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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:

Why Your Franchise Should Consider Thought Leadership As A Marketing Tactic »

By Alex Vaccaro

"Thought leadership" is the new term for expertise. Customers and clients see your organization as innovative and forward thinking, and they turn to you when they have important questions. According to a LinkedIn survey, 50 percent of B2B respondents saw thought leadership as a primary goal of content marketing. It's also one effective way to stand out from your competitors.

Thought leadership takes many forms. It ranges from maintaining an active Twitter feed with relevant content about your industry to publishing a blog on your website to disseminating a weekly e-newsletter or speaking at a conference. Ultimately it entails establishing your franchise as a reputable leader in your field by voicing your opinions and expertise to an audience that is interested in them, whether that's your peers or your customers...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 12, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

The Twitter Algorithmic Timeline Apocalypse Came (and It's No Big Deal)
Twitter has launched its new algorithmic timeline. Since the company announced it was coming, it has been extremely controversial, with widespread predictions that it marked the "end of Twitter." No such thing occurred. The new feature simply extends the "while you were away" feature that has existed since early 2015. Twitter users who don't like the new feature can opt out in their settings. "The algorithm now appears to be enabled by default across the social network, with users reporting that the company started turning it on it across the service as early as March 15," writes Gwen Williams on The Next Web.

Instagram Is Going Algorithmic Too
The wildly successful Instagram photo and video sharing service will begin to show "what you care about most" instead of a pure timeline in their feeds...

Feature Story:

The 5th Quarter: Former NFLer Van Jakes Lives To Help Others »

By Kerry Pipes

Van Jakes played cornerback in the NFL for eight years, routinely pestering receivers up and down the field while playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers. Jakes says he enjoyed playing football at the professional level and thrived on the competition.
When it came time to retire from the game in 1991, he wasn't looking to sit back and take it easy. He felt that there was more to do. The budding entrepreneur started investigating business opportunities that eventually led him to franchising, and eventually to the McDonald's brand.
"I knew I wasn't done building my nest egg," says the 54-year old Jakes. "And I wanted to be a good steward of my financial resources." But, he says, he didn't foresee himself doing so by opening "Van Jakes' Hamburger Stand...

Feature Story:

What's An Açaí Bowl?: Spreading The Word, One Bowl At A Time »

By Eddy Goldberg

Let's start with what's an açaí berry. Looking like a cross between a grape and a blueberry, the açaí (ah-sigh-EE) berry is a small, reddish-purple fruit harvested from palm trees that grow around the Amazon River Basin. Its taste has been described as evocative of wild berries and chocolate. Its health benefits as an anti-oxidant "superfood" are well-known...
So, can you build a business around a Brazilian berry? Tara Gilad and her husband Roy think they can, and in 2011 founded Vitality Bowls, a Superfood Café.
"We think there's a really big gap in the market," she says. "People want healthy food and healthy options." However, she realizes that a business is not built on açaí bowls alone...

Feature Story:

Freedom Of Associations: Is 2016 The Year Of Franchisee Activism? »

By Eddy Goldberg

The usual reason for forming an independent franchisee association is to address problems with the franchisor or other conflicts within the system. While the goal of the franchisees who banded together was to improve the system as they saw it, the relationship often was adversarial--at least initially, until the two sides discovered they had overriding common interests. These internal "family feuds" were the norm for decades, especially in systems where the franchisees were not making the return on their investment they'd expected, for whatever cause.
In recent years, however, the focus of franchisee associations has expanded to include external threats--from competition and the battle for market share, to what many currently perceive as a threat from governmental and regulatory bodies to the franchise business model itself...

Feature Story:

Global Women: Female Leadership In International Franchising »

By William Edward

In the U.S. we are privileged to have many women senior franchise executives (some of whom are profiled in this issue--Editors). We also have the Leadership Conference at the annual IFA convention, which is put on by the very active IFA Women's Franchise Committee. And, of course, we have the Women's Franchise Network, which has meetings during the year across the country. But what about the rest of the world? There are many, many women leading franchise companies around the world. Here are just some of them.

Feature Story:

GPS Hospitality Adds Popeyes »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tom Garrett is at it again. The CEO of GPS Hospitality just signed a deal to acquire 7 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen restaurants in Atlanta, and plans to develop additional restaurants throughout the Atlanta area and in West Virginia. His company now operates 229 Burger King and Popeyes locations throughout Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia..
The new purchase marks the first agreement between Popeyes and GPS Hospitality, which has attracted acclaim for using its goal-focused and talent-oriented approach to franchise management to rapidly become one of the largest Burger King franchisees in the U.S.
"Popeyes is a brand that has high consumer recognition and continues to gain momentum in achieving great results...

Feature Story:

Indiana Fights Federal Government Overreach »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is the latest to sign a state bill clarifying that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or of a franchisee's employees under Indiana's employment laws. He signed House Bill 1218 in late March.
Specifically, the legislation establishes that an employee of a franchisee is not an employee of the franchisor. Furthermore, the measure outlines that it is the franchisee that is responsible for the employment relationship including hiring, firing, discipline, supervision and direction of the employee. The franchisee and franchisor are considered separate entities and therefore not joint employers.
Indiana joins nearly a dozen other states that have already passed similar legislation or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Pre-Qualifiers Bring Many Benefits To Sales Teams »

By Steve Olson

Often, young franchisors have their sales executive initially screen and pre-qualify prospects. This certainly makes sense during the start-up phase, especially when dollars and inquiries are scarce. However, when franchise sales start multiplying, a qualification specialist can be worth their weight in platinum. Why? Simply because your star recruiter gets bogged down with time-robbers that begin cutting away at their sales productivity. Often they become shackled by departmental meetings, reports, paperwork, coordination with real estate, marketing operations, trade shows, conferences, and travel.

As shown in Franchise Update's annual mystery shopping survey, qualified prospect leads tumble through the cracks all too often. Even though 143 participating brands knew they were being mystery shopped, 43 percent still failed to contact these qualified prospects within 24 hours - and some didn't contact them at all...

Feature Story:

Rollin' Stone: Franchisee/Franchisor Gathers No Moss »

By Kerry Pipes

A conversation with John Metz invariably leads to all kinds of topics, peppered with opinions and pointed insights gleaned from his many, and diverse, business adventures. Metz has a colorful history in franchising, as well as real estate. He's spent time with brands including Denny's, Dairy Queen, Marriott, Howard Johnson, Bennigan's, Old Chicago, Burger King, Hilton, and Days Inn. "I've been involved with at least 25 different types of businesses since 1999," he says.
In 2008, he became a franchisor by acquiring the 30-unit Hurricane Grill & Wings system and setting it on the path to growth and financial success. The brand now has 75 units open for business with healthy financials to boot. "Hurricane broke $100 million in system sales in 2015," says Metz, who has now proven his mettle on both the franchisee and the franchisor sides...

Feature Story:

Building--and Keeping--a Great Sales And Development Team At Bar Louie »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Jill Szymanski, director of franchise and real estate at Bar Louie, what the keys are to building, training, and retaining a great sales and development team at her brand. Here's what she had to say.

In building great teams, I always look back at teams I was fortunate to be a part of. When I was with Burger King in the '80s, we accomplished some seemingly insurmountable tasks in a relatively short time. What we did, how we did it, and what I learned in the process has carried with me to today. Through the years, the following time-tested principles, when implemented, usually translate into great results and happy people.

Feature Story:

No More "Millennials"?: Taking A Deeper Dive Into This Group »

By Adam Pierno

Millennials. You are likely tired of reading about them but you can't stop, because with 60 million Americans in this generation, they're too big to ignore. This group probably makes up the majority of your customers, employees, and potential franchisees.
Technically, we at Santy define Millennials as those born between the years of 1982 and 2004. Even at their massive reported scale, as a group they have begun to seem larger, haven't they? It's almost like they're all around you.
Here's why. As with any influential group, their behaviors have been adopted by older and younger people, and some of their actions have been given a bad rap for having caught on. The examples to follow come from a 2015 Elite Daily study on Millennial consumers...

Feature Story:

From Burgers To Pizza »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Peter Ballantine has more than two decades of restaurant business experience. Like many seasoned franchise operators, he began working in restaurants early, at age 15, and worked nearly every position from dishwasher to manager. He first became a franchisee with McDonald's. He owned and operated eight McDonald's restaurants for the last 11 years and served as Chairman of the Board of Operators for five of those years, helping build regional strategies to grow the business.
But now he has left the burgers behind and picked up the pizza. He is set to open as many as 34 Pie Five locations throughout Ohio and Pennsylvania. He'll have sites in his hometown of Harrisburg, State College, and Pittsburgh, as well as Columbus and the I-70 corridor...

Feature Story:

Survey Says Restaurant Brand Growth Increases »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The 500 largest restaurant chains in the United States accelerated their cumulative sales growth in 2015 to a 4.9 percent increase, totaling an estimated $288 billion. While four of the top five chains in the ranking improved their performance from the prior year, the fast casual segment continued to lead the pack with 11.4 percent sales growth, almost doubling the growth rate of any other dining segment.
According to data just released by Technomic Inc. in an advance brief of its annual report on the largest U.S. restaurant companies, the 4.9 percent sales growth seen by the Top 500 in 2015 beat out 2014's mark of 4.2 percent. Diving deeper into the improved sales growth observed in 2015, limited service chains grew their cumulative sales 5...

Feature Story:

Dealing In Reality: Why Do Some Deals Fall Apart? »

By Dean Zuccarello

The M&A marketplace has seen some impressive activity over the past few years. Theoretically, this should have created a positive environment for all people looking to execute an M&A transaction. In spite of these favorable conditions, there are groups that can't seem to get a deal done. In many cases, these are people who care more about "winning" than consummating a transaction. Let's examine how to engage in industry standard business practices that can improve the likelihood of transaction success, while still getting the most for both buyer and seller.
When an investor divests 100 shares of stock each worth $10, they go forward with a sale for $1,000 without question, because that is what the market has deemed fair and acceptable...

Feature Story:

Put Your People First: Creating A Magnetic Culture »

By Julie Moreland

What makes a great company culture? Free food? Extra vacation time? Flexible hours? Employers spend more than $720 million on engagement every year, yet only 30 percent of the workforce is actively engaged. That's because it takes more than "stuff" to truly engage team members.
PeopleMatter recently partnered with workplace culture guru Laurie Ruettimann for a webinar on what it takes to build and develop a culture that helps you find and keep happy, passionate, loyal people. She says creating a magnetic culture boils down to six key things: 1) Mission-driven organizations are more fun. 2) Culture is a choice. 3) Straight talk with team members beats buzzwords and legalese. 4) Learn from the best; improved engagement and retention are possible...

Feature Story:

Brand Builders!: Blaze Pizza Is Disrupting The Industry »

By Eddy Goldberg

If you had LeBron James on your team, you'd feel pretty good about your chances of winning--big. And that's exactly what Blaze "Fast-Fire'd" Pizza intends to do. James made news last October when he didn't renew his deal with McDonald's and opted instead to publicly endorse Blaze Pizza.
"We're very lucky to have him," says Elise Wetzel, who co-founded the brand in 2011 with her husband Rick (of Wetzel's Pretzel's). But unlike his paid deal with the Golden Arches, James is an investor in Blaze Pizza. In fact, he's been one since 2012.
"LeBron came on as a founding investor and he had been silent and in the background," Rick Wetzel told ESPN last fall. "Now we're using him to get our message out there and put the spotlight on our brand...

Feature Story:

Call To Reverse NLRB Ruling »

Danny Farrar, CEO and founder of SoldierFit Fitness Company, testified last week on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. He asked the committee to take action to reverse the NLRB's decision to alter the "joint employer" standard for all small businesses.
In his testimony, Farrar--who served eight years in the military, including a combat tour in Iraq, 700 missions, and tasked with leading the first Army team into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, stated that small business owners around the country are being forced to try to grow under great uncertainty because of this new standard.
"When the National Labor Relations Board decided to change the joint employer liability standard last fall, it was a scary moment for local business owners like me," said Farrar...

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:


Learn More

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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