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Franchise Daily Digest: April 29

Franchise Daily Digest: April 29

Reopenings beginning to happen as the franchise industry responsibly tackles the challenges of COVID-19.

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Yum China reports 179 new openings in first quarter of 2020

Yum China Holdings, Inc., the exclusive rights holder to KFC, Pizza Hit, and Taco Bell in China, has published its first-quarter 2020 results. These results were significantly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, with approximately 35 per cent of the group’s stores being closed by mid-February. As of the release of these results, however, around 99 per cent of stores are now either partially or fully open.

During the COVID-19 lockdown in China, Yum China prioritized contactless delivery to support its staff and customers, and 35 per cent of the group’s sales in the first quarter came from delivery; a 16 per cent increase year over year. Net income for the first quarter declined 72 per cent to $62m, from $222m in the prior year.

Yum China opened 179 new stores during this period, and the majority of these opened in January before the Chinese New Year. New store construction was then interrupted by the outbreak, but resumed with four store openings in late March.

McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO: “We will only reopen when we are absolutely confident we can have the right measures in place to ensure everybody’s wellbeing”

In a statement released by the CEO of McDonald’s UK and Ireland, Paul Pomroy, it was revealed that the ubiquitous fast-food franchise would be exploring the possibility of reopening its stores in a limited capacity. The full statement is as follows:

Paul Pomroy's statement on the opening of McDonald's UK and Ireland
Paul Pomroy’s statement on the opening of McDonald’s UK and Ireland

Dogtopia opens first location in Barrie, Ontario

Dogtopia, the winner of the Best Lifestyle Franchise award at the Global Franchise Awards 2020, has opened its first store in Barrie, Ontario, as reported by Barrie Today. The new location was originally scheduled to open in March, but was postponed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We have realized that some of those people working in jobs that have been deemed essential by the Ontario government have been left without options for dog-care,” said Greg Lawson, owner of the new site. “We know how important the work they are doing to serve our community is and also know the peace of mind that having their dog properly taken care of while they are at work can provide, so we are happy to be able to safely offer this service.”

Hungry Howie’s Pizza hires Tonya Michael as new VP of operations

Hungry Howie’s Pizza, the U.S. pizza franchise with around 550 locations in 20 states, has appointed Tonya Michael as the company’s new vice president of operations. Formerly a franchise business partner at McDonald’s, Michael comes to Hungry Howie’s with more than two decades of restaurant sector experience.

“In the unprecedented times we face, if everyone can agree on one thing, it’s a love for delicious pizza,” said Michael. “I am honored to join the Hungry Howie’s team, and look forward to creating an unparalleled experience for our franchisees that will propel the brand forward.”

Firehouse Subs reopens store in Denver

Following systemwide closures, Firehouse Subs has now opened its Denver location for call-in phone orders, orders made through the Firehouse Subs website or app, or third party delivery and takeout services.

The Denver location is open from 10:30am to 9:00pm seven days a week, and will have two parking spots dedicated to customers getting meals to-go.

Jabz launches weekly wellness series and partners with Gympass

Every Sunday, members of the Jabz network will be able to participate in the boxing-focused franchise’s workouts from the comfort of their own homes. The weekly sessions will include live Q&As and instructor-led workouts, to boost physical, mental, and emotional health. Jabz has also partnered with Gympass, so users of the app will be able to participate in these sessions and stream them from wherever they may be.

“The weekly wellness series content is intended to provide valuable information, tips, and classes, live-streamed for free to our Facebook and YouTube channels for all to enjoy,” said Danielle Scott, president of Jabz. “We’ve handpicked some of the top leaders specializing in adjacent wellness practices for the series – their complementary expertise will allow everyone, everywhere to have a more holistic sense of wellness while feeling supported in their fitness journeys.”

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