Edit ModuleShow Tags

October 2018

Edit ModuleShow Tags

In this issue

Newcomers & Heavyweights: Ranking franchising’s biggest 500

The largest brands in the Franchise Times Top 200+ keep getting larger, but there is plenty of growth across the exclusive ranking of franchised brands by systemwide sales. The top 10 added $14.3 billion in sales during 2017, a 5 percent surge. That’s nearly double the cohort’s sales growth last year of $7.8 billion. The top 10 now account for more than $300 billion in annual sales—that’s almost half of the entire top 200, which recorded sales of $644.8 billion in 2017.

The legacy turnaround: Listening tour done, TGI Fridays turns to action

When Aslam Khan first took over as CEO of TGI Fridays, he and CFO Giovanna Koning embarked on a learning and listening tour of the brand. “We wiped out the past, good, bad and ugly. We’re on a new mission here,” said Khan back then. “Most of the franchise businesses are run top down. My mission is to go bottom up. I want to help support and empower franchisees to engage and participate in that mission.”

Splitting up the twins: Hardee’s, Carl’s Jr. to get own identities

Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr. being the same concept with different names is one of those things we hungry Americans have accepted without protest—like the Midwest actually being in the center of the country, social media making us feel more isolated or round pizza delivered in square boxes—just deal with it and keep moving, people.

Slow start, then upstart: The Halal Guys take their street eats mainstream

For its first 16 years of operation, the street food cart that birthed the concept now taking its chicken, gyros and falafel nationwide—and making its Top 200+ debut—didn’t have a formal name. “The combo platter cart” is what most people called it, recalls Ahmed Abouelenein. “It wasn’t until 2006 that it officially became The Halal Guys,” he says. “It was suggested by a customer and it stuck.”

A family of firms: Outdoor Living builds backyard ecosystem

Outdoor Living Brands CEO Chris Grandpre has been playing a long game since founding his home improvement parent company in 2008. Ten years on, after growing OLB to five home exterior-focused brands assembled primarily through acquisitions, he and President and COO Scott Zide’s master plan is coming into focus.

One Cannabis aims for soccer moms

One Cannabis is franchising the marijuana business with a homegrown mission of making the industry as welcoming to soccer moms as it is to old hippies and college-age tokers.

Detroit’s comeback story has a Twist

Michelle Lewis says luck has had a lot to do with her success operating Painting with a Twist franchise locations in Michigan but she adds, “that luck is also coupled with pursuing the opportunity at hand.”

‘Things have changed’ at McDonald’s as 50-year operator fights rebuild rule

Like other McDonald’s franchisees, Sebastian Lentini is required to upgrade his six stores in New Jersey to the new “Experience of the Future” model rolled out a few years ago. At one store in Passaic County, for example, he was asked to raze a store to the ground and rebuild it for more than $3.6 million, according to a lawsuit.

Everything matters to Wingstop operator, in The Boss

Tell me about your upbringing. I grew up in Brownsville, which is about as far south as you can go in Texas. Born and raised. I have one sister. I grew up in a single parent home with my mother who was in the real estate business, and that’s a pretty tough business.

We check out three experience brands so you don’t have to, in FT Undercover

The promise of quality virtual reality gets closer ever year, and a new offering at the internationally franchised Dave & Busters is maybe the best in-store experience yet.

Pie Hole tries Saudi Arabia growth

The operator’s family business includes Gloria Jean’s, It’s a Grind and now The Pie Hole, and he’ll avoid mistakes he made at an independent shop before going the franchise route. Meanwhile, an emerging brand will try again in Middle East.

FranNet’s CEO wants to clean up the brokerage biz, plus more

How much is brand loyalty worth to your franchise? To Chuck Runyon, CEO of Anytime Fitness, the answer is a cool half million and counting. That’s how much Anytime has spent reimbursing any franchise partner or customer who gets a Runningman tattoo, the company’s symbol, snaps a photo of it and sends it in to headquarters.

For Gigi’s founder, seller’s remorse

“It’s been really hard. You birth a baby and you put it into someone’s hands and you trust them,” said Gina Butler, the founder of Gigi’s Cupcakes who sold 100 percent of her cupcake chain to a private equity firm in June 2016.

Trial, error helped Learning Experience operator

Running three locations in the first six months was a lesson in experimentation for new operators at The Learning Experience. Now their mantra is to empower their employees and ‘get the heck out of the way.’

What’s in store at the Restaurant Finance & Development Conference

The Restaurant Finance and Development Conference is one of the must-attend conferences of the year for one big reason. And it’s not the Las Vegas locale.

Pulling back the curtain on tax reform

Months after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act passed in late 2017, business owners are still trying to unwind the positive—and negative—tax law changes that will impact their bottom lines for years to come.

Coconut’s follows the matrix into downtown L.A

Being the bad cop is no problem for Coconut’s Fish Cafe founder. While Mike Phillips initially thought it was ‘ridiculous’ to target downtown L.A., he’s changed his mind about the locale but not the rigor. One franchisee was told no 77 times before landing a site.

Free trade a priority in New Zealand, in Country Profile

Blue, with the flag of the U.K. in the upper hoist-side quadrant, New Zealand’s flag has four red stars that represent the Southern Cross constellation.

How three emerging brands make digital marketing work, in Living Large

One Living Large subject, CPR Cell Phone Repair, dumped ‘boatloads of effort’ into its digital platform and has seen correspondingly big results. Others rely on word of mouth, public relations or a new ad fund.

Deal Tracker reports multi-unit deals for Smoothie King and more.

A former investment banker and hedge fund manager, John Clancy knows how to size up a business opportunity, and in Smoothie King he found “a company that’s moving in the right direction.”

Where do we go from here, when it’s no longer enough to ride the wave

In my last two columns I wrote about the current status of international franchising. Both were grounded in past and present data. Now we enter a different realm —speculating on the future of international franchising.

Tricks to get the treat—a simple but strategic plan can lead to fuller bag

I’ve often been asked about the secrets to franchise sales. A great concept with great financials? Nailing down unique selling propositions before marketing the franchise? Establishing partnerships with outsourced organizations?

Saxton CEO filters 99 sites to get one; Tutor Doctor ‘zee wants significance

I enjoy talking to veteran franchisees who continue to grow their franchises, either organically or through acquisitions. It’s edifying, after all, to tap into the brain power of multi-unit operators who are still open to new ideas that could help anyone reading this column.


The strongest categories in the Franchise Times Top 200+ were Personal Services, which grew by 11.4 percent, followed by Health and Medical at 9.3 percent growth and Home Services at 9.1 percent. But how did these categories perform on Wall Street?

Executive Ladder

After more than 10 years in real estate with family-owned Doherty Enterprises, Tim Doherty has moved up on the operations side to chief operating officer and president. Since 2003, he has helped grow the Allendale, New Jersey-based operation from 38 restaurants to more than 150.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags

From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Annual list is hearty meal, plus a tiny bite for dessert

I had just hung up with TGI Fridays CFO Giovanni Koning for a story I was doing on franchisee financing for our sister publication, the Restaurant Finance Monitor, when I was given the Franchise Times issue to read. Coincidentally, Franchise Times Restaurants Editor Nick Upton had also seen something newsworthy in the brand.
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Development Deal Tracker Newsletter

Receive our free e-newsletter and learn what the fastest growing franchises are up to.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags

Find Us on Social Media

Edit ModuleShow Tags