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Off-premises Experts Share Actions to Implement Now

If your restaurant is keeping the lights on amid the coronavirus pandemic, status-quo business plans no longer apply. Two experts in the off-premises space are recommending operators make critical changes immediately to get through this crisis, while also setting their restaurants up for success when normalcy finally returns to the dining room.

TruFusion Rolls Out Meditation, Self-Care Tips for Members

If your local gym isn’t closed due to COVID-19 already, it likely will be soon. TruFusion, an everything-in-one studio backed by athletes such as Russell Wilson and Alex Rodriguez, decided to offer online classes for members ranging from bootcamp to yoga to Pilates.

Top Crisis Management Tips for Franchises

Franchises are—or should be—in the third wave of crisis communication, said Lorne Fisher, CEO of Fish Consulting. “It’s how do we re-engage with customers” and keep the brand relevant “even if you’re not open." Fisher and other industry professionals in PR and brand marketing offered tips for franchises as they navigate effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

9Round Pivots on Membership Strategy During COVID-19

9Round pulled out all the stops to make a slew of new online workouts for members as COVID-19 leads to mass closures.

You Can Fight Insurers Denying Business Interruption Claims, Attorney Says

Franchisee attorneys Robert Zarco and his partners have a new big target: insurance companies, which are routinely denying business interruption claims made by restaurant, hotel and other operators amid COVID-19 shutdowns mandated by the states.

Adjust but Don’t Stop Franchise Development, Brands Say

“This is the time for smart people … to double down and really become aggressive with what you’re doing,” said Bryon Stephens, co-founder of Pivotal Growth Partners, which focuses on accelerating emerging brands. “Be a contrarian” while others are pulling back.

Senate Approves 'Wartime Level' COVID-19 Response

A major COVID-19 relief bill approved by the Senate now heads to the House, which is expected to vote Friday, March 27.

Franchises Offer Relief to Operators, With a Side of Encouragement

Franchisors are offering royalty and other relief to their franchisees during the COVID-19 crisis, along with advice and encouragement, while often feeling pain themselves.

As Restaurants Pivot, FT Reporters Test Curbside Service

Red Robin smartly began investing in its off-premises channels a few years ago, bolstering its online ordering platform and partnering with third-party delivery services to meet consumer demand. But, as the brand noted back in 2018, the most profitable transaction is when guests order online and pick up their food in the restaurant, which saves on front-of-the-house labor and skips the commission charge normally paid to the delivery service.

Data Quantifies Cratering Restaurant Traffic

While it’s probably obvious that restaurant traffic is down as state and federal mandates require the majority of U.S. dining rooms close, traffic and sales data show the full breadth of the damage so far.

Restaurant Brands Quickly Pivot to Off-Premises Options

Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Starbucks and Chick-fil-A were the first brands to announce they would shut down dining rooms but remain open for delivery and to-go orders. Short of full closures, many restaurant companies are significantly tweaking operations as coronavirus-necessitated social distancing radically impacts the industry.

Eureka Idea Leads Edible to COVID-Era Success

Amid all the chaos and fear, Edible Brands President Cheikh Mboup took a hard look at the company and how it could not just survive, but perhaps innovate.

Expecting Job Losses, Industry Associations Call for Billions in Aid

The International Franchise Association and National Restaurant Association are requesting billions in industry-specific recovery funds as businesses are forced to close or adjust operations in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Job losses in franchising alone could be near 400,000, according to FRANdata.

How Franchises Can Focus on Communication Amid a Pandemic

While scientists scramble to find a treatment for COVID-19, unprecedented quarantines and social distancing measures urged by the CDC have prompted closures of restaurants, bars, fitness clubs and other franchising sectors. This means a lot of business activity is grinding to a halt—except for drive-thru and delivery services.

The Ultimate Challenge for Restaurants: Surviving COVID-19

With the COVID-19 pandemic in full force, what can you do to stay in business and protect the long-term viability of your restaurant operation? Two things are paramount: First, keep your employees informed and try to keep them working as much as possible. Second, as sales slow, cash must be protected at all costs.

Franchises Face New Sick Leave Rules Amid COVID-19 Spread

As cities and states across the country order the temporary shutdown of bars, restaurants, gyms and other public gathering places in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, franchise business owners are grappling with how and if they can continue to pay workers—and wondering what requirements new legislation could impose.

4 Key Restaurant Tactics in the Time of COVID-19

There are several tactics restaurants could take as they operate during this uncertain time, but four stand out as must-address items.

Rusty Taco Ready for Kick Off Under Inspire Brands

Rusty Taco is a bit of an oddity within Inspire Brands, but after many big changes, the concept seems poised to grow.

Franchise Brands Detail Coronavirus Protections at FIC

As some attendees replaced hugs or handshakes with elbow bumps, we asked several attendees at the Franchise Investment Conference what they and their brands were doing to guard against COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus.

Jimmy John's Parent Details New Development Strategy at FIC

Inspire Brands is promoting "cross-brand development" to prospective franchisees, trying to attract sophisticated, multi-unit operators who want to build Buffalo Wild Wings, Jimmy John's, Arby's and/or Sonic stores.

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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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