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More than 200 reasons to read this issue—no joke


Awise man (or was it a man crackin’ wise?) once asked, “How do you make a million dollars in the restaurant business? Start with two million.” Boom.

As we’ve all heard, it is tough to make money in restaurants. But there are folks out there who know how to do it right, and franchising has helped. How do I know this? Well for one thing, this issue highlights the Franchise Times Restaurant 200, the ranking of the top 200 restaurant franchisees based on sales.

This group of 200 franchised companies owns 28,000 restaurant locations nationwide, with $39.1 billion in revenue. In fact, four of the franchisees cracked “the three-comma club,” as our writer points out.

You’ll want to peruse this year’s list to see who moved up, who dropped off, and which brands are popular with these savvy investors.  

But not all franchise success stories include restaurants, and at Franchise Times, we’ve been documenting the rise of other sectors, including within our coverage of the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference. The event does include presentations by restaurant CEOs, but there was so much more. Also in this issue, we’re featuring the medical and healthcare sectors, which brings us to our cover story on Modern Acupuncture.

Editor-in-Chief Beth Ewen interviewed the partners, two of which got their start in franchising with The Joint, a chiropractic franchise. Famed franchise exec John Leonesio was the CEO and their mentor there. Leonesio himself founded the successful Massage Envy concept, and, as Beth writes, “influenced a small army of executives whom he hired and coached and would go on to start or grow everything from Orangetheory, Amazing Lash, Hammer & Nails and more.”

Modern Acupuncture CEO Matt Hale and franchise development exec Chad Everts helped Leonesio grow The Joint from eight to 346 units in six years. When a franchisee for The Joint, Dr. Stephen Gubernick, came to them with an idea for acupuncture, they were on board.

Mary Jo Larson

Mary Jo Larson

Reach Mary Jo at 612-767-3208
or mlarson@franchisetimes.com

“I made a long list of things—here’s what we’re going to do differently,” Hale says. “Our learnings from The Joint were good and bad. We said, what are we going to do to turn this into a rocket ship?”  In about 18 months they’ve awarded some 480 regional developer licenses who are on track to open 50 clinics by the end of this year.

It’s some heady growth. As Beth poses in the article, what are they going to do to keep the rocket ship from crashing to earth? You’ll have to read her article to discover how these entrepreneurs will keep it flying high.

Debuting this month is the print version of our e-newsletter, The DealTracker. It’s always fun to see who’s opening where, and which franchises have a leg up on growth.

Not to be missed, a casual-and-family dining focus highlights the famous and not-so-famous brands making headway in a tough restaurant sector. And, you’ll want to read about “Hillbilly Hubcaps,” a Las Vegas wedding for a Bierhaus king, a rock star turned-franchise developer (who hasn’t quite given up his night job), and a franchisee team where one partner pays the other with pies.

While not all franchisees will end up three-comma companies, perhaps in this case the last laugh is on the author of the joke at the top of the page. There are successes out there.

But let’s hope the new joke isn’t, “You know how to make a billion in franchising? Start with two billion.” Boom.

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