Mastering the Franchising Model

The franchising industry has always been an enticing business prospect as it offers entrepreneurs a tried and tested formula that is backed by training and support which will assist in managing a business with less risk. Entrepreneurs who are dedicated and hands-on will assuredly have what it takes to make any franchise business a success. Although the concept of franchising has enticed business men and women, the industry has shown remarkable growth amongst female ownership in recent years, proving that franchising is a viable business option for all. A study conducted by Pricewaterhouse Coopers and the International Franchise Association revealed that female business owners account for roughly 25% of franchise unit ownerships to date, with figures rising continuously.

Lindelwa (Lindy) Jali is a great example of a female franchisee who has successfully applied the franchise business model to achieve success within The Fish & Chip Co. family. With two stores located at Stone Towers Mall and Cathcart Street, both in King Williams Town, Lindy is flourishing. At just thirty years of age, Lindy is taking the business model in her stride with a determined management style that is democratic, consultative and sets a pace for managing employees by coaching them as individuals. "It is important to give employees a voice within the company as they will then take responsibility for their respective roles. By being open and encouraging dialogue, staff are driven and they will want to achieve more than their capability," Lindy shares.

"Because I have multiple stores, it is important to monitor progress on a daily basis. Teams are briefed daily on what the game plan is and duties are delegated to achieve our targets. I check up continuously, without micro managing, to ensure that we stay on track," she adds. On being a woman in business, Lindy says that it has been challenging at times to prove her leadership skills as a female at the helm of a company. "Even though I do find that I sometimes need to work harder to prove myself in business, I choose to work hard regardless of my gender. As my late mother, who was my greatest mentor, taught me you should never let circumstances that are out of your control hinder your ambitions." Marcel Strauss, Managing Executive of The Fish & Chip Co. notes, "Any one that has the drive and passion to be in business can do it, and we are especially proud of our female franchisees. I think women are quite nurturing in their management style as they show empathy and take the time to really listen to the needs of staff and clients. It comes naturally to them, which is a great bonus when you are delivering a service."

Aside from managing these two stores, Lindy is also a full time wife and mother that manages her household as she manages her team – with great care and open lines of communication. Even though she does sometimes struggle to bring balance to her life, she still encourages any woman to consider franchising as a viable business opportunity. Her advice to other women who want to become franchisees: • Treat your staff with respect and allow them to have a voice; • Be involved at the store as much as you can. Stores that are owner managed have proven to have a higher success rate than those that are run by managers; • Do not slack on the day-to-day managerial obligations, such as taking inventory. You need to keep your finger on the pulse at all times. Lindy concludes that any woman has the potential to succeed in franchising, as long as she is fully committed.

"While franchising offers exciting business opportunities, potential franchisees should also be aware of certain challenges they may face as first time franchisees, such as inexperience, dealing with various staff issues, and ensuring that customer needs are always met. It is also critical to learn about the intricacies of the franchising industry and business, before committing to ownership."

Health Club Gym Franchises

Retro Fitness, a low-cost, high-value concept, continues to strengthen its team and reputation in the industry, adding two new team members who will take the brand to the next level. Jason Mattes is Chief Franchising Development Officer for Retro Fitness and its sister-brand Let's YO! and Rudy Fabiano of Fabiano Designs has been added as the official partner for development of new Retro Fitness locations. With 10 years experience in franchise sales and development, Mattes will be responsible for the design and execution of the brands' national franchise growth program, facilitating new market development outside northeast operating cores for the 89-unit fitness and 24-unit frozen yogurt chains.

Mattes will serve in an executive leadership position overseeing all facets of franchise sales and licensing, market planning and development, site identification, selection and acquisition initiatives, financing and contract administration. Mattes, who is also a former professional football player, joins the brand with a consistent track record of delivering above market sales growth and positive bottom-line returns for franchise organizations of various makes and models.

Most recently, he was Vice President of Franchise Development for Saladworks where he led a concentrated national and international growth initiative for their Mid-Atlantic restaurant chain that resulted in the award of more than 153 future franchised locations in dozens of new states as well as in Singapore and the Middle East during his tenure. In all, Mattes has managed more than 450 franchise awards to date in leadership positions with three other franchise brands. "A tremendous opportunity exists to nationalize development for Retro Fitness and Let's YO! that is both strategic and profitable for our franchise system," Mattes said.

"Both brands are investor-friendly, highly scalable and uniquely positioned to expand within their respective industries. In addition, each is transferable to most destinations across the country so my goal is to effort that growth quickly and efficiently by identifying the best brand partners to help facilitate new market development in and out of our operating core that share our enthusiasm for the value proposition offered to our end customers." Additionally, Retro Fitness has partnered with well-known architectural design firm Fabiano Designs. Spearheaded by Rudy Fabiano, the company will facilitate the layout and design of all Retro Fitness clubs moving forward. "Our team members are one of our greatest advantages over our competition," said Eric Casaburi, founder and CEO of Retro Fitness and Let's YO!. "We're happy with the direction our brands are moving and look forward to continuing to add talented, passionate people to our team."

Retro Fitness clubs blend vibrant color schemes into a fun, energetic atmosphere where gym members can comfortably meet their fitness goals. Gym members have access to a full-collection of top-of-the-line equipment, cardio machines complete with individual LCD television monitors, a full-service RetroBlends juice bar, personal training, tanning, locker rooms, and child sitting. Driven by a healthy menu, Let's YO!'s innovative, socially-minded atmosphere, appeals to even the most trend forward consumers. The brand's industry-leading interior design is complete with Apple iPads embedded into its tables, which are hooked up to flat-screen, closed-circuit televisions within the shop, providing a live, constantly-updated feed of the company's social media networks.

Creating a truly social experience for customers, guests can interact with friends, family and Let's YO! through these platforms, while also watching their posts appear within seconds on the screen. Let's YO!'s goal is to enrich people's lives with a healthy, nutritious frozen yogurt alternative. With an array of healthy, nutritious frozen yogurt flavors, guests can enjoy their favorite desserts made from fresh dairy and real fruit purees, while choosing from a variety of fun, healthy toppings, which include leading brands such as Kashi and Bear Naked as well as a wide-selection of fresh fruit.

About Retro Fitness Founded in 2004 by entrepreneur Eric Casaburi, Retro Fitness has evolved from a regional Northeast gym concept into a national fitness system with nearly 90 gyms in operation in 11 states. Expansion plans call for 150 gyms in the next three years and growth into new major markets such as Maryland, New York, Virginia, and Washington. Each Retro Fitness location is equipped with a full-service fitness center including 60-100 pieces of equipment supplied by leading manufacturers such as Life Fitness and Iron Grip. Last year, Retro Fitness saw its third-consecutive placement on the Entrepreneur "Franchise 500" annual ranking. The company has also been recognized as one of the "Top Fastest-Growing Franchises" and "Top New Franchises" by the publication. About Let's YO! Yogurt Founded two years ago by entrepreneur Eric Casaburi, Let's YO! Yogurt is a frozen yogurt shop built around the social, consumer experience –complete with iPads embedded into tables for consumer use. Each location features a sleek, sophisticated futuristic design, providing a high-tech atmosphere for customers.

A healthy dessert alternative, Let's YO! offers a superior product offering with more than 80 lines of puréed yogurt options to choose from, along with leading brands such as Bear Naked and Kashi. Let's YO! Yogurt has 24 locations in operation, with 50 additional units slated to open throughout the East Coast within the next year.

Sign Franchises gets Award

"I never imagined that when I started this business twelve years ago that I would achieve national recognition for being the Franchise of the Year let along win that honour three times in the last five years," says Joanne Ruston, owner, Speedpro Signs Calgary NE. Prior to winning Speedpro Signs' Franchise of the Year award for 2012, Ruston received the honour in 2008 and again in 2011. The Franchise of the Year honour, Speedpro Sign's highest award of achievement requires the franchisee to demonstrate leadership in a number of categories. These include sales volume and growth, ethics, innovation, employee satisfaction, financial results, cooperation within the Speedpro network and community involvement.

"Under the direction of owner Joanne Ruston, Speedpro Signs has exceeded expectations in every category and is a worthy recipient of our Franchise of the Year award," explains Stuart Burns, president of Speedpro Signs of Canada. "Receiving this award is a great honour for me personally and one that I share with our employees and customers," says Ruston. "It is truly a team effort and a testament to the dedication, energy and creativity of our staff and to the loyalty of our clients." Ruston who has more than 25 years of sales, service and marketing experience. Today, she is active in several community organizations including Executive Women International; Business Network International (BNI) Elite Chapter; where she is currently serving as President; e-women, Calgary Chapter; and the Airways Business Association. In 2009, Ruston was named one of Calgary's "Leaders of Tomorrow" by Business in Calgary Magazine.

About Speedpro Signs, Speedpro is the largest sign franchise (and the industry leader in sign design innovation), celebrating 21 years this year, with 49 locations. Speedpro provides a wide range of interior & exterior signage, banners, trade show displays and vehicle graphics to businesses large and small. Speedpro offers full service from the idea stage to installation. About Speedpro Signs Calgary NE Speedpro Signs Calgary NE is an independently owned and operated franchise of Speedpro Signs. We are a full service, professional sign company that designs, manufactures, supplies and installs a wide variety of signs and graphics. At Speedpro Signs Calgary NE, we are experts at creating sign solutions for business, retail, commercial, property management, vehicle graphics, banners, tradeshows, storefront, directory boards as well as safety and pylon signs.

Retail Franchise Opportunities

Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, which this year celebrates 21 years in operation, has today announced it will be showing the very latest in its range of high-quality greeting cards at the Pro-Retail show held at the International Centre in Telford. As well as highlighting its Christmas 2013 range, Card Connection will be showing updates to its Gift Connection Party selection and new releases from the Everyday range. "We are delighted to be attending Pro-Retail again this year," confirms Michael Johnson, managing director of Card Connection. "The show has always been positive for us and we are looking forward to introducing new and existing customers to our latest stunning product releases."

Card Connection itself is one of the largest card publishers and is the market leader in the franchised distribution of greeting cards. Using a proven system, franchisees place greeting cards and other products in retail outlets on a 'consignment' basis. Stock and display equipment is installed on free loan to the retailer. This is one step beyond 'sale or return' as retailers don't have to buy stock in the first place, only paying for what they sell. The award winning merchandising service provided to retailers by local franchisees is second to none and has established the company's excellent reputation especially within the convenience sector.

Restaurant Franchise New Menu

After 33 successful years in the barbecue business, Woody Mills and his partner, Yolanda Mills-Mawman have discovered that the best way to keep their fans coming back for more is to throw in the occasional pleasant – and utterly delicious – surprise. While the bulk of their business is founded on tried-and-true signature dishes and comfort food sides – many of which were derived from original recipes from the kitchen of the lovely Ms. Grace Meyer, Woody Mills' mother – the Florida-based franchise chain has decided to tweak their recipe for success.

To that end, Woody's Bar-B-Q rolled out a brand new menu earlier this month at locations that stretch from the sunny shores of Florida to the snow-capped mountaintops of Utah. In addition to several mouth-watering menu enhancements, the new Woody's Bar-B-Q menu has received a complete makeover. Members of the Woody's corporate team attended a special "menu boot camp" to learn a few new tricks of the trade with regard to placement of menu items and the dynamic use of images. Professionally rendered product shots were taken and several new menu items were tested at a number of Woody's flagship restaurants to see how they fared.

Nearly every item was met with rave reviews, and those that passed muster were incorporated in the new menu alongside long-time fan favorites. Some of the new items Woody's Bar-B-Q devotees will find on the menu include: The Juicy BIG Black Angus 1/2 LB Hawaiian Burger – For a unique twist on an old favorite, Woody's black angus steak burger is topped with grilled pineapple, diced bar-b-q pork, cheddar cheese and Woody's own sweet sauce. Lip-smacking Memphis Style Dry Rub Spare Ribs – Guests are invited to sidle up to a slab of these tender, slow smoked ribs that have been hand-rubbed with Woody's award-winning seasoning. The Tasty BIG FISH Sandwich – This one is a real catch! Showcasing a large pollock fish filet served with lettuce, tomato, red onion, and tartar sauce all on a toasted roll.

"We love the look and feel of our new menu, and suspect our patrons will, too," explains Woody Mills. "It's a far cry from our original menu when we first opened our doors in 1980 – which was just a list of items and prices on a simple piece of paper. My partner, Yolanda, worked side-by-side with the graphic designer on the layout for an end-result that will make your mouth water before the plate even reaches your table.

Each of the photos and menu item descriptions were carefully selected so they are not only true to the product that will be presented to our patrons, but are also important elements in transforming what was once an informational piece into a highly successful sales tool. While the combination of images and descriptions may get them excited about what they are about to eat, the flavor is what will keep our fans – new and old – returning time and again. The cover says it all 'The Secret's in the Tastin'.'" 

Franchisee Joins Franchising Business

Leading greeting card publisher and franchisor, Card Connection, has today announced that it has recruited a new franchisee for Brighton. Former retailer, Veni Nandavaram now works with his wife Vara to supply Card Connection's range of more than 1,500 greeting cards and party accessories to around 180 stores in Brighton and the surrounding area. "Previously, I ran several newsagents shops with my brother and so I already knew about Card Connection, as the local franchisee merchandised the greetings cards in our stores," explains Veni. "I had always been impressed with the creativity of the design and quality of the products and when the area came up for sale, I knew this was our chance!

"Card Connection franchisees deliver stock on a consignment basis to retailers, which means the retailer only pays for what they sell," continues Veni. "I knew this clever business model, combined with the regular merchandising service the franchisee provided worked really well for us as retailers and so my wife and I were keen to become involved. "Although Card Connection's training has been comprehensive, I believe my retail background will help us develop the franchise further," confirms Veni. "For example, as well as greeting cards, Card Connection also supplies gift wrap, bottle bags and party accessories so there is always a chance to help shop managers expand their range and optimise income through different product lines. We can create a win-win situation by helping retailer improve their bottom line and at the same time that means increasing our profit margins.

"I also understand the importance of customer satisfaction and how creating a stunning display of cards and accessories in-store will encourage buying behaviour," explains Veni. "By regularly updating all the stock of greeting cards and replacing designs with seasonal product the displays will always look fresh and tempting. So far, this strategy is working really well and we already opened a new account in the first week of trading! The Card Connection team has been really supportive and I am very much looking forward to working with my wife and building our business over the long term." Card Connection is part of a subsidiary of the largest publicly owned greeting card publisher in the world and has limited vacancies for franchisees that are keen to run an expanding business. Suitable candidates would ideally have some management experience as, once established, and depending on the size of the territory, they could be expected to employ a small team, operate a small warehouse and have several liveried vans on the road.

Food Franchises - Franchising Opportunities

Leading Pizza franchise, Papa John's, has announced several new franchise opportunities in the South East. Premises which have now been secured and are awaiting shop fit-out include Fareham, Reading and Eastleigh and are available to franchisees looking to run their own Papa John's pizza store. "We are focused on growing the number of franchised Papa John's outlets throughout the country," confirms Anthony Round, business development manager, Papa John's. "These new opportunities represent an exciting chance for individuals to invest in a rapidly growing business which is also the market leader in its field.

"Each store location has been carefully selected to attract the optimal customer base," continues Round. "This process takes time, however, outlets in Fareham, Reading and Eastleigh have already been acquired and, following the fit-out process, they are ready for an entrepreneurial business person to take over. "In addition, Papa John's is currently running an incentive scheme to help new franchisees set up," explains Round. "For a limited period, deals are available on fees and equipment for new stores open during 2013, which really makes Papa John's a tempting offer for potential franchisees!" Papa John's is one of the largest pizza companies in the world and is rapidly expanding in 33 markets around the globe. Papa John's, which is renowned for its product quality, has opportunities for potential franchisees countrywide

Subway Franchise Industry Champions

SUBWAY® RESTAURANTS RECOGNIZED AS INDUSTRY CHAMPIONS 2012 BY THE PRODUCE FOR BETTER HEALTH FOUNDATION - Chain Remains Committed to Providing Fresh Ingredients and Healthier Options - The SUBWAY® restaurant chain was named an Industry Champion recently by the Produce for Better Health Foundation.

The SUBWAY® brand was recognized for encouraging customers to build their sandwich or salad just the way they like it, with their choice of fresh vegetables and toppings. Messaging the importance of eating fruits and vegetables, SUBWAY® restaurants include the "Fruits and Veggies More Matters" logo on tray liners and other signage, in addition to radio spots and social media content. "We're extremely proud and appreciative of the efforts contributed by all these Role Models and Champions to remind consumers that increasing fruit and vegetable consumption is important through use of the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters logo and messaging," said Elizabeth Pivonka, Ph.D., R.D., president and CEO of PBH.

When made to standard formula, a six-inch SUBWAY® sandwich includes two full servings of vegetables, essential nutrients vitamin A and iron, and are free of artificial trans-fat and rich in complex carbohydrates. All SUBWAY® bread is fortified with Calcium and Vitamin D, and a six inch sandwich includes the equivalent to a glass of milk. When made on 9-Grain Wheat or Honey Oat bread, each sandwich contains at least 20% daily value of fiber. All SUBWAY® sandwiches and salads can be customized with an array of fresh, crisp vegetables, such as spinach, green peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers. Customers can also add banana peppers, jalapeños, pickles, black olives, and their choice of several low fat sauces, on a variety of freshly baked breads. Meals can be paired with fresh apple slices, strawberry yogurt parfait, or apple juice. In 2012, SUBWAY® restaurants became the first Quick Service Restaurant chain with meals to earn the American Heart Association's Heart Check mark that pass the certification program's stringent criteria.

The certification comes after nearly 12 years of supporting the American Heart Association's Heart Walk, Jump Rope for Heart, and Hoops for Heart programs, promoting the importance of physical activity at any age, and is a reflection of SUBWAY® restaurants' mission to continue offering better-for-you meal options that do not sacrifice taste or variety. The program guidelines include criteria that go beyond just calories, and include sodium, fat, trans fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and beneficial nutrient levels. The Heart Check mark can be found on SUBWAY FRESH FIT® meals featuring a variety of 6" inch subs served with apple slices and water, and SUBWAY FRESH FIT FOR KIDS™ meals served with apple slices and 12 ounce low-fat milk. The SUBWAY® brand also recently introduced a Chopped Salad program that includes nine American Heart Association Heart Check certified salad meals, which are all less than 350 calories, and include sweet onion salad dressing, bottled water, and apple slices. At five servings of vegetables each, all Chopped Salads provide 100 percent of the recommended daily vegetable servings, as well as essential vitamins A, C, as well as iron and fiber.

Ordering heart healthy options is now even easier at SUBWAY® restaurants, as customers can simply look for the American Heart Association's Heart Check mark on the menu. About SUBWAY® Restaurants, the SUBWAY® brand was co-founded by Fred DeLuca and Dr. Peter Buck in 1965. Their partnership, which continues today, marked the beginning of a remarkable journey–one that has made it possible for thousands of individuals to build and succeed in their own business. In 2012, SUBWAY® restaurants became the first restaurant to have meals that meet the American Heart Association's Heart-Check Meal Certification Program nutritional criteria.

This year, for the fourth straight year, the SUBWAY® brand was ranked "number one" by consumers in the Zagat® Fast Food Survey in the "Healthy Options," "Most Popular" and "Top Service" categories for food brands with 5,000 or more locations. About Produce for Better Health Foundation Produce for Better Health Foundation (PBH) is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) fruit and vegetable education foundation. Since 1991, PBH works to motivate people to eat more fruits and vegetables to improve public health. PBH achieves success through industry and government collaboration, first with the 5 A Day program and now with the Fruits & Veggies—More Matters public health initiative. Fruits & Veggies—More Matters is the nation's largest public-private, fruit and vegetable nutrition education initiative with Fruit and Vegetable Nutrition.

Franchises for Sale

PRO Martial Arts franchise will open its newest location in Kenwood, with a grand opening event featuring free martial arts classes for children of all ages, Armor™ anti-bullying seminar, predator prevention information, karate demos, board breaking and more. PRO Martial Arts offers fitness, martial arts and self-defense classes for children and adults. The PRO Martial Arts Armor™ program delivers valuable character skills, anti-bullying techniques and predator prevention strategies. Kara Forcellini, Director of Education and Damien Hannah, Program Director and Chief Instructor of PRO Martial Arts-Kenwood, are both passionate about educating and equipping kids to protect themselves from bullies and predators. "We are not a typical martial arts studio.

In addition to offering instruction in martial arts, we are focused on educating and equipping kids to protect themselves against bullies and predators," Forcellini said. "Our passion is to help every person who enters our dojo to 'build of character for a lifetime!' We plan to work each day to make a difference in our community by offering the tools to build healthier homes including free seminars for parents on bullying and predator prevention," Forcellini added. With 23 dojos open across the country PRO Martial Arts focuses on Tae Kwon Do, Tae Soo Do and Hapkido forms of karate, along with offering kick-boxing classes.

The schools bring a proven brand of martial arts instruction and life skills teaching to area children, teens and adults. Founder Grandmaster Ed Samane designed the PRO Martial Arts curriculum as a nationally recognized brand built on the belief that karate should teach not only self-defense, but also character by helping to improve overall attitude, self-worth, fitness, assertiveness, and self-awareness. Samane began his martial arts training at the age of eleven in 1979 trained with Hapkido founder Supreme Grandmaster Ji han Jae, and since has placed in numerous Korean style championships.

About PRO Martial Arts: The PRO Martial Arts System taught at every location is a cohesive blend of the best elements of traditional Korean martial arts. Incorporating elements of Tang Soo Do, Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido, the system provides its students the opportunity to develop a potent blend of strength, flexibility, coordination, and balance, while learning effective and proven self-defense techniques in a fun and energizing environment. At PRO Martial Arts, fitness and fun truly go hand-in-hand! But what truly sets PRO Martial Arts apart from the average martial arts school is the addition of our inspiring and motivational life skills training programs for students ages 4 to 17. These innovative, exciting, and proprietary programs are the difference between PRO Martial Arts and other schools.

Restraunt Franchises

Linda Duke to Speak at Restaurant Industry Conference - Duke Marketing, LLC., an integrated marketing communications firm, announced today Linda Duke, chief executive, will be a speaker at the 17th Annual Extension Restaurant Industry Conference. This highly regarded day-long conference attracts 350 restaurant operating company owners, C-level executives, lenders, private equity investors, franchises, investment bankers, suppliers, and professional advisors, to learn, network and share. "I am thrilled to be invited to speak at this year's Extension Restaurant Industry Conference," said Linda Duke. "This annual event is one of the best power learning days for executives in the restaurant industry. I am proud to be involved and share key brand evolution strategies."

Linda Duke of Duke Marketing will lead a breakout session at this year's Annual Extension Restaurant Conference entitled, "Brand Evolution" Remaining Relevant—Restaurant Brand Strategies for Today and Tomorrow's Consumer, from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Duke will cover how today's top restaurant brands become relevant to the younger generation while also staying relevant for existing and older guests.

This high level session will provide profiles of what top restaurant brands are doing to stay relevant and what strategies attendees can use to be sure their own brand is going to be relevant for today and tomorrow's consumer. Attendees will come away with keen insights to apply to their own brands. "Linda Duke is a passionate restaurant industry marketing speaker and we look forward to her high energy breakout session this year," said Anna Graves, Conference Chair, Co-Leader of the Restaurant, Food & Beverage Industry Group, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP . "Ms. Duke is a respected marketing professional in this industry, and we are pleased to have her as a featured speaker for our 2013 annual conference in April." Ms. Duke is a nationally recognized restaurant marketing expert, speaker, author and educator. She speaks frequently at industry and client conferences, and is a member of the board of directors of the California Restaurant Association's Educational Foundation and one of the founding members of the National Restaurant Association's Fast Casual Industry Council.

Ms. Duke is an author of "Recipes for Restaurateurs", and publishes Restaurant Marketing Magazine, an online quarterly restaurant industry resource. About Duke Marketing, LLC® Duke Marketing, LLC. was established in 1989, and is a full service marketing firm providing strategic communications and creative brand building expertise for multi-location and franchise organizations. Duke Marketing combines a full range of services with on-target strategies, fresh ideas and break-out creative concepts to offer complete marketing and sales driving solutions for multi-unit restaurants, retail and foodservice operations.

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