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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:

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...

Feature Story:

Consolidation Nation: Large Franchisees Continue Expanding »

By Eddy Goldberg

In the world of multi-unit franchisees, the big keep getting bigger. In our Multi-Brand 50 rankings, which we began publishing in 2008, the number of units operated by both the top 5 and top 10 franchisees has climbed steadily since 2010, following a post-recession drop-off when franchisees retreated from growth and instead focused on operational efficiency and selling or closing under-performing units.
Also during the past decade: many franchisors worked hard to refranchise their corporate stores; a generation of retiring franchisees with sizable portfolios sold them, whole or in part, to other large operators; and to help grease the skids for all these asset transfers, bankers relaxed their underwriting criteria, alternative lending sources sprang up, and the coffers of private equity firms (overfilled and searching for investment opportunities) expanded their strategic and acquisitional sights from franchise brands to franchisee organizations...

Feature Story:

Millennials Looking For More Purpose In The Workplace »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Millennials have something of a mixed reputation when it comes to work.
Studies show that they aren't loyal to employers so much as to the job itself. They also want to find a purpose to their careers beyond making money - which is a pretty good thing, says Jackie Dryden, co-author with Bethany Andell of Get Your Head Out of Your Bottom Line: And Build Your Brand on Purpose.
Companies have had a front row seat in recent years for watching the difference between Millennials and previous generations, the latter being motivated more by traditional incentives, such as money.
"Millennials might be feeling the backlash of receiving negative press but they are right - a company must first start with purpose; then innovation and profits follow...

Feature Story:

Challenge The Pros: Choosing The Right Marketing Media »

Franchise Update

How do you choose the right marketing media to reach your ideal candidates, and how often should you communicate with them?

Mark Jameson
Executive Vice President, Franchise Support & Development
Fastsigns International
We believe in utilizing many different marketing channels to reach our candidates, and more importantly, in targeting those in the right markets and for the right category or model. Our brand relies on a strong public relations and digital marketing strategy to target and find the ideal candidates. With the help of a significant national TV buy, Fastsigns is lucky to have a strong brand presence that enables us to stay top of mind.
However, this is only a piece of how we communicate the franchise opportunity to candidates, so we must employ a variety of marketing strategies to attract the right candidates...

Feature Story:

NLRB Blues? How To Avoid Being Viewed As A Joint Employer »

By Barry M. Heller

Recent decisions and efforts by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) have raised the serious possibility that franchisors may, depending upon the particular circumstances, be considered joint employers, along with their franchisees, of the employees of the franchisee.

Last August, the NLRB issued a decision (Browning-Ferris) in which it ruled that a company could be a "joint employer" of the employees of its independent contractors even if it does not actually control the employment decisions of the independent contractors, as long as it 1) exerts indirect control or 2) possesses the right to control those decisions. Similarly, the current Administrator of the Wage and Hour Division of the DOL (David Weil) has taken the position that to protect workers, franchisors should be held liable for the labor and employment liabilities of their franchisees...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Hiring, Training, And Retaining »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Todd and Kelly Mulvahill, Owner/President/CEO; Owner/Secretary
Brands: 6 Papa Murphy's Pizza; 14, Gyro Shack

How do you hire and fire, train and retain?We always try to hire and promote from within with management whenever possible. We have not gone outside the company for management now for three years. When we have gone outside, we use Indeed as a media tool to find candidates. If I'm guilty of one thing, it is leading a horse to the water trough too many times thinking they will drink and they just don't. I tend to believe everybody is good. But sometimes it's just clear, an employee needs to go find their happiness somewhere else when company standards are not followed. We have a main store that we call our training store...

Feature Story:

Good News! - June 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
Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar Signs 3-Unit Deal for Staten Island
Dickey's Barbecue Pit Signs Deal for 8 Stores in Texas and Louisiana
Dippin' Dots Sees Continued Growth with 25% Sales Increase in 2016
Dog Haus To Open 5 Restaurants in Chicago in Multi-Unit Deal
Hurricane Grill & Wings Inks 2 Multi-Unit Deals for Virginia (3) and Florida (4)
Meritage Hospitality Group Buys 8 Wendy's Plus a Deal for 10 More
Pieology Pizzeria Signs 8-Unit Southeast Deal with Segovia Aslan Enterprises
Tim Hortons Signs Restaurant Development Partners To Franchise in MN
UFC Gym Signs UFC Bantamweight Urijah Faber To Open Gym in California
Weed Man USA Reports Strong First Half; Sees 49 New Territories by Year-End

Big Plans, Big Dreams
Cousins Subs Targets Growth Following Post-Recession Contraction
Sir Grout Unveils Strategic Growth Plans
Marco's Pizza Announces Aggressive Growth Plan for Maryland: 30 by 2017
Spray-Net, Canadian Home Painting Brand, Sets Sights on U...

Feature Story:

MOD Squad: She Saw A Need And Created A Brand (Twice) »

Franchise Update

Ally Svenson, co-founder of MOD Pizza with her husband Scott, is no stranger to starting and growing a business. When she lived in London in the 1990s, she missed her Seattle coffee--so they founded Seattle Coffee Company in the U.K., eventually selling it to Starbucks. Back home in Seattle she searched for "fast, affordable, real" food for her on-the-go family of four active boys. Not finding anything that met her expectations, she and Scott founded fast casual brand MOD Pizza in 2008. Today, with more than 100 locations, the dynamic duo is set to go back across the pond to the U.K., part of their plan to open more than 100 new stores per year. As the saying goes, "If you see a niche, fill it."
Name: Ally Svenson
Title: Co-Founder, Head of Brand
Brand: MOD Pizza
System-wide revenue: $60+ million (2015)
No...

Feature Story:

Words Of Wisdom: Evaluating New Brands »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Sunny Ghai, President and CEO, Ghai Management Services Co.
Brands: Burger King (60), Taco Bell (9), Corner Bakery Cafe (2), Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza (1), Chevron (3), Conoco-Phillips 76 (2), Arco/AMPM (2)

What do you consider when evaluating new brands?The two biggest things we look at when adding a new brand are product and people. The most important thing is that you can't sell something you don't like. That was the first thing that attracted us to Taco Bell, its a brand my family has thoroughly enjoyed for years. When choosing Blaze, we actually compared it to its top competitors and the product was clearly far superior. In fact, we were on the verge of going with a different fast casual pizza concept when a chance meeting brought us to Blaze...

Feature Story:

Rhea Lana's Brand To Move Against DOL Overreach »

Rhea Lana Riner, the founder of Rhea Lana's children's consignment franchise, will be able to challenge the Department of Labor (DOL) thanks to a new ruling by the D.C. Circuit Court.
Rhea Lana's business model, which allows consignors to volunteer in exchange for early access to the sales, was singled out by DOL in 2013. Even though none of Rhea Lana's volunteers has ever filed a complaint, DOL decided the franchise's volunteers are employees under the Fair Labor Standards Act and asserted Rhea Lana should have been paying them wages. DOL also argued she did not have the ability to challenge the agency's determination in court.
"In the near-constant struggle against the overreach of big government regulators, small franchisors like Rhea Lana Riner stand at the front lines," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Customer Service Excellence Starts At The Top! »

By John DiJulius

Any big initiative, project, or revolution must have the support of the senior leadership team; otherwise it will be considered "flavor of the month" or "management by bestseller."

Customer service must be as important as finance, sales, operations, and technology. It must be discussed at board meetings and strategic planning sessions with leaders and everyone else in the company, including front-line employees. To create long-lasting change, the senior leadership team must provide the necessary resources.

This doesn't mean just increasing the budget for customer service. It is having someone in charge of the project - that is, a chief experience officer (CXO) - who is dedicated and loses sleep over the customer experience program and the results...

Feature Story:

Out-Sourcerers: Mastering The Art Of Hiring Out »

By Helen Bond

Franchisees of all sizes are increasingly discovering that business goes better with outside help. Many have found the key to bottom-line success is to focus on what they do best and find the right fit to outsource the rest.
Former corporate controller and CPA Joel Karg has the know-how to tackle any financial function at his multi-unit Sky Zone franchise. He also knows enough to hand off time-consuming tasks to someone else.
Karg and his franchise partner David Beckett have chosen to outsource the payroll, tax, human resources, information technology, and social media marketing needs of their Columbus, Ohio-based company, which operates three parks in Dayton and Pittsburgh, with a fourth under construction. Going outside for help has allowed the duo, who honed their franchise management chops as executives at Stanley Steemer, to spend less time pushing paper and more hours strategically growing their indoor trampoline park business...

Feature Story:

Social Media Roundup: June 14, 2016 »

By Daniel Lieberman

How to Promote Your Local Franchise Online
This article from Mediavine Marketing provides a good collection of tips for local franchise promotion with social media and other online directories, such as Google and Yelp. Here are a few of the ideas of what to post to promote interest and engagement:

Feature Story:

Packaging A Punch: NFL Vet Invests In Title Boxing Club »

By Kerry Pipes

Former NFL linebacker Bryan Scott has two things on his mind these days: 1) building a successful chain of Title Boxing Club franchises in the Atlanta area, and 2) overseeing the company he co-owns, Noene USA, which sells a line of high-tech, ultra shock-absorbing insoles. If his track record is any indication, he'll be successful.
Scott was a second round draft pick of the Atlanta Falcons in 2003. He spent the next decade in the NFL playing defensive back and linebacker for the Falcons, New Orleans Saints, and Tennessee Titans before winding up his NFL career with the Buffalo Bills. Like most athletes who reach the professional level, he says he loved it and was honored to play successfully for so many years. But unlike many of his peers, Scott knew there was life after football...


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Multi-Brand 50    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue II, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

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