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Papa John’s, Starboard ‘Focused’ as Circus Quiets

It’s been eight months since Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned from his position as chairman. And the company is ready to move forward.

People Really Are Buying Plant-Based Proteins

The move toward plant-based or meat-free eating can sometimes get over hyped. But some new data shows that plant-based proteins are at least nearing an inflection point.

Slim Chickens Adapts to Expand Brand Overseas

Slim Chickens’ second Kuwait restaurant recently opened in the Jazeera airport terminal and the brand is also in the midst of expanding in the United Kingdom through another international franchise agreement. It’s a lot of action for a brand that wasn’t actively looking to grow outside the United States and there’s been some useful learning along the way.

Game Day Operations: Don’t Wing It

The NFL Super Bowl is a feeding frenzy not just for the football fan sitting in front of a pile of wings, but for the wing, barbecue, pizza and other brands providing that game-day grub.

Domino’s Includes Competition in Temporary Loyalty Push

Has Domino’s lost its mind? The pizza company is launching a temporary loyalty program that includes all pizzas, including those from its prime competitors and pizzas made and cooked at home. The company says this new, temporary effort is a celebration of “all that pizza love.”

Labor a Top Topic at 2019 ICR Conference

The tight labor market was a big topic at the 2019 ICR Conference. Almost every presenting company touched on the challenge directly or indirectly.

FT Explores Franchise Expo South

The dog is most certainly having its day in franchising, with pet-focused concepts drawing interest at the Franchise Expo South, running through Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale. Plus, drive-thru convenience stores.

Gender Reveal Lasagna? Villa Italian Kitchen Goes Pink or Blue

You’ve heard about parties where baby’s gender is revealed with a pink or blue cake hidden underneath the frosting. Villa Italian Kitchen has gone one better—or weirder, depending on your point of view.

‘You Can’t Fake Loving Dogs,’ Says Camp Bow Wow Exec

An intense focus on signing franchisees with a genuine appreciation for and love of pets has translated into steady growth for Camp Bow Wow, the doggy daycare and boarding franchise that last year opened 20 locations, more than double the previous year.

Business Finance Depot Partners With Francorp; Provides SBA and Leasing Combo to Franchisees

Business Finance Depot has teamed up with Francorp, a franchising development business.

President of MPLS Fed Calls Labor Shortage 'Overblown'

With no macro data points suggesting this labor logjam is set to break, the president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, Neel Kashkari, shared his blunt assessment that labor shortages in his district are “overblown” during an interview in the Business Journal.

Ascentium Capital To Fund Massage Envy Franchisees

Ascentium Capital LLC recently announced the development of a national finance program with Massage Envy.

Xponential Expands Fitness Portfolio With Stride Concept

The former owner of LA Boxing who took grew the brand to 200 locations before selling it to UFC Gyms continues to amass boutique concepts as Xponential Fitness makes its first acquisition of 2019.

Six Metrics to Measure Gen Z Brand Affinity

During the annual ICR Conference in Orlando, keynoter Jeff Fromm had a lot of marketing advice for brands looking to resonate with the younger generations, especially Gen Z.

New Massage Envy Campaign Touts Benefits of Wellness Regimen

Like others in the health and wellness industry, Massage Envy is emphasizing self-care and aiming to normalize behavior previously deemed indulgent as it seeks to make a personal connection with consumers through its new ad campaign, “Keep Your Body Working.”

From $198K to $1M in Sales for Fitness Together Operator

Ten years ago, Stacy Adams sat with Fitness Together CEO Jeff Jervik and said, “I’ve done the math, and there’s no reason your studios can’t be doing $1 million, if not $2-" in annual sales. He just laughed, she said, and replied with something like, “You go, Stacy.”

Round One to Happy Tax in Suit Against H&R Block

Happy Tax, the upstart tax preparation franchise, filed a false advertising lawsuit against H&R Block on Monday, claiming the tax prep giant makes false and misleading representations in its advertisements.

Investor Exit Triggered Mosquito Squad Sale

After selling Mosquito Squad to Authority Brands, the backyard bug control franchise’s former parent Outdoor Living Brands is now a management-owned enterprise and is refocusing its attention on growing its four remaining backyard-focused brands.

On-site Cooking in Electric Vehicles at Wayback Burgers

Viddl-It, Wayback Burgers' new electric vehicle initiative, combines the on-site cooking of food trucks with on-demand delivery technology to, the company says, ultimately bring consumers a better product.

Duck Donuts Enters Chilean Market With Opening in Santiago

With its made-to-order donuts and array of toppings, franchisee Marcial Dieguez-Acuna says the “superior donut” offering of Duck Donuts will stand out to Chilean consumers and the experience of watching each donut get dipped and topped is unique to the market.

Tech, Labor, Tariffs and More on IFA Board's Minds

The “robust” job market will be a challenge in 2019 for people charged with selling franchises, says Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet, in a new survey of International Franchise Association board members sharing their outlooks for 2019.

Franchise governance: The best plan is to have one

Some of the challenges franchisors have to deal with are ones that receive plenty of scrutiny—such as how to select franchisees, how to structure a franchise, ways to manage the relationship, branding issues, or finance.

‘What Happened to Cash’ Is Question From Gigi’s ‘Zees Attorney

Two items are noteworthy in the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing last week by Mr. Gatti’s Pizza, Sovrano and Gigi’s Cupcakes: a $20.2 million term loan from Equity Bank to Mr. Gatti’s and Sovrano, its parent company, and a $9.2-million term loan from Equity Bank to Gigi’s Cupcakes, both made last June. Jeffrey Cohen of Cohen Law, the attorney representing 18 Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisees in ongoing litigation, wants to know, "What happened to the cash?"

Shutdown Likely Benign for Economy, Brutal for Operators

Historically, shutdowns don’t affect the economy drastically. But there are plenty of headaches for business owners.

The Lost Cajun Celebrates Big Growth

A year and a half after hanging with Raymond Griffin, founder of The Lost Cajun, the Cajun restaurant brand is celebrating the fruits of an impressive growth streak during the past 12 months. The brand opened 13 new restaurants during 2018.

FT Dealmakers Entries Paint Intriguing M&A Picture

Nominations closed this week for the annual Franchise Times Dealmakers project, so we’re knee-deep poring through the deals to select finalists to present to our judges in January. As usual, we’ve got a complex, ambitious and fascinating group of deals.

United PF First to Cross 100-Club Line for Planet Fitness

“Somebody was going to get there, and it was a real privilege to be the first one to hit that milestone,” says Trey Owen, speaking about United PF Partners surpassing the 100-club mark this past fall and becoming the first Planet Fitness franchisee to break that barrier.

Ron Shaich’s Franchising Ideals

The franchising model can take many forms, but the leader behind Panera says there are some key factors that enabled the brand’s incredible franchise growth over the last 26 years.

CoreLife, Tim Tebow Push ‘Pure’ New Year’s Challenge

Consumers have been trained to be wary of health challenges, as there always seems to be some fine print or a big price tag. But CoreLife Eatery is doing everything it can to keep the brand’s healthy lifestyle challenge “pure.”

Hilton All Suites Hits 1,000 Properties

With the U.S. stock market tumbling, along with softening auto sales, home building and consumer confidence, you’d be forgiven for assuming times are tightening in the hospitality market, but so far that isn’t the case. As the hotel industry continues an unprecedented growth streak, Hilton’s All Suites brands—Embassy Suites, Homewood Suites, Home2 Suites—hit the milestone of 1,000 open properties.

Fast & Serious Newcomer Workout Anytime Shares Growth Tactics

Workout Anytime hit $53 million in sales in 2017, and its expansion to 143 locations to finish the year came thanks largely to positive franchisee validation, notes CEO Steve Strickland.

Thoughtful Safety Can Mean an Insurance Discount for Restaurants

Restaurant businesses can be dangerous, with their slippery floors, repetitive tasks and the endless peril of delivering food. And all those dangers can be costly, as outlined in a new report from insurer AmTrust.

More Digital Investment for Pizza Hut With QuikOrder Deal

Pizza Hut made a big move to bolster its online ordering capabilities, acquiring QuikOrder earlier this month. Though it didn’t disclose terms of the agreement, Pizza Hut noted this marks one of its largest acquisitions to date.

Food Truck a Hit for I Heart Mac & Cheese

I Heart Mac & Cheese is taking its decadent, custom offerings on the road with food trucks. The first franchisee behind the wheel said so far, it’s going great.

Top 10 Franchise Times Stories of 2018

From the Zor Awards to Orangetheory’s crazy growth spurt, MidiCi and the second-largest Applebee’s franchisee landing in bankruptcy court, this was an unusually dramatic year in franchising according to web traffic stats of Franchise Times.

Job Growth in Franchising Slows in 2018, ADP Report Says

The franchise sector added nearly 140,000 jobs in 2018 for a growth rate of 1.82 percent, according to a new study by the ADP Research Institute. That was down from the year before, when 212,000 franchise jobs were added for a growth rate of 2.74 percent.

Jollibee Takes Sole Ownership of Smashburger

With full ownership of the brand, Smashburger’s 351 stores join Philippines-based restaurant giant Jollibee, which itself has more than 4,300 units across a dozen brands in the Philippines, China, Vietnam and elsewhere in Asia. Smashburger accounts for 7 percent of Jollibee's systemwide sales, which were $3.4 billion last year.

New Franchise Handbook Helps Readers Compare & Contrast

Would you like to know which franchises in some 180 industry sub-categories have the highest to lowest average unit volumes? You would? We thought so, and so for the first time we included that information in The Franchise Handbook, our brand new resource for readers available January 1.

The Better Beef Wars Continue With Antibiotics

Both McDonald’s and Wendy’s announced big changes to supply chains to cut down on the use of antibiotics in beef.

Sentinel Capital Adds Pet Store Franchise to Portfolio

When private equity acquisition news makes the headlines it’s often for a big-name restaurant buy. But as this recent move by Sentinel Capital Partners shows, retail franchises can prove just as attractive.

How Angry Crab Shack Is Bringing Spicy Seafood to 'the Forefront of America'

Noticing a recent trend of more Asian-inspired cuisine in the U.S., Angry Crab Shack founder Ron Lou seized the opportunity to bring traditional spicy seafood dishes to the states. Lou has 40-plus years of experience in the restaurant industry and his full-service casual concept has grown to seven locations across Arizona in just five years.

Subway Inks Four Partnerships, Dives Deep Into Delivery

Mega-sandwich brand Subway is going its own way with new agreements with four of the largest delivery providers. These new partnerships could dramatically increase Subway’s overall share of delivery, and also shift the economics of delivery in smaller markets across the U.S.

Vote for Your Favorite Franchises in 3rd 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.

Attorneys Run Down Most Interesting Cases of 2018

Anti-poaching clauses topped the list (or at least kicked off the webinar) of the most interesting developments in franchise law in 2018, as presented by three Gray Plant Mooty attorneys this week.

Rising Interest Rates Not the Worst Restaurant Worry, RFDC Panelists Say

Rising interest rates are on the minds of restaurant operators, but even though they’re about a full point higher than they were a year ago they’re still not the biggest cost concern, according to expert panelists at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference last month.

The Work Lodge Begins Franchising

Shared coworking spaces remain hot in this economy of countless startups and shrinking workplace square footage. The latest entering the franchising world is The Work Lodge out of Houston that just signed its first franchise agreement for Fort Worth, Texas.

Five Key Reasons Flynn Restaurant Group Jumped into Arby’s

Greg Flynn told Franchise Times there were many things that made his Arby's acquisition a good deal, but five key things made the large, complex deal worth taking on.

Growth Brands Share Tips to Scale

Tap into the intellectual capital of the franchisees you have in the beginning, advised Frank Milner, president of Tutor Doctor, as he noted these people likely have relevant experience that when put to use can benefit the brand overall. Milner and others shared their advice at IFA's Emerging Franchisor Conference last month.

FAT Brands to Acquire, Franchise Yalla Mediterranean

FAT Brands announced that it would acquire the seven-unit California-based brand Yalla Mediterranean.

Need To Hire Teens? Create a Real Community

This might just be the worst period for anyone hiring hourly workers in the past several decades. But it can get better.
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