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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...

Feature Story:

Call To Reverse NLRB Ruling »

Danny Farrar, CEO and founder of SoldierFit Fitness Company, testified last week on behalf of the Coalition to Save Local Businesses before the U.S. House Small Business Subcommittee on Investigations, Oversight and Regulations. He asked the committee to take action to reverse the NLRB's decision to alter the "joint employer" standard for all small businesses.
In his testimony, Farrar--who served eight years in the military, including a combat tour in Iraq, 700 missions, and tasked with leading the first Army team into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001, stated that small business owners around the country are being forced to try to grow under great uncertainty because of this new standard.
"When the National Labor Relations Board decided to change the joint employer liability standard last fall, it was a scary moment for local business owners like me," said Farrar...

Feature Story:

Letting Go Without Giving Up Control »

By Dan Schneider

What happens to your blood pressure when someone asks you about your "exit strategy"? Oftentimes, the term "exit strategy" stirs up emotions and fears tied to giving up control and "what's next." As a result, the question and necessary discussion are often ignored, leaving you as the business owner in the exact place you are hoping to avoid - vulnerable. As uncomfortable and overwhelming as it may seem to be, strategically discussing an exit strategy along with business vision and growth goals actually puts you in the driver's seat. Sort of like athletes retiring at the top of their game - you are now in control by choice rather than by chance. Just as the building of your multi-unit franchise business happened over many years, the most effective exit strategy is deployed over time and is unique to your personal and business interests such as:

Feature Story:

Never And Always: Creating A Customer-First Organization »

By John DiJulius

You want customer loyalty? Be brilliant at the basics.
World-class service companies have what I like to call a "customer bill of rights" that every person in that organization clearly knows and follows 100 percent of the time. Would you ever expect to see a Disney cast member on break, in full uniform, chewing tobacco and spitting on the ground near the front entrance where guests are walking? Doubtful. Would you ever think a Ritz-Carlton employee, when asked for directions to the ballroom, would respond, "I don't know. I work in housekeeping."? Highly unlikely! One of the most effective ways to elevate your company's customer service level is by instituting your own customer bill of rights.
If anyone is going to wear your uniform or name tag or represent your brand, you need only a small set (6 to 10 actions or standards) for your employees to live by...

Feature Story:

Utah Takes On NLRB Ruling »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Utah is joining the growing statewide bandwagon to create a bill that defines and separates franchisors from franchisees and their employees. House Bill 116 clearly establishes franchisees as the sole employer of their workers. The bill now awaits the governor's signature, which is expected soon.
State legislatures across the country have been taking up the mantle of franchise business owners and their rights. Utah's HB 116 comes in the wake of a decision by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent. The law clarifies that neither a franchisee nor a franchisee's employee shall be deemed to be an employee of the franchisor for any purpose.
"It has become clear that bipartisan agreement in states all over this country have coalesced around the issue that franchisors and franchisee s are separate entities," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti...

Feature Story:

Branching Out: Non-Traditional Franchisees Deliver The Goods »

By Helen Bond

Ross Harried has found that a "small" strategy can serve up big business success. His Maui Wowi Ka'anapali Carts (Tiki huts on wheels) are 8 feet wide, 3 feet deep, 8 feet high and can squeeze in most anywhere, which allows him to provide a memorable presence at events ranging from youth and professional sports to concerts, graduations, dance competitions, corporate gatherings, and wherever he's asked to serve up his smoothies.
The mobile units are a signature of Maui Wowi Hawaiian Coffee & Smoothies, which also offers storefront, kiosk, food truck, and enclosed concession trailer options to franchisees. The lower start-up costs of the mobile carts appealed to Harried, who became a Maui Wowi franchisee in February 2013. Since then, he has built a book of repeat customers and lucrative venue contracts in the Minneapolis area and catapulted himself into the fourth largest franchisee in a system with more than 450 units in 7 countries...

Feature Story:

Wisconsin Passes Pro Franchisee Bill »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Wisconsin is the latest state to push back against the overreaching National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) by passing a new law that affirms franchisor and franchisee employees are separate entities. Senate Bill 422 was just signed last week by Governor Scott Walker and applies to state enforcement agencies.
SB 422, which excludes a franchisor as the employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee for purposes of certain laws relating to employment, was signed in the wake of a decision by the NLRB to change 50 years of federal labor law and legal precedent.
Wisconsin is the latest state to enact legislation that provides clarity to the small business community. Nearly a dozen states have passed or are considering actions to protect local franchises against federal government overreach...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisees Appointed To IFA Board »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Aziz Hashim, managing partner of NRD Capital Management, LLC, became chairman of the International Franchise Association (IFA) during the group's 56th Annual Convention last week in San Antonio. David Barr, chairman of PMTD Restaurants, which operates multiple KFC and Taco Bell locations, is now secretary. Other board members appointed include multi-unit franchisees Jeffrey Tews, who operates BrightStar Care and Mr. Handyman locations, John Draper, CEO, Viridian Group LLC, which operates Burger King, Pizza Hut, and Auntie Anne's among others, and Charles Stempler, who operates AlphaGraphics locations.
Hashim has been a long-standing IFA member and an advocate and mentor to the franchise industry at large. He has held numerous leadership positions in the association throughout his career...

Feature Story:

Cultural Due Diligence Essential In M&A's »

By Dan Schneider

Growth opportunities wear many disguises. Sometimes it looks organic; sometimes it looks like a merger or acquisition; and sometimes it looks like a combination of all three. With each disguise comes a different set of challenges.
Specifically, with mergers and acquisitions, the biggest challenge is that the core values and cultures of the two organizations differ. Owners go through an in-depth financial due diligence process during a buy/sell in order to determine the market value of the franchise. However, it is rare, if ever, that any cultural due diligence is completed to determine the cultural compatibility. Without cultural compatibility, the integration of the new location can be very challenging. The cultural differences have much more emotional impact than rational on how they impact the mingling of the cultures...

Feature Story:

New Texas Law To Protect Franchising »

franchise, franchising, multi unit franchising, franchise update, mult-unit franchisee

The state of Texas continues to be a magnet for growth in the franchising industry, thanks in part to a new law the legislature enacted last year to protect the viability of franchise businesses. Nationwide, the franchise industry is expected to add 278,000 direct jobs to the economy for a total of 9.1 million and the number of establishments will grow by 13,358 to 795,932 in 2016.
"Texas recognized the importance of defining the difference between franchisors and franchisees, and enacted legislation clarifying an employee of a franchisee is not an employee of the franchisor," said IFA State Director Jeff Hanscom. "This legislation provided clarity to the small business community in Texas and allowed the franchise business model to continue to thrive...


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