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Smoothie King 'Zee Glad to be Afloat on Katrina Anniversary

Ten years ago, David Magri’s Smoothie King business was underwater—literally—as the levees in New Orleans broke after Hurricane Katrina passed through. This weekend, marking the 10th anniversary of the storm, he is relieved to say he and the city are back on their feet.

Looking Forward to Las Vegas

After joining Franchise Times in December, this year’s Restaurant Finance Development Conference will be my first look at our very impressive event designed to help national restaurateurs grow their businesses.

Bad Beard or Good Beard is in Eye of Beholder

What's up with young people in foodservice and their beards? Turns out the question is on the minds of restaurant owners/operators these days, illuminating the latest generation gap between millennials and their elders.

Have We Reached Peak Burrito?

Like Peak Oil (then again, gas sure is cheap), Peak Burrito means that society’s appetite for burritos is matching the current number of companies building new burrito-centric restaurants. These sour cream and guac-dipped good times cannot go on forever, can they?

Going to America's Not Every Canadian Franchisors' Dream

We hear a lot about U.S. companies going to Canada as their first international destination, but not as much about Canadian companies crossing the border to set up development schedules in the U.S.

'Open Book' by Arooga's Helps Secure 50-Unit Development Deal

Arooga’s signed a big development deal this week that—if completed—will double the size of its footprint, adding 50 restaurants over eight years in Florida and five counties in the greater Atlanta area.

At Back-to-School Time, New STEM Classes Boost Sylvan

A new STEM curriculum (science, technology, engineering and math) is a hit for Sylvan Learning, and attendees at its conference starting Sept. 1 will get a chance to ask questions about the latest offerings.

Don't Place Your Brand Equity in One Basket

Creepy as he may look—seriously, that outfit—nobody's accusing Ronald McDonald of sexual indiscretion. Let the ugly Jared Fogle situation be a cautionary tale for brands to avoid putting their eggs in one basket and steer clear of making a singular, fallible person the face of the brand.

Taco John's Operator Sees her Role as a Calling

Plenty of restaurant operators gripe about young workers. Then there’s Tamra Kennedy, who owns nine Taco John’s restaurants in Minnesota and Iowa. She views her role as an employer as a calling, and shared her refreshing philosophy at the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit in Minneapolis last week.

Faster and Better May Not Cut it, Faegre Speaker Says

If you think the world’s spinning faster these days, here’s the best proof we’ve seen, courtesy of Gerry O’Brion, founder of What Big Brands Know in Denver. At the Faegre Baker Daniels Franchise Summit, he showed two videos and asked the audience if they could spot any differences.

Q&A: Fatburger CEO Andy Wiederhorn on Impacts of Higher Minimum Wages

Andy Wiederhorn has been the CEO of Beverly Hills, CA-based Fatburger since 2006. Watching the debate on higher minimum wages, he has a dire warning for franchisors, operators and customers.

Seeking International Inspiration

As a franchise reporter, many interesting story ideas cross my desk in a given day. A Croatian burger-and-fries concept claiming to have created healthier fries with plans to expand throughout the world is certainly a recent notable.

Talking Collaboration in Minneapolis

Many people rag on millennials for our various proclivities and preferences, but you can’t bemoan a generation that wants to avoid becoming a voiceless cog in an uncaring machine.

Carl's Jr. Hopes for Knockout with UFC Champ Rousey Ads

Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s are trading babes in their ads for the “femininely badxxx” body of Ronda Rousey, the Ultimate Fighting Championship star who won an epic title fight last weekend in 34 seconds.

Fun Doesn't Cut it When Considering Franchises

Calling all prospective franchisees: Misty Young, operator of the Squeeze In restaurant chain in California who is also executing a massive development agreement for Rita’s Italian Ice, wants you to get out of ‘la-la’ land and get serious about analyzing your business prospects.

Who Cares About SBA Bottleneck? Those Trying to Close Loans

The current wrangling over U.S. Small Business Administration loans may seem abstract, but the plight of Amanda Purser, an SBA loan closer for Yadkin Bank in Charlotte, North Carolina, shows the real toll.

Franchising as a Lifeline

It’s not easy gathering financing when you’re young and on the move, but social mobility is what franchising is all about and we all need to encourage that.

Some Big Guys Struggle as Economy, Franchisors Expand

There are plenty of well publicized threats to franchising, including rising minimum wages in several states and cities, but unique fundamentals have the United States poised to continue its role as the globe’s healthiest economy and the destination for international investment.

New Bills in Congress Take Run at Franchising Rules

A bill designed to “bring about transparency” in the Small Business Administration loan process would require first-year revenue estimates in the documents franchisors must give franchisees, according to sponsor U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, (D-Minn.) It was one of two bills introduced yesterday, both of which were blasted by the International Franchise Association.

My Money's on Ramen

As recent articles claim, Asian food is now the world’s fastest growing category. With QSR players taking notice, namely Chipotle’s fledgling ShopHouse chain, it’s no stretch to predict that noodles are set to become a larger player in the American quick-service game.

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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.

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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