an intimidating venture for any franchisor, regardless of the brand, and asking for help can be difficult when you don’t know whom to turn to.

Fourth, HotSchedules Merge With End-to-End Restaurant Platform in Mind

Ask a restaurant general manager how the technology sea change is affecting them, and they’ll show you the incredible new tools at hand—as soon as they remember the password.

Google’s Phone Automation Tool, CallJoy, Gets Smarter

Google's AI phone operator just got a little smarter.

Another Broken Egg Gains Permanent Chief in Macaluso

The first permanent chief executive since the founder left is on the job at Another Broken Egg Café, and new CEO and President Paul Macaluso is touting one key feature of the breakfast and brunch concept.

Five Years for Card My Yard—But Don't Send Just a Card

Amy Arnold and Jessica Stanley met at Bible study in Austin, Texas, both with “little bitty kids, and we were trying not to join the 9 to 5 workforce,” says Arnold, co-founder of Card My Yard, which has just reached five years in business and topped 150 units in 32 states.

11 Years After Crash-Era Founding, PMI Thrives

Before he was president and CEO of Property Management Inc., Steve Hart lived in the niche of building high-end custom homes. Business was booming in the real estate and construction industry as realtors prospered. Then it all ended as the economy crashed in 2008. Luckily, Hart had a friend that wasn’t willing to let him throw in the towel.

Stacks of Conditions Burden Some M&A Deals, Panelists Say

Franchisors are putting “a lot” more conditions on franchisees these days before they will approve buy-or-sell transactions, some of them burdensome, according to a panel on mergers and acquisitions at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference on November 12.

‘Volition’ Is Most Powerful Word, Says RFDC Keynote Rooney

“When you wake up early every morning, it is a gift, and the day that God has given us,” said Major Dan Rooney at a rousing keynote speech at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Nov. 13.

Uno Pizzeria Pins Expansion on New Hub-and-Spoke Model

When Jim Ilaria joined Uno Pizzeria and Grill in November 2018 the management team was working on a 6,500-square-foot prototype restaurant with the intention of using it to bring the brand into new markets. “And I said that’s not going to work, not where the industry is going, it’s too big,” recalled Ilaria when I sat down with him last week at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

Vote for Your Favorite Franchises in 4th Annual Franchise Times Zor Awards

Show your enthusiasm for the best franchises in the industry with the Franchise Times Zor Awards, recognizing the best companies in 10 hot industry segments.

Corlex Capital Believes ‘This is It’ Really Is

The year-old Corlex Capital is taking its second brand to the franchise market: This is It Southern Kitchen & BBQ, an Atlanta-based Southern home-style restaurant chain founded 35 years ago by the Anthony family and now with 11 restaurants in Georgia and two franchise deals signed.

Doc Popcorn Founder Back in Game for Modern Market Launch

A 10-year trek has Modern Market Eatery ready to launch a franchise program in 2020. “We’ve been reinventing the concept from the kitchen out,” said CEO and co-founder Anthony Pigliacampo in an interview at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference last week.

Krystal’s New COO an 'Operations Guy' First

In a surprise shake-up, Krystal has a new COO who is leaning on his deep operational background to continue pivoting the company toward growth.

After ‘Shark Tank’ Surprise, Wine & Design Trends Upward

Shortly after the economy crashed in 2008, Wine & Design CEO and founder Harriett Mills had been laid off from her job in sales and was in search of a new one. It was on a weekend trip with a friend that she would find the inspiration for her concept, which is now a national brand.

Going Behind the Scenes on Ghost Kitchen Economics

On the third day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, execs from Kitchen United, Sweetberry Bowls and Dog Haus went behind the scenes on the economics and other details for restaurants now operating within delivery- and takeout-only kitchens.

Chicken Guy Building Management Coop

Guy Fieri's new Chicken Guy concept is clucking right along with a growing management team and development pipeline.

Convenience, Experience Are Must-Haves, Restaurant Investors Say

Convenience, quality and experience. These are the three key drivers impacting not only how restaurants are evolving and investing in themselves but also “how the investor community is viewing where they want to place capital,” said Anish Gandhi, managing director at investment banking firm Brookwood Associates, who spoke on a panel today at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

ShopoGraphics as the Holy Grail of Real Estate

Presented in a quick 7 minutes during the Around the Industry segment on day two of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, Paul Sill, founder of Forum Analytics, dove into the concept of what his firm calls ShopoGraphics. It's a deeper way of looking at the pros, cons, opportunities and challenges of retail sites.

For Restaurants, the Value Equation Keeps Changing

Value is a tricky thing to measure because it’s changing for everyone. But during the 2019 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference this week, Growth Partners Retail President Neil Culbertson laid out attributes that go into the value equation for consumers that goes well beyond price.

‘Never a Dull Day’ for Dunkin’ CFO Plus Others on Panel

Today started with a bang for Kate Jaspon, the CFO of Dunkin’ Brands, as Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Dean Foods supplies ice cream to Baskin Robbins (8,000 stores under the Dunkin’ umbrella) and dairy products to Dunkin’ (13,000 stores formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts.)

Little Caesars Targets International Markets in Next Growth Phase

As it actively pursues growth abroad, Mike Therrian, director of international development, said Little Caesars is looking to partner with operators of existing QSR or retail concepts, and views itself as a complementary brand and one with a sustainable business model.

Robots, Ants and Biometrics are the Future of Dining, Says RFDC Speaker

The future of fine dining is here and it features—wait for it—bugs, worms and ants, according to Daniel Del Olmo, founding partner of The Passionality Group, speaking at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.

A Kiss, Toilet Paper and Other Signs of Recession

Brian Belski, chief investment banking strategist at BMO Capital Markets, strode onto stage and planted a large smooch on his fellow panelist’s cheek, David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff. From there, the two economists with contrasting points of view were off on a lively discussion on opening day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

MOD Pizza’s Founders Talk Purpose, Profits at RFDC

MOD Pizza’s founders are doubling down on their efforts to employ the underemployed at their 470-store pizza chain, most recently focusing on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, said Ally and Scott Svenson on opening day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.

After Xponential Buy, a Year of Change at Pure Barre

Sarah Luna became president of Pure Barre in November 2018 after it was acquired by Xponential Fitness. She's put franchisee support at the center of her growth plans with a goal of bringing stability to the brand.

In Test, Workout Anytime Reaches Billboard CPMs in Digital

Workout Anytime found some major efficiencies with a new digital ad program that slashed CPMs, or cost per mille, a measure of ROI in digital advertising.

CEO’s Out, Hemp’s In as Edible Founder Calls For 'Grit'

In July 2018, Edible Arrangement’s founder deemed its first outside CEO, Mike Rotondo, “perfect for the role.” Now Rotondo’s out, Tariq Farid has reclaimed the chief executive’s job and he’s taking the brand known for fresh fruit bouquets down new paths, including hemp-farming and cannabis.

Chicken Salad Chick’s New Owner Says Don't Go Changin'

Chicken Salad Chick has a much larger majority investor, Brentwood Associates with its $2.4 billion fund buying out Eagle Merchant Partners, but CEO Scott Deviney believes it will be “business as usual, luckily” at the 137-plus Southeast-based restaurant chain.

Chris Kempczinski Named McDonald's CEO in Leadership Shakeup

In a surprise announcement on Sunday night, McDonald’s said that Chris Kempczinski would take over as president and CEO of McDonald’s immediately.

Would You Like Plant Cheese on That?

Could plant-based dairy be the next explosive menu addition?

Club Pilates Inks Major Deal in South Korea

“It’s a continuation of our goal to bring Pilates to the masses,” said Club Pilates President Shaun Grove of a master franchise agreement signed with Seoul-based XFactor Fitness Limited.

Fountain Looks to Bring Gig Hiring Tactics to QSR

Fountain is using a new $23 million investment to bring its gig-centric approach to the traditional franchise space.

Don’t Be an Idiot, and Other M&A Advice at Faegre Event

“This weekend I was reading the latest PitchBook report, and it said another $2 trillion year for M&A, fewer transactions but sky high valuations continue,” said Sima Griffith, principal at Aethlon Capital, at the Faegre Baker Daniels M&A Conference in Minneapolis today.

Sticker Shock, Founder Phobia Are M&A Hot Topics

Neighborly’s blistering acquisition pace of late has slowed this year, said Grayson Brown, executive vice president and general counsel at the franchisor formerly known as Dwyer Group, with sticker shock the culprit. He spoke today at the Faegre Baker Daniels M&A Conference.

Round Table Pizza Rolling Out ‘Royal’ New Design

When you acquire a legacy brand like Round Table Pizza, there is often a lot of work to do. Luckily for Global Franchise Group, there was only one big undertaking: a refresh.

Jeff Sturgis Joins Fish as PR Firm Launches Franchise Consulting

Jeff Sturgis, formerly the chief development officer at Fazoli’s and McAlister’s Deli, and senior VP of development for Fantastic Sams, brings his expertise to Fort Lauderdale-based Fish Consulting as it offers franchise development services to its clients.

Broadway-Bound or Not, Attorneys Present Franchise Drama

Deborah Coldwell and Ronald Gardner took a dramatic approach to presenting their topic called “The Road to Purgatory or Paradise. The devil is in the details.” They handed attendees a Playbill, just like the ones you get on Broadway, and let the play commence, at the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising last week.

It’s Not Tampering, It’s Story-Telling, Attorneys Say at Franchise Forum

“So is this the witness tampering class?” joked the attorney (at least I think he was joking) walking into a panel on “effective witness preparation in a franchise case” at last week’s American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in Denver.

Hungry Howie’s Adds Free Mammograms to ‘Love, Hope & Pizza'

Every October, the pizzas boxes at Hungry Howie’s turn bright pink to mark the beginning of breast cancer awareness month. This year Hungry Howie’s celebrated the 10th anniversary of its “Love, Hope & Pizza” effort, through which the company donates a portion of its profits to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

New Capriotti’s Franchisee Stakes Ground in Pacific Northwest

From Sweeto Burrito to Capriotti’s, restaurant veteran and multi-unit franchisee Steve Holdeman has his sights set on bringing sub sandwiches to the Pacific Northwest. Capriotti’s and Holdeman inked a deal that will see 17 new units go up in multiple states by 2025.

My Favorite Muffin Gets Back to Basics

The leadership team at My Favorite Muffin thinks going back to basics is the path forward.

PuroClean Leads Pack in Strong Disaster Restoration Segment

Systemwide sales at disaster restoration franchises on Franchise Times’ Top 200+ list hit $4 billion in 2018, an 18.9 percent increase, our researched showed.

Inspire Brands Finalizes Jimmy John’s Acquisition

The acquisition of sandwich giant Jimmy John’s has gone through, so the nearly 3,000-restaurant brand is now part of Inspire Brands, which is now the fourth-largest restaurant company in the United States.

Buzz Kill for Cannabis Lawyers at ABA Forum on Franchising

A buzz kill was in store today as attorneys packed into a panel about cannabis and franchising and mostly heard about dire warnings and ever-changing regulations, at the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in Denver.

Unity Rd Is New Name for One Cannabis, But Chief Grower Misses Old Days

Today the One Cannabis grow facility in Colorado is completely buttoned-down and highly regulated, a far cry from 2009 and the "cowboy" days of the marijuana business.

If Age Is Just a Number, Consider YoungConference

If you’re at that awkward age when everyone from the airplane captain to your new boss to your gastroenterologist is about as old as your children, you may think you’re too long in the tooth for the Franchise YoungConference—but Zack Fishman says maybe not.
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