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The Culpability Question in RMH Franchise Bankruptcy

The second-largest Applebee's franchisee filed for bankruptcy protection, dragging a ‘zor-‘zee spat out into the open.

El Pollo Loco Verdict Makes ‘New Law,’ Attorney Says

A California court’s $8.8 million jury award to El Pollo Loco franchisees Michael and Janice Bryman in early May breaks new ground in franchise law, said their attorney, Robert Zarco of Zarco Law in Miami, although the franchisor said it will appeal the verdict and outside attorneys don’t necessarily see it the same way.

Denny’s Targets the ‘Everyman’ in International Expansion

“Denny’s has been off again, on again with international,” said Steve Dunn, the company’s chief global development officer. Now the brand is focusing its efforts on finding experienced operators in countries and regions where Denny’s is already in demand.

King’s Bierhaus Partners With Fransmart

At the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference, I was extremely impressed by Philipp Sitter of King’s Bierhaus, a German beer and bratwurst concept based in Houston. As he seeks to grow beyond its single company unit, I was pleased to see news that the brand partnered with Fransmart to aid its expansion.

Main Squeeze Juice Co. Partners With Marques Colston

Main Squeeze Juice Co. and former New Orleans Saints wide receiver Marques Colston have announced a partnership to open a flagship store on Magazine Street in New Orleans. Colston and his wife, Emily, will also assist the brand’s executive team to support its national expansion plans.

Dwyer Group Brands Finally Acting ‘Neighborly’

Dwyer Group CEO Mike Bidwell says a longstanding company vision to market a family of brands is in place, and he's gearing up for a nearly $2 billion year.

NLRB Move on Joint Employer Could ‘Accelerate’ Resolution​

The National Labor Relations Board said last week it may take up the joint employer issue and resolve it by means of rulemaking, a move that many in franchising say they’d welcome.

Cooking Commodities: More Brands Buying Whole Ingredients

Some brands are going beyond fresh, using whole ingredients right from the farm, fishery or field.

Edgy Ads, Low Food Costs, All Part of Teriyaki Madness

Teriyaki Madness CEO Michael Haith’s presentation started with a rap on Asian food: “Teriyaki madness, you’ve got to have this, if you haven’t had this, teriyaki madness," (repeat again and again at a staccato cadence).

With a Whoosh, Sub Zero Creates Spectacle and a Treat

“I’ve been waiting for this presentation all day,” said a man in the front row as SubZero Ice Cream founders Jerry and Naomi Hancock hauled in their equipment—three gallons of cream, a stainless steel bowl, a big blue cooler on wheels and, most unusually, a 50-liter tank of liquid nitrogen at a cool minus-350 degrees F.

ZIPS Dry Cleaners CEO Wants to See Your Dry-Cleaning Bill

Drew Ritger wants to see your dry cleaning bill. Go ahead, take it out and see how much it cost to get your jacket or shirt cleaned.

Smoothie King Catches the Fitness Wave

You might not know it at first blush, but Smoothie King CEO Wan Kim is a hilarious and entertaining guy, which I learned over dinner a few years back in the company’s previous home in New Orleans. His presentation at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference was funny and direct as the company rides a wave of enthusiasm for health and fitness across the globe.

Black Bear Charging Eastward

Twenty-three years after starting the company with $15,000 that came, in part, from selling his boat, Black Bear Diner CEO and co-founder Bruce Dean never thought he would be here at the helm of a successful brand that’s suddenly breaking out and epitomizing the American Dream.

Del Taco's ‘QSR Plus’ Position Continues to Pay Off

The repositioning of Del Taco as a “QSR plus” concept is working, says CFO Steve Brake, and last week the Lake Forest, California-based Mexican brand reported its 23rd consecutive quarter of same-store sales growth for company-owned restaurants.

Never Sell a Deal You Wouldn’t Sign Yourself, NRD’s COO Says

Susan Beth brings an operator’s mindset to her COO role at NRD Capital, winner of a Franchise Times Dealmakers award at a gala luncheon today, for the private equity firm’s acquisition of Ruby Tuesday last December. So her advice for other dealmakers is no surprise.

Wendy's Strives to Delight the Customer, Engage the Operators

Wendy's Chief Development Officer Abigail Pringle kicked off the franchise presentations at Franchise Times' Finance & Growth Conference.

Testing Cupping, Float Tanks, Elements Massage Aims to Innovate

While other franchised massage brands are leaning heavily toward skincare and other beauty services, Elements Massage wants to innovate, says CEO Jeremy Morgan.

For Honey Do Founder, Corporate Stores Lead to Product Rollout

Brad Fluke, CEO and founder of The Honey Do Service, which sends general contractors to your house to take care of all homeowner needs, owns two corporate stores for two good reasons, he told the audience at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

Wing Zone to Re-Brand as WZ Eats After Tough Year

After a “brutal year in the wings business” in which product prices soared and Wing Zone closed 17 stores, the 25-year-old franchise born out of a Florida frat house is re-branding as WZ Eats, CEO and co-founder Matt Friedman announced at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

‘Radical’ Change Leads to Salsarita’s Growth, FGC Speaker Says

Phil Friedman bought Salsarita’s in 2011, and for a while operated it just as it was. But about four years ago he decided a complete overhaul was in order. “I thought it needed a radical change,” he told the audience at the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference today.

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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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