The largest brands in the Franchise Times Top 200+ keep getting larger, but there is plenty of growth across the exclusive ranking of franchised brands by systemwide sales. The top 10 added $14.3 billion in sales during 2017, a 5 percent surge. That's nearly double the cohort's sales growth last year of $7.8 billion. The top 10 now account for more than $300 billion in annual sales—that's almost half of the entire top 200, which recorded sales of $644.8 billion in 2017.
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Hardee's and Carl's Jr. being the same concept with different names is one of those things we hungry Americans have accepted without protest—like the Midwest actually being in the center of the country, social media making us feel more isolated or round pizza delivered in square boxes—just deal with it and keep moving, people.
When Aslam Khan first took over as CEO of TGI Fridays, he and CFO Giovanna Koning embarked on a learning and listening tour of the brand. “We wiped out the past, good, bad and ugly. We're on a new mission here,” said Khan back then. “Most of the franchise businesses are run top down. My mission is to go bottom up. I want to help support and empower franchisees to engage and participate in that mission.”
For its first 16 years of operation, the street food cart that birthed the concept now taking its chicken, gyros and falafel nationwide—and making its Top 200+ debut—didn't have a formal name. “The combo platter cart” is what most people called it, recalls Ahmed Abouelenein. “It wasn't until 2006 that it officially became The Halal Guys,” he says. “It was suggested by a customer and it stuck.”
Outdoor Living Brands CEO Chris Grandpre has been playing a long game since founding his home improvement parent company in 2008. Ten years on, after growing OLB to five home exterior-focused brands assembled primarily through acquisitions, he and President and COO Scott Zide's master plan is coming into focus.
Like other McDonald's franchisees, Sebastian Lentini is required to upgrade his six stores in New Jersey to the new “Experience of the Future” model rolled out a few years ago. At one store in Passaic County, for example, he was asked to raze a store to the ground and rebuild it for more than $3.6 million, according to a lawsuit.
Tell me about your upbringing. I grew up in Brownsville, which is about as far south as you can go in Texas. Born and raised. I have one sister. I grew up in a single parent home with my mother who was in the real estate business, and that's a pretty tough business.
The promise of quality virtual reality gets closer ever year, and a new offering at the internationally franchised Dave & Busters is maybe the best in-store experience yet.