The Winner's Column - May 2012

As savvy franchise companies continue to flourish in a volatile economy, FUSR continues to bring you good news each month, highlighting brands that are adding increasing comp store sales, innovating, and continuing to grow, whether domestically or overseas. To be considered for next month's Winner's Column, please send your good news to


Burger King Refranchises 96 Florida Restaurants to Guillermo Perales
Burger King has sold 96 company-owned restaurants in the Orlando-Daytona market to Magic Burgers LLC, a subsidiary of Sun Holdings LLC. Founded in 1997 by Guillermo Perales, Sun Holdings became a Burger King franchisee in 1999. The acquisition makes Perales, president and CEO of Sun Holdings, the fourth largest U.S. Burger King franchisee, with 167 restaurants in Florida and Texas. Perales plans to remodel 69 restaurants in the Orlando-Daytona market and 40 restaurants in Dallas with the company's global 20/20 design in the next three years. He also plans to open 10 more Burger Kings in the next five years in Orlando, and 7 more in Dallas this year. Sun Holdings now operates 167 Burger King, 72 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, 33 Golden Corral, 46 CiCi's, 4 Del Taco, and 5 Denny's restaurants. Founded in 1954, Burger King operates in more than 12,500 locations in 81 countries and territories worldwide. Approximately 90 percent of the brand's restaurants are now owned and operated by franchisees. Burger King is privately held by 3G Capital.

Schlotzsky's Deli Signs Three Deals for 61 Units
Austin-based Schlotzsky's Deli has signed three deals to open a total of 61 new locations in Orange County, Calif., Arizona, and Minneapolis. In Orange County, John Fehmer and Anastasia Rusakov signed on to operate 25 tri-brand locations (Schlotzsky's, Cinnabon, and Carvel); they own and manage dental hospitals in Southern California. In Arizona, Gene Denison will open 30 tri-brand stores across the state; he was an executive with local and national store chains. And in Minneapolis, Loren and Kathy Fliflet will open six tri-brand locations; they currently own Massage Envy franchises. Schlotzsky's was founded in Austin in 1971, filed for bankruptcy in 2004, and in 2006 was acquired by Focus Brands, owned by private equity firm Roark Capital Group. Schlotzsky's has about 350 stores worldwide with plans to grow to between 600 and 700 by 2015.

Moe's Southwest Grill Inks 25-Store Deal in D.C. Metro Area
Three franchisees of Moe's Southwest Grill have signed on to add 25 restaurants in the Washington, D.C., area over the next six years. The three existing Moe's franchisees, Brad Chasteen, Steve Taylor, and Frank Maresca, will oversee the new locations under their newly formed entity, Guac N' Roll. Chasteen owns 19 Moe's in Northeast Florida, and Taylor owns 9 Moe's in Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Including Maresca's two restaurants in Northern Virginia, the group recently acquired 7 existing locations. Maresca will serve as the local operating partner for the company. The restaurants will open throughout Maryland, D.C., and Northern Virginia. The group is currently scouting locations and expects the first new Moe's to open by year-end. "Putting three of our most aggressive and smart franchise partners together in one market is really exciting," said Moe's President Paul Damico. The deal is part of Moe's strategic growth plan to double its existing presence to 800 locations nationwide by the end of 2015. Founded in 2000, Atlanta-based Moe's has more than 440 locations in 33 states.

Massage Envy Turns 10, Signs 1,000th Agreement
Massage Envy has signed its 1,000th franchise agreement as it marks its 10-year anniversary. Regional developers Nate McFarland and Lari Jarvis of Hawaii were awarded the agreement for their second clinic, which will join their Oahu location opening this summer. Clinic openings rose 13 percent in 2011, and in the first quarter of this year the company signed a record 44 franchise agreements. In 2007, the company launched the Massage Envy Spa brand to offer affordable, healthy skincare. With more than 760 Massage Envy and Massage Envy Spa locations operating in 44 states, Massage Envy is the world's largest employer of licensed/registered therapists with more than 18,000 therapists. AUV exceeds $1 million. Founded in 2002, Massage Envy is based in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Buildingstars Awards Charlotte Master Franchise Rights
Buildingstars, Inc. has awarded master franchise rights for Charlotte, N.C., to Marty Brecht. Before this, Brecht was director of customer retention for IKON and was a linebacker for the back-to-back national champion Oklahoma Sooners football teams of 1974 and 1975. With the addition of the Charlotte office, Buildingstars now has six master franchise locations in the U.S. Buildingstars, established in 1994, provides services for more than 2,500 corporate customers through an organization of 6 regional offices and has more than 350 unit franchises.

Chester's Opens New Units in Four Cities
Chester's has announced the opening of four new locations in the Southeast. In Alabama, Al Patel is the new franchisee in Wetumpka, and Manish Patel has opened in Mobile. Alaghbari Salah, owner of Houston Deli Mart, has opened in Houston, Miss. And in Tennessee, Sam Safa, owner of the On the Go Markets, has opened four new locations, three in Jackson and the other in Humboldt. Chester's has more than 1,800 Chester Fried licensed and Chester's franchised locations.

TGA Premier Youth Tennis Signs 12 New Franchises
Three months after launching its franchise program in partnership with the United States Tennis Association (USTA), TGA Premier Youth Tennis has 12 new franchises across the country. In partnership with the USTA, the brand introduces youngsters to tennis at elementary and middle schools, child care centers, and community-based organizations. The new franchise territories include Rockland County, New York; Bergen, Essex, and Morris counties in New Jersey; Los Angeles, Beach Cities, West Valley, Peninsula Valley, and Placer County, Calif.; West Wake County, N.C.; Denver, Colo.; and Hamilton and Boone counties in Indiana. Six additional franchises are scheduled to open in the next few months. TGA began awarding franchises for its newly minted Premier Youth Tennis business in January 2012, which was modeled after its successful eight-year-old TGA Premier Junior Golf program. The program is in more than 2,500 schools, reaching more than of 177,000 students in 23 states.

HuHot Mongolian Grill Adds Two New Markets
HuHot Mongolian Grill is opening two new restaurants, one in La Crosse, Wisc., the other in Greenville, N.C. The La Crosse location, the sixth HuHot location in the state, is set to open on May 17; Matt Cory of Tricor is the franchisee. The Greenville location, the first HuHot in the state, was set to open in late April; the franchisee is Mike Treadwell of Treadwell Enterprises, who already operates one HuHot location in Tulsa. HuHot plans to open at least six more restaurants before year's end, closing in on the 50-restaurant milestone this year.

TruBlue House Care Opens in Maryland
TruBlue House Care has expanded into Maryland to serve home and property owners in and around Howard County. TruBlue's Total House Care provides one-stop shopping for services including yard work, ongoing repairs, maid services, emergency repairs, and seasonal projects such as leaf raking, gutter cleaning, and holiday decorating. "Because of the time and headaches involved in home maintenance, many busy adults and older homeowners feel they have no choice but to downsize to condos or apartment complexes even though many would prefer to stay in their present homes," said franchisee Thomas Keller. John F. Buckles, president of TruBlue, said the immense and unmet need for year-round, residential house care is the main reason this new franchise was started. "We have that provide in-home personal care to residents and others that help manage their personal belongings when downsizing, or liquidating, but TruBlue is the only national franchise helping Baby Boomers and senior homeowners maintain their entire house," he said. TruBlue, launched last August, is part of Cincinnati-based Strategic Franchising Systems, whose other brands are Home Helpers, Direct Link, The Growth Coach, Fresh Coat, and Caring Transitions. Gary Green, CEO of Strategic Franchising, has created and grown more than a dozen companies.

Chicken Salad Chick Expands in Southeast
Chicken Salad Chick has announced the sale of several franchises in Alabama, Georgia, and Florida, and the upcoming opening of a new company The Columbus, Ga. franchisees, Brady and Tiffany Thomason Dubberly, plan to open this summer. The Tuscaloosa franchisee, The Wishbone Group, will open its first location in late summer, with additional locations planned in Tuscaloosa and Dothan in 2013 and 2014; Rebecca Roland is Wishbone's president and CEO. The Florida franchisee, St. George Hospitality Company, plans to open its first location this fall in Tallahassee. And the first company-owned will open this summer in downtown Montgomery. Chicken Salad Chick is a fast-casual restaurant concept offered by Auburn, Ala.-based Simply Southern Restaurant Group.

Welcomemat Services Continues Expansion
Welcomemat Services, a marketing strategies and technology company that provides monthly packages to new movers, has signed three new franchise agreements for Nashville, Tenn., Asheville, N.C., and Bellevue, Wash. Additionally, Randy Rhea, an existing franchisee in Augusta, Ga., became the company's first multi-unit owner, opening a second territory serving the greater Charleston, N.C., area. Company projections call for opening 12 franchise locations in 2012 toward a goal of opening 200 locations during the next five years in high-profile, transient markets across the country.

TCBY Opens in Miami
TCBY continues to expand its stores in Florida with a new location now open in Miami, its 31st store in Florida. Leon Wolfe is the franchisee. With more than 30 years in the fro-yo business, TCBY has nearly 400 franchise locations in 47 states.


Papa Murphy's Signs Master Franchisee for Canada
Papa Murphy's International has awarded franchise rights in Canada to Papa M Pizza Canada, Inc. The master franchisee is accelerating Papa Murphy's Canada footprint with a push to open 80 stores within the next 10 years. Papa Murphy's opened its first take 'n' bake store in Surrey, B.C., in 2006 and has since opened 17 others in British Columbia and Alberta. Chuck van der Lee, owner of Papa M Pizza Canada, plans to expand Papa Murphy's from west to east across Canada. "Initially we'll focus on our existing markets as well as add stores throughout Western Canada," said van der Lee. Based in Vancouver, Wash., Papa Murphy's operates more than 1,300 franchised and corporate-owned locations in 37 states and Canada and is the fifth-largest pizza chain in the U.S.

Doughnuts to Moscow: Krispy Kreme Signs 40-Store, 5-Year Deal
Krispy Kreme Doughnut Corp. has signed a development agreement for Moscow with LLC Doughnuts Cafe, wholly owned and operated by Arkady Novikov, owner and president of the Novikov Restaurant Group. As part of the new agreement, the franchisee is expected to build 40 Krispy Kreme shops over the next five years in Moscow. The Novikov Restaurant Group includes a variety of businesses located in Moscow, St. Petersburg, and London, including more than 40 standalone family and fine dining restaurants, plus the casual dining chains Barashka, Kish Mish, Delis Café, and Prime Star; and owns and operates the karaoke bar Krik, supplier NRG, agricultural enterprise Agronom, florist chain Flower Studio 55, professional company Novikov Catering, luxury firm Mainstreet, and the balanced project Just for You. Krispy Kreme, founded in 1937, has nearly 700 locations in 21 countries.

Villa Enterprises Opens in Turkey
Villa Enterprises Management Ltd. has opened its first Villa Italian Kitchen and South Philly Steaks & Fries locations in Istanbul, Turkey. Additional Villa Italian Kitchens and South Philly Steaks & Fries will be launched and operated throughout Turkey under an exclusive development deal with a Turkish franchisee. Villa Enterprises Management is a global multi-concept restaurant franchisor with 330 QSR locations in 36 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and five additional countries. Founded in 1964 by Naples, Italy native Michele Scotto, Villa Enterprises today is an international organization that owns several unique QSR brands: Villa Fresh Italian Kitchen; Villa Italian Kitchen; Villa Pizza; Green Leaf's; Bananas; Casa Java; Mo' Burger; Far East; and South Philly Steaks & Fries.

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