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Feature Story:

Georgia Franchisees Are Back To Fazoli's »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Allen Peake and Mike Chumbley are the powers behind C&P Restaurant Company, a Macon, Georgia-based company that operates Captain D's and Cheddar's locations. The duo has just inked a deal for six Fazoli's restaurants in Georgia and South Carolina.
The new deal brings Peake and Chumbley back to Fazoli's. As executives and minority owners of RMS Family Restaurants - where they worked together for 15 years - they previously operated 12 Fazoli's in Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. RMS sold its Fazoli's restaurants in 2000; they eventually were closed.
Under the new agreement, C&P Restaurant Company plans to open Fazoli's restaurants in Macon, Warner Robins, Athens, Augusta, Columbus, and Savannah.
"We always knew that we wanted to again be part of Fazoli's, and now the timing is right," says Peake...

Feature Story:

Cybersecurity Tips For Small Business Operators »

By Darren Guccione

From Target and Home Depot, to Apple's iCloud, Sony, and Anthem, it seems there's a new security breach announced every other week. Polls indicate that 50 percent of small- to medium-sized businesses believe they are immune to targeted cyber-attacks because criminals are more focused on large corporations. The reality is these companies are easy targets because they don't invest in new tools to defend against today's new breed of cyber attacks.  All companies, regardless of their size, are at risk.
Older, traditional security solutions are based on technologies that rely on knowing something about the attack, such as the vulnerability targeted, the malware used, or the reputation of the email sender. These tools may block basic known malware, but they are incapable of identifying today's dynamic, multi-vector, multi-stage attacks...

Feature Story:

6 Tips For Taking Leaps Of Faith »

By Scott Petinga

As a former Marine, cancer survivor, and highly successful serial entrepreneur, I've learned a thing or two about risk. If you're happy languishing in a gelatinous pool of indifference and stagnation then, by all means, keep doing what you're doing. If you're ready to take a leap and change things for the better, here's some wisdom to get you started:

1. Realize you take risks every day. Getting up, answering the phone, and heading out the door are all risks, albeit minor ones. However, every time you do those things you're putting yourself out there--you're even risking rejection daily in your professional and personal life. You do these things every day and survive. Trust me, it won't kill you. You are very capable of risk taking...

Feature Story:

Collaborate, Communicate, Grow: Franchise Relations Come To The Fore »

By Eddy Goldberg

Franchise relations are in the midst of powerful, fundamental change. Driven by the maturity of franchising, the rise of large multi-unit operators, the after-effects of the recession, and, most recently, external regulatory and political threats to the franchise model itself, franchisors and franchisees are working together more than ever before--and looking for ways to do it better.
In our conversations with multi-unit franchisees and franchisors, we found three overriding themes: collaboration, communication, and having a structure in place to facilitate them. Here's how some are working together for mutual gain.

In his 35 years in franchising as a franchisee of Great American Cookies, Doc Cohen has seen the brand trade hands from its founders to a private equity firm, sold to its chief competitor, and then sold twice more to private equity firms...

Feature Story:

Check Your Franchise Agreement Before You Sell »

By Scott A. Augustine

Franchisees around the country are breathing a collective sigh of relief as the post-recession rebound officially sets in. For many who weathered the economic downturn, earnings have increased, profits are up (thanks to strategic management decisions), and potential purchasers are again lining up to enter the market with finances in hand. And for others, fair market value for the business has reached a point where it may make financial sense to sell, particularly for those who held on to see a better day.
But before you make plans to sell the franchise, whether now or in the next few years, there are a few simple steps that you should take to prepare and avoid unwanted surprises. After all, preparation enhances the value of your business; surprises cost money and time...

Feature Story:

Information Retrieval: FDDs Need More Useful, Actionable Detail »

By Darrell Johnson

When evaluating a brand, experienced operators have two big advantages over first-time prospects. First, they know what questions to ask. Second, most of the time they know what a good answer looks like.
The first advantage really isn't all that much of an advantage. Common sense leads prospects to ask many of the most relevant questions. In addition to how much they will be asked to invest and how much can be made from that investment, some of the more frequently asked questions include: the franchisor's financial position, the experience of the franchisor's management team, the amount of training and support, brand marketing efforts, and the performance of units and franchisees.
The second advantage is usually considered the big one...

Feature Story:

Can Energy Management Systems Really Work? »

By James Walton

Energy management systems (EMS) are great in theory but often prove problematic in practice for many multi-unit franchise owners. The reasons tend to vary but a common theme centers on the administration of the intelligent thermostats, the pre-conceived cost of installation and complexity to ascertain, analyze, and effectively apply the data.
All of these are valid points against EMS for entrepreneurial multi-unit franchisees who operate in environments with razor thin margins and who may have limited internal resources. These owners simply don't have the bandwidth or dedicated staff to effectively administer, monitor, and analyze the fire hose of data associated with energy management systems.
As a result, multi-unit operators often discard the notion of embracing energy management systems and the significant financial benefits and operational efficiencies they provide...

Feature Story:

Franchisees Testify NLRB Actions Could Shut Them Down »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Two franchise business owners urged Congress to address regulatory overreach by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to expand the definition of what constitutes a joint employer during a hearing February 5 before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee. The franchise business owners testified that recent actions by the NLRB would significantly undermine their ability to operate and sustain their businesses - potentially forcing them to close down. 
At issue is the recent NLRB recommendation to upend the decades-long, well-established joint employer definition. Should the NLRB expand the definition of joint employer to include a franchisee's national brand, it would destroy the franchise model - leading to industry consolidation and, ultimately, to store closures and a loss of jobs, economic activity and entrepreneurial investment...

Feature Story:

The 5 C's For Building A Business »

By Marsha Friedman

Small businesses have made a huge recovery since the economic crash in 2008 and that's good news for all of us. Since we account for 63 percent of new jobs, our success puts people back to work. That, in turn, helps us even more - people with paychecks buy stuff!
And here's more good news: Women are launching more businesses than ever - 1,288 a day, according to a recent analysis by American Express. That's up from 602 in 2011-12. Since 1997, women-owned businesses rose by 68 percent.
As a female entrepreneur who will soon celebrate my company's 25th anniversary, I'm well aware of the challenges these brave new CEOs face. I'm not exaggerating when I use the word "brave." My experiences have taught me that courage is essential to launching and growing a successful business - particularly if you're a woman...

Feature Story:

It's A New World!: Technological Convergence Brings Sweeping Changes »

By Carol M. Schleif

Throughout modern history, periods of heightened innovation and technological advance were followed by a relatively radical step up in the human condition as new industries, processes, routines, and services became commonplace. In the mid- to late-1800s, the United States became truly united with the completion of the transcontinental railroad and interconnected waterways, while subsequent advances in electricity, plumbing, engineering, and medicine accelerated the efficiencies of life and business dramatically.
Recent advances in such things as robotics, computer processing and storage, sensors, materials science, and synthetic biotechnology have brought us to the verge of another new era, one with significant long-term implications for investors...

Feature Story:

Franchising Expected To Have Another Growth Year »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchise businesses are expected to grow and create more jobs at a faster pace than the rest of the economy in 2015 for the fifth consecutive year, according to "The Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2015" released today by the International Franchise Association (IFA) Educational Foundation and IHS Economics.
"Franchising is an American success story. Independently-owned and operated local franchise businesses are growing faster, creating more jobs at a quicker pace and producing higher sales growth than other businesses. Franchising is a vital engine of economic expansion in the United States and 2015 looks to be another strong year for franchise businesses," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira.
But Caldeira added a word of caution about the franchise outlook...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Three Top Challenges In 2015 »

By Chuck Pistor

Multi-unit franchise operators are fostering the growth of franchise profit across the United States. In 2014 alone, franchise organizations drove about 3.5 percent of the total U.S. GDP and franchise operators employed over 8.5 million Americans. Multi-unit operators played an instrumental role in advancing franchise operations across the country this year, and will continue to move the needle on franchise success in the new year.
In an always-evolving retail, restaurant, and service economy, being part of a franchise corporation gives new and seasoned entrepreneurs the means to hit the ground running. Starting an independent business is tough, but existing as part of a larger franchise network provides the support and direction it takes to see success early on...

Feature Story:

A Look Ahead: Franchise Sales And Growth In The New Year »

By Chuck Pistor

The nature of the franchise business is quickly evolving, but it's never been clearer that now is the optimal time to be part of a franchise organization. Franchises drove approximately 3.5 percent of the total U.S. GDP in 2014 and employed more than 8.5 million Americans. As it becomes riskier and more challenging to get off the ground as an independent startup, entrepreneurs are finding that it pays to be part of a larger franchise network that can support growth and boost initial success.

But as with any business venture, launching or running a franchise can have its speed bumps along the way. Achieving optimal sales and growth doesn't happen overnight. It takes ongoing commitment from franchise owners and operators. In 2015, I foresee a new set of challenges for franchises, largely prompted by three factors: new government regulations, crowded market share, and employees predisposed to entitlement and generational differences...

Feature Story:

Coalition Of Franchisee Associations To Meet In March »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

This year's annual CFA Day Forum will be in Washington, D.C. from March 24-25 at the Omni Shoreham. The forum will include informational sessions, an attorney's round table, congressional visits, a Cherry Blossom Dinner Cruise, and a closing luncheon on Capitol Hill.
  Traditionally, the CFA Day Forum has provided an opportunity for franchisees and their vendor business partners to hear from well-known political speakers including Sens. John McCain, Lindsay Graham, and Rand Paul, as well as Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, Reps. Howard Coble, and Jared Huffman, and political pundits like Bill Kristol, George Will, and Sam Donaldson.
This year's agenda will feature subject matter experts on legislative hot topic issues and will boast a variety of informative and educational topics relevant to the franchisee community...

Feature Story:

5 Ways To Ensure Family Business Success? »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Non-family businesses can learn a lot from family businesses, says Henry Hutcheson, a certified Family Business Advisor and founder of Family Business USA consultancy.
"Family businesses outperformed non-family businesses during the boom years leading up to the 2008 recession, and during the 2001 and 2008 recession years," he says, citing a recent Harvard Business Review study.
Hutcheson, author of "Dirty Little Secrets of Family Business," (, says family businesses were less likely to lay off workers during the lean times, and more likely to maintain their emphasis on socially responsible programs.?But that's just the businesses that survived.
"Many closed their doors," he notes...

Feature Story:

The Secret To Getting Things Done »

By Rowdy McLean

What's the difference between those that do and those that don't?
After decades of asking myself and thousands of others that same question, I have come to the conclusion that your success comes down to just one thing.
Whether you're trying to lose weight, save money, climb mountains, win a grand final, run a marathon, get a promotion, pretty much anything! One thing sets the winners apart from the losers, the achievers from the underachievers, the successful from the unsuccessful.
I have watched thousands of documentaries, read thousands of stories, and interviewed thousands of people and in every single case it's the same.
It's not having a positive mindset (although that helps), it's not having a secret formula (although having a plan helps), it's not where you were born or where you went to school, and it's not who your friends are or how much money you have...

Feature Story:

3 Keys To A Successful Restaurant Sale »

By Kevin Burke

It wasn't too long ago, in the midst of recession, the idea of selling a restaurant would have been fleeting at best.
Today, the idea makes sense for a variety of reasons, especially because there are plenty of investors available who are aggressively looking for places to spend their money. And many of them have their eyes on the restaurant industry.
Why? There are several reasons restaurants are attractive to investors:

Feature Story:

Building (or Acquiring) Success: Key Growth Factors Franchisees Should Know »

By Kerry Pipes

No one ever said franchise growth was easy. Operating one or two locations is hard enough, but growing to 10, 20, or more is challenging for even the most seasoned operators--especially if any of their new builds or acquisitions turns out to be a poor performer. We tracked down five successful multi-unit franchisees who have been there and done it--and who bear the scars and trophies to prove it. Among the key factors in multi-unit success, they say, are timing, funding, cash flow, people, infrastructure, and identifying the right opportunities. Their insights into what to look for and how to proceed once you decide it's time to grow may contain just the missing ingredient you need.

Right time
Deciding when to grow--and if you're ready--differs for each franchisee...

Feature Story:

Reminder...Customers Still Use The Phone »

By Lisa Ford

There is a lot of talk about customers and their use of social media. Data tells us customers are using it more and companies must be responsive and innovative with their use of it. However, I would like to remind organizations that customer still pick up a phone and call. In many cases, they've already tried social media or your website. A 2012 Sitel Study reveals when customers have a problem with a product, 57 percent of customers search for a solution online first. So when calling, their expectations are high and their frustration could be also.

Let's review a few fundamentals of a great phone experience.

Feature Story:

IFA's Franchise Action Network: Building Industry Strength »

By Erica Farage

The franchise business model is under unprecedented attack by anti-business activists launching a coordinated campaign in cities, states, and at the federal level. From discriminatory wage increases in Seattle and potentially Chicago, to federal regulations that would recast franchisors as employers of their franchisees' employees, these attacks are like nothing we have ever experienced. Franchise businesses must unite under a single, unswerving, strong, and collective voice to defend the franchise model against these increasing threats.
1) It's time to mobilize, now. This summer, the IFA board approved a new strategic initiative, the Franchise Action Network (FAN) to mobilize and unify the franchise community. Through FAN, franchisees, franchisors, and suppliers are working to educate lawmakers, regulators, key influencers, and the public about the crucial economic advantages provided by the franchise business model across the country...

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2015 MVPs! And the winners are...    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2015

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

Top Opportunities »

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