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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:

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...

Feature Story:

IFA Opposes Damaging California Franchise Legislation »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A bill making its way through the California State Assembly would undermine existing business contracts between franchisors and franchisees, says IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira. The IFA opposes the bill and issued a statement saying Assembly Bill 525 would create untested new statutory language that will lead to costly litigation and hinder future franchise development for an industry that has outpaced overall economic growth for five years since the recession.
"In keeping with the spirit of Governor Brown's veto message last year on this matter, the International Franchise Association has been working in good faith with Assemblyman Holden (D-CA-41) to reach a consensus on a number of outstanding contractual issues between franchisees and franchisors...

Feature Story:

CEO Profile: Julia Stewart, DineEquity, Part 1 »

By Kerry Pipes

Julia Stewart, chair and CEO of DineEquity (Applebee's and IHOP) knows about determination, hard work, and always learning and improving. It's what she's been doing for years - and doing it well.

Stewart's first work experience was during high school at an IHOP, beginning what she calls "a lifelong love affair with the restaurant industry." From the very start, she says, she found it fun, exciting, and rewarding to "be part of a team that provides people with a warm, hospitable, and enjoyable place where they can find good service and good food." She had found a profession that suited her and would provide a lifetime of reward, both personally and professionally. Over the years, Stewart has worked with brands including Taco Bell, Burger King, Carl's Jr...

Feature Story:

2015 AFDR Highlights: Website Mystery Shopping & Social Presence »

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: website mystery shopping and social channel performance.

Process Peak conducted this portion of the mystery shopping, examining the websites of 147 franchise brands to evaluate how well they are using their online presence to grow their brand and manage their reputation.

Process Peak's Jon Carlston noted that franchisors are doing a "great job" of getting their websites to appear on Google's first search results page, but are not doing a great job using social channels as an additional way to promote their franchise opportunity...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Group Brings Dunkin' To New Mexico »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Amin Habib, Murad Fazal, and Menjinder Bhambra are the principals behind NMR, LLC, a franchisee group that has more than 30 years of experience with Dunkin' Brands as well as the gas and convenience industry. They will now bring five Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and four multi-brand restaurants with its sister brand, Baskin-Robbins, to Albuquerque and its surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in Summer 2016.
Amin Habib, already owns four Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Chicago, two of which are multi-brand restaurants with sister brand, Baskin-Robbins.
"We are excited to expand the brands' presence in New Mexico and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work and visit here," said Habib...

Feature Story:

Executives Caution New York About Discriminatory Wage Increase »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Three pro-business group representatives have spoken out about New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's push to raise minimum wage in the state. The governor has said that he will ask the state labor commissioner to convene a panel to decide whether fast-food workers' wages should be raised.
But Melissa Fleischut, president and chief executive of the New York State Restaurant Association, and Ken Pokalsky, vice president of the Business Council of New York State, told The New York Times the move was ill advised.
"Singling out a sector of one industry to have a higher minimum wage than all other occupations is unfair and arbitrary. The minimum wage is rightfully set by the Legislature and should affect all businesses equally," said Fleischut...

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...



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