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Exits 'Bittersweet' for Auspex Capital Dealmakers

We’re reporting many interesting stories this month about our Franchise Times Dealmakers winners, including Auspex Capital/RGT Management’s long-time relationship as investment banker and restaurant operator. Which do they like better, the ride up or the ride down?

Huddle House Shaves Costs With Smaller Footprint

As part of a wider plan to refresh and expand Huddle House, the Atlanta-based diner announced a buffet of news that’s designed to elevate its presence across the country, and also to attract franchisees who will be interested in a smaller-format restaurant with an easier-to-swallow pricetag.

Restaurant Comps Steady for First Time in Years

The restaurant industry has been in a sorry state since traffic and same-store sales peaked in the first quarter of 2015. But January data from TDn2K shows two consecutive months of two percent or higher sales growth.

Curious List: Best Cities to Start a Restaurant

Looking at per capita income and restaurants, size of the workforce and median incomes, a restaurant equipment reseller has published its list of the 50 best U.S. cities in which to start a restaurant. Using U.S. Census Bureau and American Community Survey data, it’s a data-based ranking that’s worth a look.

New First Franchise Capital Program Supports Nonprofits

With the introduction of its Pay It Forward Program, First Franchise Capital aims to increase its community support by giving back to the communities of its clients.

With Fresh Strategy, Cousins Subs Returns to Chicago

Cousins Subs is heading back to Chicago in a renewed franchise push to bring the refreshed brand back to major metros at the Cousins' periphery.

11 Capture Franchise Times Dealmakers Awards

Franchise Times today announces winners of the 2019 Franchise Times Dealmakers awards, the seventh annual project recognizing the boldest players driving mergers and acquisitions in franchising.

A Big New Number to Describe Joint Employer Pain

Everybody knows the National Labor Relations Board caused franchising’s biggest headache when it expanded the definition of who is a joint employer back in 2014. Now, new International Franchise Association research has put a number to the pain—$33.3 billion in lost economic output annually.

With Third-party Drivers, Mountain Mike’s Changes Delivery Model

Even though Mountain Mike’s 200-plus pizza restaurants each have their own delivery team, the Newport Beach-based brand is working with DoorDash, UberEats and Grubhub to reach customers it believes wouldn’t otherwise order its food.

LGBT Chamber of Commerce and IFA Form Partnership

The franchise industry is known for its outreach to specific parts of the human herd, most notably with veterans and young entrepreneurs through the VetFran and NextGen in Franchising programs. LGBT folks like myself are cheering the latest International Franchise Association partnership with the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce. On a personal level, this is wonderful to see from the franchising industry’s association of record.

Supply Chain, Frozen Ground Challenges for First Sonic in Alaska

Sonic has inked a new development deal in Alaska and it's balancing big opportunity with some major challenges.

Franchise Sector Gains Jobs in January, ADP Report Says

After job growth in franchising slowed overall last year, the sector started out strong in 2019, gaining 33,000 jobs in January according to the ADP National Franchise Report.

‘Global Domination’ Still on the Menu at Smoke’s

There’s no forgetting a conversation with the CEO and founder of Smoke’s Poutinerie, the exceedingly colorful Ryan Smolkin. It’s been a few years since checking in with the Canadian-based poutine brand and my first mission was getting an update on the so-called global domination that’s been his stated mission since starting the company more than a decade ago.

Papa John’s, Starboard ‘Focused’ as Circus Quiets

It’s been eight months since Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned from his position as chairman. And the company is ready to move forward.

People Really Are Buying Plant-Based Proteins

The move toward plant-based or meat-free eating can sometimes get over hyped. But some new data shows that plant-based proteins are at least nearing an inflection point.

Slim Chickens Adapts to Expand Brand Overseas

Slim Chickens’ second Kuwait restaurant recently opened in the Jazeera airport terminal and the brand is also in the midst of expanding in the United Kingdom through another international franchise agreement. It’s a lot of action for a brand that wasn’t actively looking to grow outside the United States and there’s been some useful learning along the way.

Game Day Operations: Don’t Wing It

The NFL Super Bowl is a feeding frenzy not just for the football fan sitting in front of a pile of wings, but for the wing, barbecue, pizza and other brands providing that game-day grub.

Domino’s Includes Competition in Temporary Loyalty Push

Has Domino’s lost its mind? The pizza company is launching a temporary loyalty program that includes all pizzas, including those from its prime competitors and pizzas made and cooked at home. The company says this new, temporary effort is a celebration of “all that pizza love.”

Labor a Top Topic at 2019 ICR Conference

The tight labor market was a big topic at the 2019 ICR Conference. Almost every presenting company touched on the challenge directly or indirectly.

FT Explores Franchise Expo South

The dog is most certainly having its day in franchising, with pet-focused concepts drawing interest at the Franchise Expo South, running through Saturday in Ft. Lauderdale. Plus, drive-thru convenience stores.

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Covers everything from good news to bad judgment

About This Blog

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

Tom KaiserTom Kaiser is senior editor of Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3209, or send story ideas to tkaiser@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is editor-in-chief 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.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is managing editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@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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