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New York's Wage Hike, a Seattle Copycat, Doubles IFA Ire

They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But to the International Franchise Association, New York’s new minimum wage mandate—a copy of Seattle’s—is nothing but a second example of discrimination.

Right at Home Rewarded for Exporting Excellence

When the average person thinks of exports, franchising isn’t the vehicle that first comes to mind. But thanks to the interest of some hard-working, out-of-the-box thinkers at the U.S. Commercial Service, franchising is becoming a popular way to increase exports, as can be witnessed in the proliferation of franchise trade missions in the last few years.

Finding the Perfect Real Estate

When looking for the ideal location for your business, you can't let perfect become the enemy of the good.

Giordano's moving past bankruptcy and into expansion

Only four years after applying for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2011, Giordano’s Pizzeria is headed toward accelerated growth, as a result of a combination of new management and old recipes.

'And Other Duties as May Be Assigned'

There are two pathways for U.S. Commercial Service officers —domestic and overseas. But sometimes that pathway merges as it did recently when Ryan Kanne, director of the Minneapolis U.S. Export Assistance Center was called upon do take up temporary duty in Bogota, Colombia.

SpinFire's Owners, Including Redskins' No. 88, Detail Game Plan

Another day, another new fast-casual pizza chain to cover, or so it seems to this blogger. But SpinFire of Arlington, Virginia, believes it has two secret weapons in its co-founders: No. 88 for the Washington Redskins, wide receiver Pierre Garcon; and the founder of Paisano’s Pizza, Fouad Qreitem.

With a Hit on its Hands, Taco John's Resists Temptation

It’s Taco John’s second year to test limited-time-offer tacos from April to August, and this year is a bigger hit than last, said CEO Jeff Linville. The trick now will be to resist the clamor to make the LTOs permanent.

WellBiz Sale to KSL Capital was a Long Time Coming

It’s been a long wait for Jeff Jervik, CEO of WellBiz Brands, and his management team to turn around their two chains, Fitness Together and Elements Massage, and get them sold. After seven years of heavy lifting, KSL Capital Partners purchased WellBiz this week for undisclosed terms, and will pump in growth capital.

Meeting New York's Halal Guys

I’m working on a few future stories with an international focus, underscoring how important immigrants are to the franchise world. On the restaurant side, immigrants are a source of new ideas to broaden the American palate. One example that I’m anxious to try was The Halal Guys, on display at the International Franchise Expo in New York City last month.

Trouble at Twin Peaks: Takeaways from the Chaos

I previously wrote about the collective shock over the shootout at the Twin Peaks sports bar in Waco, Texas. Turning my fascination into action, I’ve since interviewed several crisis managers, franchisor lawyers and the Twin Peaks CEO and its own crisis manager to discuss what franchisors should do to prepare for the unexpected.

For Menchie's CEO, Crowded Category has Room for MidiCi

Amit Kleinberger started franchising frozen-yogurt chain Menchie’s in 2008, even though everybody else was doing it, too. Now he’s trying his hand at a newly popular category: artisan pizza, made to order, but he believes his new brand MidiCi will not be an also-ran.

Diversified CEO Targets Under-Performers to Acquire

Michael Ansley, CEO of Diversified Restaurant Holdings, just completed a purchase of 18 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants, in St. Louis, to add to his portfolio of 42. He prefers to control a market when making acquisitions, he told this blogger, and wants to find stores that are under-performing on the top line, the bottom line, or both.

Two Sides to Franchising Cannabis: Part 2

Jeremy Carr is the CEO of BlazeNow and owner of Exhale Med Center in West Hollywood, Calif., one of the leading dispensaries in the LA metro. Carr told me it’s the highest rated shop in the area, and those Google reviews show the level of enthusiasm for this outlet and the category as a whole.

Diversified Gains new Wings, Backed by Citizens

Diversified Restaurant Holdings is the new owner of 18 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in St. Louis and becomes the largest BWW franchisee, backed by $155 million in financing from Citizens Bank.

Two Sides to Franchising Cannabis: Part 1

Twenty-three U.S. states allow some form of legal marijuana use, primarily for medicinal purposes, while four states and Washington, D.C. have legalized its use for recreational purposes. With this growing cohort of states, the legitimacy of the cannabis industry is also rising as entrepreneurs examine how franchising can help them grow this still-untamed industry.

Traffic Softens, RPI Stays Positive as Restaurants Remain Hot

Same-store sales and customer traffic levels softened in May, but the National Restaurant Association's Restaurant Performance Index (RPI) remains very positive.

'Destroyed' by CrossFit, Massage Heights Co-Founder Heads to Games

There are some who hit the gym a time or two each week, unless happy hours, dinners out and summer barbecues get in the way. Then there’s Wayne Evans. The co-founder of Massage Heights, Evans is hooked on CrossFit, and is set to compete in the Reebok CrossFit games next month.

Non-traditional is the New Black, Maybe

Some journalists call out trends far too prematurely, but two recent interviews have me wondering if non-traditional restaurant locations (stadiums, airports, universities, etc...) are a new trend heating up the franchise world.

Centre Lane Plans Investment to Grow Saladworks

Saladworks has a new owner, Centre Lane Partners, which invested in the fresh-tossed salad restaurant chain that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization in February. Centre Lane plans to invest “substantial capital” to accelerate the company’s growth nationwide,

Uncle Maddio’s Pizza snags private equity infusion

On the heels of the recent BDO report cementing the strength of the fast-casual and pizza segments comes news that Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio’s Pizza Joint received a new minority investment from S&S Group, LLC, a private equity firm out of Washington, D.C. that also invested in Five Guys.

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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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