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How Franchises Can Focus on Communication Amid a Pandemic

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.

The Ultimate Challenge for Restaurants: Surviving COVID-19

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.

Franchises Face New Sick Leave Rules Amid COVID-19 Spread

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.

4 Key Restaurant Tactics in the Time of COVID-19

There are several tactics restaurants could take as they operate during this uncertain time, but four stand out as must-address items.

Rusty Taco Ready for Kick Off Under Inspire Brands

Rusty Taco is a bit of an oddity within Inspire Brands, but after many big changes, the concept seems poised to grow.

Franchise Brands Detail Coronavirus Protections at FIC

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.

Jimmy John's Parent Details New Development Strategy at FIC

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.

Image Studios 360 Founders Pitch Lenders on ‘Bulletproof’ Concept

“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.

What Financial Markets Are Telling Us Now, at FIC

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."

Go Xperia Details Plan to Buy, Then Franchise Experience Brands

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.

Modern Market Eatery Hopes to Become the Next Panera

“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 Captures Franchise Times Deal of Year Award

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.

Meineke Touts Incentives to Boost Multi-Unit Deals

“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.

The Buffalo Spot Aims to be ‘Disruptor’ in Wings Category

The Buffalo Spot is putting everything wing-lovers want at center plate, without the actual wing.

Detail Garage 'Shine Shops’ in 500 Walmarts Anger Plaintiffs Suing Brand

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."

Yum CEO David Gibbs Shows Culture Focus with Heartstyles Acquisition

Yum has acquired Heartstyles, a leadership development program, to enhance company culture from the "corner office to the restaurant."

Why Oxxo Care Cleaners Invites an Independent Franchisee Association

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.

How a Waxing Franchisee Spun Delays to Benefit Her Business

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.

Franchise M&A Tips From FT Dealmakers Winners

Everybody wants a piece of the franchise M&A pie. Our interviews with the Franchise Times Dealmakers award winners reveal five franchise M&A best practices.

U.S. Tim Hortons Franchisees Sue RBI Over Supply Costs

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.”

Sanders' Pot Vow Boosts Cru Hemp Lounge, Weed Franchises

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.

Sprouts Out at Jimmy John’s Following FDA Censure

The FDA sent out a rare public letter to Jimmy John’s, censuring the company over its response to a handful of foodborne illness outbreaks.

Figure Eight Launches Delivery-Focused Restaurant Consulting

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.

Clean Your Dirty Face Educates 'Skincare Virgins'

Shama Patel launched Clean Your Dirty Face in 2015, a clean beauty facial bar amid a highly competitive beauty and wellness sector of franchising.

4 Lessons in Franchise Resales

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.

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.
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