The Winner's Column - August 2012

As savvy franchise companies continue to flourish in today's transforming global economy, FUSR bring you positive news each month, highlighting brands that are adding increasing comp store sales, innovating, and continuing to grow, both domestically and overseas. We also take a look at brands starting to franchise and incentives for military veterans. To be considered for next month's Winner's Column, please send your news to

New Units

Arby's Refranchises 51 in Dallas to Guillermo Perales
In its major franchising announcement since the 48-year-old QSR chain was taken private last summer by Roark Capital Group for $430 million, Arby's Restaurant Group has sold 51 company-owned locations and the development rights for Dallas/Fort Worth to Guillermo Perales. In addition to remodeling the Arby's restaurants purchased in the Dallas/Fort Worth market, Perales has committed to build 15 new Arby's over the next 5 years. Perales is president of Sun Holdings Inc., a multi-brand franchisee organization based in Irving, Texas, with nearly 400 units, mostly in Texas and Florida. Refranchising is "definitely part of our strategic plan," said Hala Moddelmog, president of Arby's, in an interview with Nation's Restaurant News. "We have a handful of select markets around that country that we will be looking to refranchise." The announcement followed seven consecutive quarters of same-store sales growth and the successful introduction of new menu items. Arby's has approximately 3,500 restaurants, about 70 percent franchised.

McAlister's Deli Signs Deals for 18 New Restaurants
McAlister's Deli has signed three development agreements with new and existing franchisees for 18 new restaurants: 10 in the Greater Tampa, Fla., area; 3 in Central Michigan; and 5 in Lincoln and Omaha, Neb. In Tampa, new franchisee Brayton Knotts and McKnotts Enterprise LLC will develop 10 locations in Greater Tampa over the next several years. In Michigan, new franchisee Bobby Coy and Up North Franchising Group Inc. will develop three restaurants in Saginaw, Bay City, Midland and Mt. Pleasant. In Nebraska, Bobby Salvo and Deli Inc. will develop five new restaurants in Lincoln and Omaha over the next several years. Deli Inc. is an existing franchisee with a location in Pueblo, Colo., and has plans to develop in Colorado Springs, and Santa Fe, N.M. Founded in 1989 and based in Ridgeland, Miss., McAlister's has more than 300 restaurants in 22 states.

Menchie's Celebrates 200th Store Opening
Self-serve brand Menchie's reached the 200-store milestone in less than 5 years with the opening of a new unit on the other side of the world in Adelaide, South Australia - and rapidly passed it. Since opening its first store May 2007 in California, Menchie's now has about 220 stores in 6 countries and 31 states. On the fast-expansion track (averaging about 10 store openings a month), Menchie's predicts 300 stores open by year-end, and 500 by the end of 2013. Menchie's has locations open in the U.S., Canada, Japan, Australia, Puerto Rico, and Guam, with an additional 250 currently in development. For a deeper look into the brand, see Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine's profile of the brand's CEO, Amit Kleinberger.

3 New Units for Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar
Dallas-based Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar is expanding with new franchise locations set to open this year in Fontana, Calif., and Fenton, Mich. Rrok Dedivanaj, franchisee for the Fenton location, owns and operates two other restaurants in Michigan. In addition, a new Villahermosa, Mexico location opened in early July, the brand's fourth location in the country, with three additional restaurants scheduled to open there by the end of 2013. Introduced in the U.S. in 1998, Boston's Restaurant & Sports Bar is franchised by Boston Pizza Restaurants.

GolfTEC Buys Back 12 Southern California Franchises
GolfTEC has purchased 12 of the company's franchised instruction centers in Southern California. As part of the buyback, Forrest Blake, who owned the 12 centers in Orange and Los Angeles counties, will join the GolfTEC management team and become vice president of client relations. According to the company, this is the first of a number of projected corporate buybacks of GolfTEC franchises throughout the country, and part of a long-term strategy announced earlier this year by GolfTEC President and CEO Joe Assell. In the U.S., along with bringing more franchises under corporate ownership, GolfTEC plans to open as many as 25 centers this year. To date this year, centers have opened in Louisville, Wichita, Baltimore, Seattle, Dallas/Ft. Worth, San Antonio, and Japan (its first), with more opening soon in Woodbridge, N.J., and Canada. GolfTEC has 160 locations nationwide.

Hampton Hotels Opens 31 in the First Half of 2012
Hampton Hotels opened 31 new properties in the first half of 2012. Six are in international markets: Poland, Turkey, Canada, Mexico, and the U.K. Hampton expects to open more than 40 additional properties by the end of 2012. The Hampton brand, including Hampton Inn, Hampton Inn & Suites, and Hampton by Hilton, has nearly 1,900 properties globally. Hampton Hotels is part of Hilton Worldwide.

BookKeeping Express Opens in Washington State
BookKeeping Express recently opened its first office in Kennewick, Wash., serving businesses throughout the Tri-Cities area. Shandra Knowles, with her mother Kathleen, is co-owner of the new office in Kennewick. The expansion is part of the company's aggressive national development plans, which call for more than 400 new territories throughout the U.S. Founded in 1984 in California, BookKeeping Express, has 150 locations through licensing agreements. In 2007, Greg Jones, along with Bob Stocker and Merritt Green, purchased the company and launched the new business model in January 2008. Now based in Vienna, Va., the franchise has grown to more than 40 offices in the U.S. and Canada.

East Coast Wings Notches 34th Quarter of Same-Store Sales Growth
Approaching 9 years of same-store sales increases, East Coast Wings & Grill posted a second quarter increase of 10.55 percent over last year and 12.5 percent year to date. The brand has 23 restaurants operating throughout North Carolina, 6 currently in and 70-plus locations sold throughout the Southeast. With these new locations, the brand will expand its operations in South Carolina, Georgia, and Texas in 2012, with Florida, Kentucky, Alabama, and Virginia following soon after.
East Coast Wings & Grill was founded in 1995 and taken over by Sam Ballas in 2000.

New Brands/Veterans

JDog Junk Removal: "Veterans Only" Franchise Starts Up
A new franchise for veterans is looking for a few good men and women to run their own franchise. Founded by Jerry Flanagan, a U.S. Army veteran, JDog will award franchisees only to veteran and active military personnel. Founded in 2011, JDog, began franchising this year. The brand offers flexible hours and year-round work for veterans looking for work, transitioning into the labor market, or seeking an alternative to a desk job. One interesting twist: the brand draws applicants from a smaller pool than its competitors, which benefits applicants because they're not competing with business professionals, and which benefits JDog because it knows its applicants have been trained to operate within and follow a system. "I'd rather keep this sacred for the people that need it, because I think military veterans have a hard time getting an equal shot in the workplace. We're all brothers and sisters in this," said Flanagan.

In addition, the franchisees who remove junk, garbage, and recyclables from properties are encouraged to increase their revenue streams by recycling or selling any of the items in their possession. The franchise fee is $15,000 with a total initial investment of $40,000 to $70,000 and a "rapid launch" capability of 90 days or less.

Tasti D-Lite, Planet Smoothie Waive Franchise Fee for Veterans
Tasti D-Lite and Planet Smoothie are waiving 100 percent of the franchise fee for military veterans through the remainder of 2012. This equates to $30,000 in savings to veterans interested in owning a Tasti D-Lite, Planet Smoothie, or dual-brand store. Since launching its franchise program in 2008, Tasti D-Lite has grown to 60 locations in 3 countries and has secured commitments to open more than 500 worldwide. In December 2011, Tasti D-Lite acquired Planet Smoothie, with more than 100 units operating mainly in Georgia and Florida. In the coming months, Tasti D-Lite products will be added to select Planet Smoothie stores and Planet Smoothie menu offerings will be made available to Tasti D-Lite locations.

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