Is nostalgia enough to bring back Bennigan's? | Franchisors offer life-line during Superstorm Sandy | 7-Eleven mounts aggressive expansion in Central Texas
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March 25, 2013
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Is nostalgia enough to bring back Bennigan's?
Fans of the casual dining pioneer Bennigan's are enjoying the chain's comeback attempt driven by a franchisee group that now operates 85 improved restaurants in the U.S. and abroad. Bennigan's CEO Paul Mangiamele said he expects to double the number of units in the next five years and predicted the franchise will reach 200 restaurants with a strategy based on remodeled units, new prototypes, a fast-casual spinoff, international expansion and attracting nostalgic customers to the improved brand. Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Texas) (3/23)
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Hotel CEOs optimistic about industry's future
Four hotel CEOs spoke during a panel at the 25th annual Hunter Hotel Conference on Thursday about the future of the hotel industry. Despite economic effects such as the sequester, increasing gas prices and health care costs uncertainties, all four CEOs were optimistic about growth in the industry. "I believe 2013 will be a good year but not a great year," Choice Hotels CEO Steve Joyce said. "Things should turn up toward the end of the year, and 2014 and '15 should be very strong years." (3/22)
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Franchisors offer life-line during Superstorm Sandy
In the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, East Coast franchises including Fetch! Pet Care, Rainbow International and Mr. Rooter Plumbing received assistance and support from corporate offices to help them return to servicing customers in affected communities. "The thing I like about franchising is that those systems allow you to get through disasters in a way that business suffers as little as possible," Mr. Rooter President Mary Kennedy Thompson said. "It never ceases to amaze me how our system steps up to help one another." Entrepreneur online (3/22)
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Other News
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Operating a business with a focus on profitability alone is short-sighted, writes Michael Olguin, president of Formula PR. Setting clear operating goals for your business can help you to monitor the success of your company and make sure everyone is on the same page within your leadership team. "When your leadership team clearly understands what you are trying to accomplish it provides greater rationale for the decisions you might make regarding hiring, acquisitions, incentives, sales programs, or any other financially-driven decision," he writes. Inc. online (free registration) (3/21)
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Trend WatchSponsored By
Tax refunds improve restaurant sales, analysts say
Restaurant sales are recovering from low numbers in January and February as consumers receive delayed income tax refunds from the federal government, research analysts said. "We believe retailers serving lower- to middle-income consumers that were weighed down by delayed federal income tax refunds in late January and the first half of February have likely seen an improvement in sales trends in recent weeks," the analysts stated in a report. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (3/22)
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News from IFASponsored By
46th Annual Legal Symposium coming in May to the nation's capital
The Legal Symposium's focus is on the practical application of the law to the real problems the industry encounters and the "how-to" approach for navigating today's challenging legal and business environment. Topics for this year's conference include implementing franchise system face lifts, protecting customer data, structuring regulated promotional campaigns, SBA's financing process realities and managing financial risk and negotiation of creditor agreements. While in Washington, D.C., plan to attend the 20th Annual International Bar Association/IFA Joint Conference on May 7 and 8 and discover what legal and regulatory issues franchisors face around the world.
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2013 IFA Convention available at a glance
If you weren't able to attend IFA's convention or would like to recapture important moments from the crowd-pleasing program, you're in luck. You can view video coverage of keynote speaker CKE Restaurants CEO Andrew Puzder, the popular Panel of the Pros, Steve Romaniello, CFE, FOCUS Brands chairman and Roark Capital Group managing director, delivering his address as 2013 IFA chairman, the state of the association address by IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira, CFE, insights from the major award winners and more.
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IFA Member Monday
Expedia CruiseShipCenters predicts smooth sailing in 2013
Expedia CruiseShipCenters, part of Expedia Inc., announced its 2012 bookings at an 8% increase over the previous year. "This growth is also a reflection of the fact that we continue to invest heavily in sales training, marketing and technology to help our Franchise Partners grow their business," said Matthew Eichhorst, president of Expedia CruiseShipCenters. Last year also marked the franchise's 25th anniversary, which saw the company open 21 new franchise locations and add more than 1,000 new vacation consultants, bringing their current totals to more than 4,000 agents and 170 franchise locations throughout North America.
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Policy and Finance Update
Puzder: Health care law, minimum wage hike could increase prices
CKE Restaurants CEO Andy Puzder said Friday that the health care law could increase restaurant costs by 150% and a 24% increase in the minimum wage could result in job cuts and increased prices. "It's very simple," he said. "When you increase the cost of something, American businesses use it less and if you do that to labor it's going to hurt employment." Fox Business (3/22)
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Bennigan's CEO discusses sequester cuts' impact on restaurants
Bennigan's CEO Paul Mangiamele said reports that sequester cuts will have an impact on food inspections in the restaurant industry are a misrepresentation of the effects the cuts will have on restaurants. "Another fabulous example of draconian hyperbole," Mangiamele said about the hype leading up to the sequester, which he believes has placed added pressure on business owners in the face of tax increases and rising commodity and gas prices. Fox Business/Cavuto (3/18)
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Lawmakers propose labeling bill for pizza brands
Representatives Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash., and Loretta Sanchez, D-Calif., introduced a bill last week aimed at making it easier for pizza restaurants to comply with menu labeling rules. The bill would allow eateries that get most of their business from take-out and delivery to post calorie counts on remote access menus, let pizza places post counts by the slice and give restaurants more flexibility to account for the wide variety of topping combinations. (3/21)
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A thing is mighty big when time and distance cannot shrink it."
-- Zora Neale Hurston,
American author
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