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Franchise Articles

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:

Founded In Love: Necessity Was The Grandmother Of This Brand »

By Kerry Pipes

Shelly Sun, co-founder of BrightStar Care, never planned to start a company. But in 2001, she and her husband, J.D. Sun, were struggling to find quality in-home care for his grandmother and discovered they weren't alone. Soon after, they decided to take matters into their own hands.
"We built a healthcare staffing company to provide the full continuum of care, from home care to supplemental staffing for corporate clients such as nursing homes and physicians," she says. Sun says she worked 90 to 100 hours, 7 days a week in those early years, but the payoff has been worth it.
They launched the company in 2002 and began franchising in 2005. "Although we already had three successful company-owned locations, we knew that through franchising we would be able to expand much faster than if we were to do it on our own," she says...

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Aiming For Aha!: Matching Your Brand To Candidates' Goals »

By Jim Bender

If you've been around the sales and marketing world for any number of years you know the concept of an "Aha!" moment. It is that point in time when the proverbial light bulb goes on, the moment when everything makes sense, the moment when someone finds what they need or, more importantly, what they want.
Aha! moments are key milestones when making monumental decisions such as buying a home, getting married, or investing in a franchise. In the franchise sales world, these moments have a special function. They confirm that we successfully matched the benefits of our brands to the dreams and goals of the candidates. As sales pros, it is up to us to create Aha! moments in the mind of our candidates. At the end of each conversation, ask your candidates to describe the Aha! moment they gleaned from the conversation...

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The Trouble With Saying 'I Got This' »

By Champ Rawl

Designated successors generally have a vision of what one day being "the leader" is; I will do this better, this differently, and these changes will be made immediately. As one works toward this role of leader or owner, one key component to understand is the practice of humility. In addition, and probably most important but hardest to understand, is the idea of patience. As you take the stage, natural inclination may be to get overly excited with the mantra "I got this" and work full steam ahead towards your agenda and showing everyone how capable and competent you are.
A hiking analogy comes to mind. When tackling a big hill, I look ahead and find the highest peak; mentally take note of it and then put my head down and go for the top...

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Social Media Listening Builds Relationships Between Brands And Customers »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A new report that examined the overall performance of 100 restaurant brands across social media, looking at more than 740 million restaurant-related posts, has found that the most successful brands are focused on listening to and engaging with customers online and creating some best practices that are applicable for many others. The results are in NetBase's, a social analytics company, first NetBase Restaurant Report.
"It's clear from the NetBase Restaurant Report that companies who listen to their customers - whether it be critical customer service feedback, ideas for new recipes, or excitement over a recent promotion - reap the benefits of real-time feedback and higher quality social interactions, which can ultimately lead to more sales," says Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer at NetBase...

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Arby's Is Back! How A 52-Year-Old Brand Turned Itself Around »

By John Bowie

Arby's has come a long way in the past few years. Over that time, the legacy brand has launched a series of innovative, meat-focused menu items, including the sizzling Brown Sugar Bacon sandwich lineup, the most successful LTO platform of 2015. It was so tempting that we even created a Vegetarian Support Hotline for our non-carnivorous guests who were lured by the sandwich's "meaty goodness."

This past year, we opened 69 new restaurants system-wide - including 60 new restaurants in the U.S., the highest number since 2008 - and completed more than 175 remodels. In December, we were proud to reopen our doors in New York City after nearly a decade, just a few steps from Times Square. Adweek said it best: "If you haven't been inside an Arby's lately, you probably wouldn't recognize the place...

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Reaching Your Ideal Candidates: Which Media To Use – And How Often? »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Charles Watson, Chief Development Officer at Tropical Smoothie Café, how he chooses the right marketing media to reach his ideal candidates, and how often he communicates with them. Here's what he had to say.

When choosing the media vehicles for communicating with your target audience, it's important to have a clear definition of that audience. If you are targeting Millennials who tend to be heavy digital users, then digital tactics such as Facebook and retargeting ads may be the best way to reach them. If your ideal prospect is an older "Corporate America" executive looking for a career change, then national business media may be the best way to connect with these potential franchisees.

Also keep in mind whether or not you're targeting a single-unit or multi-unit owner, as they usually have drastically different behaviors...

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When Is Big Too Big?: Re-Evaluating Unlimited Multi-Unit Growth »

By Dean Zuccarello

Consolidation is perhaps the single most significant trend we have seen in the restaurant industry over the past decade. It is easy to understand why franchisees and investors have chosen this direction. Under the right leadership, consolidation leads to greater predictability of operational results and returns through economies of scale, implementation of modern technology, market control, and fixed-cost leverage. We have entered into the era of the "mega-franchisee," but as these entities become ever more massive, is there a case to be made for these organizations to strategically divest assets, becoming smaller over time?
There are two catalysts for where a mega-franchisee could find deconsolidation the best course of action: 1) when it reaches an inefficient tipping point in the context of day-to-day operations, or 2) when it becomes more beneficial to break apart the whole to maximize shareholder value as it relates to an exit strategy...

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Toy Story: It All Began At Nursery School... »

By Kerry Pipes

Sharon DiMinico had a "Eureka" moment following the birth of her second child in 1987. She recognized something was missing for the parents and children in her local community. "I saw there was a real need for a unique store that could offer high-quality toys, books, and games for little children through preteens," she recalls.
DiMinico already had some retail and business experience and knew firsthand what parents were looking for when it came to raising their children. She wrote a business plan for a special kind of toy store and presented it to her children's nursery school in Acton, Mass., where she was a board member. Her idea was not only to provide needed resources to the children, but also to supplement the school's revenue. It worked, and then some...

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Franchise Development 2016: Your Online Presence Is A Critical Component »

By Keith Gerson & Tim Johnson

Marketing isn't what it used to be. Your once tightly controlled brand identity is a thing of the past. We live in an era dominated by social media, where literally everyone can share their opinion on what your franchise brand stands for. Supporters, detractors, activists... like them or loathe them, if you want to grow your franchise system you must know how this model works.
One of today's most critical keys to growing a franchise system is evolving into a brand that can honestly demonstrate the answer to the question: "Do they love you, or just know who you are?" The difference has proven to be critical in providing a franchise candidate with the confidence needed to move to close--as well as in improving metrics from historically lackluster closing effectiveness rates (typically about 1...

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Former NFL Linebacker Tackles Title Boxing Club »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Bryan Scott spent a decade in the NFL backing up his defensive line. But when his playing time began to wind down he got prepared for life after football.
These days, the successful franchisee has two things on his mind: 1) building a successful chain of Title Boxing Club franchises in the Atlanta area, and 2) overseeing the company he co-owns, Noene USA, which sells a line of high-tech, ultra shock-absorbing insoles. Based on his track record, he'll be just fine.
Scott was a second round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2003. He spent the next decade in the NFL playing defensive back and linebacker for the Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Tennessee Titans before winding up his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills. Like most athletes who reach the professional level, he says he loved it and was honored to play successfully for so many years...

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Mama Pop: Doc Popcorn Spreads Smiles Worldwide »

By Kerry Pipes

Renée Israel loves the smell and taste of fresh, kettle-cooked popcorn. When she and her husband Rob spotted mom-and-pop kettle corn makers at a farmers market in Boulder, Colo., in the early 2000s, it got them thinking. How could they bring fresh-popped flavored popcorn to a wider audience?
"We spent the next few years perfecting a unique, fresh-flavored popcorn that could be easily prepared on the spot," she says of their pet project, which they named Doc Popcorn. They also developed a variety of simple and flexible business models for distribution in high-traffic venues. Places such as convention centers, entertainment venues, malls, and stadiums could all sell popcorn from carts, kiosks, or inline stores.
During the first decade of Doc Popcorn, they ran several stores themselves in Colorado, honing and perfecting their model...

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Breakfast Market To Heat Up In Next Few Years »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Nobody needs to tell Americans that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The statistics tell the story. The consumption of breakfasts and morning snacks is forecast to grow faster than the U.S. population over the next few years, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Total breakfast occasions, in- and away-from-home, are forecast to grow by 5 percent through 2019, ahead of the expected population growth of 4 percent. Annual morning snack occasions per person have increased by 17 percent over the past six years, according to NPD's continual tracking of U.S. eating behaviors.
The need for speed, affordability, and portability are the reasons why morning meal traffic, which includes breakfast and morning snack, at traditional quick service restaurants has been growing...

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Winning Combination: Pizza And Subs Fuel Growth For Jerry Heath »

By Kerry Pipes

When we last profiled Jerry Heath in 2010, the Michigan native was busy operating 11 Hungry Howie's pizza restaurants and had recently become involved with Jimmy John's, opening 5 units. As you might expect with an entrepreneur in the franchise business, things have changed.
"I've sold two Hungry Howie's, relocated my first store, and opened one new store," says Heath. "I've also remodeled two of my older locations and will have the rest of them remodeled by the end of 2016." But it's with the Jimmy John's brand that things have really taken off for him. He's more than doubled his number of units since 2010, opening six new Jimmy John's with another scheduled to open within weeks. In all, he now operates 9 Hungry Howie's and 12 Jimmy John's (with two more set to open, one in May and one in June)...

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Safety First: Reassessing Your POS System »

By Tom Epstein

The October 1, 2015 deadline for EMV-capable POS readers has come and gone. And much like Y2K 16 years ago, the world did not end and most POS systems are still working just fine.
As I am writing this, only about 40 percent of credit or debit cards in the marketplace even have the EMV chip on them, a number expected to reach only around 65 percent by the year-end. Banks are dragging their feet on shipping these cards. After all, why would they rush to flood the market with cards that shift the liability from you to them?
In addition, even if a consumer does have an EMV chip on their credit or debit card, about 60 percent of POS terminals are still not enabled to accept them. While we may be seeing EMV-capable terminals installed, the software has not yet been turned on because of programing issues...

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Market Operator: It's A Team Effort At East Coast Wings & Grill »

By Kerry Pipes

"Global Director of Buzz" was Stacey Kane's title when she worked for AmRest Holdings, a Wroclaw, Poland-based company with more than 900 restaurants in 12 countries in Eastern and Central Europe. It was a great title and describes the energy and focus Kane brings to her job.
"I've been working with and building multi-unit restaurant chains for more than 20 years," she says. That time includes serving as media buyer for Subway and as vice president of marketing at California Tortilla, where she was responsible for overseeing all marketing functions. In both 2012 and 2013, Fast Casual magazine named her one of the Top 20 Movers and Shakers in the fast casual restaurant industry.
In March 2015 she joined East Coast Wings & Grill as vice president of marketing, overseeing the marketing department and contributing to the brand's 12th consecutive year of positive same-store sales...

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Recipe For Success: Making A DIfference In Children's Lives »

By Eddy Goldberg

If "Undercover Boss" doesn't call you (or perhaps you just don't like cameras or value your privacy), you still can go undercover. Julie Burleson, founder of Young Chefs Academy (YCA), did that for two months and calls it one of the best things she's ever done.
Giving the popular E-Myth trope a new spin, she says, "In order to be able to work on your biz, you have to work in it." She wasn't in disguise, but the people at a company-owned store in Atlanta (she's based in Waco) didn't know who she was--and she didn't tell them. "I did everything from grocery shopping to scheduling classes to teaching classes, talking with parents, and answering the phone." What better way to discover what works and what doesn't, what your franchisees need and what they don't...

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Huntington Learning Center Franchisee Selected As 'America's Star Franchisee' »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Brian Riddick thinks a lot of the value and power of education. So much so that he purchased and began operating Huntington Learning Center franchises in Oregon, Texas, and Washington. He's seen how the tutoring services he offers can lead to real change in people's lives. And now he has been recognized by CNBC and their research partner Franchise Business Review as one of the nation's top franchisees.
Only one franchisee in each state was identified as being one of America's Star Franchisees. Riddick owns Huntington franchises in Bellevue, Washington and San Antonio, Texas, and previously owned centers in Boise, ID, and Beaverton, OR. Huntington Learning Center was the only tutoring company included in the America's Star Franchisees listing...

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New Overtime Rule Compels Problems For Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime law will force thousands of employers to shift the pay status of their employees from salaried to hourly and diminish their quality of work life, says the International Franchise Association (IFA). The group has previously expressed its concerns in comments to Department of Labor and meetings with Office of Management and Budget.
"Far from 'giving America a raise,' the new overtime rule will compel many franchise businesses to reduce their managers' take-home pay simply to comply with the extreme new salary level," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. "The rule is unfair to employees who will need to be reclassified from exempt to non-exempt, and thus effectively demoted. The Administration irresponsibly failed to conduct any economic analysts of this rule's impact on myriad stakeholders and millions of employees will experience reduced take-home pay, opportunity and flexibility in the workplace as a consequence of the Administration's actions...

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Beyond CRM: 5 Tips For Using Predictive Analytics To Boost Your Bottom Line »

By Lang Smith

For any sales-driven business, it isn't the size of your data that matters, it's what you do with it. No longer a discretionary luxury, predictive analytics is now the name of the game for marketers determined to use customer metrics in a meaningful way to establish a competitive advantage, gain market share, and boost bottom lines. 

Just what exactly is predictive analysis? Simply put, it's the ability to more precisely predict a customer's future spending based on their past behaviors. Of course, there's no way to actually predict the future, but predictive analytics can give companies invaluable insights that can make or break a CRM system. If you're not using predictive analytics, your current CRM system is likely falling short in several areas...

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Social Media Roundup: May 24, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook Messenger Makes It Easier for Customers To Connect
People and businesses send each other more than 1 billion messages each month on the Facebook Messenger app. Messenger has quickly become extremely popular, especially on mobile devices. It's easy for Messenger users to contact a business right within the app to ask questions, make customer service requests, and set up appointments. Facebook has added tools for page owners to manage communications, and soon they will be able to set and edit unique user names for their pages and make it easy to contact them right from the pages themselves. "All of these new functions are going to let customers find you faster and get in touch more quickly," says Mike Wolpert, writing on Social Jumpstart...


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Multi-Brand 50    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue II, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

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