Tuesday, January 24, 2006

McAlister's Deli Opens 200th Restaurant

A growing network of successful franchisees combined with the increasing popularity of McAlister’s Deli, and an acquisition by Roark Capital Group helped lead the chain to record-setting numbers in several categories in 2005.

Headquartered in Ridgeland, MS, McAlister’s opened 34 franchised restaurants in 2005. System wide sales reached a record-setting high of $205 million, an increase of 27 percent over 2004. McAlister’s also had eight individual restaurants surpass $2 million in sales, and two of those locations that exceeded $2.5 million. Continued growth is expected in 2006.

McAlister’s has been profitable in each of its 17 years with a fast-casual concept that produces average yearly sales of $1.3 million in its restaurants that encompass 18 states.

The company recently reached another milestone: The opening of the 200th restaurant in Starksville, Mississippi. Read all about it in the Starksville Daily Journal.

New Year's Resolution to Become Your Own Boss?

While it may not be as popular as resolving to lose weight or quit smoking, many people tired of the corporate grind have resolved to start their own business this year. A recent story in Maryland's Daily Times tells the stories of Signs by Tomorrow owner Jerry McClymont and FiltaFry owner Scott Brinsfield who both say this is one of the most important resolutions a person can make.

Mexican Chains Expanding in Phoenix

Salsa is now the number one condiment in America and franchisors of Mexican concepts are looking to capitalize on that. Check out a recent story in The Business Journal of Phoenix on El Taco Tote and Cantina Laredo's expansion plans for the area.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

This Ain't Your Momma's Ice Cream Store

As a kid, I would often ride my bike to the local 31 Flavors for a 99 cent cone during the summer. While it's hard to find a 99 cent cone these days, it's getting easier to find a mighty good ice cream cone, shake, sundae or whatever your poison is.

Read about the new breed of ice cream stores such as Oberweis Dairy and Cold Stone Creamery in the current issue of Nation's Restaurant News.

Anticipate your landlord's next move

Todd Watkins, owner of 21 Martinizing Dry Cleaning stores across Detroit, felt that the location of his most profitable store at 1219 South Main Street in Royal Oak was in jeopardy. In 1994, Holiday Market, an upscale grocer and the tenant of the strip mall where Watkins' dry cleaning business was located, experienced its first expansion. Martinizing was asked to move to the end of the shopping center. This worked out well for Martinizing because they were also growing and needed the bigger space. However, Watkins could foresee another expansion for Holiday Market as more and more professionals moved into the city of Royal Oak during its rebirth. Watkins wanted to stay where he was because the Holiday Market brought him customers but he did not want to be without a location the next time Holiday Market decided to expand.

In 1999, anticipating further expansion of Holiday Market, Todd Watkins purchased a building two blocks from his current location at 1015 South Main Street as an insurance policy in case Martinizing was asked to move again. They rented it to Auto One, an automotive detailing store, for five years. Before he signed the contract, however, Watkins made sure he would be able to stay in his current location for at least five years. As it turns out, Holiday Market was ready for its next round of expansion after five years. Watkins just moved to his new location. Read about his expereince in the Detroit News.

Seinfeld Story Turns into Real Life Soup Franchise

Everyone knows the famous Seinfeld episode where the “Soup Nazi” made his mark on pop culture. But there was a real New York City soup slinger it was based on. Now the The Original Soupman restaurants are branching out as detailed in this Philadelphia based story. For more info on The Original Soupman franchise go here.

Franchises Growing at Home

According to Franchising.com, home based franchises are a growing trend. The main factors include the low overhead, lower cost of entry, lack of a commute, flexible schedules and no co-workers to deal with. Franchises like Expetec, molly Maid, Mr. handyman and others are popular home based franchises.