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The best franchise prospects and candidates are looking for a solid, proven system to invest their hopes, dreams, and hard-earned savings in. If you don't have it, they'll find someone who does. Look for leadership insights from top CEOs and presidents in every issue, along with guest columnists and leadership gurus who will share their insights and expertise about winning leadership techniques.

Feature Story:

Cleaning Up: Dan Tarantin Has Chem-Dry And N-Hance On The Fast Track »

By Kerry Pipes

Dan Tarantin is president and CEO of Harris Research, franchisor of Chem-Dry and N-Hance Wood Renewal. Chem-Dry, founded in 1977, is a carpet and upholstery cleaning brand with more than 3,500 locations in 50 countries and provides services to nearly 10,000 homes daily. N-Hance is a cabinet and floor restoration service with more than 370 locations in the U.S. and Canada.
Tarantin was hired in late 2011 to reinvigorate and grow the brands. From 1999 to 2001, he was president and CEO of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service. During those years, the company doubled from 1,700 to 3,400 locations, customers increased more than 100 percent, revenue grew 200 percent, and EBITDA was up 600 percent. And there was more. He restructured $30 million of marketing initiatives to expand the customer base, increase brand awareness and influence, and boost client retention...

Feature Story:

Change Agent: Making The World A Better, Cleaner Place »

By Kerry Pipes

Jonathan Barnett has a portfolio full of ideas and plans for his expanding the Oxi Fresh Carpet Cleaning brand. As an enterprising college graduate, he founded the brand in 2006 because, he says, "Carpet cleaning has a low barrier to entry, is excellent for creating repeat business, offers a service in high demand, and has the potential to net millions of dollars." Today, nearly a decade after launching his dream, he remains atop the brand as CEO, directing its growth and pushing the boundaries of an old-school industry.
His track record to date is promising. Barnett opened the first Oxi Fresh in Denver, and within 6 months the company had expanded to 17 locations in 5 states. He gave the first five franchises away free, including one to his mother, who remains a major influence in his life...

Feature Story:

Fresh-Baked Approach: We Take Our Pretzels Seriously, Not Ourselves »

By Bill Phelps

In the fast food industry, taste will always rule. The past few years, however, have seen a shift in the way guests connect with brands, with elevated expectations regarding food quality, transparency, and authenticity. While evolving with your guests is mandatory for success, doing it in a way that aligns with your brand's ethos is the difference between average and thriving. For all the growth Wetzel's Pretzels has experienced, ensuring that our products, marketing, and guest experience have been brand aligned since day one is an element we're incredibly proud of. We were the 10th player in the fresh-baked pretzel category when we entered in 1994, and people said we'd maybe get to 30 locations. We will end 2015 with 320 units, with another 35 to 40 opening in 2016...

Feature Story:

Integration And Collaboration: It's All About Teamwork At Jersey Mike's »

By Eddy Goldberg

At Jersey Mike's Subs, technology, marketing, operations, and strategy are so intertwined, "We joke back and forth about who's in charge of who, because there's so much overlap," says Rich Hope, the company's CMO. "We have a super open-door policy with marketing and IT, and try to get operations involved as well."
"Each department has needs," says CIO Scott Scherer. "In this day and age most of those needs involve technology."
The company's POS system, developed by Scherer and his team, is at the core of the inter-departmental collaboration that is a big part of Jersey Mike's culture--and its rapid growth, as the company approaches the 1,000-unit mark. Scherer describes the brand's award-winning POS system as an integrated software suite with the POS system as the hub (see graphic)...

Feature Story:

Journey To Success: For Tutor Doctor's CEO, Business Is Very Personal »

By Kerry Pipes

For Frank Milner, it's all about the journey. Milner, CEO of Tutor Doctor, sees his role in the Canadian franchise brand as a natural extension of his passion and determination to make organizations succeed and to provide customers with the best products and services possible. And while it's the journey that motivates him, he knows that he doesn't make it alone. "I like to make the journey to success enjoyable for everyone involved," he says.
In 2007, Milner formed an investment group and purchased Tutor Doctor from founder John Hooi. As education is valued across every culture and continent, Milner recognized the brand's tremendous growth potential. There also was a personal connection: his daughter struggled with what he called "math meltdowns," and he understood firsthand the chief benefit of Tutor Doctor's one-on-one model...

Feature Story:

Speed Through Systems: Oxi Fresh's Technology Is So Good, Others Want It! »

By Eddy Goldberg

Franchise systems play up their technology as a differentiator, but Oxi Fresh delivers--in a big way. In fact, other service brands have approached them about using a customized version of their home-built software. "Brands reach out to us all the time," says company founder Jonathan Barnett. So far, Oxi has partnered with one brand, Midtown Chimney Sweeps, which relocated from Southern California to Denver to work more closely with the company.
Before partnering with Oxi Fresh, says Byron Schramm, founder and president of Midtown Chimney Sweeps, "We were a small owner-operated company with branches in several states. We needed a quality scheduling center and researched a lot of brands for solutions." After partnering with Oxi Fresh, sales more than doubled in the first 12 months...

Feature Story:

UPWARD!: Building And Leveraging Your Network To Advance Your Career »

By Eddy Goldberg

"Increasingly, leadership today is defined not just by how many hours you spend at your computer, but your ability to connect to others, says Carol Bartz, former Yahoo CEO and Lisa Lambert, founder of UPWARD."

That's the start of "Why women should do less and network more," an article the two wrote for Fortune last November. It's also the premise behind UPWARD (Uniting Professional Women Accelerating Relationships & Development), the global networking organization for senior professional women that Lambert founded in 2013.
"It's something I had been thinking about for some time. I've seen the disparity in opportunities for men and women in high-tech and in venture capital," says Lambert, who has worked at Intel Corp. for nearly 18 years...

Feature Story:

The Rebirth Of Roy Rogers »

By Jim Plamondon

Larger-than-life brand rides back into town
When I got into the family business in 1995, the Roy Rogers chain was a smaller version of the regional QSR powerhouse it once had been. Hardee's had purchased the brand from Marriott in 1990, largely for the real estate, and began a process of closing, converting, or selling off many of its 648 locations. By the early 2000s, the store count was down to about 80.
To me and my brother, Pete Jr., the decline of Roy Rogers was personal. Our dad, Pete Sr., was part of the Marriott executive team that had created the concept in 1968. It was an exciting time. Roy Rogers was this iconic, larger-than-life cowboy, devoted to Western principles, faith, and family values. He was a popular entertainer and Marriott built upon his persona to create and rapidly grow the franchise...

Feature Story:

Learn At Every Turn: Carin Stutz, President Of McAlister's Deli, Is A Quick Study »

By Helen Bond

Carin Stutz, president of McAlister's Deli, considers herself a student of business. If her own success in the restaurant industry is any measure, she's a quick study. And since taking on the role in mid-November, she has been immersed in all things McAlister's.
Discovering a brand's essence is a typical strategy for Stutz, who has built a career by taking the time to study every aspect of a brand, from finance to food to franchisees, to ensure she protects what the customers love and uncovers new ways to make the business better.
Stutz, 58, has spent her entire work life in the restaurant business and brings a passionate, results-driven approach and rich background in operations to McAlister's. "I learned early in my career that you have to be an advocate for yourself," she says...

Feature Story:

Balancing Act: Raising A Special Needs Child From The C-suite »

By Eddy Goldberg

Early in her career, Barbara Moran-Goodrich, CEO of the Moran Family of Brands, was fired from her job as controller at Moran Industries--by her own father, who had founded the company. He believed his intentions were good. His timing was not.
"I wish you would have let me know before I bought a house and had a baby," she told him. Yes, those were different times, and she knows that in his mind he meant well, but still...
"A lot of people will say, 'Okay, that's unacceptable.' And it is unacceptable in the workplace. But in the 1980s, that was not unheard of. Many women had to make career choices between families or their career. And many times it derailed their career, or they would make decisions to push having a family back, just to be able to continue forward in their career...

Feature Story:

Power Up!: Batteries Plus Bulbs Chases $1 Billion In Sales »

By Kerry Pipes

Russ Reynolds' leadership has helped Batteries Plus Bulbs push boundaries and create enhancements that not only are keeping the brand relevant, but also are expanding its product and service offerings and creating sustainable growth. Under Reynolds' direction, the brand has seen system revenue more than double in the past five years. It has also maintained double-digit system sales growth and store opening rates during this period. Today Batteries Plus Bulbs is the country's largest battery and light bulb franchise and is looking to expand the $30 billion battery and $17 billion light bulb industries.
Following retail management experience at Target and GNB Technology, a consumer and industrial battery manufacturer, Reynolds arrived at Batteries Plus in 2000, serving as president and COO for two years until he became CEO and put the brand on the fast track...

Feature Story:

Chief Vibe Officer: Which Wich's Jeff Sinelli Brings A Unique Approach To Leadership »

By Kerry Pipes

Jeff Sinelli likes to be called CVO--as in chief vibe officer. It may seem slightly irreverent, but the founder and CEO of Which Wich is not your ordinary leader. You won't catch him wearing a suit at headquarters or visiting the stores, but instead donning the brand's black-and-yellow colors.
His leadership and unique approach allowed him to enter a busy sandwich sector and differentiate his way straight to success. "We took on a crowded market," says Sinelli. "We took ordinary sandwiches and made them extraordinary. We did it in two ways: with the unique and interactive ordering system, and with the product itself. We also stepped it up with superior service. We elevated the sandwich, the experience, and the environment."
Success is not new to Sinelli...

Feature Story:

At Your Service!: Mike Bidwell Leads The Dwyer Group Into The Future »

By Kerry Pipes

Mike Bidwell is a leader who is clear, pragmatic, and to the point. "I'm passionate about creating opportunities for others to grow," says the 57-year-old president and CEO of The Dwyer Group. It's this focus that keeps him excited about the organization and its potential. Growth has been strong and strategic plans are in motion to continue growing through the expansion of its eight service brands and the acquisition of other, complementary brands.
Early in 2014, Bidwell, president of the Waco, Tex.-based brand for the past eight years, also became CEO. "That was really just a formality because I had been handling both roles for some time as Dina transitioned into her growing role as a public speaker and board co-chairwoman," he says...

Feature Story:

Homage To Heritage: Pollo Campero Rebrands For The 21st Century »

By Tim Pulido

Rebranding a major chain is never easy, but when your brand's historic roots run deep, there is even more on the line. It's great to have an established fan base, but a serious group of longtime devotees can be a double-edged sword. When a brand's look and feel starts to tire, how does a franchise draw in new audiences without alienating supporters who feel like family?
Pollo Campero, the world's largest Latin chicken restaurant brand, started as a small family restaurant more than 40 years ago. The restaurant's flavors were so special that Guatemalans and Salvadorans would bring chicken back in their suitcases to give family members living out of the country the unparalleled taste of home. Today, that devotion has helped Pollo Campero grow to more than 350 restaurants in 12 countries across the globe...

Feature Story:

Two For Two: And Now John Hewitt Wants To Be #1 »

By Kerry Pipes

You might say John Hewitt has had a taxing career. In fact, over 45 years he's founded, developed, and managed two of the top three tax companies in the country. Now he has his sights set on making Liberty Tax Service the number-one tax company in the world by 2020.
Hewitt began his career working for H&R Block in 1969 as a tax preparer before quickly advancing to assistant manager and regional director. He was the company's youngest regional director, managing more than 2,000 tax preparers in 250 offices in one of H&R Block's largest districts.
In the early 1980s, he and his father invented the first tax software for the fledgling Apple Computer company. But his "eureka moment" was still to come.
In 1982, Hewitt and a team of investors founded Jackson Hewitt Tax Service in Hampton Roads, Va...

Feature Story:

Batteries Plus Bulbs CEO Russ Reynolds Thinks Outside The Battery, Part 2 »

By Kerry Pipes

Batteries Plus Bulbs CEO Russ Reynolds is thinking beyond the battery as he takes the brand in a newly expanded direction and chases $1 billion in annual sales, part 2: management style, personal, and bottom line. (Click for part 1.)
Management

Describe your management style: I would say high on energy and engagement while being pretty low on detail and organization. I let our functional leaders run their areas. I do expect to hear about problems early and often, and I expect them to play nice with others.

What does your management team look like? We are fortunate to have a group that has grown the business and grown with the business together. We trust each other and push each other to get better. Also, most of our team is made up of Cheeseheads (Packers fans), so Vikings and Bears fans are generally disliked...

Feature Story:

Building Momentum: Cheryl Bachelder, Popeyes CEO, Wants To Build Better Leaders »

By Kerry Pipes

The single word Cheryl Bachelder, CEO of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, uses to describe the resurgence of the brand is "momentum." She says Popeyes is now in its seventh year of positive growth, and its turnaround tale is one she is extremely proud to be part of.
"My background in packaged goods taught me the value of positioning a brand, listening to customers, and keeping things fresh in order to be successful," she says. "I don't believe in a brand lifecycle."
Following a career with packaged goods giants including Procter & Gamble, The Gillette Company, and Nabisco, Bachelder took a leadership position with Domino's Pizza in the mid-1990s. It was her first foray into the restaurant business and franchising, and it was a case of baptism by fire...

Feature Story:

CEO Profile: The Dwyer Group's Mike Bidwell - From Franchisee To The C-Suite, Part 2 »

By Kerry Pipes

Name: Mike Bidwell
Title: President, CEO
Company: The Dwyer Group
Brands/units*: 1,711 total: Rainbow International Restoration, 405; Mr. Rooter Plumbing, 324; Mr. Appliance, 189; Aire Serv, 186; Grounds Guys, 179; Glass Doctor, 178; Mr. Electric, 169; Five Star Painting, 81
Age: 57
Family: Wife and 3 children
Years in franchising: 31
Years in current position: 8 as president, 1 as CEO

*Editor's note: In June The Dwyer Group announced two acquisitions: 1) Service Brands International, which reported $283 million in system-wide sales from its 3 brands (244 Molly Maid franchisees, 118 Mr. Handyman franchisees, and 55 ProTect Painters franchisees); and 2) The Grounds Guys of Canada...

Feature Story:

CEO Profile: The Dwyer Group's Mike Bidwell - From Franchisee To The C-Suite »

By Kerry Pipes

Breaking news: The Dwyer Group announced yesterday (June 15) the acquisition of Service Brands International. SBI, with $283 million in system-wide sales, has 244 Molly Maid franchisees, 118 Mr. Handyman franchisees, and 55 ProTect Painters franchisees.

Mike Bidwell is a leader who is clear, pragmatic, and to the point.

"I'm passionate about creating opportunities for others to grow," says the 57-year-old president and CEO of The Dwyer Group. It's this focus that keeps him excited about the organization and its potential. Growth has been strong and strategic plans are in motion to continue growing through the expansion of its eight service brands and the acquisition of other, complementary brands.

Early in 2014, Bidwell, president of the Waco, Texas-based brand for the past eight years, also became CEO...

Feature Story:

Putt-Putt: Revamping A 60-Year-Old Brand »

By David Callahan


New model preserves the best, adds new attractions

When I purchased Putt-Putt in 2004, I realized the primary challenges associated with a 50-year-old brand would be 1) to experience continued growth, and 2) to reinvigorate the brand to appeal to a younger consumer base by delivering more value to our customers.
Since its founding in 1954, Putt-Putt flourished and experienced significant growth throughout the 1950s, '60s, and '70s with its golf-only concept. In the '80s and '90s, the brand continued to grow with the addition of arcade games and other attractions. The recent efforts to rebrand have evolved over the past 10 years, developing into a modern, cost-effective concept to revitalize the brand in ways that will result in future growth...


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Unveiling the 2016 Annual Franchise Development Report    

Franchise Update Magazine

Issue IV, 2015

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