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Franchise Daily Digest: April 1

Franchise Daily Digest: April 1

Virtual conferences and free chicken are some of the biggest headlines in today’s franchise news briefing.

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Catherine Monson details her five characteristics of successful people

Catherine Monson, CEO of FASTSIGNS and the new IFA chair, recently released a video detailing her five characteristics that all successful people must possess. Make sure to check it out below:


KFC providing one million pieces of chicken, free of charge

Kentucky Fried Chicken has announced it will send one million pieces of chicken to its restaurants across the U.S., at no cost to franchisees, to support the small, family-owned locations and the communities they continue to serve during the ongoing health crisis. Recipient restaurants will be enabled to cook and serve this chicken however they deem fit; whether providing meals to frontline health workers, or donating to local hunger organizations.

“Seeing our franchisees coming together and helping their neighbors during this crisis has inspired us to do more,” said Kevin Hochman, president, KFC U.S. “Many KFC restaurants across the U.S. are small, family-owned businesses, and while they are facing uncertainty, they continue to keep their restaurants open every day to feed our customers. During this unprecedented time, our franchisees are also helping make sure those in need are able to enjoy the comfort and familiarity of a hot meal.”

Papa John’s provides update in response to COVID-19

Papa John’s International Inc. has released an update of its current positioning in relation to COVID-19. In several international markets, such as Ireland, Peru, and the Philippines, all stores have closed due to government policies, whereas others such as North America are almost fully operational.

“Our team members’ health and safety is always our top priority, and even more so now because of the critical importance of their work. We have implemented extra health and safety measures across our business, including No Contact Delivery, for the protection of both our customers and team members,” said Rob Lynch, president and CEO. “We have expanded our benefits to include free virtual doctor visits. This is in addition to existing benefits of no-cost mental health support, affordable health plan options and access to the Papa John’s Team Member Emergency Relief Fund, if and when needed. We have also ramped up our hiring to provide thousands of jobs to workers displaced by the impact of COVID-19.”

Titus Center for Franchising to host virtual food franchise conference

On April 2, 2020, at 1pm EST, the Titus Center for Franchising will host a virtual Zoom conference focused on providing information and guidance to food franchisors. The conference, titled ‘The New Normal for Food Franchisors & Franchisees’, will be led by Cheikh Mboup, president and COO of Edible Arrangements, Madison Jobe, chief development officer of Wingstop, and Craigh Erlich, president and CEO of Brix Holdings.

Anybody unable to attend the conference will be able to view it after the fact on the Titus Center’s site.

Planet Fitness provides update in response to COVID-19

Planet Fitness, one of the largest fitness franchises with more than 2,000 locations in 50 U.S. states, as well as gyms in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Canada, the Dominican Republic, Panama, Mexico, and Australia, has provided an update on its current stance with regards to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“The health and safety of our members, team members, and the communities we operate in is our top priority, and as such we are extending our temporary store closures until further notice,” commented Chris Rondeau, CEO of Planet Fitness. “We entered 2020 in a very strong financial position, and have taken additional steps to proactively strengthen our financial liquidity and flexibility during these unprecedented times. We believe we have sufficient liquidity to carry us well beyond the end of this year, even in the event that clubs remain closed for the rest of 2020. Given the significant near-term disruption to our business caused by COVID-19 and uncertainty around when conditions normalize, we have decided to withdraw our 2020 outlook at this time.”

Currently, all domestic and international Planet Fitness locations system-wide are temporarily closed until further notice.

Code Ninjas now facilitating at-home learning

Code Ninjas, the educational coding franchise preparing kids for the careers of tomorrow, is now working hard to facilitate at-home learning so that its students can continue to learn despite not being able to attend the franchise concept’s proprietary centers.

“As a parent of two myself, I understand how difficult it can be managing children’s education and ensuring learning loss doesn’t become a long-term consequence of these unforeseen circumstances,” said David Graham, CEO and co-founder. “We’re heavily invested in the wellbeing of our ninjas and their families, so providing a resource that might offer some sense of normality during a time of unpredictability is of the utmost importance to us. Whilst ninjas can’t progress through the programme formally until they’re back in the Dojo, under the guidance of a sensei, they can have fun working through familiar games at home.”

Bird & Bird compiles advice for small businesses

Bird & Bird, a U.K.-based law firm with specialists in franchising, has put together a summary of the measures introduced by the U.K. government that directly impact fast food outlets, cafes, coffee shops, and restaurants, as well as the financial assistance available for these types of businesses. The document is being updated as new regulations emerge.

CNBCAfrica releases video content about impact of COVID-19 on South Africa’s franchise industry

CNBCAfrica has published video content detailing exactly how COVID-19 will affect South Africa’s franchise industry, as many of the country’s non-essential suppliers have been forced to close since Friday March 27.

Mothercare delays Boots franchise deal and furloughs employees

Mothercare, the retail brand that last year closed all of its stores, has postponed its franchise deal with Boots that would see it become Boots’ exclusive franchisee in the U.K. The deal, agreed in December, now expects the arrangement to be completed by late summer.

Mothercare previously had 430 of its staff working in Boots Mini-Club, a clothing brand available at larger Boots stores in the U.K. In light of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, all of these workers have now been furloughed with government support.

“In the UK, whilst many of our key UK head office staff are working productively from home, a number of our retail personnel are unable to do so,” said a Mothercare representative. “Accordingly, whilst U.K. government support for furloughed workers has been enacted for around 430 of our Boots Mini-Club retail colleagues, this will still result in incremental operating costs for the Group.”

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