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New Option for BrightStar 'Zees, Plus Gyro Shack's Debut


Thom Gilday is president of BrightStar.

I pick up many juicy tidbits whenever I attend a conference, and this year’s International Franchise Association annual conference in San Antonio is no exception. Here are two:

1. BrightStar Care, the home health care franchise out of Gurnee, Illinois, is testing a new franchised model for an assisted living facility, which would gather people who need such help in a small facility with 36 beds, and thus bridge the gap between care in the home and care in a skilled nursing institution.

Thom Gilday, president, told me about the first such facility, originally started as a corporate-owned test, which has now been sold to a franchisee, and the effort to start more such franchises to offer as an add-on option to existing operators. They're called Assisted Living & Memory Care Communities. It’s a smart move, because it positions BrightStar further up the food chain in health care and makes it part of the “continuum of care” that’s so crucial to the way the industry is going.

2. Doug Miller is a Papa Murphy’s franchisee out of Boise, Idaho, who has now decided to franchise Gyro Shack, a new brand he and his business partner bought from the founder. He says he brings a franchisee’s sensibility to the role of franchisor—meaning an obsession with profitability vs. top-line sales.

He likes the brand’s tiny footprint—250 square feet in some cases, with a double drive-through. They’re going to test an urban model in Boise starting this summer, with no drive-through but limited in-store seating instead.

Miller is excited to be starting the next phase—creating in-store design elements—which is one of his favorite tasks. He was also touting their food—a mix of lamb and beef on a skewer—and their logo—none other than the Greek goddess Athena herself. Here’s hoping Miller & Co. navigate the switch from ‘zee to ‘zor with aplomb.


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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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