Archive for February, 2009

Laid Off? No New Job? How Bad Can It Get?

Want to start formulating a plan for the “end time”, then follow the link. Considering check lists like this are even coming out, it makes me pretty nervous. It really seems like some bleak times are just up ahead and even if you’re not directly affected it’s going to have an impact one way or another. I don’t know if this is a survival guide, but I bet it’s not the last time we see a checklist like this.

But look on the bright side, if you do have to foreclose and so does everyone else, they’ll actually be way too busy to come after you for at least 12 months…

Unemployment hit 7.6% last month, with 11.6 million people out of work, and the number of people experiencing joblessness for more than six months has continued to increase, growing to more than 2.6 million in January, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Laid Off? No New Job? How Bad Can It Get?

Defaults by Franchisees Soar as the Recession Deepens

Still topping the charts!!

From ice-cream parlors to tanning salons, franchisees’ defaults on loans guaranteed by the U.S. Small Business Administration are piling up in amounts unseen in years. A list of loans at 500 franchises shows the number of defaults by franchisees increased 52% in the fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2008, from fiscal 2007. Loan losses totaled $93.3 million, a 167% jump from $35 million just 12 months earlier.

The franchise brands where at least 11 franchisees defaulted on loans during the 2008 fiscal year were: Aamco Transmissions, Carvel Ice Cream, CiCi’s Pizza, Cold Stone Creamery, Curves for Women, Domino’s Pizza, Dream Dinners, Planet Beach tanning salons, Quiznos, Subway and Taco Del Mar.

Loan Defaults by Franchisees Soar

But fear not, it’s just a “pause”, a “shakeout”, “a small bump in the road”, business is still “rockin'”… Or you can take comfort in the double-digit same store sales that you must be enjoying; at least according to Darin:

“Dream Dinners Inc. CEO Darin Leonard says, “We are not involved in the transaction between an individual franchisee and their bank. As an organization, we are experiencing double-digit same-store sales increases in a very difficult retail climate.” “

Double-digit compared to what? When? What benchmark is being used here? I’m sure we’d all love to know how that was calculated.


Sean Kelly at FranchisePick has these additional figures for us:

FRANCHISE # Loans 2001-08 # Defaults 2008
10.  Dream Dinners 61 11

By percentage of defaults to total loans, meal prep kitchen Dream Dinners had the highest, with 18% of franchisees having defaulted thus far.

FRANCHISE % 2008 Defaults to Total Loans
1.  Dream Dinners 18.03%

Franchise Loan Defaults:

Food Stamp Demand Soars As Economy Sours

Will we see more of this as the economy continues to worsen and more companies announce layoffs and cutbacks? And how will this impact retailers, especially those in food?

There were 30 percent more on this aid in January than a year earlier.

The number of people on food stamps in Polk rose to 69,724 in January, a 30 percent jump from a year before when there were 53,474 recipients.

“It’s due to the businesses shutting down locally and the inability to find jobs,” she said.

Food Stamp Demand Soars As Economy Sours

Bacteria Worries Prompt Potato Recall

Let’s hope this doesn’t turn into another peanut incident.

BALTIMORE — Two grocers have issued a recall on several potato products.

The products were recalled by Northern Star Co., a subsidiary of food processor Michael Foods Inc. The recalled items all have “use by” dates on their packages ranging from March 29 to April 3, 2009.

Bacteria Worries Prompt Potato Recall

Caribou Announces $1 Bakery Items

And not to be outdone the coffee shops are doing everything they can to keep the customers coming in. It starting to look like if you want to stay in business you need to start giving stuff away.

Caribou Coffee (NASDAQ: CBOU) is rolling out a national “More Bou for Your Buck” campaign, in which the company will offer any bakery item for the promotional price of $1 each to customers who purchase a large beverage at Caribou Coffee through March 22, 2009.

Caribou Announces $1 Bakery Items

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