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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:

Meineke Car Care Exceeds Fundraising Goal At Annual Charity Golf Tournament »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Earlier this summer, Driven Brands 17th Annual Charity Golf Tournament was held to support the Driven Brands Charitable Foundation. Driven Brands' Meineke Car Care brand raised $72,000 for The Children's Miracle Network. The donation will help support the hospital network that treats children who require care, whether they are battling cancer, suffering from a traumatic injury, or are living with a genetic disease.
As part of a multi-million dollar fundraising commitment benefitting the 170 Children's Miracle Network Hospitals (CMN Hospitals) across the United States and Canada, Meineke asked its vendors, franchisees, and friends to participate in a golf tournament that benefits Children dealing with illnesses and other afflictions...

Feature Story:

Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar Coming To New York »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

JGJO Development Co. LLC, has signed an agreement that will bring at least 10 Arooga's Grille House & Sports Bar locations to Long Island (Nassau/Suffolk Counties) and Queens areas of New York. This marks the brand's fourth multi-unit franchise agreement and its sixth state.
The JGJO agreement, under the direction of Joseph A. Alagna, Jr. and Stephan A. Stein, gives the Arooga's brand a total of 44 units, 10 corporate and 34 franchise locations, either built or under contract. Alagna and Stein are the principals of Joseph Gunnar & Co., the Wall Street brokerage and investment banking firm, and the general partners of Buttonwood, a private equity venture capital fund.
Alagna, chairman and CEO said, "We are thrilled to partner with Arooga's and are anxious to bring the exciting Arooga's experience to the Long Island, New York marketplace...

Feature Story:

KBP Foods Adds Two Dozen Restaurants In Three States »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Overland Park, Kan-based KBP Foods, LLC, is making news again. The group has just inked a deal that adds 24 more units to its portfolio, bringing its total quick serve restaurant count to 247 units across 10 states.

The new deal includes 24 restaurants in Kansas, Missouri, and Florida that were acquired from D-Carr Investments and related entities. The acquired units include all three restaurants under YUM! Brands, as well as Long John Silver's franchises. The move means KBP Foods now operates franchise locations in Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas, and Virginia.

"KBP's success by growth-through-acquisition strategy has been incredibly successful, and this acquisition is right in line with our business model," said Barry Dubin, KBP Foods chief development officer...

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:

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:

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:

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...

Feature Story:

Largest Singly-Owned Domino's Franchisee In The U.S. On People And Success »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Mike Orcutt has experienced franchising from both sides of the fence. First as a corporate executive for Domino's and, since 1990, as a Domino's franchisee. He admits he was a "little nervous" about how the managers of the nine Atlanta pizza stores he purchased would welcome their new boss. Orcutt gathered the group in a small hotel meeting room and gave them their first assignment: name his new company.
"I said, 'You are the ones who are going to have to make it work. So let's come up with something that we can be proud of and have fun with,'" recalls Orcutt, a self-described quick decision-maker. The managers brainstormed some 200 monikers before selecting Cowabunga, Inc.
Orcutt, who previously led U.S. store operations for the country's second-largest pizza chain, tacked on "Team" to the front of the name and never looked back...

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...



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