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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:

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,, 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...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Measuring Cost Per Lead And Cost Per Sale »

By Eddy Goldberg

This newsletter is presenting an ongoing series of 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: measuring recruitment costs.

Tracking cost per lead and cost per sale have both been an inexplicably weak point for franchisors for years now. Also inexplicable in this high-tech, big data era, in 2014 the percentage of franchisors who track these two critical development metrics fell in comparison with previous years.

Feature Story:

Creating A Culture Of Accountability »

By Keith Gerson

Do you know what your goals are?
As president of a leading franchise technology company, I'm afforded a unique vantage point as I get to study the trends, patterns, habits, and behaviors of hundreds of franchisors. Of all of the trends I'm seeing that can have the greatest impact on a franchise organization's success, it would have to be creating accountability.
Increasing your franchise sales output, improving unit-level economics, out-marketing your competition, or any of the other dozens of items that dominate franchise conference keynote addresses, panels, or training sessions tend to be lagging indicators. Substandard performance in these and most areas can most often be tracked back to an absence of franchisee and employee accountability...

Feature Story:

Insight-Full: Corner Bakery's CMO Loves Neighborhoods »

By Kerry Pipes

Diana Hovey says she came to know and love Corner Bakery Cafe over a cup of coffee at a unit in her neighborhood. In October 2006, when the opportunity to be a part of the corporate team came along, she jumped at the chance. She's been chief marketing officer for the Dallas-based brand for 8 years now, at the forefront of shaping the branding and messaging strategy for the bakery-cafe pioneer that she says is the "ultimate neighborhood gathering spot."
Hovey says connecting with guests and giving back to the community are paramount to what the brand believes in and stands for. In fact, understanding the hearts and minds of the consumer has always been the focus of her career, first in public relations and marketing with TGI Fridays and later with Brinker International as vice president of marketing for its Mexican Concepts Division and Romano's Macaroni Grill...

Feature Story:

Melting Pot Launches New Recruiting Incentive Program »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The Melting Pot is looking to reopen some franchise locations and it has created a new incentive to help recruit qualified restaurant operators. The new program will provide financing to those who sign a franchise agreement to purchase an existing Melting Pot location in select markets across the country, starting with Chattanooga and Memphis.
Under the guidelines of its new "Path to Grow" program, approved restaurant operators can inject as little as 5 percent liquidity into the purchase of the restaurant to partner with the franchisor, who would provide the financing. In exchange, the franchisor would initially assume 51 percent ownership of the restaurant under the conditions that the operating franchisee agrees to pay back the initial loan within three years of signing the franchise agreement...

Feature Story:

Fresh CREAM Deal Coming To Florida »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The cold rush is coming to Florida. The Sunshine State will be the location of more than 30 new shops of the San Francisco-based dessert franchise CREAM over the next 7 years. The franchise specializes in premium ice cream sandwiches and other frosty treats.
The new agreement marks CREAM's largest and most significant franchising announcement since launching its franchise opportunity in 2012, and will develop stores starting in South Florida before moving towards West Florida and beyond.
"There's definitely a lot of excitement around the brand," says CREAM president and COO Jim Ryan. "We are very excited to have over 30 units available to entrepreneurs in Florida and to make our East Coast debut."
The initial deal was inked with Armando Martinez Stone, who discovered the brand while participating in his High School DECA program in which participants were given the challenge to outline a plan to improve a company's national and international success...

Feature Story:

Cultural Competence: To Succeed Abroad, Learn - And Respect - Differences »

By Bill Edwards & Robert Shaw

An survey this year of the IFA's U.S.-based franchisor members showed that 82 percent are either already "going global" or are planning to take their franchise international soon. However, many U.S.-based franchisors new to international are unfamiliar with cultural differences between countries. In our experience in almost 70 countries, to successfully do business abroad you must be aware of the local culture and how it affects your franchise sales, operations, and revenues. says, "Culture illustrates the accepted norms and values and traditional behavior of a group... the way we do things around here.' The culture of each country has its own beliefs, values, and activities. In other words, culture can be defined as an evolving set of collective beliefs, values, and attitudes...

Feature Story:

It's Mega 99 Time!: These Multi-Unit Operators Know How To Go Big »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

We've rounded up another "Mega 99" issue--and that means some big numbers. In the following pages you'll find our annual list of the biggest players in franchising--the ones with dozens, even hundreds, of units--and plans for many more. When it comes to brands, units, and territories, these franchisees think big... and they think long.
Numbers offer insights, but our readers tell us that the personal stories of the individuals we profile, with their tales of success, failure, and lessons learned, are the most powerful. And it's in these details that the true character--and grit--of these successful multi-unit operators are revealed.
Each year, we look for franchisees with the drive, determination, and that pinch of good fortune who have expanded and reaped the rewards...

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