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June-July 2016

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In this issue

Mom wins, but dad gets tie

Last month we celebrated Mother’s Day with three stories from CEOs on what their mothers taught them. For the June/July issue we’re investigating fathers’ input. Although kids spend more money on their mothers for her special Hallmark holiday, fathers also give good advice as evidenced below.

KFC’s nail polish is finger-lickin’ good

In the United States, KFC diners will just have to be content with licking the chicken grease off their fingers in order to get the same effect their counterparts in Hong Kong can get by polishing their nails with KFC’s latest promotion: chicken-flavored nail polish.

Blue Moon Estate Sales sells it all

As much of the world is now learning from the likes of American Pickers and Pawn Stars, there’s a whole culture around pricing, collecting and selling yesterday’s news—antiques, old cars, collectible items and random junk. Talk to the people buying and selling, and you’ll find there’s a story for everything and everyone.

When dogs eat better than people do

Now that everything we humans require can be shipped right to our houses—sometimes within the hour—it’s time somebody took canine and feline needs into account. Based in Cincinnati and franchised since March of 2015, Pet Wants is answering that call with ultra-high-quality dog and cat foods delivered to your door.

Big Poppa Pump wrestles to open Shoney’s

If Scott Steiner gets booed at work, he knows he’s doing a good job. After all, you don’t earn the nickname Big Bad Booty Daddy for being too nice to slam your opponent’s head into the ropes.

Kids’ hair concepts aim to be cut above

In the early 2000s, Wade Brannon was between jobs and helping raise his family after selling his 250-store ham business. His young son at the time hated getting his hair cut—until the Brannons discovered Pigtails & Crewcuts.

Yadav credits tough critic, his wife

‘If you don’t take the risk you’ll never see what’s behind the door,’ says Anil Yadav, who has jumped big most recently into TGI Friday’s. That sentiment—and an honest voice at home—are his keys to success.

Four Foods uses Silicon Valley plays

Alittle bit of Silicon Valley has made its way to the world of franchising. No, some upstart isn’t going to disrupt the business model into oblivion, but Four Foods Group and CEO Andrew Smith have certainly come to the industry with a fresh set of eyes.

Antonio Swad started Wingstop, struck again with Pizza Patron

A bored Antonio Swad was sitting next to a wife he was no longer interested in talking to, watching a less-than-stellar Dallas Cowboy football game, when he did the math in his head. A chicken in every seat in Cowboy Stadium still wouldn’t add up to enough wings and drummies to meet the demand of Wingstop’s growing supply chain. Once he realized the brand he created was routinely responsible for the death of more chickens than could watch an NFL game in three hours, he decided it was time to return to pizza.

Charlie Morrison realized investor dreams with IPO

It’s a good time to be Charlie Morrison, Wingstop’s CEO—two stock offerings, sales surging beyond expectations, international growth on multiple continents, and 133 net new stores in the last four quarters capping 12 consecutive years of same-store sales growth. He asserts that simplicity is the key to the brand’s success. Having no direct competition, he adds, is the cherry on top.

We rate the mighty tube steak

Two days. Six establishments. 18 hot dogs. Who says FT’s crack reporting team isn’t up for a challenge? Inspired by Burger King’s ‘dog debut this spring, Beth Ewen, Tom Kaiser and Nicholas Upton got busy eating—and raising their nitrate levels. Here’s their review.

Fast-casual chains operate above average

Sometimes sandwich chains get a bad rap, but we dove into multiple FDDs to check the numbers. Turns out several fast-casual chains are posting attention-grabbing financials, especially those that innovate.

Home rental upstarts take bite out of hotels

Some believe there’s plenty of vacation business to go around. But the rise of the home rental market via Airbnb, Home Away and VRBO has many hotel brands playing defense—and calling on their lobbyists.

No push-ups required at this military boot camp

A different kind of boot camp for military veterans emphasizes business skills over burpees. The intent is to prepare returning soldiers for entrepreneurship. We sent our staffer to check one out, and he reports back with tips for all franchisors who want to provide top training.

VetFran raises bar for members

VetFran, the program designed to give military veterans a leg up into franchise ownership, is asking franchisors to jump over a few hurdles themselves.

New tax rules helping remodel medicine go down

“Any time you can get the government to share in an investment, which this does—it’s very good news,” says Dusty Profumo, CFO of Church’s Chicken. His is one of many franchise brands mandating remodeling programs for its franchisees, but this year it has an incentive to offer, courtesy of an unlikely source—the Internal Revenue Service.

Here’s HR advice since ‘zors’ hands are tied

In this nebulous era of joint-employer, the Affordable Care Act, new wage laws and extreme hiring difficulties, human resources has become difficult to manage. So it’s no surprise franchises large and small and across all industries are outsourcing HR functions.

How i9 Sports divvied up the field

Perhaps you’ve explored a variety of new benefits to recruit and maintain quality employees in this ever-tightening job market, but have you considered giving your employees the company itself?

Thin construction pipeline squeezes soptions

Retail and restaurant operators hoping for some relief from the long-running dry spell in shopping center development may need to be patient a bit longer. Construction remains well below historical levels and it is not expected to jump higher any time soon.

How to set royalties, without guesswork

In this diverse universe of franchising, there may be sexier topics than setting royalty rates, but no discussion is more important to the ultimate survival and profitability of your franchised company.

Tracking the great urban migration

You can learn a lot by turning off HGTV and experiencing life. In this instance, I was searching for what boomers and millennials are getting for their money when ditching the country or suburbs and moving their lives into the city. Also, as somebody who’s lived everywhere from isolated woods to the heart of downtown, I wanted to explore what people leave on the table as waves of Americans head into city centers.

IPO markets backs off for now

Beginning in the fall of 2015, there was a significant slowdown of initial public offering activity in the restaurant industry. This near cessation in IPOs across most industries has continued into 2016.


Domino’s and Pizza Hut are in an everlasting battle for the top spot among U.S. pizza consumers as fast-casual pizza upstarts nip at their heals.

Affable, skilled workforce makes DR franchising a breeze

Baseball has been very, very good to the DR. One in eight pro baseball players hails from the Dominican Republic, and every major U.S. team has an academy training local youth in this island country. But getting the locals to play ball with your concept will take some due diligence.

Country Profile: Dominican Republic at a glance

Location: Caribbean; shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The island is located between Cuba and Puerto Rico Size: Twice the size of New Hampshire Population: 10.5 million

Relying on trainers who get their feet wet

Next to attracting good franchisees in the first place, training them correctly can be the difference between success and failure. But how do you build an effective field staff/consultant team? Here’s how our franchisors develop powerful support teams.

Executive Ladder

Frisch’s Big Boy hired Jason Vaughn as its new CEO. John Dawson was named chief development officer at El Pollo Loco. iFranchise Group hired Barry Falcon, Joanna Meiseles and Michael Svancarek as senior consultants.

You call it religious freedom; I call it discrimination

Never have so many franchise execs made themselves so scarce as when I called around to get comments about the new North Carolina and Mississippi laws passed in early April. Supporters call them religious freedom laws; protesters call them discriminatory—and a rash of CEOs were suddenly “unavailable” or “out of the country.”

Why the old marketing mix won’t hold up today

All too often in franchising sales and marketing, people fail to properly attribute leads to their true source. And that’s a serious problem when trying to determine the right marketing mix to generate leads for your franchising program.

Hoteliers take a first step in Cuba

Writing in this space a year ago about President Obama’s opening to Cuba (Zeidman and Sanchez, Don’t take eye off potential Cuban prize, March 2015), we speculated that the hotel companies would be the first franchisors to raise their hands. Now they have. Let’s take a look at what’s happened in a year, and what it means for franchising.

When brotherly love is not enough

Let’s say you’re developing a national chain of restaurants and expansion plans happen to include your hometown. As luck would have it, your brother is a restaurant operator there. Stands to reason you’d tap him to oversee growth.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Calling my dad out on his texting skills—it’s his day

There are times I wish my dad was a texter. My 86-year-old father, Herb, can email, and surfs the Internet fairly well, plus he has a Kindle Fire, where he hooks up to wireless to check the baseball scores and other news of the day. It’s not like he couldn’t learn to do it. It just doesn’t interest him, nor does it my mother.

Loose Ends

Giving less-than-stellar advice to their children may cost moms $173

All three of my children have lived up to their Apgar* scores (a perfect 10 all around!), however, when it comes to spending their hard-earned cash on their mom for Mother’s Day, I’m sad to say they’re all below average.
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