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Franchise Daily Digest: March 24

Franchise Daily Digest: March 24

Advice, free services, and collaborative Zoom conferences populate today’s biggest headlines.

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With the coronavirus crisis ongoing, many brands are enacting policies and changes to protect the wellbeing of staff and consumers. We’ve collated all of the biggest news and information below, for today’s franchise daily digest:

Self Esteem Brands launches digital package to support stay-at-home fitness enthusiasts

Despite the worldwide push for self-isolation, gym-goers still need to find a convenient and intuitive way to achieve their fitness goals.

This is where the newly-released package from Self Esteem Brands comes in, which sees three of its franchise brands – Anytime Fitness, The Bar Method, and Basecamp Fitness – wholly embrace a digital offering.

“We know that Americans and people around the world depend on our brands to keep them healthy,” said Chuck Runyon, co-founder and CEO of Self Esteem Brands. “We believe now is the time to respond to the needs of people around the globe who are self-isolation as a result of the spread of COVID-19.”

These new offerings include:

Anytime Fitness

  • Daily themed workouts that can be accessed free of charge through Facebook Live
  • Health and wellness content twice a week from the brand’s health coaches
  • Traditional fitness programming available virtually for a fee from local clubs

Basecamp Fitness

  • Instagram Live content delivered by high-energy instructors across the U.S.
  • Challenges and community tracking through the Basecamp Fitness app
  • Health coaching and recovery content

The Bar Method

  • From March 25, one 30-minute complimentary workout will be offered on weekdays
  • Longer form, traditional sessions are available for a fee to clients

“Our franchisees are independent, small business owners who care deeply about their communities,” said Dave Mortensen, president and co-founder of Self Esteem Brands. “Coaching members virtually and this content series are ways for our franchisees to keep supporting their friends and neighbors.”

Naranga offers free services to franchise clients

Naranga, a franchise management software specialist that works with brands such as Crunch Fitness, Ben & Jerry’s, and British Swim School, is offering its services for free for 90 days, starting from March 20. This offer is extended to non-clients, as well as brands that already work with the organization.

“It’s no secret that the current crisis is taking a toll on businesses everywhere, especially the franchise networks that are made up primarily of small businesses,” said Naranga founder and CEO, Tariq Farid. “During times like this it is critical that we all come together and do what we can to help each other get through the next few months. Many franchise systems don’t have the capability to conduct business remotely both internally and with their customers. Our services will help them address that need that is so important right now.”

Little Caesars focusing on safety

Little Caesars, the international pizza franchisor operating in 50 U.S. states and 26 countries and territories, has put steps in place to ensure the safety and wellbeing of its staff and customers. This includes contactless options for both carry out and delivery, and an industry-first pickup option – Pizza Portal – where customers can collect their order from a no-contact heated compartment using a QR code sent to their smartphone.

“While we’ve always been the place people go for an affordable meal in a pinch, the public is relying on us now more than ever,” says president and CEO, Dave Scrivano. “We can provide them with something very few other businesses can – a safer way to get inexpensive meals for their families, just when they need them the most. We’ve been doing this for decades.”

Papa John’s to hire 20,000 new staff members immediately

In order to deal with delivery orders and take-away, Papa John’s announced it would be hiring 20,000 new members of staff immediately. In some restaurant locations, this means that jobseekers can apply today and start working the same day.

“For anyone looking for immediate ways to earn an income, we’re making it quick and simple to apply, interview and be hired at Papa John’s,” said Marvin Boakye, Papa John’s chief people and diversity officer. “We want to add talented team members to our Papa John’s family across the country to deliver food safely to our customers’ doorsteps. We are in the unique position – as a restaurant that specializes in delivery and carryout – to help our communities through this crisis.”

GYMGUYZ takes personal training digital

GYMGUYZ, an in-home personal training franchise operating in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, is bringing its fitness offering to the masses with various digital delivery methods that ensure clients can still maintain their fitness goals while staying safe at home.

The offerings include a remote workout to be streamed on Facebook weekly, which is targeted at healthcare workers, home-workers, and self-quarantined individuals who can’t enjoy exercise outside for this period of international uncertainty. The brand is also offering a workout migration program for members of gyms who currently can’t take advantage of their membership, and customers are encouraged to contact their local GYMGUYZ location for more information specific to their needs.

“No one is unaffected by the coronavirus, which is why GYMGUYZ is eager to continue giving back to the communities we serve and help current and new clients stay fit during this difficult time,” said Josh York, GYMGUYZ founder and CEO. “Exercise is one of the best ways to boost your immune system and cope with stress. GYMGUYZ remains committed to our mission of helping clients meet their fitness goals at a time when health and well-being are more important than ever.”

Bluebird Care launches COVID-19 toolkit for franchise partners

Bluebird Care, an in-home care franchise in the U.K., has assembled a COVID-19 toolkit for its franchisees to educate on best practices and provide guidance and support where necessary. This is a dynamic package, which will grow and change as the current situation evolves.

“Obviously delivering care to those who have a critical need is and will continue to be important,” said Neil Murray, head of compliance and quality. “As such, reinforcement of the producers for putting on protective clothing – aprons, gloves, masks, show covers etc – before entering customers’ homes, ensuring hands are washed properly and regularly and subsequently disposing of the PPE on leaving customers’ homes is a key area of focus for us.”

IFA provides guidance and resources for franchises

The IFA is doing all it can to support franchises and small businesses, by providing up-to-date guidance and information about the various relief packages and legislation designed to alleviate financial strain caused by COVID-19.

Collaborative webinar designed to support the wider franchise community

Scorpion, Fishman PR, FisherZucker, and Franchisors.com have teamed up with the leading franchise brands and professionals to discuss best practices and short-to-medium term strategies in an open-to-all webinar.

The online webinar takes place on Wednesday March 25, at 12pm PST (3pm EST). Attendees can expect advice on crisis management, marketing, and PR, as well as answers to their most pressing franchise questions.

Fieldfisher provides timely advice

Fieldfisher, a European law firm with specialists in franchising, has provided advice on how franchise and distribution networks can respond to challenges caused by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.

“In these unprecedented times, there is no oven ready blueprint for how businesses can respond,” said Gordon Drakes and David Bond, co-heads of franchising and commercial at Fieldfisher. “However, we have put together some high level thoughts, which we hope will help businesses respond to the challenges ahead and hopefully even emerge on stronger footing because of them.”

Titus Zoom franchise conference

The Titus Center for Franchising will be hosting a Zoom conference this Thursday, March 26, beginning at 11:00am EST, and focusing on what franchisors can do now in relation to COVID-19.

Hosts include Ray Titus, founder of United Franchise Group, AJ Titus, president of Signarama, Geoff Seiber, CEO of FranFund, and Alan Burger, attorney for McDonald Hopkins.

Topics set to be covered will include pertinent legal issues, relief packaging, and what the hosts’ brands are doing differently to prevail in challenging times.

KFC closes all U.K. locations

After taking precautionary measures last week to limit human interaction and safeguard customers and employees, KFC has now shut all of its U.K. stores – both corporate-owned and franchised – until further notice.

An update released by the brand read as follows: “We’ve decided, together with our franchise partners, to begin closing our restaurants to help protect the wellbeing and safety of our teams and of our guests.

“We’re committed to doing this in the right way and are focussed on closing responsibly – to prepare our restaurant teams, help our suppliers and minimise food waste. All our restaurants will begin closing from the end of this evening (23rd March) until further notice.

“It’s not a decision we’ve taken lightly, but it’s in the best interests of both our incredible teams and all the fans that love our chicken.”

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