Cinnabon charts a course for global success | The story behind Painting with a Twist | Wendy's and its franchisees agree on new value menus
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December 28, 2012
IFA SmartBrief
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Cinnabon charts a course for global success
Kat Cole, who originally wanted to be an engineer and an attorney, embarked on an unusual career path that eventually led her to become president of Cinnabon. The cinnamon-bun franchise, which is on pace to reach $900 million in sales this year, was the first U.S. franchise to enter Libya. "We are in about 50,000 points of distribution around the world, including grocery, franchise and food-service establishments," Cole said. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (12/25)
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Health care, economic uncertainty could inhibit franchise growth
The franchise industry is expected to grow at a slightly slower rate next year, perhaps due in part to President Barack Obama's health care law and uncertainty over the "fiscal cliff" negotiations. "[W]e could be growing much faster, creating more new jobs and businesses, if Washington addressed the tax, spending and regulatory uncertainty plaguing the small business community, in a meaningful way," IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira said. However, franchising in the restaurant industry is forecast to grow at a faster pace than it did in 2012. (12/27), American City Business Journals/Dayton, Ohio (12/27)
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The story behind Painting with a Twist
Painting with a Twist, which allows customers to spend a night out and create their own work of art, has grown to include 80 franchise locations in 16 states, said Cathy Deano, the company's co-founder. The brand hires the most artists "in the United States outside of the school systems," she said."Happening Now" (12/27)
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Wendy's and its franchisees agree on new value menus
Wendy's has worked with its franchisees to settle on a fixed menu of six core items that will be on 99-cent menus across the country, along with a slightly pricier eight-item second-tier menu. The menus came after the chain resolved to balance big premium-priced menus with lower-priced options aimed at capturing more budget-conscious consumers without sacrificing franchisees' profits, said CEO Emil Brolick. (12/26)
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Starwood Hotels experienced strong growth in 2012
Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide says that its growth drive in 2012 will have resulted in more than 125 new hotel deals by the end of the year -- a 13% increase over hotel-deal volumes reached in 2011. By the end of the year, Starwood expects to have launched a total of 71 new hotels across 20 countries. (free registration) (12/26)
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Toppers employs ad campaign to stand out in a sea of pizza
Toppers Pizza is using a hip TV advertising campaign to compete with larger pizza franchises. "When we enter a new market, our goal is to steal market share from those [big] guys," said Scott Iversen, the brand's director of marketing. The campaign isn't only designed to appeal to young people, Iversen said. "[W]hat we've found is everybody is pretty much young at heart. ... So even though we connect with this fun and irreverent personality, it appeals to a wide range of people." QSR Magazine (12/2012)
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Why bosses should join the culture club
Many bosses neglect culture in favor of agonizing over products and services, writes S. Chris Edmonds. That's a mistake: Culture, after all, is the driver of all company activity. "Because of this fact, corporate culture may be your company's most important asset," Edmonds argues. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (12/26)
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Keys to a valuable mentoring relationship
There are certain characteristics you should look for in a mentoring relationship, according to Sharon Straus of the University of Toronto. It's important for mentors and their mentees to have respect for one another and to have common values. It's also a good idea to set clear expectations for the relationship, Straus notes. Entrepreneur online/The Daily Dose blog (12/26)
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Hotels are turning to rebranding to stay fresh
Recent data by STR show an increase in properties switching flags as franchise deals expire. Switching lets hoteliers trade up or down to meet shifting travel patterns, but oftentimes presents a nuisance for current guests. Some rebranded hotels are undergoing yearlong renovation campaigns, including switching shampoo brands, swapping out potted plants and changing the scent of their lobbies. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (12/24)
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How some lucky menu items achieve cult status
KFC executives didn't know popcorn chicken would resound so strongly with guests, selling $20 million in its six-week debut, writes consultant and industry veteran Darrel Suderman. He explores the qualities that go into creating cult favorites and the role products such as the McRib play in the world of quickservice. (12/27)
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Merchants move toward more same-day delivery
Hints that Amazon aims to increase its same-day delivery options have retailers of all sizes, from Wal-Mart to Shoptiques, scrambling to compete. The services required, however, are often money-losing and may not even be perks customers want, analysts say. "There's lots going on in this space, and it's all driven by Amazon," said Tom Allason, founder and CEO of Shutl, a U.K.-based delivery service. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers) (12/27)
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Veterans seeking franchise careers find help at
Learn about veterans who have traded their fatigues for uniforms from some of the most prominent brands in franchising. IFA’s provides news on initiatives to help more military veterans join the ranks of franchise owners, visit the site now. The site shows includes a directory of participating IFA member companies offering financial incentives.
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Policy and Finance Update
Washington readies final effort to avert "fiscal cliff"
With President Barack Obama and members of the Senate headed back to Washington, D.C., political leaders are preparing to make a final attempt at averting the "fiscal cliff" that economists have said could return the U.S. into a recession. In a sign that there may be a way to break the standoff, Rep. John Boehner, head of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives, urged the Senate, where Democrats hold the majority, to offer a proposal that could restart movement toward a budget compromise. Reuters (12/26), Politico (12/26), Bloomberg (12/26), The Hill/On The Money blog (12/27), MSN/Reuters (12/27)
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If all misfortunes were laid in one common heap whence everyone must take an equal portion, most people would be contented to take their own and depart."
-- Socrates,
Greek philosopher
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