This Week’s Top Picks – Emerging Franchise Brands

If you’re considering entering the world of “Self Employment” one of the best way to reduce risk is to purchase a franchise. A franchise affords you the opportunity to join a company with a proven business model and a track record of success. It’s better than “going it alone” …When you consider the number of “moving parts” connected with starting your own business, franchising makes all the sense in the world. You’ll get a business system along with the guidance and experience of the franchisor. Here are just three brands in our portfolio that are featured as our Top Picks this week.

By Gary Occhiogrosso – Franchise Growth Solutions
Photo by Sharon McCutcheon on Unsplash
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Skinny Pizza franchise

GET THE UPDATED SKINNY ON THIS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY
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SKINNYPIZZA
* New Territories available
* Smaller retail footprint
* Lower cost of entry
* Great co-band opportunities

America has a real passion for pizza. Since the first pizzeria opened here in New York City in 1903, pizza has grown to the most popular food in America. An incredible 93% OF AMERICANS gladly admit they eat pizza at least once a month.

Our passion for pizza is staggering. The National Restaurant Association (NRA) indicates that pizza sales represent almost $38 BILLION IN AMERICA — over $100 BILLION worldwide. Where is our love for pizza heading? The trending is actually very clear.

The research firm Technomic® in their most recent “Pizza Consumer Trend Report” found that 41% OF AMERICANS say they would be happy to pay for healthier ingredients including ORGANIC TOPPINGS AND CRUSTS, as well as all-natural LOCALLY SOURCED ingredients.
What makes it SKINNYPIZZA®? We have spent years creating a thin pizza crust that has great taste and complements any topping. At the same time, we have carefully crafted our entire menu for those that are health- and environmentally conscious, as well as those that simply love great tasting pizza, salads and soups.

Our PIZZA CRUST is made with NO PRESERVATIVES or ADDITIVES. That alone is something that is incredibly rare, actually reserved to the top 1% of pizzerias. Our PIZZA SAUCE is made with 100% USDA CERTIFIED ORGANIC tomatoes.

But the SKINNYPIZZA® concept does not end there. Along with the best tasting pizza you will ever eat, we have carefully developed our menu to complement our healthy approach to great Italian fast-casual dining.

To Learn More About SkinnyPizza Click Here https://www.skinnypizza.com/franchise.html

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Ice Cream Franchise
It’s always a good day to…GOFER Ice Cream

IT’S ALWAYS A GOOD DAY TO …
GOFER ICE CREAM

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Our Brand is based on the simple premise of selling high quality American Style ice cream in clean and inviting retail environments, without the use of gimmicks or catering to the latest ice cream fad.We focus equally on hard hand-dipped and premium soft serve ice cream products. Our menu also includes fat free treats like “Gofer Lite” and new innovations like Plant Based ice creams and “Gofer Bites”. We also feature ice cream cakes, party boxes, online ordering and catering options for multiple income streams.Our shops are bright and family oriented.

Warm welcomes by our staff are often accompanied by the smell of fresh made waffle cones, which are created several times a day.The concept, from a franchisee’s point of view, is to be a quick service and efficient operation. The system allows for a typical shop to function with minimal staff led by a motivated owner operator.

We support our franchisee partners through the entire process.
* Site selection
* Design and Construction
* Comprehensive training
* Grand opening
* Marketing Programs
* Benchmarking with industry experts

We teach you everything you need to know to open and operate your own Gofer Ice Cream shop.

To Learn more About This Sweet Brand Click Here: https://goferfranchise.com/
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Acai , franchise, profit

Acai Express
Be in the Business of Better…
* Better for You
* Better for the Planet
* Better for Franchisees.

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Our Beginnings

Not long ago, I was just like you. Smart, savvy, and tired of working hard for someone else’s benefit. I spent 10 years in the traditional restaurant business and knew the hard work I was doing could be made simpler with a system, made more enjoyable and less complicated, and better fit my lifestyle. My dream was to be able to put my experience to work in an easy and fun restaurant concept and support my family doing something I love. Acai Express is that.

When Passion Turned to Profit

I’ve always been an active guy who loved surfing and perfecting Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in my native Puerto Rico, but finding healthy and delicious food on the go and at the beach was a challenge. So, I started selling my own homemade organic super food bowls and smoothies. I used only the freshest ingredients and the centerpiece of all my creations was the 100% organic Grade A acai berry, a rich anti-oxidant stone fruit that grows on trees in the Amazon river basin. I just knew then that it was packed with flavor and goodness, but today the acai berry is considered a benefit to all kinds of health and well-being: cognition, heart health, aging, and weight loss. My acai-based menu got so popular, I started adding to the menu and selling out of my own food truck. When the number of my trucks went from one to thirteen and were located throughout Puerto Rico, I knew I had a business concept that small business owners anywhere could use. And, one that could marry an active lifestyle and career with an appreciation of honest, organic and nutrient rich foods. That’s the best part of Acai Express for me. I was able to be successful on my terms without sacrificing my intrinsic values.

Join the Family
When you become a member of the Acai Express family, even though our system is simple and easy to follow, you’ll work one-on-one with me and my team of franchisees and employees to ensure your success. We’re not some faceless corporate giant, we are the guys who get it done, and like you, are committed to success. Because your success is our success. You’ll also benefit from our hard won knowledge of what works, how to market and what consumers want. And, you’ll be part of a healthy lifestyle movement that has quickly gone from trend to established consumer demand.

To Learn More About this LifeStyle Brand Click Here: https://acaiexpressfranchise.com/
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TO SEE ALL THE BRANDS IN THE FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS PORTFOLIO CLICK HERE: https://www.franchisegrowthsolutions.com/clients

Financing a Business? – What You Need to Know About SBA Loans

Photo by Vladimir Solomyani on Unsplash

Many people are often misled to believe the money from an SBA loan is essentially “free.” That the funds are provided with the help of government grants and no-interest offerings; however, that is not the case.

Financing a Business?
What You Need to Know About SBA Loans

By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner, Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC

Whether you’re taking the plunge and starting a small business, or you’re interested in purchasing an existing one, or buying a franchise, you may benefit from utilizing an SBA loan program.

What Is an SBA Loan Program?
The Small Business Association (SBA) 504 Loan, also known as the Certified Development Company (CDC) program, was created to assist small businesses with the financing of their startup or growth. SBA loans are used to purchase everything from franchises to equipment to inventory. The SBA loan program was also created to help eliminate the “risk” banks take.
Through an SBA loan program, applicants can take out loans at below average market rates, which makes it an affordable option for small business owners.
Because of the complexities, it’s crucial to speak with a lending officer at a local bank. They may offer many options. Often, SBA loan benefits go untapped because many people are unaware of the program. In some cases, the information is not generally provided upfront.

Who’s Eligible
Only small business owners are eligible for an SBA loan. Specifically, their business’s net worth must not surpass $7 million, and their income cannot be more than $2.5 million in the preceding years.
Applicants must be able to provide records from the past two years that show stability and income, and they must have a credit score of at least 650. However, it also helps if the applicant has a background in the field of business they wish to start.

Setting the Record Straight
Many people are often misled to believe the money from an SBA loan is essentially “free.” That the funds are provided with the help of government grants and no-interest offerings; however, that is not the case.
Like any loan, SBA loans are offered through banks, but only SBA-approved banks can offer the program. You do not pay the SBA back; you pay the bank back directly.

Undoubtedly, taking advantage of an SBA loan can be a game-changer in the world of small business. If your interested learning about funding your new business please contact us at [email protected] – We can schedule a call.

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Sources:
https://www.smartbizloans.com/requirements-eligibility
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SBA_504_Loan
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/79254
https://www.sba7a.loans/sba-7a-loans-small-business-blog/2017/12/1/sba-7a-loan-for-a-restaurant

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About the Author
:
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm. Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital. Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with it’s founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a multi brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growth brands in the franchise industry. Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition Gary is an adjunct instructor at New York University on the topics of Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales and Marketing. He was also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast in New York City.
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franchise, fast food, Japan
www.gogocurryfranchise.com

WELCOME TO Go! Go! CURRY USA Franchising. Since 2007 we have been serving our Japanese Curry to our hungry customers, and are proud to be at the forefront of the growing Japanese Curry craze. Over the last decade, Go Go Curry has established itself as the industry leader in this emerging culinary market which brings a unique style and flavor to the fast casual industry. Click Here For Franchise Information

How To Start Your Own Daycare Center And Be Your Own Boss

Photo by Gautam Arora on Unsplash

When you first decide to open up your own daycare, you need to check with your state and government agencies to find out what rules and regulations you need to follow. For example, you are only allowed to have a certain number of children per square foot of space your building has, so you need to know this right off the bat.

Start Your Own Daycare Center- Be Your Own Boss
By: Susan Anderson

Many people are now looking for ways to get out of today’s corporate business world, and to become their own boss. One way that some have been successful is by opening up and running their own day care center. More moms than ever before now have to return to work after their baby is born. Few families are able to make ends meet on one income. So, why not start your own center that caters to these busy moms, and open up a loving and safe place where they can leave their young babes and go to work knowing that will be well cared for?

When you first decide to open up your own daycare, you need to check with your state and government agencies to find out what rules and regulations you need to follow. For example, you are only allowed to have a certain number of children per square foot of space your building has, so you need to know this right off the bat. You will need to locate a site that is large enough to house the number of children that you plan to care for. Many have been successful with purchasing actual homes, and making any needed renovations. You may also have some luck with your local churches or city organizations, either with locating a space, or possibly leasing space from them. It is crucial that you pay attention to all of the zooming rules in your area, so you don’t rent a place, then find out you are not allowed to run a business out of it. It does take quite a bit of overhead to open up your own center, a lot of which goes into getting the location you need.

You will need to try and locate funds to get everything you need. Develop a business plan, and set it before your local Chamber of Commerce, local churches, and businesses. If you have a sound plan, and they feel that the community needs your center, they may help you with funding your endeavor. You may also look into getting a business grant from the government, as this would save you from having to make large payments before your business ever gets off the ground. You can find additional resources online or at your local library that should be able to help you with locating funding, other than taking out a bank loan. If all else fails, then try to get a business loan, but there are better resources available to you, you just have to know where to find them at. If you have an empty store in your area, this may be the ideal place for your daycare center. You may have to do some work to the inside to make it meet your needs, but you should be able to rent it at a reasonable price, especially if it has been vacant for a while. This would also give you the advantage of having a good location, as it would probably in a highly trafficked area of your town, which would be convenient for your clients.

Once you have pretty much gotten everything down as far as laws and your location taken care of, you will need to advertise your new center. One of the best ways to do this, especially if you are on a busy street, is to have a nice sign up that states your business name and that you are accepting children. You will also want to let people know the hours your center will be open, and what days of the week, and most importantly, have a contact number shown. If you can’t get all of this information on your sign, at least have your business name, hours, and phone number, then potential customers can call you for more information. You may also want to drop off fliers at your local pediatrician’s offices, schools (get permission first), or maybe run an ad over your local radio station or newspaper. If you don’t let people know what you are offering, and get the word out, how can you expect to have clients?

Another major decision to make is choosing what hours your day center will be open. If you really want to make an impact, I would recommend being open outside of the normal business hours, maybe opening at 5 or 6 am, and staying open until around 7pm. This would help you get clients that many other daycares are unable to cater to, giving you more customers. Keep in mind, that you will most likely need to provide meals, so if you are open the above hours, you will probably be serving three meals a day. You will want to make sure you remember that when you determine what the cost per child will be. Remember that you also will need to provide at least two healthy snacks a day. Let your parents know what you will be offering, so they will know what they are paying for.

Children tend to do best when they have set routines, so you will need to make a basic daily plan, and give your teachers and parents a copy. It is important that you plan the day according to the age range of the children. Include in a rest or nap time, or two for the younger ones. You will also want to have some learning activities, arts and crafts, outside time, free play time, and story time. If you will be accepting children that are working on toilet training, you will need to set aside specific time slots in the day to be potty time as well.

When you know how many children you will have, and what their ages will be, check your local rules and federal laws to find out how many teachers you need. Depending on the children’s ages, you need one teacher for every so many kids. When hiring your teachers, look for moms or young adults that have taken some early childhood education courses. You want to try to get certified teachers, if possible, to ensure that you not only have a caring center, but one that offers learning opportunities as well. If you can fit it in your budget, it is also a good idea to have some kitchen staff, maintenance people, and possibly even a nurse or CNA on staff in case of emergencies.

All parents will need to fill out medical forms for their children, letting you know their history and of any known conditions or allergies. You will need a release to seek treatment form, the child’s insurance information, contact numbers for the parents in case of emergencies, and contact info for the child’s doctor. It is important to be prepared in advance, in case any emergency situation did arise.

Your center will need to have a designated outside play area, equipped with safe, sturdy toys for the children to play with. This are should be fenced in with locked gates to protect the children. You will want to have swings, sandboxes, slides, any kind of outside equipment you wish, as long as it is safe, and age appropriate.

Stock the individual rooms with toys, books, games, televisions, educational movies, maybe a computer or two for the older children, anything that you wish to have on hand for the teachers and children to use. You will need to have an eating area in each room, and a place for naptime, diaper changes, etc.


Click here to learn how to franchise your business

When dealing with parents and financial issues, you will be better off asking them to pay the month or week in advance. By having them pay ahead, you aren’t dependent on them for the funds to buy needed supplies, or pay teachers, and don’t have to worry about losing children due to non-payment. A lot of daycare centers have to close because they financially cannot make ends meet, usually due to parents not being able to pay them when payment is due. Let parents know that you need them to pay in advance so that you have sure funds to use to care for their children with.

You may want to run the center yourself for the first little bit, to keep costs down, and to ensure that everything is running as you want it to. Eventually, when profits rise, and everything is going well, you may want to hire a manager to oversee the day to day running of the center for you. They would be responsible for hiring teachers, taking care of new customers, purchasing supplies, planning lesson plans, meals, etc. You basically would sign the checks, and still make all of the major decisions, but would free to pursue other endeavors if you wish.

Every community could benefit from a well-run daycare center, and with a little patience, and effort you could be the one to give it to them. Just make sure that you follow all of your local, state, and federal laws regarding childcare centers, and that the safety of your children is your number one concern. Everything else will pretty much fall into place over time.

Author Bio
Susan Anderson enjoys writing articles for families and consumers which are informative and adds value to their lives.

For more information on how to create a great monthly income by opening your own daycare center, visit www.nipty.com/daycare

Article Source: http://www.ArticleGeek.com – Free Website Content

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Veterans – What’s Your Next Mission? – Franchise Opportunities for Veterans.

Photo by Yeo Khee on Unsplash

Many Veterans find their transition to be very challenging because they’re used to either preparing for a mission or executing one. They return home only to find that they no longer have that focus or a team around them.
Franchise opportunities for Veterans abound.

What’s Your Next Mission?
By Rich Vaill
VP, Business Banker | Marine Corps Veteran | Veterans employment advocate

I used to meet with my Platoon Sergeant on a regular basis to ensure we were on the same page and to discuss any challenges. One morning, we sat down to talk about a young Marine who continually got into trouble. Although I thought the Marine was intelligent and had potential, his mistakes and poor judgement left me unsure as to how to approach the problem.

My Platoon Sergeant suggested that we place him in charge of our publications and resource section. Puzzled, I asked, “You want to reward his mistakes with a new responsibility?” He explained that while he was also troubled by the Marine’s decisions, he recognized the young man’s potential and wanted to provide him with this new challenge.

franchise-growth-solutions-for-emerging-brands
Click Here to Learn about Franchising Your Business

It was a great decision, as the Marine embraced the role, improved the overall effectiveness of the section and became a top performer. We promoted him to Corporal a few months later.

Many Veterans find their transition to be very challenging because they’re used to either preparing for a mission or executing one. They return home only to find that they no longer have that focus or a team around them. It can make for a tough time, so it’s important that Veterans find another mission to embrace. I was lucky enough to discover my passion for helping my fellow Veterans find employment on which to focus my attention.

I was chatting about this with a friend, and we came to the conclusion that everyone needs a “next” mission. It’s certainly not just for those who have served in the military. Everyone can benefit from having a daily and/or long-term purpose.

It might be something as simple as helping your kids through Algebra, more extensive like becoming involved in a local charity or assuming a new role within your company. Either way, it’s something that demands your attention and, hopefully, yields a positive result.

Whether it’s a personal objective like helping a family member, a new challenge in your career or starting a business, a new mission gives you renewed focus and a chance to thrive.

“When you discover your mission, you will feel its demand. It will fill you with enthusiasm and a burning desire to get to work on it.” – W. Clement Stone

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About the Author

Rich Vaill works with Professional Service businesses and Veteran entrepreneurs who are:
* Worried about rising costs and decreasing cash flow
* Unsure about how much working capital they should have on hand
* Frustrated with the amount of time it takes to perform simple banking operations

At my core, I’m a Marine. As a Marine in Business Banking, I focus on what’s important to my clients and I get it done.
Specialties:
Escrow | 1031 Exchanges | Cash Flow Optimization | Credit Solutions | SBA Loans
Founder of LinkedIn group, “Jobs for Veterans”
President – New Jersey Chapter of the National Marine Corps Business Network
I may be contacted at 973 699-5616 (c)

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Franchise Opportunities for Veterans
https://www.franchisegrowthsolutions.com/clients

Business Owner Tip – When Dealing With Succession Planning – Removing An Irresponsible Executor.

When a loved passes, many issues arise regarding assets IE: succession and the distribution of acquired wealth. This includes all personal property, real estate and in many cases, a business. Usually a trusted family member was assigned the task as “executor” of a Will. However, what happens if that person is mishandeling the process through negligence, incompetence or for personal gain. Today our guest contributor; Spencer Lauterbach, Esq, addresses the problem and the solution. Take this advice when planning your business succession plan you put in place

Can I Remove an Irresponsible Executor?
By Spencer Lauterbach, Esq.

If a loved one has recently passed away and you believe his or her executor is mismanaging the deceased’s assets in some way, you may wish to have him or her removed from the position. If you are looking to remove an executor, here are some of the questions you may have:

What does an executor do?
Executors bear a lot of responsibility. First, they will open probate and identify the deceased’s assets. An executor will then notify all beneficiaries, pay off the deceased’s remaining debts, distribute assets amongst heirs, and finally close out the estate. Executors are essentially responsible for ensuring the administration process goes swiftly, smoothly, and according to plan.

What is a valid reason to remove an executor from the position?
* He or she is ineligible for any reason
* He or she is incompetent or has become incapacitated
* He or she is unqualified
* He or she is purposefully or negligently mismanaging the estate

How can an executor behave irresponsibly?
There are several ways in which an executor can either behave negligently or break the law. Executors must obey the following rules:

* Never sign a will on behalf of the deceased
* Never change provisions in a will
* Never carry out a will before its creator is deceased
* Never deter, coerce, or prevent beneficiaries from contesting a will
* Never sell the deceased’s assets for less than fair market value without the beneficiaries’ consent

How can I remove an executor?
Fortunately, those who believe an executor is mismanaging assets have legal options to get the irresponsible executor removed. Rather obviously, talking is a solid first option. You should not have to get involved in a nasty legal situation with a relative if you can simply voice your concerns and move on. However, if you have already tried, or are unable to communicate with this person for any reason, you may petition the court to remove the executor. Once you do, you and the current executor will attend a hearing, where a courtroom will listen to both sides of the story. From here, the court will decide whether to remove the current executor and appoint a new one.

Additionally, you may file a civil lawsuit against the executor as well, especially if you can prove he or she acted maliciously or dishonestly when carrying out his or her duties as executor. If you have suffered significant damages and can prove it was because of an irresponsible executor, there is a very good chance you can recover some of those damages through a lawsuit.

About the author:
Spencer Lauterbach, Esq.
The Lauterbach Law Firm is proud to serve clients throughout Rockland County who are faced with legal matters related to estate planning, real estate, foreclosure defense, landlord-tenant law, business law, and criminal defense. If you require the services of an experienced team of attorneys, contact The Lauterbach Law Firm today to schedule a consultation.

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franchise-growth-solutions-for-emerging-brands

Click Here to Learn about Franchising Your Business

MAIN STREET – TRAFFIC AND SALES TRENDS

WHAT’S HAPPENING ON MAIN STREET ?? – TRAFFIC AND SALES TRENDS
By Roger Lipton
Photo by Nadine Shaabana on Unsplash

There is not much to celebrate among restaurant industry operators. “Flat” is better than “Down”, but sales and traffic trends continued to be lackluster in April, and there is no reason to expect a change in May (now history) or the month to come. We have described many times how the dining industry has been an excellent leading indicator relative to the economy. We suspected earlier this year, as our readers know, that the lack of momentum in the restaurant industry indicated that the economy was unlikely to break out on the upside. That has proven to be the case as the slowdown in the economy is clearer by the day. The latest GDP expectations for the second quarter are in the 1.25-1.5% range, a lot lower than the 3.2% of the first quarter, and bringing the first half very close to the 2.3% of the Obama years.

While some worse numbers than shown below have circulated, we quote below the Miller Pulse survey numbers.

Back in restaurant land: Continued weak traffic was the feature in April, with higher check values (up 4.1%) overcoming a 2.1% traffic decline and bringing same store sales to a 2.1% increase. As we have said repeatedly, that is not enough to overcome higher labor, rents, and other operating expenses, so margins will continue to be challenged. The two year stacked comp is up 3.8% in April, down 10 bp from March.

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By segment:

Quick service restaurants were up 2.7% in April, with 4.6% check average overcoming 1.9% traffic decline. Over two years, QSR SSS fell 30bp month to month to 4.3% so not much has changed.

Casual dining did worse, with same store sales down 0.5% in April even with a boost from the Easter calendar shift, and traffic was down 2.8%. Over two years, SSS was up 60 bp to a lackluster 1.3%, with traffic obviously down.

We have heard no credible reports that trends have improved in May so, with two thirds of the second quarter in the rear view mirror, and the economy showing signs of slowdown, there seems little reason to think that operating results will improve in Q2. A pickup could be in the cards, and the restaurant industry could lead the way, but not yet.

Read more from Roger Lipton here:
https://www.liptonfinancialservices.com/“>https://www.liptonfinancialservices.com/
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About the Author:

Roger Lipton is an investment professional with over 4 decades of experience specializing in chain restaurants and retailers, as well as macro-economic and monetary developments. After earning a BSME from R.P.I. and MBA from Harvard, and working as an auditor with Price, Waterhouse, he began following the restaurant industry as well as the gold mining industry. While he originally followed companies such as Church’s Fried Chicken, Morrison’s Cafeterias and others, over the years he invested in companies such as Panera Bread and shorted companies such as Boston Chicken (as described in Chain Leader Magazine to the left)

He also invested in gold mining stocks and studied the work of Harry Browne, the world famous author and economist, who predicted the 2000% move in the price of gold in the 1970s. In this regard, Roger has republished the world famous first book of Harry Browne, and offers it free with each subscription to this website.
Roger Lipton https://www.liptonfinancialservices.com/

Millennials Drive Menus In Fast Casual Restaurants

MILLENNIALS DRIVE MENUS IN FAST CASUAL RESTAURANTS…. These Newer Concepts must not only live up to the marketing message but also ensure that their operations can provide consistent, quality products in every location…. Their business models must be replicable and easily managed.

By FranchiseMoneyMaker Contributor

As recently as 15 years ago the idea that you could grab a nutritious, healthy and still tasty meal from a drive-thru or fast food restaurant was unheard of. It wasn’t until the post Y2K era that fast food consumers became concerned with what they ate. As the Millennial generation started spending money on food outside the home the industry has been “forced” to move toward healthier, high-quality menu alternatives. Once begun this movement toward fresher, greener menus has continued to accelerate at an ever increased pace.

Does Better for You equal Better for Business
Consumer attitudes regarding the link between diet and health have shifted. Data shows that Millennials and aging baby boomers are taking a more proactive approach to healthy eating. Many have adjusted their dietary choices to promote better health. The demographic with higher levels of education and more disposable income is at the forefront of this trend. These health-conscious consumers take the time to research before they dine out. In addition, they seem more willing to pay higher prices to ensure that what goes into their bodies is nutritious.

With this new consumer focus on nutrition, sustainability and ‘clean food’ comes a revolution in the Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) industry. According to a recent article in Business Leader, 83% of Americans believe that fast food from traditional Quick Service franchises is not healthy. This has created the rise of the ‘better for you’ brands that now compete with fast food giants such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and KFC. For example, healthy quick service brands such as Dig Inn, By Chloe, and Sweetgreen are creating their own niche by specializing in organic, locally sourced meal options that contain more vegetables and fewer calories than traditional burgers and fries.

Quality comes with a Cost
As enticing as these food offerings may be to our palate Consumers may find themselves paying almost double what they would at a traditional fast food location. Locally sourced, organic and sustainable food suppliers still see this segment as small compared to conventionally processed ingredients, so access and availability remain a challenge. As a result, many healthier focused chains are developing altogether new selling propositions by positioning “value with reasons” as a way to compete with the traditional fast food chains of the industry. These “better for you” concepts post nutritional information, health benefits as well as the sourcing and methods used in their products. The emphasis is on local, clean, humanely raised and organic.

One such concept is Salad and Go. Branded as a healthy drive-thru option, Salad and Go offers large salads, smoothies, soup and breakfast with an “Always Organic” list of ingredients. In addition, the brand highlights their competitive prices. Salad and Go currently has in 10 locations in the U.S. with plans to nearly double that number by the end of 2018.
Another U.S. chain, LocoL, offers food made only from local ingredients. Founders & Chefs Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson claim “We at LocoL want to live in a world where eating healthy doesn’t take a lot of money or time.”
New quick service food concepts like these are branding their menu items as healthy, high quality alternatives to the sugar, fat, and salt-heavy meals provided by traditional fast food franchises. Recently developed QSR concepts give consumers a choice. Whether it’s organic, farm to table, all natural, gluten free, vegan or humanely raised, the race to innovate and meet this rising consumer trend has never been more of a priority in the Quick Service Restaurant segment than it is today.

Forcing Innovation in Traditional Brands
As new brands continue to make their mark in the minds of U.S. consumers, established brands are attempting to keep up with changing demands. Fast food chains such as Taco Bell have promised to use cage-free eggs and reduce artificial ingredients, and McDonald’s has started selling antibiotic free chicken, and now cooks many of its items to order and offers more salads. It is yet to be seen if that alone will be enough to keep the long-standing leaders in the QSR industry on top.

Serving up Quality, Quickly and Consistently
These QSR pioneers are faced with the challenge of living up to the expectations of an informed, proactive consumer. These newer concepts must not only live up to the marketing message but also ensure that their operations can provide consistent, quality products in every location. Their business models must be replicable and easily managed. This may also prove to be a challenge when food is being prepared to order using fresh locally sourced ingredients instead of processed or precooked menu items. If they can accomplish these tasks, the potential for growth is unlimited.

Regardless of the challenges facing these new “better for you brands”, the move away from traditional fast food to healthier quick service food options is unstoppable. As a means to address consumer concerns, in late 2017, the FDA announced new regulations requiring large restaurant chains to add calorie counts to their menus by 2018. This, combined with health-conscious consumers, will continue to push these new QSR chains to sharpen their competitive edge by offering a wider variety of great tasting, healthier options. As I see it, the success of the “better for you” fast casual concepts will depend on their adaptability to trends, consistency in product, as well as the price point and expense management.

6 Tips When Buying A Franchise

Starting a business can be a life-altering event both good and sometimes not so good. One of the ways people reduce their risk is to purchase an established brand with a proven business model – a franchise.

Franchising has proved over and over again to give a new business owner the highest probability of success. If you follow the system, choose an experienced franchisor, work diligently, are appropriately funded and understand what you’re getting into then operating a franchise may be a perfect business model for you.

Selecting a franchise and purchasing a franchise combines gut reaction with solid research. Although there are many steps to buying a franchise here are my Top 6 Tips that will keep you moving forward in the process. I recommend never skipping or overlooking any of them.

Tip #1 – Begin With Some Soul Searching
Make a written list of what you believe you’re looking for in a business opportunity. However, for this exercise, you cannot put the words “make money” on your written list. The reason for that is simple. I want you to look inward at your dreams, background, hobbies, likes, dislikes, skills, social and community positions and all the elements that a business would need to deliver to you, despite the money. I know many franchisees and entrepreneurs that dread getting up every day to work their business even though are making all sorts of money. Franchisees that are great at selling or corporate engagement should seek a franchise that puts them in front of customers in a corporate environment, perhaps in the advertising business or financial business. Entrepreneurs that like to craft things or work outside or work with their hands should never seek out opportunities that land them behind a desk or stuck in a shop 12 hours a day. Although ultimately in time you will not be doing the “work of business” keep in mind that in the startup phase you may need to. Moreover, if you don’t like the work or have neither the time, desire or inclination to develop new skills you may never get to the next level in developing your business. If you can’t “see yourself” doing a particular type of work, then walk away, no matter how much money you think you’ll make. Look in the mirror and be honest when you sit down to write your list.

Tip #2 – How Much Available Capital Do I have?
Numerous business reports cite the number one reason a small business fails is that proper thought and consideration wasn’t given to the appropriate capital required to open and sustain the start-up of a small business. A lack of adequate money can destroy you before you even begin. It is crucial that you understand the numbers. Before you start your quest for a franchise, you should access your available liquid capital, your borrowing ability and the net worth necessary to collateralize a business loan. Also, there are various ways to finance your new business. That includes your savings, investments or loans from friends and family, bank loans, SBA loans and using the funds in your 401K to finance the new venture. Once you know the number, you can go shopping, or you may decide you don’t have enough money now and need to create a plan to accumulate the appropriate amount of start-up capital. Your accountant may be able to help you access your investment ability. Keep in mind many accountants (and lawyers) are not entrepreneurial minded or risk takers. Some will attempt to “protect you” by trying to convince you not to go into business. Remember you’re assessing your investing capability not looking for permission. That said, knowing how much you can invest will save you and the franchisor time. In addition, it’ll place you in a better position to succeed.

Tip #3 – Meet The “Parents”
In this case, the Franchisor. Once you’ve selected the type of industry you’d like to be in, its’ now time to search for a company that meets the criteria on the list we discussed earlier in this article. There are many ways to seek out opportunities, Franchise Trade Shows, Websites, Franchise Business Brokers and others. I’ll cover that in a subsequent article. Once you reach out to a franchisor, a franchise sales representative will most likely contact you. At this point be prepared to answer some questions over the phone. You may also be asked to fill out an application before going any further in the process. Many reputable franchisors will not engage in any serious conversation with a candidate without an application. My experience has been that franchisors willing to forgo written applications or skip asking qualifying questions at the start of the process may be desperate to “sell” a franchise. That should be a red flag for you. Beware, because it may be a sign the franchisor is undercapitalized and/or more interested in selling franchises and collecting licensing fees instead of supporting the franchisees long term by focusing on royalties from successful franchised locations.

Tip #4 – Take A Good Hard Look At All The Documentation
Once you fill out the application, the franchisor will most likely interview you over the phone or in person and then is required to issue you a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). Depending on the State where you live, you must have the FDD between 10 and 14 days before you can enter into any agreement or hand over any money to the franchisor. You will be asked to sign a receipt that you received the FDD and indicate the date you received it. This disclosure document has all the required information that the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and various States require the franchisor to tell you. Please read it and reread it. Have a franchise attorney review the document and offer legal counsel regarding the franchise agreement. Then follow up with the franchisor. I would recommend that if you’re interested in moving forward, it’s now time to meet the franchisor in person (if you haven’t already) by scheduling a Discovery Day. Make a list of questions and spend the day to meet the team and get answers as well as a feel for the culture of the organization. Find out how deep the franchisor’s organization is and, please make sure you feel comfortable that the franchisor has enough experienced staff to service the franchisees.

Tip #5 – Speak With The Franchisees
Your best source of information is going to come from the franchisors customers, that means the franchisees. Call and visit as many franchisees as possible. Since many Franchisors don’t disclose Average Unit Sales and Operating Expenses in their FDD, they can not discuss it with you. Franchisors can only make claims and address financial issues published in their FDD. Be wary of the sales rep that starts telling you how much money the franchisees are making and how much money you can make. This practice of making “earning claims” not documented in the FDD is not only a violation of franchise regulation but also another red flag. However franchisees are not bound by franchise regulation and if they choose, are free to answer any question as long as they do not disclose proprietary information belonging to the franchisor, such as recipes or processes. When visiting the franchisees, build a report, let them know you’re close to making a decision and carefully phrase your questions so that they are not intrusive. I always ask about support and if they had the opportunity to “do it all over again” would they? Keep in mind there will always be a few disgruntled or struggling franchisees. Without knowing all the facts, it’s tough to condemn the system or franchisor. That said, if the majority of franchisees regret their decision or feel that the franchisor is not supportive, then you need to make further inquiries with the franchisor before signing the franchise agreement.

Tip #6 – Ready, Set, Go
Not so fast. Before the franchisor prepares a franchise agreement is it essential to discuss the best way to structure your new company. Many attornies will recommend that you not sign the franchise agreement in your name but instead set up a separate business entity such as a Limited Liability Company (LLC) or an S-Corp. Seek competent legal advice from a franchise attorney before you sign a franchise agreement or set up a new company.

Franchise ownership can provide you and your family a lifestyle that can not be achieved by working a job for a company. Building a business can be rewarding, exciting and stressful all at the same time. As an entrepreneur, I believe business ownership is the best form of work for many people.

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

About the Author
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm. Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital. Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with its founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a multi-brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growth brands in the franchise industry. Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition, Gary is an adjunct instructor at New York University on the topics of Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales, and Marketing. He was also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of FranchiseMoneyMaker.com

Six Ways to Finance a Restaurant Franchise

Six Ways to Finance a Restaurant Food Franchise…

Before seeking financing of any kind, make sure you’ve done your own due diligence. Prior to beginning your search, it’s important to know your own net worth, your credit rating, and to have a comprehensive business plan that includes pro forma documents, operations details and market comparison analysis.

Six Ways to Finance a Restaurant Food Franchise

If you are considering investing in a franchise opportunity, the very first question that may come to mind is whether you qualify financially. Most entrepreneurs, restaurant aficionados, or business executives exploring opportunities for a restaurant food franchise will seek outside sources of financing. The golden rule is to expect to contribute 15% to 30% of your own money to start with, and then go from there.

If 30% seems daunting, there’s good news. Often a franchise business opportunity is looked upon by financial institutions as less of a risk, compared to independent business start-ups. This can be further reinforced by the history and recognition of the brand name, the number of units in operation, and even the support provided to the franchisee by the franchisor.

franchise-growth-solutions-for-emerging-brands
Click Here to Learn about Franchising Your Business

Before seeking financing of any kind, make sure you’ve done your own due diligence. Prior to beginning your search, it’s important to know your own net worth, your credit rating, and to have a comprehensive business plan that includes pro forma documents, operations details and market comparison analysis.

Franchise financing can be complex, but it doesn’t have to feel impossible. Consider these six ways to finance a restaurant food franchise like Taboonette.

1. Friends and family, as well as experienced business owners,d business owners turn inwardly toward friends and relatives to help finance their franchise or start-up business. With this kind of financing, individuals and families get to create their own terms for repayment and enjoy the collaborative support from those closest to them.

2.SBA loans.
The Small Business Administration is a government agency that helps entrepreneurs plan, launch, manage and grow their businesses.1 They work with financial institutions to provide SBA-secured loans. A lender may be more likely to approve financing for individuals backed by an SBA loan because it is 90% secured. This means if the loan goes into default, the SBA guarantees repayment of 90% of the loan to the lending institution.

3.Bank and private loans.
Since the 2008 recession, it has been more difficult to secure bank loans or loans from venture capitalists or angel investors. A bank loan not secured by the SBA is perhaps the most challenging to obtain, but if you have a good relationship with a financial institution, a stellar credit rating and the required minimum liquid capital, it may be a good option.

4.Veterans loan.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, another government institution, offers qualified veterans financing opportunities for franchise and business loans. The program, called the Patriot Express because of its speedy process, makes loans up to $500,000 to active-duty military preparing to transition to civilian life, as well as to spouses and survivors of veterans. The loans come with the SBA’s lowest rates.2

5.Home equity.
A home equity line of credit or second mortgage is a way of obtaining financing but comes with a personal risk. Financing in this way uses your home as security. This means if you default on a business loan, you lose your home. But with sufficient equity in your home, it can be a relatively easy financing source to tap.

6.401(k), stocks and other personal accounts.
It is not unusual for people to tap into their retirement or savings accounts to help finance business ventures. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Bernie Siegel, founder of Siegel Capital LLC, discusses a rollover plan where the franchisee creates a C corporation that will own and operate the new franchise business. That corporation then creates its 401(k)-retirement plan. The C corporation’s 401(k) plan then purchases stock in the C corporation. The cash paid to the corporation is then used as the down payment, and the balance can then be financed through an SBA guaranteed loan.3

At Taboonette, we are excited to work with financially qualified individuals to help them reach their goal of owning a restaurant food franchise. Together we look forward to growing both our Taboonette franchisee and customer bases and bringing our delicious trademark Middleterranean® food and a unique dining experience to more hungry guests.

For franchise information contact [email protected] . “Offer by Prospectus only”

1.https://www.sba.gov/
2. http://guides.wsj.com/small-business/franchising/how-to-finance-a-franchise-purchase/
3.https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB120242422031851929