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October 2019

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In this issue

Twists & Turns to the Top: Ranking franchising’s big 500

The Franchise Times Top 200+ project is a comprehensive way to check the vitals of the franchise industry. And the chart based on sales and unit data from 2018 looks pretty good.

Trying for ‘bigger and bolder’: New CEO puts twist in Wetzel’s Pretzels

“Are we winning? What’s the score?” — Jennifer Schuler, CEO, Wetzel’s Pretzels

Amazing Lash Studio thinks it has the next Botox

“Being the category killer, that means to own the space entirely.” — Heather Elrod, CEO, Amazing Lash Studio

From parking lot to 200 units: Burn Boot Camp is ‘family he never had’

“Our objective is to create an impact in this world, and a much larger impact than a little dent.” — Devan Kline, co-founder, Burn Boot Camp

CoreLife tells ‘big secrets’ as it wants to change lives with healthy food

“I’ve always come from the point of view that something has to taste phenomenal; if it’s not, don’t even bother.” — Scott Davis, president, CoreLife Eatery

Go inside Whimsy Cookie’s celebrity cred

Laurie Suriff, owner and founder of Whimsy Cookie Co. in Memphis, had been baking and decorating sugar cookies using her mother’s recipe since 2007, mostly custom cookies for creative Christmas gifts.

Mighty Quinn’s barbecue comes back home

New York City is a foodie’s mecca, serving everything from fine cuisine to platters of ethnic eats. But according to Hugh Mangum, co-founder and pitmaster of Mighty Quinn’s, the Big Apple is lacking in a culinary tradition at the heart of American gastronomy: barbecue.

9Round makes its fitness play for Latin America

Though not yet an international heavyweight, 9Round franchisee Isaac Kably is taking the fitness studio fight to four more countries after proving the boxing-inspired concept has legs in Mexico.

Wings Over chief shares his celebrity crush and why he’s over avocados

Who would play you in the biopic about your life? I haven’t given this a lot of thought, but one of my favorite movies right now is ‘The Founder.’ It’s not apples to apples, but a lot of what they went through is what we’re going through now with building the brand. I don’t know if it’d be Michael Keaton who plays me though.

We check out three Southern eats brands, in FT Undercover

As a cold-blooded Minneapolitan, I don’t long for a life in the South. I’ll take blizzards over hurricanes, but when it comes to chicken joints, there is no contest. After five years in the franchise biz, I still don’t get why some southern concepts haven’t migrated northward.

Franchise Times launches Franchise Investment Conference

Franchise Times changed the name and the structure of its annual spring finance conference to better serve its audiences: Senior executives from leading franchise companies and franchise lenders and investors.

Waters Edge makes wine sans vines

You don’t need a wheat field near your microbrewery to make beer, so why would you need a vineyard by your winery to make wine? You don’t, is the answer from Ken Lineberger, founder and CEO of Waters Edge Winery & Bistro, to the most-asked question about his 16-unit franchise.

Taco John’s boss aims to nurture, in Multi-Unit Mindset

Tam Kennedy treats employees and guests like customers while putting data to work for her nine Midwest restaurants.

Your franchise brand needs a chief sustainability officer

Given franchising’s enormous footprint, this industry’s impact on the environment is far-reaching. Equally significant is the potential it has for improving sustainability, something franchisors and franchisees can all embrace.

Tax changes—and their impact on franchising—take some digesting

It’s a question of nexus. For a while, online shoppers did not have to pay sales tax, but the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in 2017 in South Dakota v. Wayfair determined even online sellers with no physical office in a particular state may still need to collect sales tax from customers in that state and remit those taxes to the state. The online seller need not have a physical connection, a “nexus” to its customers, simply an economic one, even if it’s virtual.

For franchisees, SBA loans have their pros and cons

Franchisees have numerous financing options, from equipment finance companies and banks to online fintech solutions. Yet borrowers are still exhibiting a healthy appetite for an old standby—SBA loans.

Four reasons to check out the Restaurant Finance & Development conference

There are many conferences vying for your travel budget, but there’s only one Restaurant Finance and Development Conference. Why? Well, it’s difficult to name just one feature so, in our humble opinion, here are four of the best reasons to mark your calendar for November 11-13 and book your ticket to Las Vegas.

Colombia is a franchise market on the rise, reports Country Profile

The flag retains the three main colors—yellow, blue, red—of the banner of Gran Colombia, the short-lived South American republic that broke up in 1830.

Multiple channels make digital dollars go further, in Living Large

Don’t put your marketing messages on an island. Digital strategies are most effective when they work in tandem across platforms to reinforce and build lasting brand awareness.

Jack in the Box ‘zee says Blink ‘just felt right,’ plus more in The Wire

Anil Yadav’s franchise group, Yadav Enterprises, already operates more than 350 restaurants across six brands and is now diversifying with its newest addition, Blink Fitness.

Missives from NOA board offer glimpse of what McD’s independent ‘zees want

Every couple of weeks I (along with everyone else on the mailing list) receive a missive from leaders of the NOA, McDonald’s first independent franchisee group. Since they aren’t giving interviews, at least not yet, I’ve been poring over these newsletter notes to glean what I can.

When osmosis comes to franchising, it brings plenty of benefits

You remember it from high school science class, don’t you? Osmosis: “the passage of a substance through a thin membrane.” Over time it has come to be used, loosely and inexactly, in other contexts—say, to describe how a child adopts the speech patterns, habits or mannerisms of parents.

Are there too few cooks in your kitchen without franchise brokers?

On more than one occasion I have heard from clients who simply refuse to work with franchise brokers on the grounds that they are just too expensive.

Catering boost for a Moe’s operator, while labor lights up Mister Sparky

Before interviewing multi-unit franchisees for this column, I sometimes review Yelp to see what customers are saying about their operations. Of course, few businesses escape criticism online; most, in fact, get dinged—often painfully.

Wendy’s breakfast? Analysts say ‘Eh.’

Wendy’s announced a $20 million investment in a breakfast program that the company hopes will expand the business by tapping into the explosive breakfast day part.

‘Turnaround specialist’ plots breakout growth at GymGuyz

When he began his career as an aeronautical engineer, Ed Ruane never expected to wind up as a fitness industry exec. But after a car crash forced him to start physical therapy, he discovered his enthusiasm for a healthy lifestyle superseded his passion for jet engine parts.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

20 years of Top 200, there’s stories behind the numbers

This is our annual Top 200+ issue, which ranks the top franchises in the nation based on worldwide sales. Because it has been 20 years since we launched our first Top 200 list, I thought I would peruse the October 1999 issue to see what we were talking about then, and how much the 200 has changed since.
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