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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:

Listen Up!: Candidates Have A Lot To Say, If You Let Them »

By Jim Bender

In the life of a franchise sales professional, never a day should go by when we do not learn (or relearn) a selling skill. We are the tip of the spear when it comes to representing our brand to future franchise owners. We possess the sales skills to guide candidates from every conceivable background through a selection process that ultimately causes them to embrace risk and make a life-changing decision. And we are accountable to select only those candidates who will make positive and valuable contributions to the brand.
Wow! That is a lot of responsibility. However it is an accurate description of the contribution franchise sales professionals bring to their brand. It is also what brings us to the office day after day, year after year (or decade after decade)...

Feature Story:

Letting Go Without Giving Up Control »

By Dan Schneider

What happens to your blood pressure when someone asks you about your "exit strategy"? Oftentimes, the term "exit strategy" stirs up emotions and fears tied to giving up control and "what's next." As a result, the question and necessary discussion are often ignored, leaving you as the business owner in the exact place you are hoping to avoid - vulnerable. As uncomfortable and overwhelming as it may seem to be, strategically discussing an exit strategy along with business vision and growth goals actually puts you in the driver's seat. Sort of like athletes retiring at the top of their game - you are now in control by choice rather than by chance. Just as the building of your multi-unit franchise business happened over many years, the most effective exit strategy is deployed over time and is unique to your personal and business interests such as:

Feature Story:

Customer Service Vision - 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:

Social Media Roundup: March 22, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

What Can Politicians and Celebrities Teach You About Social Media?
In case you hadn't noticed, much of the action in the 2016 presidential campaign is playing out on social media. Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders all aggressively employ Twitter, Facebook, and other social media channels to rally the troops and keep the media reporting on them. They're not the only public figures to take to social media in a big way: the Dalai Lama, the British monarchy, and now Pope Francis are all prolific posters and popular on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. This infographic depicts how celebrities and competing candidates in past U.S. elections have pushed the boundaries of social media. See what you can learn from them about connecting your brand with your target audience(s) online...

Feature Story:

Success-ion Story: Family Business Diversifies To Expand »

By Helen Bond

As senior vice president and chief investment officer of Impact Properties, Shirin Kanji is in charge of all of the Tampa-based company's investment-related activities. As with most family businesses, however, his real job goes far beyond just getting a deal done. "Since I was a teenager, my role covered anything that would help support the operating team," says Kanji, who has been busy adding more to his business plate.
This past October, the company acquired 40 Rent-A-Centers, further diversifying a portfolio that already included six hotel franchise brands, Firehouse Subs, and BurgerFi. "We had gotten close on a handful of other targeted deals along the way, but ultimately I feel we got the right fit with Rent-A-Center," says Kanji...

Feature Story:

Never And Always: Creating A Customer-First Organization »

By John DiJulius

You want customer loyalty? Be brilliant at the basics.
World-class service companies have what I like to call a "customer bill of rights" that every person in that organization clearly knows and follows 100 percent of the time. Would you ever expect to see a Disney cast member on break, in full uniform, chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground near the front entrance where guests are walking? Doubtful. Would you ever think a Ritz-Carlton employee, when asked for directions to the ballroom, would respond, "I don't know. I work in housekeeping."? Highly unlikely! One of the most effective ways to elevate your company's customer service level is by instituting your own customer bill of rights.
If anyone is going to wear your uniform or name tag or represent your brand, you need only a small set (6 to 10 actions or standards) for your employees to live by...

Feature Story:

Art Appreciation: Sharing A Passion For Teaching, Kids, And Art »

By Kerry Pipes

Mary Rogers likes to start things and she likes to see children learn. In 1984, she started Computer Explorers, a brand created to teach kids how to work with the newly arriving wave of personal computers. It was a successful brand she deeply enjoyed being a part of, and it's where she first worked with Rosemarie Hartnett. In 1997, with about 150 franchises in 11 countries, Rogers sold her interest in Computer Explorers and left the company. "I left thinking I would just spend the rest of my career consulting and doing various other projects that were of great interest to me," she says.
But the franchise start-up bug wouldn't leave her alone. In 2002, she and Hartnett, who had since spent time with the Tutor Time brand, teamed up to launch a new franchise company focused on delivering art programs to children...

Feature Story:

He's With The Band: Elliot Baldini Amps Up School Of Rock »

By Kerry Pipes

As senior vice president of marketing for School of Rock, Elliot Baldini is a perfect fit. A self-professed lifelong musician with a passion for performance, he also sports wicked marketing chops. He's been "with the band" at School of Rock since last June, when he was brought in to take charge of their marketing programs including digital, local, events, and franchise development.
Music is in his blood. Before joining School of Rock, his previous "band" was Guitar Center, where he played multiple roles: director of strategy and CRM, director of strategic marketing initiatives, and director of merchandising--and also was responsible for the development and execution of top priority, high-impact marketing strategy and CRM initiatives for Guitar Center's online brands...

Feature Story:

GPS Hospitality To Grow With New Chief Development Officer »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Atlanta-based GPS Hospitality is one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the country with 222 restaurants. The company now has a new chief development officer to spearhead continued growth.
Brian Arnold, a founding partner of GPS Hospitality, previously served as vice president of development. He successfully oversaw the completion of 45 remodels and the construction of three new locations, and played a key role in the nine acquisitions the company has completed during the past three years.
As chief development officer, Arnold will continue to oversee new restaurant construction, remodels, equipment and facility management with 21 remodels and six new restaurants planned for 2016.
Arnold has more than 20 years of development experience, including 15 years with Arby's Restaurant Group...

Feature Story:

Utah Takes On NLRB Ruling »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Utah is joining the growing statewide bandwagon to create a bill that defines and separates franchisors from franchisees and their employees. House Bill 116 clearly establishes franchisees as the sole employer of their workers. The bill now awaits the governor's signature, which is expected soon.
State legislatures across the country have been taking up the mantle of franchise business owners and their rights. Utah's HB 116 comes in the wake of a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent. The law clarifies that neither a franchisee nor a franchisee's employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisor for any purpose.
"It has become clear that bipartisan agreement in states all over this country have coalesced around the issue that franchisors and franchisee s are separate entities," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Cicis Redefines Its 30-Year-Old Brand For Future Growth »

By Darin Harris

For 30 years, Cicis has been delivering unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert to every guest who enters its restaurants. But over the course of three decades, customers evolved. They wanted something better, more innovation, more contemporary restaurant designs... something beyond where Cicis had been.

So, with the introduction of the company's new leadership team, the Cicis brand underwent a comprehensive review to pull itself out of the past and into the future. We started from the ground up to evolve every facet of the business, including product, price, place, promotion, and the meaning behind our name.

First, we listened
The first step to understanding where we needed to go was to listen in on what guests enjoyed about Cicis today...

Feature Story:

Good News - March 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

Bach to Rock To Open 4 New Schools (CT, GA, NJ, and NY)
Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza To Open 5 New Stores in Arizona
Burger 21 Opens 21st Restaurant; 20-Plus More in Development
Chronic Tacos Opens First of 15 in Planned for 2016
Del Taco Inks 6-Unit Deal for Brevard County, Florida
Dickey’s Barbecue Signs 10-Store Deal for Hawaii and Florida
Firenza Pizza Signs 3-Unit Deal for Northern Wisconsin
Genghis Grill Launches Plan To Double Its 86 Locations in 5 Years
Nurse Next Door Signs 26-Franchise Deal with St...

Feature Story:

Role Player: Gary Moore Has Done It All »

By Helen Bond

Multi-unit franchisee Gary Moore has spent most of his life in the restaurant business, assuming nearly every available job title along the way. "I relate very well to people in the restaurant business because I have that experience," says Moore. "I understand each role and can put that hat on because I have been in that role myself. It has helped me a great deal."
Based in Salt Lake City, Moore operates 58 Burger Kings in five western states, 6 Costa Vida Fresh Mexican Grill restaurants, and 10 convenience stores/gas stations. Most recently, he struck a development deal with the Utah-based Beans & Brews Coffee House to build 20 stores in Nevada.
With more than 30 years in franchising, Moore is still happiest behind the restaurant counter with his sleeves rolled up working alongside team members and talking with customers...

Feature Story:

Branching Out: Non-Traditional Franchisees Deliver The Goods »

By Helen Bond

Ross Harried has found that a "small" strategy can serve up big business success. His Maui Wowi Ka'anapali Carts (Tiki huts on wheels) are 8 feet wide, 3 feet deep, 8 feet high and can squeeze in most anywhere, which allows him to provide a memorable presence at events ranging from youth and professional sports to concerts, graduations, dance competitions, corporate gatherings, and wherever he's asked to serve up his smoothies.
The mobile units are a signature of Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothies, which also offers storefront, kiosk, food truck, and enclosed concession trailer options to franchisees. The lower start-up costs of the mobile carts appealed to Harried, who became a Maui Wowi franchisee in February 2013. Since then, he has built a book of repeat customers and lucrative venue contracts in the Minneapolis area and catapulted himself into the fourth largest franchisee in a system with more than 450 units in 7 countries...

Feature Story:

Fabulous Female Franchise Founders »

Franchise Update

When the team at Franchise Update first floated the idea of highlighting female franchise founders, we didn't realize how many there are! Our list filled quickly before the day ended, and we continued to add more in the weeks that followed. But perhaps we shouldn't have been surprised. After all, we see successful women leaders in franchising all the time, both franchisors and franchisees.
Like most, we were aware of the more well-known women who founded franchise brands. (Quick: Name five!) But as we dug deeper, we began discovering how many women had pioneered their own businesses and turned to franchising to expand them across the country and, for some, around the world. But why should we have been surprised (other than historical bias, prejudice, and stereotypes that just won't fade away)?
Some well-known female founders are among our list, along with many more who aren't so well-known--but likely will be in the not-too-distant future...

Feature Story:

McAlister's Deli Mega Franchisee On Track To $100 Million In 2016 Revenue »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Yaron Goldman grew up in New Orleans cooking all the time and says he dreamed of having his own restaurant one day.
"I have always enjoyed cooking, ever since I was a child," says Goldman, the second largest McAlister's Deli franchisee in the system. "My sister and I use to cook all the time and there is nothing better than serving someone a great meal."
These days, Goldman is dishing up even loftier goals. The chief executive officer of Southern Deli Holdings LLC is at the helm of a strategic growth plan that includes 2016 revenue projection in excess of $100 million and the addition of three more brands in the next 10 years. The franchisee currently operates 59 McAlister Deli restaurants in North and South Carolina, Missouri, Colorado, and Wyoming and three MOD Pizza spots, the made-to-order Seattle-based fast casual pizza chain...

Feature Story:

Beyond Pizza: Cicis Redefines Its 30-year-old Brand »

By Darin Harris

For 30 years, Cicis has been delivering unlimited pizza, pasta, salad, and dessert to every guest who enters its restaurants. But over the course of three decades, customers evolved. They wanted something better, more innovation, more contemporary restaurant designs... something beyond where Cicis had been.
So, with the introduction of the company's new leadership team, the Cicis brand underwent a comprehensive review to pull itself out of the past and into the future. We started from the ground up to evolve every facet of the business, including product, price, place, promotion, and the meaning behind our name.

First, we listened
The first step to understanding where we needed to go was to listen in on what guests enjoyed about Cicis today...

Feature Story:

Wisconsin Passes Pro Franchisee Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Wisconsin is the latest state to push back against the overreaching National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by passing a new law that affirms franchisor and franchisee employees are separate entities. Senate Bill 422 was just signed last week by Governor Scott Walker and applies to state enforcement agencies.
SB 422, which excludes a franchisor as the employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee for purposes of certain laws relating to employment, was signed in the wake of a decision by the NLRB to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent.
Wisconsin is the latest state to enact legislation that provides clarity to the small business community. Nearly a dozen states have passed or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Title Boxing Club: Navigating The Changing World Of Social Media »

By Brooke Budke

We asked Brooke Budke, chief marketing officer at Title Boxing Club, how she sees social media changing and evolving - and how her brand is adapting and getting results.

The past year brought numerous new developments and milestones in social media and social networking. From the rise of live streaming on social platforms like Periscope, to instant short-lived videos on Snapchat, to the 1 billion users who use Facebook on a daily basis, brands are being tasked with finding new ways to engage with their customers and fans. Whether your followers deem your content good or bad, they will tell you, and it's how you react that will either win them over or lose them as loyal customers.

As an experience-based brand, Title Boxing Club's social success depends largely on the quality of the relationships we build with our audience, meaning the brand campaigns must live online and also be manifested in physical form in our clubs...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: March 8, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Weak Accountability for Social Media Marketing
Okay, you're spending more money and time on social media marketing -and thanks to improved analytics and tracking technology, measuring the return on your investment is easier than ever. Right? Not according to the biannual CMO Survey of 289 marketers conducted by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business. "Despite the increase in spend, almost half (47.9%) of marketers surveyed said they haven't been able to show the impact yet on their business," reports Lindsay Stein, writing in Advertising Age. "More than 40% said they have a good qualitative sense of impact, while 11.5% said they can prove the impact of social quantitatively," she wrote. Additional results include: social media spend as a percentage of respondents' marketing budgets; where that spending is going (62...


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Multi-Brand 50    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue II, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

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