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COVID Downtime? Do a Digital Marketing Audit

As the pandemic drags on and pushes a huge amount of homebound eyeballs to digital platforms, operators need to take a look at their digital footprint.

Two Men and a Truck Helps Evacuate Wildcats in Oregon

It was easily the strangest moving request Eric Tremble’s ever received. “We typically don’t transport anything live,” the GM of a Two Men and a Truck franchise quipped.

Expect More Pickup Cubbies Next Year

Under a new licensing agreement and with the backdrop of low-contact restaurant operations persisting indefinitely, the restaurant industry will likely have a lot more pickup cubbies starting next year.

National Restaurant Association Urges Action to Stop Mass Closures

The National Restaurant Association put out a dire warning that scores of restaurants were set to close without congressional help.

Authority Brands Acquires Monster Tree Service, Expanding Home Service Portfolio

Authority Brands acquired Monster Tree Service in 90 days, marking the sixth brand addition since October 2018 and Authority’s eighth brand in its home service portfolio.

Saladworks Bets Growth on Sally, the Robotic Saladmaker

Saladworks recently partnered with Chowbotics and its robotic salad maker, Sally, which allows customers to build their own salads from 22 toppings in about 70 seconds. Eric Lavinder, vice president of development for Saladworks, says Sally is a key ingredient to growth for the salad franchise.

Restaurant Deal Trends to Watch

Merger and acquisition activity in franchising hasn’t stopped during the coronavirus pandemic—it just might look a little different.

Citing Pandemic, Sizzler USA Files for Bankruptcy

Sizzler, known for its cheap steaks and all-you-can-eat salad bar, is the latest restaurant chain to attribute its financial struggles to the coronavirus pandemic.

A Book-Lover’s Journey to Becoming Pizza Hut’s First Chief Equity Officer

Chequan Lewis’s first experience with Pizza Hut occurred as a child through their Book It! Program, which since 1984 has encouraged reading in schools nationwide by rewarding students who meet their reading goals with a free personal pizza. Now, Lewis is the brand's first chief equity officer.

Famous Dave’s Expands via Novel Co-Branding Model

A unique independent-franchise co-branding model could be a growth vehicle for Famous Dave's and help struggling casual operators.

Pinch A Penny's Sales Exec Enjoys New Industry's Challenge

A familiar face popped up in an unfamiliar place during reporting for the Franchise Times Top 200+ ranking—Michael Arrowsmith, a long-time restaurant development executive, is CDO at Pinch A Penny Pool Patio Spa.

Body Fit, F45 Fitness Franchises Spar Over Patents

Two fitness franchises born in Australia and now pursuing U.S. expansion—F45 Training and the much smaller Body Fit Training—are suing each other in a long-running dispute over technology and business strategy.

Mentor Program Puts Jersey Mike’s Manager in Owner’s Seat

Paola Portillo-Nolan opened her Jersey Mike's Subs store in Long Beach, California, earlier this month through the brand's STAY program and with the mentorship of multi-unit operator Alvaro Garcia.

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.

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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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