Most Recent Blog Posts

Wendy’s Sees Best Growth Since 2005

Some of Wendy’s initiatives seem to actually be working. They have modernized their design and led a good marketing campaign around the pretzel bacon burger. I’d be feeling better if I was a franchisee. Wendy’s (WEN) says company-owned same-store sales increased 3.2% in North America during Q3 and franchise-owned stores improved 3.1%. The two-year stack for same-store sales was 5.9% ... Read More »

Drive Thru for Coffee

Seattle’s Best is opening 10 small (roughly 500 square feet) combination drive thru and walk up with no indoor seating. The drive thru makes all the sense in the world, and I’ve seen the success Starbucks has had with it. But, the walk up window is a little iffy because you will lose all retail opportunity (beans, coffee related equipment, ... Read More »


Hello READERS! Sorry for the downtime. I had a new baby and ignored this site for a few months. I am updating some technology so the site will be a bit bare for a few days. Things will be back to normal by Monday. Thanks for your patience. Read More »

Macaroni Grill acquiring units

Dallas-based Romano’s Macaroni Grill (a Brinker Intl restaurant) is buying four locations from a bankrupt franchisee. The locations are in San Francisco Bay (3) and Seattle (1). The parent company now owns all but five of its 200+ Romano’s Macaroni Grill restaurants. There has been a movement of public companies selling corporate owned units to franchisees, but now I’m seeing more ... Read More »

Act of Valor – great movie to keep things in perspective

Today I rented online and watched the movie Act of Valor ($4 on Amazon Instant Video or iTunes). I was humbled and proud to watch the preparation and risks these Navy SEAL heroes take to protect our country. The movie put me in the right frame of mind to reflect on my own priorities and work to eliminate the unnecessary ... Read More »

2013 Papa Johns Franchise Incentives, similar to last year

Papa Johns is again offering incentives to new franchisees this year. This looks to be the same as last year. There are tight timing issues with opening to hit the incentives qualificaitons. No franchise fee ($25,000 value); $50,000 in equipment, including two Middleby-Marshall ovens, which may be purchased by the franchisee for $50 after operating for three years; A royalty ... Read More »

Unintended Franchise Killer – Street and Rail Construction Projects

Imagine you have the perfect location for your franchise near a stadium with lots of pedestrian traffic. You spend $450,000 to get your first franchise built and ready. Opening week was wonderful with sales of $12,000 and subsequents weeks continue on with profits. Then, a major light rail construction project starts out front and blocks your sidewalk. After a few ... Read More »

Passion for Managing Process v. Entrepreneurship

I like the way this article in the NY Times described a requirement to be successful as a franchisee: For someone who really has a passion for managing a process, though, investing in franchises can be so lucrative that that extra spark [entrepreneurship] may not matter. I’ve heard several franchisors speak at the National Restaurant Association conferences and have worked ... Read More »

Australia’s quirkiest franchises

Weeding Women gardeners, Lollypotz chocolate bouquets and potted plants, peace lilly installers to clean air, lice removal salons – those are some of the odd but growing franchises in Australia. See this article for more examples. Read More »

Franchisor’s Business Coaches

Most franchisors with 20+ units assign dedicated business coaches to franchisees to ensure operating compliance, help solve problems and bolster sales. For example, here is what Jimmy Johns claims to do: 1 coach per 26 stores and they visit for a full day at least once every 30 days. If there are any issues or suggestions they are discussed with ... Read More »

GE Capital, Franchise Finance Provides $4.1 Million to Jimmy John’s Franchisee

I was told at the National Restaurant Association show in Chiacgo a few weeks ago that GE was no longer underwriting franchisee loans. I guess the speaker in that breakout session was wrong as they just provided $4.1 million in debt and line of credit to a 14-unit Jimmy Johns franchisee in Kansas. Read More »

9 Common Interview Questions That Are Actually Illegal Interesting perspective on illegal interview questions. Franchisees and the hiring.managers should be aware of these as training guidelines. I think The article can be more clear about what the actual action is that is illegal. Asking the questions or discovering the answer isn’t illegal, only using it as the reason for certain employment decisions is prohibited. But why tread ... Read More »

Another Gaming Chain in Trouble

GAME, the European and Australian retail gaming giant with over 1,200 outlets similar to USA’s GameStop and Play n Trade, filed for Bankruptcy. GAME has 600 hundred stores in the UK with a £15 million rent bill per quarter and a £10 million wage bill per month. Would their reach be more effective with only a few marquee retail stores and the ... Read More »