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Posted on Jun 24, 2011

Franchise Fridays for June 24, 2011: Top Franchise and Small Business News of the Week

IHOP Will Bring Pancakes to Middle EastIHOP International House of Pancakes Franchise - IHOP Pancake Breakfast- Franchise Help

DineEquity, parent company to the IHOP franchise, is planning an aggressive expansion into the Middle East. Kuwait-based M.H. Alshaya Co. WLL has agreed to develop more than 40 of the signature fast casual restaurants in the next 5 years across the region, with target markets including Kuwait, UAE, and Saudi Arabia.  This isn't the first expansion outside of North America for IHOP, but it's certainly the largest international development deal in IHOP’s history. All of the breakfast chain's 1,513 units are currently located in the United States, Canada and Mexico.

Franchise operator M.H. Alshaya has about 55 retail brands under its belt, including Starbucks, P.F Changs and the Pinkberry franchise.

Read more about IHOP expanding to the Middle East.

Roark Capital Group Acquires Corner Bakery & Il FornaioRoark Capital Private Equity Group Acquires Corner Bakery and Il Fornaio - Roark Capital Logo - Franchise Help

Roark Capital Group, the Atlanta-based private equity firm which recently agreed to acquire a majority stake in the Arby's fast food chain, continues gobbling up the tasty assets. According to the firm's June 13 press release, Roark will acquire Il Fornaio (American) Corp, owner of the Corner Bakery Cafe franchise and Il Fornaio Restaurants and Bakeries chain. With this latest purchase, Roark has now invested in 20 franchise businesses that span 50 states and 43 countries.

As we reported in June 17's franchise news roundup, Roark already owns the Wingstop Restaurants franchise, Auntie Anne's Pretzels franchise, Carvel franchise, and many others (including the Cinnabon franchise, Schlotzsky's Deli franchise, Moe's Southwest Grill franchise, Batteries Plus franchise, Bosley's Pets franchise, FastSigns franchise, Money Mailer franchise, Atkins Nutritionals franchise, and portions of the Seattle's Best Coffee franchise system).

Pizza Hut Wins NBA WagerPizza Hut Franchise and Burger King Franchise - NBA Finals Wager - Franchise Help

After winning a bet with the U.S general manager of the Pizza Hut franchise on the outcome of the NBA finals, Steve Wiborg, president of the Burger King franchise, was forced to work at his counterpart's restaurant for a day. Wiborg was greeted by Pizza Hut employees and immediately given a crash-course on the pizza chain's service regimen.

True to his BK roots, Wiborg managed to make a Whopper pizza topped with all of the ingredients that typically compose a Whopper sandwich.

It's a quirky bet, to be sure, but when you combine the marketing genius of the #2 franchise in the pizza industry and the #2 operation in the burger industry, you get this kind of highly effective publicity stunt.
Read more about Burger King and Pizza Hut’s bet on the NBA finals.

Snap Fitness To Offer Free FranchiseSnap Fitness Gym Franchise - Gym Patrons - Franchise Help

Peter Taunton, Founder and CEO of the Snap Fitness franchise, announced the launch of his "Partner with Peter" contest that will award a free fitness franchise to one lucky winner. The prize covers the franchise fee, among other elements, and has an estimated monetary value of $250,000.

To enter a chance to win, you must provide your contact information, along with a brief essay explaining why you would make an ideal owner of a Snap Fitness franchise. Keep in mind that all of this must be done before the August 15th deadline.
A panel will choose 3 essays and their respective authors will then participate in an interview with Snap Fitness’ founder to find out the winner.

Read more about getting a free Snap Fitness franchise.

That’s all for this week from the staff at, the industry’s top independent provider of information on franchise opportunities, business opportunities, franchise documents, and more! Keep up with news & updates, sent straight to your inbox! Join thousands of others and sign up for the newsletter.

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