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Conserva Irrigation Finds Women-Owned Franchises Perform Better Amid Pandemic

Conserva Irrigation is finding that its women-owned franchised territories are some of the most successful within the system, including Vanesa Ellis’s location in Northeast Florida.

NPC International Files for Bankruptcy Protection

The second largest franchise operator in the U.S., NPC International, has just filed for bankruptcy protection in a Texas bankruptcy court.

Title Boxing Prez Finds Courage to Lead

Teaching classes outdoors. Making Title On Demand temporarily free. Adding plexiglass barriers and face shields. These are among the tactics at Title Boxing Club to make it through the pandemic. But President Susan Boresow says the most important element is courage.

Eagle Merchant Partners Steps Into Code Ninjas

Eagle Merchant Partners is taking a stairstep approach to investing in Code Ninjas, its entry into the kids' education space. Poised to take a majority stake earlier this year, the private equity firm switched to a minority investment.

Wellness Franchise Restore Attracts Investment From Level 5 Capital

The investment will help Austin-based Restore Hyper Wellness + Cryotherapy quicken the pace of its franchise growth, open more corporate locations, bolster research and development, and integrate new technology, said CEO Jim Donnelly.

As PPP Winds Down, Other CARES Opportunities Shine

The historic Paycheck Protection Program was a lifeline for a lot of franchise business, but as the program ends on June 30, the COVID-19-era financing questions are changing to how to meet the program’s forgiveness rules and what other finance options are out there.

Tune Up Franchise Sues Texas as Governor Closes Bars

Tune Up, a chain of men's barbershops that defied lockdown orders in May, is suing Montgomery County, the state of Texas and Gov. Greg Abbott, asking the court to declare unconstitutional a series of executive orders issued since March 19 aimed at containing the COVID-19 pandemic.

Drybar Taps Former Taco Bell Exec Liz Williams as CEO

Calling Drybar, the blowout franchise founder Alli Webb launched in 2010 that now has 142 locations, a premium brand with a “passionate, loyal consumer base,” Liz Williams says there’s opportunity to put her international development experience to work as part of the company's growth vision.

Harbin Bids $760M for GNC Amid Chapter 11 Filing

GNC had about 1,000 franchises in the U.S. and 1,949 outside the U.S. in 2019. They'll have to get in line with other unsecured creditors to be heard during the bankruptcy process, said one expert.

Hand & Stone Sees Surge After Reopening, Despite High-Touch Services

Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa owners are seeing surges in appointment bookings at locations that hired back employees after furloughs and reopened, despite the obviously high-touch services offered.

Wingstop to Subdivide Territories, Explore Ghost Kitchens

While the COVID-19 crisis temporarily disrupted real estate operations, Dallas-based Wingstop is resuming its efforts to reach 6,000 locations, which will include a mix of traditional stores with dining rooms, delivery-only facilities in key neighborhoods and fortressing efforts to add new units in existing brand territories.

Wag N’ Wash Founders Use Social Media to Support LGBTQ+ Pride, BLM Movement

Jef Strauss and Dan Remus, the founders of Wag N’ Wash Natural Pet Food & Grooming, took to social media to express their support for LGBTQ+ Pride and the Black Lives Matter movement.

Court Upholds Force Majeure Defense for Missed Rent

A court held that government restrictions to combat the spread of COVID-19 “qualify as a force majeure event and represent a valid reason” for non-payment of rent and other contractual obligations, according to an alert by law firm Marks & Klein. The case underscores the importance of the exact language in a lease.

Sales, Traffic Claw Back as Consumers Opt to Go Out

New data from across the restaurant industry is encouraging, but there is still a long way to go to get anywhere near normal.

The Race Conversation Is Tough, but Crucial

As the anguish surrounding George Floyd’s death evolves into an ongoing conversation about race, business leaders face more and more pressure to address that very big, very sensitive topic.

Will Carbon Join Calories on the Menu Board?

It took a long time to get calories on the menu, but when they arrived, consumers actually started eating fewer calories. Will the same happen with carbon emissions?

Franchise Execs Talk Next Steps as Restaurants Reopen

The conversation turned personal on a Franchise Times webinar today about reopening the economy with three leading restaurant franchisors: Had those executives—of BurgerFi, Focus Brands and Checkers & Rally's—been back to dine in if their states were open? "No way, no how," said one.

COVID-19 a ‘Kick in the Butt’ for L&L Hawaiian Barbecue

Like many restaurant franchises pushing to adapt quickly in the wake of the pandemic, Honolulu-based L&L Hawaiian Barbecue is working through its share of challenges. CEO Elisia Flores said franchisees' ingenuity has been paramount to its success.

School of Rock Launches Songwriting Program Amid COVID-19 Remote Learning

In-person performances at School of Rock are currently off the table due to the pandemic, but the franchised music school has added songwriting to its curriculum, including capabilities for students to record original songs and produce their own demos.

Leadership Lessons from 1-800-GOT-JUNK Founder

Brian Scudamore wrote the book on learning from failures in business—literally, as the founder of 1-800-GOT-JUNK and the author of "WTF! Willing to Fail" explained in a recent interview full of humility. Those lessons are working overtime during the pandemic.

Multi-unit IHOP ‘Zee on How Businesses Should Address Racial Inequalities and Shortcomings

Black franchise leaders are speaking out about George Floyd, racial inequality and what actions businesses can take. This article features Adenah Bayoh, a multi-unit franchisee of IHOP and co-founder of Cornbread, a farm-to-table soul food concept.

Yum-Grubhub Lawsuit Shines Light on Delivery ‘Partnerships’

Yum has sued Grubhub after the delivery platform raised fees and pulled out of a contract with the QSR giant.

Subway Leans Harder on Delivery, Discounted Promotions

With fewer drive-thrus than some of its prime competitors, Subway has leaned hard on a third-party delivery strategy that is helping the mega-brand—with $16.2 billion in annual systemwide sales—post weekly sales gains after a year’s worth of work to roll out and integrate the four largest third-party delivery platforms into its corporate and in-store systems.

New Franchisee Accelerates Growth for Stoner’s Pizza

With four units open within eight months and more on the way, Stoner's Pizza Joint franchisee John Stetson is setting a fast pace for growth.

Restaurants Cram Years of Innovation Into 3 Months

During a day-long virtual event that included delivery, technology and restaurant experts, analysts from Cowen’s Restaurant & Food Technology Summit dove into the latest metrics showing where restaurants are heading after the worst impacts of the pandemic recede.

Operator Snaps Up uBreakiFix Stores, Seeks More

Christine Ricci and her team were operating 10 uBreakiFix mobile device repair stores in a 180-mile radius around Kansas City, Missouri. Right before the Covid-19 outbreak, her firm, formerly under the name Phone Medic, acquired five new markets from existing franchisees, in Arkansas, Oklahoma and southern Missouri, taking on six more stores total.

COVID-19 Forces Changes Large and Small in Zaxby’s 30th Year

Like a lot of franchise concepts, the 30-year-old Zaxby’s took a major hit in the COVID-19 pandemic, but the lessons learned only made it stronger.

Franchise Group CEO Says Businesses Need to Help in ‘Curing This Illness’ of Racism

Black franchise leaders are speaking out about George Floyd, racial inequality and what actions businesses can take. This article features Clyde Rucker, CEO of franchisee group Rucker Restaurant Holdings.

The Joint Franchise Targets New Patients Slouching on Their Couch

Hey, you! Yes, you, slouching on your couch or worse yet draped over your bed while working from home. The Joint Chiropractic has a message and a free offer born from the pandemic.

How to Prepare for Franchisee Bankruptcies During COVID-19

“The unfortunate reality is some operators will not be able to weather the storm,” said James Wahl, an attorney at Lathrop GPM, during a discussion of how franchisors can prepare for franchisee bankruptcies during the coronavirus crisis. Which franchisees they want to keep in the system is a question many 'zors may need to answer.

Black Franchisee in Minnesota Speaks Out on George Floyd Protests, How Businesses Should Respond

Black franchise leaders are speaking out about George Floyd, racial inequality and what actions businesses can take. This article features Justin Butler, a Duck Donuts and Rita’s Italian Ice franchisee in Minnesota.

Flexibility Act Loosens PPP Rules

More relief for businesses struggling through COVID-19 comes from the Federal Reserve.

Futuristic Health Tech Comes Closer Because of COVID-19

The move toward more digitally driven operations has been happening since the first digital calculator hit the market, but the COVID-19 pandemic has pushed restaurant operators to accelerate.

Lawsuit Against McD's Alleging Unsafe Workplace Is First in Flood

The first high-profile class-action lawsuit in franchising alleging unsafe workplace conditions during COVID-19, brought by five Chicago McDonald's workers and four of their family members, passed its first hurdle for the plaintiffs yesterday. A flood of such cases is expected, legal experts say.

LunchboxWax Focuses on Inclusivity for Trans Community

June 2020 marks the 50th anniversary of LGBTQ Pride traditions, and waxing franchise LunchboxWax has focused recent outreach on inclusivity specifically for the trans community.

Franchise Job Losses Continue, ADP Reports

Franchise businesses continued to shed workers in May as the industry lost 254,100 jobs, according to a report from payroll services provider ADP. That’s after franchise job losses of 1,082,200 in April and comes as pressures from the COVID-19 crisis persist.

CA Owners Blast 7-Eleven Alleging 'Unjust Mandates'

A letter to California's attorney general criticizes SEI, the franchisor of 7-Eleven convenience stores, for "unfair actions" against franchisees during COVID-19 and calls for an investigation of "SEI's unjust business mandates."

Private Equity Becomes Adviser First During COVID-19

Private equity owners are showing why industry specialization is so important.

Long-term Outlook Fuels Acceleration of Innovation at Marco’s Pizza

Across the system, Toledo, Ohio-based Marco’s Pizza is benefiting from the inherent appeal of pizza delivery during the pandemic, with sales up 25 percent. But President Tony Libardi said the brand is also making investments to position itself for continued growth.

PrideStaff, Uptown Cheapskate ‘Zees Grateful for Franchise System

As the unemployment rate jumped to 14.7 percent in April due to the pandemic, Amy Linn saw the impact first hand as a longtime franchisee of PrideStaff. The national staffing agency won the Franchise Times 2020 Zor Award in the employment/staffing category. This week, we checked in with past winning brands to learn how franchisees are navigating the pandemic and adapting to the new normal.

‘Adapt’ Becomes the Mantra for Culver’s Franchisees

As the COVID-19 crisis swept across the country, franchisees in the Culver’s system said adaptation every week, day and hour became the practice across the brand.

How Covid-19 Will Change Our Franchise World

While this new land is certainly different, for those whose business models continue to thrive, and for those who have adapted well, there will soon be short-term opportunities for franchise expansion like never before.

Experts on Rethinking, Reimagining & Reopening Your Restaurant

What’s been working for restaurants already open, and what’s in store for the future? Hear from Lazy Dog Restaurants, CapitalSpring and Hub International on operations, technology, guest flow and more.

For Retirement Play, Father Joins Daughter in Dogtopia

John Ledbetter spent 30 years with Liberty Mutual, serving large, commercial customers in insurance, risk management and crisis management. Now he owns a Dogtopia franchise in The Woodlands, Texas, north of Houston, with his daughter as operations manager. "It has been an incredible ride," he said, in this week's series of articles revisiting brands that won Franchise Times Zor Awards honors.

Nonstop Cleaning Part of Another Broken Egg Operator’s Strategy

Jake Alleman, who as co-founder of Cojak Investments operates eight Another Broken Egg Cafes in Louisiana, Alabama and Florida, says a retraining phase "hugely focused on safety," has helped his restaurants reopen. Another Broken Egg was chosen in 2018 as a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner, and this week we're checking in on some of those brands to see how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.

COVID-19 ‘Shifted’ Business for Toppers Franchisee

Toppers was named a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner earlier this year, and this week we’re checking in with some of those brands to learn how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.

Paul Davis ‘Zee Deploys Resources to Help Limit Spread of COVID-19

Ofelia Lucas, a United States Air Force veteran, invested in Paul Davis Restoration in April 2015 and has become a top-performing franchisee. But in March, sales at her Miami location dropped 25 percent—even with Paul Davis being classified as an essential business during COVID-19 shutdowns. We’re checking in this week with past Zor Awards winners to learn how franchisees are navigating the pandemic.

Reopening a ‘Double-edged’ Sword, Says Pinot’s Palette ‘Zee

“January and February of this year were actually the best two months we’ve ever had, so yeah, it’s a little heartbreaking,” said Pinot's Palette franchisee Cherisse Lockerd, whose studio in Tustin, California, has been closed since March 15. Pinot’s Palette in 2017 was named a Franchise Times Zor Awards winner, and this week we’re checking in with some of those brands to learn how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.

Fellow Operators Help Right at Home 'Zee Navigate COVID

A "profit mastery group," consisting of about a dozen fellow franchisees located up and down the East Coast, has been a lifeline for Ken Helmuth, a Right at Home franchisee. Franchise Times in 2019 named Right at Home a Zor Awards winner, our annual project identifying 10 best brands based on operator profitability. This week, we're revisiting some of those brands to see how their franchisees are navigating the pandemic.

Krystal Announces New Ownership, Leadership

Krystal announced May 22 that it was under new ownership and new management, a week after a bankruptcy court approved a deal with senior lender Fortress Investment Group.
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