Archive for December, 2008

Happy New Year!!

It’s been a turbulent year full of ups and downs. It was easy to see some of the problems coming, while others seemed to come sideswiping in. Lawsuits, business closings, sky rocketing gas prices and outrageous food prices were somewhat expected, but this economy and the full depth of the slowdown have been more than anticipated.

But today we can put some of that behind us and look ahead to what the New Year brings. Hopefully it will bring new accomplishments or swift resolutions to your issues. Hopefully it will bring financial gains or at least minimal loses. If nothing else, I hope it puts you another step closer to your goal.

For me it’s been a positive year. I’ve had a great holiday, enjoyed the company of my family, accomplished a great deal at work, and focused on a lot of personal projects. I have a lot of things planned for 2009. There are new projects at work that will keep me busy and needed for the foreseeable future. There are lots of tasks to accomplish around the house, especially cleaning out that basement! And there are lots of places I want to visit over the summer.

Now whether I get to any of these or not is a different story, but at least I have a few things in mind. And let’s not forget a few changes I plan on making around here.

But for now, let the festivities begin! Its dinner and drinks for me tonight. Time to reflect on what was good over the past year and pause for a moment or two to learn from the mistakes.

I wish you all a wonderful and safe New Year and hope that even if things aren’t quite going the way you plan or expected, you can at least set that aside for the short term and look to the new opportunities ahead. It’s a day to wipe the slate clean, to forge ahead with all new expectations and opportunities. It’s a time to start over and give yourself a second chance. Seize the moment at what starting anew has to offer.

Wherever you are I wish you best and here’s to a wonderful New Year!!

Subway ranks #1 on the Entrepreneur Top 500 franchises

Even with troubling sales and economic issues Subway is still ahead of the curve, carving out several thousand new stores to open in the upcoming year. Not just a national outfit but also a global enterprise. Crazy talk or just good business sense?

Subway ranks as the #1 franchise for the 16th time. Pretty impressive.

Strangely, or perhaps not surprisingly, outfits like Super Suppers and Dream Dinners did not make the list. They may have hot the mark in 2006, but for this year, it wasn’t meant to be.

When Fred DeLuca and Peter Buck opened their first eateries in Bridgeport, Connecticut, 44 years ago, they debated whether to call their offering an Italian sandwich or simply a sub. They opted for the latter, and the rest, as they say, is history. Across the globe, the Subway sandwich, modeled after the classic Italian offering shaped like a submarine, is as ubiquitous as the hamburger. Subway even has seven outlets in Italy, the land of pizza and pasta. The privately held company has a total of 2,500 locations throughout Europe, and Asia. Latin America and the Middle East are also growth zones.

What about recession woes? In late 2008, the company surpassed the 30,000-restaurant mark. It has 1,600 stores scheduled to open this year. Another 2,400 franchisees have bought in and are waiting in line to open. And it’s on pace to overtake the king of fast food, McDonald’s, in outlet numbers within five years. CEO DeLuca, speaking on the phone from Amsterdam, says 2008–a time of stock market plunges, real estate busts and bank failures–was Subway’s “best year ever.”

Subway Hits the Spot – Entrepreneur.com

Holiday Sales Drop to Force Bankruptcies, Closings

Looks like a whole slew of retailers are going to face some uncertain times in the first part of 2009. Tens of thousands of stores are expected to close and several large retails are filing for bankruptcy protection.

Dec. 29 (Bloomberg) — U.S. retailers face a wave of store closings, bankruptcies and takeovers starting next month as holiday sales are shaping up to be the worst in 40 years.

Retailers may close 73,000 stores in the first half of 2009, according to the International Council of Shopping Centers. Talbots Inc. and Sears Holdings Corp. are among chains shuttering underperforming locations.

More than a dozen retailers, including Circuit City Stores Inc., Linens ‘n Things Inc., Sharper Image Corp. and Steve & Barry’s LLC, have sought bankruptcy protection this year as the credit squeeze and recession drained sales. Investors will start seeing a wide variety of chains seeking bankruptcy protection in February when they file financial reports, said Burt Flickinger.

Bloomberg.com: Worldwide

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Merry Christmas

I wanted to take a moment and wish you all a happy and wonderful Christmas! I’m having a grand time with my family and hope you’re doing the same. If you’re travelling during this holiday season, please be safe and take care of yourself.  Eat a lot, be lazy, watch TV and if you can spread a little good cheer those who might need it.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Another Fifteen Franchisees Sue Dream Dinners Attorneys

SNOHOMISH, Wash. (Blue MauMau) – Fifteen Dream Dinners franchise owners are suing the attorneys of the meal-assembly franchisor. The suit claims that the attorneys failed to comply with franchise laws in preparing the Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (called Franchise Disclosure Documents after June 2008). It also stipulates that franchisor’s lawyers helped oversee Dream Dinners’ misleading sales process with potential buyers. Lead attorney John R. Bender, Jr. of Ryan, Swanson & Cleveland, originally working with the prestigious law firm of Holland & Knight, is accused of breaching his duty to prospective franchise owners by not ensuring that the disclosure information he received from Dream Dinners matched other written sales representations. As a result, he and the two law firms are included in the franchisees’ original lawsuit against the company and its officers.

Claims of State Law Violations

Because the fifteen franchisees are from various states, the amended complaints assert violations of different states’ franchise laws. It also names which law firms were involved in the sale of franchises, depending on when the individual franchisees made their purchases. Other claims against Dream Dinners include common law fraud, negligent misrepresentation, breach of contract, and negligence of defendant attorneys. Plaintiff franchisees are requesting a jury trial and seeking rescission of their franchise agreements. Those still in operation will continue to operate their meal-preparation centers and pay royalties. Franchise operators are asking for damages, fees, interest and other costs.

Read more about this new round of lawsuits here:

Another Fifteen Franchisees Sue Dream Dinners Attorneys

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