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Posted on Jun 10, 2011

Franchise Fridays for June 10, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week

Five Guys CEO Loves In-N-Out BurgersFive Guys Burger & Fries Franchise - Five Guys Founder Jerry Murrell - Franchise Help

In the kind of brilliant, feel-good marketing move that's made it one of the most respected fast food franchises around, the Five Guys Burger and Fries franchise is showing another cult-favorite burger joint the love.

In a recent interview with The Street's Laurie Kulikowski, Five Guys founder and CEO Jerry Murrell lauds California burger chain In-N-Out Burger for helping raise the standards of the entire burger industry. Like his own brand, In-N-Out refuses to compromise the quality of its product, and, according to Murrell, "The more In-N-Out grows, the better it is for us. It creates a better image for the industry.”

Even though he credits some of Five Guys’ success to a west coast rival, Murrell knows his fast-growing chain is doing just fine on its own. Since it began franchising in 2002, Five Guys has exploded to more than 800 stores and has sold out all of its U.S territories. The system's sales have grown in step, with revenues up almost 38% last year to some $625 million.

Read more about Five Guys' amazing growth.

FranchiseHelp Franchise Facebook RankingsFacebook Plus One Like Button - Franchise Help

Hot off the press! FranchiseHelp’s latest Franchise Facebook Rankings, just released, provide the most comprehensive view to date of the franchises growing their Facebook reach and effectiveness vs. those who are largely ignoring (or just hapless with) the world’s largest social media platform.

The rankings provide a detailed breakdown of franchisors’ ability to grow its social media audience, its posting activity on Facebook, and its track record of generating engagement with their followers. You’ll see the big movers, the stragglers and some unexpected results.

Check out the Franchise Facebook Rankings and what it means for the franchise industry.

Teenagers Eat 24-hour PancakesDenny's Franchise - Denny's Pancake Stack - Franchise Help

You've probably seen the Denny’s franchise promotion of its all-you-can-eat pancake special for $4. Well, 7 boys from Mission Viejo, California, put that promotion to the test and ate pancakes for 24 straight hours in hopes of setting a world record. Each boy ate an average of 43 pancakes from 9 am on Sunday until Monday morning. The 7 pancake fanatics ordered a total 301 pancakes and consumed 7,000 calories each without syrups and toppings. They did warn the manager of the Denny’s location ahead of time of their plan but the manager still had to make a run for batter ingredients at midnight.

But not all's well that ends well: one kid vomited and another almost fell asleep on the loo. Not content to gross us all out with mere descriptions, the boys are planning to submit a video of their all-you-can-eat marathon, so look out for the entire hotcake horror show coming to a web-connected computer near you.

Read more about the boys who ate pancakes for 24 hours at Denny’s.

Dunkin' Donuts Fined for Child LaborDunkin' Donuts Franchise - Dunkin Violates Child Labor Laws - Franchise Help

Dunkin' D'OH! Four Dunkin' Donuts franchise owners were fined more than $10,000 after they were found violating Massachusetts child labor laws. Some of the franchise owners operate more than 4 Dunkin Donuts shops and not only employed minors without work permits, but had minors working before the earliest permissible hour, after the latest permissible hour, and more than the maximum number of daily work hours allowed under child labor laws. Please, sirs, they'd like no more!

As of the time of this writing, Dunkin' Donuts has not released any comment on the matter.

Read more about Dunkin' Donuts franchisees violating child labor laws.

Bojangles’ Opens 500th LocationDunkin' Donuts Franchise - Dunkin Violates Child Labor Laws - Franchise Help

Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits opened its 500th location in Surf City, N.C., Wednesday, and plans to open a restaurant every 9 days until the end of the year. The quick-serve chicken franchise is set to make $800 million in sales this year, of which 40% comes from its all-day breakfast menu.

Bojangles’ is planning to expand outside its core market of North/South Carolina and slowly expand to throughout the southeastern region, from Washington, D.C., to Orlando, Fla., to Tennessee and Alabama. The chain is in high demand as they receive franchise inquiries from around the country and from around the world, but the franchise is circumspect about attempting to expand at a similar pace as rapid-growth brands like the Subway franchise, Starbucks, and others.

Read more about the opening of Bojangles’ 500th store.

Au Bon Pain Redesigns StoresAu Bon Pain Franchise - Bag and Muffin - Franchise Help

The Au Bon Pain franchise is redesigning its restaurants to help increase customer traffic and expand menu offerings.  The bakery-café chain is adding a create-your-own-salad station containing 30 ingredients and improving store’s presentation by adding larger menu boards and new items. Five units are already revamped and have shown a 10% increase in same-store sales. The chain also changed the look of the décor by adding more oranges and greens, different colored aprons, and black uniforms.

Au Bon Pain has about 200 stores in the US.

Read more about Au Bon Pain’s new additions.

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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