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Going Behind the Scenes on Ghost Kitchen Economics

On the third day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference in Las Vegas, execs from Kitchen United, Sweetberry Bowls and Dog Haus went behind the scenes on the economics and other details for restaurants now operating within delivery- and takeout-only kitchens.
11.13.2019

Chicken Guy Building Management Coop

Guy Fieri's new Chicken Guy concept is clucking right along with a growing management team and development pipeline.
11.13.2019

Convenience, Experience Are Must-Haves, Restaurant Investors Say

Convenience, quality and experience. These are the three key drivers impacting not only how restaurants are evolving and investing in themselves but also “how the investor community is viewing where they want to place capital,” said Anish Gandhi, managing director at investment banking firm Brookwood Associates, who spoke on a panel today at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
11.12.2019

ShopoGraphics as the Holy Grail of Real Estate

Presented in a quick 7 minutes during the Around the Industry segment on day two of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference, Paul Sill, founder of Forum Analytics, dove into the concept of what his firm calls ShopoGraphics. It's a deeper way of looking at the pros, cons, opportunities and challenges of retail sites.
11.12.2019

For Restaurants, the Value Equation Keeps Changing

Value is a tricky thing to measure because it’s changing for everyone. But during the 2019 Restaurant Finance & Development Conference this week, Growth Partners Retail President Neil Culbertson laid out attributes that go into the value equation for consumers that goes well beyond price.
11.12.2019

‘Never a Dull Day’ for Dunkin’ CFO Plus Others on Panel

Today started with a bang for Kate Jaspon, the CFO of Dunkin’ Brands, as Dean Foods filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Dean Foods supplies ice cream to Baskin Robbins (8,000 stores under the Dunkin’ umbrella) and dairy products to Dunkin’ (13,000 stores formerly known as Dunkin’ Donuts.)
11.12.2019

Little Caesars Targets International Markets in Next Growth Phase

As it actively pursues growth abroad, Mike Therrian, director of international development, said Little Caesars is looking to partner with operators of existing QSR or retail concepts, and views itself as a complementary brand and one with a sustainable business model.
11.12.2019

Robots, Ants and Biometrics are the Future of Dining, Says RFDC Speaker

The future of fine dining is here and it features—wait for it—bugs, worms and ants, according to Daniel Del Olmo, founding partner of The Passionality Group, speaking at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference today.
11.12.2019

A Kiss, Toilet Paper and Other Signs of Recession

Brian Belski, chief investment banking strategist at BMO Capital Markets, strode onto stage and planted a large smooch on his fellow panelist’s cheek, David Rosenberg, chief economist at Gluskin Sheff. From there, the two economists with contrasting points of view were off on a lively discussion on opening day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
11.11.2019

MOD Pizza’s Founders Talk Purpose, Profits at RFDC

MOD Pizza’s founders are doubling down on their efforts to employ the underemployed at their 470-store pizza chain, most recently focusing on people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, said Ally and Scott Svenson on opening day of the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference.
11.11.2019

After Xponential Buy, a Year of Change at Pure Barre

Sarah Luna became president of Pure Barre in November 2018 after it was acquired by Xponential Fitness. She's put franchisee support at the center of her growth plans with a goal of bringing stability to the brand.
11.08.2019

In Test, Workout Anytime Reaches Billboard CPMs in Digital

Workout Anytime found some major efficiencies with a new digital ad program that slashed CPMs, or cost per mille, a measure of ROI in digital advertising.
11.07.2019

CEO’s Out, Hemp’s In as Edible Founder Calls For 'Grit'

In July 2018, Edible Arrangement’s founder deemed its first outside CEO, Mike Rotondo, “perfect for the role.” Now Rotondo’s out, Tariq Farid has reclaimed the chief executive’s job and he’s taking the brand known for fresh fruit bouquets down new paths, including hemp-farming and cannabis.
11.07.2019

Chicken Salad Chick’s New Owner Says Don't Go Changin'

Chicken Salad Chick has a much larger majority investor, Brentwood Associates with its $2.4 billion fund buying out Eagle Merchant Partners, but CEO Scott Deviney believes it will be “business as usual, luckily” at the 137-plus Southeast-based restaurant chain.
11.06.2019

Chris Kempczinski Named McDonald's CEO in Leadership Shakeup

In a surprise announcement on Sunday night, McDonald’s said that Chris Kempczinski would take over as president and CEO of McDonald’s immediately.
11.04.2019

Would You Like Plant Cheese on That?

Could plant-based dairy be the next explosive menu addition?
11.01.2019

Club Pilates Inks Major Deal in South Korea

“It’s a continuation of our goal to bring Pilates to the masses,” said Club Pilates President Shaun Grove of a master franchise agreement signed with Seoul-based XFactor Fitness Limited.
11.01.2019

Fountain Looks to Bring Gig Hiring Tactics to QSR

Fountain is using a new $23 million investment to bring its gig-centric approach to the traditional franchise space.
10.31.2019

Don’t Be an Idiot, and Other M&A Advice at Faegre Event

“This weekend I was reading the latest PitchBook report, and it said another $2 trillion year for M&A, fewer transactions but sky high valuations continue,” said Sima Griffith, principal at Aethlon Capital, at the Faegre Baker Daniels M&A Conference in Minneapolis today.
10.29.2019

Sticker Shock, Founder Phobia Are M&A Hot Topics

Neighborly’s blistering acquisition pace of late has slowed this year, said Grayson Brown, executive vice president and general counsel at the franchisor formerly known as Dwyer Group, with sticker shock the culprit. He spoke today at the Faegre Baker Daniels M&A Conference.
10.29.2019

Round Table Pizza Rolling Out ‘Royal’ New Design

When you acquire a legacy brand like Round Table Pizza, there is often a lot of work to do. Luckily for Global Franchise Group, there was only one big undertaking: a refresh.
10.25.2019

Jeff Sturgis Joins Fish as PR Firm Launches Franchise Consulting

Jeff Sturgis, formerly the chief development officer at Fazoli’s and McAlister’s Deli, and senior VP of development for Fantastic Sams, brings his expertise to Fort Lauderdale-based Fish Consulting as it offers franchise development services to its clients.
10.25.2019

Broadway-Bound or Not, Attorneys Present Franchise Drama

Deborah Coldwell and Ronald Gardner took a dramatic approach to presenting their topic called “The Road to Purgatory or Paradise. The devil is in the details.” They handed attendees a Playbill, just like the ones you get on Broadway, and let the play commence, at the American Bar Association’s Forum on Franchising last week.
10.24.2019

It’s Not Tampering, It’s Story-Telling, Attorneys Say at Franchise Forum

“So is this the witness tampering class?” joked the attorney (at least I think he was joking) walking into a panel on “effective witness preparation in a franchise case” at last week’s American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in Denver.
10.24.2019

Hungry Howie’s Adds Free Mammograms to ‘Love, Hope & Pizza'

Every October, the pizzas boxes at Hungry Howie’s turn bright pink to mark the beginning of breast cancer awareness month. This year Hungry Howie’s celebrated the 10th anniversary of its “Love, Hope & Pizza” effort, through which the company donates a portion of its profits to the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
10.22.2019

New Capriotti’s Franchisee Stakes Ground in Pacific Northwest

From Sweeto Burrito to Capriotti’s, restaurant veteran and multi-unit franchisee Steve Holdeman has his sights set on bringing sub sandwiches to the Pacific Northwest. Capriotti’s and Holdeman inked a deal that will see 17 new units go up in multiple states by 2025.
10.22.2019

My Favorite Muffin Gets Back to Basics

The leadership team at My Favorite Muffin thinks going back to basics is the path forward.
10.21.2019

PuroClean Leads Pack in Strong Disaster Restoration Segment

Systemwide sales at disaster restoration franchises on Franchise Times’ Top 200+ list hit $4 billion in 2018, an 18.9 percent increase, our researched showed.
10.18.2019

Inspire Brands Finalizes Jimmy John’s Acquisition

The acquisition of sandwich giant Jimmy John’s has gone through, so the nearly 3,000-restaurant brand is now part of Inspire Brands, which is now the fourth-largest restaurant company in the United States.
10.18.2019

Buzz Kill for Cannabis Lawyers at ABA Forum on Franchising

A buzz kill was in store today as attorneys packed into a panel about cannabis and franchising and mostly heard about dire warnings and ever-changing regulations, at the American Bar Association Forum on Franchising in Denver.
10.17.2019

Unity Rd Is New Name for One Cannabis, But Chief Grower Misses Old Days

Today the One Cannabis grow facility in Colorado is completely buttoned-down and highly regulated, a far cry from 2009 and the "cowboy" days of the marijuana business.
10.16.2019

If Age Is Just a Number, Consider YoungConference

If you’re at that awkward age when everyone from the airplane captain to your new boss to your gastroenterologist is about as old as your children, you may think you’re too long in the tooth for the Franchise YoungConference—but Zack Fishman says maybe not.
10.14.2019

Cherry Hearn Brings Many Hats to Role of Which Wich President

From outside counsel to franchisee to general counsel for the brand, Cherry Hearn brings a lot of varied experience to her new job as president of Which Wich.
10.11.2019

Five Guys, BurgerFi Show Better Burger Strength on FT Top 200+

Though it remains a small portion of the overall burger category, which sits at $154 billion in total sales, better burger franchises on the Franchise Times Top 200+ grew their top lines by nearly 7 percent to $2.9 billion in 2018. The Top 200+ is Franchise Times’ exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises based on global systemwide sales.
10.11.2019

Famous Dave's Shrinks Restaurants, Shifts Menu for Delivery

Famous Dave’s released details of a new, more compact restaurant prototype geared toward increased delivery and catering in Minneapolis. This smaller store format is part of the brand’s multi-year revival that has included several new store designs.
10.11.2019

Frequent Founder Adds ‘Automatic Fit’ in Kitchen Wise

Paul Flick is the founder of three franchises—360 Painting, Pro Lift Doors and Handyman Pro—and he’s just completed his second acquisition, adding Kitchen Wise under the Premium Service Brands umbrella.
10.10.2019

Rebrand First, Then Sales Push for New Ace Franchise

Ace Hardware, No. 5 on this year’s Franchise Times Top 200+ list, plans a major franchising push starting the second quarter of next year for Handyman Matters, the Denver-based home improvement service chain Ace acquired in September.
10.10.2019

Cousins Subs Tweaks for Non-Traditional Locations

Wisconsin-based sub shop Cousins Subs is finding success in operating non-traditional locations, including its first-ever airport location at the Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport.
10.09.2019

Applebee’s Is Lone Casual Dining Grower on FT Top 200+

When two of the supposed top three brands in a segment actually saw sales decline, you know there’s a problem. Though it actually recovered slightly from 2017’s 3 percent drop, the casual dining subcategory of restaurants in the Franchise Times Top 200+ is still going in the wrong direction, save for Applebee’s, the only brand to see positive sales growth in 2018.
10.08.2019

Wendy’s 'Rolls' Out Supremely Nerdy Marketing

Do you have what it takes to help Queen Wendy protect her fresh burgers from the insidious Ice Jester and his frozen patty-slinging minions?
10.04.2019

Drew Brees Joins Franworth, Likes ‘Gut and Courage’ of Franchising

“When the opportunity came to join Franworth as a partner alongside John, David Barr, and the incredible team and brands assembled within, it was a no-brainer,” said Drew Brees of joining the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based firm in August as a partner and executive board member.
10.04.2019

With 94-Unit Denny’s Deal, WKS No. 1 in Three Brands

WKS Restaurant Group out of Cypress, California, is now the largest Denny’s franchisee in the system. The new location-count leader took the crown by adding 94 restaurants that formerly belonged to QK Holdings.
10.03.2019

Time to Gain Recognition for Brilliant M&A Deal-Making

It's been a busy fall already with mergers and acquisitions in franchising, with many of the deals sure to be competitive in our annual Franchise Times Dealmakers project, with nominations open now through December 31 by clicking on the Dealmakers button nearby and at www. franchisetimes.com.
10.03.2019

Another Broken Egg Grows as Breakfast Stays Hot

As the restaurant industry keeps struggling with sluggish traffic numbers—at best—Another Broken Egg Cafe is attempting to double down on the continued strength of the breakfast daypart.
10.03.2019

Cameron Diaz Lends Celebrity Shine to Modern Acupuncture

The man who arranged 50 Cent’s equity investment in Vitamin Water and Madonna’s deal with Vita Coco, Seth Rodsky and his firm Strand Equity have bought a stake in Modern Acupuncture and brought actress Cameron Diaz into the deal, too.
10.03.2019

7-Eleven Owners Air ‘Cold, Hard Facts’ Against Corporate

Franchisees leaving the 7-Eleven system are “creating a glut of available stores across the nation, including in major markets like Los Angeles and New York,” says the latest missive from the convenience store giant’s biggest critic—its coalition of 7-Eleven owners.
09.27.2019

Dave’s Hot Chicken Hopes for ‘Blow Your Head Off’ Launch

There are seven levels of “hot” at Dave’s Hot Chicken, which officially launches its franchise program today, with the Reaper so spicy it comes with a waiver.
09.27.2019

R.I.-Pizza: Rapping Calzone Now Repping D.P. Dough

Rapping calzone and D.P. Dough mascot Stoney Calzone, calling out the pizza industry at large—and the beats are as hot as the oven in the back.
09.26.2019

Roark Sells Jimmy John’s to Its Inspire Brands

Inspire Brands, the parent company of Arby’s, Buffalo Wild Wings and Sonic, has entered into an agreement to acquire Jimmy John’s Sandwiches from Roark Capital Group. The Atlanta-based Roark private equity firm purchased Jimmy John’s in 2016 and has been the longstanding owner of Arby’s, which was rolled into the newly formed Inspire Brands in 2018.
09.25.2019

Constant Evolution Returns Dippin’ Dots to Growth

Nitrogen-frozen drops of ice cream aren’t exactly mind boggling 30 years on, but Dippin' Dots has things moving in the right direction again.
09.20.2019
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