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September 2018

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In this issue

Franchising Gives Back highlights do-gooders

At its fourth annual Franchising Gives Back celebration on September 4, the International Franchise Association will continue its recognition of franchise companies’ charitable programs and the impact they have on their communities. One winner in each of five categories will receive the Gold distinction from the stage prior to the IFA’s Franchise Action Network initiative, where members visit their congressional leaders. Franchises will also bring home silver awards in each category. Franchise Times, the program’s media partner, has profiled the winners selected by the IFA Educational Foundation here.

Kitchen Royalty: 5 reigning chefs in franchising

Chefs at independent restaurants are all the rage these days, attaining celebrity status, trotting the globe and hosting their own shows while they delight diners who flock to their celebrated kitchens. But we know plenty of great chefs are working in franchising, too, driving culinary innovation that can lead to a dizzying number of people trained in their methods and a multiplied portion of the masses who can enjoy top-notch food for a generally dialed-down price. In our new Kitchen Royalty package, planned as an annual feature, we shine the light on five of these innovators whose work is coming to a franchised restaurant near you.

Pearle Vision’s GM driven by founder’s instinct

A glamorous founder. Storied eyewear brands. An eyeglass supply chain that parent company Luxottica controls from lens to store. Now all Alex Wilkes, general manager, has to do is push Pearle Vision from about 550 stores to a nice round thousand. Here’s his analysis.

These finance chiefs are stewards of growth

Last month we published the Restaurant 200, our annual ranking of the largest franchisees who posted another year of eye-popping growth. This month we talked to four of their standout chief financial officers to find out how they’re driving their companies forward.

Dad’s guinea pig’ now helms Learning Rx in The Boss

Tell about your upbringing. I grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, a little college town. I’m the oldest of five kids. I was my dad’s guinea pig. He taught me how to read with flashcards when I was 2. I was kind of an experiment.

Crisp & Green signs NBA player to launch

When we met Ryan Burnet at the Minneapolis location of Crisp & Green last spring, the creator of the fast-casual, health-focused concept said the restaurant’s counter-service style is a model that worked immediately, yielding sales and strong volumes, “and it’s going to enable us to grow a lot more quickly.”

FT Undercover checks out three home services

What could be better than walking through your house with friendly and strong people in uniform, pointing at things that have gone unused for years, and asking those same people to pile it in their truck and haul it away within an hour or two? Nothing, you say? Correct!

No troughs for Rent-A-Center owner

With 76 Rent-A-Centers and two Carstar units in eight states, this operator believes in diversification. He likes industries that may not have huge growth spurts but they also don’t have many valleys.

Aging cars, more miles boost profits

An uptick in registered vehicles, longer work commutes and lower gas prices continue to present more opportunities for automotive aftermarket franchises as they look to snag a piece of a $287 billion industry.

New stores with no skin in the game

Operators who are on a growth track are discovering they can build new stores with no skin in the game. It may sound too good to be true, but development sale-leasebacks provide a financing alternative that can fully cover land and construction costs.

When franchise row needs a refresh

As I get older, I find myself morphing into a prototypical old man—standing on my front stoop with minimal clothing, squinting my eyes and wondering if the world is going to hell.

Indonesia duo takes 80-unit Texas Chicken deal

Bringing new operators into Indonesia is part of Texas Chicken’s plan to keep the growth going, a formidable task given the ultra-competitive real estate market in places like Jakarta. Plus there’s KFC, with 600 restaurants to Texas Chicken’s base of 60.

Singapore is pricey but strong test market

The band of red denotes brotherhood and equality, while the white band signifies purity and virtue. The waxing crescent moon symbolizes a young nation on the ascendancy and the five stars represent democracy, peace, progress, justice and equality.

Living Large brands can improve by using the numbers

Doing the math is part of building a successful brand, our three Living Large franchisors believe, and they’re putting loads of data to work every way they can.

Predictive Profiles’ stance against the Dwyer Group is ‘out of survival’

As any vendor would be, Carla Bainbridge was thrilled when she landed a contract with the Dwyer Group, a well-known franchisor with 21 service brands under its growing umbrella in Texas. Her company, Predictive Profiles, was to be the preferred provider, she said, of a software platform that aids in the recruiting and hiring of front-line employees.

The who, what, where and why of global franchising, beyond the stats

In my last column in August, I provided an overview of what’s happening in international franchising today, drawing largely on insights gathered at the International Franchise Expo at the Javits Center in New York in late spring. Some of the matters addressed were: Where are franchisors seeking franchisees? How much of a shift has there really been away from a U.S.-centric model? How sharply have U.S. franchisors tilted from domestic to cross-border development? And is that movement reaching a plateau, or accelerating?

And the Oscar goes to…how to tap and celebrate stars in your system

Have you ever wondered why in September, October and November, Hollywood’s elite rave endlessly about their new projects? It’s all about blockbuster hits, edgy independent films, star-studded rom-coms. The reason is simple—it’s Oscar season.

Lean start for Jersey Mike’s ‘zee, while Duck Donuts attracts pair

No, he hadn’t gone to college, explained Jersey Mike’s franchisee Chris Brown after I had inquired about his prior work as a management consultant with an MBA. I chuckled at his wry humor. After all, Brown’s LinkedIn profile listed an advanced degree from Southern Methodist University and impressive work experience. “There is another Chris Brown, and he’s a Jersey Mike’s franchisee in Texas, I think,” Brown added brightly.

Fitness is in this earnings season

This retail earnings season had some major winners and losers. Consumers weren’t exactly racing to restaurants overall. Domino’s was one of the few standouts with a 6.8 percent same-store sales growth. But the average same-store sales growth across the franchised burger segment was 1.4 percent. It’s better than nothing, but not by much and includes some significant price increases to keep comps growing.

Executive Ladder

With a background in marketing and brand strategy, Dustin Snyder is the newest addition to restaurant franchise development company Fransmart. As chief operating officer, a position that Fransmart just added to better merge marketing and sales, Snyder will be a hub between the two to increase efficiency.
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From the Magazine

Publisher's Column

Doing business better, and getting done before 3 a.m.

When I was charged with launching Franchise Times 20 years ago, I had no idea what I was doing. Sure I was the editor of FT’s sister publication, the Restaurant Finance Monitor, but that’s a 12-page newsletter. Franchise Times was a different beast.
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