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January 2020

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In this issue

Club Pilates tops this year’s Fast & Serious list, our annual ranking of the 40 smartest-growing franchises

Eyeing his next move after taking LA Boxing from a single gym to 81 locations and culminating with a sale to UFC Gym, Anthony Geisler bought Club Pilates with massive growth in mind. “What I do more than picking the next trend is aggregating the trend that’s already there,” he said. “I didn’t have to worry about people doing Pilates—they were doing it all over the world.”

Purpose, profit ‘inextricably linked’ at MOD Pizza

Outside investors are providing fuel for co-founders Ally and Scott Svenson to develop MOD Pizza’s markets out to maturity as the duo continues to make creative hiring integral to its ecosystem.

Fitness concepts angle for competitive edge

The boutique fitness boom continues, but brands must work harder to demonstrate how they’re different—both to potential franchisees and members—as they aim to stand out in this increasingly competitive space. Meet four more franchises that have their eye on growth.

For private equity partners, growth is everything

While the funding hunt is always hard, one large and growing portion of the franchise capital world is private equity. It seems like every day there is a new boutique firm jumping into the industry or a major private equity sponsor coming in with a huge check to acquire a brand.

Chicken Salad Chick ready to put fresh funding to work

Fresh off a majority acquisition by a new private equity firm, Chicken Salad Chick President and CEO Scott Deviney said he’s eager to get back to the day-to-day as a growth brand leader.

We check out three beauty brands in FT Undercover

My eyelids are twitching wildly but the Amazing Lash Studio stylist assures me that I—and therefore my eyes—will relax in a few minutes. While it certainly doesn’t feel natural to have my eyelids taped shut, a necessary part of the process so the stylist can apply extensions to each individual eyelash, it’s not uncomfortable, and within 15 minutes my mind begins to wander.

‘Not pretty’ OK for Junkluggers backer

Larry Janesky, founder of Contractor Nation and Basement Systems, has a saying: You don’t have to love what you do; you have to do what other people hate.

The Barrs keep it all in the franchise family

Taylor Barr remembers being young and “driving around Georgia and Alabama in the family minivan visiting KFCs and Taco Bells.

Krystal’s new COO an ‘operations guy’ first, plus more from FT Online

In a surprise shake-up, Krystal has a new president and COO who is leaning on his deep operational background to continue pivoting the company toward growth.

Field Day brings marketing to streets for franchises

It’s never been easier to drown while surrounded by life rafts. This isn’t the plot of some grim Titanic remake, but an assessment of the countless marketing options for franchisees. With more available PR channels and tools than ever, this plethora of choices hasn’t made it any less daunting to market a location that could use more eyeballs. A new company has added yet another choice to the small-business marketing catalogue, but is doing it with boots-on-the-ground efforts from young, high-energy gig-economy workers.

‘Full bore’ growth for Floyd’s owner, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Franchisee Jay Palmer handles every customer complaint himself and also spotlights sales rock stars to help build a strong culture.

Jabz CEO talks pet pigs and why she wants to ‘be like a pineapple’

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? Jennifer Aniston would be a good person to play me. Everything she’s been through, she’s really resilient. Just going through that divorce from Brad Pitt and everything else, and she’s continued to triumph no matter what’s thrown at her.

Can jobs for the jobless fuel franchises? The Human Element explores

Kimberly and Brian Grotz were first-time prospective franchisees, she with a hospital management background and he in the military. When they came upon I Heart Mac & Cheese, a Florida-based brand that began franchising in 2017, their kids, especially, loved the food. But the biggest attraction was its fledgling program called Mac Hearts You, aimed at employing people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

Johnny Rockets takes its malt shop brand abroad

Franchisees in Italy and Brazil are among those expanding Johnny Rockets’ global presence, always with an eye toward ‘cultural nuances’ and a need to differentiate from the many burger-focused local competitors.

Brazil’s recession recovery continues, reports Country Profile

The motto “Ordem e Progresso,” or “Order and Progress,” is prominent on the flag. The green represents the forests of the country and the yellow its mineral wealth; the blue circle and stars depict the sky over Rio de Janeiro. The number of stars has changed with the creation of new states and has risen from to the current 27, one for each state and the Federal District

At Clean Juice, fast yet smart growth takes early investment

Clean Juice is quickly nearing 100 stores, but not opening more than it can support has been a key to success, says its founder and CEO. Landon Eckles shares this advice and more in the first installment of The Upstart, exploring what it takes to grow an emerging brand.

From founder to ‘zee for new RockBox owner in The Wire

Many franchise founders who’ve just sold their business like to take some time off before jumping into another concept, but for Jeff Dudan, fitness brand RockBox proved too enticing to wait. “I sold AdvantaClean on January 1 and quickly invested in RockBox,” said Dudan, the founder and CEO of restoration services company AdvantaClean, which was acquired by Home Franchise Concepts in January 2019.

‘Wacky tobacky,’ plus more hot topics from lawyers at ABA Forum

The ABC test. Monty Python. And of course, the marijuana business, or as Mike Drumm of Drumm Law put it, wearing a groovy tie-dyed T-shirt under his brown sport coat and introducing his panel’s topic: “We’re talking about some wacky tobacky, some blade, some Mary Jane,” plus a half-dozen more nicknames.

In the land down under, is franchising dangerous, daring or desirable?

Franchise systems are now exploring and expanding internationally more rapidly than ever before, doing so at earlier stages of their development, and by way of progressively more interesting and creative franchise arrangements. International expansion has been a successful venture for some brands, in certain cases because of precise planning and efficient implementation of strategy, in other cases as a result of good future, and yet others a mixture of both.

Time to deploy brutal honesty for effective 2020 development

New year, new decade. Time to reflect back and look ahead. The franchise model is resilient—powerfully combining entrepreneurship, brand and community.

Small towns work for Qdoba owner; brothers find success in Jersey Mike’s

Sometimes negative things happen unexpectedly to growth-oriented franchisees. Case in point: Qdoba franchisee Matt Herridge, who two years ago acquired a third outlet from a franchisee in Columbus, Ohio. Herridge, who also franchises nine Burger Kings in West Virginia and Ohio, had never shuttered a restaurant because of poor sales.

McDonald’s chaff to become Ford auto parts

Two of the best-known public companies, Ford (NYSE: F) and McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD), are working on a major sustainability partnership that starts with coffee waste.

Tour de Snap starts new CEO’s tenure at Lift Brands

Weldon Spangler began his post as CEO and president of Lift Brands, parent of Snap Fitness and several other concepts, in mid-September and immediately got busy visiting franchisees, which number more than 1,300.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

New year, new tactics— and plenty of gratitude

January: The year is shiny and new, and there are endless possibilities to renew yourself, your life, your habits. (I’m a sucker for new and improved. It’s why I start a new organizational system every January 1. Turns out usually by about March, I learn my old way of doings things was just fine.)
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