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September 2015

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In this issue

A Big Gulp’s worth of franchise trivia

Dress codes have come a long way since the days when McDonald’s employees wore white short-sleeved dress shirts—that was before the red-and-yellow polyester phase.

Apex sells creative way to fund schools

Two friends find a creative way for ‘philanthropreneurs’ to help their local schools raise much-needed funds, while making a living for themselves.

Snip-its turns haircuts into adventure

It’s inevitable: 1.) Hair grows; 2.) a stranger coming at you with scissors is a scary event for most young children and a hassle for their parent. Which is why Snip-its is taking the pathos out of a child’s haircut for the parent and instilling a sense of adventure in the child.

Casual Pint bets on craft-beer craze

What happens when you take two ‘grocery guys,’ the father with retirement savings and the son willing to risk it all? Casual Pint, which sells craft beer in a store where customers can also sample a glass or two.

Erbert & Gerbert’s has new bistro format

E&B Bistro is a slimmed-down model designed for campuses—originally at colleges, and next at hospitals and airports. Will non-traditional locations lead to a happy ending?

Pie Five operator sets brisk development pace

Many sign splashy development deals but never build all the stores. Not so for Dave Goebel, the former Applebee’s CEO, as he builds 10 Pie Fives on schedule, and gets set to sign for 8 to 10 more. We asked him how he does it.

Captain D’s dumps ship theme

A new beach theme should debut in more than 50 percent of restaurants by the end of this year. The 50-year-old brand is hoping a healthier menu, too, will boost sales and attract franchisees.

Cotti Foods’ CEO embraces the weird

Peter Capriotti, CEO of Cotti Foods, this year added a couple of Pieology restaurants to his stable of 62 Taco Bells and 43 Wendy’s. Thus he joins the slim ranks of multi-unit operators who also take a chance on something new.

Menchie’s CEO rolls out MidiCi

Amit Kleinberger started franchising frozen-yogurt chain Menchie’s in 2008, even though everybody else was doing it, too. Now he’s trying his hand at a newly popular category: artisan pizza, made to order.

How 6 hotshots aim to change the world

Six of the world’s most interesting young entrepreneurs are using franchising to make their mark. Jennifer Kushell is the organizer of a new industry-wide effort called NextGen to connect budding franchisors with established power brokers to help their businesses take off. Meet the group that is debunking myths about young people in business and franchising—and in some cases saving the world.

How to prepare for a crisis

The biker gang shootout at the Twin Peaks restaurant in Waco, Texas, was both a tragedy and an epic public relations challenge for its franchisor. What can be learned from the incident?

Making customers linger at the mall

They used to call it hanging out at the mall. Now, the goal is offering experiences that draw and hold a crowd. From go-karts to art-making, franchises are eager to provide the fun factor that keeps people returning.

Pop-up shops here today, gone tomorrow

Retailers try pop-up shops, also known as temporary sales events, to make a splash or test a market. Dresses, gelato, art parties and more are getting their brief time in the sun.

How auto brands school their franchisees

Auto franchisors are investing big in training to encourage franchisees to purchase more locations and to provide employees a path to ownership. Getting schooled in the real world is still the main challenge.

How to win the site selection game

Real estate is all about location, but it’s patience that four experts advise when scouting for sites. Add an experienced local broker, a trove of demographic data—and you just might beat out the competition.

Negotiate five key terms to speed leases

Liability is No. 1 on the list of crucial agreements to be made before hard-core lease negotiations begin. Other musts are term, rent, use and costs. That’s to minimize the possibility of wasted effort down the road.

Right way, wrong way to present Item 19

A clear, balanced Item 19, also known as an FPR, can do wonders to set realistic expectations for prospective franchisees. Then there are all the rest, from missing to misleading, that can lead to trouble.

These Item 19s display the good, the vague and the confusing

Just what are franchisors putting into Item 19s to entice new franchisees to join their brands? To find out, we asked FranchideGrade.com to send us current FDDs from a randomly selected franchise category, after-school tutoring.

A tour of alternative capital sources

While many lenders will compete to fund larger operators, some see a ‘capital gap’ when it comes to small or emerging players. Here’s a tour of some lesser-known types of financing for those who like options.

Wingstop flies high after IPO

After a blockbuster initial public offering in June, Dallas-based Wingstop raised more than $110 million as its stock price jumped a whopping 61 percent from $19 to $30.59 during its first day of trading.

Oil and gas exports make Kazakhstan viable

The design features a gold sun with 32 rays shaped like grain to represent prosperity, above a soaring golden eagle. The sky-blue background symbolizes cultural and ethnic unity, as well as the endless sky and water. To the left is a national ornamental pattern which represents the horns of a ram.

Jumping to Kazakhstan from Turkey, Russia

Kazakhstan was given a bum rap by the movie “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan,” in which Sacha Baron Cohen portrayed the country as a backward, barbaric place.

How three brands crunch big data

The subject of this month’s Living Large column is big data—how to use information to boost franchisee performance. The problem is taking a firehose of numbers and filtering out the most important.

Executive Ladder

American Driveline Systems appointed Chad Graham as chief information officer of the company and its subsidiary corporations AAMCO Transmissions, Cottman Transmissions Systems and Global Powertrain Systems.

Liberty Tax dumps ‘millionaire’ promotion

The latest claim from Liberty Tax Service was bold: “This man has created over 800 millionaires. Will you be next?” said the flyer, featuring a photo of John Hewitt, the well-known founder of Liberty Tax and before that Jackson Hewitt, today the two leading tax-prep franchises behind the mammoth H&R Block.

When a map doesn’t tell you everything

As many readers of this column know, our law firm publishes a map of the world “Laws Applicable to Franchising,” showing what kind of franchise law is in effect in every country of the world that has any form of regulation of franchising.

Sleuthing methods favored by franchisees

Mohammad Haque knows how to pry information from unsuspecting restaurant employees. It’s a vital skill if, like Haque, you’re researching a franchise or a competitor.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

A selfie-fulfilling read this month

The phrase “duck face” made the Oxford online dictionary this year. As did “meh,” “WTF,” “jeggings” and “hashtag.” And so did “selfie stick,” the most beloved, and alternately, the most hated invention of all time.

Loose Ends

Grooming the next generation

If there had been a Snip-its when I was responsible for my daughter Sarah’s hair, my life would have been much easier. Sarah was a haircut crier. I won’t admit to when all this sniffling was taking place because telling my children’s ages makes me sound old. Let’s just say Sarah is still in college—sure she’s a professor and not a student, but who’s counting all those years between her Ph.D. and today?
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