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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:

Good News! - July 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
Dunkin’ Donuts Announces Kiosks Coming to BJ’s Wholesale Clubs
Marco’s Pizza Reports First Half Growth, Opens 700th, Eyes 1,000 in 2017
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill Franchisees Eye 6 to 10 New Units in South Florida
Billy Sims Barbecue Opens 3rd of 5+ Kansas Units Planned for 2016
Newk’s Eatery Signs 6-Unit Deal for Atlanta with C2 Investment Partners
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit To Bring 3 New Stores to Amarillo Area
Big O Tires Opens 21st Nevada Store, 12th Unit for Franchisee

Yum! Brands Q2 Profit Buoyed by China; Spinoff Set for October 31
800 Degrees Neapolitan Pizzeria Gets PE Infusion, Hires New CEO
Fired Pie Lands Funding from Former Patina Restaurant, Real Mex Exec
Juice It Up!’s Q2 Same Store Sales Rise 10%; 100 Units Eyed by Year-End

Big Plans, Big Dreams
NRD Capital Revamps Frisch’s Big Boy Following $175 Million Acquisition
Salata Re-Starts Franchising Program; Seeks Multi-Unit Operators
Ziebart International Announces Chicago Expansion Plans

Hilton Worldwide Teams with Icelandair Hotels, Opens Canopy in Reykjavik
Papa John’s Opens First of 100 Stores Planned for the Netherlands

New And Emerging Brands
Nature’s Table Opens 32nd Florida Unit, Franchisee’s 7th
uBreakiFix Opens 27 Stores in Q2, Passes 200 Total
Eggs Up Grill Opens in North Carolina, Bringing Total to 16

People &Amp; Awards
Chili’s Grill & Bar Names Kelli Valade President
Quiznos Promotes Global CMO Susan Lintonsmith to President, CEO
Tilted Kilt Names Eddie Goitia CEO, Logan Reves COO
GPS Hospitality Named Georgia Fast 40 Company for 2nd Year in a Row
Ballard Brands Names Peter Boylan New President, David Mesa CDO

Feature Story:

Growing Gross Margin: Small Steps Taken Over Time Boost Profits »

By Rod Bristol

Do you know the seven drivers of gross margin? More important, do you know how to actually manage them in your business? Let’s look at each one in turn—and they are remarkably similar in virtually any kind of operation.

Feature Story:

PRofessional Help: Choosing The Best PR Firm For Your Brand »

By Kerry Pipes

Public relations is witnessing something of a tactical evolution these days, but at its core it's still all about communication and relationships. No two elements are more fundamental--or effective--in designing and executing a franchise PR strategy. Whether looking to enhance consumer marketing efforts or to inject new energy into a lead generation program, the right PR tools, well-crafted content, and savvy PR people can help brands succeed in getting their messages across effectively.
Today's public relations is strategic storytelling, says All Points Public Relations President Jamie Izaks. "It's about developing a comprehensive strategy that integrates or blends several tactics used to tell the best stories possible about your brand," he says...

Feature Story:

Managing Uncertainty: Trends To Watch In 2016 »

By Carol Schleif

After an extended period of complacency, markets have whipsawed in 2016. Will this level of heightened volatility continue? Does it signal an impending recession? We think the answers may well be "probably" and "we think not." Let's look at what could go right, what to watch, and what might be different in 2016.

What could go right?

Feature Story:

Using An SMS Loyalty Program »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Customer loyalty programs are a smart way to cater to your most important customers - the ones who consistently spend their money at your business. Such programs, when used effectively, can also take a customer who didn't used to be loyal to your brand and make it so they shop exclusively with you in order to reap the benefits of savings, promotions, and discounts. SMS (short message service) is the perfect tool for promoting loyalty programs for your brand.
With the world "going mobile" and desktop activities migrating increasingly towards mobile phones, all aspects of marketing have had to adapt. According to research that says 91% of smartphone owners have their device within arm's reach 24/7, you will need to reach your customers on their mobiles...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Community Involvement »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Adam Saxton
Brands: 67 McAlister's Deli locations
Explain the role of community involvement for you and your company: I believe the success or failure of a business depends on the community's support of that business and you can't ask for support if you aren't also willing to give it. I also believe that for anyone interested in community involvement or philanthropy that the first dollar you give should always be local, start at home before looking elsewhere. There are great needs in every town. Two recent examples: Our McAlister Deli's locations sold pink sugar cookies last October, as part of Cookies for a Cause, with a portion of the proceeds split among 13 local Susan G. Komen affiliates. In 31 days, 63 stores sold 36,105 treats, resulting in a donation of $18,052...

Feature Story:

6 Digital Marketing Tactics Franchisors Need For Franchisee Success (Part 2) »

By Paul Elliott

In April, we covered the first three of six digital marketing priorities for franchisors. Now, in part 2, we pick up at tactical tip #4, highlighting how franchisors can increase consumer awareness and drive local sales through smarter digital franchisee marketing.

4) Paid search: be creative to overcome competition

Even with Google's recent change, which caused increased competition in paid search by eliminating a large portion of the paid search real estate, bidding on buyer-ready keywords remains one of the quickest and most effective ways to engage consumers ready to purchase. However, we continue to see daily evidence that the friction between the wants and needs of franchisor marketing managers and the local franchisees is alive and well...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: July 12, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Facebook Live Gets Results for Small Business Marketers
Facebook Live, Facebook's new video platform, lets users share live video with your followers and friends on their Pages and Profiles. This article on Social Media Examiner by Mari Smith, co-author of Facebook Marketing: An Hour a Day, shows three examples of Facebook Live that produced great results for the marketers who made them. Planning, preparation, and attention to building buzz were key factors in the success of the Results Fitness nine-minute Live flash mob. They built on their success with a three-minute highlight reel. Read about how Results and two other innovative businesses have been successful with Facebook Live.

Google Places for Local Marketers
This blog on SociablWeb lists 5 things you're missing out on if you don't use Google Places...

Feature Story:

Texas-Sized: Michael Knobelock Is Well On His Way To 100 Units »

By Kerry Pipes

They say everything's bigger in Texas. It's definitely bigger for Texan Michael Knobelock, whose Houston-based MSK Enterprises operates nearly 70 franchise locations spread across 4 different brands and 7 states. Since we profiled him 5 years ago, Knobelock has added Captain D's and Sears Appliance & Hardware stores to his Church's Chicken and Little Caesars stores. He also has his own restaurant, Dekker's Mesquite Grill, located in an affluent suburb of his hometown, along with plans to start building his own Italian restaurant this year.
He's come a long way since the 1980s, when he borrowed $10,000 from his parents to re-open a shuttered convenience store in Houston. He succeeded in that early business venture, which he eventually sold, and in 1992 used the proceeds to open his first Church's in Houston--becoming the first Church's franchisee in the city...

Feature Story:

The Emotional Toll Of The DOL Ruling »

By Dan Schneider

Well, there they go again. Those folks at the Department of Labor (DOL) just can't leave well enough alone. This time they've changed the overtime rules creating administrative/legal headaches for HR departments, and essentially reclassified a lot of people from salaried back to hourly positions. As a result, many franchisee owners are convinced that the impact will be complete demotivation of those who have been 'demoted' by the DOL. Long-term, it probably won't have a negative impact on your franchise business because your high-value employees will be promoted back into an exempt higher-salary position.
Reason says that this change isn't the end of the world, but individual motivation is based more on emotion than on reason. So if you have some disgruntled employees come to you concerned about their take home pay, their ability to grow in the organization, and feeling demotivated because the bureaucrats in Washington, D...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Team Leadership Qualities »

Todd Mulvahill
Brands:  6 Papa Murphy's Pizza locations
What are the important leadership qualities to you and to your team? How do others see you? What kind of party do you want? If you were to be transferred to one of my other restaurants tomorrow, what kind of party would your crew throw for you? Would it be a party of sadness, because they don't want you to leave them? Or would it be a party of joy because they can't stand working for you and they are elated that you are leaving? If any of our managers possess leadership qualities that would land them at the second party, they most likely should go find their happiness somewhere else.

Feature Story:

BrightStar Care's CEO Shelly Sun On Building And Leading A Growing Brand »

By Kerry Pipes

Shelly Sun, CEO and 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. 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...

Feature Story:

Using LinkedIn To Attract Prospects And Validate Candidates »

By Red Boswell

We asked Red Boswell, SVP of franchising and business development at Expense Reduction Analysts, how he uses social media to attract prospects and validate candidates. Here's what he had to say.

To some, social media is a whippin', one big annoyance. But to me it's a blast. Jump onto Facebook for 30 seconds and you'll see amazing transparency, humor, personal branding, bold ignorance, inspiration, heartache, plus a whole lot of cute kitten and ugly kid photos.

At Expense Reduction Analysts (ERA) we invest most of our time and efforts in the social media space with LinkedIn, the leading social network specifically focused on the business community. Over the past 18 months it's become considerably easier to locate, connect with, and validate the suitability of candidates on LinkedIn...

Feature Story:

Millennial Psychology: Bringing Out The Best In Your Up-and-Comers »

By Jason Conrad

As I'm sure you've noticed in your dealings with Millennials, there can be significant differences between their attitudes and those of the Baby Boomers. What makes Millennials tick? How do their minds work, and how can we use that understanding to increase productivity in our businesses? Do Millennial leaders buy into the cliché portrayal of their generation as self-entitled, impatient, and erratic in the workplace? How do Gen Xers and Baby Boomers view these individuals as they rise within management ranks and take on leadership roles?
Millennials have much higher levels of perceived self-importance than their predecessors, typically brought on by the protection and emotional cheerleading of their Boomer parents. They crave career growth and progression and search not only for success, but also for meaning in their jobs and everyday lives...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Bill Hall Elected Treasurer Of IFA »

franchising, leadership, dairy queen, multi-unit franchisee, investing, ifa

Longtime multi-unit franchisee and Multi-Unit Franchising Conference board member and former chair, Bill Hall, was named treasurer of the IFA at the board's summer meeting earlier this month. Hall has more than 35 years of franchising, financial management, and investing experience.
He has been a multi-unit franchisee of various brands since 1986 and is currently the CEO of Treats Investments, LLC, owner/operator of five Dairy Queen locations in Texas. He is also the CEO of Align Capital, LLC, a private equity firm in Austin, Texas, focused on investments for family offices. 
During his career he has also owned and operated community banks in Texas, independent restaurant concepts, various private equity operating companies, and real estate investments...

Feature Story:

3 Inexpensive, Effective Ways To Get Your Brand Involved At The Local Level »

By Alex Vaccaro

As a franchise business, you likely advise your local franchisees on ways they can stand out from their competitors and get local customers to notice them. Even with the support of co-op dollars, franchisees can no longer rely on traditional media options like buying TV or radio ad time to reach their local audiences, as more and more consumers are opting for streaming media and other digital services.

In light of this shift, encourage your franchisees to take a personal approach by getting involved in their communities. There are inexpensive solutions that can bring visibility to a local franchise business and also help them give back - a clear win-win! Here are three ideas you might suggest to help your franchisees get started...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Taking Care Of Employees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Brooke Wilson (and partner/husband Les)
Brands:  5 Two Men and a Truck

What are you doing to take care of your employees?  We recognize hard work, dedication, and loyalty.  Support their objectives and aspirations. Help them achieve their personal and professional goals.  Offer opportunities for advancement, and respect their wants if they are comfortable where they are.  We have brought in financial counselors to help them plan personal budgets to align with financial goals (like buying a new home, or paying for schooling).  We have provided training for business ownership and invested in business ownership via partnership in franchising.  

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 28, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

4 Social Media Marketing Analytics Tools To Help You Measure ROI
Measuring the ROI from social media marketing has always been a challenge for brands. While the sites themselves offer some analytics to help guide social media managers, they tend to be weak on actionable information. That's where the tools (Quintly, Sysomos, Followerwonk, and Buffer) reviewed in this article come in. If you're in search of a deeper look into your social media efforts, consider one or more of these tools. "If you want great analytics to measure your ROI and inform future marketing decisions, don't rely on the social media websites. Instead, use specialized tools that will  provide you with the most helpful information," writes Jack Edwards on GrowMap...

Feature Story:

Sibling Harmony: Leveraging Their Differences To Build A Company »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

In some ways, brothers Jesse and Charles Keyser, 39 and 35, are very different, and that's good. So are their three brands--Little Caesars, Sport Clips, and Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning--which also is good. They've built their business over the past decade, by leveraging Jesse's salesmanship and drive, Charles' operational skills and passion for food, and their combined social media savvy into a steadily expanding franchise company.
"Charles is my counterbalance," says Jesse. "He's a more conservative person. He makes sure I can go out and open doors at a quick pace without us getting into financial trouble. Before we sign a lease, we talk about it. If we both feel good, we do it. If one doesn't, we put it on hold."
Their division of duties has Charles in charge of operations for Little Caesars (their first franchise) and Oxi Fresh, which the brothers signed on with in 2014 after being impressed by the brand at the Multi-Unit Franchising Conference...

Feature Story:

They've Got The Meat!: How Arby's Reinvigorated Its Brand »

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 limited-time offer 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 we 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...

Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
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