An Era Of Change: A look back at franchising in 2008 and the forecast for 2009

For many of us this past year has been a giant proclamation of change. The franchise industry experienced some of the largest mergers and personnel changes in recent memory. This change comes as little surprise for many of us as the economic situation, and the unsettled feelings in the political world, leave us with little option but to adapt to this new marketplace and innovative new ideas.

Historically, times like these are often followed by great innovation, new businesses being formed, and a new of technological advancement. Just as the 1980-1982 recession gave birth to the home 1990-1991 recession gave birth to the innovation of the world wide web, the 2008 recession will bring forth a whole new wave of business. It is in our darkest hour that we have the most potential to do something remarkable. That being said we can expect 2009 to be a year for change and innovation. Before we look to the future, let's recap several key developments in the franchise industry.

Some of the major mergers this year included: Triarc Companies, Inc (parent of Arby's Restaurant Group) merged with Wendy's; JPMorgan Chase acquired Bear Stearns; Figaro's acquired Pizza Schmizza; Regis acquired PureBeauty and BeautyFirst; and NexCen Brands acquired The Great American Cookie Company from Mrs. Fields Famous Brands.

Then there was the matter of personnel changes. Perhaps the biggest and most noteworthy actually comes from the White House. In a unanimous and outspoken voice for change, the United States elected Barack Obama as president. In the franchising industry we saw Quiznos appoint Dave Deno as CEO; Cartridge World Appointed Tom Fricke as CEO; Famous Dave's named Christopher O'Donnell as CEO; Weight Watchers named Steven C. McCormick as President; North America; FASTSIGNS(R) Named Catherine Monson CEO; James White became the new President and CEO of Jamba Inc ; and Dunkin' Brands appointed Nigel Travis former President & CEO of Papa John's as their new CEO. These are just a few of the key personnel changes occurring during this last year.

With such momentum towards change it's no surprise that it would affect us, too. Here are a few exciting developments that and Franchise Update Media Group will be bringing you in 2009.

  • The Franchising Guide - From start to finish everything you need to know to become a successful franchisee.
  • The Franchise PodCast - Covering news, interviews, listener feedback, and much more.
  • A Personalized Experience - Putting more control in your search for the perfect franchise for you.
  • More news, information, how-to guides, and opportunities

With so many new features coming, a world prepped for change, and an economic situation which historically has proven beneficial to the growth of the franchising industry, 2009 is definitely looking like the Year of Change. I would like to thank you all for being a part of the vision and progression of and would like to encourage you to keep sending the positive feedback to From all of us at and the Franchise Update Media Group happy holidays!

Benjamin Foley
Director of Technology
Franchise Update Media Group

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