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Feature Story:

Burger Kingdom: Arby's Ex-CEO Returns To His Multi-Unit Roots »

By Debbie Selinsky

Tom Garrett breaks down his 30 years with Arby's--first as an assistant manager, then as the brand's largest franchisee, and finally as CEO of the franchisor--this way: "I like to say that 25 of those years were great, 3 were mediocre, and 2 were miserable--in that order."
In mid-2005, Garrett was president of RTM Restaurant Group (operator of 775 Arby's in 22 states with sales of nearly $800 million) when it was acquired by Triarc Companies (franchisor of the Arby's brand). Following the sale, he became COO of Arby's at a time, he says, when the company was "overleveraged in an economic crisis." However, he adds, the time he spent there, before exiting as CEO of Arby's Restaurant Group in early 2010, was ultimately worthwhile. "I can't say it was fun, but those 5 years made me tougher and smarter and better prepared to go back to what I love: being a multi-unit franchisee...

Feature Story:

Baskin-Robbins Grows And Offers  »

Baskin-Robbins, has signed development agreements with two franchise groups to develop three new ice cream shops in Banning and Temecula, Calif., over the next few years. But the brand has also just launched a unique new development strategy by creating a "ready-to-operate shop" for potential franchisees.
New franchise group M DB Enterprises, LLC, led by husband-and-wife team Hemant and Hemlatta Bhakta, plans to develop one new shop in Banning. Hemant previously held several positions with Baskin-Robbins before deciding to open his own shop. The new Banning location is planned to open at the end of this year.
Gary and Maria Yarbrough have been Baskin-Robbins franchisees since 2011 and plan to develop two new shops in Temecula. They currently own and operate a Baskin-Robbins in Chula Vista and are developing a second location in the area, which is slated to open in April...

Feature Story:

HuHot Franchisee Turns To Private Equity »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

HuHot Mongolian Grill's largest franchisee has just been acquired by private equity investment firm Sun Capital. The Omaha, Nebraska-based CCW, is the franchisee of 21 HuHot restaurants across the Midwest, including locations in Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota.
"CCW has built a strong business on a unique concept, and we're excited to partner with this experienced management team to build on their tremendous success," said Marc Leder, co-CEO at Sun Capital. "The company is well positioned for continued, substantial growth."
Sun Capital's Managing Director Anthony Polazzi added, "We see significant opportunity for CCW to expand with the HuHot brand and beyond. We are actively exploring development partnerships with fast-casual franchisors, as our focus will be on working with the business' outstanding operating team to scale this single concept franchisee into a multi-concept platform...

Feature Story:

Van Jakes On Franchising After Football »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Van Jakes spent 8 years playing football in the NFL. He was a cornerback for the Kansas City Chiefs, New Orleans Saints, and Green Bay Packers. He says he enjoyed playing football at the professional level and thrived on the competition.
When it came time to retire from the game in 1991, he wasn't looking to sit back and take it easy. He felt that there was more to do. The budding entrepreneur started investigating business opportunities that eventually led him to franchising, and eventually to the McDonald's brand.
"I knew I wasn't done building my nest egg," says the 54-year old Jakes. "And I wanted to be a good steward of my financial resources." But, he says, he didn't foresee himself doing so by opening "Van Jakes' Hamburger Stand...

Feature Story:

Lottery Winner Becomes Franchisee »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Upon winning a mega lottery like this month's $1.5 billion Powerball, you typically hear stories of winners putting their earnings toward buying a new home or a luxury car. While there are a million ways to spend the winnings, the key is to make smart investments that enable you to maintain and grow your fortune. Jason Fry, owner of four successful Batteries Plus Bulbs stores in Florida, would testify that franchising is one worthwhile investment.
After winning $47 million in the 2008 Florida state lottery, Fry did what most overnight millionaires would do: he bought a boat, an Escalade, a Shelby Mustang, a motorcycle, and a house in Ft. Myers. He also made several business investments, including acquiring a Batteries Plus franchise store in 2009...

Feature Story:

Franchise Growth Strong In 2016 »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

2016 should be another big year for franchises. Franchise small businesses will once again grow at rates that exceed non-franchise business growth this year, according to the Franchise Business Outlook: 2016 released by the International Franchise Association.
"We are forecasting that for the sixth consecutive year, franchise businesses will grow at rates that exceed the economy-wide growth of industries where franchises are concentrated," said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti. "Franchise businesses are showing tremendous capability to provide new jobs for working families and new businesses for first-time business owners across all sectors in local communities, despite the fact that franchisees are facing many new regulatory threats at all levels of government...

Feature Story:

Golden Opportunity: Jewelry Wholesaler Turns To Franchising And Shines »

By Debbie Selinsky

Annie Aggarwal, whose parents Renu and Bharat Aggarwal moved to Texas from India in 1989, recalls her extended family's surprise in 1997 when her mother decided to use her savings to purchase a Subway franchise in Houston.
Her mother Renu, who had been a full-time housewife, had saved funds from selling 22-karat gold jewelry from India wholesale to upscale jewelers in Houston and Dallas. She heard about Subway and franchising and decided that being a franchisee would be lower risk than selling jewelry, a "golden ticket" sure to take care of her family in the future.
Despite her husband's initial hesitance, the mother of two, who spoke minimal English and some basic Spanish, went ahead with her plan. Today she owns 55 Subways in Texas and New York, and to diversify, recently added Wing Zone in Houston...

Feature Story:

Right Time, Right Place: Parlaying Military Experience Into Franchise Success »

By Debbie Selinsky

Scott Richburg, a former U.S. Army National Guard officer and owner of an engineering consulting firm, smiles when he recalls the learning curve he faced when he bought his first Sport Clips franchise in 2003. "Learning to relate to and communicate with hair stylists took some time," he says. Twelve years and 14 additional salons later, he's clearly figured that out.
As with many in the business, his transition into franchising began with a haircut--and a bit of good luck and timing. "When I went into a Sport Clips for a haircut, the experience just blew me away," he says. And he was ready, even eager, for a change.
"I didn't want to do engineering any more and was looking for something else to do. In a twist of fate, I was talking with a banker friend who'd heard from a business broker selling Sport Clips franchises...

Feature Story:

Cambridge Franchise Holdings Adds 42 Burger Kings In Southeast »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Cambridge Franchise Holdings is becoming a major player in the Burger King system by taking on another 42 BK locations in the Southeast U.S. The growing restaurant and real estate company also just added 5 All-in-One convenience stores to its holdings.
Cambridge Franchise Holdings bought the restaurants and convenience stores from Mirabile Investment Corporation, which is owned by real estate developer and restaurateur Joseph Mirabile. All the acquired properties are located in Tennessee, Mississippi, and Arkansas.
“Joe Mirabile built a phenomenal business with a focus on operations and restaurant quality,” said Ray Meeks, CEO of Cambridge Franchise Holdings. “We are excited to work together with our new team members and are committed to maintaining the high standards of operations and development set by Joe and his team...

Feature Story:

Pair Of Aces: It's Important To Work With A Franchisor You Trust »

By Debbie Selinsky

Mary and Ferrel Freer often finish each other's sentences. That's most likely because the Flagstaff, Ariz., couple have been married 49 years--and for most of that time have worked together as franchisees for brands including Sizzler, Del Taco, and Hampton Inn & Suites.
The winners of the 2015 MVP Influencer Award for a Husband & Wife Team
say they've learned a lot about franchising over the years. After 43 years together as franchisees, they are ardent supporters of the franchise business model and continue to influence and inspire younger team members working in their 16 units in Arizona and Colorado. Their advice to would-be franchisees is to find a franchise home where they "have a voice."
"It's important to work with a franchisor you trust...

Feature Story:

Gina Puente Loves Airports! »

By Kerry Pipes

Gina Puente has made innovation and non-traditional locations a critical part of her formula for business success. Back in 2010, she told us how her family business, Puente Enterprises, had created La Bodega Winery, a winery in an airport, in the mid-1990s. She also had a half-dozen other concepts going in the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. We caught up with her recently and she's been at it again.
In 2013, Puente created and launched Sky Canyon by Stephan Pyles, a unique restaurant that serves contemporary Texas cuisine along with a dose of Southern hospitality and charm. It too, of course, is located in an airport--one at DFW and another at Dallas Love Field. She likes to say her company's "unique-ability" is to create and adapt new, innovative concepts into non-traditional environments...

Feature Story:

The Most Satisfied Franchisees Are... »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

More than 28,000 franchisees representing 339 franchise brands were recently surveyed- and the results reveal a highly satisfied group.
Franchise Business Review, a franchise market research firm that performs independent surveys of franchisee satisfaction, has released its "2016 Best of the Best: Top 200 Franchises" list, the only ranking of franchises based solely on actual franchisee satisfaction and performance.To identify the franchises that made its list as well as the latest trends in franchisee satisfaction, the company surveyed 28,000 franchisees representing 339 franchise brands. Franchisees who participated in the free survey were asked 33 benchmark questions about their experience and satisfaction regarding critical areas of their franchise systems including training and support, operations, franchisor/franchisee relations, and financial opportunity...

Feature Story:

Helping Hands: Dedication, Hard Work Pave The Road To Success »

By Debbie Selinsky

During the 10 years Kevin Herman worked as a physical therapist providing home care in the Philadelphia area, he heard plenty of stories from patients about the kinds of assistance they needed--and their difficulty in finding those services. So when he heard about Senior Helpers from a friend, he was interested.
"I was already working with the exact people who would benefit from what Senior Helpers does," he says. "And I was impressed by the ease with which the brand allowed me to start and run my business."
Herman also saw a void in what local assisted living facilities provided, and designed a program that provides additional caregivers to those facilities to support the staff with resident overflow and other needs. That innovation so impressed Senior Helpers President Craig Leonard that the brand is now working to implement it across the country...

Feature Story:

Tom Garrett Is Beginning Again With Burger King »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Tom Garrett spent three decades with Arby's--first as an assistant manager, then as the brand's largest franchisee, and finally as CEO of the franchisor. It was mostly a good ride, he says.
In mid-2005, Garrett was president of RTM Restaurant Group (operator of 775 Arby's in 22 states with sales of nearly $800 million) when it was acquired by Triarc Companies (franchisor of the Arby's brand). Following the sale, he became COO of Arby's at a time, he says, when the company was "overleveraged in an economic crisis." However, he adds, the time he spent there, before exiting as CEO of Arby's Restaurant Group in early 2010, was ultimately worthwhile. "I can't say it was fun, but those 5 years made me tougher and smarter and better prepared to go back to what I love: being a multi-unit franchisee...

Feature Story:

Restaurants Contribute To Fighting Child Hunger »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

16 million kids in America don't know where their next meal is coming from. That's 1 in 5 children who face hunger in this country. The food service industry, including franchise brands, and research firm Technomic are trying to make a difference in helping to end this societal blight. One way is through participation in the annual Dine Out for No Kid Hungry campaign.
This past September during No Kid Hungry month, consumers helped over 9,700 restaurants across the country raise money simply by dining out at participating restaurants, purchasing select items, or making a small donation.
Technomic put their foodservice knowledge and expertise to use by conducting qualitative and quantitative consumer and operator research to help No Kid Hungry better understand and communicate the benefits of participation...

Feature Story:

Two New Franchisees Sign On With DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

The DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen remodeling franchise has just added two new franchisees to its roster. Jay Nutting and Michael Pinkerton completed their training at the Waco, Texas, headquarters in December and are taking over their new territories.
Nutting's franchise is in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and will be known as DreamMaker Bath & Kitchen of the Southern Lakes. Meanwhile Pinkerton purchased the Colorado Springs, Colorado, franchise from Mark and Deb Witte.
The two new franchisees are the first since the brand launched "major system improvements with our franchise marketing support, EMT2, expanded coaching department and updated sales and productions system," according to a company statement.
Nutting is a Wisconsin native with a corporate America background...

Feature Story:

Mover And Shaker: John Judson Grows With The Brand »

By Debbie Selinsky

John Judson and his partners have grown their Two Men and a Truck franchises in St. Louis, Chicago, Salt Lake City, and Boston into a 15-franchise operation that brought in $16 million in revenue last year.
They could just enjoy the ride as the largest franchisee for the popular moving company, but Judson, who earned this year's Single Brand Leadership MVP Award, says that's not the way they roll. "The folks at Two Men and a Truck are a really close group of good-hearted people, so we're happy to have them use us as a pre-sale, have us talk to potential franchisees, and get them pumped up by sharing our stories."
Judson bought a single franchise in St. Louis in 1994. In 2001, he brought in his brother Jason, who had been working with him, as a partner...

Feature Story:

Famous Dave's Refranchising In Chicago »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Elliott Baum is preparing to grow even bigger with the Famous Dave's brand. The franchisee just signed a new development agreement and has taken over seven Famous Dave's locations in a refranchising deal just inked in the Chicago market.
Famous Dave's announced the sale of its seven Chicago locations to Baum's Windy City Restaurant holdings. The sale includes the Illinois Famous Dave's locations in Addison, Algonquin, Bolingbrook, Evergreen Park, North Riverside, Orland Park, and Oswego.
Baum, who has been a franchisee since 2003, is the owner and operator of six Famous Dave's franchises in the Ohio and Michigan markets. He said, "I am excited about Famous Dave's, the company's future, and the opportunity for market growth. I look forward to working with the existing restaurant team in Chicago and serving award-winning barbecue to our guests...

Feature Story:

Tutoring Ninja: Jon-Anthony Lui Is Passionate About Making A Difference »

By Debbie Selinsky

When Jon-Anthony Lui was growing up, he watched closely as his father achieved success in franchising, selling products such as real estate and insurance. But the bright young entrepreneur found his niche when he began working for Tutor Doctor, which offers one-on-one tutoring to children in the home.
"Making a difference with young ones has always been a passion of mine. We all remember who made an impact on our lives at some point--a teacher, friend, relative, or mentor--and I liked the idea of capturing that magic and releasing it upon the masses in an organized, structured way. That's a beautiful thing," says Lui, who owns 10 Tutor Doctors, whose 350 tutors serve 850 families in 10 territories in Greater Toronto.
Lui, whose parents died when he was 21, opened his first franchise territory, Tutor Doctor Vaughan, in 2009...

Feature Story:

A Family Business Success Story »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Renu Aggarwal bought her first Subway in Houston in 1997 with money she had saved.
Renu, who'd been a full-time homemaker, had saved funds from selling 22-karat gold jewelry from India wholesale to upscale jewelers in Houston and Dallas. She heard about Subway and franchising and decided that being a franchisee would be "lower-risk" than selling jewelry - a "golden ticket" sure to take care of their family in the future.
Despite her husband's initial hesitance, the mother of two, who had minimal English and some basic Spanish, went ahead with her plans. Today, she owns 55 Subways in Texas and New York and recently acquired another brand, Wing Zone, in Houston in order to diversify.
Her husband, who soon quit his job to join her in the business, is now a proud believer in her business acumen...


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Multi-Brand 50    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue II, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2015 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

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