USA Insulation, based in Eastlake, Ohio, has added four new franchise locations to serve Chicago, Omaha, Central New Jersey, and Portland, Maine. Interest in insulation has grown in recent years as homeowners hit by the economic downturn and rising energy costs seek to reduce their monthly gas and electric bills - good news for this franchisor. "Aside from the typical reasons for insulating a home, many of our new customers have wanted to take advantage of the energy tax credit," says company President Patrick Pitrone. "Adding home insulation now can get you a 30 percent federal energy tax credit of up to $1,500."
With 300 restaurants in 12 countries, Pollo Campero will end 2009 with almost 60 U.S restaurants open, mainly franchise-owned. Founded in Guatemala in 1971, the brand opened its first U.S. restaurant in 2002 and has its U.S. headquarters in Dallas. Expect to see more of the brand starting in September with the launch of new television and radio ads touting the chain's "Flavor You Can't Campero" slogan. The company splans to expand to 300 U.S. locations by 2014.
Comparable sales in July rose 4.3 percent globally for the Golden Arches, compared with 8.0 percent in July 2008. Comp sales in the U.S. rose 2.6 percent compared with 6.7 percent in July 2008. The company attributed the U.S gain primarily to new products, including McCafe espresso-based coffees and the continued strength of its core menu. In Europe, comparable sales rose 7.2 percent, roughly on par with 7.6 percent in July 2008. Year to date, comp sales are up 4.5 percent, compared with 6.9 percent for the first 7 months of 2008. A 0.3 percent drop in system-wide sales in July was linked to the negative impact of foreign currency translation, but were up 6.2 percent in constant currencies.
With the opening of its newest location, in Weslaco, Texas, Buffalo Wings & Rings has reached the 50-unit milestone, capping off six months of growth in which the chain doubled in size and expanded its footprint to 14 states. The company has signed contracts to establish 110 more restaurants nationwide and will open 8 more by the year-end, in California, Indiana and Texas. The company attributes its success to its affordable, family-friendly atmosphere; broad-based menu of Buffalo-style chicken wings, onion rings, burgers, chicken, and salads; and its dedication to supporting bottom-line, unit-level profitability. The brand was founded in Cincinnati in 1988.
Camp Bow Wow opened its 100th Doggy Day and Overnight Camp in August, with a new unit in Lafayette, Louisiana. Another 10 Camp Bow Wows are expected to open by year-end, along with 30 Home Buddies by Camp Bow Wow, the company's new in-home pet service franchise, introduced last December. More than 200 franchises in 38 states and 1 in Canada have been sold to date. "We have 100 Camps open and another 100 in various stages of build-out and preparation," said Founder and CEO Heidi Ganahl, who began marketing her pet-care concept as a franchise in 2003. "We had to create a market for the concept. At the time, I never would have envisioned my company growing as quickly as it has." Despite the economy, she says Americans are expected to spend more than $50 billion on their pets this year.
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