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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:

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:

The Trouble With Saying 'I Got This' »

By Champ Rawl

Designated successors generally have a vision of what one day being "the leader" is; I will do this better, this differently, and these changes will be made immediately. As one works toward this role of leader or owner, one key component to understand is the practice of humility. In addition, and probably most important but hardest to understand, is the idea of patience. As you take the stage, natural inclination may be to get overly excited with the mantra "I got this" and work full steam ahead towards your agenda and showing everyone how capable and competent you are.
A hiking analogy comes to mind. When tackling a big hill, I look ahead and find the highest peak; mentally take note of it and then put my head down and go for the top...

Feature Story:

Social Media Listening Builds Relationships Between Brands And Customers »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

A new report that examined the overall performance of 100 restaurant brands across social media, looking at more than 740 million restaurant-related posts, has found that the most successful brands are focused on listening to and engaging with customers online and creating some best practices that are applicable for many others. The results are in NetBase's, a social analytics company, first NetBase Restaurant Report.
"It's clear from the NetBase Restaurant Report that companies who listen to their customers - whether it be critical customer service feedback, ideas for new recipes, or excitement over a recent promotion - reap the benefits of real-time feedback and higher quality social interactions, which can ultimately lead to more sales," says Paige Leidig, chief marketing officer at NetBase...

Feature Story:

When Is Big Too Big?: Re-Evaluating Unlimited Multi-Unit Growth »

By Dean Zuccarello

Consolidation is perhaps the single most significant trend we have seen in the restaurant industry over the past decade. It is easy to understand why franchisees and investors have chosen this direction. Under the right leadership, consolidation leads to greater predictability of operational results and returns through economies of scale, implementation of modern technology, market control, and fixed-cost leverage. We have entered into the era of the "mega-franchisee," but as these entities become ever more massive, is there a case to be made for these organizations to strategically divest assets, becoming smaller over time?
There are two catalysts for where a mega-franchisee could find deconsolidation the best course of action: 1) when it reaches an inefficient tipping point in the context of day-to-day operations, or 2) when it becomes more beneficial to break apart the whole to maximize shareholder value as it relates to an exit strategy...

Feature Story:

Breakfast Market To Heat Up In Next Few Years »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Nobody needs to tell Americans that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. The statistics tell the story. The consumption of breakfasts and morning snacks is forecast to grow faster than the U.S. population over the next few years, reports The NPD Group, a leading global information company. Total breakfast occasions, in- and away-from-home, are forecast to grow by 5 percent through 2019, ahead of the expected population growth of 4 percent. Annual morning snack occasions per person have increased by 17 percent over the past six years, according to NPD's continual tracking of U.S. eating behaviors.
The need for speed, affordability, and portability are the reasons why morning meal traffic, which includes breakfast and morning snack, at traditional quick service restaurants has been growing...

Feature Story:

New Overtime Rule Compels Problems For Franchisees »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The U.S. Department of Labor's new overtime law will force thousands of employers to shift the pay status of their employees from salaried to hourly and diminish their quality of work life, says the International Franchise Association (IFA). The group has previously expressed its concerns in comments to Department of Labor and meetings with Office of Management and Budget.
"Far from 'giving America a raise,' the new overtime rule will compel many franchise businesses to reduce their managers' take-home pay simply to comply with the extreme new salary level," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. "The rule is unfair to employees who will need to be reclassified from exempt to non-exempt, and thus effectively demoted. The Administration irresponsibly failed to conduct any economic analysts of this rule's impact on myriad stakeholders and millions of employees will experience reduced take-home pay, opportunity and flexibility in the workplace as a consequence of the Administration's actions...

Feature Story:

Beyond CRM: 5 Tips For Using Predictive Analytics To Boost Your Bottom Line »

By Lang Smith

For any sales-driven business, it isn't the size of your data that matters, it's what you do with it. No longer a discretionary luxury, predictive analytics is now the name of the game for marketers determined to use customer metrics in a meaningful way to establish a competitive advantage, gain market share, and boost bottom lines. 

Just what exactly is predictive analysis? Simply put, it's the ability to more precisely predict a customer's future spending based on their past behaviors. Of course, there's no way to actually predict the future, but predictive analytics can give companies invaluable insights that can make or break a CRM system. If you're not using predictive analytics, your current CRM system is likely falling short in several areas...

Feature Story:

Turning Today's Employees Into Tomorrow's Leaders »

By Jeff Bannon

One of the biggest challenges of business ownership is attracting good talent - but retaining them is even harder. As a multi-unit franchisee business owner, you look at your strong employees as future leaders. With changing demographics in the workplace creating generational diversity, how do you turn your current and future employees into leaders?
There are consistent core areas of leadership development necessary to turn employees into leaders, regardless of age and generational differences. Communication, commitment, recognition, and growth are requirements for helping your people to become leaders.

Communication: It is a skill that the potential future leader must have, but also an act of leadership that they expect from you...

Feature Story:

Seattle Minimum Wage Fight Hits Roadblock »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Seattle's multi-unit franchisees aren't giving up the fight. Last week, the Supreme Court refused to hear the decision of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to uphold Seattle's 2014 minimum wage law, which purposefully discriminates against small franchised businesses. But he IFA and many of the city's franchisees are not giving up hope.
The IFA and five Seattle franchisees sued Seattle in June 2014, seeking to block portions of the city's new law to increase the city's minimum wage to $15 an hour. The plaintiffs asked the court to enjoin the city from treating franchisees as large, national companies rather than the small, locally-owned businesses that they are.
"Today's decision from the Supreme Court is clearly a disappointment as our appeal has always focused solely on the discriminatory treatment of franchisees under Seattle's wage law and the motivation to discriminate against interstate commerce," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Limited-Service Chains Leading The Way »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Technomic Inc.'s annual Top 500 Chain Restaurant Report has one clear message: Limited-service chains are in the driver's seat. According to the Chicago-based market research firm, cumulative year-over-year sales for chains in their Top 500 ranking grew 5 percent in 2015, while limited-service concepts significantly outpaced their full-service counterparts at a rate of 5.5 to 3.6 percent. Contributing to this sales gap was a sizeable differential in unit growth. In 2015, limited-service chains in the Top 500 grew at a rate of 2.3 percent, nearly tripling full service's cumulative mark of 0.8 percent.
Drilling deeper into limited service's strong year reveals numerous interesting plot lines. With Panera's move into the No. 10 position, the top 10 ranked chains were composed entirely of limited-service concepts for the first time...

Feature Story:

Moving Targets: Franchisees Respond To Changing Markets »

By Helen Bond

When retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Tim Hershberger signed on as a franchisee with Dickey's Barbecue Pit in Florida, the 30-year military veteran was already focused on the customers he knew best. And his military ties have helped jump-start his first nongovernmental venture.
His first Dickey's, in Pensacola, is one of three planned restaurants that will cater to current and former military members in the Florida Panhandle, home to Naval Air Station Pensacola and Eglin Air Force Base in nearby Fort Walton Beach. Military customers will receive a 15 percent discount, and catering orders are delivered to the bases free of charge.
"We will continue to refine our strategies to get better at what we do," he says. "We will always cater to the military because I believe what they do is vital to the safety of our nation...

Feature Story:

Study Says Consumers Want More From Pizza »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Pizza consumption is trending at its highest level in four years and showing growth for pizza-focused concepts across channels, says a new report by Technomic. To maintain this momentum and stay ahead in the competitive pizza space, operators must innovate and adapt to consumers' evolving demands for unique, high-quality and better-for-you pizza ingredients and add-ons. This is according to Technomic's 2016 Pizza Consumer Trend Report, which highlights the menu and consumer trends shaping the pizza category.
"Today's consumers are less beholden to their standard pizza orders, as emerging players push the envelope of what's expected on a pizza menu," explains Deanna Jordan, manager of consumer insights at Technomic. "New chef-designed specialty pizzas positioned as customizable thought-starters will serve to convey kitchen skills and allow for the personalization these consumers increasingly expect...

Feature Story:

The 3 T's For Franchise Success »

By Chris Taylor

Higher customer expectations, lower brand loyalty, and pervasive consumer technology have created a dynamic landscape for companies looking to differentiate and win. But for today's franchisees, the ability to adapt will ultimately determine which locations thrive and which disappear.
In this ever-changing landscape, what sets the winners apart? I believe that today, franchise success depends on conquering the 3 Ts: Team, Tools, and Transparency.

Team
Historically, franchisees have underutilized a not-so-secret weapon - the field organization. The field holds major responsibility as they funnel information from corporate to individual franchise locations, yet today they are not being used effectively. District managers are poised to be advisors for your stores, so making the most of your time with them to share objectives and goals can have a strong influence and impact on the success of your franchise...

Feature Story:

Benefits Of Employee Engagement Surveys »

By Dan Schneider

"The Millennial Generation loves itself. Its members have bad manners, contempt for authority, no respect for older people, and talk, tweet, or text nonsense when they should be working. They show no respect for the members of previous generations with whom they work; they contradict recognized authorities and experts; and they tyrannize parents, managers, and colleagues who are deficient in knowledge and practical application of social media and contemporary technology."
First, let me apologize to Socrates, a Greek philosopher who lived sometime around 450 BC, for having updated a quote often attributed to him about the generation that followed him into Greek society. While Socrates may not be around any longer, the human race is still going strong, and each generation seems to say to itself "Kids! What's the matter with kids today? Why can't they be like we were, perfect in every way, what's the matter with kids today?" (from the musical "Bye, Bye Birdie")
Pundits and trainers everywhere are making a financial killing convincing organizational and business leaders that the Millennials have to be the greatest threat to the human race since the onset of the Bird Flu epidemic...

Feature Story:

Maintain Equanimity: Learning To Prosper From Market Volatility »

By Carol M. Schleif

As we saw in graphic detail this past August-October, interim market swings in both directions can be violent. Major markets around the globe experienced their first correction in more than half a decade, only to make it all back up and then some within a couple of weeks. Assets hit the hardest on the way down (e.g., emerging market equities and tech stocks) were among the largest gainers on the way back up. Such whipsaws once were commonplace, though markets in recent years had not seen that level of volatility and had become frustratingly complacent. For those with a sound plan in place, interim market volatility can represent potential versus overt risk, as it allows the nimble to initiate or add to high-quality assets that become unduly stressed amid near-term panic...

Feature Story:

Freedom Of Associations: Is 2016 The Year Of Franchisee Activism? »

By Eddy Goldberg

The usual reason for forming an independent franchisee association is to address problems with the franchisor or other conflicts within the system. While the goal of the franchisees who banded together was to improve the system as they saw it, the relationship often was adversarial--at least initially, until the two sides discovered they had overriding common interests. These internal "family feuds" were the norm for decades, especially in systems where the franchisees were not making the return on their investment they'd expected, for whatever cause.
In recent years, however, the focus of franchisee associations has expanded to include external threats--from competition and the battle for market share, to what many currently perceive as a threat from governmental and regulatory bodies to the franchise business model itself...

Feature Story:

Indiana Fights Federal Government Overreach »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Indiana Governor Mike Pence is the latest to sign a state bill clarifying that a franchisor is not the employer of a franchisee or of a franchisee's employees under Indiana's employment laws. He signed House Bill 1218 in late March.
Specifically, the legislation establishes that an employee of a franchisee is not an employee of the franchisor. Furthermore, the measure outlines that it is the franchisee that is responsible for the employment relationship including hiring, firing, discipline, supervision and direction of the employee. The franchisee and franchisor are considered separate entities and therefore not joint employers.
Indiana joins nearly a dozen other states that have already passed similar legislation or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Survey Says Restaurant Brand Growth Increases »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The 500 largest restaurant chains in the United States accelerated their cumulative sales growth in 2015 to a 4.9 percent increase, totaling an estimated $288 billion. While four of the top five chains in the ranking improved their performance from the prior year, the fast casual segment continued to lead the pack with 11.4 percent sales growth, almost doubling the growth rate of any other dining segment.
According to data just released by Technomic Inc. in an advance brief of its annual report on the largest U.S. restaurant companies, the 4.9 percent sales growth seen by the Top 500 in 2015 beat out 2014's mark of 4.2 percent. Diving deeper into the improved sales growth observed in 2015, limited service chains grew their cumulative sales 5...


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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

Top Opportunities »

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