Posted on Jul 29, 2011
Franchise Fridays for July 29, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week
Bojangles' Heads North
Southeast chicken and biscuits chain Bojangles has been acquired by Advent International. The Boston-based global private equity firm is buying the more popular fast-serve restaurant franchises around from Falfurrias Capital Partners, a Charlotte, North Carolina–based private equity firm that acquired the restaurant company in 2007. Executive vice president and general counsel for the Bojangles’ Famous Chicken n Biscuits franchise Eric Newman says the acquisition should have no ill effects on the growth of the popular restaurant franchise opportunity. “We like them a lot and we think it’s going to add resources to what we do,” Newman says. “I think their strategies are going to match very well with what we’re doing.”
Bojangles’ recently opened its 500th unit after adding more than 100 units in the past 4 years. As far as sales, the company has grown to nearly $800 million system-wide. “We’re coming into the transaction with an excellent record both qualitatively and quantitatively, and I think [Advent International has] told us this is part of what attracted them to us,” Newman says. Despite its new New England home, the franchise will continue to focus on it core markets of Virginia, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, and Mississippi.
More on Bojangles' here.
Dunkin' Goes Public, Plans World Domination
The Dunkin' Donuts franchise has gone public after selling its IPO shares on Wednesday. The private-equity trio of Bain Capital, Carlyle and Thomas H. Lee Partners will hold more than 3/4 of the shares of the company. In its IPO documents, the Dunkin' outlined its plans to expand to "existing markets east of the Mississippi River." That's because, down there, there is only one Dunkin' Donuts for every 48,400 people. Compare that to the one D.D. per 9,700 people in New England.
The fast-serve franchise, despite its name, is probably actually best known for its coffee. About 60% of Dunkin' Donuts' sales are accounted for by drinks. By going public, the company added over $400 million of funding.
Read more here.
Happy Healthy Meal
The McDonald's franchise is making headlines, yet again, regarding the nutritional value (or lack thereof) in its food. However, this time, it's probably for the best. The (in)famous fast-food joint, known to play well to kids and their deepest desires, is making a change to its Happy Meals to further improve its struggling image. Rather than a small serving of fries to accompany the main course and soda in a Happy Meal, kids will now receive a half-serving of both fries and apple slices -- notably, with no sugary caramel sauce included. This change comes in addition to the restaurant expanding its drink options to include milk and juice instead of just soda.
McDonald's plans to introduce this new Happy Meal by September of this year in select locations. By the end of the first quarter of 2012, consumers can expect Happy Meals at each of the restaurant's U.S. locations to offer this new, healthier Happy Meal.
Read more about the increasingly health-conscious fast-food joint.
Burger Chain Has a Cow
Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. But if you ask popular privately owned burger joint In-N-Out Burger, it's also the quickest way to get your [butt] sued out of business. In-N-Out has filed a law suit against Burger Express, a local Idaho restaurant, claiming it has jacked the In-N-Out style -- from the color scheme of the restaurant's logo to the presentation of its burgers. Burger Express founder Larry Squillace never meant any harm, saying, "This goliath company just wants to pop our bubble and take all our dreams and smash 'em." Maybe, Mr. Squillace, but if no changes are made to Burger Express by August 5th -- the date given by In-N-Out lawyers to dispose of any hint of In-N-Out inspired designs -- be prepared to feel the wrath of a 60 year old burger juggernaut.
In-N-Out has been around since 1948 and has been a major player in the better-burger industry ever since. Check back here at FranchiseHelp.com next week for our profile of the prime time players in the better-burger industry and which franchises to keep an eye out for.
More on the battle of the burger joints.
Magnolia Set to Spread its Seed
The increasingly popular cupcake chain Magnolia Bakery received approval earlier this week to sell franchise opportunities. After being named on Sex in the City as a favorite of fictional sex columnist Carrie Bradshaw -- Sarah Jessica Parker's character -- Magnolia gained tons of attention and, subsequently, customers.
Store co-owner Steve Abrams says that "the time is right" to expand, and he and his team are eyeing various locations across the globe such as Hong Kong, India, Qatar, Kuwait and Brazil. All franchisees will receive manuals including special Magnolia-specific recipes for cupcakes -- and success -- to ensure that a consistent product is being delivered, no matter where it is served.
After opening in 1996 in Greenwich Village, the company quickly expanded its menu of fresh bread and cinnamon roles to include a full list of yummy desserts. The Abrams family bought into what would apparently turn out to be one of the better business opportunities in 2007 and never looked back.
That’s all for this week from the staff at FranchiseHelp.com, the industry’s top independent provider of information on franchise opportunities, business opportunities, franchise documents, and more! Keep up with FranchiseHelp.com news & updates, sent straight to your inbox! Join thousands of others and sign up for the FranchiseHelp.com newsletter.
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