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Famous Dave’s Selling Company Stores to Its ‘Zees


Accelerating its previously announced plans to focus solely on its franchisees, Minnetonka, Minnesota-based Famous Dave’s announced it is refranchising its remaining 33 company-owned restaurants during the next two years. According to a statement, the company said the move will allow it to shift its resources to “the growth and viability of its franchise system, which is paramount to the company’s success.”

Chuck Mooty, the company’s chairman of the board, said, “I have a strong belief in our brand. Today’s announcement is about shifting our efforts and focus to the success of our dedicated franchisees. I believe that this singular perspective will be instrumental in re-energizing our system.”

Famous Dave’s has seen declining sales and consumer interest as it has gradually shuttered locations and experienced significant turnover within its highest ranks. Last year the company brought its founder, Dave Anderson, back on board to aid in marketing promotions and to re-inject some barbecue street cred.

CEO Mike Lister cast a positive tone and said refranchising its company units “will enable our team to focus our efforts on food and beverage innovation, marketing, franchise operations, training, and development.”

With a long list of struggles, and many disappointing quarters under its belt, I’ll be rooting for Famous Dave’s to get its operations back on track. Here in the Upper Midwest where the company was born, it’s not uncommon for graduation parties and other outdoor celebrations to include Famous Dave’s catered barbecue.

My optimism may be selfish, but it is sincere.

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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 editor-in-chief 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 managing 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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