Baskin-Robbins Seeks Southern California Franchisees

July 28 2015

Baskin-Robbins, the world’s largest chain of ice cream specialty shops, announced that it is seeking Los Angeles entrepreneurs to develop new and existing ice cream shops in Southern California. Specifically, Baskin-Robbins is seeking candidates who are looking for a sweet opportunity in Glendora, Long Beach, Oceanside, and Pico Rivera, as well as San Diego.

“We’re looking for motivated entrepreneurs who have a passion for their local communities to join our team and take advantage of the many perks that Baskin-Robbins offers,” says Grant Benson, CFE and vice president of global franchising and business development at Dunkin’ Brands. “This is a great opportunity for anyone who has ever thought about owning his or her own ice cream shop. Baskin-Robbins continues to increase its presence around the world, and we’re excited to continue to foster and grow our relationship with Southern California ice cream lovers.”

In addition to the Los Angeles shops for sale, Baskin-Robbins will begin developing one to two other nontraditional shops in the San Diego market, which eligible candidates can purchase. These sites present unique opportunities to own and operate locations that are delivered as ready-to-operate shops. Traditional development opportunities are also available in both the Los Angeles and San Diego markets.

Baskin-Robbins combines delicious treats with a simple operating model. Franchisees enjoy convenient hours of operation, minimal equipment, and little product waste. They also benefit from award-winning training programs and comprehensive operating systems designed to help build business.

In 1945, Baskin-Robbins was founded in Glendale, California, by two ice cream enthusiasts who shared a dream to create an innovative ice cream shop that would be a neighborhood gathering place for families. Today, more than 300 million people visit Baskin-Robbins each year to sample from the more than 1,200 flavor creations available in its ice cream library. Baskin-Robbins offers guests its wide range of hard-scoop ice cream flavors, along with custom ice cream cakes, delicious frozen beverages, premium soft serve, and take-home frozen treats.


Pie Five Inks Deal for Missouri, Arizona, and New Mexico

July 28, 2015

Dallas-based Pie Five Pizza just expanded its piece of the pie. The brand known for artisan pizzas, handcrafted with farm fresh ingredients, and baked with lightning speed announced a new development deal with HCW Development that will add 25 locations in Branson and Springfield, Missouri; Tucson, Arizona; and Albuquerque, New Mexico. The first location is set to open next year in Branson, Missouri.

The newest Pie Five development deal is with franchise partners Rick Huffman and Sam Catanese of HCW Development, who own several hotels, restaurants, and developments in Branson and Phoenix. This new development deal follows multiunit deals recently announced in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, Colorado, Kentucky, Indiana, Alabama, and Mississippi. This is in addition to company-owned expansion in Chicago, Houston, and Dallas-Fort Worth. Pie Five has grown from one location to 55 in less than four years. The growth rate for the past fiscal year alone reached almost 200 percent

“The Pie Five concept is on fire across the country—in large part because of experienced operators that really understand how to create great dining experiences for guests,” says Randy Gier, chief eating officer of Rave Restaurant Group Inc. “Rick and Sam make up a talented team and we’re all so excited to welcome them to the Pie Five family and look forward to bringing our unique brand of made-your-way artisan pizzas to their local communities.”

At Pie Five, guests can choose from more than a million combinations of farm-fresh ingredients, artisan sauces, and handcrafted crust variety. Pies bake in just 145 seconds in a custom-designed, state-of-the-art oven. By the time guests arrive at the register, their hot, bubbly, pizza perfection is ready. Additionally, they can add one of Pie Five’s freshly tossed handmade salads served in a baked pizza dough bowl or a decadent home-baked brownie or cookie pie to their meal. The rapidly expanding chain is capitalizing on growing consumer demand for fresh dining options and artisan pizzas in stylish environments without the wait.

“Pie Five is based on creating a custom experience for each guest and our development group is also very passionate about pairing individualized, leading-edge concepts to the communities we serve,” says Rick Huffman, CEO of HCW Development. “We look forward to partnering with Pie Five and their team to expand the leading fast casual pizza brand across country.”


Starbucks (US) Signs Agreement with Groupe Casino (France)

21 Jul 2015

Starbucks has inked a deal with a unit of global grocery behemoth Groupe Casino to license coffee shops in the group’s supermarkets in France.

The Seattle coffee company had 101 locations in France at the end of March — just one for every 647,000 residents, versus one for every 26,000 in the U.S.

Casino, one of the world’s largest retailers, operates 444 supermarkets and 127 larger “hypermarkets” in France, though the two companies didn’t disclose how many locations would have a Starbucks. The first one will open before the end of the year.

The move highlights Starbucks’ shift to growth through licensing rather than operating its own stores in Europe. That has recently helped Starbucks reverse years of sluggish performance in the Old World.

In France, the number of stores operated by Starbucks at the end of March was 77, up about 20 percent from three years earlier, while the number of licensed stores operated by partners soared from 4 to 24 in the same period.

Licensing out to large retailers has been a proven avenue to growth for Starbucks in the U.S., too. Target, for example, has said it has more than 1,000 Starbucks locations in its U.S. stores.

There are about 4,823 licensed Starbucks in the U.S.

The locations within the Casino stores will be run by that group’s restaurant unit, which operates several cafeteria and restaurant chains.

The Seattle Times

Papa Murphy’s Celebrates 1,500th Store with Giveaway

Papa Murphy’s Holdings Inc., the world’s leading take ’n’ bake pizza franchise, announced its 1,500th store opening in Goldsboro, North Carolina. This is the first Papa Murphy’s store in the Goldsboro area owned by new franchisee Rod Gumbish, formerly an Air Force squadron commander at the nearby Seymour Johnson Air Force base. To celebrate this significant milestone on Thursday, July 16, Papa Murphy’s is giving away 1,500 pizzas at 1500 hours (3 p.m.) at the Goldsboro location. The company will also host a ribbon-cutting ceremony with Mayor Al King.

“The opening of our 1,500th Papa Murphy’s store is a major milestone for the company and a testament that our unique take ‘n’ bake concept is a valuable brand worth investing in,” says Jayson Tipp, chief development officer and senior vice president of technology for Papa Murphy’s. “Our growth is due in large part to our dedicated franchise owners and employees who are committed to consistently delivering fresh, high-quality menu items and a great customer experience. We are enthusiastic about sharing this occasion with Goldsboro residents and Papa Murphy’s fans across the country as we expand our brand into existing and new markets.”

The first Goldsboro location features Papa Murphy’s innovative CREATE store design that highlights the fresh, high-quality ingredients, which are available daily on the make-line. The CREATE store format focuses on complete transparency and personalization, allowing customers to see their pizza as it’s created. An open layout showcases the scratch-made dough prep area, hand-chopped vegetable toppings, and freshly grated 100 percent whole-milk mozzarella cheese. The location features digital menuboards to enhance the customer experience and provide a resource for local messaging.

“We are thrilled to join the Goldsboro community and introduce Papa Murphy’s distinct take ‘n’ bake pizza and its mouthwatering flavors to the community,” says Rod Gumbish, franchise owner of Papa Murphy’s. “We welcome area residents to come join us today for a grand opening celebration as we look forward to providing a solution to the dinnertime dilemma for busy families on the go.”

Papa Murphy’s is widely recognized for its dedication to providing great tasting, affordable and convenient fresh meal options that moms and dads can feel good about serving their family. Papa Murphy’s pizzas are completely customizable and guests can choose to top their favorite scratch-made crust, made in-store daily, with a wide variety of fresh, wholesome, ingredients. Guests take their pizza home and bake in their own oven for 12–18 minutes and serve hot for a delicious meal any day of the week.


Blaze Pizza’s 80th Restaurant Set to Open in Las Vegas

Blaze Fast-Fire’d Pizza today announced that its 80threstaurant is set to open next month in Las Vegas. Known for its chef-driven recipes and casual-hip restaurants, the “build-your-own” pizza chain has a pipeline of more than 400 restaurants committed to open in 42 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada by 2020. With the opening of its 80th location, Blaze Pizza will be operating in 20 states, including the major metropolitan areas of Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, San Francisco, Dallas, Miami, and Washington, D.C. Going forward, the company is scheduled to open on average one new restaurant every four days—with its milestone 200thlocation projected to open by the end of next year.

Featuring a scratch-made dough recipe developed by critically acclaimed executive chef Bradford Kent, the company maintains a “keep it simple” philosophy that shuns rapid-fire new product introductions and limited time offers, and instead focuses on carefully sourcing high-quality ingredients and cooking its fast-fire’d pizzas to order. Blaze’s obsessive attention to detail extends well beyond the food, with a thoughtful, modern approach to restaurant design. Renowned Los Angeles restaurant architect Ana Henton carefully considers each interior, adding unique design elements to localize each space and create the perfect vibe. Absent are promotional posters and signage, and all restaurants are constructed with both recycled and sustainable materials, use eco-friendly packaging, and feature energy-efficient lighting.

“We’re taking pizza back to its roots—making dough in-house, carefully sourcing ingredients, and cooking by fire,” says Jim Mizes, president and COO of Blaze Pizza. “The authenticity of our food, plus a service culture that genuinely focuses on the happiness of our guests and crew—have clearly been key to our popularity and expansion.”

With a dress code that encourages individual expression and a “say yes” service philosophy that empowers employees to delight those they serve, the company promotes an unconventional spirit that celebrates individuality and reflects the values of both team members and guests. Opportunities for professional growth are abundant, as restaurant openings create new management positions and career paths for strong performers. Additionally, each month the company awards bonuses of one-half percent of sales to the best performing restaurant crews.

“What Blaze did was spot an opportunity to sell artisanal pizza that’s both fast and affordable, in an engaging dining experience that has some ‘soul’ to it,” says Carolyne Canady, chief development officer of Blaze Pizza. “It’s a disruptive idea that’s resonating with guests. We are changing the way people think about and eat pizza.”


Texas Chicken Opens First New Zealand Location-

Texas Chicken, one of the largest quick-service chicken concepts in the world, has opened its first restaurant in New Zealand, with the company planning to open multiple Texas Chicken restaurants nationwide in the next 10 years. Westfield Manukau City Mall in Auckland, New Zealand, is the site for the country’s first-ever Texas Chicken location. In November, fans of the popular quick-service chicken brand will see a second opening, with a free-standing location that is already under construction. These are the first of what will eventually be a total of 20 Texas Chicken restaurants—the brand that is famous for its high-quality menu offerings including hand-breaded fried chicken, honey-butter biscuits, and signature sides, including baked macaroni and cheese and mashed potatoes.

“We’ve been looking forward to these highly anticipated Texas Chickenopenings,” says Tony Moralejo, chief development officer for the restaurant brand’s parent company, Cajun Operating Company, which franchises in the U.S. and the rest of the Americas under the Church’s Chickenbrand and Texas Chicken outside the Americas. “With the addition of New Zealand within our system, our food may now be found in almost every corner of the globe.”

“Guests lined up eagerly to be among the first to taste Texas Chicken right here in Auckland,” says franchisee George Constantinou. “We are very excited that guests are embracing the brand, and we are expecting more of the same results as we expand to other locations.”

The new restaurant features the latest design package for Texas Chicken. In addition to the brand’s signature menu items, including hand-breaded fried chicken and honey butter biscuits, the New Zealand restaurants will also include regional menu adaptations.


QSR Magazine 

Starbucks Inks Partnership in South Africa

Starbucks Coffee Company and Taste Holdings announced a licensed partnership that will see Starbucks stores open across South Africa. For the first time in Southern Africa, Starbucks will open full-format stores bringing the entire range of its food and beverages, including its ethically-sourced Arabica coffee, to South African consumers.

“We are proud to be bringing Starbucks to South Africa next year,” says Kris Engskov, president, Starbucks Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA). “Working with Taste, our partner, we’re going to deliver a great Starbucks experience. The coffee market here is vibrant and growing fast; we want to be part of that growth, bringing the passion and energy of this remarkable country into the design of our first store and our first barista team. We can’t wait to get started.”

The license agreement sees Taste owning the exclusive rights to develop Starbucks retail outlets in South Africa. As Taste is the licensee, it will own and operate the stores directly.

“We are very excited to be Starbucks partner in Southern Africa. As we’ve visited numerous Starbucks markets and partners around the world we’ve come to realize that we share similar core values, including a commitment to localization and uplifting both direct and indirect partners,” says Carlo Gonzaga, CEO of Taste. “Starbucks supports the development of local suppliers and is fully committed to our Changing Lanes program wherein we have provided employment to previously unemployed people and expose them to global training initiatives and skills. Overall we’re a good partnership match.”

The partnership will see direct job creation opportunities as each Starbucks store opens, in addition to opportunities at the Taste support office in Johannesburg. Taste expects that the indirect impact of skills transfer into South Africa, and the localization opportunities in the supply chain will be material. In addition, Starbucks and Taste have committed to continuing Taste’s Changing Lanes program, employing predominantly from currently unemployed youth directly from the communities in which they trade.

“Young people are the key to our success. The majority of our workforce is aged between 17 and 25 so talented youth has always been a priority and we will equip our new partners with the skills necessary to succeed in today’s economy. We look forward to using our partnership to leverage Taste’s strong track record of creating jobs and developing great people,” Engskov says. “Starbucks sources a considerable amount of its global, high-quality coffee from farms in sub-Saharan Africa, in partnership with our network of farmer support and agronomy centers in Ethiopia, Rwanda, and Tanzania. We are proud to be able to offer some of the best African coffees in the world to more customers in the region.”

“We’re looking forward to bringing the entire Starbucks experience to South Africa for the first time. That includes 100 percent ethically sourced Arabica coffee, Starbucks full menu offering and, of course, beautiful coffee houses,” Gonzaga says.


Cold Stone Announces Entry Into India

Cold Stone Creamery has announced its entry into India and Sri Lanka. Kahala Brands, the parent company of the Cold Stone Creamery brand, has joined forces with Tablez Food Company, part of Lulu Group International, LLC, to bring the “Ultimate Ice Cream Experience” to the ice cream lovers of India and Sri Lanka. The first store will open by the end of the year at the Lulu Mall, a premier mall in Kochi, India. Over the next five years, 40 locations in India and five locations in Sri Lanka are in the pipeline.

“Tablez Food Company is a leading organization in India and is a perfect fit for the Cold Stone Creamery brand,” says Eddy Jimenez, senior vice president of international operations and development at Kahala. “They specialize in unique, home-grown, and international cuisines, and have acquired the rights to many leading franchise concepts. Tablez Food Company is dedicated to seeking out concepts that bring inspiring experiences to their customers. With 40 Cold Stone Creamery stores planned over the course of the next five years, we know this will be a great market for accelerated growth.”

Lulu Group International LLC is diversified in retail, imports and exports, trading, shipping, IT, travel and tourism, and education. Tablez Food Company is operating multiple food and beverage brands spanning across India, Sri Lanka, and the UAE.

“Cold Stone Creamery offers the best quality product and offers an amazing in-store experience that the international market has embraced for a number of years,” says Shafeena Yussuf Ali, chairperson at Tablez Food Company. “We now want to bring this unique experience to the India and Sri Lanka markets where we strongly believe that people will embrace not only the quality of the product, but also the overall guest experience. We are proud, privileged, and excited to bring the brand to India and Sri Lanka.”

“Over the next five years, Tablez Food Company plans to invest around $11 to 13 million in the Cold Stone Creamery business across India and Sri Lanka. We plan to open the first Cold Stone Creamery at Lulu Mall in Kochi in November this year, followed by a few stores in Bangalore and subsequently other cities in India and Sri Lanka over the coming years,” adds Shafeena Yussuf Ali.

Cold Stone Creamery has continued to make strong key moves into the international market in recent years. The international growth of Cold Stone Creamery began in November 2005 when the company opened its first international store in Tokyo, Japan. Today, Cold Stone Creamery stores are operating in nearly 300 international locations and more than 25 countries, including the Philippines, Cyprus, Kuwait, Qatar, Trinidad, Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia.


Church’s Chicken to Expand in Thailand

In a move that marks the single largest international expansion in Texas Chicken history, the brand announced a deal to bring its restaurants to malls, inline locations, and standalone stores throughout Thailand. Of the 70 planned restaurants, one is already slated to open this year, and two more are nearing construction. The exclusive agreement with Public Company Limited (PTT), the Petroleum Authority of Thailand, will leverage PTT’s existing infrastructure throughout the region, as well as the company’s expertise with operations and the quick-service restaurant industry.

“The Texas Chicken brand story has resonated in the Southeast Asia market for a long time,” says Tony Moralejo, chief development officer at Texas Chicken. “We are honored to be working with another great company to share Texas Chicken’s high-quality food, which customers love throughout the region.”

Such large-scale expansions are a cornerstone to the brand’s international growth strategy. In fact, one of the key criteria for international franchisees is the willingness and ability to deliver countrywide presence in a relatively quick timeframe. Another motivating factor for the development agreement is the franchisor model, which is aimed at delivering maximum profitability for the franchisee or franchisee group. The new Thailand deal is most definitely a benchmark example of the strategy at work.

“PTT has a very diverse portfolio that includes concepts in the food and restaurant space. We are proud to add a premiere brand like Texas Chicken to our portfolio and introduce the popular restaurant chain to Thailand,” says Sarun Rungkasiri COO of Downstream Petroleum Business Group at PTT. “The legacies of both PTT and Texas Chicken are a perfect match, and we are looking forward to a long and prosperous future.”

“As one of the world’s leading companies, our new international franchisee is incredibly well respected within the region and ideally positioned to bring guests the Texas Chicken experience,” says Zack Kollias, executive vice president of international operations at Texas Chicken. “We’re looking forward to working together to create something truly special for this market.”

“Already the top protein choice in Southeast Asia, chicken is positioned to keep growing in the future,” says Bill Schreiber, vice president of worldwide business development at Texas Chicken. “Texas Chicken has an excellent track record of being the preferred fried chicken offering when compared to other brands.”


Halal Guys Enters Canada With Multi-Unit Deal

The Halal Guys has announced the signing of a five-unit franchise deal for territories in Toronto, Canada.  This is the brand’s 4th international franchise deal, and first for Canada, with other territories sold for the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

The Halal Guys have partnered with Fransmart, the company behind the explosive growth of restaurants like Five Guys Burgers and Fries and Qdoba Mexican Grill, as the brand’s exclusive franchise development partner, and the franchisee worked with Fransmart director of development, Mark Treptow, on the agreement.

Since joining up with Fransmart and announcing the launch of a franchise program in 2014, The Halal Guys has opened two corporate brick-and-mortar restaurants in Manhattan, and has more than 200 franchise units in development in territories including Houston, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Chicago, New Jersey, Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and the entire state of California—which sold out within the first months of franchising—as well as a handful of international markets.

The American Halal food favorite ranks in the Top 10 Most Yelped Businesses in the entire U.S., and Reebok recently launched a specialty sneaker inspired by The Halal Guys.