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We deployed our entire five-person editorial staff to cover the Franchise Times Finance & Growth Conference, and over three days we got a little punchy. What if we created a drinking game, and took a sip every time a presenter uttered a time-worn phrase?

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Craig Ceccanti, CEO of Pinot's Palette, inherited his work ethic from his mother, Linda. She juggled a home-based business with raising two sons, without slighting either her customers or her boys.

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When I was in college back in the day, a huge splurge for my dorm roommate and me was to order Domino's. We didn't have extra money, and that purchase would empty our already-thin wallets. What I'm trying to say is, she and I didn't have the pizza deliverer on speed dial. First, there was no speed dial back then, and second, the times we called them were few and far between.

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UFood Grill's CEO decided to slim down by eating off his chain's own menu. Now he hopes to leave other baggage behind as well: financial problems for the brand he bought in 2013 and is trying to grow.

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Not allowed by their parents to have a pet at home, Steve Parker was 14 and his brother Jason was 12 when they started a dog-walking business in 1999, with $20 and a set of business cards. “Everybody else had pictures of Michael Jordan on the wall, and we had pictures of Donald Trump,” Steve recalls today.

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Gordon B. Logan smiles as he thinks back to his son's first job with Sport Clips, the haircuts franchise Logan founded in 1993. The younger Logan, then a student at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, visited company stores for plan reviews, his dad paying him $100 per store.

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Women and beer haven't always gone together like a horse and carriage—or love and marriage. For years their relationship was based on the woman being eye-candy in mainstream beer commercials. Real women sipped pink drinks topped with umbrellas, or wine, while men drank the beer in the family.

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It was a gloomy day in Cadillac Square Park as I held a five-foot-tall camera flash to keep it from blowing over in the wind. From the west side of the park, I had the perfect vantage point for the good things happening in downtown Detroit—a city many Americans have left for dead.

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A strong craving for bacon and eggs—and other breakfast foods—all day has led to explosive growth in this already profitable daypart. But beware the operational glitches that can leave you laying an egg.