Papa Murphy’s Considers a Gluten-Free Pizza Option

When I hear words like gluten free on the news or even in conversations, my mind tends to go into the Charlie Brown teacher mode. You know, where the teacher is talking but all you hear are the sounds of a trumpet.

Mention gluten free and I quickly start hearing sounds, not words. Gluten free…say it fast and it sounds like some sort of German musical instrument.

So then I heard Papa Murphy’s was considering adding a “gluten free” pizza to their menu.

They had me at pizza, but I decided to Google “gluten free” anyway.

Turns out maybe gluten free isn’t so bad after all. In its most basic form, gluten free means to avoid processed foods. It can lead to better digestion and cholesterol levels, and increased energy.

Ever get tired after eating? Shouldn’t eating GIVE you energy? I think that’s what they are talking about.

I’m not sure I buy into the whole gluten free diet yet, but I can understand why a lot of people are starting to avoid processed foods. Maybe Papa Murphy’s is onto something. At least they are asking.

Are you currently or are you thinking about going gluten free? You can take their survey here:

Now if “gluten free” still makes you go into “words sound like trumpet sounds” mode, you’ve just got to see the Bacon Cheeseburger pizza on the Papa Murphy’s Facebook page. Enjoy!

Quiznos Hires New CEO

Fast food sandwich giant Quiznos has appointed a new CEO/president. Stuart Mathis, a former vice president of franchise operations at Domino’s Pizza, and previous The UPS Store network president, will take over the company’s reigns on July 30. Joining him for the changing of the guard is Susan Lintonsmith, the company’s new chief marketing officer. Lintonsmith is a former consultant with the Einstein Noah Restaurant Group and past Red Robin Gourmet Burgers chief marketing officer.

Current chief operating officer since 2010, Mike Roper, will be staying on in his current position. Harsha Agadi, executive chairman of the chain, said that he should have listened to Roper’s concerns about the excessive, limited-time offer discounts and escalating product costs that ultimately led to years of declining sales, and the dismissal of CEO Greg McDonald, who had been with the company since 2010. Rumor has it that McDonald had no previous knowledge of his sudden, immediate departure.

Agadi said he expects Mathis to turn the company’s sales around. In the effort to strengthen nationwide company sales and franchisee relations, he also announced that the company will offer additional weekly food rebate funds for each franchisee through the end of the year. Agadi also stated that more changes need to be made within the Quiznos franchise, but that these changes will be incorporated slowly into the system.

Unique Food Franchises

So you want to invest in a franchise, but Subway’s just not your cup o’ tea and McDonald’s is already on every block in town. You don’t want to invest in a stereotypical food franchise anyway. Well, it’s just your luck that there are some unique food franchises to invest in.

If you work well with kids and want a truly unique business, consider investing in Foodie Kids. This is a hands-on culinary destination for kids. It’s not a restaurant, and definitely not a fast food joint. Instead, Foodie Kids offers children of all ages an opportunity to cook. Founded in 1991 by Barbara Beery, Foodie Kids educates kids about healthy eating and food preparation through its various programs and camps, as well as celebratory events. With an investment range up to $150000 and available financing, as well as a $25000 franchise fee, this is a worthwhile investment.

Another option for working with kids is Dine and Discounts, a fund raiser business. Here, you get the opportunity to work with schools, churches and other organizations to help them raise money with dining services. Financing is unavailable, but the franchise fee is $20000. If you’re a great communicator and planner with a drive to succeed, this franchise is for you.

If you’ve dreamed of running a gourmet business, Crescendo is for you. This franchise is all about gourmet European-style vinegars, oils and spices. Its products are fresh and intricate in taste , and packaged in hand-crafted containers. The company prides itself on catering to food coneseurs and top restaurants. Crescendo seeks detail-oriented businesspersons to run their franchises, and requires $40000 of investment.

Finally, if you like food preparation but aren’t keen on running a restaurant, Dine In 2Nite is the franchise for you. This meal preparation and delivery service is a unique alternative to dining in or out of the home. Where traditional restaurants lack in nutrition and fresh food or affordable pricing, Dine In 2night is an alternative that offers it all. Customers order three to five meals a week in advance, and the food is prepared in a smart cooking system according to recipes written by gourmet chefs. You need only invest $9500 into this franchise.

Which franchise you choose to invest in will depend on your interests, strengths and finances. But rest assured that if you choose to run a franchise of one of these companies, you will be in charge of a unique business.

Frozen Yogurt: The New Franchise Trend

Frozen yogurt became a “hot” product in 1980 with franchises like Heidi’s and TCBY leading the way. Eventually, yogurt shops were found all over the US. As the demand declined, though, many franchises evaporated. The industry has since experienced a strong re-awakening.

This new trend, however, isn’t a simple repetition of history. Today’s frozen yogurt is not only sporting new, more adventurous flavors and toppings, it’s also being served in futuristic, comfortable “coffeehouses,” rather than the traditional ice cream parlor. It’s also packaged more attractively, marketed not only as “good for you” but “tasty,” sold no longer as a substitute for ice cream’s, and, best of all, self-served.

Numbers don’t lie: in 2011 frozen yogurt sales topped $1.6 billion; a growth rate of 18% is expected in 2012. What is driving this growth? Innovation, for one thing, both in how shops operate as well as the way franchises make profits. Some buffet-style shops, for example, let customers create their own dessert masterpieces, a popular concept. Shops offer eye-appealing, colorful décor, free Wi-Fi, high-def TVs, and live entertainment. One franchise (Peachwave) doesn’t charge royalties; instead it serves as a distributor for its own stores.

Will this trend continue? While no one can predict the future, it’s clear that the frozen yogurt industry, newly redefined and restructured, is here to stay. Frozen yogurt, after all, can satisfy both "great taste" enthusiasts and the health-conscious. By keeping costs low and offering consumers flavor variety, self-serve bars, and friendly environments, the frozen yogurt industry is sure to remain a top player for years to come.

Three leading-the-way franchises are: 32 Degrees (specializes in daily-cut, fresh ingredients, seasonal delicacies, and over 40 tasty toppings) , Yogen Fruz (with over 1,300 stores in 35 countries, it’s the largest franchisor), and Cultive (offering low startup costs, it provides a quiet, modern end-of-workday "reward" haven).

Healthy Restaurant Franchise Options

For those who are interested in a restaurant franchise, there are several recognizable names. However, not everyone is pleased with the unhealthy choices offered by franchises like McDonald’s and Burger King. Fortunately, there are some fast-food options that offer healthy food. Depending on how much money you can invest, here are some of the healthy franchise opportunities that are available.

Einstein Bros Bagels – One of the "Top 50" in franchisee satisfaction in both 2009 and 2010, Einstein Bros Bagels has been providing franchise opportunities for more than 15 years. Those who are willing to invest the time and money necessary will have the full support of the home company.

Souper Salad – As more consumers are searching for a healthy diet, Souper Salad offers a great opportunity for franchisees. With a winning formula that has been tested for more than 20 years, you too can own your own healthy fast-food franchise. A 100% trans-fat free menu is the highlight of this franchise and consumers flock to their doors.

Fresh Healthy Vending - For those who are not interested in the hassles of a brick-and-mortar establishment, Fresh Healthy Vending may be the ideal franchise opportunity. Offering fruit, yogurt and other healthy food options, this is a great opportunity for those who are searching for a franchise with low start-up costs.

These fast-food healthy franchise opportunities can help you get started with your own business. In addition, as more people pay attention to their meals, these franchises offer great opportunity for growth.

Top Five Fastest Growing Food Chains

A consumer trends research firm surveyed 4,500 customers to find the favorite chains among customers. Customers chose their favorites out of a list of 55 of the top quick service restaurants. Five Guys Burgers and Fries ranked first among the chains as a favorite. They have added over 375 locations of this popular food franchise in the U.S. in the past three years to achieve a total of 918 locations. Their sales growth for the last fiscal year is a staggering 31.84%.

Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches was voted number two in the running. This establishment had a sales growth of 30% over the last year and has 1,329 locations across the United States.

Chipotle Mexican Grill came in third on the list. This fast-service sandwich shop accredits their sales growth of 23.56% to the fact that they focus on the best ingredients. They believe in ingredients “raised with respect for animals, the environment and farmers.”

BJ’s Restaurants are a casual dining establishment originating in Huntington Beach California. This restaurant came in fourth place for popularity among Americans. They show a sales growth of 20.82% over the last year.

Cheddar’s Casual Café rounds the list out in the number 5 position. This Irving, Texas based casual dining restaurant has 106 restaurants in total with about two-thirds being company operated and about one-third in franchises. They saw an increase in sales of 20.45% in 2011.

Best Fast Food Franchises 2012

The franchises that made the QSR top ten list for best franchise deals were picked by examining several criteria. These factors included sales to investment ration, unique market niche, positive sales trends, and corporate support. BoJangles’ Famous Chicken and Biscuits with 310 stores has unique products and positioning. Breakfast and the breaded not frozen pizza is what drives sales for this company. Bruegger’s with 105 stores has regional operations support staff to advise franchises on how to market and build brand awareness. The menu has bagels, soup, sandwiches and salads. It is open onlyfor breakfast and lunch sothe hour are great for families and those that appreciate normal business hours.

Subway another very popular franchise made the list. With over 24,722 restaurant franchises. It has subs with healthy choices for those on a diet or with health concerns There varied menu is very popular. Subway has reasonable startup costs, a great menu, developers that help local franchises market and make profits, and a flexible store model for new owners to set up. Other franchises that made the top ten list are Dickey’s Barbecue, Freddy’s Frozen Custard and Steak Burger, Moe’s Southwest Grill, Newk’s Express Cafe, Popeye Louisiana Kitchen, Saladworks, and Smashburger.

Most of these franchises have reasonable startup costs between $15,000 to $30,000.on the list. Newk’s Cafe, Smashburger, and Saladworks fees range from $30 to $40 thousand. All these franchises have unqiue menu and marketing method.

Quiznos Slashes Menu but Not Prices in New Marketing Plan


Say goodbye to creepy, musical rodents in commercials and under $5 Sammies and toasted subs. Quiznos is rolling out a new marketing tactic that includes raising prices. Attempting to stay viable in the crowded fast food arena and boost profits, Quiznos will drop the value priced items from their menu in favor of higher quality items. The new line include posh selections like Black Angus steak, gourmet salads and turkey breast sliders. Prices will rise $1 to $2 with medium sandwiches starting around $7. The goal is to cater to less cost conscious customers seeking more quality in food choices. CEO Greg MacDonald told the Denver Post, "It’s all about going back to Quiznos’ heritage — high-quality, good-tasting food.” This tactic could turn detrimental, as consumers are still nervous of frivolous spending.

After seeing a free fall in market share and facing bankruptcy in 2011, Quiznos is doing every thing possible to get back on track. The Avenue Capital Group took over control at the beginning of this year. The group performed a total rebranding of the company, resulting in a more traditional approach to advertising and marketing efforts. The new “Qrave Quiznos” and “ Create Your Own” menu campaigns started rolling out in May of this year. According to the Quiznos website the campaign includes, “a combination of national and local television, print and digital advertisements, as well as an aggressive direct marketing, public relations and social media engagement program.” This new slash and burn tactic will either drive customers to restaurants or add to the numerous failed marketing efforts of Quiznos over the years.