Customer Service Focus Helps ServPro Drive Sales


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Disasters happen, notes Sue Steen, and “We can’t control mother nature,” but when it comes to responding to those events, that’s where ServPro and its network of cleanup and restoration franchisees shine.

“It’s really their desire to help people in their time of need,” says Steen, CEO of Gallatin, Tennessee-based ServPro, as she points out a motivating factor for owners who are trained not just in the technical aspects of dealing with storm, fire and water damage but also in the art of working with people throughout what can be their worst days.

“We’ve been working the past several years to get our franchisees to truly understand the importance of customer service,” says Steen, and it’s paying off with steady growth. “We’re beginning to see the fruits of those labors.”

ServPro crossed the $2 billion mark in systemwide sales for 2017 to come in at No. 62 on the Franchise Times Top 200+, our exclusive ranking of the 500 largest franchises. ServPro grew sales 13.5 percent for the year to lead the segment and rose four spots.

While ServPro made some training adjustments to help foster a strong customer service attitude, the active storm season was also a key factor in boosting sales for the year.

“Hurricanes Harvey and Irma really gave our franchise community an opportunity to respond,” says Steen. “Those storms probably added 5 percentage points of growth last year.”

The brand is also experiencing the benefits of expanded service offerings as ServPro adjusted its operating model about five years ago to add commercial cleaning to what had primarily been water restoration and residential disaster cleanup.

Pearle Vision Clearly Poised For Strategic Franchise Growth

Link to original article>> Pearle Vision Clearly Poised For Strategic Franchise Growth

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Iconic eye care franchise Pearle Vision is set to soar to new heights, primed for growth with the muscle of a global brand and a fresh take on franchising.

Armed with a game-changing, flexible operating platform, eyecon, Pearle Vision is laser focused on strategically expanding the brand’s North American footprint with both independent optometry practices and multi-unit investors.

“We have a significant history and that heritage is still in our DNA-and we are proud to embrace it,” notes Alex Wilkes, senior vice president and general manager of Mason, Ohio-based Pearle Vision, franchising since 1981. “However, we knew to be the franchise solution, we needed to invest in franchise capabilities, versus being just a franchisor in name brand and marketing only.”

The result, is a doctor-centered business model with a powerful platform of support that takes advantage of the optical engine behind Pearle Vision, a division of Luxottica. The world’s largest company in the eyewear industry, Luxottica’s heavyweight stable of brands includes retailers LensCrafters, Sunglass Hut and OPSM, and luxury eyewear labels such as Ray-Ban, Oakley, and Persol.

Launched in 2015, Pearle Vision’s turnkey supply chain solution is designed to maximize efficiencies at each EyeCare Center with a franchise-wide point of sale system that ties into Luxottica’s infrastructure. The platform provides franchisees with a consistent operating platform and central product sourcing.

“We are the leader in frame manufacturing, assortment management and retailing of optical,” says Wilkes. “These capabilities allow a franchisee to pull from all of that amazing knowledge, skill and capabilities that we have built as a global organization.”

Pearle Vision’s eyecon, along with the brand’s redefined local marketing approach, offers a path to profitability with national brand recognition that is already paying off. Wilkes estimates the 60 percent of franchisees systemwide who have adopted the platform have seen a six-point rise in their Net Promoter Score.

“Consumers are voting, and we are producing better experiences in these locations,” notes Wilkes. “We have also seen a 6.7 percent topline increase in sales for those who have adopted our operating model.”

With more than 500 EyeCare Centers in North America, longtime industry leading Pearle Vision has been an innovator from the start. Founded by Dr. Stanley Pearle in 1961 as a neighborhood spot for one-stop, total care, Pearle Vision has never lost sight of the brand’s mantra, “Nobody Cares for Eyes More Than Pearle.”

The move toward strategic growth is designed to meet the needs of today’s independent optometrists, both seasoned and recent graduates, as well as independent practices seeking greater structure, support and marketing expertise.

“We give the independent doctor a platform to help make them stronger, more viable and competitive in this evolving landscape,” Wilkes says. “We take that administrative burden away. By leveraging our scale, doctors have more time to take great care of their patients.”

The brand is also set to expand with entrepreneurs and experienced franchise investors, with no optical industry experience, who want to diversify with a proven business model and strong system of support. Pearle Vision’s Area Developer model, launched in 2017, awards qualified licensed owners the rights to open throughout entire designated market areas or states.

“We believe there is significant opportunity for franchise growth,” Wilkes says. “We want to grow the brand and are going after it in a multitude of ways, from developing programs for independent optometrists and opticians to convert their locations, to expanding area development rights fostering entrepreneurs to commit to building out a defined market.”

The evolution of Pearle Vision operationally coincides with the repositioning of the retailer away from noisy broad-based messages that “scream promotion” and devalue the industry, toward a focus on the importance of genuine eye care and the value of the brand.

“We want to stand for quality eye care and strong doctor-patient relationships,” Wilkes says. “My hope is that one day, we are a case study that talks about how you can actually move off of promotion and not only survive–but thrive.”

To learn more about the Pearle Vision franchise opportunity, visit

Call of the Entrepreneur: Young Jersey Subs Operator is One of Their Best

By: Kerry Pipes |  2,072 Reads

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Chris Rigassio is a Jersey boy who grew up loving Jersey Mike’s sandwiches and the brand’s unique culture. He always wanted to be an entrepreneur–something he confirmed during an internship at a financial planning company when he was still in college.

“That was one of the worst experiences of my life and showed me that there was no way that financial planning was for me,” recalls the 29-year-old today. “Entrepreneurship was still calling.”

Fresh out of college and just 22, he approached Jersey Mike’s about franchising. The brand was skeptical because of his age and inexperience, but Rigassio was persistent. He asked the development team time and again for a shot. Finally, his determination paid off: the company gave him an opportunity to work as a crew member at one of their top locations in California to see if he had what it took to be a franchisee.

“I passed the test,” says Rigassio.

Today, he is one of the brand’s most successful multi-unit operators, with 9 Jersey Mike’s locations up and plans for 16 more. But Rigassio is more than just a successful franchise operator. He also serves as director of operations for North New Jersey, where he oversees the development and growth of more than 30 other Jersey Mike’s franchisees.

Of his success so far, Rigassio says, “I just kept my head down and continued working toward my goal to prove everyone wrong, and it has worked.”

Rigassio says his next big goal is to open and operate 25 stores of his own. He knows it will require more hard work, and he’s up for the challenge. With the help of a business coach, the young entrepreneur says he has learned to work on the business rather than in it. This, he says, will be one of the keys to taking his operation to the next level.

Chris Rigassio Name: Chris Rigassio
Title: Multi-unit franchisee; director of operations, North New Jersey
Company: Jersey Mike’s Subs
No. of units: 9
Age: 29
Family: Wife-to-be Nicole, French Bulldog Drake
Years in franchising: 8
Years in current position: 4 as franchisee and director of operations


First job:
Lifeguard, Mantoloking Beach, N.J.

Formative influences/events:
I always wanted to be an entrepreneur. When I was in college, I didn’t know how realistic that was so I took an internship at a financial planning firm/stock advisory and it was a real eye-opener. The internship was one of the worst experiences of my life and showed me there was no way financial planning was for me. That moved me in the direction of entrepreneurship.

Key accomplishments:
First million-dollar location: Rochelle Park, N.J.; still actively in the top 30 stores in the country out of more than 1,300 locations.

Biggest current challenge:
Keeping up the pace and momentum of opening stores and overall development of the company.

Next big goal:
To operate 25 stores.

First turning point in your career:
Partnering with investors and forming Prospect Capital Restaurants, LLC.

Best business decision:
Never giving up. I’ve been denied and underestimated a million times in my career. I just kept my head down and continued working toward my goal to prove everyone wrong, and it has worked.

Hardest lesson learned:
Starting my own business takes a village. Creating a successful business takes a lot of hard work and you have to make compromises along the way. The realization of success doesn’t happen overnight. It takes a lot of long hours and many sleepless nights.

Work week:
On the phone with my director of operations at 6:30 a.m. to brief what’s in store for today and review the previous day. I get my workout in around 7 a.m. After that, I’m in the office making calls from 8:30 to 10:30 or 11 a.m. Once that’s complete, I’m on the road visiting my stores and/or have days in the office until 6:30-7:00 p.m.

5-6 days a week. I’m usually in the gym by 7 a.m. I also run two times per week and Peloton bike two times per week.

Best advice you ever got:
Ice cream now or ice cream later. Put in the work now to enjoy the benefits later.

What’s your passion in business?
Growth, Growth, Growth. I’m passionate about constantly growing our company with some of my closest friends, family members, and great employees I have picked up along the way. It is pure joy to see how far everyone has come and exciting to see where we can take this business.

How do you balance life and work?
I have a business coach who has helped me understand the importance of this over the last two years. Like any entrepreneur it was all work, and I mean all work at one point, and no life. Since then I have put trust in three of my top employees to oversee the operations and marketing of our company, and I have started to work (as my coach would say) on the business not in the business. However, as an operations manager, I will never give up the daily operations.

Guilty pleasure:
Traveling. I try to travel at least two to three times a year.

Favorite book:
Trump: The Art of the Deal.

Favorite movie:
“The Wolf of Wall Street.”

Pet peeve:
Unmotivated people.

What did you want to be when you grew up?
Since I can remember, I wanted to be a business owner. I used to come up with the craziest ideas when I was kid, whether it was moving to the islands and opening jet ski rental businesses or online ordering platforms. I really wanted to own a local surf shop in a beach town community.

Last vacation:
Costa Rica.

Person I’d most like to have lunch with:
Jeff Bezos.


Business philosophy:
Always striving for more. Never be satisfied with just enough.

Management method or style:
Perfectionist. Never settle.

Greatest challenge:
Over-committed. I have a problem saying no.

How do others describe you?
Relentless. I get an idea and won’t give it up until it’s achieved. “Dog with a bone.” Driven.

One thing I’m looking to do better:
Not to forget work/life balance. Also, it’s very important to me to increase the overall health of my company.

How I give my team room to innovate and experiment:
Always based on proven productivity and results. Will give it to them if and when they earn it.

How close are you to operations?
I have conference calls with my key team at 6:30 every morning before they start their day. We go over a recap of yesterday, what’s in store for today and this week, and review daily labor and food cost numbers of managers and stores.

What are the two most important things you rely on from your franchisor?
Food safety best practices and marketing and social media tactics.

What I need from vendors:
We don’t have many vendors, so the biggest thing is to just be on time. Quality of product is also important and for it to be in great condition.

Have you changed your marketing strategy in response to the economy? How?
We have improved our marketing strategy based on the increase in the economy; creating new revenue streams with stronger marketing.

How is social media affecting your business?
Positive. It gives us an opportunity to hit a larger target audience with more bandwidth.

How do you hire and fire?
It’s extremely challenging to hire talented and energetic individuals willing to work the demands and hours of the hospitality industry. We interview and assess every potential employee’s strengths and skills and use that as a way to find lasting candidates and employees who fit the mission of Jersey Mike’s Subs.

How do you train and retrain?
Our employees go through extensive on-the-job training that sets the bar for operational excellence. Our employees are prepared and we are able to retain them by creating a fun atmosphere that encourages camaraderie and banter with the customers. The training we receive as franchisees gives us the tools to pass that training down to our managers, setting up each employee for long-lasting success. Well-trained franchisees and managers create successful stores, which encourages employee retention. Our staff believes that Jersey Mike’s is not just a job, but also a career path, and that’s a testament to how we train and prepare.

How do you deal with problem employees?
I rely on my key management team who are in the thick of things when the bullets are flying to deal with any issues that may arise with employees.

Fastest way into my doghouse:
My expectations of others. I expect everyone to have the same drive and commitment that I do.

Under 30

How did you get into franchising at such a young age?
Graduated from West Virginia University and wrote a college paper on Jersey Mike’s vs. Subway. I interviewed franchisees for the paper and started to become more and more interested in it.

Was becoming a franchise something you’d planned on?
Yes, I’m from New Jersey and grew up eating Jersey Mike’s subs. I figured I couldn’t get a good sandwich away from school and it sparked an interest for me to get into franchising and open a Jersey Mike’s. The seed was always planted, I had the idea, and it’s something that kept getting bigger and bigger.

Did you have a mentor or inspiration for getting into franchising?

What jobs, skills, and experience have helped you operate a franchise business?
Keeping calm under pressure. There is a lot of pressure that comes at you from many different directions. You can’t bring your emotions into it, but rather have to think the process through.

What kinds of obstacles did you face in franchising at such a young age?
Not choosing the best location for my store. I’ve had a couple tough situations, but we’ve learned from our real estate mistakes. There’s a lot of stress put on the company when you kind of miss the ball there.

How would you describe your generation?
In-between. I feel like the younger generation is so technology-driven and inherited a different work ethic. Some of my business partners are older and do things a bit differently and a bit more old school. I feel that our generation is stuck in between, as we have gathered a little bit of both sides of the spectrum.

Do you see franchising as a stepping-stone or a career for you?
I would say it’s a career. The next step is to be a franchisor.

Bottom Line

Annual revenue:
$8.5 million.

2018 goals:
Open two new locations and earn more than $10 million in revenue.

Growth meter: How do you measure your growth?
Same store sales increase, annual revenue, unit count.

Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
50 stores in 5 years; 100 stores in 10 years.

How is the economy in your region affecting you, your employees, and your customers?
It’s trending up. We are out of the recession and it seems like people are eating out a bit more, as our transactions are up.

Are you experiencing economic growth in your market?
We are growing by 18% on the high end. Our average would be 8-9%.

How do changes in the economy affect the way you do business?
I haven’t experienced too much of that yet.

How do you forecast for your business?
Keep pushing forward. In 2019, we want to get at least 4 stores open. That should put us around 13 or 14 total. I’d like to keep that pace of 4 or 5 stores opening each year.

What are the best sources for capital expansion?
I have three business partners who are experienced in private equity and investment banking. They used to work for Barclays in New York and all have started new companies. They do most of the groundwork for acquiring financing. We have a relationship lender with a local bank and they pretty much provide us with a $1.5 million credit line to open Jersey Mike’s.

Experience with private equity, local banks, national banks, and other institutions? Why/why not?
See above.

What are you doing to take care of your employees?
We give quarterly bonus incentives, 10% profit-sharing with the managers, Christmas parties, and provide health care benefits to our employees. We help people if they need to relocate, get cars and provide short-term help.

How are you handling rising employee costs (payroll, minimum wage, healthcare, etc.)?
The only way you can handle it is to increase your prices. If minimum wage goes up, we have to increase our menu pricing by whatever percentage that is. We don’t incur the costs, but rather have to pass it off to the customer.

How do you reward/recognize top-performing employees?
We have two parties a year (summer and Christmas). We created them as an invite-only, and we give prizes and MVP awards that include best operating manager and other categories. The prizes can include trips, vacations, sporting event tickets, etc. We do company trips together and team-building activities as well.

What kind of exit strategy do you have in place?
I don’t really have one. I’m just trying to focus on growth.

La Rosa Chicken & Grill Set To Soar With National Franchise Expansion

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La Rosa Chicken & Grill Set To Soar With National Franchise Expansion

La Rosa Chicken & Grill is hitting the road to national expansion with a proven concept and a pioneering passion for the brand—built from the heart.

Founder Vincenzo Pugliese opened his first La Rosa Chicken & Grill in 1994 in Marlboro, New Jersey, focused on swiftly served, scratch-made, high-quality fare, long before QSR was coined as a darling of the industry.

With 12 locations in New Jersey and New York and growing, the emerging roasted chicken brand is poised to expand its footprint, armed with a loyal following and a winning blueprint for success as a “Modern World Eatery that stays True to Old World Traditions.”

La Rosa serves up an extensive lineup of hearty and authentic dishes featuring grilled chicken, ribs, comfort food, vegetables, salads, sandwiches, and wraps, with the tagline “Eat Healthy. Live Well.”

“A lot of times when companies grow, they lose the feel of the single proprietorship that they started with—and I refuse to let that go,” notes Pugliese, chief executive officer of La Rosa Chicken & Grill. “Whether it be the quality of our food, our warm ambiance, excellent customer service, or simply how we greet our patrons who have been dining with us for decades, we are going to share that knowledge and philosophy of doing business, and instill it in our future team members and franchisees, so we will only become stronger as a brand.”

Pugliese inherited his passion for food and the restaurant world from his father, who moved from Italy to the U.S. as a teenager, where he worked as a longshoreman, before opening a pizza restaurant and series of food outlets in local malls.

“We only knew how to speak restaurant language in my home,” remarks Pugliese, who grew up working in his father’s restaurants. “My father blessed me, because he created a company back in the day that opened multiple units – which was pretty impressive being an immigrant.”

Pugliese brings a wealth of experience to the La Rosa brand as a visionary entrepreneur, who has spent the past 25 years perfecting his concept—now primed for franchising. The brand boasts a state-of-the-art POS system and a solid turnkey operational platform of support.

“I invested a lot of money, time, and trial and error to make sure La Rosa stands equal to any competitor in the market,” Pugliese says. “We give franchisees the tools to run the concept the way a successful La Rosa should be run.”

La Rosa is also a solid franchise investment.  The brand offers a “relatively low-cost entry,” with historic high monthly multiples and patrons who are second to none. Pugliese estimates an even split between both lunch and dinner business and La Rosa’s customers who choose to dine-in or enjoy the brand’s take-out services.

“We are already meeting the needs of the future –and where the quick service restaurant industry is going,” notes Pugliese. “We offer dine in, take out, and online delivery, so we are well balanced. LaRosa always stays busy.”

With a focus on strategic growth, La Rosa Grill expects to add another 20 restaurants to the fold within the next two years. Pugliese seeks to grow the company with “quality, not quantity,” focusing on seasoned restaurant operators and experienced multi-unit franchisees looking to diversify.

“I’m just excited to see where La Rosa is going to go,” says Pugliese. “The people who have invested in the franchise, so far, have been customers and are now successful, experienced franchisees. Most of the deals have been for multi-units because that is how much they believed in the concept from the moment they signed on. My goal is to make sure that every La Rosa that opens up is another success story.”

Ready to be part of the La Rosa Chicken & Grill story? Visit,

SiempreTax+ : Expanding Opportunities For Entrepreneurs Serving The Hispanic Market

At 23, franchisee Joshua Biven opened his first SiempreTax+ office and business has been great.

Every time tax season comes around, Joshua asks himself: “Why?”

Joshua BivenWhy did he get into the tax business?  Why did he think he could do this?

Then, the season gets rolling along, and things start to fall into a predictable pattern, and his team of tax professionals handles it all with aplomb. Then Joshua remembers why he said yes to opening a SiempreTax+ office.

“I had a lot of support. I had connections in my family that would help me succeed,” Joshua says. “I knew I could help a lot of people in the community.”

Joshua was 23 when he opened his first SiempreTax+ office. He was managing a jewelry store and going to college, but he had a strong desire to break out and start a business.

“I had faith in myself and in my support system. So I took the plunge,” he says. “It’s been a learning process, but all positive, for the most part. I am growing and becoming more active in my community.”

He could have chosen any number of businesses, but Joshua picked SiempreTax+ because he said the culture and structure are the best.  “SiempreTax+ allows me to be independent, to target communities I want to target, and to provide different services.”

SiempreTax+ was designed to provide professional tax preparation and other services to the growing Hispanic population. Census figures show that Hispanics make up the second largest racial group in the U.S., after Asians. There are about 57 million Hispanics in the U.S. today, and that population is expected to grow to 119 million in 2060.

SiempreTax+ franchises are affordable, with an estimated initial investment of $43,700 to $71,900. They’re also reliable, when you consider statistics from the National Taxpayer Advocate that show that 76 percent of Hispanic taxpayers paid a tax preparer, CPA, attorney, or enrolled agent to prepare their taxes.

On a recent hot day in July, Joshua was helping a client. “I empathized with her and explained the situation. She understood, and she was glad we were here to talk with her.”

Joshua staffs his office year-round. He cuts back the hours, but just being there is a big plus for the customers, he added. They may get a letter from the IRS that they don’t understand, or they have a friend who needs tax help. “The Latino community is a tight-knit community, and word spreads quickly that we’re here to help.”

His team explains to customers the importance of filing a tax return each year. It’s not just about getting a tax refund, they say, the tax return can also be important when you want to purchase a home. For taxpayers who cannot get a Social Security card, the office offers ITIN application assistance. With the ITIN or Taxpayer ID, customers can file a tax return, which helps establish a record of residency in the U.S.

Joshua’s office also hosts informal tax seminars throughout the year to educate people about tax law. They work with local non-profits to sponsor events and support their local community. They invite small business owners in to teach them about their taxes and to work together with them on local events. Recently, they invited a local restaurant owner to set up a taquito stand in one of their offices. He got a great response, and they got a business partner.

“We give a lot to the community,” notes Joshua. “We show that we care, and they recognize.”

Now 26, Joshua operates two locations, one Liberty Tax and one SiempreTax+. He said the SiempreTax+ system is good for him, because he knows he’s not alone. “You don’t have to reinvent the wheel,” he says. “You just run with it.”

He acknowledges that it was a challenge opening his first office, but he encourages other prospective franchisees to do as he did and take the plunge. “A lot of people wait for the right time, and they let a great opportunity pass them by.”

For Joshua, SiempreTax+ delivered financial freedom and a little something extra.

“I met my wife-to-be when she came to work at one of the offices as a tax preparer,” he says.

They plan to marry later this year.


Golden Corral Franchisees Feeding Residents And Hurricane Cleanup Workers

By: Multi-Unit Franchisee |  187 Reads

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There are 52 locations of the Golden Corral chain in North and South Carolina. When Hurricane Florence struck earlier this month, many of these franchisees organized and stepped in to provide meals, bottled water, and paper goods to residents and cleanup crews.

Here are just a few examples of franchisees reaching out to their communities:

  • The Golden Corral in Morehead City, North Carolina, hosted free cookouts in its parking lot on September 18 and 19. They served hamburgers, hot dogs, baked beans, chips and corn on the cob to more than 2,500 people over the two days. They also distributed bottled water, bread, batteries, paper towels and toilet paper for those in need. On the second day, Golden Corral President & CEO Lance Trenary and other senior leaders volunteered and served others at the event.
  • The Golden Corral in Jacksonville, North Carolina, fed 500 first responders each day, September 12-17, in the days before and after Hurricane Florence hit the area. They are also feeding approximately 900 utility workers each day for the next several weeks until full power is restored to the town. The restaurant quickly reopened to the public on September 16 and has fed more than 3,000 people per day at reduced prices during the days immediately following the storm.
  • The Golden Corral in Fayetteville, North Carolina, provided breakfast for 200 people on September 18 and will provide lunch for 200 people for the shelter at Manna Church on September 21.
  • The Lumberton, North Carolina Golden Corral distributed pallets of water and cases of bread on Saturday, September 22 at no charge to members of the community. Cases of water are also being distributed free of charge at Golden Corral restaurants in Fayetteville, Laurinburg, Jacksonville, Florence, Wilmington, and Shallotte while supplies last.
  • In Kinston, North Carolina, Golden Corral served more than 300 first responders from New York who were in town on September 12 to assist areas on the coast in advance of Hurricane Florence.
  • On Monday, September 17, the Golden Corral in Winston-Salem provided free meals for more than 30 members of the NC Baptist Men and Women Disaster Relief Ministry. The volunteer group is heading to areas of the North Carolina coast to help in the hurricane recovery efforts.

The Golden Corral brand, which is based in Raleigh, North Carolina, says it’s committed to providing food, water, and support to first responders helping with cleanup efforts and residents in North Carolina who were affected by Hurricane Florence.

New Report Examines Trends In The Bakery And Coffee Cafe Segments

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There’s growth potential in the bakery and coffee cafe segments, says a new report by Technomic, but those brands must adapt to shifting consumer behavior.

The 2018 Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report finds that health trends are leading consumers toward better-for-you items, such as soups and salads. Consumers are pushing back from sugary treats and drinks commonly associated with bakeries and cafes. Likewise, a shift toward more off-premise occasions can benefit cafes with a grab-and-go focus as well as those that offer delivery service.

“Despite some recent headwinds caused by increased competition and shifting consumer demands, bakery and coffee cafes are still well-positioned for growth,” explains Charles Winship, senior research analyst at Technomic. “However, cafes must be willing to evolve with a growing emphasis on functional offerings, new technology that enhances convenience, and operational flexibility to satisfy consumers’ various need states.”

Key findings in the report:

  • 25% of consumers visit bakery cafes at least once a week and 35% visit coffee cafes at least once a week
  • 54% of bakery-cafe consumers visit these locations more so for their food or a specific food product, while 25% visit more so for their beverages or a particular beverage
  • 44% of coffee cafe consumers say they are loyal to a specific cafe because it serves their preferred coffee

The findings in the 2018 Bakery & Coffee Cafe Consumer Trend Report come from more than 1,000 consumer responses, as well as menu and industry data from the Ignite database.

5 Things To Consider Before Investing In A Home Services Franchise

By: Emma Pearson Courtesy of

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It you want to own your own business, but don’t want to build it from the ground up, buying a home services franchise may be your ideal solution. If you invest in a good one, a successful business model will already be in place, you’ll receive lots of support, and there will likely be brand recognition, unless the franchise is relatively new. Determining if the franchise you are thinking of investing in is a good franchise and the right fit for you requires diligent research. Factors you should think about according to home services franchisees we spoke with include:

  1. Shared Values: A shared set of values and norms characterize a company’s culture. When you invest in a franchise, you are joining its culture. It’s important, therefore, to ensure your values align with that of any franchise you are considering joining. “After meeting in person with many people from Dwyer Group, which owns the Five Star Painting brand, it didn’t take long to realize that the values that I had been seeing posted everywhere in hallways etc. were lived and practiced on a daily basis by what seemed to me every team member I came across,” says Anthony Kulikowski, a Five Star Painting franchisee. “Coming from a small business background where customers are always first, this was a huge factor in my decision to invest in a Five Star Painting franchise because I knew my values and that of the franchisor were on the same level.”
  2. Matching Expectations: The longevity and success of your franchise business will depend to a large degree on you and your franchisor not disappointing each other. The best way to avoid doing so is to understand each of your expectations and ensure they align before going into business together. “Matching franchisee and franchisor expectations is critical from the very beginning,” says Saunda Kitchen, a Mr. Rooter Plumbing franchisee. “Nobody likes surprises.”
  3. Support: “My franchisor provides me with a franchise consultant who I meet with once a month and can also call anytime in between if I have a problem or need,” says Kulikowski. “In addition, I receive ongoing training, local and national marketing support, CRM support, and access to all of the other franchisees within the Five Start Painting System. Being able to speak with another business owner who is running a business just like mine and ask what did/didn’t work and learn from their experiences is very helpful.”
  4. Proven Systems:  Examples of a franchisor’s systems include marketing, customer service, training, and service delivery. “Your potential for success is maximized if a franchisor’s systems are solid,” says Kulikowski. “You can get your business running faster and more efficiently without the delays and costs developing systems on your own would entail.”
  5. Proven Record of Success: An established franchisor has spent many years cultivating a successful business model. You can find proof of the viability of its model in its Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) and by speaking with its franchisees, who will share their experience with you. “Starting a business on my own is something I never considered since so many new businesses fail,” says Brad Simon, a Mosquito Joe franchisee. “The history from Mosquito Joe’s FDD enabled me to do fairly accurate projections regarding the best and worst case scenario and we were very impressed by its leadership. We also found it very helpful to speak with franchisees within the system.”

If you find a home services franchise that delivers on the factors above, you’re on your way to finding one that will enable you to achieve the success you envision. Taking the time to do the research necessary to find the ideal franchise certainly has benefitted Simon. “Owning a franchise helps to jump start success. I don’t know if we ever could have gotten to where we are today in just five years on our own.”

Top 5 Business Service Franchises

Matthew McCreary
Associate Editor, Contributed Content
4 min read  Link to original article>>>Original Article

Investing in a franchise will, hopefully, allow you to do two things:

  1. Allow you to work for yourself.
  2. Provide you with the resources you need to flourish.

That can be a powerful combination, and it’s why so many of our readers ask about franchises. However, it’s also possible to offer those services to other potential entrepreneurs, whether through coaching, investing or even working in the business services industry.

These five companies from the Franchise 500 can allow you to help other people achieve their dreams and maintain their independence.

The UPS Store

Originally, The UPS Store was a separate company called Mail Boxes Etc. Its founders, Gerald Aul, Pat Senn and Robert Diaz, created it as an alternative to the U.S. Postal Service. However, in 2001, the company became a subsidiary of UPS, and its name changed to The UPS Store (ranked No. 4 in the Franchise 500) in 2003. It offers packaging, shipping and more throughout the United States and in Canada.

  • CEO: Tim Davis
  • Business headquarters: San Diego, Calif.
  • Franchising since: 1980
  • Initial investment: $177,955 to $402,595
  • Initial franchise fee: $29,950
  • New units in 2017: 69 units (1.4 percent)
  • Training: 80 hours on the job, 72 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

CPR-Cell Phone Repair

Founded in 2004, CPR-Cell Phone Repair (ranked No. 26 in the Franchise 500) offers repair services for cell phones and other electronic devices. The company also sells tech items including smartphones, game systems and accessories.

  • CEO: Josh Sevick
  • Business headquarters: Independence, Ohio
  • Franchising since: 2007
  • Initial investment: $58,150 to $176,000
  • Initial franchise fee: $37,500
  • New units in 2017: 111 units (43 percent)
  • Training: 42 hours on the job, 63 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Right at Home

As a hospital administrator, Allen Hager saw many senior patients who could use help caring for themselves after they returned home. He was inspired to start Right at Home (ranked 49 in the Franchise 500) during his time as a hospital administrator. His company develops custom care plans and match clients with caregivers.

  • CEO: Josh Sevick
  • Business headquarters: Omaha, Neb.
  • Franchising since: 2000
  • Initial investment: $79,250 to $137,900
  • Initial franchise fee: $49,500
  • New units in 2017: 27 units (5.1 percent)
  • Training: 16 hours on the job, 76 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing

College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors

When business school student Joseph Keeley took a job as a nanny in the summer of 2000, he recognized a hole in the marketplace. Parents needed to be able to reliably find good and safe nannies and tutors. As a result, he created College Nannies and Tutors (ranked 56th in the Franchise 500) the following year. The company, which began franchising in 2005, matches families with college students, graduates and teachers.

  • CEO: Josh Sevick
  • Business headquarters: Minneapolis, Minn.
  • Franchising since: 2005
  • Initial investment: $151,500 to $228,000
  • Initial franchise fee: $45,000
  • New units in 2017: 35 units (31.3 percent)
  • Training: 48 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Co-op advertising, ad templates, national media, regional advertising, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Express Employment Professionals

Founded in 1983 by Robert A. Funk and William H. Stoller, Express Employment Professionals (ranked 69th in the Franchise 500) began franchising in 1985. The company, which provides temporary and flexible staffing, evaluation and other professional services, now has locations throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and South Africa.

  • CEO: Bill Stoller
  • Business headquarters: Oklahoma City
  • Franchising since: 1985
  • Initial investment: $135,000 to $206,000
  • Initial franchise fee: $35,000
  • New units in 2017: 12 units (1.6 percent)
  • Training: 40 hours on the job, 08 hours in the classroom
  • Marketing support: Ad templates, national media, social media, SEO, website development, email marketing, loyalty program/app

Dynamic Duet: Work Hard, Do Your Best, Be Accountable, Dream Big

Courtesy of


joye and dave griffin have always had a singularly focused mindset to succeed in the automotive world, dating back to their college days when they ran a car detailing business out of the back of Dave’s pickup truck.

“Our intention was to be the best at whatever opportunities were before us,” says Dave. Their family-owned business operates 55 Jiffy Lube stores in three states, and continually leads the franchise system in sales, customer count, and other key indicators.

The Griffins, recipients of the 2018 Single Brand Leadership MVP Award, are set to take Griffin Fast Lube to new heights as a board-governed company in a move aimed at helping them be more collaborative and keep ahead of the competition.

The Ogden, Utah-based company is truly a family affair. Sons D.J., Jeff, and John, who grew up in the business, now are senior executives. Joye credits this next generation of leadership for being instrumental in expanding their footprint in many areas, using technology to improve processes and the customer experience, and keeping the company relevant in a changing work and consumer environment.

“Being a family business brings a more balanced, caring relationship with our employees,” says Dave. “We want to see them succeed in their careers, which benefits them personally and their families collectively. We see our employees as our customers, and if we are treating them well they will treat their customers well. ”

Years of experience and hard work have helped the Griffins mesh their talents, set boundaries, and communicate in a way that brings out the best in both of them.

“We worked with an amazing third party who has helped us focus on strength-based leadership, which allows each of us to work in the areas of our strengths,” Joye explains. “When we focus on strengths instead of weaknesses we are more productive. We believe few couples learn how to be full business partners together, and even fewer can have all of their children work with them. We’ve been fortunate that we’ve all set aside our personal issues and worked hard to build each other up.”

The Griffins project continued growth in businesses, which, in addition to Jiffy Lube, include car washes, collision repair, detailing, and digital inspection facilities.

As the children of two entrepreneurial families, the Griffins took the best from both worlds and brought them together to build long-term success. They are now transitioning the next generation into leadership and building a future for their families and their dedicated employees.

Name: Joye and Dave Griffin
Company: Griffin Fast Lube
Title: Dave, board chair and co-founder; Joye, board member and co-founder
No. of units: 55 Jiffy Lubes
Age: Dave 60, Joye 58
Family: Three sons, D.J., Jeff, and John
Years in franchising: 19
Years in current position: 39 as co-founders, 1.5 as board members


Formative influences/events:
When we were in college, we detailed cars at night to help pay for our tuition. During these longs nights working together, we learned we could count on each other and we found we loved working together. This led to many opportunities for us throughout the years.

Key accomplishments:
We have a wonderful family of three sons and daughters-in-law and 10 fantastic grandchildren–6 boys and 4 girls. They are the most important accomplishment we have.

Work week:
We are in the office most days, but our great leadership team makes it possible for us to have more personal time away from the demands of the day-to-day operations.

What are you reading?
Joye: Getting to Yes: Negotiating Agreement Without Giving In.
Dave: Entitlement Abolition.

Best advice you ever got: That which you persist in doing becomes easier, not that the matter of the thing itself has changed, but your ability to do has increased. We both were raised by entrepreneurial dads who taught us how to work and solve problems.

What’s your passion in business?
To build a legacy business that provides for our family and many of our great employees. We love to provide a place for people to work at something meaningful and provide for their families.


Business philosophy:
We love trying new things and want to keep ahead of the competition and market trends in our industry. We like to solve complex problems, and while it is difficult at times, the end result is very rewarding.

Management method or style:
We like to promote from within whenever possible. We like to see our employees develop, grow, and get promoted within the organization, both in skills and leadership opportunities.

Greatest challenge:
Doubling in size in 2008 and doubling in size again in 2009.

How do others describe you?
This question is hard for us to answer ourselves, so we sought input from four employees who have been with us a variety of years.
Joye: Caring, sincere, confident, with a tremendous ability to lead and inspire. A great role model for young women. Dedicated and does everything with love and compassion. “She makes people know how valuable they are. When she talks it is always with quiet dignity. Her knowledge always impresses us.”
Dave: Honest, hard-working, inspirational, personable, energetic, confident, kind, and passionate with his work and family. Inspirational and always has a clear vision of what he wants to help others grow and where he wants the company to go. A hands-on leader who doesn’t just ask others to do things that he is not willing to jump in and do with them. “Dave is the dad you wish you had.”

How do you hire and fire, train and retain?
We use a third-party company to assist in the application and screening process. We have an excellent training program they must certify in before they can begin work. We try to evaluate candidates in the screening process so once they are hired we have a higher chance of retention. However, turnover continues to be a challenge.

Bottom Line

Annual revenue:
$40 million.

2018 goals:
Transitioning to a board-governed company.

Growth meter: How do you measure your growth?
We are growing internally, adding approximately two stores per year. We also have other businesses we are growing as well.

Vision meter: Where do you want to be in 5 years? 10 years?
We will most likely continue our growth pattern and add 10 new stores. We are also looking at expanding our portfolio with other business opportunities. We will begin to transition the company to our sons.

What are you doing to take care of your employees?
We have annual family picnics where all employees bring their families and spend the day doing outdoor activities. We also visit each employee at Christmas time and deliver a gift from us. We also provide opportunities for them to participate in charitable giving at their community level and we are looking at other ways to assist and educate our employees.

What kind of exit strategy do you have in place?
We are working on transitioning now. We have several trusted advisors who are helping us get our assets and portfolio in place regarding tax laws, estate planning, and retirement financial security.

MVP Questions

Why do you think you were recognized with this award?
We believe we received the award for the exceptional team we have assembled, our financial growth, and the excellent brand we represent.

How have you raised the bar in your own company?
All levels of the company have clear reporting metrics, continued training opportunities, and we lead by example. Our industry is very competitive, and we want to be the best by providing excellent customer service and products.

What innovations have you created and used to build your company?
We have leveraged technology in the automotive space to provide our service centers with leading-edge analytics and products to empower our teams with expanded knowledge of customer needs. We also use technology to assist in documenting sales and growth opportunities.

What core values do you think helped you win this award?
Our core values have always been to work hard every day, do your best, take accountability for your actions, and dream big.

How important is community involvement to you and your company?
We have supported raising funds for a variety of charities. We take pride in giving back to our community whether through a national nonprofit or supporting a local school or individual student. We try to invest in child-based fundraising to assist the rising generation.

What leadership qualities are most important to you and your team?
We believe in having honesty and integrity throughout our organization, as well as communication strengths. We host biannual retreats for our upper management on a variety of issues and assign them specific topics to address with the group. We also send our top executives to strategic leadership conferences to share best practices with peers in other industries.