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February 2019

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In this issue

Forced out of Liberty Tax Service, founder John Hewitt will try again

John Hewitt is poised to launch his third tax prep franchise from scratch after the other two brands he founded, most recently Liberty Tax Service where his alleged actions wreaked havoc, pushed him out in a chaotic mess. Can the man who sold 5,000 units, which he figures has ‘got to be the top 10 in the world,’ gain franchisees’ trust and do it all over again?

Convert to craft beer taps Beerhead Bar

For Krupal Patel, it was a can of Daisy Cutter Pale Ale. Dry, with notes of citrus, papaya and mango, that beer, from Chicago brewery Half Acre, set Patel on a course that’s led him to home brewing and, more recently, to becoming a franchisee of Beerhead Bar & Eatery.

Jinya gives ramen its due, stateside

It’s not hard to see why Japanese ramen has become a global food phenomenon. Even though it’s only been around since the invention of the modern ramen noodle in the late 1950s, this simmering bowl of umami and contrasting textures has become one of Japan’s most prized exports.

Jollibee’s all in for Smashburger makeover, says CFO Brad Reynolds

As Jollibee Foods moves into the driver’s seat, CFO Brad Reynolds expands his influence on Smashburger’s coming rebirth. ‘We have the right scar tissue,’ he says, and so plans to never make the same mistakes again.

'Snackable’ content helps KFC boost training

Amazon’s Alexa is one of several solutions employed by KFC to simplify and shorten the training process, while also making the job more fun to boost attraction and retention.

We check out three veggie/vegan brands so you don’t have to

As more restaurants add vegetarian and vegan options, few seem as well positioned as Taco Bell. Its “Fresco-style” options cut out the meat, dairy and mayo-based sauces and substitutes them with pico de gallo.

United PF crosses 100-unit milestone plus more from our bloggers and tweeters

“Somebody was going to get there, and it was a real privilege to be the first one to hit that milestone,” says Trey Owen, speaking about United PF Partners surpassing the 100-club mark this past fall and becoming the first Planet Fitness franchisee to break that barrier.

Nothing but widgets at Adam & Eve

What’s your widget? At Adam & Eve, a franchise retailer of adult toys, lingerie, bondage tools, erotic oils and sexual enhancement products, that answer might include everything from the Satisfyer Pro 2 to the Booty Boot Camp Training Kit. Their stores and website sell it all, with star ratings and enthusiastic customer reviews to help tire-kickers zero in on exactly what pleasure they’re shopping for.

Everything’s local for Jersey Mike’s ‘zee

An operating partner program helps Matt Patterson attract and retain talent, but one rule holds for all. ‘You gotta start by sorting tomatoes,’ he says.

Class 101 is salve for student stress

Formerly a youth minister and financial adviser, Tom Pabin’s life took a turn after losing his parents, grandparents and godparents by the time he hit his mid 20s. He began to search for a new raison d’etre, knew he wanted to make a positive difference in the world and found his calling after helping a girl in his youth ministry who was struggling with the onerous college application process.

Heaping plate for Focus Brands’ CFO Mike Dixon

As a restaurant CFO for nearly 20 years, Mike Dixon of Focus Brands says the job of overseeing cash flow in the industry has steadily become more difficult because of tougher competition, shifting consumer habits, ongoing real estate challenges and the rise of third-party delivery and catering—but he’s still having fun.

Hiring, automation on cleaning companies’ agenda

Businesses often hear the advice: “Meet clients where they are.” Eric Roudi, the CEO and founder of commercial cleaning franchise OpenWorks, takes that counsel to heart—quite literally.

From Van Halen to Valhalla at Showhomes

Just think of the design possibilities if you threw away all of your clutter: accumulated knickknacks, photo albums, gifts displayed out of obligation, mementos reminding us of things we couldn’t forget and the general detritus of children, spouses and pets—you know, those pesky little things that make us individuals. Our living rooms would be as open as an alpine meadow in spring, empty countertops would shimmer in warm sunlight and eating off the floors could be an actual thing.

Brokers offer a peek behind the curtain

Franchise development is not exactly the Land of Oz, but nonetheless, some players in the industry are trying to pull back the curtain on the inner workings of the industry in an attempt to promote transparency and raise the bar on industry best practices.

Is it time to recession-proof financing?

Restaurant operators have been reveling in a strong economy and a climate where plenty of debt and equity is available to finance expansion. But those good times won’t last forever. In fact, some economists are predicting a recession may be lurking around the corner. So, now is the time to start thinking about recession-proofing financing and shoring up balance sheets to be better prepared for what lies ahead.

Newk’s template goes under the knife, in The Urbane Franchisor

Alabama-based architect Erik Hendon hasn’t designed all of the recent Newk’s Eatery locations, but he’s not far off with somewhere between 70 and 80 locations under his belt.

Eat the Frog Fitness, Rush Bowls make play for Canada

Active, health-minded consumers are the target for emerging brands Eat the Frog Fitness and Rush Bowls, which are both working with first-time franchisees as they take their concepts across the border to the Canadian provinces.

New trade deal shakes up Canada, in Country Profile

Northern North America, sharing the world’s longest international border with the United States. With its 10 provinces and three territories, Canada is slightly larger than the U.S. and also borders the North Atlantic, North Pacific and Arctic oceans.

To find capital, Living Large brands work every angle

‘Never underestimate the value of educating your investors or lenders,’ says Delta Disaster’s CEO, one of our Living Large brands we’re following all year. The goal is to gain capital before it’s needed so growth doesn’t stall.

Huey Magoo’s is next venture for Papa John’s ‘zee

Dean Thompson ate more than 50 chicken tenders in five days during his visits to all seven Huey Magoo’s restaurants in the Orlando area but says he was already convinced it was the right brand for him before even trying the food.

Legal Eagles-turned-scribes take up their pens to detail hot topics in 2019

Normally I do the writing for this column tracking legal topics in franchising. But this time I asked our Franchise Times Legal Eagles to describe the top issue they’re watching in 2019, and many obliged with cogent analysis and writing flair. Here are a few excerpts:

Has franchising become a global way of doing business? Well, not exactly…

The stream of articles and speeches about “international franchising” sometimes threatens to engulf us. It’s all welcome, of course: It adds to our storehouse of knowledge about a subject which, until fairly recently, was assumed to be known and understood only by the few high priests in the field.

Going local, saying no puts rhyme and reason into franchising plan

In the consumer world, we hear the buzzwords every day encouraging us to “shop local” and “keep our money where our heart is.” But how does that translate to the world of franchising?

Thinking small for Del Taco operator, while kids run the show at PizzaRev

Recreational marijuana use has been legal in Colorado since 2012, meaning cannabis dispensaries and grow facilities have been hiring workers for the past six years.

After stumbles, Sport Clips founder uses lessons learned to build giant

Tell me about your upbringing. I grew up in a small town in South Carolina. Even as a kid I was doing things, like before school started doing fundraisers. I would go door to door selling personalized Christmas cards every year. My dad was in the furniture business. He immigrated from Scotland, and went to work at a savings and loan to lend to sawmills. I had his diary when he was coming across on the voyage from Scotland, and he literally landed at Ellis Island with 12 dollars in his pocket. He was a classic Horatio Alger. My mom was a stay at home mom.

2019 could bring another PE frenzy

Private equity was extremely active in 2018, shrinking the list of public brands on the Franchise Times watch list and moving a lot of money around in the franchise space.

Executive Ladder

Batteries Plus Bulbs appointed Scott Williams as its chief executive officer. Kip Kolow is now chief strategy officer for Cowboy Chicken. Christian Brothers Automotive appointed Janis Jarosz as VP of marketing, David Domine as VP of technology solutions, Zach Bynum as VP of its neighborly arm, Michael Allnutt as VP of operations, Brad Fink as VP of leadership development, John Foster as interim CFO, James Stuart as corporate controller and Sheila Powell as assistant controller.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Not to be braggadocious, but here’s a stellar saga

In some capacity, I have worked on 200 issues of Franchise Times. (I forbid you to do the math.) And over the years, I have met, read about or interviewed some big personalities.
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