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Newly Posted Videos Show Gamut of Franchising Talent


Andrew Gruel is the CEO of Slapfish and one of 54 franchise executives with newly posted videos who presented their investment case at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in May.

What is the per capita consumption of seafood in the United States? Which franchise CEO’s wife believes that breathing counts as exercise? And which franchise brand developed its own video game? You can find these and many other fun facts in our newly posted coverage of 54 presenters at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference in May.

Andrew Gruel, CEO of Slapfish, started his franchise as a food truck in 2011 with an aim to bridge the gap between people’s stated desire to eat more seafood and the reality. In the U.S. people eat 16 to 17 pounds of seafood annually per capita, whereas in Korea, Japan and “even England,” as Gruel said, that number tops 100 pounds. 

He showed several “over-the-top, drool-worthy” dishes served by Slapfish, and described how they’re sustainably sourced and affordably priced thanks to his diligence and connections with suppliers. “While everyone is obsessed with salmon, shrimp and tuna, we can introduce some things like Alaskan black cod, Arctic char, Acadian redfish, any of these amazing species that are caught all around the U.S.,” he said.

Wan Kim, CEO of Smoothie King, said since he bought the brand from the founder in 2012 he’s doubled down on its health and fitness mission, but amusingly described how each person’s view of health and fitness is different. Noting that Lululemon, maker of popular women’s yoga pants, is twice the size of Under Armour, Kim said, “If you go grocery shopping these days, I see all the time women wearing these yoga pants. But do you believe all those women wearing those yoga pants, do you think they all do yoga?” No, right? What they are telling me is, I’m a health and fitness person, because that’s what people are obsessed with these days.

“Everyone in this room has your own health and fitness” definition, he said. “I will give you an example. My wife, she’s not a super active person. For her, breathing is exercise, she really believes that.”

Rounding out our trivia quiz is Matt Crumpton, CEO of D.P. Dough, which he says is the only calzone franchise in the U.S. Their cartoon character “mascot” is  Stoney Calzoney the rap artist, who also features prominently in their video game called Calzone Run. “We are the first restaurant company ever to roll out a video game,” Crumpton said, and customers can redeem points toward free calzones. “It’s a way to delight our customers by showing people we are a different kind of restaurant company.”

Many more stories, facts, tactics and strategies lie in store for viewers of the presentations, which you can click on the top of this home page’s slide show. And for those who wonder how to get on the speaker’s podium for next year’s conference, applications from C-level officers of franchises open August 1 for the 2019 Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference. 

Hope to hear you there!


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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 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.
Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is 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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