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May 2015

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In this issue

SiempreTax+ chases growing group

By adding ancillary services relevant to Spanish-speaking people, Liberty Tax has aimed its young SiempreTax+ brand at a market projected to be a quarter of the American population by 2050.

Reflecting on 40 years of franchising

He was Wendy’s 12th franchisee. He founded D-Lites of America, and watched it soar and sink. But don’t think Doug Sheley knows it all—people who think they’re pretty sharp are actually mighty lucky, he says.

Mothers who cook are Papa Murphy’s targets

While the other pizza chains are duking it out on Super Bowl Sunday and NCAA March Madness, Papa Murphy’s is content to claim the more family-friendly holidays: Halloween and Mother’s Day.

Fake Festivals, fake hygiene, plus more foolery

Wayback Burgers has the answer for what’s bugging milkshake aficionados. Not enough protein. To remedy that, the Cheshire, Connecticut-based burger joint is adding a new flavor to its milkshake menu: The High Protein Cricket Milkshake.

When romance meets reality for three Sears franchisees

Three brothers who liked the idea of owning a hardware store together eventually found their goals diverging. They decided to buy out one partner, and do it all with ‘kindness and love,’ one brother says.

At Domino’s, check the time and order a pizza

Domino’s new smartwatch app offers a preview of even more technology coming to the pizza delivery space. The goal? To ‘remove friction’ from the process of dialing up a pizza pie, a multimedia VP says.

Shaping Kono Pizza to fit America

After discovering a creative pizza concept in Italy, two long-time friends and business partners bought the U.S. rights. Now their challenge is convincing Americans to eat pizza shaped like an ice cream cone.

Beef O’Brady’s turnaround started with honest CEO

The 30-year-old brand needed a refresh, and CEO Chris Elliott has been striving mightily to start one. A food overhaul was job one. Now he’s bullish on a new fast-casual concept called Beef’s Express.

When to franchise? Five restaurant chains, five answers

Corner Bakery had 87 stores under its belt before starting to franchise. Teriyaki Madness owned just one. In between are strategies as varied as the menus themselves, tied together only by how difficult is the journey.

As the Wahlburgers turn: Paul, Mark and Donnie

Armed with a reality TV show, plus two celebrity brothers as investors and advisers, Chef Paul Wahlberg believes his take on a gourmet burger will win both the hearts of America and the better-burger war. So far, the fans are showing up en masse. Can it last?

Education brands target dense locales

Urban markets are a major focus for four real estate-based education brands. A Children’s Lighthouse operator, for instance, is set to open in Chicago. Another strategy is a scaled-down model, for Rainbow Station.

Meet four cooks at top of the food chain

A burger with fries between the buns? Why not, for the top chef at Checkers, one of four profiled here. ‘At first it’s very artsy, and then it’s very, very scientific,’ he says about the process of getting food from idea to lunch.

Many units sold, far fewer open for many

The numbers sound good for many franchise brands, touting units sold at a blistering pace. But when many of the salons or gyms or restaurants never open, the picture becomes less rosy, especially for franchisees .

High-profile store closing open up real estate

RadioShack spaces, in particular, are offering good sites to explore for the likes of Hand & Stone. The trick is finding the right size and location for a re-use, and a build-out that isn’t too costly.

10 tips to manage ‘generation why’

Much has been written about what it takes to attract and retain millennial customers, but what does it mean for operators who have employees ranging in age from 14 to 34?

Beyond ‘location, location, location’ for three brands

The common real estate mantra holds for all three franchisors we’re following this year. But beyond that adage, each takes a different path—from an outsourced real estate adviser to a 15-page list of site criteria.

Spigot for real estate financing opens wide

With ‘tons’ of lenders chasing ‘too few deals,’ as a BMO banker puts it, gaining a loan is easier for franchisees than in recent years. Still, scrutiny is heavier than before the recession. Some are sounding alarms.

Bojangles’ latest to jump into public pool

After filing its intent to go public with the Securities and Exchange Commission on April 6, Charlotte, North Carolina-based Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits will be the latest addition to the Franchise Times Scoreboard of publicly traded franchise brands following the removal of RadioShack due to its bankruptcy filing in February.

Absorbing 20 TGI Fridays takes ‘ton of work’

TGI Fridays announced last fall it would re-franchise 247 company-owned outlets. The goal, declared company officials, was to end up with some 50 company restaurants and 425 franchised outlets by the middle of 2016.

How India’s investment laws affect franchisors

With a population of 1.25 billion people and a growing middle class, India remains a prime destination for foreign franchisors in the retail sector. However, due to a historically restrictive foreign direct investment (FDI) policy, the Indian retail sector has been frustrating for many internationally recognized brands. That will come as a surprise to some franchisors, since they typically do not think of themselves as “investing” abroad.

Pump It Up’s evolution seems ‘unconscionable’ to holdout

If franchisees have a reputation for never reading their contracts before they sign, Andrew Schwaeber is definitely an outlier.

Hilton exec touts Caribbean, Latin America

City Wide Franchise appointed Tim Spink as its new vice president. Spink looks to build on the momentum the company has achieved since the beginning of the year, which includes new office openings in major U.S. markets.

Advice for choosing a new POS

The good news: Point-of-sale providers have multiplied in recent years, giving franchisors many options. The bad news: It’s a lot more difficult to make the right selection. We asked a few who’ve done the job to weigh in.

Costa Rica At a Glance

Costa Rica is bordered by Nicaragua to the north, Panama to the southeast, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. Most tourist spots are on the Pacific side.

Costa Rica: Ecotourism plus franchise opportunities

Since Costa Rica is first up on the Franchise Times, IFA and U.S. Commercial Service’s trade mission to Central America in September, here’s a preview. To find out more: http://www.franchise.org/CentralAmerica2015.

Time to make menus FDA-compliant

You’ve heard about new rules requiring calorie disclosure on menus. Our guest columnists slice and dice the demands—and urge all franchises to get going on this time-intensive task. The deadline is December 1.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

The quest for brotherly love, by the Wahlbergs and others

It first occurred to me when I was a Sunday School teacher of my son Ben’s first-grade class oh so many years ago: Girls were different than boys. (Duh, right?) Let me explain. I had two boys at home. Boys were all I knew. When I started to teach Sunday School, it became more clear.

Loose Ends

What’s cool to you? Franchise notables weigh in

I like cool things. According to an article in the Harvard Business Review, I’m not alone. Cool things make us feel better about ourselves, and when other people like the same cool things we do, we view them as kindred spirits. We see ourselves as daring members of the same cool club—the only club with good taste, because it’s ours.
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