This latest funding round brings MOD Pizza's total equity capital raised to more than $185 million, financing the company said will help it bolster its presence in existing U.S. markets and in the United Kingdom.
After eight years as Domino’s president and CEO, Patrick Doyle announced he is leaving the company on June 30 after several years of massive sales growth that brought the Michigan-based global pizza giant over the $10 billion mark in annual revenue.
Pizza Hut delivered a surprise at this year’s International Consumer Electronics Show with the announcement that the pizza giant has partnered with Toyota on the development of fully autonomous delivery vehicles with Toyota.
As the rest of the country experiences the bomb cyclone, which we here in Minnesota simply call winter (sorry, rest of the country), we’d like to invite you up to the perfect event for a minus-11 day: The Pirtek Snocross National, scheduled for today and tomorrow at Canterbury Park in Shakopee, a Minneapolis suburb.
If I had a dollar for every young franchisor that says they’ll get to 100 units in a couple of years, I’d have a whole lot of dollars. In fact, I edit such predictions out of the stories we publish in Franchise Times because they almost never come true. A new report by FranchiseGrade backs me up.
Changing consumer trends and increased competition are wreaking havoc in certain restaurant segments, and even though the pizza category remains hot, new consumer research shows Domino’s eating Pizza Hut’s lunch as the great pizza wars rage onward.
Orangetheory Fitness tops this year’s Franchise Times Fast & Serious list, its 218 percent unit increase over the past three years evidence of CEO Dave Long’s smart growth strategies, one of which is a commitment to the area representative model.
Code Ninjas, a new franchise dedicated to teaching kids software coding, announced a major milestone with 100 franchise agreements in development with 53 franchisees in 23 states. Noting that parents are “increasingly willing to pay for their children to learn while having fun,” the Texas-based children education brand is one of several brands seeing an uptick in interest in one of franchising’s hottest categories.
Continuing a national trend of franchisors offloading corporate-run restaurants, Church’s Chicken announced the sale of 70 restaurants to a new franchise operator with a goal of helping the company accelerate its reimaging program and expanding local influence in two of the brand’s most important markets.
From Jimmy John to Antonio Swad, we dove into our Google Analytics to compile this year’s most-read stories on FranchiseTimes.com. As always, there were a few surprises, but 2017 was the year of the mega-deal as highlighted by our web traffic.
There’s no better time to say “Look how good I’m doing!” than late December, and Dwyer Group is happy to announce that its 19 brands produced record growth during 2017 as many categories outside restaurants and retail ride the wave of widespread economic growth.
Valerie McCartney is the VP of franchise development for Broken Yolk Café, which in recent years has expanded beyond its home state of California to Arizona, Florida and Illinois. It’s the brand’s “wow” average unit volume that really stands out, McCartney tells Franchise Times Managing Editor Laura Michaels, because “at the end of the day, people want to make money.” Broken Yolk is also opening its first fast-casual format restaurant.
Franchise expert David Grossman joined with DMK Burger Bar co-founders David Morton and Michael Kornick to launch a franchise expansion plan for the Chicago-based premium burger concept. He talks with Franchise Times Managing Editor Laura Michaels about scaling the brand to “bring it to small cities and neighborhoods across the country.”
“In welcome news for franchisors,” as a Gray Plant Mooty attorney put it in a franchise law alert today, last week the National Labor Relations Board decided to “expressly overrule the controversial joint employer standard espoused two years ago” in the Browning-Ferris Industries case. But anyone doing a happy dance should probably keep it brief, as Mike Gray said.
With the changing workforce, the ease of online shopping and the surge in streaming entertainment, there are fewer and fewer reasons to leave the house, and as market research company NPD notes, “the most popular place to eat out [in 2018] will be in the home.”
Whatever happened to the remaining ProCuts franchisees—six people who owned nine stores and invested more than $3 million into them—who sued Regis Corp., the franchisor of both Supercuts and ProCuts, back in 2015, saying they were owner/operators in a dead system? They settled with the franchisor for $1.305 million in total, the Supercuts FDD shows.
After previewing its strategy in a recent Franchise Times cover story, A&W Restaurants announced an expanded, multi-faceted franchising strategy that builds on its success since being acquired from YUM! brands. The centerpiece of the campaign is an all-new franchise information website.
Elie Khoury, one of FT’s Dealmakers of the Year award winners in 2017, is back at it with an acquisition of 18 Taco Bell corporate restaurants in New Orleans and other southern Louisiana cities. The news provides the perfect reason to point out that nominations for this year’s project are due by year end and can be made via the Dealmakers button on the home page.
Yesterday, Kyanna Isaacson, age 26, opened her first Jersey Mike’s store as a majority owner, a shop she was awarded by the chain’s founder last year, right after she was named manager of the year at the chain’s annual conference. Judging by the smile on her face in the photo, she’s excited. “There’s really no words that I can explain everything,” said Isaacson when reached the day before her store opening, in Valencia, California.
Seeded by a $1.5 million gift to Palm Beach Atlantic University, United Franchise Group founder and CEO Ray Titus has helped form the Titus Center for Franchising that will teach franchise-specific coursework to college students interested in pursuing a career in the franchise industry.
Josh Morgan is operating partner at Aurify, parent company of the Melt Shop that has just begun franchising. Melt Shop has eight corporate locations and about six years of perfecting the brand before the rollout, not to mention lines down the street at its flagship location in Manhattan. Morgan described the brand’s ideal franchisee—“hard-core operators” like those in the Five Guys concept—in an interview with FT’s Beth Ewen at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. He should know, as Aurify is also a franchisee of Five Guys.
Michael Abt, CEO of Huddle House, concedes the family and casual dining segment is a tough one lately, but his brand has found its niche. “We’ve got a 54-year history of going into small towns. 74 percent of our restaurants are in counties with 45,000 population or less,” he told Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen, in an interview at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. The Evolution design is yielding a 30 percent bump in average unit volumes, too, which helps him make the case.
Randy Icard heads up development for Bojangles, and he’s signed a number of franchise agreements in the Southeast recently. “We’ve got a lot of traction and a lot of movement right now in the state of Florida,” he said. All-day breakfast—and the homemade biscuits, especially— is a huge attraction, and their restaurants do 38 percent of their business by 11 in the morning. “We’ve made biscuits from scratch every 20 minutes from day one,” Icard told Beth Ewen of Franchise Times, at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
Could there be anything more soothing and perfectly timed than the current Applebee’s special offering $1 Long Island Iced Teas? The answer is no, and judging from my social feeds, this is one of the most effective and widely shared LTOs in recent memory. We all owe Applebee’s our deepest gratitude in this difficult time.
Ed Yancey considers Cleveland Avenue, a private equity firm created by former CEO of McDonald’s Don Thompson in Chicago, as an incubator for innovative restaurant concepts. Cleveland Avenue invested earlier this year in PizzaRev, a 40-plus-unit pizza chain in Los Angeles. “It’s a great concept, and we have the capability to expand its growth,” said Yancey, who sat down with Franchise Times Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in early November.
Quaker Steak and Lube was bought out of bankruptcy by TravelCenters of America about 18 months ago, and for several months newly promoted VP of Operations Bruce Lane has been working on relationships with franchisees and making the restaurants more profitable. Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen sat down with Lane at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Vegas to learn more about the growth plan.
Arby’s Restaurant Group, Inc. and Buffalo Wild Wings, Inc. today announced that the companies have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which ARG will acquire BWLD for $157 per share in cash, in a transaction valued at approximately $2.9 billion, including BWW’s net debt.
Working with Amazon and DoorDash, IHOP is rolling out delivery in select cities in California, Texas, Oklahoma, Washington and Utah as it aims to bring pancakes to guests the company said don’t always have the time or desire to sit down in the restaurant.
Today it’s hard to believe that McDonald’s didn’t always exist as the original disrupter of the nation’s food scene, but a recent talk by author Lisa Napoli on the subject paints the picture that seems especially appropriate to share today, on the eve of our No. 1 food holiday.
It’s time for the founders of Amazing Lash Studio, Vietnamese immigrants Edward and Jessica Le, to exit their franchise and reap some of the rewards, says Heather Elrod, president and COO of the eyelash extension franchise now based in Scottsdale, Arizona. She announced earlier this month Amazing Lash is seeking strategic alternatives including a sale for the brand founded in 2010 in Houston, and now with more than 300 studios awarded and 160 of those open and operating.
How the various third-party delivery providers stack up is a big question in the restaurant space. According to a new cache of data from mystery shopping and survey firm SeeLevel HX, things are fairly even in an ever-changing segment of the industry.
Sales are mediocre, traffic is down but some internationally minded restaurant groups are not worried. That’s because while there are challenges in the U.S. market, there is an incredible amount of opportunity abroad.
Since its April 13 deal with GEM Hospitality to bring Tony Roma’s to West Palm Beach, Florida, the brand has added new franchisees in Tennessee, Colorado and Idaho, growth CEO Bradley Scher says is a direct result of the brand transformation undertaken in 2016 with a complete overhaul of the restaurant atmosphere, service platform and menu following extensive consumer research.
Chief financial officers do much more today than pay the bills and make sure payroll goes out on time, said a panel of CFOs who opened the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference Monday in Las Vegas. “The role has become much more strategic over the last 10 years,” said Tony Laday, CFO of Fogo de Chao.
Forget whatever you’re hearing about the tax bill, smaller-format locations or hot trends in M&A. There is one dominant trend in the restaurant world that everybody is paying attention to and it’s third-party delivery. This subject is everywhere on the agenda and in soda break conversations at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference. It’s almost as inescapable of blue suits, which are clearly in the running for second place.
“I’m really just a burger guy, that’s what I want to eat,” says Bobby Flay, speaking this morning at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas. Cheeseburgers are what he craves after a long night in the kitchen and are at the core of Bobby’s Burger Palace, which is poised for rapid expansion following Flay’s announcement today that he’s going to start franchising and licensing the fast-casual concept.
During the second day of RFDC in Las Vegas, Stephen Polanski from Buxton spoke all about the changing world of shopping malls and what that means for the restaurant and retail brands that are heavily invested in malls or curious about which centers are worth expanding into in this era of changing consumer tastes.
For any boomers or Gen X-ers who love to hate on the “kids today,” the founder of Toppers Pizza has a few words for you: knock it off. “I meet so many 20-year-olds in my business, and these people can do anything. They are special people,” Scott Gittrich told me in an interview today at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
The Save Local Business Act, sponsored by Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-Ala.), passed by a vote of 242-181. No Republicans opposed the bill, and they were joined by eight Democrats: Reps. Ami Bera, Lou Correa, Jim Costa, Henry Cuellar, Stephanie Murphy, Scott Peters, Colin Peterson, and Kurt Schrader.
Regis Corporation, the franchisor behind Supercuts, Cost Cutters, Pro Cuts, Roosters and many others in the haircare industry, announced an industry-exclusive agreement with LSMx, a Buxton local store marketing application, to beef up its marketing for company and franchise salons.