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August 2019

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In this issue

Can Tom Garrett guide GPS Hospitality to $1 billion?

Tom Garrett is charting an impressive course at GPS Hospitality, thanks in part to top execs who answered his call and share his motivation to grow. Approaching $600 million in sales from 400-plus Burger King and Popeyes restaurants, GPS is on its way to a new target. Can Garrett guide it all the way?

Refugee turned IHOP franchisee brings the hustle

Though she was among the youngest IHOP franchisees in the country when she opened her first New Jersey restaurant at 27, Adenah Bayoh’s business acumen was evident much earlier as a 6-year-old navigating the market in her Liberian village of Foya. Her grandmother sold bread at the market and “I’d carry it around in a basket on my head,” Bayoh says. “I had the idea to lower the price at the end of the day to get rid of inventory and my bread basket would be completely empty.”

Ranking the 200 biggest restaurant operators

The fevered pace of consolidation continues in the restaurant industry, meaning the big continue to get bigger in the face of some serious challenges.

Think you have labor pains? Consider healthcare

High salaries in some fields. Limited number of practitioners. Outright hostility. Oh, and a ban on the corporate practice of medicine. Sound like fun? Medical franchises share smart ways to retain their caregivers.

In casual dining, Applebee’s, Denny’s franchisees create own upside

In 2015 Applebee’s raked in more than $5 billion in systemwide sales, but as fresh competition sought to lure away customers and changing consumer tastes and new technologies emerged, the legacy brand floundered. By 2017, sales were in a free-fall, dropping more than $600 million to $4.4 billion. Julia Stewart, longtime CEO of parent company Dine Brands Global, resigned and Applebee’s had been without a brand president since Steven Layt’s own resignation in late 2015.

FT Undercover checks out three boozy brands

For those who know next to nothing about whiskey (aka me), flipping through the hefty drink menu listing 100-plus options at Big Whiskey’s is a bit intimidating. Luckily my (initial) confusion was short-lived as our bartender at the concept’s first franchise location in Las Vegas quickly steered me toward the Flights section as the best way for an amateur to acquaint herself with the world of whiskey.

Kat Cole talks naps, eating bugs in new Grab Bag Q&A

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I would hope Sandra Bullock. Reputationally she’s got a perception and she’s played roles of no bullshit and also lighthearted, so that seems fitting.

Cookie Cutters Haircuts hits 100, plus more from our bloggers

Neal Courtney’s young daughter “was an absolute nightmare when it was time to get her hair cut,” he says. That changed when he and his wife, Alexis, brought their daughter to a local Cookie Cutters Haircuts for Kids shop and she “picked out a hot pink car and turned on ‘Dora the Explorer.’”

‘Market your buns off’ says finance pro turned Modern Acupuncture ‘zee

When Shannon Tolbert, formerly a marketing exec with GE Capital Franchise Finance, decided to jump across the table and become a franchise owner, she quickly zeroed in on Modern Acupuncture and was set to buy a unit of the Scottsdale, Arizona-based emerging brand.

Dog Haus ‘going with flow’ in virtual kitchen test

Just days into Dog Haus’ launch at the new Kitchen United mobile-ordering-only space in Chicago and franchisee Jesse Koontz was doing about $800 in delivery orders per day, with one Friday spiking to $1,500.

Building leaders goal No. 1 for Mike Hamra, in Multi-Unit Mindset

A focus on unit-level leadership helps Mike Hamra turn lemon locations into superstars. And when it comes to acquisitions, ‘you have to see a way to enhance value,’ he says.

Catering to the kids is smart strategy for family dining brands

Dining with children can be quite an adventure. Is the little one going to quietly draw or play with a device or will they throw a tantrum and hurl food across the floor? It’s a guessing game most parents know all too well.

Franchisors angle for investments at Finance & Growth Conference

Touting high average unit volumes, restaurant redesigns, delivery initiatives and more, C-level execs shared their brand’s growth plans at the Finance & Growth Conference. And new in 2020, FGC becomes The Franchise Investment Conference, March 10-11, at the Renaissance Dallas at Plano Legacy West.

Why your franchise should explore skyways, underground retail

In some cities there’s a whole world hidden from view. Like the secret passages of an ant colony, urban skyway or tunnel systems are bustling hives of activity where professionals, hospital workers, tourists or college students scoot from building to building below grade or one level above the street. These webs of life are an often-overlooked non-traditional real estate opportunity worth your attention.

Brands seek to stand out at the International Franchise Expo

At the International Franchise Expo in New York City, Wayback Burgers showed off its new mobile burger truck, designed for small orders and to expand a franchisee’s territory without paying the high fees for delivery services.

In SE Asia, Wing Zone franchisee adapts to his advantage

Calling virtual kitchens ‘the wave of the future,’ the founder of JNM Dining Concepts in Singapore gets creative to give consumers what they want as he aims to further expand Wing Zone as the master franchisee.

Economic strength a draw in France, reports Country Profile

The origin of the flag dates to 1790 and the French Revolution, when the “ancient French color” of white was combined with the blue and red colors of the Parisian militia.

When talking HR, franchisors should stick to guidelines, advice

Direct but don’t dictate is the approach franchisors are taking with human resources as joint employer liability concerns live on. It’s a ‘tightrope,’ notes a Living Large exec, but one they have to walk to support franchisees.

Deal Tracker: Newk’s food, culture a fit for multi-brand ‘zee

Newk’s Eatery “checked all the boxes” for David Weeks as he researched a third franchise brand to add to a portfolio that already included Barberitos and Dunkin’, with two criteria standing out. “No. 1, the food, that’s the most important one to us,” said Weeks, who will open two Newk’s restaurants in the Athens market, about 70 miles outside Atlanta in northeast Georgia. “I wanted a concept where the food is made in house and it’s not all shipped in from some commissary.”

For pioneer in cannabis franchising, ‘plowing’ is the only way forward

Mike Weinberger, chief operating officer of One Cannabis, doesn’t listen to naysayers. That was true when he started looking into franchising cannabis, about five years ago, “and at that point in time met with, ‘No way,’” he said.

Before making the international leap, first try drinking from a firehose

Washington, May 7-8. The 35th annual International Franchising Seminar, jointly sponsored by the International Franchise Association and International Bar Association. An event attended by lawyers and others from 22 countries—remarkable, since the program only spans a few hours.

During the dog days of summer, market your brand from the inside out

We’ve all heard the phrase, “the dog days of summer,” but ask anyone what it means and you’ll likely hear a montage of answers about panting pups or long and lazy days that stifle ambition.

'No limit’ for Schlotzsky’s owner; McAlister’s ‘zee enjoys ‘no veto vote’

J.J. Ramsey is on a quest to open as many restaurants as his considerable talents allow. “There’s no limit. We could have 50 Schlotzsky’s or more,” said the 39-year-old franchisee, who with his wife, Hortencia, now operates 10 units throughout northwest Arkansas, as well as in Wichita, Kansas, and Springfield, Missouri. The couple has been on a tear lately, acquiring six existing Schlotzsky’s restaurants this year alone.

Aggregators aggravate big pizza, reports Scoreboard

As delivery continues to grow, the meals replaced have to come from somewhere. Mark Kalinowski, principal and lead researcher at Kalinowski Equity Research, took a look at the correlation between delivery growth (measured in the growth of Grubhub’s reach) and sales growth across the public restaurant spectrum over the last 17 quarters. For the industry as a whole, there hasn’t been a game-changing impact yet.

New CEO believes now is Greene Turtle’s ‘time to shine’

Geo Concepcion, the newly named president and CEO of Greene Turtle, had strong bragging rights from his tenure as COO at Famous Dave’s. “I helped them with three new prototypes, two full-service and one fast-casual, and then I led the third-party delivery” effort at the barbecue brand.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Franchising gives leaders an opportunity to shine

Husband Doug and I are empty nesters, and so we can come home from work on, say, a Wednesday, and decide to go grab a quick bite out. One restaurant we like to frequent has a F. Scott Fitzgerald vibe, with craft cocktails and appetizers like lobster deviled eggs. We sit at the bar. It’s cozy.
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