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Search Results for: tom foods

Reversal: Franchisor acquiring Franchisees

The trend has been for franchisors, especially for publicly traded ones, to sell more and more of their corporate owned stores. Why? The financial argument has been that earnings are stabilized by managing a franchise operation (simple income streams) rather than managing the nuances of local operating businesses. And, for the most part that makes sense both financial and practically. One company who is bucking that trend is Swisher Hygiene, acquired in 2004 for less than $20 million by Steven Berrard and Wayne Huizenga…the team behind AutoNation, Blockbuster and Waste Management. While their business haven’t all been models of success except for AutoNation, they have grown business fast and made a lot of money. Berrard was also CEO of Jamba Juice. You probably have never heard of Swisher Hygiene. The company sells low cost chemicals and cleaning services to business, especially foodservice and restaurants, such as the 3-compartment sink systems where EcoLab has traditionally dominated. In 2004, it was making an average of $17 per week per customer, with a base of about 30,000 clients. They feel the opportunity in this $9 billion market is in increasing sales to each existing customer and acquiring new ones. Swisher also was an amalgamation of 93 franchisees all working out of their trucks. Now, they acquired most of their franchisees, most recently their Chicago franchisee. The stock has fluctated greatly in the past year when it went from $2 to $10 per share, now it’s back down to about $5 per share. I don’t know if they will succeed, but it will make for an interesting case study one day. Hopefully the franchisees who took a buyout with stock will be better off than they were as franchisees.

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Urban Flats – How to Fix this Failing Restaurant

last edited: December 7, 2011, 9pm [added recommendation on beer & wine]; also edited on December 13, 2010, 1:05am [improved a few poorly worded sentences] I’ve noticed several franchised “Urban Flats Flatbread & Wine Co.” closing this year in the southeast, such as Orlando FL, Winter Park FL, Lawrenceville GA,  and Atlanta GA (pictured to the right).  Something clearly isn’t resonating with potential and repeat customers.   Many franchises suffer from this ‘surprise’ problem leaving execs scratching their heads about what is going wrong.    I’ll put on my pundit hat and give you my opinion and recommendations. HOW RESTAURANTS ARE JUDGED BY CUSTOMERS: People will instinctively judge a restaurant on three elements, and to draw repeat business you need to excel in at least two of these (and be at least average in the third) in the eyes of your local customer base: FOOD:  Is the food memorable and superb all around? PRICING: Is the pricing at or below the competition; does it provide value? AMBIANCE/EXPERIENCE:  Is the customer experience superb with a unique and comfortable interior design? A restaurant could succeed by satisfying only two of three criteria.  For example, you could provide an excellent customer experience and have great food, but prices are too high.   Cheesecake Factory and J. Alexanders are examples of this but both still generate excellent sales. HOW URBAN FLATS RATES: According to most of the reviews I’ve read online, Urban Flats rates as follows: FOOD: Average food, flats are minimalistic…not bad but not excellent either PRICING: A bit high – $10 cheeseburger, $8.50 Loaded Potato appetizer, $10 “flats” pizza AMBIANCE/EXPERIENCE: Average, some described it as trying too hard to be cool.   Music is too loud to talk.  If you have to describe your restaurant as hip in advertising, you probably are not. Other …

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Pizza chain sales down across the board

Pizza chain sales are down: Pappa Johns: -5.7% Pizza Hut: -12.9% Dominos: -6.5% Sbarro: -6% domestic, -13% internationally (taking into account increase in US dollar) Sbarro’s attributes a drop in sales to a drop in mall traffic. What is up?  Frozen pizza sales. Frozen pizza sales rocketed to $4.4 billion in America last year from $3.1 billion in 2000, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported this week, citing market research by Datamonitor Inc.  Sales of private-label brands (produced by chains such as Walmart, Jewel, Dominick’s and Target) have risen more than 20 percent in the past year.  Clearly, cost and an acceptable level of quality is at play here. In related news, Kraft Foods Inc., maker of DiGiorno, Tombstone and Jack’s, said it selling their brands to Nestle so it can fund an acquisition of Cadbury.

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Self-Service Kiosks

I believe that self-service ordering kiosks will be a fixture at many big-name restaurants and fast food outlets in the next decade, much as the self-checkout in grocery stores have become common place.  It makes sense for customers and it makes sense for the restaurant owners.  These self-service kiosks are aimed at increasing the average transaction and speedier service.  At this point I’d be satisfied with a “refill my drink” button at my table. The extreme evolution of this concept is the Baggers restaurant in Germany where guests choose their meals from a touch screen at their table and food is delivered by a “mini-railway” from the kitchen located on the floor above.   The inventor’s gravity feed rail system is patented in Germany and he is seeking protection for the invention internationally so that he can license it to restaurants abroad.  You have got to watch this quick BBC video showing how the restaurant works.

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Au Bon Pain franchise eliminates trans fats

BOSTON — Au Bon Pain has announced the 100-percent elimination of trans fats from its menu items, and the launch of a new Web site that provides in-depth nutrition information for consumers. The updated Web site features a “Smart Menu,” where site visitors can search for foods that fit their specific dietary needs, build an entire Au Bon Pain meal and view the nutrition information for that combination of food choices. Users simply select a nutritional requirement to search by, such as low sodium or high fiber, and choose a category of Au Bon Pain products, such as soups, sandwiches or bakery. The Smart Menu then displays the items in the selected category sorted by the nutritional requirement that the user selected, and users can add individual menu items to their virtual plate. The Smart Menu totals up the nutritional value of the items on the plate automatically, providing nutrition information such as net calories, carbohydrates, cholesterol, fiber, protein saturated fat and sodium. The Smart Menu also displays nutritional information for each individual item, as well as a list of ingredients. The Web site’s Cafe Menu also provides the FDA Nutrition Facts panel for each restaurant menu item.

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Franchisor Mentions

VERY OUT OF DATE.  Do a search instead.  This was manually updated March 21, 2006 Companies Mentioned in Posts (likely incomplete):Automotive 1-800 RADIATORS Oil Butler Lube N’ Go On-Site-Lube Business & Home Services 1-800-WATER-DAMAGE Bartercard Garagetek Help-U-Sell Home Instead Homewatch Caregivers My Girl Friday PropertyGuys.com Sears Carpet & Upholstery Tax Centers of America Cleaning & Maintenance none Computer & Internet (some are listed in “Retail”) Screenz Food and Restaurant Arby’s Auntie Anne’s Blimpies Cheeburger Cheeburger Chipotle Dippin’ Dots Dream Dinners Doc Green’s Gourmet Salad Dominic’s of New York The Dugout Durango Grill Fazoli’s Fire of Brazil Fogo de Chao Goldstar Chili Jamba Juice Jerq’zine Krispy Kream Lenny’s Sub Shops Mauwi Wauwi Original Hamburger Stand Panaderia Taza Papa John’s Pizza Factory Pizza Patron Pretzel Time Quiznos Red Rock Chili San Francisco Soup Co Shane’s Rib Shack Skyline Chili Smoothie King Smotthie Planet Soup Nazi Steak-out Subway Submarina Sub Station II Super Suppers The Soup Box Supercuts Suzanne’s Kitchen We’re Rolling Pretzel Company Wetzel’s Pretzels Z Pizza Zoup! Fresh Soup Co (List all sub franchises) Health & Fitness Curves Liberty Fitness Home Building & Repair Services See “Business and Home Services” above Personnel & Staffing none Pet Retail and Services Camp Bow Wow Doody Calls The Pet Pantry Wag My Tail Interquest Detection Canines Pets Are Inn Retail Franchises Ace Hardware AuctionDrop Battery Plus Best Cuts GNC Educational Outfitters Fantastic Sams Fastframe Foot Solutions Friendly Computers Geeks on Call GNC Hair Cuttery Herman’s World of Sports Imagine This Sold Orbit Drop Play It Again Sports QuikDrop Roosters Men’s Grooming Centers Screenz Snips Its Sports Clips Stone Mountain Carpet Mill Tom’s Foods We the People Categories: eBay drop offs (generally) Hair Travel & Hotel none Industry Lists & Research 2004 Same Store Sales Growth of QSRs (quick service restaurants) Royalty and Advertising …

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