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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:

Seattle Minimum Wage Fight Hits Roadblock »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Seattle's multi-unit franchisees aren't giving up the fight. Last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Seattle's 2014 minimum wage law, which purposefully discriminates against small franchised businesses. But he IFA and many of the city's franchisees are not giving up hope.
The IFA and five Seattle franchisees sued Seattle in June 2014, seeking to block portions of the city's new law to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The plaintiffs asked the court to enjoin the city from treating franchisees as large, national companies rather than the small, locally-owned businesses that they are.
"Today's decision from the Supreme Court is clearly a disappointment as our appeal has always focused solely on the discriminatory treatment of franchisees under Seattle's wage law and the motivation to discriminate against interstate commerce," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

5 Keys To A Hyper-Local Digital Marketing Campaign »

By Lauren Reid

Franchisors, take note! Your franchisees have the ability to own a moment - many moments in fact. A few examples: the moment an office team needs to take a working lunch and an intern types "sandwiches" into Google Maps; the moment a Facebooker scrolls through pictures of her friends and decides she wants some new shoes for the weekend; or the moment a tourist needs some food or entertainment within a three-block radius of their hotel.

These are your moments to win the sale, and a solid hyper-local marketing campaign is the ticket your franchisees need to drive these customers through their doors. It's about foot traffic, repeat customers, and word of mouth. So in a sea of possibilities, can your target audiences find your locations when they're right next to them? Are you on the radar of every GPS app? Is your website design not just mobile-friendly, but also mobile-responsive? If you nail all the ins and outs of a successful hyper-local marketing campaign, you'll be miles ahead of your competitors, even if you're on the same block...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 10, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook's New Branded Content PolicyOpens New Options for Marketers
As of early April this year, verified celebrities, influencers, and publishers can use their Facebook pages to post their branded content. Now they can post videos, photos, and articles that feature or mention brand without any need to worry about Facebook penalizing them. This rule change was requested by marketers, as branded content has become an integral part of their online media strategy. There are limitations, however: for example, "overly promotional" content such as videos with watermarks won't be allowed. "Alongside the tweak, Facebook also introduced a new tool that will let publishers tag brands in their sponsored content posts. That gives users some indication that they're reading an ad, but it also gives brands better insight into how well their posts perform," writes Ricardo Bilton, a staff writer for the Nieman Journalism Lab...

Feature Story:

Southern Hospitality: Multi-Brand Host Keeps Tourists Well Fed »

By Debbie Selinsky

Brent Collier earns his bread and butter from tourism. His 16 restaurants from 7 different brands offer something for everyone--from a fun or romantic fondue dinner at The Melting Pot to Sunday afternoons for the family at Golden Corral.
Collier is a restaurant baron in an unusual market: a 25-mile stretch of an Eastern Tennessee tourist area that includes Dollywood, the mountain resort city of Gatlinburg, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the most-visited national park in the country. The area attracts around 15 million tourists a year, and Collier estimates that about one-third of them eat at one of his restaurants.
"Probably 90 percent of all our business is tourist-based. They'll come four or five times a year--many have a time share or a vacation home around here--and they'll stay for three or four days on average," says Collier, a Sevierville, Tenn...

Feature Story:

Buffalo Wild Wings Zee Going Big »

Diversified Restaurant Holdings, Inc. (DRH) was already the largest franchise operator in the Buffalo Wild Wings system, and now the group has opened its 63rd location. The newest restaurant just opened in Bradenton, Florida last month in a 6,000 square-foot space featuring seating for more than 200 inside and out, and the STADIA format, an open-space, stadium-like design that provides easier game viewing and socializing.
DRH now operates 63 Buffalo Wild Wings restaurants in key markets throughout Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Missouri. The company also owns and operates 19 Bagger Dave's restaurants in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio.
DRH President and Chief Executive Officer Michael Ansley said, "The opening of our newest Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant advances our growth strategy, which is focused on expanding our Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant portfolio...

Feature Story:

Limited-Service Chains Leading The Way »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Technomic Inc.'s annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report has one clear message: Limited-service chains are in the driver's seat. According to the Chicago-based market research firm, cumulative year-over-year sales for chains in their Top 500 ranking grew 5 percent in 2015, while limited-service concepts significantly outpaced their full-service counterparts at a rate of 5.5 to 3.6 percent. Contributing to this sales gap was a sizeable differential in unit growth. In 2015, limited-service chains in the Top 500 grew at a rate of 2.3 percent, nearly tripling full service's cumulative mark of 0.8 percent.
Drilling deeper into limited service's strong year reveals numerous interesting plot lines. With Panera's move into the No. 10 position, the top 10 ranked chains were composed entirely of limited-service concepts for the first time...

Feature Story:

Aiming For "Aha!" - Matching Your Brand With 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 minds of our candidates. At the end of each conversation, ask your candidates to describe the Aha! moment they gleaned from the conversation...

Feature Story:

Using Social Media To Attract Prospects And Validate Candidates »

Franchise Update

We asked Alex Samios, director of franchising at Dogtopia, how he uses social media to attract prospects and validate candidates. Here's what he had to say.

Social media is a regular function of our franchise development team. We use it to generate leads, nurture existing prospects, and validate that the franchise candidate is right for our brand.

Today's prospective franchisees want a self-directed approach - they don't want to feel as if a franchisor is trying to sell them on the concept. With this in mind, you need to adopt a softer, more subtle social media strategy for franchise sales - especially when posting franchise development-focused messaging on your brand's consumer social media accounts.

At Dogtopia, we keep our corporate Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages separate from those of our franchise owners, who all have their own individual accounts that are updated regularly...

Feature Story:

Tragedy To Triumph: Heidi Ganahl Kept Her Focus On Her Dream »

By Kerry Pipes

Heidi Ganahl says she has always been an entrepreneur and dog lover. "My husband and I were characterized by two things: we thought up crazy, wild ideas and we loved taking care of our two dogs," she says of their life in the early 1990s. They even wrote a business plan for a "fun doggy daycare business" with a camp-like theme they thought would be great someday. But then tragedy struck: her husband Bion was killed in an airplane accident.
"That was a tough period," recalls Ganahl. "It took a few years before I came back around to the idea of our dog daycare business." That's when her brother Patrick encouraged her to use money she had left from the accident settlement to start the company she had always been passionate about.
In December 2000, she opened the first Camp Bow Wow, in Denver...

Feature Story:

Moving Targets: Franchisees Respond To Changing Markets »

By Helen Bond

When retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tim Hershberger signed on as a franchisee with Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Florida, the 30-year military veteran was already focused on the customers he knew best. And his military ties have helped jump-start his first nongovernmental venture.
His first Dickey's, in Pensacola, is one of three planned restaurants that will cater to current and former military members in the Florida Panhandle, home to Naval Air Station Pensacola and Eglin Air Force Base in nearby Fort Walton Beach. Military customers will receive a 15 percent discount, and catering orders are delivered to the bases free of charge.
"We will continue to refine our strategies to get better at what we do," he says. "We will always cater to the military because I believe what they do is vital to the safety of our nation...

Feature Story:

Sub-Sectors Rising: New Concepts Provide Clues For 2016 »

By Darrell Johnson

Nearly seven years after the recession ended, the U.S. economy has become a slow-growth machine. In these years of sluggish growth, the franchise business model has found ways to expand. We examined franchising at the sector level to provide some clues and insights about what's in store for 2016 and beyond.
We are projecting that, on average, about one new concept will begin to franchise every day in 2016, continuing a streak of increases in annual new concept growth that began in 2011. If the number of new franchise concepts were a small fraction of all franchise concepts, this wouldn't be all that significant. However, we are adding new concepts at an annual rate of about 6 to 8 percent a year. That's impressive by any measure in this weak expansionary economy...

Feature Story:

Study Says Consumers Want More From Pizza »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Pizza consumption is trending at its highest level in four years and showing growth for pizza-focused concepts across channels, says a new report by Technomic. To maintain this momentum and stay ahead in the competitive pizza space, operators must innovate and adapt to consumers' evolving demands for unique, high-quality and better-for-you pizza ingredients and add-ons. This is according to Technomic's 2016 Pizza Consumer Trend Report, which highlights the menu and consumer trends shaping the pizza category.
"Today's consumers are less beholden to their standard pizza orders, as emerging players push the envelope of what's expected on a pizza menu," explains Deanna Jordan, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. "New chef-designed specialty pizzas positioned as customizable thought-starters will serve to convey kitchen skills and allow for the personalization these consumers increasingly expect...

Feature Story:

6 Digital Marketing Tactics Franchisors Need For Franchisee Success (Part 1) »

By Paul Elliott

For franchise brands, local marketing has always been a challenge. And while some emerging tools are making franchisee marketing easier, the digital revolution has introduced new marketing challenges as well. Said another way: consumers' growing use of digital and mobile to find, select, and buy goods and services has fundamentally changed the way we as marketers must approach our jobs -- particularly in a distributed marketing environment.

Looking at the data, it's easy to see that franchise brands that want to succeed in local marketing must put a greater focus on intercepting consumers on their new path to purchase:

Feature Story:

DQ/Huddle House Zee Growing »

Ahmad Sowwan is no stranger to franchising and no stranger to success. The 33-year-old multi-unit, multi-brand franchisee operates two Dairy Queen locations and a Huddle House restaurant and has just taken over a second Huddle House in Florence, SC.
Sowwan says he was looking to further expand his operations from North Carolina into new markets when he discovered the Florence Huddle House location was available. He jumped on the opportunity to take over the previously company-owned location.
"It was a personal goal to expand my business across state lines and into South Carolina," says Sowwan. "Florence is an area with a strong sense of community, and the restaurant already has a strong and loyal customer base. I look forward to becoming more involved with the community and continuing to provide the great food and southern hospitality everyone has come to expect...

Feature Story:

More For You!: Create Additional Profit In 2016 »

By Rod Bristol

By now you've completed all of your financial budgeting and planning for 2016, have it set up on a month-by-month basis, and have organized your financial reporting to be able to measure your progress both on actuals to date and performance to plan. Right? Riiiiiight!!
Perhaps you're not at that point in the financial management of your company. But what is the minimal acceptable standard for financial reporting in a business today? It's an income statement and a balance sheet delivered to you, the business owner, by the 15th day following the close of business of the previous month, every month, period! There is no other minimal acceptable standard.
If you're attempting to manage your business with quarterly, half yearly, or (Good grief!) annual financial statements, you are missing a tremendous opportunity to drive up the financial performance of your business...

Feature Story:

Waxing The City: Rolling With The Changing World Of Social Media »

By Lori Shepard

We asked Lori Shepard, Senior Director, Digital Experience at Waxing the City/Anytime Fitness how she sees social media changing and evolving - and how her brand is adapting and getting results.

With both of our brands, Waxing the City and Anytime Fitness, we develop close relationships with our customers. On our social media platforms, we hope to extend the services and advice that differentiate our brands online. For Waxing the City, we work hard to extend our vision, "To make everyone feel awesome," into the channel in an authentic way. Authentic is key. Whenever we post content, we use the filter of: "Would our technicians really say this? Is this valuable to our clients? Is this our voice?" Our customer interactions on social media are just as important to us as the hello they receive when they walk into our studios...

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From Pain To Gain: Shane Evans' Back Problem Led To A Successful Brand »

By Eddy Goldberg

How do you cure years of debilitating, recurring back pain? For Shane Evans, it was therapeutic massage. She liked the results so much that she started a franchise to offer that same experience to others. "I haven't had a back problem since I started Massage Heights," says Evans who co-founded the company with her husband Wayne in 2004.
When they opened their first unit in San Antonio and found customers clamoring for more--as well as asking about how they could open one themselves--they knew they were on to something. After 3 years of perfecting the model, they began expanding nationally through franchising. Today they have 140 open and are looking to hit the 300 mark by the end of 2018.
Their success--and appeal--has not gone unnoticed...

Feature Story:

The 3 T's For Franchise Success »

By Chris Taylor

Higher customer expectations, lower brand loyalty, and pervasive consumer technology have created a dynamic landscape for companies looking to differentiate and win. But for today's franchisees, the ability to adapt will ultimately determine which locations thrive and which disappear.
In this ever-changing landscape, what sets the winners apart? I believe that today, franchise success depends on conquering the 3 Ts: Team, Tools, and Transparency.

Team
Historically, franchisees have underutilized a not-so-secret weapon - the field organization. The field holds major responsibility as they funnel information from corporate to individual franchise locations, yet today they are not being used effectively. District managers are poised to be advisors for your stores, so making the most of your time with them to share objectives and goals can have a strong influence and impact on the success of your franchise...

Feature Story:

Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys »

By Dan Schneider

"The Millennial Generation loves itself. Its members have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk, tweet, or text nonsense when they should be working. They show no respect for the members of previous generations with whom they work; they contradict recognized authorities and experts; and they tyrannize parents, managers, and colleagues who are deficient in knowledge and practical application of social media and contemporary technology."
First, let me apologize to Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived sometime around 450 BC, for having updated a quote often attributed to him about the generation that followed him into Greek society. While Socrates may not be around any longer, the human race is still going strong, and each generation seems to say to itself "Kids! What's the matter with kids today? Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way, what's the matter with kids today?" (from the musical "Bye, Bye Birdie")
Pundits and trainers everywhere are making a financial killing convincing organizational and business leaders that the Millennials have to be the greatest threat to the human race since the onset of the Bird Flu epidemic...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine Names 2016 MVP Award Winners »

By Franchise Update Media

An impressive list of candidates was ultimately narrowed down to only 10 winners. Those selected for this year's Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine's Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards will be presented with their awards at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference April 26-29 at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas.

Each of this year's winners demonstrated outstanding performance in growing both their organizations and their brands. They are the power operators, the innovators, and the creative thinkers who serve as role models for franchisees everywhere. To be considered for an MVP Award, franchisees must have at least 5 operating units and have been in a franchise system for a minimum of 2 years.

Here are this year's MVP Award winners:


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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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