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Industry Change Means New Tactics for Grocery Outposts

The grocery store is in a state of constant flux, buffeted by changing technologies, disruptive forces and shifting consumer desires. That means franchised grocery outposts are in constant flux, too.
03.22.2019

‘No One in Franchising Retires,’ Says IFA’s Retiring Scott Lehr

“I’ve pretty much have done everything at IFA except being a lobbyist,” says Scott Lehr as he reflects on his nearly three decades with the International Franchise Association. Hired in 1990 as the director of advertising, Lehr had five more titles during the ensuing 29 years before retiring after the IFA’s annual convention in February as executive vice president of development, marketing and conferences.
03.22.2019

HomeVestors Hits 1K in Still-Strong Housing Market

HomeVestors, the largest home-buying franchise is celebrating a notable milestone, signing its 1,000 franchise as the U.S. real estate market appears to be cooling from the absurd heights seen in recent years as inventory remains tight in key cities.
03.20.2019

Relationships Key in Checkers Delivery Blitz

Checkers and Rally’s making a major delivery push that will bring all five of largest third-party delivery firms into its operations.
03.20.2019

Same-Store Sales Chilled by February Weather

February weather was awful, and the brutal month had some big impacts on restaurant industry sales.
03.15.2019

Kiosk Operations an Agile Option for the Right Concepts

A small footprint can be a big win for the right concepts. As rents continue to rise and traffic patterns continue to shift, a small-format mobile retail outlet can slash overhead and keep operations efficient.
03.14.2019

Gigi’s Founder Tries Again With Kitchen Products Rollout

Gigi Butler is aiming to bounce back from trouble at her eponymous franchise, Gigi’s Cupcakes, now rolling out a new kitchen textile line.
03.14.2019

All Eyes on New York's Hudson Yards

As New York City’s $25 billion Hudson Yards opens to the public, many in the retail and restaurant worlds will be watching to see if this largest private development in U.S. history can succeed with a mega-scale formula representing the biggest bet ever placed on in-person shopping, people watching and dining.
03.14.2019

Sister to HouseMaster, PatchMaster Sets Fast Clip to 50 Units

Just last September Kathleen Kuhn launched a new brand—PatchMaster, a drywall repair service. Six months later, the sister company to HouseMaster has signed its 50th location, reaching the milestone much faster than most.
03.14.2019

Former PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi Talks Leadership and Owning Failure

“The men in my household had so much conviction that women were equal to men,” said Indra Nooyi, who went on to become PepsiCo’s first female CEO and spoke about her career today during the Women’s Foodservice Forum’s annual conference in Dallas.
03.12.2019

The Cautious Startup of Smokin’ Oak Wood-Fire Pizza

Before launching Smokin' Oak as a franchise, its leadership spent more than a year learning to create a high-quality franchise system.
03.08.2019

Golden Corral Finding Gold in California

North Carolina-based Golden Corral is finding riches along the West Coast, as the southern-themed grill-buffet chain begins to tap the massive California market after first opening in the City of Industry back in 2012.
03.08.2019

After Brand Overhaul, Huckleberry’s Ready to Grow

Greg Graber has big plans for Huckleberry’s, the breakfast and lunch concept he took over in 2016 and has spent the past two years readying for growth. Graber will share Huckleberry’s story and investment opportunity during the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference.
03.08.2019

Planet Fitness to Take Excess Kohl’s Space in Test

Planet Fitness, the big-box gym with low-cost memberships, will partner with Kohl’s in 10 test stores to sop up 20,000 square feet of the clothing retailer’s excess space, allowing Kohl’s to “right-size”to 50,000 square feet and Planet Fitness to gain prime locations in large shopping centers.
03.07.2019

Changing o' the Guard Ushers in New Editor at FT

Laura Michaels is the new editor of Franchise Times effective April 1, replacing Beth Ewen who will take a new role as senior editor.
03.07.2019

Agreement Could Finally End Papa John’s Saga

It seems the dramatic legal battle within the Papa John’s board may finally end.
03.06.2019

Franchise Index Ends Tough Year Down 9.5 Percent

Last year was more than a little volatile for public franchisors. According to the Rosenberg International Franchise Center, the 50 public franchise companies ended the year down 9.5 percent. That’s behind the general market, as measured by the S&P 500, which was down 6.2 percent in the last 12 months.
03.01.2019

MTY’s Offer for Gigi’s Cuts Value to $2M

The last time Gigi’s Cupcakes changed hands, in 2016, the franchise founded by Gina Butler sold for $6 million to Key Corp. and its affiliate Fund Corp. Now MTY Franchising USA is offering $2 million cash, and Gigi’s is seeking additional qualified bidders before a planned March 25 auction date.
03.01.2019

Popcorn Theory Guides ‘Blind Side’ Protagonists

I had a great time interviewing Sean and Leigh Anne Tuohy last Tuesday at their home in Memphis, and also enjoyed staying in the new-ish Graceland Guest House where so many patrons were wearing fancy fringed cowboy shirts and glittery dresses that Elvis would have been proud.
03.01.2019

Financial Backers Said ‘Go for it’ to Flynn’s Buy

CEO Greg Flynn discusses why he purchased all 368 units from Arby’s largest franchisee, U.S. Beef, capturing a Franchise Times Dealmakers award to be covered in full in the April issue.
03.01.2019

Startup Support Needs: Roadmaps, Scorecards

It takes a lot of work to build out the right franchise support team, especially for young franchise systems. It’s a challenge of personnel, cash and capabilities.
02.27.2019

Wendy’s Commits to More Sustainable Packaging

Packaging is a hot topic, especially with off-premises channels growing across the board. In a partnership with the NextGen Consortium, Wendy’s is looking to develop more sustainable packaging for its products.
02.27.2019

Navigating Family Dynamics Is Part of Massage Heights' Story

Speaking during a panel on balancing heritage and innovation at the IFA Convention in Las Vegas, Shane Evans, who launched Massage Heights with her husband, Wayne, and eventually brought in two brothers and her mom, said she was forced to reevaluate the structure in order to expand. Massage Heights also had to contend with some missteps in its early recruiting and franchise sales efforts.
02.26.2019

With Ambitions Galore, NextGen Finalists Pitch Concepts

They came from countries including Kenya, Hungary, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia and of course the United States to impress the NextGen competition judges and hopefully snag cash prizes and investors during the International Franchise Association’s annual convention Monday.
02.25.2019

Diversity Food Brands Trades Royalty for Development

Diversity Food Brands is a unique franchisor with a singular focus on non-traditional spaces. Also notable is its sliding-scale royalty designed to boost development.
02.22.2019

Another Acquisition Adds New Group to Authority Brands

With its third buy since being acquired by Apax Partners in September 2018, Authority Brands will fold Clockwork, Inc. and its three home service providers into its Maryland-based company.
02.22.2019

Attorney Gives a Few Tips on Tip-Pooling

As the tipping issue at restaurants rages on between front of the house employees and back, Joel O’Malley of Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis offers a quick refresher course on a complicated topic that’s been tripping up the likes of Starbucks, Outback Steakhouse and Pinstripes in Minnesota with lawsuits of late.
02.22.2019

Exits 'Bittersweet' for Auspex Capital Dealmakers

We’re reporting many interesting stories this month about our Franchise Times Dealmakers winners, including Auspex Capital/RGT Management’s longtime relationship as investment banker and restaurant operator. Which do they like better, the ride up or the ride down?
02.21.2019

Huddle House Shaves Costs With Smaller Footprint

As part of a wider plan to refresh and expand Huddle House, the Atlanta-based diner announced a buffet of news that’s designed to elevate its presence across the country, and also to attract franchisees who will be interested in a smaller-format restaurant with an easier-to-swallow pricetag.
02.20.2019

Restaurant Comps Steady for First Time in Years

The restaurant industry has been in a sorry state since traffic and same-store sales peaked in the first quarter of 2015. But January data from TDn2K shows two consecutive months of two percent or higher sales growth.
02.15.2019

Curious List: Best Cities to Start a Restaurant

Looking at per capita income and restaurants, size of the workforce and median incomes, a restaurant equipment reseller has published its list of the 50 best U.S. cities in which to start a restaurant. Using U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey data, it’s a data-based ranking that’s worth a look.
02.15.2019

New First Franchise Capital Program Supports Nonprofits

With the introduction of its Pay It Forward Program, First Franchise Capital aims to increase its community support by giving back to the communities of its clients.
02.15.2019

With Fresh Strategy, Cousins Subs Returns to Chicago

Cousins Subs is heading back to Chicago in a renewed franchise push to bring the refreshed brand back to major metros at the Cousins' periphery.
02.15.2019

11 Capture Franchise Times Dealmakers Awards

Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2019 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the seventh annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.
02.14.2019

A Big New Number to Describe Joint Employer Pain

Everybody knows the National Labor Relations Board caused franchising’s biggest headache when it expanded the definition of who is a joint employer back in 2014. Now, new International Franchise Association research has put a number to the pain—$33.3 billion in lost economic output annually.
02.14.2019

With Third-party Drivers, Mountain Mike’s Changes Delivery Model

Even though Mountain Mike’s 200-plus pizza restaurants each have their own delivery team, the Newport Beach-based brand is working with DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub to reach customers it believes wouldn’t otherwise order its food.
02.14.2019

LGBT Chamber of Commerce and IFA Form Partnership

The franchise industry is known for its outreach to specific parts of the human herd, most notably with veterans and young entrepreneurs through the VetFran and NextGen in Franchising programs. LGBT folks like myself are cheering the latest International Franchise Association partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. On a personal level, this is wonderful to see from the franchising industry’s association of record.
02.08.2019

Supply Chain, Frozen Ground Challenges for First Sonic in Alaska

Sonic has inked a new development deal in Alaska and it's balancing big opportunity with some major challenges.
02.07.2019

Franchise Sector Gains Jobs in January, ADP Report Says

After job growth in franchising slowed overall last year, the sector started out strong in 2019, gaining 33,000 jobs in January according to the ADP National Franchise Report.
02.07.2019

‘Global Domination’ Still on the Menu at Smoke’s

There’s no forgetting a conversation with the CEO and founder of Smoke’s Poutinerie, the exceedingly colorful Ryan Smolkin. It’s been a few years since checking in with the Canadian-based poutine brand and my first mission was getting an update on the so-called global domination that’s been his stated mission since starting the company more than a decade ago.
02.06.2019

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.
02.06.2019

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.
02.01.2019

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.
02.01.2019

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.
01.31.2019

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.”
01.30.2019

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.
01.25.2019

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.
01.25.2019

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.
01.24.2019

‘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.
01.24.2019

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.
01.24.2019
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