Franchise Update Media Reveals 2022 Franchise Innovation Award Winners
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Franchise Update Media Reveals 2022 Franchise Innovation Award Winners

4th annual contest honors the best innovators in 22 categories

July 08, 2022 // // SAN JOSE, CA - Franchise Update Media has announced the winners of the 4th annual Franchise Innovation Awards, which recognize the most outstanding innovations in franchising in the past year.

The goal of these annual awards is to identify and recognize the franchise brands creating and implementing the most original and successful innovation strategies and tactics. Winners were chosen by a panel of judges, who evaluated the objectives and results of over 150 entrants.

Franchise innovators, game-changers, and disruptors competed in four categories: Marketing & Branding, Products & Services, Operations & Technology, and Human Resources.

The annual competition also celebrates a "Best of the Best" overall winner in marketing with the Franchise Marketing Leadership Award. This award is given to the brand that created the most innovative – and successful – marketing campaign. This year's winner, Wild Birds Unlimited, created an innovative and timely program (A Little Bird Told Me: How Programmatic Media Campaigns Drive Brand Awareness), which rose to the top of the many excellent marketing submissions.

A Franchise Operations & Technology Leadership Award was presented to the "Best of the Best" submission in the Operations & Technology category. Checkers & Rally's received the Leadership Award for their innovative work (Checkers & Rally's Leverages AI at the Drive-Thru to Improve the Guest & Employee Experience) to implement the use of AI at the location level.

Overall Winners (2)

  • Wild Birds Unlimited – Marketing & Branding
  • Checkers & Rally's – Operations & Technology

Marketing Finalists (4)

  • Wild Birds Unlimited
  • Goldfish Swim School
  • Kiddie Academy
  • Handyman Connection

Operations & Technology Finalists (4)

  • Inspire Brands
  • Smoothie King
  • Checkers & Rally's
  • Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa

Marketing & Branding (8)

  • Uberrito Fresh Mex – Best Big Budget Campaign
  • Wild Birds Unlimited – Best Limited Budget Campaign (Under $1 Million)
  • Wild Birds Unlimited – Best Digital Campaign
  • Blaze Pizza – Best Loyalty App

Goldfish Swim School – Best PR Campaign

  • Camp Bow Wow – Best Social Media Campaign
  • Kiddie Academy – Cause Marketing Champion
  • Handyman Connection – Local Marketing Leadership

Products & Services (5)

  • Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa – Most Innovative Product Introduction
  • Plumbing Paramedics and Heating + Air Paramedics – Most Innovative Service Introduction
  • School of Rock – Most Innovative Use of Customer-Facing Digital Tools
  • Xponential Fitness – Most Innovative Use of Technology: Products
  • Checkers & Rally's – Most Innovative Use of Technology: Services

Operations & Technology (7)

  • Inspire Brands – Most Innovative Building Design, Remodel, or Prototype
  • Pillar to Post – Most Innovative Consumer Self-Service Tools
  • Wild Birds Unlimited – Most Innovative Franchisee Support
  • Smoothie King – Most Innovative Operations Team
  • Shawarma Press – Most Innovative Supply Chain Improvements
  • Blaze Pizza – Most Innovative Use of Data
  • Checkers & Rally's – Most Innovative Use of Technology

Human Resources (2)

  • Goldfish Swim School – Most Innovative Employee Hiring
  • Handyman Connection – Most Innovative Employee Retention

The winners will be celebrated in Franchise Update Magazine, available later this year at

About Franchise Update Media

Franchise Update Media has been a leader in the franchising space for more than 30 years. Founded in 1988, the company produces online franchise opportunity and educational websites, two print magazines, eight newsletters, three annual conferences, independent research, and books, 100% focused on franchising. Serving franchise audiences online, in print, and in person, Franchise Update Media delivers a unique combination of educational and lead generation sources to help franchisors, multi-unit franchisees, opportunity seekers, and suppliers achieve their growth objectives.

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SOURCE Franchise Update Media



Diane Phibbs
EVP & Chief Content Officer
Franchise Update Media


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