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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...

Feature Story:

Top Dog: From Part-Time Janitor To Largest Franchisee »

By Debbie Selinsky

When Farouk Diab walks into one of his 18 Wienerschnitzel restaurants wearing a uniform, same as the other workers there, he's making a statement. The Israeli immigrant--and winner of the 2015 Spirit of Franchising MVP Award--is owner and president of a multi-million dollar business, but he doesn't wear a power suit.
"When I came to the United States in 1975 at the age of 18, I got a job as a janitor at a Wienerschnitzel in San Jose, California," he says. "I learned every job there and worked my way up. Then I was given the opportunity to become a franchisee."
This year, he celebrates 40 years with Wienerschnitzel and 38 years as a franchisee. Wienerschnitzel's leading franchisee for nearly 20 years, Diab operates the most franchised units in the system...

Feature Story:

Brand Smitten: Dedicated Homemaker Becomes Dominator Franchisee »

By Debbie Selinsky

At the age of 39, Becky Finger, a full-time homemaker and mother of three from Cincinnati, went with a friend to visit a Once Upon A Child store in Columbus, a couple of hours away. She had seen franchise founder Lynn Blum on the cover of Entrepreneur magazine in 1992 and thought her concept was brilliant.
"Lynn has such a passion for resale and for recycling, which you didn't hear as much about 25 years ago," says Finger, now 64 and the owner of nine Once Upon A Child and seven Plato's Closet stores. "Recycling clothes is what she was doing, and that was an added bonus to me."
Finger, who had never run a business, was smitten as soon as she visited the Columbus store. "I liked it because it was clean, organized, and bright. It smelled fresh, everything was gently used, there was a great variety of brands, and it was a family operation, which appealed to me," she says...

Feature Story:

Jon-Anthony Lui Making A Difference In Lives »

By Debbie Selinsky

Jon-Anthony Lui came from an entrepreneurial family. His father had been a successful businessman and the younger Lui was destined to follow in his footsteps. He found his niche - and his passion - when he began working for Tutor Doctor, the brand that 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:

Up From Poverty »

By Debbie Selinsky

Eric Holm wants to eliminate hunger in the U.S.
Eric Holm may own 31 successful Golden Corral restaurants in Florida and Georgia and run a $150 million business, but his thoughts never stray far from the poverty in which he grew up. That's why he's been found every Thanksgiving for the past 22 years, alongside 1,200 volunteers, serving up to 25,000 free meals at the local Salvation Army.
He also is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Salvation Army, serving as chairman of the Finance and Development Committee and aiming this year--the Salvation Army's 150th anniversary year--to start raising the $220 million needed to do what he calls "changing the dynamics of intergenerational poverty."
Holm, who has been Franchisee of the Year for Golden Corral many times, well remembers when the Salvation Army fed his family on Thanksgiving and Christmas when he was growing up, and he continues to pay that kindness forward...

Feature Story:

Guillermo Perales Named 2015 Entrepreneur Of The Year »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Guillermo Perales is no stranger to franchising or winning awards. The eighth largest franchisee, and largest Hispanic franchisee, in the country has been recognized no less than four times by Latino Leaders Magazine's annual "101 List," which identifies the most influential Latinos in the U.S. He's received the Entrepreneur of the Year from Asociacion de Empresarios Mexicanos, and earned numerous other awards and accolades over the past two decades. Now he can add the IFA's 2015 Entrepreneur of the Year award to his list.
Perales, president and CEO of Sun Holdings, Inc., is a multi-unit franchisee who operates 280 Burger King Restaurants, 100 Popeye's, 68 Arby's restaurants, 36 Cici's Pizza, 24 Golden Corral restaurants, 15 Krispy Kreme, 89 T-Mobile locations, as well 10 restaurants in various airports, employing thousands and routinely giving back to his community...

Feature Story:

Bright Light: People Love Doing Business With Their Friends »

By Debbie Selinsky

On May 20, 2013, when strong tornadoes tore through Moore, Okla., Brandon Boozer and his family were lucky. Their home wasn't damaged, though some of their closest neighbors lost everything.
Boozer, owner of six Batteries Plus Bulbs in the Oklahoma City area, kicked into high gear, driving truckloads of batteries and flashlights to people searching the ruins of their homes or who had lost power. His church, First Baptist Church of Moore, became headquarters for survivors to pick up water, fruit, clothing, and other necessities.
"While we were trying to figure things out at church, corporate and I discussed what was happening and they sent down a half truckload of work supplies, batteries, flashlights, and even kid flashlights," he says...

Feature Story:

Golden Corral Zee To Serve 20,000 Meals Thanksgiving Day »

Multi-Unit Franchisee

Eric Holm knows what it's like to get a Thanksgiving meal from the Salvation Army. He recalls the experience while growing up in a single-parent family and working to help support his mother as a busboy in a restaurant where she was a waitress. Now a successful multi-unit franchise operator with 32 Golden Corrals, Holm serves free meals to others on Thanksgiving Day. He's done it for 23 consecutive years as part of the annual "Helpings from the Heart" program. The event is expected to serve more than 20,000 meals to deserving residents in Central Florida on Thanksgiving Day.
"Golden Corral takes great pride in feeding the community every day of the year in its restaurants, and we see Thanksgiving as a way of helping Central Florida by providing for those in need," says Holm...


Learn More

2016 MVPs: Celebrating This Year's Outstanding Operators    

Multi-Unit Franchisee Magazine

Issue III, 2016

Multi-Unit Buyers Guide    

2016 Multi-Unit Buyers Guide

Special Edition

Top Opportunities »

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