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Cheba Hut Tweaks Stores for Impending Pandemic Winter

As the restaurant industry returns to the generally slower winter months, Cheba Hut is making some updates to prepare for the first winter with COVID-19.

Collab With Regulators, Driver Training Group CEO Says

When the pandemic first hit, Joe Giammona, CEO of the Driver Training Group, sprang into action to work with Washington’s state government to establish web-based driver education, something the state had never allowed before, as well as virtual licensing.

Convenience, Ice Cream's Appeal Drive Bruster’s Growth

On solid footing heading into 2020, Bruster's Real Ice Cream braced for the worst with the arrival of the COVID-19 pandemic, but this crisis is yielding far different results than the one more than a decade ago, said CEO Jim Sahene.

Mobile Concepts Are the Future, Kona Ice CEO Says

Since COVID-19 hit, Hawaiian shaved-ice brand Kona Ice started receiving more attention from national brands looking to launch their own mobile concepts, and CEO Tony Lamb welcomes the competition.

Pizza Guys Ready to Capitalize on Segment’s Popularity, Founder Says

Systemwide sales at Pizza Guys are up 30 percent over last year, said CEO Shahpour Nejad, with some restaurants seeing same-store sales jump as much as 80 percent. The 70-unit brand is pushing into Southern California and looking to grow in Oregon and Nevada.

Recovery Plateaus, but Delivery Grows in August

While restaurant results are slowly getting better, improving to the highest new levels since February, growth in August was fairly flat.

Fit20 Welcomes First Investment Partner, Army Veteran Raymond Kusch

Army veteran Raymond Kusch is Fit20 USA’s first investment partner and newest shareholder, as well as a member of the board of directors. Founded in the Netherlands, Fit20 features a 20-minute slow-motion workout once a week with a certified personal trainer.

Fransmart Taps Service, Retail Brands for Growth

Franchise development firm Fransmart announced two new brands as an initial foray into the service and retail side of franchising.

Claiming Abandonment, Quebec Operators Suing Edible Arrangements

Franchisees of five stores in Quebec are suing Atlanta-based Edible Arrangements, claiming the fresh-fruit bouquet franchisor has "totally abandoned them," according to the lawsuit.

Steak 'n Shake Auction of 15 Stores Shows Alternative Path

Fifteen corporate-owned Steak 'n Shake restaurants were set to sell September 3 via public auction, a process that can benefit sellers that fail to find buyers for troubled stores in the traditional way, said Harold Bordwin of Keen-Summit Capital Partners, the firm that handled the transactions with NAI Global.

Popeyes, Regis Corp. Announce Top Leadership Changes

Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen has a new brand president following the departure of Felipe Athayde to hair salon franchisor Regis Corp.

Digital Pickup Surges in the New Normal, Likely Beyond

In a world of mostly off-premises operations, drive-thrus are exceptionally busy, delivery is up but digital pickup may be the habit that sticks.

Safe From Spread Launches to Provide Workplace Sanitization

Franchising since May, sanitizing and disinfecting concept Safe From Spread has quickly grown to 17 franchisees operating nearly 40 territories. The company recently inked a contract with NBCUniversal for its operators to sanitize and disinfect locker rooms, studios and production trailers at NFL, PGA, LPGA and NASCAR events.

Pool Service Franchise Sees Spike During COVID-19

Pool Scouts, a residential pool cleaning and maintenance franchise, has seen a same-store network revenue increase of 74 percent during the pandemic as homeowners are spending more time in their pools, according to Pool Scouts president Michael Wagner.

Should Uber and Lyft Franchise? Yes and No

If Uber and Lyft roll out a "franchise-like" model in California to avoid classifying their drivers as employees, as the New York Times reported they were considering in August, would that be good for franchising? Yes, said one franchise leader. No, said another.

'Instant' Home Buying Gains Favor During COVID

The pandemic is speeding up the movement toward ibuying in residential real estate, in which institutional buyers use technology platforms to buy homes speedily and without seeing them in person. The "instant buying" trend is now being adopted by traditional real estate brokers, too.

Retro Fitness Franchisees Back in the Gym After COVID Closures

Finally able to welcome members back inside their gyms, Retro Fitness franchisees in New Jersey share how they navigated the prolonged COVID-19 closure.

Beauty Trends: Lash Franchises Benefit From ‘Eyelash Effect’

With pandemic mask mandates, beauty trends are changing as lipstick sales are dropping and mascara and eyelash-enhancing service sales are growing. Case in point: An Amazing Lash Studios ‘zee has seen a 46 percent spike in year-over-year client leads since COVID-19 began.

Pizza Inn Operator Battles Shutdown Orders in N.M. With 'Zor's Backing

Michael Moore, a Pizza Inn franchisee in Hobbs, New Mexico, spent the first week of August preparing to open for outdoor dining, going to considerable expense to put up a 30-foot-by-50-foot tent, outfitting servers and more. "We got it open," he said, on Friday, August 7. "We had a court order late that afternoon so we had to shut everything down."

The Core of New Taco Bell Prototype: Load-Balancing

The new, futuristic Taco Bell prototype is smaller, more digitally focused and primed for off-premises efficiency.

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About This Blog

The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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