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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:

SRG Brings Newk's Eatery To Louisiana And Texas »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Southeast Restaurant Group, a franchisee of TGI Fridays and Chevys Fresh Mex restaurants in Texas, Arkansas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida, has signed on to become the Newk's Eatery chain's largest franchisee.
The New Orleans-based Southeast Restaurant Group (SRG) plans to open 15 Newk's locations throughout Southern Louisiana and Houston. The new agreement will make SRG Newk's largest franchisee. In addition to its franchise brands, SRG also operates its own concepts including a Mediterranean-style restaurant in the Miami area, a Creole-inspired restaurant in New Orleans, and The Round House Bar & Grill, located in the Holiday Inn Hotels owned by its affiliate, KFK Group.
"Newk's is a forward-thinking franchise concept designed for the way people eat today, and adds a fast casual element to our restaurant portfolio," says SRG Founder Elie Khoury...

Feature Story:

Franchisee Group Brings Dunkin' To New Mexico »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Amin Habib, Murad Fazal, and Menjinder Bhambra are the principals behind NMR, LLC, a franchisee group that has more than 30 years of experience with Dunkin' Brands as well as the gas and convenience industry. They will now bring five Dunkin' Donuts restaurants and four multi-brand restaurants with its sister brand, Baskin-Robbins, to Albuquerque and its surrounding areas. The first restaurant is planned to open in Summer 2016.
Amin Habib, already owns four Dunkin' Donuts restaurants in Chicago, two of which are multi-brand restaurants with sister brand, Baskin-Robbins.
"We are excited to expand the brands' presence in New Mexico and play an important role in the daily lives of people who live, work and visit here," said Habib...

Feature Story:

Resetting Priorities: Anand Gala Resizes, Refocuses, And Restrategizes »

By Kerry Pipes

Simplification and a renewed focus on business and life have taken center stage for Anand Gala since we profiled him in 2010. "It's 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. "Then about two years ago we were approached by the largest Applebee's franchisee in the system who wanted to buy our locations...

Feature Story:

Franchisee To Bring Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria To Houston »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Houston franchise group Spicy Ketchup, LLC, has inked a deal to bring 5 Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria locations to the Lone Star state. The group has experience operating Jimmy John's shops and is scheduled to open its first Persona Wood Fired Pizzeria in the fall, with the remaining locations opening over the next four years.
"We were initially impressed with the company's operations and experienced executive team, but it wasn't until we tried the pizza that we were completely sold," says Dan Stansel, one of Spicy Ketchup's managing partners, noting that the group considered several other emerging brands before deciding that Persona had the most potential for becoming what they believe will be the next big brand in the fast-casual pizza industry...

Feature Story:

Multi-Brand Operator Brings Quaker Steak & Lube To Tennessee »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tennessee multi-brand operator Brent Collier has added Quaker Steak & Lube to his list of franchise locations in the Sevierville/Pigeon Forge area. The new brand adds to his arsenal of Golden Corral, The Melting Pot, TGI Friday's and other restaurant brands. The new Quaker Steak & Lube is set to open this June and will be the brand's first location in the state.

"Lube Nation is ready to take Tennessee by storm and share our love for Best Wings USA. We're excited to introduce residents and visitors alike as we expand our presence throughout the Volunteer State," says Greg Lippert, president and chief executive officer, Quaker Steak & Lube. "Tri C, Inc. brings a wealth of restaurant industry knowledge to our brand as our newest franchise partners and we look forward to helping them build continued success in Sevierville...

Feature Story:

Multi-Unit Franchisee Awards 10 MVPs At Conference »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Each spring, Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine selects and recognizes winners of its prestigious Most Valuable Performer (MVP) Awards. This year more than 80 franchisees were nominated for the awards, which honor franchisee excellence and highlight outstanding performance in growing both their organizations and their brands.
Each of the nominated franchisees was carefully and systematically evaluated before the final selection was made. The official announcement came during a general session at the conference. Each MVP winner was presented with a plaque and recognized from the stage. The presentation event was sponsored by Church's Chicken.
Here are this year's winners. Watch for their profiles in the next issue of Multi-Unit Franchisee magazine...

Feature Story:

Better Late Than Never!: Shahid Hashmi Is Making Up For Lost Time »

By Helen Bond


When it comes to franchising, Shahid Hashmi has just one regret: he wishes he'd gotten into it earlier.
Hashmi is making up for lost time in a big way. 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:

It's Mega 99 Time!: These Multi-Unit Operators Know How To Go Big »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

We've rounded up another "Mega 99" issue--and that means some big numbers. In the following pages you'll find our annual list of the biggest players in franchising--the ones with dozens, even hundreds, of units--and plans for many more. When it comes to brands, units, and territories, these franchisees think big... and they think long.
Numbers offer insights, but our readers tell us that the personal stories of the individuals we profile, with their tales of success, failure, and lessons learned, are the most powerful. And it's in these details that the true character--and grit--of these successful multi-unit operators are revealed.
Each year, we look for franchisees with the drive, determination, and that pinch of good fortune who have expanded and reaped the rewards...

Feature Story:

Richard Paek Promotes Communication From The Top Down...and Gets Results »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Longtime Jiffy Lube franchisee Richard Paek has discovered that seeing is believing. Paek, who opened his first Jiffy Lube in 1992, has built a multi-unit system that emphasizes transparency inside and out. If there is a sales, customer service, or employee performance stat to be had, Paek will use it to rank, reward, and motivate his team.
"'No sugarcoating' is one of our favorite quotes," says Paek, CEO of Newport, Calif.-based Allied Lube Inc., which operates 75 Jiffy Lube service centers in California and Texas.
This focus on sharing the facts with his 800 employees is paying off. With estimated annual revenue of more than $60 million, Allied Lube's growth outpaced the 2,000-unit Jiffy Lube chain by 9 percent in 2012, 7 percent in 2013, and is on track to three-peat growth in 2014...

Feature Story:

NLRB Ruling Hits Home With Husband And Wife Franchisee »

By Djenane Bartholomew

Every day my husband and I make decisions that affect the lives of 450 people and their families. It's a lot of responsibility but above all a labor of love. It is all part of being local franchise owners and living our American dream. The franchise model has been a gateway for millions of people over the years to achieve small business ownership, many of them from racial or ethnic minority groups. It is important to not only preserve, but to strengthen this business model.
My husband came from Grenada and worked for the UPS for over 20 years. As a young man, he had the foresight to invest in a property in Brooklyn that grew in value over the years. Blessed with some money when we sold it, we considered how to invest our good fortune into a new livelihood and soon discovered that franchising was the way to go for us...

Feature Story:

Gary Grace Shines Bright During 35 Years Of Success »

Gary Grace is no stranger to franchising...and no stranger to success. He has been named the top franchisee in the country by Inc. magazine. He worked with Supercuts to open 86 salons in the New York metro region, including 6 in one day, establishing the brand in a new market. He's been featured in industry trade magazines. And he has served as chair of Franchise Update's Multi-Unit Franchising Conference.
But in the world of franchising, what he's done for Supercuts--and the people who have worked for him--shines the brightest. During his career, he's instituted or enhanced employee benefit programs, including performance incentives for all employees, a management evaluation program, increased education and training at all levels including quarterly workshops for stylists, an annual awards event, and more...

Feature Story:

Collaborate, Communicate, Grow: Franchise Relations Come To The Fore »

By Eddy Goldberg

Franchise relations are in the midst of powerful, fundamental change. Driven by the maturity of franchising, the rise of large multi-unit operators, the after-effects of the recession, and, most recently, external regulatory and political threats to the franchise model itself, franchisors and franchisees are working together more than ever before--and looking for ways to do it better.
In our conversations with multi-unit franchisees and franchisors, we found three overriding themes: collaboration, communication, and having a structure in place to facilitate them. Here's how some are working together for mutual gain.

Collaboration
In his 35 years in franchising as a franchisee of Great American Cookies, Doc Cohen has seen the brand trade hands from its founders to a private equity firm, sold to its chief competitor, and then sold twice more to private equity firms...

Feature Story:

BrightStar Care Husband-and-Wife Make A Perfect Team »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jeff Tews and Susan Rather first met on a Multiple Sclerosis charity cycling ride. They immediately hit it off. Marriage came next and the couple had only been married for about a year when they entered a new venture as franchisees in the home care field. Together they own five BrightStar Care locations through their Madison, Wisc.-based company, which consistently performs at the top of the brand's franchise chain.
"We knew we had great communication, but we sure didn't want to mess anything up," says Rather. "We went in with eyes wide open. The advice we got from other couples was to clearly define who is going to do what. Over the years, we have melded that a bit."
Tews, after 33 years in the banking and telecom industries, was seeking a change of pace from the corporate world...

Feature Story:

David Gronewoller On His People-Centered Formula »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

David Gronewoller is president of GC Partners, a Winston-Salem-based company that operates 12 Golden Corral locations in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. You might consider him an employees' employer. With more than 20 years of franchise experience, he believes "more in the man than the method" in overseeing his family-style restaurants. This people-centered formula for success has spilled over into the neighborhoods his restaurants serve.
Gronewoller's commitment to the community is far-reaching: in 2013, his restaurants served and delivered 1.1 million fresh meals to senior citizens in five counties. It's also personal: when his mother was battling pancreatic cancer under home hospice care, Meals on Wheels delivered food to the family's Colorado home...

Feature Story:

Franchisees Testify NLRB Actions Could Shut Them Down »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Two franchise business owners urged Congress to address regulatory overreach by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to expand the definition of what constitutes a joint employer during a hearing February 5 before the Senate Health, Education, LaborĀ and Pensions (HELP) committee. The franchise business owners testified that recent actions by the NLRB would significantly undermine their ability to operate and sustain their businesses - potentially forcing them to close down.Ā 
At issue is the recent NLRB recommendation to upend the decades-long, well-established joint employer definition. Should the NLRB expand the definition of joint employer to include a franchisee's national brand, it would destroy the franchise model - leading to industry consolidation and, ultimately, to store closures and a loss of jobs, economic activity and entrepreneurial investment...

Feature Story:

Don Smith Not Afraid To Take Risks »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Don Smith was the first - and is currently the largest - Valvoline Instant Oil Change franchisee in the country. He is CEO and co-founder of Boston area-based Henley Enterprises, which operates 197 Valvoline Instant Oil Change locations coast-to-coast, with 20 more of the quick lube stores in the pipeline.
In 2012, he orchestrated the purchase and successful rebranding of 72 EZ Lube oil change service centers in Southern California, the largest single acquisition in industry history. The deal, which included many distressed properties and just as many naysayers (including within Valvoline) was a "big piece to bite off," says Smith.
"We went in a little bit blind, but we knew we could do it," he says. "It definitely confirmed that the model that Valvoline has put together--and we have influenced that model--can work virtually anywhere in the United States...

Feature Story:

ServiceMaster Franchisee Shows No Sign Of Slowing Down »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

When Paul Berg graduated from high school he set out on his own to tackle the world and succeed in business - and that's just what he did.
Today, at age 64 he is still going strong, and has spent the last 21 years in franchising. He purchased his first ServiceMaster franchise in 1997. He had built up his business portfolio to include 3 ServiceMaster territories and one Furniture Medic territory in southern California and Arizona. But at a time when many people are enjoying retirement, Berg still has growth on his mind. This past December he added another Furniture Medic territory in Riverside county.

Name: Paul Berg
Title: Owner/President of Furniture Medic by SMAP San Diego, Calif.; Imperial County, Calif.; Yuma, Arizona
No...

Feature Story:

Chris Moore Is Meeting Community Needs In Multiple Ways »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Chris Moore, a multi-unit Watermill Express franchisee, is in the enviable position of knowing exactly who his customers are, what they want, and why--and where--they want it. This has allowed him not only to become a successful franchisee with 92 water purification vending kiosks across the Houston area, but also to contribute to the community in an unusual way.
"Our freestanding structures, often in the middle of a parking lot at a shopping center, allow people to get purified water gallons at a time and 24 hours a day. This works especially well in Sun Belt states, like Texas, Florida, and California," he says.
"Our primary customer is a person from another country who didn't trust the water system where they grew up and so always had to drink purified water...

Feature Story:

Jim Lager Has Become A Successful Franchisee And Mentor  »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Jim Lager is not one to brag about himself, he'd rather shift the focus to his businesses. Over the years he's become adept at building strong businesses and creating environments where people excel. He admits he's "pretty good at taking lousy businesses and turning them into something." And, he's quick to add, "I'm not a 'maintain' kind of guy--I hire people to maintain. But helping people succeed is something I want to be remembered for."
Lager, a U.S. Army veteran and natural entrepreneur, knew he wanted to start his own business and work in a hands-on environment after his military stint in Germany. Back home, he earned an MBA from the University of Minnesota through the GI Bill, then signed on as Snap-On Tools franchisee in Plano, Tex...

Feature Story:

Alvaro Garcia Is On The Grow! »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Alvaro Garcia already has 21 Jersey Mike's Subs locations in Southern California under his belt. And now he is in the midst of an aggressive 70-store development plan that matches an equally fierce work ethic.
The youngest of 10 children, Garcia was a teenager when he came to the United States from Managua, Nicaragua. He watched his single mother work ceaselessly at three jobs, seven days a week, including 12-hour shifts at a hospital on the weekend.
"She taught me to be honest, work hard, and not to depend on others," says Garcia, who got his start in the restaurant business (and his first job) at age 18 as a Domino's Pizza delivery driver in Alhambra, Calif. Within a year, he was managing that store and moved up the ranks quickly, first to supervisor and then to district manager...


Learn More

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 »

The Franchise Buzz:


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