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Browse our selection of franchise articles and features to help further your knowledge in opening and operating a franchise business. Our exclusive features cover the , , , , , , and site of the franchise business. Written by the editorial team that produces Franchise Update Magazine and Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine, the franchise industries premier magazines.

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Website Response - Still Lacking »

By Eddy Goldberg

This newsletter continues to present highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The 2015 AFDR is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned). This week: how franchisors franchisor website response to inquiries.

This portion of the AFDR's mystery shopping was conducted by Luis Zuniga, Mile Marker 10, who researched 140 brands by posing as a qualified buyer based on each brand's stated criteria. The results were not encouraging, by any stretch of the imagination.

Comparing this year's results with those of the three previous years finds mixed results.

Feature Story:

Successor Prep For The New Generation »

By Champ Rawls

Picture a 50-something year-old multi-unit franchisee who has been in business for more than 20 years and has tirelessly worked to grow and build a diverse business. His kids are in their mid- to late-20's and have been getting more involved in day-to-day operations. They are ecstatic to be entering the family enterprise and proudly fly the family name. The company has a fantastic reputation in the community and the family name holds weight and notoriety in the industry. It is well-established with sound business practices and a formula for success that has produced generous profits and provided a great place of employment for many families. Sound familiar?
Now picture the next generation, a generation that has been to trainings and workshops, developed an "understanding" of business operations from watching their mom and dad avidly stay on top of franchisor procedures and directives, and has an opinionated and vocal vision of how they see the business changing for the future...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee 'Strategies For Growth' Collection Available »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Multi-unit franchisees who are looking to gain an edge on their competition have a new resource at their disposal. Franchise Update's Franchise Learning Academy has just released its "Strategies For Growth" Collection, a series of 14 video seminars, covering more than 20 hours of programming, and providing access to the insights, experience, and success stories of more than 40 multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees and franchising professionals.
The timely and topical information found on the videos comes straight from many of today's top multi-unit franchisees who have been there, done it, and successfully lived to tell the tale. Their invaluable advice can provide tips and insight for taking your business to the next level. All video seminars were produced at Franchise Update's Annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conferences in 2014 and 2015...

Feature Story:

Local Or National? Marketing Tips For Franchise Brands »

By Laurel Mintz

As new franchise brands enter the marketplace and existing franchises expand, it is critical to understand there is more and more competition for the same dollar. Additionally, those consumers are smarter, with their ability to research a brand instantly with their smartphone. Smart franchises are recognizing these trends and are taking advantage of the increased online consumer engagement in new and exciting ways. Ultimately, marketing dollars must be spent wisely as a reflection of your customer's buying habits, and for emerging brands with limited resources, translating that to your franchisee often is the job of a third-party agency.

During our agency life, we have had the pleasure of working with new, emerging franchises like Bratworks as well as more established brands like Sharky's and Poquito Más...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 28, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Predicting the digital future
Scott Galloway, Stern Professor of Marketing at New York University, gives a fast and furious analysis of the future prospects of the four biggest digital brands: Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon (which Galloway says have a combined value of $1.3 trillion, greater than the GDP of South Korea). Buckle your seatbelt before hitting Play on this fast-paced 15-minute video.

Free web images for marketers
It’s always worth knowing about more good places to find free images online. Stock photography can be expensive and often lacks the freshness and spontaneity found among the billions of images on the web. But many images are copyrighted, and it’s both unethical and potentially risky to pirate them...

Feature Story:

Multi-Brand Operator Brings Quaker Steak & Lube To Tennessee »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tennessee multi-brand operator Brent Collier has added Quaker Steak & Lube to his list of franchise locations in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area. The new brand adds to his arsenal of Golden Corral, The Melting Pot, TGI Friday's and other restaurant brands. The new Quaker Steak & Lube is set to open this June and will be the brand's first location in the state.

"Lube Nation is ready to take Tennessee by storm and share our love for Best Wings USA. We're excited to introduce residents and visitors alike as we expand our presence throughout the Volunteer State," says Greg Lippert, president and chief executive officer, Quaker Steak & Lube. "Tri C, Inc. brings a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge to our brand as our newest franchise partners and we look forward to helping them build continued success in Sevierville...

Feature Story:

IFA And Franchisees Oppose California Franchise Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A California franchise bill is threatening the livelihood of the state's franchisees who would face additional and unnecessary regulations if Assembly Bill 525 is passed. The IFA and franchisees in the state are urging lawmakers to oppose the bill.
"The unintended consequences of this bill would dramatically change the franchise relationship between franchisors and franchisees and we have serious concerns about some of the provisions included in the bill, particularly those that introduce vague and ambiguous language into the enforceability of franchise contracts which will ultimately lead to increased, unnecessary and costly litigation," says IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. "The last thing we need is further government intervention into an industry that has proven itself as a steady job creator and bastion of small business ownership throughout the state...

Feature Story:

4 Ways To Supercharge Your Field Support Team »

By Chris Taylor

Managing, monitoring, and growing any business is hard. However, with dispersed locations and layers of management, franchises face unique challenges when it comes to organizational alignment, communications, and performance measurement.

In the middle of that complex structure is the field: the district managers going store to store, relaying information down from corporate, checking in on progress, and relaying information back up the chain. If corporate is the brain and the stores are all of the body's moving parts, the field is the connective tissue that's working to orchestrate all of the movement.

The field has a lot riding on their shoulders. Corporate relies on them for insight into how stores are performing against company goals and each other...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: How Franchisors Are Using Brokers »

By Eddy Goldberg


This newsletter continues to present highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The 2015 AFDR is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned). This week: how franchisors are using brokers.

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Awards 10 MVPs At Conference »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Each spring, Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine selects and recognizes winners of its prestigious Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards. This year more than 80 franchisees were nominated for the awards, which honor franchisee excellence and highlight outstanding performance in growing both their organizations and their brands.
Each of the nominated franchisees was carefully and systematically evaluated before the final selection was made. The official announcement came during a general session at the conference. Each MVP winner was presented with a plaque and recognized from the stage. The presentation event was sponsored by Church's Chicken.
Here are this year's winners. Watch for their profiles in the next issue of Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine...

Feature Story:

Russo's Restaurants To Offer Credit Access To Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guidant Financial, BoeFly, and Russo's Restaurants have teamed up to provide more credit access for entrepreneurs interested in operating Russo's Restaurants franchises.
The new partnership between small business financing company Guidant Financial, BoeFly.com, the online marketplace for small business loans, and Russo's, the 42-location franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is part of Guidant's Funding Assurance program to help franchisors expand their brands. The partnership will offer existing and prospective Russo's franchisees exclusive access to financing services from Guidant Financial and BoeFly, starting with a customized prequalification tool on Russo's website called bQual...

Feature Story:

5 Ways To Use Your In-Store Video More Intelligently »

By Matt Steinfort

Today, video surveillance is table stakes for restaurant and service-related franchises in their fight against theft and fraud. When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that 75% of employees admit to theft, remotely monitoring your franchise stores is simply the cost of doing business.

In the not-too-distant past, video surveillance consisted of low-resolution, closed-circuit cameras that generated silent, grainy, stuttering video that was, frankly, useless in many cases. Tapes, disks, or files piled up. Video was reviewed reactively, if at all, and usually only if an incident occurred.

Video intelligence today has changed dramatically. Today's technological advances are helping operators go beyond simple surveillance...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 14, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Yelp Sues Reputation Management Companies
Negative comments and reviews on social media are a constant worry for brands. The classic (and correct) response has been that you need to know what people are saying about you, especially if the news is bad. If you have an online presence, at least you are in a position to do something about it. Another answer has been to turn to so-called reputation management companies, who claim they can help businesses to get only positive reviews. "The problem is only Yelp and its algorithm can truly decide which reviews get posted to a business's website and which reviews get buried," writes Julie Bort, editor, enterprise computing for Business Insider. That's one big reason those companies are a scam, according to a lawsuit filed by Yelp, the social reviewing giant...

Feature Story:

Better Late Than Never!: Shahid Hashmi Is Making Up For Lost Time »

By Helen Bond


When it comes to franchising, Shahid Hashmi has just one regret: he wishes he'd gotten into it earlier.
Hashmi is making up for lost time in a big way. The multi-unit franchisee, whose holdings in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions include 45 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens, 2 Burger Kings, 2 Retro Fitness gyms, and, most recently, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, has hatched an aggressive growth plan that he predicts will top $150 million in revenue in the next 10 years.
Armed with two MBAs and 20 years of financial experience in the telecom industry, Hashmi considered his initial foray into franchising an investment, when he opened a Popeyes store in Washington, D.C., in 1994. He soon would quit his day job after discovering he needed to be more than just a weekend boss...

Feature Story:

Starting Anew: New School Of Rock CEO Extols The Power Of Music »

By Kerry Pipes

Dzana Homan's story is one of inspiration and perseverance. She grew up in Yugoslavia where she spent a happy childhood filled with friends and surrounded by a large extended family. That came to an end in 1992 with the start of the Bosnian War. Thousands were killed and millions displaced. Homan lost members of her family, friends, and her country.
Despite these hardships, she continued to take solace in two things she had always loved: learning and children. Homan's passion in these areas led her to the U.S. and where she is today: this past June she was hired as CEO at the School of Rock. With a track record of success at Huntington Learning Center and Goddard Systems, she has big plans for School of Rock.
When Homan came to the U...

Feature Story:

Is Your POS System Safe?: 5 Critical Questions For Your POS Vendor »

By Brand Barney

While very skilled at installing systems, point-of-sale (POS) vendors often don't understand security basics and likely won't make your security their main priority. Obviously, this can lead to very poor organizational security. After all, your POS system harbors some of the most valuable information at your organization: customer credit card data.
Before hiring someone to set up your POS environment, there are five key questions you should ask. These questions are designed to help you weed out ignorant vendors that don't have your security best interests at heart.

Feature Story:

Five Not-So-Easy Pieces: Tune Up Your System To Get More Quality Candidates »

By Marc Kiekenapp

Franchise development department success depends on five different pieces fitting together in an organized and precise manner: 1) the company website, 2) promotional materials, 3) the FDD, 4) franchisee validation, and 5) discovery day (the office visit). Let's discuss these five critical factors and make sure your system is tuned up to achieve the best results.
1) The company website is your most effective tool for conveying the culture and excitement of your franchise offering. The recruitment website should be updated quarterly or even monthly to reflect new information about your concept, good news about your franchisees, and any new public relation stories that highlight your brand. Current news and information will keep interested candidates coming back and watching the progress of your concept...

Feature Story:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe Lands 51 Franchise Agreements In First Quarter »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tropical Smoothie Café has been on the grow this year. The fast casual concept negotiated 51 new franchise agreements in the first quarter of this year. The deals represent 51 cafés that will expand the sandwich and smoothie franchise in Atlanta, Detroit, Providence, Miami, Charleston, SC, and Fayetteville, NC. The brand also reported a 12.31-percent growth in same-store sales over the first quarter of last year.
"We had great momentum heading into 2015 after reporting incredibly strong results last year, including positive comp sales of 11.4 percent and our highest average unit volume of more than $526,000 -- with the top 50 percent reporting an AUV of $669,000," says Mike Rotondo, CEO of Tropical Smoothie Café. "Clearly, Tropical Smoothie Café is well-positioned to continue our aggressive growth and reach our goal this year of signing franchise agreements to develop an additional 150 new locations...

Feature Story:

ApplePie Capital: New Franchise Lender Takes Off »

By Eddy Goldberg

ApplePie Capital, which began offering a new, innovative source of franchisee funding earlier this year, has announced three new brands, marking 11 brands now participating in its franchise loan marketplace. The three new brands are Brain Balance Achievement Centers, Brightway Insurance, and Capriotti's Sandwich Shop. ApplePie had previously announced AdvantaClean, Einstein Bros. Bagels, Fast-Fix Jewelry and Watch Repair, Marco's Pizza, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Phenix Salon Suites, RNR Tire Express, and Sola Salon Studios.

The impetus behind the company's formation was to provide a franchise loan marketplace that connects franchisees in need of capital with investors seeking fixed-income returns by investing in operators of proven franchise brands...

Feature Story:

Survey Finds Government Proposal Would Impact Middle Management »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The Obama administration is proposing to expand overtime and redefine what it means to be a retail or restaurant manager. The move could affect the career paths of many employees and undermine the quality of customer service they are able to provide, according to a new survey conducted for the National Retail Federation.
"The administration is singling out the service economy, specifically restaurants and retailers, with these new overtime regulations," says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French. "The proposed Labor Department regulations will hinder the career paths of millions of American workers, restrict the duties a manager can perform while working, impact the customer experience, and add lots of paperwork and bureaucracy to the job description...



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