RSS Subscribe
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:

Franchise Businesses Set The Pace »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising businesses continue to outpace the rest of the economy, according to the mid-year forecast update of The Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2015. The report released last week by the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation and IHS Economics, finds franchising remains on track to outperform the U.S. economy for the fifth consecutive year.
While the forecast of U.S. GDP has been revised downward and now shows growth of only 3.4 percent increase in nominal dollars in 2015 for the overall economy, IHS expects the Gross Domestic Product of the franchise sector in nominal dollars to increase by 5.2 percent to $521 billion in 2015.
"Local franchise small businesses continue to grow at a faster pace, creating more jobs for Americans and producing higher sales growth than other businesses," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira...

Feature Story:

CMO POV: Pet Supplies Plus - No Silos On This Marketing Team! »

By Amy Parker

We asked Amy Parker, SVP and chief marketing officer at Pet Supplies Plus, "How do you build an all-encompassing marketing department and assemble the kind of team that gets results?" Here's what she had to say.

The main goals for most marketing teams at multi-unit brick-and-mortar franchises are primarily the same: acquire new customers and drive in-store traffic. It's how each marketing department chooses to build its team and communicate the brand's message that differentiates one from another. At Pet Supplies Plus, we are structured in a fairly traditional manner with support groups that include analytics, creative, and retail marketing components. However, the way we use these groups to build our marketing programs has recently evolved...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 9, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Still Confused About Hashtags?
People use hashtags almost everywhere in social media today, but many are still confused about what they mean and how to use them effectively. Basically, hashtags serve as a way to index the subject of a post or a tweet. (Hashtags started on Twitter.) The most important things to know are: 1) tweets with hashtags average twice the engagement on Twitter, 2) too many hashtags decrease engagement (except on Instagram), and 3) Facebook users still don't like hashtags (and don't like or share posts with them). This infographic has much more to enlighten you about the ubiquitous hashtag, and why you should be using it. "This infographic from Ghergich & Co. and SurePayroll offers a basic primer for hashtag use for those new to the social media space or still confused by the intended uses of that weird pound symbol in front of all those words," wrote Alan Rapp on spiral16...

Feature Story:

Putt-Putt: Revamping A 60-Year-Old Brand »

By David Callahan


New model preserves the best, adds new attractions

When I purchased Putt-Putt in 2004, I realized the primary challenges associated with a 50-year-old brand would be 1) to experience continued growth, and 2) to reinvigorate the brand to appeal to a younger consumer base by delivering more value to our customers.
Since its founding in 1954, Putt-Putt flourished and experienced significant growth throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s with its golf-only concept. In the '80s and '90s, the brand continued to grow with the addition of arcade games and other attractions. The recent efforts to rebrand have evolved over the past 10 years, developing into a modern, cost-effective concept to revitalize the brand in ways that will result in future growth...

Feature Story:

A Brand For All Seasons: Taxes And Mosquitoes Provide Year-Round Revenue »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to operating multiple brands, Craig Comer has discovered that differences can attract--profits, that is, for his two very different service brands.
Comer, who owns five Liberty Tax stores in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, was itching to diversify when a postcard arrived in the mail from Mosquito Joe. Comer had considered the pest control company as a potential brand. Then a summertime phone call to his dad to discuss the opportunity sealed the deal.
"My cell reception in the house wasn't very good," says Comer. "So I went outside in the evening to talk and I got bitten alive by mosquitoes."
In July 2013, Comer took a road trip to Virginia Beach to meet company founder Kevin Wilson, who had launched the franchise system earlier that year...

Feature Story:

2015 World Outlook: Country-By-Country Economic Forecast »

By William Edwards

2015 is starting out as a very busy year for international franchise development. U.S. franchises are exporting their brands more than at any time in history--and to more places.
Last year ended with the highly successful opening of Burger King in India, and Carl's Jr. signing a 150-unit license agreement for Japan. Build-A-Bear Workshop opened its first two stores in Turkey to high sales. Anytime Fitness has reached almost 20 countries. Title Boxing Club opened it first international unit in Cancun. Five Guys continues to add new locations in the U.K. at a rapid rate. Fuddruckers opened in Italy. Popeyes is now open in 27 countries. Abrakadoodle continues to add units in China.
Food and beverage (F&B) franchises continue to be the leaders in global franchising, but education, retail, and service sector brands are becoming increasingly desired...

Feature Story:

Make It So!: Customer Growth Lessons From Amazon »

By Jack Mackey

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a Star Trek junkie. He almost named his company MakeItSo.com, based on the adventures of the USS Enterprise, when Captain Jean-Luc Picard would confirm his commands with the words, "Make it so!"
"Make it so!" may also be the ultimate personal motto for multi-unit operators trying to grow their businesses. But the practical question is, How exactly do you increase sales and business value continuously over many years?
What is the secret to Amazon's growth? Bezos answers like this: "We know customers like low prices. We know customers like big selection. We know that customers like fast delivery. And we know those things are going to be true 10 years from now. They are going to be true 20 years from now...

Feature Story:

Guillermo Medellin Growing Russo's New York Pizzeria In Houston »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guillermo Medellin came to the United States from Mexico searching for the American dream. Though he had no previous experience in franchising, he applied his business knowledge and work ethic and purchased his first Russo's New York Pizzeria in Houston in 2009. Today he operates three successful locations and is looking for more. He's a hands-on operator who is in his stores every day and has a passion for customer service and for seeing his people grow through advancement.


Name: Guillermo Medellin
Title: Owner
Company: Russo's New York Pizzeria is the brand name - each location is under a different company name
No. of units by brand: Three
Age: 44
Family: Wife (Debra), and two daughters ages 8 and 11

Years in franchising: My background is in manufacturing...

Feature Story:

Report Says Overtime Rules Would Hurt Businesses »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Retailers like franchisees could be saddled with millions of dollars in added costs if federal overtime regulations are revised, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation (NRF). What's more, the rules could also adversely affect working Americans.
The report, Rethinking Overtime, finds the Obama Administration's plan to revise federal overtime regulations would likely "hollow out" low- and mid-level management positions in the restaurant and retail industries and result in a shift toward more hourly and part-time workers. The report says that the proposal could cost retailers millions of dollars in added costs and would disproportionally impact retailers operating in rural states.
"This is a workplace regulation with massive hidden costs," says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French...

Feature Story:

CEO Profile: Julia Stewart, DineEquity, Part 2 »

By Kerry Pipes

This is Part 2 of our interview with Julia Stewart, Chair and CEO of DineEquity, the parent of Applebee's and IHOP. DineEquity operates 3,653 units (2,009 Applebee's and 1,644 IHOPs) and reported system-wide revenue of $7.3 billion (as of September 30, 2014). If you missed Part 1, click here.

How did you benefit from networking?
As I mentioned, I have opportunities throughout the year to engage in discussion with some of the best business minds around, so while I wouldn't specifically say that's "networking," it certainly is a positive in my business life. Having been associated with a number of great brands before joining Applebee's, then IHOP, and ultimately to the formation of Dine, I've been around some of the industry's best and brightest, which is always a good thing...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Overall Closing Ratios Are Improving »

By Eddy Goldberg

This newsletter continues to present highlights from the 2015 Annual Franchise Development Report (AFDR). The 2015 AFDR is based on responses from 139 franchisors representing 36,313 units (32,693 franchised and 3,620 company-owned).

This week: closing ratios.

Despite all the shortcomings reported by franchisors (see previous issues of this newsletter), when it comes to closing ratios, the franchisors in year's AFDR are doing something right: their collective closing ratios continued to trend upward in 2014.

Feature Story:

Shattering Stereotypes: Dina Dwyer-Owens, Co-Chair Of The Dwyer Group, Lives R.I.C.H. »

By Helen Bond

Ask Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of The Dwyer Group, about obstacles to the top for women, and she is quick with a suggestion: talk less about the proverbial glass ceiling and do more to encourage women to shatter their own self-doubt to compete.
"We, as women, are the biggest problem--the way we think, the way we talk ourselves out of what we are capable of," says Dwyer-Owens. "We have made the glass ceiling a problem for women, because we keep talking about it. It drives me nuts."
As leader of one of the world's largest service brand franchisors, with $1 billion in annual system-wide sales, Dwyer-Owens is doing her part to change the dialogue, break down stereotypes, and bring more women into the trades.
"What women know who join our company is that you are going to be treated with the same level of respect as men," she says...

Feature Story:

New Chip On The Old Card: October Deadline Looming For EMV Payment Readers »

By Tom Epstein

As you go about your day-to-day routine, you may have noticed some new ways to pay; and if you received a new debit or credit card recently, you also may have noticed the new chip embedded in it.
Grocery stores, coffee shops, pharmacies, and large national chains all seem to be installing new customer-facing devices to enter your credit and debit card information. For instance, you can now insert your card into a slot on the front of one of these new devices and enter a PIN. The device will read the encrypted information on your card's chip and pass that information, along with your PIN, to the card processor for decryption and authentication.
In essence, you are getting a double dose of security, unlike with a traditional swipe card, whose magnetic stripe data is easily read by any swiper in the event a physical card is stolen or lost...

Feature Story:

Just Be-Cause: Cause Marketing Is Making A Difference »

By Kerry Pipes

Doing good is a longtime pursuit in America. You might even say it's a part of the culture. Americans love a good cause and like to help when they can. Whenever needs arise, there always seem to be businesses, organizations, and private citizens ready to come forward to lend a hand. And in the past couple of decades, businesses, especially franchises, have been getting more and more involved in supporting charitable causes.
It makes sense, both personally and for business. Franchises are local operations, most run by people who are part of the community. As a result, many franchise brands and tens of thousands of franchisees have become involved with good causes. Sometimes those causes are global, national or regional, but more often they are local and franchisees and franchisors alike are there to step in...

Feature Story:

CMO Roundtable: Brand's Culture In Developing Your Brand Message »

Franchise Update

"Discuss the role of your brand's culture in creating, framing, and developing your brand message or image to customers."


Amy Olson
Vice President of Customer Experience/Marketing
The Maids
The Maids has more than 30 years of experience in the highly competitive residential cleaning industry. We know well the importance and challenges of differentiating our brand in the market, and how important culture is in conveying and creating a positive overall brand experience. Personifying the brand culture starts at the top through executive and franchisee leadership.
The personalities of the brand we strive to convey through our culture are professionalism and being detail-oriented, friendly, and considerate...

Feature Story:

Largest Singly-Owned Domino's Franchisee In The U.S. On People And Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Mike Orcutt has experienced franchising from both sides of the fence. First as a corporate executive for Domino's and, since 1990, as a Domino's franchisee. He admits he was a "little nervous" about how the managers of the nine Atlanta pizza stores he purchased would welcome their new boss. Orcutt gathered the group in a small hotel meeting room and gave them their first assignment: name his new company.
"I said, 'You are the ones who are going to have to make it work. So let's come up with something that we can be proud of and have fun with,'" recalls Orcutt, a self-described quick decision-maker. The managers brainstormed some 200 monikers before selecting Cowabunga, Inc.
Orcutt, who previously led U.S. store operations for the country's second-largest pizza chain, tacked on "Team" to the front of the name and never looked back...

Feature Story:

IFA Claims SEIU "Manufacturing A Crisis" In Franchising »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The IFA's President & CEO Steve Caldeira is calling foul over a 33-page petition just filed by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with the Federal Trade Commission. The union is asking the government to investigate alleged abuses by franchisors against franchisees and develop reforms for the franchise industry.
"Once again, the Service Employees International Union is manufacturing a crisis as part of its increasingly expensive public relations campaign, now estimated to be more than $33 million, to destroy the time-tested franchise model in order to fill its own depleted membership," said Caldeira. "America's 780,000 franchises make significant contributions to the U.S. economy, growing faster than the U.S. economy for five consecutive years and employ nearly 8...

Feature Story:

Tropical Smoothie Cafe: Building A Great Marketing Team »

By Lisa Dimson

We asked Lisa Dimson, chief marketing officer at Tropical Smoothie Café, "How do you build an all-encompassing marketing department and assemble the kind of team that gets results?" Here's what she had to say.

Hiring the right team is absolutely the most important element of getting the results you want. Without a strong team behind you, even the best CMO won't be able to take their marketing initiatives to the next level of success. Compared with other brands, we have a small internal team tasked with developing innovative and amazing products, activating the national calendar, and, ultimately, driving brand awareness.

When hiring for the marketing team, we follow a list of guidelines we call "SIDE" to ensure that the potential candidate will fit in with our company culture and work ethic before they come on board...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 26, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Social Media Advice: 30 Pieces To Ignore
We've been hearing from social media gurus for years now about how to maximize the desired results of your social media marketing campaigns: Do this, don't do that, and here's where and how often to do/not do it, etc. In an it's-about-time effort to debunk commonly accepted social media advice, often from self-proclaimed "experts," Ellie Mirman, writing on Hubspot, dissects 30 pieces of common social media mistakes. Examples include:

Feature Story:

SRG Brings Newk's Eatery To Louisiana And Texas »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Southeast Restaurant Group, a franchisee of TGI Fridays and Chevys Fresh Mex restaurants in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has signed on to become the Newk's Eatery chain's largest franchisee.
The New Orleans-based Southeast Restaurant Group (SRG) plans to open 15 Newk's locations throughout Southern Louisiana and Houston. The new agreement will make SRG Newk's largest franchisee. In addition to its franchise brands, SRG also operates its own concepts including a Mediterranean-style restaurant in the Miami area, a Creole-inspired restaurant in New Orleans, and The Round House Bar & Grill, located in the Holiday Inn Hotels owned by its affiliate, KFK Group.
"Newk's is a forward-thinking franchise concept designed for the way people eat today, and adds a fast casual element to our restaurant portfolio," says SRG Founder Elie Khoury...


Learn More

2015 MVPs! And the winners are...    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2015

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

A Franchise Update Media Group Production
Franchise Update Media | P.O. Box 20547 // San Jose, CA 95160 // PH. (408) 402-5681
Copyright © 2001 - 2015. All Rights Reserved. Site Hosting Provided By: wishVPS on FUMG3

In Loving Memory Of Timothy Gardner (1987-2014)