Edit ModuleShow Tags

March 2019

Edit ModuleShow Tags

In this issue

All aboard the future express

Few things are as unsettling as being lost, be it in life, at work or on the busy streets of an unfamiliar city. That feeling of sensory overload, combined with confusing signals that seem to point in opposing directions is a fair descriptor for starting the quest to build your own business.

Difficult recovery inspires Pilates ProWorks

It’s not every day a plane crash is the start of a happy story, but surviving a horrible accident in Colombia years ago began Oscar Sanin’s quest to build a better Pilates machine and, years later, the Pilates ProWorks franchise system.

Founder is gung-ho about Dryer Vent Wizard

Dave Lavalle, the founder of Dryer Vent Wizard, has more enthusiasm than you can possibly imagine for cleaning your home’s dryer vent. First, there’s the dark and stormy angle: clogged vents can be terribly dangerous, causing 2,900 house fires, $35 million in properly damage and an estimated five deaths and 100 injuries each year according to the U.S. Fire Administration.

Panera founder Ron Shaich acts as ‘Sherpa’ to operators

Summiting Mount Everest is a daunting feat that few achieve alone. Most climbers rely on someone who has been there, someone who knows the route and how to avoid the many pitfalls.

How to pass your franchise to the kids? Very carefully

Many franchise owners dream about passing their business down to their offspring, but few make the transition smoothly. We feature three groups that made it work, along with advice from a franchise executive at Wendy’s and a pair of seasoned attorneys.

We check out three entertainment spots so you don't have to

You can’t help but feel a little like royalty when a server silently crouches through the darkness of a comfortable theater to bring you a beer and some fancy cheese curds. That’s the unique service model of Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, the movie theater franchise that has grown to 24 markets across the country.

Gender reveal lasagna at Villa Italian Kitchen

You’ve heard about parties where baby’s gender is revealed with a pink or blue cake hidden underneath the frosting. Villa Italian Kitchen has gone one better—or weirder, depending on your point of view.

Squeezing more space out of retail

Hanging out at the mall used to mean shopping the usual assortment of chain stores and grabbing a bite to eat at the food court. These days, people making that trip to the mall can literally walk out the front door of their apartment, office or hotel and find retail shops, restaurants and entertainment along with an assortment of other amenities ranging from gyms and health clinics to community centers and casinos.

Sharpen delivery chops at Food On Demand Conference

Restaurant operators are past the point of seeing third-party delivery as an intriguing new idea worth investigating. Recent evidence proves quite convincingly that bringing prepared meals straight to consumers is here to stay. In the words of restaurant analyst firm Cowen, the inflection point is here with its estimate that total restaurant delivery sales hit $43.1 billion during 2018.

Taco Bell expands citified colossus, in The Urbane Franchisor

Four years ago Taco Bell’s leadership issued a historic decree to its real estate team: bring us your tired, your urbane, your affluent huddled masses yearning for tapas, frozen margaritas and glistening pints of beer. This quest to reach urban cowboys in places where drive-thrus are prohibited or prohibitively expensive was the start of Taco Bell’s citified Cantina concept that first appeared as an intriguing flash in the pan.

Wayback Burgers makes Irish market entry

Already an experienced operator, franchisee Zubair Najm is expanding beyond pizza and subs to bring Irish consumers a fast-casual burger option. And while Ireland’s economy is strong, Brexit looms large.

Disorderly Brexit would harm Ireland, in Country Profile

While officially its flag colors have no meaning, a common interpretation of Ireland’s flag is that the green represents the Irish nationalist (Gaelic) tradition of Ireland; orange represents the Orange tradition (minority supporters of William of Orange); and white symbolizes peace (or a lasting truce) between the green and the orange.

Three concepts heat up sales, in Living Large

Strategies to boost franchise sales vary, but the importance of telling your brand’s story online is indisputable. This year’s Living Large bosses aim to do that and more as they focus on expansion.

Main Squeeze culture draws new operators

The jalapeño is what makes Burn Jeremy Soileau’s favorite cold-pressed juice, while Dax Parker opts for Alive and its antioxidants or Detox for its activated charcoal. The two friends, along with wives Lilah Soileau and Emily Parker, went from customers to franchisees of Main Squeeze Juice Co. after another friend joined the brand’s franchise sales team and turned them on to the opportunity. The group signed a 10-store deal to expand the brand in Texas, with plans to open in Houston, Austin and Dallas. Soileau and Parker also acquired the Woodlands location, slated to open outside Houston in 2019.

Gigi’s, Mr Gatti’s bankruptcy filing begs $30-million question

Jeffrey Cohen, an attorney representing 18 Gigi’s Cupcakes franchisees in ongoing litigation, is on the hunt for $30 million. That’s the amount borrowed in two loans from Equity Bank last June—$20.2 million by pizza restaurant franchise Mr. Gatti’s and Sovrano, its parent company, and $9.2 million by Gigi’s Cupcakes, the cupcake franchise purchased by KeyCorp and its affiliate FundCorp in 2016.

‘In our country, we like franchising,’ a sentiment revisited

In this column a decade ago I told the story of a meeting I was requested to attend at the Ronald Reagan Building with a very senior official of a foreign country, to speak with him about franchising (September 2009). After a bit of time, he walked across the conference room, closed the door to avoid being overheard, and spoke quietly and purposefully. I paraphrased:

When to race, when to slow down

Recently, a racing video on YouTube went viral across social media and international news outlets. It wasn’t a typical racing video. There were no cars, or cyclists or horses. This video answered the fabled question: Who is faster? The tortoise or the hare?

Rent-A-Center attracts Dunkin’ ‘zee, NJ pair try Lightbridge

Vik Patel, who acquired 38 Rent-A-Centers in Arizona in December, is candid about the negative comparisons of rent-to-own businesses to predatory lending.

The Boss: ‘You idiot, call it Wetzel’s Pretzels’

What was your upbringing like? I was brought up very middle class, and I was a big basketball player and tennis player and tennis teacher. My family was always very competitive, but the biggest influence was my dad was also an entrepreneur. He worked for a leather company, and the fun story was that the dogs were coming around and eating the scraps from the leather company. He’s the guy who invented the rawhide dog treats.

A&W vet plans to accelerate growth, in Executive Ladder

Ahead of its 100th anniversary celebration this year, A&W Restaurants promoted longtime exec Paul Martino to the dual role of president and chief operating officer of its U.S. business. He’s been with the company more than 20 years, first joining in 1991 and returning 20 years later after a group of franchisees acquired the company from Yum Brands.

Too many stock buybacks? A debate, in Scoreboard

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Bernie Sanders lambasted the use of stock buybacks, calling out big companies for buying their own stock while closing locations, laying off workers and keeping wages stagnant for those that remain. Regardless of one’s political affiliation, it called out some shocking numbers.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Ideas that fill a need are best bets for investment

This issue it strikes me that American ingenuity has helped us all lead easier lives than our forebears. And sometimes it’s the small things, like the other day when I was using an at-home meal kit to pull together dinner for husband Doug and me. Where was this service when my kids were still living under my roof?
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Find Us on Social Media