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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:

Brands To Believe In: Going Long With Popeyes And Captain D's »

By Debbie Selinsky

Numbers and research notwithstanding, veteran franchisee Brian Smith chooses his brands using his gut instincts. "I like to go with things I believe in and know I can sell," says the Arkansas family man.
That's why it wouldn't be surprising to find the jovial Smith on any given day attired in his Mossy Oak camouflage attire while he chows down on seafood at Captain D's or chicken at Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen in his hometown of Springdale, Ark. Smith is an avid outdoorsman and hunter and longtime fan of Mossy Oak camouflage clothing, so when the company began to market real estate specializing in selling farm hunting land and other rural property, he got on board in 2008.
"I didn't even have to clean out my closet because I've always worn Mossy Oak...

Feature Story:

"Compassion" & "Empathy": Powerful Words In Customer Service »

By John DiJulius

I think the two most powerful words employees need to have permeating through their consciousness are "compassion" and "empathy." When you genuinely serve with compassion and empathy, your customer service is on a completely different level. The challenge is, How do you teach compassion and empathy? How do you make them more than just buzzwords and platitudes?
The top world-class customer experience organizations constantly put their employees in the shoes of the customer. When your employees really understand the plight of the customer--what the customer is going through, their daily battles--it starts to crystallize for them the critical importance of the customer experience they deliver, as well as the level of genuine caring they show each customer...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Keys To Building A Great Sales And Development Team »

Franchise Update

What are the keys to building, training, and retaining a great sales and development team at your brand?

Marcia Mead
Vice President of Franchise Development
PuroClean

The process of hiring, training, and retaining qualified individuals for sales and development is a necessary company practice that should not be taken lightly. Having a great sales and development team as the backbone of your business is critical to company success in both the immediate and distant future.
Hiring the most qualified people for your company can be challenging, but if you take the time to work diligently in the early stages of seeking out a potential employee, there is great long-term payoff. At PuroClean, we first identify which candidates can fit in with our company culture...

Feature Story:

Sport Clips Franchise Partners Are "Top In America" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Arizona multi-unit franchisee partners Jared Lee and Val Hill had already won their brand's top award this year, and now they've been recognized by the new CNBC "Top Franchisees in America" report.
The two business operators first met at Brigham Young University before going on to become co-workers at Intel. They went out on their own in 2005 and have now operated Sport Clips franchise locations for 10 years. They own and operate 18 locations in the Phoenix metro area. Lee and Hill say they love the brand and how it caters to men and boys and offers what Hill calls "a little guy pampering."
Hill says of the brand, "I liked the fact that they weren't looking for experienced hairstylists as franchisees. They wanted people with business experience, and that's what Jared and I had...

Feature Story:

Turning Today's Employees Into Tomorrow's Leaders »

By Jeff Bannon

One of the biggest challenges of business ownership is attracting good talent - but retaining them is even harder. As a multi-unit franchisee business owner, you look at your strong employees as future leaders. With changing demographics in the workplace creating generational diversity, how do you turn your current and future employees into leaders?
There are consistent core areas of leadership development necessary to turn employees into leaders, regardless of age and generational differences. Communication, commitment, recognition, and growth are requirements for helping your people to become leaders.

Communication: It is a skill that the potential future leader must have, but also an act of leadership that they expect from you...

Feature Story:

Communicating With Candidates: Finding The Right Media And Frequency »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Mark Jameson, Executive Vice President, Franchise Support and Development at Fastsigns International, 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.

We believe in utilizing many different marketing channels to reach our candidates, and more importantly, in targeting those in the right markets and for the right category or model. Our brand relies on a strong public relations and digital marketing strategy to target and find the ideal candidates. With the help of a significant national TV buy, Fastsigns is lucky to have a strong brand presence that enables us to stay top of mind.

However, this is only a piece of how we communicate the franchise opportunity to candidates, so we must employ a variety of marketing strategies to attract the right candidates...

Feature Story:

Good News! - May 2016 »

By Eddy Goldberg

The good news: Franchising is experiencing a remarkable growth phase – not only in unit count and system-wide revenue, but also in the number of new and emerging brands. The bad news: It’s harder to keep up with all the good news! That’s a nice problem to have – and why we’ve brought back our “Good News!” roundup of selected news items on unit growth, investment and financial developments, international expansion news, refranchising, and milestones attained by franchisors large, medium, and emerging. Here’s your chance to follow the leaders, every third Tuesday of the month.
So if you’re not doing it already, send us your good news here.

New Units/Growth/Expansion
ZIPS Dry Cleaners Signs 9-Unit Area Development Deal for Maryland
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Signs 4-Store Development Deal in Oregon
PizzaRev Opens First Long Island Store; 3 More Coming
Snapology Opens 24th Unit; Plans 20 New Locations Annually
Shoney’s Continues Brand Revitalization with New Unit in Alabama
Potbelly Sandwich Shop Signs 4-Unit Deal for Little Rock Area
Famous Dave’s Inks 3-Unit Area Development Deal for Charlotte

Big Plans, Big Dreams
Margaritas Mexican Restaurant Targets Growth in the Northeast
Gyroville, 9-Unit Fast Casual Greek Concept, Preps for National Expansion
Financial/Acquisitions
TravelCenters of America Completes Quaker Steak & Lube Acquisition
Growler USA Acquires Smiling Moose Rocky Mountain Deli, Plans Expansion

International
DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Opens First Hotel in Fiji
Pieology Pizzeria Opens First of Three Stores in Guam
Hampton by Hilton Enters Chile with Colombia-Based Partner
PizzaRev Opens First International Location (Monterrey, Mexico)
Anago Cleaning Systems Signs Master Franchise Deal in Manitoba
Yum China Bounces Back in Q1; Operating Profit Up 35 Percent
Milestones
Lee’s Famous Recipe Chicken Celebrates 50 Years

New And Emerging Brands

Wag N’ Wash Natural Food & Bakery Opens 10th Unit (Las Vegas)
Big Air Trampoline Park (3 Locations) Launches Franchise Program
People
Smashburger’s New CEO Michael Nolan Is Poised for Growth
MOD Pizza Names Bob Barton CFO; IPO Ahead?
Huddle House Names Jarrod Brooks New Director of Franchise Development
Qdoba Mexican Eats Promotes COO Keith Guilbault to President

Feature Story:

Burgers, Buffets, And Pizza: Securities Dealer Finds Security In Franchising »

By Debbie Selinsky

Mills Sinclair is a man living life on his terms. He's equally at home on the golf course at his Arizona home in Scottsdale, on the beach at his Mexican vacation home, or sitting in a corner of one of his restaurants on Sunday "watching families interact in ways they don't often do anymore."
A Chicago native who grew up in Arizona, he also has the best of both franchising worlds: he's not only a franchisee of Sonic Drive-In in Oregon and Golden Corral in Arizona and Idaho, he's also the franchisor of his own brand, Abby's Legendary Pizza, in Oregon and Washington.
Sinclair comes from a family of inventors (his grandfather invented the first vending machine to sell hot coffee), but as a young man he gravitated to finance. He earned his degree from Arizona State University in 1969 and went to work for Young, Smith and Peacock, an investment banking and brokerage firm that was a member of the New York Stock Exchange...

Feature Story:

One Brand Beyond: Multi-Brand Stars Keep On Shining »

By Kerry Pipes & Eddy Goldberg

Anyone who's operated a franchise business knows it takes a lot of hard work to attain (and maintain) a high level of success and profitability. Life changes dramatically with expansion from 1 or 2 to 5 or 10 units and beyond, with new challenges presenting themselves at each stage of growth.
Multi-brand franchising, a growing trend for some time, has many important advantages, most notably diversification, which spreads risk across different geographies, industries, and economic cycles. Signing on with different systems allows operators to learn from the best and apply those lessons across different brands, while some thrive on the stimulation and variety that working with several brands provides.
We all know business is really about people--the people who start businesses, the people who work in those businesses, and the people who buy from those businesses...

Feature Story:

Customer Service Mission: The One Statement Employees Must Know »

By John DiJulius

When we start working with a consulting client and tell them the first place we start is creating a customer service vision statement, they say, "The last thing we need is another statement. We have mission statements, purpose statements, and our employees can't even keep them straight."
Good businesses have evolved away from lengthy, wordy mission statements that no employee can recite, much less remember. Today it is okay to have three major company statements--provided it's clear as to how they differ and how your employees need to decipher them.
While every company needs strong, inspiring mission and purpose statements, they are results, not actions. For example, if your mission is to be the #1 financial institution in the world, what does that tell a bank teller or loan officer to do today as they interact with each customer? Even the greatest mission and purpose statements are not actionable by employees...

Feature Story:

Artistic Vision: Raising A Generation That Values The Power And Passion Of Art »

By Eddy Goldberg

Turning your passion into a successful business is every entrepreneur's dream. Turning it into a business that helps other entrepreneurs realize their dreams is even better. Combine that with helping children realize their own creativity and passion is the best.
"We attract people who really want to make a difference," says Bette Fetter, founder of Young Rembrandts, a children's drawing program with nearly 100 offices in the U.S. and abroad. The business, which she started as a home-based business in the Chicago area, soon grew to have 90 teachers working part-time.
"The company started out as Bette's Art Class, but when I incorporated I wanted the name of an artist who was known for his technical skill. Rembrandt is known for his ability to draw and paint, and for his real mastery of art technique," says Fetter, who, in addition to being an educator, is an artist herself...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Earns Highest Overall Guest Response In Brand's History »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Cassandra Stokes has been a Newk's Eatery franchisee for just two and a half years, but she is already making restaurant history with the 101-unit chain. Stokes' Sekots Too LLC was chosen as Newk's Eatery's Franchisee of the Year due to high performance in a variety of operational categories, including zero leadership turnover and the highest overall guest response in the chain's 12-year history. Stokes was presented the award during the Newk's Eatery Convention last month.
Stokes spent 26 years in the military before redirecting her education and training in hospitality management to franchise ownership. After investing in a successful Wingstop franchise in Nacogdoches, Texas in 2007, Stokes stumbled upon the Newk's Eatery brand years later while on a family trip in Longview, sparking a desire to bring Newk's to her hometown...

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...


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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

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
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