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April 2020

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Covers everything from good news to bad judgment
Off Premises as the New Normal—First How-to Webinar in a Series

Off Premises as the New Normal—First How-to Webinar in a Series

Restaurants large and small that vowed they'd never do delivery are doing it. And people above 60 who had never tried delivery, "they're doing it now. They're not going back after it's over. It's here to stay," said a panelist on day one of Restaurant Recovery Week, offering help to restaurant operators and presented by Food On Demand, Franchise Times, Restaurant Finance Monitor and Foodservice News.

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Dog Haus Rolls Out 3 Virtual Brands to Franchisees

Dog Haus Rolls Out 3 Virtual Brands to Franchisees

As COVID-19 radically changed the company's operations, Dog Haus rolled out three virtual restaurant brands early in an effort to keep sales coming in.

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Documentation Key to Minimize Future Legal Woes

Documentation Key to Minimize Future Legal Woes

Franchisors should take swift action to terminate a franchisee that's violating government shutdown orders, and send clear, systemwide memos documenting royalty and fee relief for use if disputes arise later, said Faegre Drinker attorneys.

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Franchisees Not Satisfied With Many Large Systems' Relief, Attorney Says

Franchisees Not Satisfied With Many Large Systems' Relief, Attorney Says

Nearly all franchisors are offering relief to their operators during COVID-19, often saying "we're all in this together," but a Dady & Gardner attorney who represents franchisees says they're not all feeling the love.

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Franchisees Turn Focus to Reopening Plans

Franchisees Turn Focus to Reopening Plans

Though many businesses remain closed, franchisees are taking steps now to position themselves for a strong reopening. Focus on communication with employees and customers, they say, and make sure you realistically assess your financial situation.

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Hand & Stone Massage Furloughs Employees, Retains Members

Hand & Stone Massage Furloughs Employees, Retains Members

With more than 450 units, nearly all Hand & Stone massage therapists and estheticians have been furloughed or laid off to allow them to collect unemployment benefits—yet the brand retained about 90 percent of members.

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4 Key Legal, Operational Insights for ‘Survival Mode’

4 Key Legal, Operational Insights for ‘Survival Mode’

Now, about a month into the COVID-19 crisis in the U.S., things might be starting to feel somewhat normal, but there are a lot of considerations as businesses get into survival mode.

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A Shout-Out to Operators from Checkers & Rally's New Boss

A Shout-Out to Operators from Checkers & Rally's New Boss

Local curfews are the latest problem torpedoing Checkers & Rally's late-night business, the most recent one imposed April 13 in its headquarters county in Tampa, said Frances Allen, new CEO of the 900-restaurant chain.

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Xponential CEO Tells Operators: Prepare to Reopen Franchises

Xponential CEO Tells Operators: Prepare to Reopen Franchises

The eight boutique concepts, with more than 1,500 locations, under the Xponential Fitness umbrella have a new set of marching orders: get ready to reopen.

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Global Franchise Group Taps Naf Naf Boss as New CEO

Global Franchise Group Taps Naf Naf Boss as New CEO

What’s it like to start a new CEO gig during a pandemic? “Surreal, it’s totally surreal,” says Paul Damico, whose first day on the job as CEO of Global Franchise Group was April 6.

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Pool of Franchisees Keeps Growing for Big Blue Swim School

Pool of Franchisees Keeps Growing for Big Blue Swim School

“We started Big Blue Swim School really in the height of the last recession, and what we learned then is that parents will continue to spend money on their kids, especially when it’s for a life-saving activity like swim lessons,” said Chris DeJong, founder and president. And franchisees recognize the opportunity.

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Chick-fil-A Reports Record Revenue in 2019, Profits Up 54.2 Percent

Chick-fil-A Reports Record Revenue in 2019, Profits Up 54.2 Percent

Chick-fil-A reported record sales and earnings in 2019. The Atlanta-based quick serve operator, ranked last year by Franchise Times magazine as the 12th largest franchise company in the U.S., was poised for another strong year in 2020. However, dining room closures and restrictions to operate drive-thru lanes only because of the coronavirus,will set back the chain in 2020.

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School of Rock Connects Students With Real-Life Guitar Heroes

School of Rock Connects Students With Real-Life Guitar Heroes

The School of Rock's new partnership that connects the franchise's music performance students and their real-life guitar heroes—from Phil X to Mark Schulman and more—has to be the coolest virtual offering born from the pandemic.

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Its First Merger Deal Off, Unity Rd Tries Again

Its First Merger Deal Off, Unity Rd Tries Again

The planned merger between Unity Rd (formerly called One Cannabis), the Denver-based franchisor of marijuana dispensaries, and Cannabis One Holdings Inc. is off after regulatory hurdles proved too difficult to overcome, said Mike Wienberger, COO of Unity Rd. Instead, he was working in early April to close a deal with Item 9 Labs.

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With Hybrid Delivery Model, Wing Zone Sales Are Up

With Hybrid Delivery Model, Wing Zone Sales Are Up

Restaurants that self-deliver with their own drivers have seen their ups and downs, as labor costs and availability have fluctuated along with the universal rise of direct-to-consumer convenience. For Atlanta-based Wing Zone, which has always had its own fleet, sales have actually risen during the pandemic.

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Sola CEO Manages Fear With a Focus on Reopening

Sola CEO Manages Fear With a Focus on Reopening

“What is the stylist fear and how do we put that at ease? We wanted to make it very clear that if your building is closed, we are not going to charge you rent,” said Christina Russell, CEO of Sola Salon Studios. “Then for franchisees, it becomes how do you negotiate that with landlords.”

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How to Fight Denials of Business Interruption Claims

How to Fight Denials of Business Interruption Claims

By now, most restaurant operators with business interruption insurance have heard bad tidings from their brokers: forget about getting coverage for your claims. Legal experts say that's fake news.

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Restaurant Franchises Help Feed Frontline Workers

Restaurant Franchises Help Feed Frontline Workers

A Chicken Salad Chick franchisee in Ohio and an Apple Spice Box Lunch & Catering franchisee in South Carolina developed creative programs to donate food to first responders, medical workers and other frontline workers during COVID-19.

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Digital Prowess, Wing Prices Help Wingstop Bridge COVID-19 Sales Pit

Digital Prowess, Wing Prices Help Wingstop Bridge COVID-19 Sales Pit

Wingstop seems to be bucking the brutal sales trends brought on by COVID-19, even growing in the last few weeks of March when stay-at-home orders spread across the country.

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How 2 Learning Franchises Switched to Virtual Lessons

How 2 Learning Franchises Switched to Virtual Lessons

How two learning franchises, TheCoderSchool and Young Rembrandts, quickly retooled to offer virtual classes when school shutdowns began mid-March.

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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.

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
 twitter.com/mlarson1011.
 

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