FAT Brands, the parent company of Fatburger and Buffalo's Cafe, raised $24 million last October in a new type of initial public offering called a mini-IPO or Regulation A+, then used the money to buy three more brands—Ponderosa, Bonanza Steakhouse and Hurricane Grill & Wings. CEO Andy Wiederhorn plans more acquisitions to add to his growing portfolio, and he views his return to the public markets a vindication of his troubled past. The transaction, the first of its kind in the franchise space, plus the follow-up deals, garnered FAT Brands the Franchise Times Deal of the Year.
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In no-man's land no longer, CKA Management has infrastructureto keep growing Three partners who put the C, K and A in CKA Management found themselves in a common dilemma—they didn't have enough stores to support the systems and people needed to grow beyond 20 or so restaurants.
With Lyfts on demand, tweeting food trucks and restaurants offering discounts when you're within a given distance, you wouldn't be crazy to think the future is already here, but cities are about to undergo the biggest sea change since the Model T started rolling off the line 110 years ago.
Let's hear it for the 2018 class of Franchise Times Legal Eagles. These attorneys live and breathe franchising. And that's important—ask any of them. They will tell you experience in the franchise sector is of the utmost importance.
When Liberty Tax's John Hewitt got booted last September as CEO from the company he founded, the tax prep franchise's general counsel put on her game face: “I don't believe it poses a problem for the company,” said Vice President Vanessa Szajnoga, even though Hewitt remained chairman, holds all of the Class B shares and can appoint a majority of directors to the board.
Very few franchises make it to 100 units in a year or two, as so many young franchises claim they will—zero in a recent Franchise Grade study—but the president of Pet Wants Franchise System, Scott Hoots, called the numbers “sobering” and added his brand “had the opposite problem.”
It's the needles, stupid. That's the phrase that comes to mind when asked why more people don't try acupuncture. But at Modern Acupuncture, everything is designed to soothe anxieties. Erica, a certified acupuncturist, unwraps a pack of three-inch needles (OK, that part didn't really reduce my panic, except maybe for the antiseptic packaging.)
How does a franchise brand land as a hot commodity for the red carpet stars, and all the press that might go with it? Ask PR maven Barbara Caruso, founder of C-Squared PR, who got her client, Yogurtland, in the thick of things during the Critics' Choice Awards in January.