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June-July 2018

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In this issue

The mad scientist of Smashburger

Tom Ryan wasn’t interested in being CEO of the Smashburger brand he co-founded in 2007, but as he rolls up in his BMW X6, impeccably dressed and with a full tank of confidence, it seems he was born ready for this role—and this interview. Ryan’s impressive resume precluded his arrival at the restaurant. With a Ph.D. in flavor and fragrance chemistry and the inventions of the McGriddle and Stuffed Crust Pizza under his belt, he looked more like a flashy executive than a food science savant that’s the bedrock of his career.

Scooter’s CEO mentors a local hero

The newest Scooter’s Coffee in the brand’s home city of Omaha was conceived and built to help a struggling neighborhood get on its feet. It’s a living, steaming, grinding embodiment of generosity, as Scooter’s built out the new location in a formerly abandoned building and is gifting the franchise free of cost to Julian Young, a friend of CEO Don Eckles and a lifelong North Omaha resident who has dedicated his adult life to helping others find their own success.

Hard work is veterans’ common bond

When Jamelle Garner was ready to take up franchising after serving in the military for close to 20 years, her first go-to was Chick-fil-A. But she was intimidated by the investment it needed and the tight territories assigned.

Eradicating your #MeToo moments

The names have been in the headlines—John Besh, Mario Batali, Ken Friedman, Steve Wynn, Mike Isabella. All prominent, powerful men in the restaurant and hospitality industry and all accused of sexual harassment or misconduct over the past eight months.

Farm hand, railman, bankrupt—and then Findley bet on Curves

I grew up in a little small town in Texas. I had 23 people in my graduating class, and I married one of them. I worked for a custom farmer for years, driving combines and building fence. We learned, I think, a very, very strong work ethic.

Mosquito Squad mission turns personal in Kenya

As a malaria survivor, preventing needless deaths from mosquito-borne diseases is the goal for Mosquito Squad franchisee Fred Rariewa, along with building a business that improves people’s quality of life.

FT Undercover checks out three auto brands

I looked at the small TV in the oil-smelling waiting area of Jiffy Lube in alarm. A car tech was laughing and loudly revving the engine of my Honda as a crowd of his fellow techs cheered him on. I am not a car guy.

Tim Hortons president speaks plus more from our bloggers

Jo Kirchner, CEO of Primrose Schools, believes effective advocacy starts long before a leader pushes to get something done.

Great American Expo keeping it (virtually) real

If a picture’s worth a thousand words, videos showing more than 100 franchises inside and out may be priceless, according to Nick Neonakis—or at least worth the cost of a six-figure investment his new company has made in a virtual reality platform.

Juice It Up’s new owner buys to build

Chris Britt has a long career in mergers and acquisitions, but now that he’s out on his own he’s targeting founder-led companies to acquire and then help to build.

Frenchies has celebrities at its feet

From Kesha to Idina Menzel, Rachel Brosnahan to Daniela Vega, Frenchies Modern Nail Salon’s Ryan McEnaney has pulled a few strings to land the fledgling nail franchise valuable celebrity endorsements both on and off the Hollywood red carpet.

British Swim operator stays in lane

A fast growth pace, including a new store in another city, proved a problem for a British Swim School operator. He put renewed focus on profitability and is now back on track.

Which Wich talks innovation—and yolk porn

The founder of Which Wich doesn’t like to set a lot of rules. His latest find, a ‘surfer dude’ with a culinary school background, has free rein to invent any sandwich he wants. Results include the Brunchwich, a viral sensation and one example of this brand’s innovative M.O.

Hotels go beyond bedsheets to attract guests

Continued economic and job growth have been a boon to hotel operators, who are seeing steady demand from both leisure and business travelers. Deloitte is predicting a robust year ahead for hotels with growth between 5 and 6 percent that will push the volume of gross bookings for the year to a record high of $170 billion.

Restaurant biz helps veteran on ‘Survivor’

What do you need to survive a month on a desert island? For U.S. Army veteran Angela Perkins, 21 years in the military didn’t hurt. “While my training definitely did help me physically, I think my social game was more important,” said Perkins.

How four brands proved their NextGen chops

A different concept. Command of the numbers. Intense passion. These were among the quivers in the bow for four emerging concepts that captured prizes in the NextGen contest. If they’re representative of their peers, the kids are all right.

To keep staff, treat them like owners

The ideal employee is one who wakes up every morning and thinks, “How can I help my company do better today?” The average franchise operator can probably count those ideal employees on one hand and they are are harder to find and retain than maybe ever. And nothing works for long—money might for a while, a cool culture may help for a time.

A flight to walkability and Richmond

In times of confusion or upheaval, investors recommend flights to quality—financial moves that tend to have less upside, but are safer and more predictable. Boiled down even further, it’s the difference between classic and trendy. For retailers rightly scared by this ongoing retail apocalypse, allow me to offer a timeworn salve: compact, walkable downtowns.

Franchising’s fans grow in Czechia, in Country Profile

The Czechia flag combines the white and red colors of Bohemia with blue from the arms of Moravia. It is identical to the flag of the former Czechoslovakia.

Do more than check the box with training, Living Large brands say

Franchisee training and support doesn’t end after the grand opening, our three Living Large brands say, and effective field staff members go beyond a checklist to not just correct issues but also to coach and communicate.

Executive Ladder feature Office Evolution director

Boston Market named Frances Allen as CEO, succeeding George Michel. Jersey Mike’s added Stephen Sweetman as senior director of franchise sales and Corby Cronin as director of franchise sales. Nik Rupp has been appointed chief financial officer at Papa Murphy’s.

Tim Hortons prez starts charm offensive as civil war spills across border

The civil war simmering among Tim Hortons franchisees in Canada boiled over into the public eye in late April. Now a group of U.S. franchisees, who just last fall were sounding a conciliatory note even as they formed their first independent association, are joining the warfare against their parent company, RBI or Restaurant Brands International and its private equity firm backer, 3G Capital of Brazil.

Still a laid-back and easygoing land? How things are changing down under

U.S. franchise lawyers have long ago become accustomed, while traveling and working on franchise matters abroad, to being bombarded with none-too-friendly observations about the legal and legislative atmosphere in the United States.

Best-in-class training and support can lead to faster signing of ‘zees

People occasionally will ask me, “Why should I buy a franchised business instead of starting up an independent business?” The answer is easy. It’s the support.

Chinese investors in ‘disastrous’ spot, suit says, after EB-5 deal goes wrong

By the time you read this, we likely still won’t know whether former multi-unit franchisees Terry Chan, wife Jacquelyn and his brother Gary used the EB-5 program “to enrich themselves” at the expense of seven Chinese nationals who each poured $500,000 into the Chans’ businesses. That’s because the civil case against them, in U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio, remained, at the end of April, in pre-trial phase. A trial, if there is one, may not be scheduled until fall.
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