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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.

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.

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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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