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Search Results for: Z Pizza

Family ditches perfect life for pizza franchise, togetherness

I found this story interesting. It tells the story of a working family ditching their jobs for the life of a franchisee. Are they making more money? No. Are they working less hours? No. Are they happier? Yes. They’re living on less, spending more hours at work and couldn’t be happier. They are saving money on business clothes, gas and travel costs, food, and other work related expenses. How do they market and advertise the business? With no advertising budget, the couple do their own marketing. Don and Kasey tour the nearby residential neighborhoods dropping off menus sporting their Z Pizza address. Don delivers small pizza boxes to nearby businesses with an invitation to bring it to the restaurant in exchange for a free pizza. I find many franchisees are making less money but are more happy in the end.

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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VERY OUT OF DATE.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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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 waiver for up to 18 months; and A $3,000 food credit with PJ Food Service, which operates Papa John’s fresh dough and food distribution quality control centers, for each restaurant that opens at least 30 days prior to the scheduled opening date.

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Burger King tries home delivery

http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/food/story/2012-01-12/burger-king-delivery/52604104/1 At first I thought Burger King delivery was a dumb idea.  But, after thinking about it a while, it may prove to be a smart move – in the right locations and for the right premium. Burger King is using custom packaging for the fries that won’t trap steam to make them soggy, but it will trap the emitted heat.  The delivery bags probably have a heating element too. I could see delivery being a surprise hit with customers. There no reason pizza should be the only popular delivery food.  Jimmy Johns owes a lot of its success to delivery.

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Giordano’s, You Fool

  What a sad story. Giordano’s is a leader and well-known institution in Chicago’s stuffed crust pizza game. It owns 10 corporate  stores and manages 35 franchised locations in Illinois and Florida.  Somehow this chain, where people (often tourists) stand in long line for an overrated $20 deep dish pizza, owed $45 million to a lender and had to file bankruptcy in February when it stopped paying back a note. Bidders for the company include the parent companies of Gino’s East and Connies Pizza. It sounds like they over-leveraged their real estate acquisitions and didn’t have enough income for debt coverage. Giordano’s was acquired by VPC Capital Partners in Chicago for $52 million.  It’s chairman, Richard Levy, hopes to elegantly apply his legal, bio-pharmaceutical, and energy background into the pizza industry, an obviously natural next step for him and sure to reassure franchisees.  Luckily, the Giordano’s family is going to stick around and collect big salaries to help out.   Don’t the new owners look happy in this picture (pic courtesy of Chicago Tribune) to the right?   They have BIG plans for the brand, hoping to clone the success of Paul Newman’s $200 million grocery business including developing a line of products for grocery stores “similar to what Paul Newman has done for salad dressing” and expanding the restaurant footprint beyond its Chicago and Florida markets.

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Papa John’s Franchisee to Go Public in Germany, Previous Fraud with Investors?

WorldWide Papa’s is going public on the heels of opening up its 5th store in Russia. But, there are people who claim to have invested with WordWide Papa in Russia but were ignored by the company once they received the investment. The whole story isn’t here, but a company that fails to communicate with its investors in a respectful manner must be avoided. I’ve seen a lot of investment fraud as an attorney, and I still am amazed at how often folks will steal from people they know.

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10 Strongest Retail Markets

source: National Restaurant News 1. Washington, D.C. 2. San Francisco 3. New York City 4. Boston 5. San Diego 6. San Jose/South Bay 7. Baltimore 8. Philadelphia 9. Seattle 10. Pittsburgh I would agree with Washington, D.C. being number 1. I’ve spoken to several small operators, that are expanding to Washington, D.C. One take and bake pizza concept expanded there and within a year it was their best performing store in the system of about 20. As a rule, franchisees should try to keep their rent 5-9% of gross sales except indoor malls where you’ll be at about 15%. Recently I was evaluating lease rates in the Chicago downtown loop area, and for a nice spot between 1,200-2,000sf you’ll be paying around $50+sf NNN. Compare that to suburbs of Orlando where you’ll easily grab prime shopping center space for $20-25sf with lots of incentives.

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Negotiating a Commercial Lease, Especially Restaurants

I just finished negotiating a commercial lease for a restaurant and thought this would be a good opportunity to relay some real time advice on the topic. Everything is negotiable in a lease agreement.  You simply have to ask for it in a sensible and compelling manner.  But just because everything is negotiable doesn’t mean you should try to negotiate everything.  Pick your battles, and accept some reasonable offers. When you’ve been emailing red-lined lease drafts back and forth with the landlord and you’ve reached a stalemate on several key issues, schedule a face-to-face meeting to hammer out the rest.  It will usually help drive things to completion. Be reasonable.  Don’t try to hammer the landlord on every aspect of the lease.  For example, if the price per square foot is reasonable compared to the market, then offer to pay the full rate and focus on other things like build out assistance, CAM, start of lease payments, hiatus of lease payments for remodeling, personal guarantees, etc.  Some landlords hold dear the price the receive per square foot but will heavily negotiate many other things. List everything in an exhibit what you will take with you at the expiration or termination of the lease, or the landlord will claim it as a permanent fixture or improvement and not let you take it. Most parties routinely start a lease negotiation with a Letter of Intent (“LOI”) to hammer out the big details like pricing, tenant improvements and the like.  A minority of other will recommend not starting off with a LOI, such as the self-proclaimed “Lease Coach” who touts his $1k-$7k services at the National Restaurant Association trade shows.  What’s my opinion?  In a perfect world I’d prefer starting out with the lease but I don’t think in the end it …

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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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Oops – franchisee didn’t pay sales taxes

An Indianapolis, IN area Dominos pizza franchisee had sales of $6 million across three units but kept the 7% sales tax for himself. Eventually the state of Indiana found out about it and shut him down. I know it’s tempting to keep the sales tax, but how could you expect not to get caught?

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Donatos Shedding Corporate Stores

This relates to the previous blog post as it illustrates another great company selling its corporate owned stores. Donatos, who happens to make my favorite pizza, announced it sold 39 locations to a franchisee, Titan.  Titan now owns all 23 Donatos stores in Indianapolis and 16 of the 22 in Cincinnati. The other Cincinnati locations are owned by other franchisees. The focus on franchising was originally announced in 2007 by the Columbus-based pizza chain. At that time, about three-quarters of Donatos’ locations were owned by the company. That has changed. Including the Titan deal, Donatos has 179 restaurants in six states, and 63percent are owned by franchisees.

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My Take on Papa Murphy’s Acquisition (updated April 7, 2010 @ 8pm EST)

As you’ve probably heard, Papa Murphy’s was acquired by a private investment firm for $180 million, about $150,000 per store.  I think it will turn out to be a good acquisition even with the steep price.  Papa Murphy’s has a combination of economic advantages that no other pizza chain has – 1)  it doesn’t have the overhead and capital costs of in-store baking, AND 2)  it is gaining strong penetration in grocery stores. I admit, from the consumer’s stand point, a take and bake concept is a little confusing at first. “You mean I have to bake my own pizza?”   But that impression soon fades.   The pizza in its raw form looks fresh and the final product cooked in the home oven is as good as pizza delivery.   One hurdle overcome by the industry was the difficulty of using a home oven to cook a pizza because it doesn’t brown up well with the ordinary pizza dough recipe.   To solve this, chains like Papa Murphy’s increase browning by increasing the sugar percentage and providing a disposable reflective baking tray. Another potential acquisition target is Homemade Pizza, a regional 25 unit chain in IL, MN and DC of classy take-and-bake stores where the average price of an “unbaked” large pizza is almost $20.   It seems to be doing well and has great branding.  Homemade Pizza pizzas are still priced on the high end because it is made with fresh and local ingredients.  The dough is prepared in a commissary to simplify store operations and reduce size requirements. _______________________________________________________ Update:  Below is more interesting history on Papa Murphy’s from a November 2009 article in Portland Business Journal.  Average store sales are about $535k. Papa Murphy’s is a holding of Charlesbank’s Equity Fund V, a $590 million private equity fund that …

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March 2010 – Same store sales update

Quick service segment 4th quarter average same store sales: -4.7% Arby’s: -11% (only down 7.4% in January) Wendy’s: -3% Sonic:  -13% (blames the heavy snow) Carl’s Jr.: -2.6% Hardees: -6.2% McDonald’s: +.6% Casual dining segment 4th quarter average same store sales: -4.2% Buffalo Wild Wings:  +2.0% fun facts—-Buffalo Wild Wings essentially sells a neighborhood sports bar concept. It features Buffalo style chicken wings, burgers, and other “bar” foods. Takeout represents about 13% of sales. Another 22% of total sales are derived, not surprisingly, from traditional chicken wings. Boneless wings, which have better margins than the regular kind, were 19% of Q4 sales, up from 17% in Q4 2008. Famous Daves:  -6.3% for company-owned restaurants and -8.5% for franchise-operated restaurants. Morton’s: -11.6% Fast Casual segment 4th quarter average same store sales: -.08% Panera Bread: +7.4% Cosi: -11.9% Pizza segment 4th quarter average same store sales: +1.8% Domino’s: +1.8% Papa  Murphy’s +2.0% Family dining segment 4th quarter average same store sales: -2.7% Steak n Shake: +14.4% Frisch’s Big Boy: -.4% Cracker Barrel: -.2% Denny’s: -6.1% at corporate owned units, -7.2% at franchised units iHOP: -3.1%

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Former Franchisor Execs Becoming Franchisees

Staying on the pizza topic for a moment…..Little Caesar’s and Donatos (both pizza) have a large number of former company executives that have transitioned to franchisees. That is a good sign and both are adding units faster than their counterparts in the industry, each for different reasons (LC for price, D for uniqueness). Little’s Caesars hot-and-ready pizza deals have been a hit with a simultaneous improvement in quality from high speed impingement ovens. Donatos’ pizza is a very unique thin pizza similar to a St. Louis style or Chicago thin style, and it has operations and pizza assembly down quicker than anyone I’ve seen. Surprisingly, Little Caesars makes their own dough while Donatos uses preformed frozen dough that arrives ready to bake on a disc. Asking a franchisor salesman how many executives or former executives are franchisees is a great question.

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Better Burger Trend Peaking?

Elevation Burger, the well branded organic better-burger franchise, closed it’s Baltimore franchise.  Reviews were pretty bad. As a whole, healthy, all-natural, and organic concepts have been having a hard time making their sales goals,  except for notable exceptions like Chipotle.  Everybody says they’ll go for healthy options, right? You have to watch what people do and not what they say.  I’m sure most people reading this post would say during a focus group, “Yes, I’ll pay a little premium for the organic meal”.  But, in reality what do you do?   Most of the time you purchase based on convenience, taste and price as long as you deem the quality above an acceptable level.  I was reminded of this recently from a PepsiCo executive.  Chipotle is the rare bird – it succeeds because it tastes good, is priced competitively, the line moves very fast, and most people don’t even realize the food is mostly organic. Another “healthy” brand to watch is Naked Pizza because it has signed several area development agreements for hundreds of units but lacks experienced management. A reviewer on Yelp stated, the “cheese was rubbery and the pizza was cardboard” – ouch! Naked Pizza has gathered remarkable attention for only having a single location.  The buzz is the result of winning an open venture funding call in a blog post from billionaire Mark Cuban.  It’s also reknowned for embracing of twitter (a billboard simply lists it’s twitter address).  A recent article summarizes the Naked Pizza idea: NakedPizza’s solution is an all-natural, fortified pizza, made with simple, unprocessed ingredients, informed by science and made affordable and available through the proven carry-out and delivery model. It’s signature difference is a crust made with a diverse blend of “ancestral” whole grains, seeds and beans fortified with prebiotic fiber and probiotics (live, …

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Smart Money Buys Dominos Franchisee In Japan

Bain Capital employs some of the smartest financial and strategic professionals in the USA.  Bain Capital originally funded Dominos Pizza back in the late 1990’s and reaped a hefty profit when it went public in 2004.  Now, Bain Capital is jumping back in with Dominos by acquiring the Japanese master franchisee, who delivers pizzas that often cost over $40 in Japan.  With Bain’s history in Dominos, I would bet that this is a smart investment.

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