The team at Nashville-based franchisor Chem-Dry plans to open 122 locations this year, a number that is up from 109 in 2014 and will allow the company to grow its store base by about 3 percent. The addition of locations will focus both on U.S. and overseas markets.
This year, Chem-Dry will continue to catapult its growth, targeting healthy markets east of the Mississippi River such as Miami, Fla; Cincinnati, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wis.; Columbia, S.C.; Boston, Mass.; and New York City. Internationally, the company is targeting expansion for Bahrain, Oman, Lebanon, Philippines, Turkey, Germany, Poland, Hungary and Pakistan.
Captain D's maintained its sales momentum in the first quarter, putting up same-store growth of 4.9 percent, up from 4.1 percent in 2014. The Nashville-based company, which runs 512 restaurants in 26 states, also has added to its franchising plans with an agreement to develop six stores in Northwest Arkansas.
SEE ALSO: Captain D's franchise deals to add at least 14 stores from last month
Nashville-area viewers of CBS' "Undercover Boss" will have an extra reason to watch next Friday night, when the show features Gina Butler of Gigi's Cupcakes. Butler, founder and chief branding officer of the sweet treats chain that now runs almost 100 stores in 23 states, worked several different jobs in a number of her stores and called the experience "one of the most difficult and rewarding things" she's ever done — which says something, given that she had $33 in the bank when the first Gigi's opened its doors in 2008.
Gigi's, which late last year inked a franchise deal to break into South Korea, has in recent years expanded its offerings beyond cupcakes to include cheesecakes, pies and bread loaves, among other things. Alan Thompson, Butler's first landlord on the Midtown stretch of Broadway, has been on board as an executive for a while and last year took over as CEO. More recently, former O'Charley's and Southern Land CFO Chad Fitzhugh has joined the company as CFO and added president to his title, beefing up its organizational muscle as Butler and Thompson aim to get to more than 250 units. A recent Franchise Times story details those plans and the epiphany Butler and Thompson had about not being able to grow Gigi's to that size on their own.
Here's the release with the details about the "Undercover Boss" airing.
Butler also learned that each Gigi's location that she visited was operating with slightly different procedures, which led to some inconsistencies between the bakeries. As a result of "Undercover Boss," Butler has already made changes in the growing franchise, including hiring more staff to help with on-the-ground company operations and training. These key staff members now travel and are in the stores more frequently to implement procedures, improve processes and fine-tune customer service with the goal of making sure, no matter which Gigi's Cupcakes location you visit, it's all consistent.
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