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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:

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...

Feature Story:

Shattering Stereotypes: Dina Dwyer-Owens, Co-Chair Of The Dwyer Group, Lives R.I.C.H. »

By Helen Bond

Ask Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of The Dwyer Group, about obstacles to the top for women, and she is quick with a suggestion: talk less about the proverbial glass ceiling and do more to encourage women to shatter their own self-doubt to compete.
"We, as women, are the biggest problem--the way we think, the way we talk ourselves out of what we are capable of," says Dwyer-Owens. "We have made the glass ceiling a problem for women, because we keep talking about it. It drives me nuts."
As leader of one of the world's largest service brand franchisors, with $1 billion in annual system-wide sales, Dwyer-Owens is doing her part to change the dialogue, break down stereotypes, and bring more women into the trades.
"What women know who join our company is that you are going to be treated with the same level of respect as men," she says...

Feature Story:

Starting Anew: New School Of Rock CEO Extols The Power Of Music »

By Kerry Pipes

Dzana Homan's story is one of inspiration and perseverance. She grew up in Yugoslavia where she spent a happy childhood filled with friends and surrounded by a large extended family. That came to an end in 1992 with the start of the Bosnian War. Thousands were killed and millions displaced. Homan lost members of her family, friends, and her country.
Despite these hardships, she continued to take solace in two things she had always loved: learning and children. Homan's passion in these areas led her to the U.S. and where she is today: this past June she was hired as CEO at the School of Rock. With a track record of success at Huntington Learning Center and Goddard Systems, she has big plans for School of Rock.
When Homan came to the U...

Feature Story:

Creating A Culture Of Accountability »

By Keith Gerson

Do you know what your goals are?
As president of a leading franchise technology company, I'm afforded a unique vantage point as I get to study the trends, patterns, habits, and behaviors of hundreds of franchisors. Of all of the trends I'm seeing that can have the greatest impact on a franchise organization's success, it would have to be creating accountability.
Increasing your franchise sales output, improving unit-level economics, out-marketing your competition, or any of the other dozens of items that dominate franchise conference keynote addresses, panels, or training sessions tend to be lagging indicators. Substandard performance in these and most areas can most often be tracked back to an absence of franchisee and employee accountability...

Feature Story:

Up For The Challenge: Jackson Hewitt's New CEO Prepares For Takeoff »

By Kerry Pipes

David Prokupek is not short on experience at the highest level. What's more, he loves a challenge. He has spent more than two decades as a CEO, investor, and board member helping build, finance, and advise high-growth businesses in the consumer, retailing, financial services, marketing services, and communications industries. He hasn't just done these things, he's done them well.
Today he is president and CEO of Jackson Hewitt Tax Service, a full-service tax preparation and related financial services company. He previously served as CEO of Smashburger, and was managing partner and chief investment officer of Consumer Capital Partners, which provided Smashburger with its initial $20 million-plus of funding.
Prokupek is an innovative and strategic thinker who can manage the business today while keeping his finger on the pulse of trends that will help him be successful tomorrow...

Feature Story:

Building A Billion-Dollar Brand: Wingstop's Global Growth Appears To Be Unstoppable »

By Kerry Pipes

Charlie Morrison wasn't looking for a new opportunity. He was already at the helm of Pizza Inn and was the driving force behind the brand's innovative Pie Five concept. But in June 2012, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the reins at Dallas-based Wingstop, which he says offered him the chance to run a larger, growing company in an expanding market space.
Wingstop now has more than 650 restaurants worldwide and signed commitments for more than 500 more, the most in the brand's history. In 2013, the company notched its 10th consecutive year of same-store sales increases (9.9 percent), and domestic AUV rose to $974,000.
"In fact, over the past 2 years, our same-store sales have grown 23.6 percent," says Morrison. "That is almost unheard of in the fast-casual segment and certainly for chains our size, and we expect the strong momentum to carry forward this year...

Feature Story:

The New Old Chicago: Transforming A 37-Year-Old Brand »

By Mike Mrlik

In the restaurant world, if you survive 3 years, you have essentially beaten the odds. Before rebranding to Old Chicago Pizza & Taproom in 2013, Old Chicago Pizza & Pasta had a successful 37-year history that served three generations of guests. The neighborhood restaurant, founded by a few buddies in Boulder, Colo. steadily grew to 96 restaurants in 22 states.
The brand made a lot of loyal friends along the way, but though longtime pizza lovers enjoyed the familiar comfort of the traditional beer and pizza combo, the American food scene was quickly evolving. Diners were becoming more knowledgeable about food and drink, and they were hungry for more upscale options with an emphasis on artistry and a passion for all things craft.
In November 2010, Old Chicago evolved into part of CraftWorks Restaurants & Breweries, the nation's largest brewery restaurant...

Feature Story:

Overcome Your 'Human-ness' To Succeed And Lead, Part 2 »

By Edward D. Hess

Note: This is part 2. For the first four of the 8 tips, lick here for part 1.

A new book contends that to be competitive in today's fast-paced, technology-laden world, leaders and organizations must overcome their "human-ness." "Ironically, being human helps us and hurts us," says Edward D. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. To stay relevant, he says, people must "de-humanize" themselves by overcoming qualities that hold them back from becoming the best thinkers and learners they can be.

Hess says that research in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics has provided an unflattering picture of the way people think and learn...

Feature Story:

Overcoming Your Human-ness - To Succeed And Lead In 2015 »

By Edward D. Hess

A new book contends that to be competitive in today's fast-paced, technology-laden world, leaders and organizations must overcome their "human-ness." "Ironically, being human helps us and hurts us," says Edward D. Hess, a professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business and author of Learn or Die: Using Science to Build a Leading-Edge Learning Organization. To stay relevant, he says, people must "de-humanize" themselves by overcoming qualities that hold them back from becoming the best thinkers and learners they can be.

Hess says that research in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics has provided an unflattering picture of the way people think and learn. While humans have the capacity to be highly efficient, fast, reflexive thinkers, our "autopilot" thinking isn't very critical or innovative...

Feature Story:

Building A Billion-Dollar Brand: Wingstop's Global Growth Appears To Be Unstoppable »

By Kerry Pipes

Charlie Morrison wasn't looking for a new opportunity. He was already at the helm of Pizza Inn and was the driving force behind the brand's innovative Pie Five concept. But in June 2012, he couldn't turn down the opportunity to take the reins at Dallas-based Wingstop, which he says offered him the chance to run a larger, growing company in an expanding market space.
Wingstop now has more than 650 restaurants worldwide and signed commitments for more than 500 more, the most in the brand's history. In 2013, the company notched its 10th consecutive year of same-store sales increases (9.9 percent), and domestic AUV rose to $974,000.
"In fact, over the past 2 years, our same-store sales have grown 23.6 percent," says Morrison. "That is almost unheard of in the fast-casual segment and certainly for chains our size, and we expect the strong momentum to carry forward this year...

Feature Story:

Lead Gen 2015: Colors On Parade Builds Connections »

By Kerry Pipes

We asked Jeff Cox, president and CEO of Colors on Parade, what changes he’s planning for the brand’s lead generation practices in 2015. Here’s what he had to say.

In 2015, we plan to continue to shift more resources toward PR and social media. The quality of the leads we have seen from these sources over the past year have reinforced our commitment to move toward lead generation techniques that allow us to share our story and to attract candidates that are a great fit for us. Our franchise is unique in several ways, so finding the right franchisee is critical to our success. Leads coming from sources that educate the candidate on our brand and business before first contact tend to be better qualified, which allows us to spend time with the best candidates...

Feature Story:

Analysis Paralysis? 80% Is Often Good Enough! »

By Mark Abbott

More often than not, we have to make decisions with less-than-perfect information or insight. That's just life, especially as a leader. The biggest common denominator of great leaders and great leadership teams is the ability to make good decisions with less-than-perfect information. But how do we make a decision when there are "gaps" in our information?

One of my favorite decision-making guidelines is the 80% Rule. The essence of the rule is that 80% solutions are usually good enough - especially in business, since we typically make dozens of material decisions every week as we deal with the myriad of issues afflicting every company.

Shooting for "good enough" might seem counter-intuitive or even lazy since, for many of us, the idea that it is unacceptable to aim for anything less than perfection has been deeply embedded in the psyche...

Feature Story:

Are You A Leader Or A Manager? »

By John Tschohl

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader it's all about growing others." --Jack Welch

Everyone who has a job has a boss or manager, but does everyone have a leader? You never hear people complain about leaders, but every day someone somewhere complains about their boss or manager. First, leadership is action, not position. Just because someone is in a role of control does not mean they are a leader.

All managers have to do some leading, and all leaders have to do some managing. The best leaders are typically poor managers, and the best managers are typically poor leaders. Finding the right balance for the job is what is really important. Every enterprise needs a mix of leaders and managers...

Feature Story:

With Success Comes Responsibility: Tariq Farid's 15-Year Journey To 1,200 Stores »

By Eddy Goldberg

Tariq Farid is an amazing guy. He's passionate about his employees, his community, his family, and his religion, and based on a 2½-hour visit with him at his Wallingford, Conn., headquarters, if there were an award for the Nicest Guy in the World, he'd be on the list.
His family moved to the U.S. from Pakistan in 1981, when he was 12. From humble beginnings, including his father working multiple jobs and the family not having enough to eat, today Edible Arrangements--the company he founded with his brother in 1999--has more than 1,200 locations, $510 million in system-wide sales, and employs close to 10,000 people in 14 countries.
Great numbers, to be sure, and an immigrant success story well chronicled since Edible first took the franchising world by storm...


Learn More

Titans of Technology    

Franchise Update Magazine »

Issue III, 2015


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