News With A Side Of Fries: Your March 29 Franchise Roundup

Written by on March 29, 2011 in Small Business News - 1 Comment

Today, BizEngine is hitting you with a piping-hot plate of news from around the world of franchise. Get your forks and knives ready.

I’m Lovin’ The Donations

There’s been a rush of restaurants sending aid to Japan, which is wracked by death and destruction in the wake of an earthquake, tsunami and ongoing nuclear crisis. According to, McDonald’s is leading the pack in those donations, having pledged some $2 million through the Red Cross.

They’re followed by Starbucks, who have pledged $1.2 million thus far and to match any contributions made by employees, which should drive bring that up further. It’s great to see the charitable spirit is alive and well in our nation’s fast food franchises, isn’t it?

Franchise Flexibility

If you’re a franchisee, chances are good you’re going to have certain tenets in terms of look, menus or products and the like that are basically unalterable. That consistency is part of what makes franchises so appealing.

What if you’re locating a franchise abroad, though, where the tastes are different and the expectations haven’t been set? Then you want to find the fine balance between the familiar look and feel of the franchise and the regional alterations to make in order to suit the local environment.

For restaurants, that might mean introducing some new menu items that don’t appeal to American palettes, or it might be re-doing the layout to fit a more communal dining style, like the one the article linked above notes is more popular in the United Kingdom. Whatever it may be, it’s a good idea to mix formula with flexibility.

An Ill Omen For Franchises

I hate to deliver bad news, but according to, a lack of franchising funding could lead to the loss of some 80,000 jobs in the industry by the end of 2011. That is grim.

According to the International Franchise Association, the franchise capital necessary to fuel growth or at least an even keel among franchises would be about $10.4 billion, and it’s widely forecast that it will fall about 20 percent short of that. The IFA and others will be holding a summit in April to address those concerns, but it’s hard to imagine that billions are going to materialize out of thin air.

Let’s hope I’m wrong about that.

Got franchise news tips? Let us know!

Photo credit to waggaway at

About the Author

Dave Choate is the lead writer for BizEngine, longtime blogger and voracious reader of all things business and news. Dedicated to delivering small business news, information and analysis that matters.

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