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February 2017

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In this issue

Why Domino’s will eat Pizza Hut’s lunch

As the second-largest pizza chain eclipses $10 billion in sales and goes all-in as a high-tech pioneer, it expects to overtake Pizza Hut before 2020. CEO Patrick Doyle describes the fateful decisions that started Domino’s fast run-up.

We Rock the Spectrum aims to power a movement

“Finally a place where you never have to say ’m sorry.” Dina Kimmel’s voice caught as she recited her company’s motto and recalled the countless times she found herself apologizing for the behavior of her son, Gabriel, who in 2009 at the age of 2 was diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.

Who’s advancing in the burger blitzkrieg?

The mission: See how the legacy burger joints stack up against the better burger guys. The players: The plucky editorial team at Franchise Times: Beth Ewen, Tom Kaiser, Laura Michaels and Nicholas Upton. The results: From ugh to wow, and everything in between.

Drones help operators phone in their work

A few franchises are testing the latest equipment craze—drones, to do everything from deliver drugstore staples to monitor remote locations. We checked out a few early adopters, including ‘the dronemeister,’ who says ‘the sky is opening up.’

Whirlwind return to India, Sri Lanka, reveals change

Governments in India and Sri Lanka are both trying to be more business-friendly. In India the challenge is that a large, populous country can’t “turn on a dime,” and in Sir Lanka, it’s recovering from civil war and debt. And still, seven U.S. franchisors met interested partners.

Surprise SBA rules needn’t spook franchisors

Attorneys are offering advice to franchisors surprised by new U.S. Small Business Administration rules, issued last December and upending the usually routine business of making government-backed loans to franchisees.

Jerky vegans get their comeuppance

Friends don’t let friends drive drunk, and apparently in a parallel universe they don’t let them be vegans either.

Drew Brees adds Dunkin’ to holdings

As speculation mounts about how long Drew Brees will continue as quarterback for the New Orleans Saints, it’s becoming clearer that one of the most famous and talented players in the NFL has teed himself up to be a major player in the franchise world for many seasons to come.

Brainiest cities are good bets for franchisors

My childhood was more Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles than Friday Night Lights, so I’ve always enjoyed that Bill Gates quote about being nice to nerds, lest you find yourself working for one.

Salt Suite tries to shake up industry

Anyone who has ever escaped to the sea to breathe in the medicinal properties of salt air soon may have a less scenic, but closer to home, solution thanks to franchising.

Deal is home run for Real Property

Lukas Krause’s baseball dreams fizzled after a stint in the minor leagues, but the 37-year-old CEO of Real Property Management can boast he’s batting at least .300 as his Salt Lake City-based company profits from tectonic shifts in American real estate.

Great Harvest works for better bread

Some things never change, but bread—elemental to human nourishment—has changed mightily since the first loaves were baked in the B.C. era of ancient Egypt. In more recent times, bread’s evolution has resembled a race to the bottom with supermarkets peddling simpler, cost effective, less- healthy breads.

Rockin’ the art world at One River School

Matt Ross wants to rock the art world. The founding CEO of the School of Rock believes anyone can learn to draw, just as he believed anyone could learn to play music. “It’s the time people are willing to put into it,” he says. “There’s a process, a technique. You don’t learn it all in a day.”

In & Out makes up for human error

In this age of exploding phones and shattered screens, a massive amount of investment is flowing into smartphone and electronic device repair to compensate for the ever-destructive human influence. No matter how amazing or expensive the latest devices may be, they’re still no match for a toddler’s slippery grasp, a dog’s wagging tail or the swirling waters of a toilet.

Unishippers owner is ‘luckiest guy’

But Frank Czar doesn’t leave everything to good fortune. The owner of eight Unishippers territories said he plans for the worst, especially big hits to cash flow.

New rivals enter the quick-service business

Xavier Artisan is targeting the United States as its next big step for growth. The Montreal-based franchise has a menu that includes sandwiches, coffee, soups and ice cream made artisan style with natural ingredients. It hopes to be a hit with Americans shifting away from common fast food. “We see an enormous need in the repetitive meal and QSR marketplace for a truly fresh and healthy dining option,” says Steven Elefant, chief development officer at Xavier Artisan’s parent company.

Transit hubs lure food brands, too

Mass transit is in the fast lane these days when it comes to expanding routes and boosting ridership, and food and beverage concepts are looking to get a foot in the door in those new high-traffic locations.

How to hire rockstar sales talent

Getting a prospective franchisee to crack open the 401(k) or mortgage their home takes more than a cold call—it takes an emotional connection and cultivating the hopes and dreams of business ownership. In short, it’s not an easy sell.

Tropical Smoothie offers ‘intense’ training stint

Tropical Smoothie Cafe was launched in Tallahassee, Florida, in 1997, and grew to 310 franchises before being purchased in 2012 by BIP Opportunities Fund, an Atlanta investment firm. The total investment for a Tropical Smoothie Cafe is $210,550 to $478,550.

‘Do not botch the app’ is clear lesson

The importance of having a mobile app is not lost on franchise execs, but there is always a grey area of what exactly a company should look for in results. With a new collection of data from Sense360, there’s a little more clarity on what kind of results franchisors should expect from a mobile app project.

Country profile: India’s info in one place

Saffron (subdued orange), which represents courage, sacrifice and the spirit of renunciation, is the color of the top horizontal band. White signifies purity and truth; green stands for faith and fertility. The blue chakra (24-spoked wheel) symbolizes the wheel of life in movement and death in stagnation.

Solid data help emerging brands stay sound

Navigating the legal maze is not easy but necessary and can reveal important details about the business. Our three Living Large franchisors share their experiences.

A chill wind blows in from the North

Fifteen years ago this column called the reader’s attention to the myth that the world beyond the United States “is an oasis free of lawyers and litigation.” Focusing on Canada, the column summarized a “raft of franchise legal disputes in recent days,” sounding an alarm for franchisors. Only a year later, in August 2003, the column found ample validation for that prediction.

Making progress on your new year’s resolutions?

Each and every year, 45 percent of Americans make New Year’s resolutions, and more commonly than not, by February, they’re broken and long forgotten.

Flexibility is watchword, at Club Pilates and Huddle House

To the uninitiated, Pilates equipment plausibly looks like tools of torture. Yet growing numbers of Americans pay professionally trained instructors to help contort themselves on these strange devices.

Executive Ladder

KeyBanc Capital Markets appointed Alex Jacobs as head of the Food & Beverage Group. Wienerschnitzel promoted J.R. Galardi, son of the chain’s late founder, to the role of executive vice president.


At the 2017 ICR Exchange conferece, where public and private brands across restaurants and retail come together to share news with investors, there was an upbeat outlook for the year despite some ongoing difficult conditions.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

First Things First

When I was in college, my roommate and I ate every meal at the food hall, except on the occasional Friday night when yes, you guessed it, we splurged on Domino’s.

Loose Ends

If only I had known then what I know now...I’d still know nothing

I rarely go back and reread what I’ve written once it’s published. I used to think it was a lifesaving technique, because when I found a misspelled word or a particularly awkward sentence I wanted to slit my wrists. Or because I didn’t want to relive the embarrassment that a point I thought was so funny at the time, completely missed the mark.
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