How Restaurant Franchise Taco Bell Became Number 1

It seems counterintuitive to offer cheap tacos and pricier, premium Mexican menu items at the same restaurant franchise, but that may just be what pushed Taco Bell to the top spot in Mexican fast-food.


Taco Bell, owned by Yum Brands Inc hasn’t witnessed this kind of growth since 2006 and it’s had a roller coaster kind of momentum since– ups have been often followed by downs.


The launch of the Doritos Locos Tacos hit the proverbial nail on the head with one of Taco Bell’s major customer bases: young, hungry guys. The Doritos tacos, which will soon feature a Cool Ranch flavor, may even be the most successful product launch in the history of the restaurant franchise.


A partnership with Miami-based Latin chef Lorena Garcia and the release of their Cantina Bell menu has appealed to more mature audiences. The fast food franchise’s attempt to make Chipotle-style burritos and burrito bowls (burritos without the tortilla) has been met with positive response.


Sales at established Taco Bell restaurants rose 8 percent, a bit more than burrito chain rival Chipotle, which rose 7.1 percent.


Moving forward, Taco Bell plans to expand its cheap Doritos line and to also add more healthy, pricier options to the Cantina Bell menu. It seems most fast-food restaurant franchises are moving away from their core customer base in an effort to capture more of the market.

Restaurant Franchise Doc Popcorn Wants More Franchisees


Warmed by heat lamps and prepared hours ago, mall food is nothing to write home about. Most options are unhealthy, fried or filled with sugar. The majority of  high-traffic areas, like airports, have few healthy food or restaurant franchise options.


Doc Popcorn’s “POPrietors” are on a mission to change the way we eat when we’re busy and on the move. The restaurant franchise sells all-natural popcorn flavors– sweet butter, klassic kettle, triple white cheddar, salt and pepper, hoppin’ jalepeno– in kiosks, stands and other locations in high-traffic areas.


The restaurant franchise is currently expanding and looking for more franchisees. Take a look at what current POPrietors have to say:


“After a 25-year career in the auto industry, I wanted a change. I made a life decision to own my own business. I tried Doc Popcorn and fell in love with it. I never looked back.”
Bill Bentz, POPrietor, Mall of America, MN


“My first location has exceeded my expectations, and I’m not just talking about financial performance. Seeing the smiles on our customers’ faces is contagious, and it’s something I didn’t expect to encounter everyday. There is a real need for this product and we are so excited to bring it to new locations.”


Melanie Kittrell – Empire Builder, PA

Food Franchises Should Learn From In-N-Out

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Flipping burgers, mixing up milkshakes and deep-frying French fries aren’t exactly on par with brain surgery but the life of a fast food franchise employee is far from easy.


Over 60 percent of low-wage earners are fast food franchise employees that log hours for big corporations, like McDonald’s, that are hugely profitable (90 percent of big corporations last year posted a profit). Most low-wage earners make $8 an hour and do so without paid sick leave or healthcare coverage. Not to mention, patience is probably in short supply for most fast food employees. Last, and not surprisingly, fast food establishments experience a high turnover rate.


But one burger joint, In-N-Out, has mastered the balance of happy employees and satisfied customers.


The 232 restaurant chain might be best known for its celebrity encounters (Paris Hilton was on her way to In-N-Out when she was charged with a DUI) and foodie following (famous chefs Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller are devotees) but many of In-N-Outs “regulars” are probably unaware of how much the company has done to maintain its original standards.


Founded in 1948, In-N-Out has resisted franchising and going public, despite the fact that, if it did, it would probably give newly successful burger franchise Five Guys a run for its money. Despite turning up its nose at franchising, In-N-Out bests both Burger King and McDonald’s in sales per unit, the primary measurement of store success.


How is it possible for a fast food chain to best two restaurant franchise behemoths? In short, it’s because In-N-Out does its best to keep employee turnover low, to invest in the future of its employees and to create a company culture that its customers and employees love.


In-N-Out hasn’t changed its menu since 1948, which has given the fast food favorite time to perfect what is on its menu: burgers, fries and milkshakes.


According to In-N-Out Burger’s website, its commitment to its food begins with its burger meat, which is free of additives, fillers and preservatives. All beef comes from In-N-Out’s own facilities in California and in Texas where each burger is made from high-quality beef chuck, which In-N-Out Burger’s butchers inspect and grind themselves.


The green stuff on your burger– lettuce– is hand-leafed at each In-N-Out Burger location right after your burger is cooked to order. Cheeseburgers feature the real deal American cheese. Each burger bun is baked–not bought. Milkshakes are made with ice cream and milk.


Good food is part of what keeps customers happy and coming back for more but it’s not the only component. Happy, helpful staff is also a major reason why many become repeat customers.


First and foremost, In-N-Out offers xx things most fast food enterprises don’t:


- opportunity for advancement

- pay above the hourly minimum wage

- employee benefits


You Pay For What You Get

Since the beginning, In-N-Out paid employees more than minimum wage. According to an article in BusinessWeek, In-N-Out, “Associates always made at least $2 to $3 above minimum wage,” and that as of early 2008 part-time workers at In-N-Out were making more than the full-time workers at Wal-Mart. Store managers at In-N-Out Burger make at least six figures and are eligible for monthly bonuses commensurate with store performance and sales.


Work Your Way Up

About 80 percent of In-N-Out’s store managers started at the very bottom before finding their way to the top. In 1984, Rich Snyder, the son of In-N-Out’s founder, established In-N-Out University. As a harbinger of quality food it made sense for In-N-Out to also produce well-trained managers. The university program is meant to reward hard working associates who have worked full-time at an In-N-Out location for a year. Rich recognized that a multiple hour shift cleaning up spilled fries seemed miserable, but wanted associates to feel like they were a part of something bigger. One reason that the chain hasn’t expanded so rapidly is because of its dedication to turning out the right kind of manager from In-N-Out University.


Most managers work for In-N-Out an average of 14 years. Part-timers remain on with the company for an average of two years.


It’s Not All About the Benjamins

Rich established an expansive set of benefits for full and part-time employees. For part-time workers, In-N-Out provides 401(k) plans and paid vacation. Full-timers are given health, dental and vision plans on top of what the part-time workers receive.


In a world that glorifies corporate profits above all, In-N-Out proves that appropriately paid and cared for employees need not drive up prices or reduce quality. After all, quality extends beyond what kind of beef you use or how often you change your menu. While it might “just be flipping burgers” at In-N-Out, that’s something to be proud of.



Irish Franchises

The Emerald Isle might be best known for leprechauns, Guinness and St. Patrick’s Day, but Ireland’s franchising industry is as strong as ever.


Ireland’s franchising industry has grown, despite economic problems, every year since 2006. A recent survey found that 40 percent of the population wanted to be self-employed. The Irish franchise industry currently has 4,086 franchise units in operation which equates to 42,927 full-time franchising jobs.


The types of franchises that populate Ireland, a country roughly the size of Indiana, are mostly in the service sector, most of them being in the food and drink industry. One-third of the franchises operated in Ireland are retail franchises.


Franchise concepts conceived and founded in Ireland are rare as most are franchises for sale from the United Kingdom or the United States. Franchise opportunities from Australia, other parts of Europe and Asia have become increasingly popular.


The average initial franchise fee for a franchise in Ireland is $37,154. As franchising becomes an increasingly significant pathway to self-employment and personal success worldwide, so it does in Ireland. Many franchisors wishing to expand outside the U.S. often do so in the U.K. and in Ireland as English is the shared common language.

Restaurant Franchises Saved from Soda Ban by New York Judge

Restaurant franchises in New York City are heaving a collective sigh of relief as Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s plan to outlaw sugary sodas in the Big Apple was canned by a state judge.


The proposed ban, introduced last year by Mr. Bloomberg, would have prevented the sale of sodas and other sugary beverages over 16 ounces in restaurants, restaurant franchises, and cafeterias. Some fruit juice and dairy based drinks were also on the list of banned beverages not to be sold if over 16 ounces.


While Mayor Michael Bloomberg hoped the ban would encourage a decrease in New York City’s obesity percentage– which is currently 50 percent.


Judge Milton Tingling of the New York Supreme Court called the soda ban, “arbitrary and capricious” citing it had too many loopholes to be effective. For example, restaurant franchises like 7-Eleven were exempt from the ban as were some sugar-laden drinks over 16 oz containing 50 percent or more milk.


Though the ban on soda has fizzled out for the moment many nutritionists hope Mayor Bloomberg will try again. The Bloomberg administration released a statement that it plans to appeal the judge’s decision.

Restaurant franchises Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon try co-branded units

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Sometimes two is better than one– at least that’s what restaurant franchises Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon are trying to prove. The two food franchises have opened two co-branded units on the west coast in Anaheim and Livermore, Calif.


Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon are both owned by the same parent company, Focus Brands, Inc., which also owns Moe’s Southwest Grill, Schlotzky’sand Carvel. The co-branded stores aim to help both quick-service snack brands expand their brand’s core customers and menu offerings.

restaurant franchise


Heather Neary, Auntie Anne’s chief marketing officer, believes the two restaurant franchises are co-blending not co-branding. It’s not a case of “two become one” but an instance of two making each other better.


The “co-blended” locations are designed for shopping centers where the expanded menu offers items for different meal needs during the day. The Auntie Ann’s and Cinnabon combination locations aim to satisfy customers from morning until night. Ideally, both brands would like to reach early morning shoppers, afternoon shoppers and late night mall workers. Auntie Anne’s famous pretzels and Cinnabon’s sweet cinnamon buns reach different customers. The co-branded locations hope to merge those two consumer groups.


The new units offer Cinnabon’s full menu and some of Auntie Anne’s savory items like the restaurant franchise‘s line of pretzel hot dogs: Coney Island, Chicago-style hot dog and Cheddar Bacon hot dog.


Focus Brands plans to open more co-branded Auntie Annes and Cinnabon restaurant franchises in New Jersey, South Carolina and Pennyslvania between now and May of 2013. Sales at the current “co-blended” locations have been encouraging.

Restaurant Franchise Becomes the Healthy Option

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Rarely has a restaurant franchise been so associated with health, weight loss and dieting aside from Subway. The world’s largest franchise has made healthy eating a cornerstone of its marketing strategy.


In recent years, Subway has established itself as not only the healthy alternative to fast food franchises but also the healthy quick-service restaurant franchise. This transition from just a sub sandwich shop to one endorsed by NBC’s hit show “The Biggest Loser” began with Subway’s poster boy, Jared Fogle.


Fogle, who is now known as “The Subway Guy”, lost more than 200 lbs. on a diet of Subway sandwiches and a lot of walking. Jared Fogle’s weight loss turned into a huge pay off for the restaurant franchise, which watched its sales more than double to $8.2 billion since the Fogle ad campaigns began in 2000.


Today, Fogle gives regular talks on fitness and healthy eating, including stopping by the ranch on this season’s “The Biggest Loser”, bringing with him sandwiches from Subway’s Fresh Fit menu for the contestants.


For many who are struggling with weight loss or healthy eating, Subway’s Fresh Fit sandwiches, which are lower in sodium, fat and calories than the franchise’s other sandwiches, are safe options when eating out or grabbing something quick on the go.


To date, Subway is the only restaurant franchise to receive the AHA’s Heart Check of approval. In an industry full of not-so-healthy restaurant franchises Subway has turned itself into the healthy option heavyweight.

Restaurant Franchises and Pro-Athletes

restaurant franchises

Imagine walking into one of your favorite restaurant or food franchises and seeing a famous athlete in line making the sandwiches. For patrons of the Fourth Street Jimmy Johns in Waco, Texas that’s been normal this summer.


Rams running back Terrance Ganaway makes Jimmy Johns sandwiches as fast as he can for 12 hours,  three days a week.


Wanting to stay out of trouble during the off season, Ganaway jokingly tweeted, “Anyone hiring?”


A Jimmy Johns employee replied: “We’re hiring.”


Ganaway isn’t the first professional athlete to have attached himself to a restaurant franchise, though it needs to be said Terrance isn’t a paid spokesperson for Jimmy Johns.

  • Jamba Juice recently signed a deal with tennis pro Venus Williams to open five stores in Washington, D.C.
  • A group of NFL players, which includes ReggieBush and Keyshawn Johnson, has opened Panera Bread franchises in California.
  • Junior Bridgeman has created a restaurant franchise empire that includes 121 Chili’s restaurants and 162 Wendy’s.
  • Angelo Crowell, a linebacker in the NFL, opened two Jersey Mike’s franchises in Tallahassee, Fla.

And who can forget Peyton Manning’s lucrative relationship with Papa John’s Pizza? (After completing a three-year sponsorship agreement with the NFL, Papa John’s announced Wednesday that it has reached a new long-term agreement with the league.)