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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:

Wienerschnitzel's New CMO Doug Koegeboehn Arrives Well-Prepared »

By Kerry Pipes

Doug Koegeboehn is a great example of the connection between ad agencies and franchise brands. Named CMO of Wienerschnitzel earlier this year, Koegeboehn already had decades of experience with the brand when he came on board: the former account director at DGWB Advertising had been working on the Wienerschnitzel account since 1995. Along the way he developed a marketing toolbox that includes experience developing annual ad plans and promotions, menu strategies, and even helped create new products. At DGWB, he also worked accounts that included the California Avocado Commission, Yogurtland, Dole, and El Pollo Loco.

"I love the enjoyment of eating food," says Koegeboehn. "I know everybody else gets enjoyment from eating too, and that's why I have relished spending much of my entire career working on food-related business...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: May 12, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Google Boosts Mobile in Search Rankings...
On April 21, Google changed its ranking algorithm so that mobile-friendly sites are rewarded with higher rankings and sites that don't play well on mobile are downgraded. This reflects official recognition by the search giant of the tremendous rise in the importance of mobile search over the last few years, as smartphones and tablets have become the dominant channels that users employ to shop, search, and buy. "While mobile users of Google search will surely be happy with today's development, businesses without a mobile-optimized website and who remain unaware of the changes will be left wondering where on earth their site's disappeared to in Google's revamped search listings," writes Trevor Mogg on Digital Trends...

Feature Story:

2015: Year Of The Franchisee? »

By Darrell Johnson

On many levels, 2014 was a tumultuous year for the franchise business model.
First, a quick overview. Franchising is regulated at the federal level, and 15 states have specific registration and approval requirements--yet we entered the year with 19 ongoing or new state legislative initiatives involving franchising; several city councils also got into the act. Back in D.C., the NLRB piled on with additional efforts to alter the franchise business model, and the SBA is re-evaluating how it defines "affiliation" standards for franchise brand SBA-guaranteed lending eligibility. Some of these actions have been challenged in the courts; others will be in the near future.
The motivations for all these efforts are varied and generally political in nature...

Feature Story:

Resetting Priorities: Anand Gala Resizes, Refocuses, And Restrategizes »

By Kerry Pipes

Simplification and a renewed focus on business and life have taken center stage for Anand Gala since we profiled him in 2010. "It's really a simple story of taking a step back and reassessing where I am," he says.
At the beginning of 2010, Gala and his company were coming out of the recession and picking up steam. He had 19 Applebee's, 5 Famous Dave's, and 3 Del Taco locations. But he says with units spread across several western states he was looking to bring his operation back home when an unexpected offer came his way.
"We had been going through the massive reimaging program rolled out by Applebee's with all of our locations," he says. "Then about two years ago we were approached by the largest Applebee's franchisee in the system who wanted to buy our locations...

Feature Story:

Franchisee To Bring Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria To Houston »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Houston franchise group Spicy Ketchup, LLC, has inked a deal to bring 5 Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria locations to the Lone Star state. The group has experience operating Jimmy John's shops and is scheduled to open its first Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria in the fall, with the remaining locations opening over the next four years.
"We were initially impressed with the company's operations and experienced executive team, but it wasn't until we tried the pizza that we were completely sold," says Dan Stansel, one of Spicy Ketchup's managing partners, noting that the group considered several other emerging brands before deciding that Persona had the most potential for becoming what they believe will be the next big brand in the fast-casual pizza industry...

Feature Story:

IFA Calls Labor Union Report Flawed »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The way the IFA sees it, franchisees are highly satisfied, renew their contracts at an extremely high rate, and are part of a wave of franchise industry growth that is moving faster than the rest of the economy. And they have the data to prove it.
In a news release, the IFA has responded to a new report out by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). The IFA and its franchisee members dispute the SEIU report, question its validity and its motivations, while offering evidence that franchising is a thriving, widely-accepted and robust part of the American economy.
"The SEIU is so desperate to lend credibility in its fledging effort to convince government officials to help it unionize franchise workers that it has ginned up a report that grossly misrepresents attitudes toward franchising," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE...

Feature Story:

7 Tips To Spot A Sales Superstar During Interviews »

By Eliot Burdett

Interviewing sales candidates can be extremely difficult since even a subpar seller is trained to tell people what they want to hear. Many candidates look great on paper, only later to turn in lackluster performances.

Since the cost of bad hires is enormous for a company's bottom line, it is critical for those in charge of hiring to "get it right." The key is to look beyond the resume and test for certain personality traits. Here are the 7 most common personality traits found in top sales performers, and tips to find out if the candidate across the table truly possesses them.

1) Success-driven. While skills can be learned, a desire to succeed and a pattern of behavior often cannot. Since no sales candidate will assess themselves as unambitious, the interviewer must delve deeper...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Website Response - Still Lacking »

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: how franchisors franchisor website response to inquiries.

This portion of the AFDR's mystery shopping was conducted by Luis Zuniga, Mile Marker 10, who researched 140 brands by posing as a qualified buyer based on each brand's stated criteria. The results were not encouraging, by any stretch of the imagination.

Comparing this year's results with those of the three previous years finds mixed results.

Feature Story:

Successor Prep For The New Generation »

By Champ Rawls

Picture a 50-something year-old multi-unit franchisee who has been in business for more than 20 years and has tirelessly worked to grow and build a diverse business. His kids are in their mid- to late-20's and have been getting more involved in day-to-day operations. They are ecstatic to be entering the family enterprise and proudly fly the family name. The company has a fantastic reputation in the community and the family name holds weight and notoriety in the industry. It is well-established with sound business practices and a formula for success that has produced generous profits and provided a great place of employment for many families. Sound familiar?
Now picture the next generation, a generation that has been to trainings and workshops, developed an "understanding" of business operations from watching their mom and dad avidly stay on top of franchisor procedures and directives, and has an opinionated and vocal vision of how they see the business changing for the future...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee 'Strategies For Growth' Collection Available »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Multi-unit franchisees who are looking to gain an edge on their competition have a new resource at their disposal. Franchise Update's Franchise Learning Academy has just released its "Strategies For Growth" Collection, a series of 14 video seminars, covering more than 20 hours of programming, and providing access to the insights, experience, and success stories of more than 40 multi-unit and multi-brand franchisees and franchising professionals.
The timely and topical information found on the videos comes straight from many of today's top multi-unit franchisees who have been there, done it, and successfully lived to tell the tale. Their invaluable advice can provide tips and insight for taking your business to the next level. All video seminars were produced at Franchise Update's Annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conferences in 2014 and 2015...

Feature Story:

Local Or National? Marketing Tips For Franchise Brands »

By Laurel Mintz

As new franchise brands enter the marketplace and existing franchises expand, it is critical to understand there is more and more competition for the same dollar. Additionally, those consumers are smarter, with their ability to research a brand instantly with their smartphone. Smart franchises are recognizing these trends and are taking advantage of the increased online consumer engagement in new and exciting ways. Ultimately, marketing dollars must be spent wisely as a reflection of your customer's buying habits, and for emerging brands with limited resources, translating that to your franchisee often is the job of a third-party agency.

During our agency life, we have had the pleasure of working with new, emerging franchises like Bratworks as well as more established brands like Sharky's and Poquito Más...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 28, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Predicting the digital future
Scott Galloway, Stern Professor of Marketing at New York University, gives a fast and furious analysis of the future prospects of the four biggest digital brands: Facebook, Google, Apple, and Amazon (which Galloway says have a combined value of $1.3 trillion, greater than the GDP of South Korea). Buckle your seatbelt before hitting Play on this fast-paced 15-minute video.

Free web images for marketers
It’s always worth knowing about more good places to find free images online. Stock photography can be expensive and often lacks the freshness and spontaneity found among the billions of images on the web. But many images are copyrighted, and it’s both unethical and potentially risky to pirate them...

Feature Story:

Multi-Brand Operator Brings Quaker Steak & Lube To Tennessee »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tennessee multi-brand operator Brent Collier has added Quaker Steak & Lube to his list of franchise locations in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area. The new brand adds to his arsenal of Golden Corral, The Melting Pot, TGI Friday's and other restaurant brands. The new Quaker Steak & Lube is set to open this June and will be the brand's first location in the state.

"Lube Nation is ready to take Tennessee by storm and share our love for Best Wings USA. We're excited to introduce residents and visitors alike as we expand our presence throughout the Volunteer State," says Greg Lippert, president and chief executive officer, Quaker Steak & Lube. "Tri C, Inc. brings a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge to our brand as our newest franchise partners and we look forward to helping them build continued success in Sevierville...

Feature Story:

IFA And Franchisees Oppose California Franchise Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A California franchise bill is threatening the livelihood of the state's franchisees who would face additional and unnecessary regulations if Assembly Bill 525 is passed. The IFA and franchisees in the state are urging lawmakers to oppose the bill.
"The unintended consequences of this bill would dramatically change the franchise relationship between franchisors and franchisees and we have serious concerns about some of the provisions included in the bill, particularly those that introduce vague and ambiguous language into the enforceability of franchise contracts which will ultimately lead to increased, unnecessary and costly litigation," says IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE. "The last thing we need is further government intervention into an industry that has proven itself as a steady job creator and bastion of small business ownership throughout the state...

Feature Story:

4 Ways To Supercharge Your Field Support Team »

By Chris Taylor

Managing, monitoring, and growing any business is hard. However, with dispersed locations and layers of management, franchises face unique challenges when it comes to organizational alignment, communications, and performance measurement.

In the middle of that complex structure is the field: the district managers going store to store, relaying information down from corporate, checking in on progress, and relaying information back up the chain. If corporate is the brain and the stores are all of the body's moving parts, the field is the connective tissue that's working to orchestrate all of the movement.

The field has a lot riding on their shoulders. Corporate relies on them for insight into how stores are performing against company goals and each other...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: How Franchisors Are Using Brokers »

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: how franchisors are using brokers.

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Awards 10 MVPs At Conference »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Each spring, Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine selects and recognizes winners of its prestigious Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards. This year more than 80 franchisees were nominated for the awards, which honor franchisee excellence and highlight outstanding performance in growing both their organizations and their brands.
Each of the nominated franchisees was carefully and systematically evaluated before the final selection was made. The official announcement came during a general session at the conference. Each MVP winner was presented with a plaque and recognized from the stage. The presentation event was sponsored by Church's Chicken.
Here are this year's winners. Watch for their profiles in the next issue of Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine...

Feature Story:

Russo's Restaurants To Offer Credit Access To Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guidant Financial, BoeFly, and Russo's Restaurants have teamed up to provide more credit access for entrepreneurs interested in operating Russo's Restaurants franchises.
The new partnership between small business financing company Guidant Financial,, the online marketplace for small business loans, and Russo's, the 42-location franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo's New York Pizzeria and Russo's Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is part of Guidant's Funding Assurance program to help franchisors expand their brands. The partnership will offer existing and prospective Russo's franchisees exclusive access to financing services from Guidant Financial and BoeFly, starting with a customized prequalification tool on Russo's website called bQual...

Feature Story:

5 Ways To Use Your In-Store Video More Intelligently »

By Matt Steinfort

Today, video surveillance is table stakes for restaurant and service-related franchises in their fight against theft and fraud. When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce reports that 75% of employees admit to theft, remotely monitoring your franchise stores is simply the cost of doing business.

In the not-too-distant past, video surveillance consisted of low-resolution, closed-circuit cameras that generated silent, grainy, stuttering video that was, frankly, useless in many cases. Tapes, disks, or files piled up. Video was reviewed reactively, if at all, and usually only if an incident occurred.

Video intelligence today has changed dramatically. Today's technological advances are helping operators go beyond simple surveillance...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: April 14, 2015 »

By Daniel Lieberman

Yelp Sues Reputation Management Companies
Negative comments and reviews on social media are a constant worry for brands. The classic (and correct) response has been that you need to know what people are saying about you, especially if the news is bad. If you have an online presence, at least you are in a position to do something about it. Another answer has been to turn to so-called reputation management companies, who claim they can help businesses to get only positive reviews. "The problem is only Yelp and its algorithm can truly decide which reviews get posted to a business's website and which reviews get buried," writes Julie Bort, editor, enterprise computing for Business Insider. That's one big reason those companies are a scam, according to a lawsuit filed by Yelp, the social reviewing giant...

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