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Every franchisee who relies on hourly employees has struggled with finding good, dependable staff and managers. There are some tricks of the trade, techniques, and processes that can help you interview better, hire smarter, train better, and retain longer. Successful franchisees are the ones with great employees who are passionate about the brand, its customers, the people they work for, and their own career advancement.

Find tips and insight from human resources experts, franchisees, and franchisors who know what it takes to hire, train, and retain top-performing employees.

Feature Story:

Partners Bring Sports Image To North Carolina »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tim Clougherty and Keith Fogleman have both officiated NCAA Division I basketball for more than 15 years. They both love sports and as the new Raleigh, North Carolina-based franchisees for Sports Image, they will help schools and organizations increase their revenue streams and get new equipment as the struggle for funding their athletic departments continues.
"Having played and officiated high school sports in North Carolina and having three children that are also involved in youth sports I realize how much sports builds character and how important it is for these organizations to not only exist but thrive," says Clougherty. "Both Keith and I have officiated NCAA division 1 basketball for over 15 years and you see some of the inventive ways that college institutions raise money through corporate and individual sponsorships...

Feature Story:

The Power Of More: Multi-unit Operators Branch Out, Brand Up »

By Kerry Pipes and Eddy Goldberg

Franchising is easy: all it takes is a lot of blood, sweat, and overcoming fears to open and successfully operate a franchise unit--not to mention multiple units of a single brand. But for a certain breed of entrepreneurs, one brand is not enough. Usually, they're seeking to minimize risk. But sometimes it's the challenge of managing several brands, providing a variety of products and services, and learning best practices from different systems. Or maybe they're just gluttons for punishment (ask any multi-brand operator).
Multi-brand franchising offers not only a diversified portfolio that reduces organizational risks, but also the economies of scale that make a big difference to the bottom line. But as with any successful business, it takes talent, hard work, capital, and a healthy, functioning infrastructure...

Feature Story:

Newk's Eatery Focuses On Cancer Awareness »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

With one in 70 women facing ovarian cancer, Newk's Eatery is shining a spotlight on this relatively silent killer by turning up the volume on its growing "Newk's Cares" initiative, which includes permanent changes within the brand to further support the cause. Following a tremendous community response last year, the ongoing ovarian cancer awareness campaign will be re-surging across Newk's more than 80 restaurants throughout the months of August and September to spark awareness and raise needed support for cure research, along with a second-annual Ovarian Cycle Jackson fundraising event.
In honor of Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month in September, Newk's is going teal--the color adopted by the global ovarian cancer awareness movement-- switching out Newk's signature black cups for teal ones, as well as permanently replacing the brand's traditional red straws with teal straws...

Feature Story:

Now Hiring!: Recruiting And Retaining The Best Millennials »

By Adam Pierno

So, you're hiring again. You have positions open and want to make sure the employees you bring in will meet your goals--or exceed them. No matter what position you're trying to fill, your hiring pool probably consists of those aged 18 to 34, otherwise known as Millennials. As the Millennial group matures, we have seen that they have a unique outlook on work and corporate life, but can be great employees when properly motivated and understood, based on a few key insights.

1) Transparency
The job market has not exactly been great for Millennials as they graduated college and joined the workforce. This has had a few different effects on their perspective on jobs and careers. One is that they have become less trustful of corporations, meaning they're less likely to take things at face value...

Feature Story:

Massage, Tan, Joints, And Lashes »

By Kerry Pipes

"Significant growth is imminent"

Randy Merrill feels good about the health, wellness, and fitness space he operates in. He says the business models work for him, the client base works for him, and the ROI works for him. It's tough to beat that combination.
When we last visited with Merrill (Q2 2011), he was busy operating a single Massage Heights spa and 14 Solar Dimensions Tanning salons (non-franchised) with his partner, Alex Royter. He also had one Cartridge World store, which he sold because, he says, "It was a lot of work and the margins were just too small." Meanwhile, he's opened a second Massage Heights and has added four The Joint chiropractic clinics--all since 2014. An Atlanta native, he has kept his operations close to home, all in the Greater Atlanta area...

Feature Story:

Making A Sub For A Good Cause »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

It was a $100,000 sub sandwich for a good cause.
Last week, Jersey Mike's Subs Founder and CEO Peter Cancro fresh sliced a $100,000 sub for No Kid Hungry, an organization committed to ending childhood hunger. It was just another chapter in a brand that believes that making a sub sandwich and making a difference can be one and the same.
Cancro was fulfilling a pledge he made in March while speaking at an industry conference. There, Cancro unexpectedly announced on stage in front of thousands of attendees that he would donate $100,000 to the charity if Tom Nelson, president of No Kid Hungry/Share Our Strength and David Jobe, president of Winsight Events, joined him at the company's Jersey Shore home to make subs.
Following the sub-making lesson, Cancro presented the check...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Becomes "Part Of The Solution" »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Patrick Risko knew his aging parents were going to need help. But like thousands of families encounter every year, he discovered that help can be hard to find.
"I soon realized that senior care was a common challenge that many families faced," says Risko. "As part of researching the best way to help, I realized that I wanted to be part of the solution not just for my parents but for New Haven families faced with similar challenges."
So after nearly two decades working in the banking industry, he left that life behind to pursue his new passion of helping other seniors and their families.  His research led him to FirstLight HomeCare, which has more than 130 locations in 30 states. The brand provides quality, affordable, non-medical in-home care for adults...

Feature Story:

It's A Tax Turnaround For Ken Leese »

By Kerry Pipes

Any tax accountant will tell you that the past five years have been tough times for their business. That was certainly true for Jackson Hewitt multi-unit franchisee Ken Leese.
"With the state of the economy, you look at how fewer people working translates into fewer tax returns that need preparing," says the 47-year-old Jackson Hewitt franchisee. "Our business has struggled somewhat to remain status quo, and one of the realities we discovered is that the tax business is not so recession-proof." Regardless, Leese has remained steadfast and has made calculated and strategic moves since we profiled him in 2010.
He's divested all of his Delaware territories and replaced them with Jackson Hewitt units in Southern New Jersey, his home base...

Feature Story:

Shahid Hashmi Has His Eye On 100 Popeyes »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

"I wish I had started my career in franchising 10 years earlier," says Shahid Hashmi today.
But he's doing his best to make the most of his time now. The multi-unit franchisee, whose holdings in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast regions include 45 Popeyes Louisiana Kitchens, 2 Burger Kings, 2 Retro Fitness gyms, and, most recently, ZIPS Dry Cleaners, has hatched an aggressive growth plan that he predicts will top $150 million in revenue in the next 10 years.
Armed with two MBAs and 20 years of financial experience in the telecom industry, Hashmi considered his initial foray into franchising an investment, when he opened a Popeyes store in Washington, D.C., in 1994. He soon would quit his day job after discovering he needed to be more than just a weekend boss...

Feature Story:

Partners And Friends: 30-year Relationship Blossoms In Perennial Success »

By Helen Bond

Partners and Friends: 30-year Relationship Blossoms in Perennial Success

By Helen Bond

Franchisees looking for insights into succeeding with a partner can learn a thing or two from multi-brand franchisees Judy Ewing-Lonetti and Sandy Dunn. Mutual respect is the cornerstone of their 30-year business relationship. They know they wouldn't be where they are today without one another.
Their company, Charlotte-based Ewing-Dunn, is a mainstay at North Carolina's Charlotte Douglas International Airport, where they operate coveted food franchise locations under three different brands: Brioche Dorée, Cinnabon, and TCBY. In the coming months, they will add an Auntie Anne's and at least one additional food franchise when construction is completed on a new concourse at the airport, which set an all-time record in 2014 with more than 44 million travelers...

Feature Story:

Steve Sager Continues His Innovative Ways And Successful Growth »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Steve Sager is a franchise veteran who has seen it all and successfully lived to tell about it. He's also a serial innovator and his ideas are quickly successful and scalable. For example, he championed Subway's innovative $5 footlong sandwich as a nationwide promotion and pioneered the brand's use of speedy ovens to offer customers toasted subs in a flash.
So when Sager says he sees financial promise in a new fast casual pizza franchise, you might want to listen. Sager, who owns 16 Subways in South Florida and 7 Auntie Anne's in Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi, is in on the ground floor of a development plan for Persona Neapolitan Pizzeria, a create-your-own, handcrafted pizza concept out of Santa Barbara.
At Subway, Sager opened 265 stores over the years as a development agent and has grown accustomed to fielding queries from franchising candidates seeking his funding and expertise...

Feature Story:

Anand Gala Is Bringing It All Back Home »

By Kerry Pipes

Anand Gala is a perfect example of taking one step back and two steps forward. In the last 5 years, he sold all of his Applebee's restaurants, centralized his holdings, and then doubled his number of Famous Dave's locations. It was all part of a calculated effort to simplify, sharpen, and renew his business focus. "It was really a simple story of taking a step back and reassessing where I am," he says.
At the beginning of 2010, Gala and his company were coming out of the recession and picking up steam. He had 19 Applebee's, 5 Famous Dave's, and 3 Del Taco locations. But he says with units spread across several western states he was looking to bring his operation back home when an unexpected offer came his way.
"We had been going through the massive reimaging program rolled out by Applebee's with all of our locations," he says...

Feature Story:

McAlister's Deli Grows Big In Southeast »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

McAlister's Deli is on the grow and has signed several more development agreements with new and existing franchisees to open restaurants in Southern Georgia, North, Central, and Southwest Florida.
Summerville, SC-based franchise group DMAC, LLC, which already operates McAlister's Deli locations across South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia, will be opening several more of their restaurants between Southern Georgia and North Florida. The brand also signed development agreements with two new franchise groups to open restaurants on the west coast of Florida between Naples and Sarasota, and in Orlando.
New franchisees Christina Berry, Mark Graff, and Jeff Paulsen bring to McAlister's an extensive experience in multi-unit restaurant management with Steak n Shake, as well as a background in commercial and residential property development...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Has Brought Bruegger's Bagels To Raleigh-Durham »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Kevin Green left his job in education back in 2006. He was looking for change in his life and said he wanted to "control my destiny by building a business." He's done well so far and never looked back. Today he operates four Bruegger's Bagels in Raleigh-Durham. He says he is most proud of opening four locations in five years, increasing sales each year, and being recognized as franchisee of the year in 2011.

Name: Kevin Green
Title: Owner
Company: I own and operate four Bruegger's Bagels in the Raleigh-Durham market. My official company name is Carolina Bagels.
No. of units by brand: Four Bruegger's Bagels
Age: 44
Family: My kids occasionally spend time working with me in the shops.
Years in franchising: Prior to investing in Bruegger's Bagels franchises, I was a special education teacher...

Feature Story:

Franchise Businesses Set The Pace »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Franchising businesses continue to outpace the rest of the economy, according to the mid-year forecast update of The Franchise Business Economic Outlook: 2015. The report released last week by the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation and IHS Economics, finds franchising remains on track to outperform the U.S. economy for the fifth consecutive year.
While the forecast of U.S. GDP has been revised downward and now shows growth of only 3.4 percent increase in nominal dollars in 2015 for the overall economy, IHS expects the Gross Domestic Product of the franchise sector in nominal dollars to increase by 5.2 percent to $521 billion in 2015.
"Local franchise small businesses continue to grow at a faster pace, creating more jobs for Americans and producing higher sales growth than other businesses," said IFA President & CEO Steve Caldeira...

Feature Story:

A Brand For All Seasons: Taxes And Mosquitoes Provide Year-Round Revenue »

By Helen Bond

When it comes to operating multiple brands, Craig Comer has discovered that differences can attract--profits, that is, for his two very different service brands.
Comer, who owns five Liberty Tax stores in Detroit and the surrounding suburbs, was itching to diversify when a postcard arrived in the mail from Mosquito Joe. Comer had considered the pest control company as a potential brand. Then a summertime phone call to his dad to discuss the opportunity sealed the deal.
"My cell reception in the house wasn't very good," says Comer. "So I went outside in the evening to talk and I got bitten alive by mosquitoes."
In July 2013, Comer took a road trip to Virginia Beach to meet company founder Kevin Wilson, who had launched the franchise system earlier that year...

Feature Story:

Make It So!: Customer Growth Lessons From Amazon »

By Jack Mackey

Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is a Star Trek junkie. He almost named his company MakeItSo.com, based on the adventures of the USS Enterprise, when Captain Jean-Luc Picard would confirm his commands with the words, "Make it so!"
"Make it so!" may also be the ultimate personal motto for multi-unit operators trying to grow their businesses. But the practical question is, How exactly do you increase sales and business value continuously over many years?
What is the secret to Amazon's growth? Bezos answers like this: "We know customers like low prices. We know customers like big selection. We know that customers like fast delivery. And we know those things are going to be true 10 years from now. They are going to be true 20 years from now...

Feature Story:

Guillermo Medellin Growing Russo's New York Pizzeria In Houston »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guillermo Medellin came to the United States from Mexico searching for the American dream. Though he had no previous experience in franchising, he applied his business knowledge and work ethic and purchased his first Russo's New York Pizzeria in Houston in 2009. Today he operates three successful locations and is looking for more. He's a hands-on operator who is in his stores every day and has a passion for customer service and for seeing his people grow through advancement.


Name: Guillermo Medellin
Title: Owner
Company: Russo's New York Pizzeria is the brand name - each location is under a different company name
No. of units by brand: Three
Age: 44
Family: Wife (Debra), and two daughters ages 8 and 11

Years in franchising: My background is in manufacturing...

Feature Story:

Report Says Overtime Rules Would Hurt Businesses »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Retailers like franchisees could be saddled with millions of dollars in added costs if federal overtime regulations are revised, according to a new report by the National Retail Federation (NRF). What's more, the rules could also adversely affect working Americans.
The report, Rethinking Overtime, finds the Obama Administration's plan to revise federal overtime regulations would likely "hollow out" low- and mid-level management positions in the restaurant and retail industries and result in a shift toward more hourly and part-time workers. The report says that the proposal could cost retailers millions of dollars in added costs and would disproportionally impact retailers operating in rural states.
"This is a workplace regulation with massive hidden costs," says NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French...

Feature Story:

Just Be-Cause: Cause Marketing Is Making A Difference »

By Kerry Pipes

Doing good is a longtime pursuit in America. You might even say it's a part of the culture. Americans love a good cause and like to help when they can. Whenever needs arise, there always seem to be businesses, organizations, and private citizens ready to come forward to lend a hand. And in the past couple of decades, businesses, especially franchises, have been getting more and more involved in supporting charitable causes.
It makes sense, both personally and for business. Franchises are local operations, most run by people who are part of the community. As a result, many franchise brands and tens of thousands of franchisees have become involved with good causes. Sometimes those causes are global, national or regional, but more often they are local and franchisees and franchisors alike are there to step in...


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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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