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Posted on Apr 01, 2011

Franchise Fridays for April 1, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week

How Many Donuts Can $500 Million Buy?IPO announced for Dunkin Donuts

Dunkin' Brands Inc. is considering a 2011 IPO that could raise anywhere from $500 to $750 million. Dunkin' Brands, which owns the Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins franchise systems, has not yet chosen an investment bank to lead the charge on its IPO.  Dunkin' was taken private nearly 6 years ago in a deal led by private equity giants Bain Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

Additional details on the IPO are being kept quiet. "We do not respond to rumors or speculation. We are focused on operating our business and helping our franchisees drive revenues and profits at their restaurants," Dunkin' Brands said in a statement.

Read more about the potential Dunkin Donuts IPO.

Pizza Hut Feels the HeatPizza Hut Feeling Minimum Wage Case Heat

The minimum wage case concerning Pizza Hut’s largest franchisee, NPC International Inc., and its drivers is picking up steam.  U.S. District Judge John W. Lungstrum granted conditional certification for the drivers in a case that centers around minimum wage laws being violated when you factor in the unreimbursed costs of operating their vehicle.

Basically, the case is centered around the fact that 20,000 to 30,000 drivers for NPC International Inc were paid below the minimum wage due to not being reimbursed for driving their personal vehicles. They were paid at a rate far less than the IRS mileage reimbursement rate which caused their effective pay to fall below minimum wage.

The class certification covers drivers employed at about 1,135 Pizza Hut stores owned by NPC International in 28 states.

No word yet if NPC International will seek to mollify their underpaid delivery drivers with once-in-a-lifetime offers on a stuffed crust pizzas.

Read more about the Pizza Hut minimum wage case.

Ubiquitous Sbarro Pizza to file Chapter 11Sbarro The Italian Eatery files for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection

Sbarro Inc., the famous QSR pizza chain found in nearly every mall in America, is preparing to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection next week.

The company suffered a $29 million loss over the fist nine months of 2010, in addition to ending in the red for 2009. With the economy hurting, fewer people have been going to malls, which means that fewer people have been buying a slice (or two) from Sbarro.

Can you even picture a mall without Sbarro?

Read more about the Sbarro bankruptcy.

Burger King: Making More Movesboardroom shuffle

Burger King Holdings have announced that John W. Chidsey will be stepping down as the co-chairman of its board of directors effective as of April 18.  In addition, manager for product innovation Robert Thomas stepped down Wednesday, making him the latest of several executives to exit the burger operation.

This announcement is just the latest in a string of executive departures at Burger King since the October acquisition of the company by private equity firm 3G Capital.

Read more about Burger King's executive reshuffling.

Kripsy Kreme Finally Profitablekrispy kreme franchise announces it is now profitable Again

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts Inc. posted its first profitable year since 2004. It was reported that countless irresistible, sugary, tasty, diet-busting donuts raided consumer wallets and corporate status meetings to the tune of $7.6 million in net income for fiscal 2011. This is a massive improvement from a loss of $200,000 in fiscal 2010.

The top executive at Krispy Kreme credited higher operating income of $19.2 million and the first year-over-year growth in revenue since fiscal 2005 for the profitable year.

Looking to double down on its sweet success, the donuts franchise announced that it will increase prices and ramp up expansion efforts, opening from five to ten company stores, five to fifteen domestic franchise stores and 30 international franchise units during fiscal 2012.

Read more about Krispy Kreme's announcement of profitability.

Jimmy John’s Franchisee Fires Union WorkersSick Jimmy Johns Franchise Sandwich Makers

The owner of 10 Jimmy John’s gourmet sandwich shops in Minnesota has fired six union organizers of the Industrial Workers of the World after, according to the workers, they put up 3,000 posters to promote a campaign to win paid sick days. Franchisee President Michael Mulligan explained, “The posters dishonestly state that Jimmy John’s workers are forced to work while sick and suggest that the health of customers is at risk when eating at our restaurants.”

According to a study done by Restaurant Opportunities Centers United, 88% of workers reported not receiving paid sick days and 63% of all restaurant workers admitted to cooking and serving food while sick. One of the terminated employees contends that minimum wage workers cannot afford to take a day off to recuperate when they fall sick.

Read more about the Jimmy John's worker sick-day issue and see the campaign poster.

That’s all for this week from the staff at, the industry’s top independent provider of franchise opportunitiesfranchise documents, and franchise information.

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