http://www.bluemaumau.org/frontpagestories en Matt Stonie Becomes New Hot Dog Eating Champion http://www.bluemaumau.org/14560/matt_stonie_becomes_new_hot_dog_eating_champion <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>NEW YORK &mdash; In his first win of the Mustard Yellow International Belt, Matt &ldquo;The Megatode&rdquo; Stonie upset eight time winner Joey &ldquo;Jaws&rdquo; Chestnut. Stonie gulped down 62 hot dogs and buns.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Unfortunately, Chestnut missed his opportunity to win his ninth consecutive title. He swallowed 60 hot dogs and buns within ten minutes. That number was down from his 2013 world record when he swallowed 69 dogs.</p> <div class="photoright"> <blockquote class="instagram-media" data-instgrm-captioned="" data-instgrm-version="4" style=" background:#FFF; border:0; border-radius:3px; box-shadow:0 0 1px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.5),0 1px 10px 0 rgba(0,0,0,0.15); margin: 1px; max-width:658px; padding:0; width:99.375%; width:-webkit-calc(100% - 2px); width:calc(100% - 2px);"><div style="padding:8px;"> <div style=" background:#F8F8F8; line-height:0; margin-top:40px; padding:50% 0; text-align:center; width:100%;"> <div style=" background:url(data:image/png;base64,iVBORw0KGgoAAAANSUhEUgAAACwAAAAsCAMAAAApWqozAAAAGFBMVEUiIiI9PT0eHh4gIB4hIBkcHBwcHBwcHBydr+JQAAAACHRSTlMABA4YHyQsM5jtaMwAAADfSURBVDjL7ZVBEgMhCAQBAf//42xcNbpAqakcM0ftUmFAAIBE81IqBJdS3lS6zs3bIpB9WED3YYXFPmHRfT8sgyrCP1x8uEUxLMzNWElFOYCV6mHWWwMzdPEKHlhLw7NWJqkHc4uIZphavDzA2JPzUDsBZziNae2S6owH8xPmX8G7zzgKEOPUoYHvGz1TBCxMkd3kwNVbU0gKHkx+iZILf77IofhrY1nYFnB/lQPb79drWOyJVa/DAvg9B/rLB4cC+Nqgdz/TvBbBnr6GBReqn/nRmDgaQEej7WhonozjF+Y2I/fZou/qAAAAAElFTkSuQmCC); display:block; height:44px; margin:0 auto -44px; position:relative; top:-22px; width:44px;">&nbsp;</div> </div> <p style=" margin:8px 0 0 0; padding:0 4px;"><a href="https://instagram.com/p/4uN9CfiTeg/" style=" color:#000; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; font-style:normal; font-weight:normal; line-height:17px; text-decoration:none; word-wrap:break-word;" target="_top">Matt Stonie, takes home the title and belt, eating 62 Nathan&#39;s Famous Hot Dogs and Buns! Congratulations! #NathansFamous #HotDogEatingContest!</a></p> <p style=" color:#c9c8cd; font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px; margin-bottom:0; margin-top:8px; overflow:hidden; padding:8px 0 7px; text-align:center; text-overflow:ellipsis; white-space:nowrap;">A photo posted by Nathan&#39;s Famous (@originalnathans) on <time datetime="2015-07-04T17:12:05+00:00" style=" font-family:Arial,sans-serif; font-size:14px; line-height:17px;">Jul 4, 2015 at 10:12am PDT</time></p> </div> </blockquote> <script async defer src="//platform.instagram.com/en_US/embeds.js"></script></div> <p>At 25 dogs a piece, Stonie and Chestnut went neck and neck, dog against dog, at the three minute mark of the ten minute competition. But then Stonie began to break ahead.</p> <p>&ldquo;I was slow and he was eating fast,&quot; said Chestnut after the competition in circumspect. He added that he just couldn&#39;t find his rhythm. &quot;Dang,&quot; he summed up about this year&#39;s tough competition that had him on the losing end. &quot;It gives me a reason to come back next year.&rdquo;</p> <p>From San Jose, California, Stonie commented that his win seemed surreal and crazy to him. But he added, &ldquo;We worked hard for this.&rdquo;</p> <p>In the women&rsquo;s competition, long-time champion until last year, Sonya Thomas, lost. She swallowed only 31 hot dogs. That is considerably down from her apex of downing&nbsp;45 hot dogs and buns&nbsp;in 2012. &nbsp;</p> <p>Defending champion Miki Sudo ate 38 Nathan&rsquo;s famous hot dogs. She had a few moments of dyspepsia early in&nbsp;the competition, which had her occasionally&nbsp;pause her eating pace. &ldquo;My first minute was incredibly low but somehow I was able to make up the difference,&rdquo; said Sudo to ESPN.</p> <p>In its ninety-ninth year, the hot dog eating contest, is held every Fourth of July at Coney Island, New York. The women and men&rsquo;s competition of Major League Eating were sponsored by franchisor Nathan&rsquo;s Famous Hot Dog. The competitions began to be broadcast by ESPN2 at high noon.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14560/matt_stonie_becomes_new_hot_dog_eating_champion#comments entertainment Coney Island hot dog eating championship Major League Eating Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs Sat, 04 Jul 2015 17:10:51 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14560 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Strong Growth in June’s Franchise Jobs http://www.bluemaumau.org/14557/strong_growth_june%E2%80%99s_franchise_jobs <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="Subway worker. Photo by ps" src="https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7736/18126885879_8ce05f1960.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 160px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" />ROSELAND, NJ&mdash;Private-sector franchise jobs in the United States rose by a whopping 28,800 during the month of June, according to the ADP National Franchise Report, which was released Wednesday. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> Growing jobs at a truck sized rate of 0.6 percent for the month, auto dealerships added 4,324 hires in June, while franchised restaurants grew 0.2 percent, or 8,550 hires.</p> <p>&quot;Franchise employment in June bounced back to a level exceeding the twelve-month average of job gains,&quot; said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and head of the ADP Research Institute. &quot;Both restaurants and auto parts &amp; dealers added jobs at a pace well above the previous month&#39;s totals.&quot;</p> <p>Growing at a rate of 3.4 percent year-over-year, franchised jobs continue to outpace small business jobs, which have grown at 2.7 percent (see table below). Private sector small business employment increased by 120,000 jobs from May to June. That&#39;s almost half of all private sector jobs. According to ADP, private sector employment as a whole in the United States grew by 237,000 from May to June.</p> <p>Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody&#39;s Analytics, said, &quot;The U.S. job machine remains in high gear. The current robust pace of job growth is double that needed to absorb the growth in the working age population.&quot; He added, &quot;Most encouraging is the healthy rate of job growth among the nation&#39;s smallest companies.&quot;</p> <p>Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 223,000 in June, and the unemployment rate declined to 5.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported a day later, Thursday. Those numbers are quite close to ADP&#39;s numbers, which are calculated from monthly changes in employment derived from ADP&#39;s actual transactional payroll data. Although the unemployment figures are strong, the Bureau cautioned that the employment-population ratio, at 59.3 percent, was essentially unchanged in June and has shown little movement thus far this year. Essentially, there is a large group of unemployed from the Great Recession that have not come back into the workforce.</p> <table border="0" style="border-collapse:collapse"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom"><strong>June 2015</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Industry</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Monthly Employment Change</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Employment Level (Thousands)</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Monthly Growth Rate<br /> (%)</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Contribution to Monthly<br /> Growth<br /> (%)</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>Year-Over-Year Growth Rate (%)</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>12 Month Average Growth Rate (%)</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt"><em>Total U.S. NonFarm Private Employment *</em></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">237,000</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">119,680</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2.3%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt"><strong>Small Business (1-49 Employees)</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">120,000</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">50,207</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2.7%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">&nbsp;</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt"><strong>Total U.S. Franchise Employment</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>28,820</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>8,550</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>0.3%</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>100%</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>3.4%</strong></td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"><strong>0.3%</strong></td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Restaurants</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">10,380</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">4,324</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">36%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">3.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Auto Parts and Dealers</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">7,570</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1,329</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.6%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">26%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">6.0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.5%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Gasoline Stations and Auto Repair</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2,670</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">433</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.6%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">9%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.0%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Other</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2,410</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">435</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.6%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">8%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">4.8%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.4%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Business Services</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1,780</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">477</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.4%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">6%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">4.7%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.4%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Personal Services</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1,360</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">112</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">5%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Accommodations</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1,030</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">710</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">4%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1.6%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.1%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Food Retailers</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">930</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">185</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.5%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">3%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">3.9%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Professional Services</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">640</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">125</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.5%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2.0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.2%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Education</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">450</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">66</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.7%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.7%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.1%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Manufacturing</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">270</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">23</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom"> <p style="text-align: center">1%</p> </td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.4%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.0%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt"> <p>Building Material and Garden Equipment</p> </td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">10)</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">48</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">3.1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Personal Care Retailers</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">(50)</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">68</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-0.1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">6.8%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.6%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Rental</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">(60)</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">35</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">3.3%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.3%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: none; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Leisure</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">(180)</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">91</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">1.3%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.1%</td> </tr> <tr> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: solid black 1.0pt; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt">Real Estate</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">(370)</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">91</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td colspan="2" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-0.4%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: none" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-1%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">-0.2%</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="middle">&nbsp;</td> <td style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px; border-top: none; border-left: none; border-bottom: solid black 1.0pt; border-right: solid black 1.0pt" valign="bottom">0.0%</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="13" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px">* ADP National Employment Report</td> </tr> <tr> <td colspan="13" style="padding-top: 1px; padding-left: 1px; padding-bottom: 1px; padding-right: 1px">Note: Sum of components may not equal total due to rounding. Industries are ranked based on monthly contribution to Total Franchise Employment</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> <p><img alt="U.S. Added 28,800 Franchise Jobs in June, According to ADP National Franchise Report<br /> " border="0" height="1598" src="http://www.adpemploymentreport.com/2015/June/NFR/images/infographic/main/NFRJune2015_infographic.gif" width="598" /></p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14557/strong_growth_june%E2%80%99s_franchise_jobs#comments trends franchise job growth job growth U.S. economy Fri, 03 Jul 2015 09:13:22 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14557 at http://www.bluemaumau.org $750M Buyback Boosts Panera Bread’s Stock, Not Growth http://www.bluemaumau.org/14554/750m_buyback_boosts_panera_bread%E2%80%99s_stock_not_growth <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="Panera Bread" src="https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/-Y4b__3oShhY/UvhwfxQCt_I/AAAAAAAB7e4/FpR2wKNYwpM/w1358-h659-no/CIMG0410.JPG" style="width: 680px; height: 330px;" /></p> <p>ST. LOUIS - Stock analysts are watching Panera Bread (NASDAQ: <a href="http://marketrealist.com/quote-page/pnra/">PNRA</a>) to see if the fast-casual franchise company will be able to catch up with its counterparts Chipotle Mexican Grill, Shake Shack and others. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> Panera&#39;s stock fell by 10 percent, following its 2014 fourth quarter announcement in February 2015. Its officers then warned investors that its earnings per share might dip even lower.</p> <p>Panera Bread has been struggling with comps, that is to say same-store sales, for the past few quarters. The company tried to address this issue by emphasizing a &quot;Panera 2.0,&quot; designed to enhance the customer experience. That included major upgrades of digital ordering and payment systems along with capabilities to improve operations.</p> <p>Stock analysts aren&#39;t buying it. They say it is still unclear how Panera 2.0 will boost same-store sales. Reuters reported that some analysts assess that the costs related to the new program could actually hurt the company at a time when restaurant margins are feeling the pinch of minimum wage increases and other expenses.</p> <p>But when the franchise chain&#39;s first quarter earnings announcement was made on April 16, 2015, Panera&#39;s stock increased by 11 percent (See chart below). Most analysts attribute the rise not to the company&#39;s new 2.0 design, but to Panera&#39;s newly announced share repurchase program worth $750 million. That is an increase from the $600 million buyback plan announced in June 2014. Panera also revealed that it plans to refranchise 73 restaurants, selling the company-owned eateries to franchisees. The net proceeds from those sales, along with $500 million in new debts, will be used to repurchase shares.</p> <p><strong>Will Panera&#39;s stock buyback plan boost franchise competitiveness?</strong></p> <div class="photoright"><img align="right" alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/070215_1500_750MBuyback1.jpg" width="419" height="420" /></div> <p>Most publicly traded franchise companies take advantage of stock buyback plans to increase compensation for shareholder executives and Panera Bread Company is no exception. Panera CEO/founder/chairman Ron Shaich recently stated, &quot;We continue to look for opportunities to deploy our capital to drive shareholder returns.&quot;</p> <p>Although investing in Panera&#39;s core business remains their number priority,&nbsp;Shaich said&nbsp;the &quot;board&#39;s willingness to extend and refresh the repurchase program is a vote of confidence on the restaurant chain&#39;s growth potential and its ability to generate long-term and appropriate returns for shareholders.&quot;</p> <p>For the past few years economist William Lazonick has been educating the public about &quot;stock buyback plans.&quot; He explains that it is a technique corporations use to finesse their stock price and increase the value of stock options. The question is whether it is beneficial to the company as a whole. In other words, does it benefit employees, franchisees, directors and officers, or is it only to boost the income and benefits of company shareholders?</p> <p>In a Harvard Business Review article, <a href="https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity">Profits Without Prosperity</a>, Lazonick explains that there are three ways companies can use money from stock buybacks:</p> <ol> <li>Reinvest by expanding employees&#39; skills, increase pay and benefits, hire more people, create new products and services, and make their companies more competitive.</li> <li>Pay dividends so shareholders can put money back into the economy, re-invest in other companies and new ventures, and help the economy keep humming.</li> <li>Repurchase shares, or stock buybacks, which reduces the number of company shares on the market and increases earnings per share (EPS), which is a key metric Wall Street expects CEOs to hit each quarter.</li> </ol> <p>The Harvard article states that in general experts say the first option, reinvesting in people and the company, is the most important way to spend company cash in order to remain competitive and find growth opportunities. But most companies today are choosing the second or third technique, paying dividends and repurchasing their own shares. By the late 1980s, those two activities accounted for on average 80 percent of net income. That left little cash to put back into the business or into employees&#39; pockets in the form of higher wages.</p> <p>By the late 1990s the amount spent on buybacks surpassed the amount of dividends. During the 2000s the 449 companies listed on the S&amp;P 500 from 2003 to 2012 spent 54 percent of their earnings, $2.4 trillion, on buybacks and another 37 percent went to dividends. That left only 9 percent of earnings available for reinvestment to increase operational productivity.</p> <p>While the board of directors announced its approval of Panera&#39;s new three-year share repurchase program of up to $600 million on June 5, 2014, that was not Panera&#39;s first stock buyback program according to its latest Franchise Disclosure Document (<a href="https://www.cards.commerce.state.mn.us/CARDS/security/search.do?method=showPoup&amp;documentId=%7bAD628E87-783B-4F96-8BE6-1D187A78C92A%7d&amp;documentTitle=649-201503-05&amp;documentType=4">Panera Bread 2015 FDD</a>).</p> <p>The first was approved on November 17, 2009 for share repurchase authorization of up to $600 million. During 2012 Panera repurchased an aggregate of 34,600 shares for an aggregate price of $5 million. Another repurchase was made on August 2012, repurchasing 2,844,669 shares for an aggregate purchase price of $247.6 million.</p> <p>The next repurchase program began on August 23, 2012 and during fiscal 2014, Panera repurchased an aggregate of 514,357 shares for the aggregate amount of $87.5 million.</p> <p>CEO/chairman Shaich has been proven right in saying, &quot;We continue to look for opportunities to deploy our capital to drive shareholder returns.&quot;</p> <p>The St. Louis Business Journal reported last April that Mr. Shaich&#39;s salary rose 26.5 percent from 2013 to $3.4 million. The change was from an increase in stock awards of more than $600,000 and a $618,000 increase in bonus, of which Shaich had none in 2013.</p> <p><strong>Franchisees, what&#39;s wrong with this picture?</strong></p> <p>While Panera&#39;s executives watch their salaries and bonuses escalate with each stock buyback plan, franchisees are left with little monetary advantage to operate their restaurants. Many franchise owners are seeing their profit margins decline as franchisors hit them with higher fees and remodeling mandates.</p> <p>Today the franchise community is watching low-paid workers protest across our country for a minimum wage of $15 an hour, chanting they can no longer afford to support their families on an hourly wage well under $10 an hour. Unfortunately the franchise business model is built on the premise of keeping worker pay low in order to keep menu prices down, something customers demand in today&#39;s competition market. If Panera Bread had reinvested the $750 million back into its restaurants to provide franchisees with lower food costs and lower royalty fees, there could be stronger growth to the entire system. That would include store owners paying workers fairer salaries.</p> <p><strong>Panera Bread&#39;s beginning</strong></p> <div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/070215_1500_750MBuyback2-150x200.jpg" style="float: left; height: 200px; width: 150px;" width="150" height="200" /> <div class="caption">Ron Shaich. Photo/Panera website</div> </div> <p>Panera Bread Company was founded in 1981 as Au Bon Pain Co. Inc. by Louis Kane and Ron Shaich, pictured at the right. In 1993 Au Bon Pain sold to Saint Louis Bread Company a chain of 20 bakery-caf&eacute;s located in St. Louis, Missouri.</p> <p>In 1999, all of Au Bon Pain businesses were sold, with the exception of Panera Bread. Since then Panera&#39;s stock has grown exponentially and, according to its website, the chain has a market capitalization of $4.5 billion. At the end of 2014 Panera had 1,880 bakery-caf&eacute;s in 45 states, operating under Panera Bread, Saint Louis Bread Co. Inc. and Paradise Bakery &amp; Caf&eacute;. The fast-casual restaurant chain, through company-owned restaurants and franchised locations, employs over 75,000 people.</p> <p><strong>Is Panera Bread losing its way?</strong></p> <p>On June 16 Bloomberg reported on Panera Bread&#39;s latest venture, &quot;Panera Pantry Experience,&quot; giving diners a chance to try some new sandwiches and salads that are not on the menu yet. The franchisor hopes to &quot;invite conversation&quot; around its new menu ingredients and its new marketing campaign, dubbed &quot;Food as It Should Be.&quot;</p> <p>Bloomberg said this latest move comes as the 34-year-old chain struggles to keep growing like some of its younger competitors in the fast-casual sector. &quot;Panera&#39;s revenue rose 6 percent last year. Sales at Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. jumped 28 percent, while Noodles &amp; Co. increased 15 percent in 2014,&quot; the article stated.</p> <p>In one stock financial report Bloomberg said that year-over-year, Panera has seen their bottom line shrink from $196.2 million to $179.3 million, despite an increase in revenues from $2.4 billion to $2.5 billion. The report explained that &quot;an increase in the percentage of sales devoted to cost of goods sold from 64.66 percent to 65.93 percent was a key component in the falling bottom line in the face of rising revenues.&quot;</p> <p>Panera Bread announced this week that it will release its fiscal 2015 second quarter earnings on July 29, 2015, after the market closes.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Articles</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=5&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CDgQFjAE&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bizjournals.com%2Fstlouis%2Fnews%2F2015%2F04%2F17%2Fpanera-ceo-sees-pay-rise-26-5-percent-in-2014.html&amp;ei=1WmRVeXCKYbyoASX_YNw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFo7oUZQw71fmeR9knh8C0UhSjwlw" target="_blank">Panera Bread Co. CEO Ron Shaich sees pay rise 26.5 percent</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=8&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CE8QFjAH&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.fool.com%2Finvesting%2Fgeneral%2F2015%2F04%2F08%2Fthe-highest-paid-ceos-in-restaurants.aspx&amp;ei=1WmRVeXCKYbyoASX_YNw&amp;usg=AFQjCNFzIFVGKNaRZgUriOJ_LUl04w6Z0A" target="_blank">The Highest-Paid CEOs in Restaurants -- The Motley Fool</a></li> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=1&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB4QFjAA&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.businessinsider.com%2Fpanera-announces-buyback-shares-rally-2015-4&amp;ei=A3aRVbbmJ4vnoAS13omICg&amp;usg=AFQjCNHk_9sFtYzj2EzxgYkKaJ97EYQXvg" target="_blank">Panera announces buyback, shares rally - Business Insider</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/panera-announces-buyback-shares-rally-2015-4" target="_blank">Panera Bread Announces Buyback Shares</a></li> <li><a href="https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity" target="_blank">Profits Without Prosperity</a></li> <li> <p><a href="http://bluemaumau.org/14546/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_stock_buyback_plan_aids_officers_not_franchisees" target="_blank">McDonald&rsquo;s Stock Buyback Plan Aids Officers, Not Franchisees</a></p> </li> </ul> <!-- TradingView Widget BEGIN --><!-- TradingView Widget BEGIN --><script type="text/javascript" src="https://d33t3vvu2t2yu5.cloudfront.net/tv.js"></script><script type="text/javascript"> new TradingView.widget({ "width": 680, "height": 500, "symbol": "PNRA", "interval": "D", "timezone": "Etc/UTC", "theme": "White", "style": "2", "toolbar_bg": "#f1f3f6", "allow_symbol_change": true, "hideideas": true, "show_popup_button": true, "popup_width": "1000", "popup_height": "650" }); </script><!-- TradingView Widget END --><!-- TradingView Widget END --><!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14554/750m_buyback_boosts_panera_bread%E2%80%99s_stock_not_growth#comments Wall Street Economist William Lazonick fast food worker protests NYSE:PNRA Panera Bread Panera Bread FDD Panera CEO Ron Shaich SEIU theAIRnet Thu, 02 Jul 2015 15:00:33 +0000 Janet Sparks 14554 at http://www.bluemaumau.org McDonald’s Stock Buyback Plan Aids Officers, Not Franchisees http://www.bluemaumau.org/14546/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_stock_buyback_plan_aids_officers_not_franchisees <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p><img alt="Wall Street's Bull" src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-rcC-fTX8uW0/SDe9d0t4iTI/AAAAAAAAG3s/K2dB84_oF1g/w1024-h687-no/DON_1636.JPG" style="width: 329px; height: 221px; float: right; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" />OAK BROOKS, Ill.&mdash;With slumping sales and negative press, McDonald&#39;s announced a new &quot;turnaround plan&quot; last month to restore growth and excitement to its brand and to unlock financial value. There is another part to its aggressive agenda. </p> <!--break--><!--break--><p> The burger chain is also planning to return $8 billion to $9 billion to its shareholders in 2015 to manipulatively boost its stock price through its &quot;stock buyback&quot; program. By doing so, McDonald&#39;s feels it will reach the top end of its three-year target of returning $18 billion to $20 billion to the company by the end of 2016.</p> <p>Steve Easterbrook, newly hired chief executive officer, explained that in order to help finance the plan, McDonald&#39;s would increase refranchising, turning company restaurants into franchises, and take on more debt, even at the risk of lowering its bond rating. The franchisor would also find ways to cut $300 million in general and administrative expenses.</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Will McDonald&#39;s turnaround plan work?</strong></span></h3> <p>McDonald&#39;s expended $3.2 billion each on buybacks and dividends in 2014, according to a report last month by The Academic-Industry Research Network (theAIRnet). That is equivalent to 134 percent of its net income. McDonald&#39;s executives are allowed up to $8.1 billion in buybacks in 2015 under its current board-authorized repurchase program.</p> <div class="photoright"><img alt="McDonald&#039;s stock buy backs" src="/sites/default/files/resize/McDStockBuyBack-384x300.png" style="width: 384px; height: 300px;" width="384" height="300" /> <div class="caption">Chart from Burger Buyback King: McDonald&#39;s</div> </div> <p>The world&#39;s largest fast-food chain is not alone in this hostile &quot;stock buyback&quot; escapade. Since the 2008 Great Recession, many other top publicly traded corporations, many in the franchise arena, are joining in to take advantage of this latest phenomena, creating a glut of cash for big corporations.</p> <p>The problem? The majority of Americans, including employees and franchisees, are not able to share in the vast prosperity that stock buyback plans are creating for Corporate America.</p> <p>&quot;Focusing on McDonald&#39;s, we argue that the company&#39;s recent&nbsp;<a href="http://news.mcdonalds.com/Corporate/news-stories/2013/McDonald-s-Announces-Initial-Steps-In-Turnaround-P" target="_blank">&#39;turnaround plan&#39;</a> all but sacrifices the interests of both its workers and its franchisees, notwithstanding an historical commitment to them as stakeholders in the McDonald&#39;s &#39;system,&#39; to the interests of speculative shareholders,&quot; the research group reported last month in its paper, <a href="http://www.theairnet.org/v3/backbone/uploads/2015/05/Lazonick.Hopkins.Jacobson_Burger.Buyback.King_AIR-WP15.0501.pdf" target="<br /> _blank">The Burger Buyback King: McDonald&#39;s Stock-Price Manipulation Makes Most Americans Worse Off</a>. It states, &quot;Ostensibly aimed to counteract a decline in market share that the company has suffered in recent years, this plan is, in fact, primarily designed to effect manipulative boosts to the price of McDonald&#39;s shares and thereby to increase the amount of corporate cash distributed to shareholders.&quot;</p> <p>The study further explains that from 2005 to 2014, McDonald&#39;s expended $29.4 billion on stock buybacks, representing 67 percent of net income, and $22.1 billion on dividends, equivalent to another 51 percent of net income. For the same period, the franchisor also increased its debt outstanding by an amount covering about 11 percent of its shareholder distributions.</p> <p>But the theAIRnet report further states, &quot;While long-term shareholders that seek dividend income are currently well rewarded by McDonald&#39;s, they too may eventually be on the losing end as the company&#39;s distributions lead to further weakening of its competitive position. McDonald&#39;s pursuit of buybacks -- like that of other large, often iconic U.S. businesses &ndash; is contributing to a process that concentrates income among the country&#39;s richest households while eating away at the incomes of virtually everyone else.&quot;</p> <p>The research argues that if the American people are to have their own &quot;turnaround plan,&quot; the U.S. Congress must ban manipulative stock buybacks, restructure executive pay, and reform corporate governance by changing representation on corporate boards.</p> <p>One of the researchers, William Lazonick, explained in his 2014 Harvard Business Review article <a href="https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity%205/28/15" target="_blank">Profits without Prosperity</a>, who gains and who loses from McDonald&#39;s allocation of billions of dollars annually to buybacks and dividends. He states, &quot;Clearly, McDonald&#39;s top executives gain. So too, we argue in this report, do hedge fund activists, who started targeting McDonald&#39;s a decade ago, and Wall Street investment banks, which seek to time their stock purchases and stock sales to take advantage of price boosts that result from the company&#39;s stock buybacks.&quot;</p> <div class="photoright"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/JNWGeMgtqr4?rel=0&amp;controls=0&amp;showinfo=0" width="400"></iframe></div> <p>The researcher explained how stock buybacks manipulate the stock market and why McDonald&#39;s stable, or sometimes referred to as &quot;long-term&quot; or &quot;continuing,&quot; shareholders, such as pension funds, lose out along with franchisees and employees.</p> <p>&quot;McDonald&#39;s stock buybacks are contributing to a process that concentrates income among the very richest U.S. households &ndash; top corporate executives, hedge-fund managers and Wall Street bankers among them &ndash; while eroding the incomes of virtually everyone else,&quot; the research paper states. In conclusion, they argue that if &quot;the American people are to have their own &#39;turnaround plan,&#39; the U.S. Congress must ban manipulative stock buybacks, restructure executive pay, and reform corporate governance by changing representation on corporate boards.&quot;</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;">What do stock buyback plans mean for McDonald&#39;s executives?</span></h3> <p>For nearly three years fast food workers have protested across the globe at McDonald&#39;s, Burger King, Wendy&#39;s and other restaurants demanding higher wages. Organized by the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) cooks, cashiers and other employees chant their desperate pleas for minimum wage to be raised to $15 an hour in order to provide for their families.</p> <p>Realizing the majority of franchisees cannot afford to pay workers the increase, SEIU petitioned the Federal Trade Commission, the governing body over franchisors, to launch an investigation into the franchise industry. Citing an imbalance of power that vastly favors franchisors over franchisees, the employee union explained in detail the situation, concluding &quot;the relationship between big corporations like McDonald&#39;s and their franchisees can best be described in two words: abusive and predatory.&quot;</p> <p>In a Harvard Business Report last month, The Academic-Industry Research Network explained that for the decade 2005 to 2014, McDonald&#39;s expended $29.4 billion on buybacks, representing 67 percent of net income, and $22.1 billion on dividends, equivalent to 51 percent of net income. &quot;In a nation that can be called the &quot;<a href="http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/04/17-stock-buybacks-lazonick">buyback economy</a>,&quot; McDonald&#39;s is helping to lead the way,&quot; theAIRnet stated in its paper.</p> <p>The research firm explains that from 2006 through 2014, the total pay of McDonald&#39;s CEO varied from a low of $3.6 million in 2013, when realized gains from stock-based pay represented 27 percent of total pay, to a high of $20.1 million in 2010, when stock-based compensation accounted for 70 percent of total compensation. &quot;In 2014, when the pay of McDonald&#39;s CEO was $6.4 million, 67% came from exercising stock options and 14% from the vesting of stock awards,&quot; the researchers found.</p> <p>The report states that for the other four highest-paid McDonald&#39;s executives named in the company&#39;s proxy statements, average total compensation ranged from a low of $1.5 million in 2014 to a high of $12.6 million in 2012, with the proportion of these totals derived from gains from stock-based compensation ranging from 37% in 2006 to 77% in 2010.</p> <div class="photoright"><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="225" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Sxn2Ru5MmJw?rel=0&amp;controls=0&amp;showinfo=0" width="400"></iframe></div> <p>While the research firm shows McDonald&#39;s as the winner in theAIRnet research paper, it clearly shows workers, franchisees and taxpayers as the losers.</p> <p>&quot;A prime means of value extraction, stock buybacks snatch returns from workers and taxpayers who have contributed to the value-creation process. Buybacks are a&nbsp;<a href="http://ineteconomics.org/working-papers/papers/labor-twenty-first-century-top-01-and-disappearing-middle-class">major cause</a>&nbsp;of U.S. income inequality, contributing to both the concentration of income among the richest households and the disappearance of middle-class jobs.</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;">Franchisees, workers have common ground fighting for their fair share</span></h3> <p>The research firm also found that franchisees of fast-food companies have come to recognize that in order to get a fair share of the value that they help to create, they need to organize themselves into associations that can engage in collective bargaining with franchisors. They note that franchisees and workers have a common interest in reducing the power of the corporation to distribute cash to shareholders so that a larger share of corporate profits can be allocated to the people who are actually generating the company&#39;s revenues on a daily basis.</p> <p>The researchers state that stable long-term shareholders are amply rewarded with dividend income. Buybacks reward short-term shareholders who benefit from stock-price manipulation. It is unlikely that corporations like McDonald&#39;s, which control the allocation of resources, will respond to requests to refrain from stock buybacks.</p> <p>So what is the solution? The researchers conclude that it will require action by the U.S Congress. &quot;A good first step is getting the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to accede to the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.ibtimes.com/are-stock-buybacks-hurting-working-class-us-senator-presses-sec-reexamine-its-1895697">recent request</a>&nbsp;of U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) to revisit SEC Rule 10b-18, which makes manipulative buybacks possible.&quot;</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Reading</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=11&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CB0QFjAAOAo&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.theairnet.org%2Fv3%2Fbackbone%2Fuploads%2F2015%2F05%2FLazonick.Hopkins.Jacobson_Burger.Buyback.King_AIR-WP15.0501.pdf&amp;ei=n2OEVZDnIMHZoATE4oKIAQ&amp;usg=AFQjCNHjJKFf2LscPwPDwnlYttzvRsH67g" target="_blank">Burger Buyback King: McDonald&#39;s Stock-Price Manipulation Makes Most Americans Worse Off</a></li> <li><a href="https://hbr.org/2014/09/profits-without-prosperity%205/28/15" target="_blank">Profits Without Prosperity</a></li> <li><a href="https://hbr.org/2015/05/mcdonalds-has-to-do-more-than-manipulate-its-stock-price" target="_blank">Mcdonald&#39;s Has To Do More than Manipulate Its Stock Price</a></li> <li><a href="http://bluemaumau.org/14483/seiu_petitions_ftc_investigate_franchisor_predatory_abuse" target="_blank">SEIU Petitions FTC to Investigate Franchisors&#39; Predatory Abuse of Franchisees</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/05/27/big-firms-increasingly-resort-to-corporate-cocaine/" target="_blank">Big Firms Increasingly Resort to Corporate Cocaine</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2015/05/27/big-firms-increasingly-resort-to-corporate-cocaine/" target="_blank">$750M Buyback Boosts Panera Bread&rsquo;s Stock, Not Growth</a></li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14546/mcdonald%E2%80%99s_stock_buyback_plan_aids_officers_not_franchisees#comments manage fastfood workers McDonald's NYSE:MCD refranchising SEC SEIU Steve Easterbrook stock buyback plans U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission Wed, 24 Jun 2015 23:58:08 +0000 Janet Sparks 14546 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Washington Adopts Guidelines for Large, Sophisticated Franchisor Exemption http://www.bluemaumau.org/14536/washington_adopts_guidelines_large_sophisticated_franchisor_exemption <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/resize/washingtonstate-330x184.png" style="width: 330px; height: 184px;" width="330" height="184" /> <div class="caption">Photo from Washington State Portal, <a href="http://business.wa.gov/">Doing Business in Washington</a></div> </div> <p>TUMWATER, Washington &ndash; Washington&#39;s Franchise Securities Division last week issued new guidelines on what is acceptable for large, experienced franchisors to be exempt from having to register their franchise system prior to selling franchises.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The provision allows franchisors the exemption from franchise registration that meets certain net worth requirements; have at least 25 franchisees that have conducted business for a period of at least 5 years; and require buyers to make an initial investment of at least $100,000. Regarding the company&#39;s net worth, the franchisor must demonstrate through audited financial statements that it meets one of two requirements: that it has a net worth of at least $5 million dollars; or it has a net worth of at least $1 million and has at least 80 percent ownership by a corporation that has a net worth of at least $5 million.</p> <h3><strong><span style="color:#800000;">Unaudited financial statements from franchisor allowed under certain circumstances</span> </strong></h3> <p>According to Washington&#39;s <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTUwNjExLjQ1OTEwMjIxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE1MDYxMS40NTkxMDIyMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MzUxMjE0JmVtYWlsaWQ9ZWRpdG9yQGJsdWVtYXVtYXUub3JnJnVzZXJpZD1lZGl0b3JAYmx1ZW1hdW1hdS5vcmcmZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&amp;&amp;&amp;100&amp;&amp;&amp;http://dfi.wa.gov/franchises/interpretive-statements">Interpretive Statement</a>, filed June 8, in very limited circumstances, a franchisor may be unable to produce unaudited financial statements without incurring excessive costs. For example, if the parent company is publicly traded, producing and disclosing unaudited financial statements for a subsidiary may trigger SEC reporting requirements. Under these circumstances, it is acceptable for a franchisor to submit the following in lieu of unaudited financial statements, provided the consolidated audited financial statements of the parent are submitted:</p> <ul> <li>An executed Guarantee of Performance between the parent company and the franchisor wherein the parent company absolutely and unconditionally guarantees the performance of the franchisor.</li> <li>A statement made under penalty of perjury by an officer of the franchisor confirming that the franchisor has a net worth of not less than $1,000,000 for the immediately preceding fiscal year.</li> </ul> <p>Howard Bundy, franchisee attorney in Washington, said the guideline statement is nothing new. The state adopted the large franchisor exemption years ago.&nbsp;&quot;Questions come up mainly by franchisors whose&nbsp;parents are publicly held, and the franchisor is just an empty&nbsp;shell,&quot; Bundy explained.</p> <p>&quot;As to whether the franchisor can use the parent&#39;s financials in combination with a guarantee of performance, in lieu of paying for an audit, Washington said look, we are not going to make you incur that expense and risk getting sideways with the SEC [Securities &amp; Exchange Commission].&quot; Bundy further explained that if a franchisor wants to qualify with the second parent&#39;s audit only, it will also have to provide a&nbsp;guarantee of performance by its parent, and a sworn statement under penalty of perjury&nbsp;by the CEO, or some other officer, confirming the franchisor had a net worth not less than $1M for preceding fiscal year.</p> <p>Attorney Bundy said that allows the state to go after that officer and put him in jail if his statement is proved to be false. &quot;It gives the franchisee the ability to sue the parent company because it has guaranteed the performance of the franchisor. And it strips away the corporate separateness as a condition of qualifying through that means for the exemption,&quot; Bundy explained. He added that it is extraordinarily rare that any franchisor would be willing to abide by those two mandates to qualify for the exemption. He said, &quot;So it is really nothing new.&quot;</p> <p>Last October, the American Bar Association, Forum on Franchising, tackled this topic at its annual conference in Seattle. Its purpose was to find potential solutions to disclosure challenges for franchisors, only if they actually had disclosure obligation.</p> <p>The Forum materials state that the rationale for the sophisticated, experienced franchisor exemption saying &quot;the franchisor is well-capitalized with a proven track record.&quot; And the track record &quot;demonstrates the viability of the business and the franchisor&#39;s ability to run it.&quot; The ABA report adds, &quot;. . . the capitalization is important because it affords franchisees&#39; recourse should they pursue a legal claim against the franchisor.&quot;</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Some of the most troubled franchisors exempt</strong></span></h3> <p>States that recognize the exemption are California, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington. The Forum paper explains that generally a franchisor is required to have a minimum net worth of $5 million to $15 million, depending on the jurisdiction, and a number of years of related experience administering a franchise system with at least 25 franchisees continuously operating during that period or continuous operations of the business itself. If a franchisor is eligible for the exemption, it will still have pre-sale disclosure requirements in those states. But it is noted that while some states use notice filings to verify that a franchisor is eligible for the exemption, the state does not undertake a full review, &quot;thus allowing the franchisor to avoid the risk of unwanted deal delays that may occur if the registration state issues comments.&quot;</p> <p>The Securities Division confirmed some of the large, sophisticated franchisors that are exempt from registration in Washington today. They include McDonalds&#39;s Corporation, Cold Stone Creamery, Blimpie, Cereality, Quiznos, Fatburger, America&#39;s Taco Shop, Papa Murphy&#39;s and The UPS Store.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related Reading</strong>:</p> <ul> <li>Washington State: <a href="http://links.govdelivery.com:80/track?type=click&amp;enid=ZWFzPTEmbWFpbGluZ2lkPTIwMTUwNjExLjQ1OTEwMjIxJm1lc3NhZ2VpZD1NREItUFJELUJVTC0yMDE1MDYxMS40NTkxMDIyMSZkYXRhYmFzZWlkPTEwMDEmc2VyaWFsPTE3MzUxMjE0JmVtYWlsaWQ9ZWRpdG9yQGJsdWVtYXVtYXUub3JnJnVzZXJpZD1lZGl0b3JAYmx1ZW1hdW1hdS5vcmcmZmw9JmV4dHJhPU11bHRpdmFyaWF0ZUlkPSYmJg==&amp;&amp;&amp;100&amp;&amp;&amp;http://dfi.wa.gov/franchises/interpretive-statements">Interpretive Statement</a></li> <li>ABA Forum October 2015: <a href="https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&amp;rct=j&amp;q=&amp;esrc=s&amp;source=web&amp;cd=9&amp;cad=rja&amp;uact=8&amp;ved=0CFEQFjAIahUKEwi2hZ_v1ZTGAhWQnYgKHf1zCac&amp;url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.americanbar.org%2Fcontent%2Fdam%2Faba%2Fadministrative%2Ffranchising%2Fmaterials2014%2Fw15.pdf&amp;ei=v1OAVfapKpC7ogT956W4Cg&amp;usg=AFQjCNFCR4v4tPZ9eDDgdDZK8J_C1eIGeQ" target="_blank">Franchise Disclosure Challenges for Large, Sophisticated or Multi-Brand Franchise Companies</a></li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14536/washington_adopts_guidelines_large_sophisticated_franchisor_exemption#comments franchisee rights franchise disclosure franchise pre-sales regulation state franchise regulation Tue, 16 Jun 2015 17:00:25 +0000 Janet Sparks 14536 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Dwyer Buys Service Brands http://www.bluemaumau.org/14534/dwyer_buys_service_brands <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Molly Maid" src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5534/9072397180_81fe94298c_b.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 219px;" /> <div class="caption">MollyMaid bought by Dwyer. Photo by <a href="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5534/9072397180_81fe94298c_b.jpg" target="_blank">Tommaync</a></div> </div> <p>WACO, Texas&mdash;Dwyer Group Inc. announced Monday that it has acquired Service Brands International for an undisclosed amount. With the acquisition, Dwyer Group, franchisor of eleven trade service chains, adds three more.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Founded by David McKinnon, Service Brands International has grown across the U.S. and Canada to include 244 Molly Maid franchisees, 118 Mr. Handyman franchisees and 55 ProTect Painters franchisees. These franchised brands now belong to Dwyer, which in turn is a company of private equity firm The Riverside Company.</p> <p>&quot;David has been an incredible pioneer for franchising and for the service trades,&quot; said Dina Dwyer-Owens, co-chair of Dwyer Group. &quot;We&#39;ve watched his brands grow, admired the integrity of the organization and considered each of the networks a complementary fit for Dwyer Group.&quot;</p> <p>Service Brand&#39;s founder McKinnon will become an equity holder in Dwyer and a senior advisor to Dwyer Group&#39;s board of directors. The senior leadership of the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based Service Brands will transition over to the Waco, Texas-based Dwyer Group. However, an office will remain in Ann Arbor.</p> <p>Blue MauMau asked Dwyer Group&#39;s president and chief executive officer Mike Bidwell what benefits from the buyout he foresaw specifically for the franchise owners under his brands. &quot;Dwyer Group sees a tremendous upside from this acquisition,&quot; Bidwell answered. &quot;The benefits begin with the same end-user customer that all of the brands serve. The cross-marketing of our brands, as they grow, continue to deliver more services to those who need and want the very best. That is why Dwyer Group has built an incredible track record for acquiring complementary businesses that work well together. We acquire, we support and we grow every brand on our roster to be a leader for the industry. Likewise, the collective buying power across our brands with our preferred vendors remains a huge advantage.&quot;</p> <p>Bidwell was also asked what franchisees under Service Brands should do in light of the acquisition and the transition of their franchisor&#39;s management from Ann Arbor to Waco-based Dwyer Group. &quot;It is business as usual across the Molly Maid, Mr. Handyman and ProTect Painters franchise networks,&quot; replied Dwyer&#39;s chief executive to Blue MauMau. &quot;They will continue to do what they do best at the grassroots level with the same brand leaders in place to shepherd the big picture. Meanwhile, they will enjoy unprecedented support from a larger parent organization and more peer-to-peer access unlike any other multi-concept franchise organization in the business.&quot;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14534/dwyer_buys_service_brands#comments Mergers & Acquisitions David McKinnon Dina Dwyer-Owens Dwyer Group Private Equity Firm Riverside Company Service Brands service franchisors Tue, 16 Jun 2015 12:49:09 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14534 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Wingstop IPO Sizzles; Uncertain How Impacts Franchisees http://www.bluemaumau.org/14528/wingstop_ipo_sees_strong_gain <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="WingStop" src="https://farm9.staticflickr.com/8869/18126251224_b0248ccdf9_c.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 185px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px; float: right;" /></div> <p>NEW YORK CITY &ndash; Wingstop Inc. launched its initial public offering today, offering 5.8 million public shares of its franchising company at $19 per share, trading as WING on Nasdaq.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>Founded in 1994, the Dallas-based franchisor was bought by private equity firm Roark Capital Group in April 2010. Five years later Roark, equity owner for a variety of franchisors, such as Meineke, CKE Restaurants and FastSigns, is taking Wingstop public. Roark Capital&#39;s equity in the chicken wing chain shrank from 84.5 percent before the IPO to today&#39;s 66.9 percent. As majority shareholder, Roark will be exempt from Nasdaq&#39;s corporate governance requirements regarding board member nominations and independent directors for the majority of its board.</p> <p>The fast-casual chain, which offers chicken wing flavors from Cajun to Hawaiian, has grown nearly 40 percent in American franchises over the three-year period from the end of 2011 to the end of 2014 (see chart for the number of total U.S. franchise outlets). Over 97 percent of its U.S. restaurants are franchised. The majority of the brand&#39;s business is takeout.</p> <p><img alt="Wingstop&#039;s growth rate in U.S. franchised restaurant units accelerates" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/WingstopFranchiseGrowth-330x338.png" style="float: right; width: 330px; height: 338px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" width="330" height="338" />Wingstop declared to state franchise regulators in its most recent franchise registration filing that its 19 company-owned restaurants made an average of $1.5 million in revenue. It noted that six of its nineteen company restaurants made more than $1.5 million in sales. However, the franchisor did not declare how much its franchises made in revenue or profit. Although Wingstop does not have an independent franchisee association, in 2002 it formed a franchisee advisory council whose members are elected by the franchisees themselves. The council&#39;s purpose is to offer advice on advertising and operational decisions, which the franchisor is free to disregard. A decision by the franchisor can have a profound impact on a franchisee&#39;s business.</p> <p>Wingstop stocks shot up more than 60 percent in today&#39;s IPO, reaching over $30. The company&#39;s market value is near $900 million. Blue MauMau inquired of Wingstop what the IPO proceeds would mean for the system&#39;s franchise owners &ndash; whether some of the sizable amount might be invested in better supporting franchisees and if so, in what way. The company had not responded by the end of the business day.</p> <p><a href="http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/11/wingstop-ipo-idUSL3N0YX5QH20150611">Reuters reported</a> yesterday that Wingstop plans to use its $110 million in IPO earnings &quot;to pay down debt and for a $3.3 million fee to end its management agreement with Roark Capital Management LLC, affiliated with Roark Capital Partners.&quot;</p> <p>Morgan Stanley, Jefferies, and Baird are acting as lead joint book-running managers for the IPO. Barclays, Goldman, Sachs &amp; Co., and Wells Fargo Securities are acting as its book-running managers.</p> <hr /> <p><strong>Related reading</strong>:</p> <ul> <li><a href="http://secfilings.nasdaq.com/filingFrameset.asp?FileName=0001193125-15-221543%2Etxt&amp;FilePath=%5C2015%5C06%5C12%5C&amp;CoName=WINGSTOP+INC%2E&amp;FormType=424B4&amp;RcvdDate=6%2F12%2F2015&amp;pdf=">Wingstop&#39;s SEC filing, June 12, 2015</a></li> </ul> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14528/wingstop_ipo_sees_strong_gain#comments food Nasdaq:WING Fri, 12 Jun 2015 21:07:51 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14528 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Restaurants to Kick in Half-Million Summer Jobs but Hirings Dip http://www.bluemaumau.org/14519/restaurants_kick_halfmillion_summer_jobs <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Cleaning windows at a McDonald's. Photo by Don Sniegowski" src="https://farm1.staticflickr.com/348/18491947490_08e6666ece_n.jpg" style="width: 330px; height: 330px;" /> <div class="caption">Cleaning windows at a McDonald&#39;s. Photo by Don Sniegowski</div> </div> <p>WASHINGTON &ndash; Restaurants are expected to add 522,000 U.S. jobs this summer. The projected 2015 gain would represent the third consecutive year in which restaurants add at least 500,000 jobs during the summer season, according to the National Restaurant Association, a major lobbying group for America&#39;s restaurateurs.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>The group adds that the restaurant industry is typically the nation&#39;s second largest creator of seasonal jobs during the summer months &ndash; ranking only behind the construction industry.</p> <p>&quot;Eating and drinking places added a record 551,200 summer jobs during the 2013 summer season, followed by 535,900 jobs during the 2014 season,&quot; said <span style="color:#333333; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:10pt; background-color:white">Bruce Grindy, chief economist for the National Restaurant Association. </span></p> <p>That puts hiring in 2015 lower than in 2013 and 2014.</p> <p><span style="color:#333333; font-family:Helvetica; font-size:10pt; background-color:white">Franchised restaurants are following that summer trend. Hirings are beginning to inch up. Franchised restaurants rebounded from a lackluster April, with nearly 9,000 hires in May. That is the lion&#39;s share of job recruits compared to the 14,700 hirings for all franchised establishments, according to ADP Research, part of the payroll services firm ADP.</span></p> <p>The states projected to register the largest proportional employment increase during the 2015 summer season are Maine (33.5 percent increase), Alaska (20.2 percent increase), Delaware (16.5 percent increase), New Hampshire (15.2 percent increase) and Rhode Island (15.2 percent increase).</p> <p>Florida and Arizona, whose busiest tourism season isn&#39;t in the summer, are the only states projected to register declines in eating-and-drinking-place employment.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14519/restaurants_kick_halfmillion_summer_jobs#comments trends foodservice trend National Restaurant Association restaurant hirings restaurant trend Wed, 10 Jun 2015 16:23:50 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14519 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Same-restaurant Sales Soften in May http://www.bluemaumau.org/14513/samerestaurant_sales_soften_may <!-- google_ad_section_start --><p>DALLAS &ndash;Same-restaurant sales were 1.1 percent during May, which represents a 0.8 percent drop from the growth rate reported for April. Despite the softening sales growth during the month, the industry has now posted eleven consecutive months of positive same-store sales growth and Q2 is poised to become the fourth consecutive quarter of positive growth in comparable stores, a first in almost three years. This insight comes from data reported by TDn2K&#39;s Black Box Intelligence through The Restaurant Industry Snapshot for May, based on weekly sales from over 20,000 restaurant units representing $55 billion dollars in annual revenue.</p> <p>&quot;The industry continues to experience an encouraging period of expansion and we remain optimistic about 2015 resulting in another year of positive sales growth for restaurants,&quot; said Victor Fernandez, Executive Director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K. &quot;However, as the U.S. economy has been showing some signs of slowdown during the first half of the year, which goes beyond just the effect of bad winter weather, the chain restaurant industry has also shown signs of sales growth beginning to slow down. The decline in May was unexpected but not inconsistent with macroeconomic results. We will monitor results closely to see if performance returns to levels consistent with our more favorable forecasts for this year&quot;.</p> <p>The main concern since the recession has been the declining guest counts of the chain restaurant industry as a whole. People are simply not visiting chain restaurants as often as they used to, and it is really increasing average guest checks which are driving the growth in sales. Same-store traffic growth during May was -2.3 percent, a 0.8 percent decrease from the April growth rate.</p> <p>&quot;The fact that both sales and traffic growth dropped by exactly the same amount indicates that the declining sales growth was driven directly by the decline in guest counts during May. Average guest check growth remained constant during the last two months at 3.3 percent,&quot; continued Fernandez.</p> <p>Another indicator of the softening sales during May can be found in the regional results. While in April, all regions of the country posted positive same-store sales growth; during May three of the eleven regions dipped back into negative sales growth territory. The best performing region during May was Mountain Plains with same-store sales growth of 3.2 percent, while the worst performing region was the Southwest with -1.3 percent growth. The slowdown in sales was also evident at the local level, with 117 (or 62 percent) of the 190 DMAs tracked by Black Box Intelligence experiencing positive same-store sales during May. As a comparison, the percentage of markets with positive sales growth in April was 78 percent.</p> <p>The latest data from TDn2K&#39;s People Report shows that as sales improved in April after a downturn in March, job growth also picked up in April after a drop the previous month. The annual rate of job growth was 2.3 percent during April, an increase from the 1.9 percent reported for March. Although still creating plenty of jobs, the restaurant industry&#39;s job growth has begun to slow down. After year-over-year job growth at 3.0 percent or above for the previous sixteen consecutive months, the last two months have posted growth rates closer to 2.0 percent.</p> <p>As the labor market continued to tighten during April, retention continued to become increasingly challenging for restaurants. Restaurant-level rolling 12-month hourly and management turnover both increased during April. The industry has now gone through increases in restaurant management turnover during twelve of the last thirteen months, while restaurant hourly employee turnover has now increased steadily for 20 consecutive months.</p> <p>Regarding guest satisfaction, TDn2K&#39;s White Box Social Intelligence data revealed that out of three key attributes (&quot;food&quot;, &quot;service&quot; and &quot;intent to return&quot;), food continues to be overwhelmingly the largest in terms of number of online mentions. However, the percentage of posts that mention food have been decreasing continuously since the beginning of the year. While 89 percent of all online mentions were based on the &quot;food&quot; attribute in January, only 81 percent of these mentions included this attribute during May. The attribute that has been becoming relatively more important in terms of its number of mentions has been service. In January, 7 percent of all online posts featured &quot;service,&quot; while the percentages for April and May were 16 percent and 14 percent respectively.</p> <p>In terms of the attribute that generates the highest percentage of positive mentions, &quot;intent to return&quot; continues to be the leader since the beginning of the year. In May, 35 percent of all &quot;intent to return&quot; mentions represented a positive sentiment, while the percentage of positive food mentions was 29 percent and for service it was a much lower 20 percent.</p> <p>The segment that generates the highest percentage of positive mentions for these three attributes has been upscale casual/fine dining for the last three months. For the first time since White Box Social Intelligence started tracking these attributes, the same segment (upscale casual/fine dining) was the leader in all three attributes based on percentage of positive mentions during May.</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14513/samerestaurant_sales_soften_may#comments trends 2015 food trends Black Box restaurant research Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:55:34 +0000 BMM 14513 at http://www.bluemaumau.org Down Again in May, McDonald’s Makes Changes http://www.bluemaumau.org/14512/down_again_may_mcdonald%E2%80%99s_makes_changes <!-- google_ad_section_start --><div class="photoright"><img alt="Robert Gibbs, photo from Wikipedia" src="https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5296/5444273854_1f800df552_b.jpg" style="height: 248px; width: 330px;" /> <div class="caption">Robert Gibbs at his last press conference for Pres. Obama.<br /> Photo:<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/talkradionews/5444273854" target="_blank">TalkRadioNewsService</a></div> </div> <p>OAK BROOK, Ill. &ndash; McDonald&#39;s Corporation announced Monday that its same-restaurant sales for the United States was down 2.2 percent for May, lower than expectations.</p> <!--break--><!--break--><p>It followed the disappointing news on Tuesday morning with something unexpected: it announced that it had hired former Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs as its global communications officer.</p> <p>The bright spot for the chain was Europe, which had comparable sales actually rise by 2.3 percent in May. Its Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa markets declined by 3.2 percent, largely from Japan and China. The McDonald&#39;s reputation in those two economic megapowers is still recovering from allegations that customers were being fed tainted meat from a Shanghai, China plant.</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Challenging market: Strong competition while American consumers eat out less </strong></span></h3> <p>McDonald&#39;s explained that U.S. sales had slipped for its franchises because of slumping customer traffic and tough competition. Major burger chains such as Burger King, Wendy&#39;s, Sonic and Jack-in-the-Box have had strong same-restaurant sales, increasing their market share at the expense of a wilting McDonald&#39;s. May traffic was down for the chain&#39;s franchisees and company stores, but McDonald&#39;s management hopes to reverse that. Increasing consumer visits to McDonald&#39;s will be a challenge given that same-restaurant traffic for chains decreased by 2.3 percent during May, according to Black Box Intelligence.</p> <p>Contrast the soft sales for the Golden Arches as same-restaurant sales for the overall restaurant industry gained 1.1 percent, according to researcher TDn2K&#39;s Black Box Intelligence. That uptick in sales is despite the added challenges of convenience stores and other sectors trying to eat into the market share of quick service food. Despite an increase in sales, U.S. restaurants have not been able to attract more customers. &quot;We remain optimistic about 2015 resulting in another year of positive sales growth for restaurants,&quot; says Victor Fernandez, executive director of Insights and Knowledge for TDn2K.</p> <p>McDonald&#39;s finds itself losing at a time when sales for all restaurants in the aggregate are increasing in America. At the same time, researcher Black Box cautions that while sales are up for chain restaurants as well, a result of higher average checks, same-store traffic for them during May dropped by 2.3 percent.</p> <p>Restaurant analyst Bonnie Riggs adds that visits are down as American habits have changed towards eating at home more. &quot;It&#39;s a battle for share within the foodservice industry and a battle for food dollars between in-home and away-from-home dining,&quot; says Riggs.</p> <div class="photoright"><img align="right" alt="" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/060915_1921_DownAgainin2.png" width="336" height="336" /> <div class="caption">Data: McDonald&#39;s Franchise Disclosure Document 2015</div> </div> <p>Despite such tough trends, the behemoth Golden Arches has been able to eke out growth in its net number of franchises (see chart)&mdash;but not by much.</p> <p>The U.S. growth in total outlets of <em>both</em> company and franchises have increased from 14,093 restaurants at the end of 2011 with a net gain of 58 at the end of 2012 to a higher 123 restaurant increase at the end of 2013, according to the company&#39;s disclosure document that it sends to state franchise regulators. That&#39;s considerably less than 1 percent growth. The firm has recently moved to refranchise more units, which is to say it wants to sell more of its company-owned restaurants to franchisees so they can take the risk.</p> <p>Restaurant consultant Richard Adams, a former McDonald&#39;s franchisee himself and advisor to franchisees, stresses that McDonald&#39;s is a very mature business-format franchisor and the largest restaurant franchising system in the world by systemwide sales. He says McDonald&#39;s mainly sells restaurants to existing franchisees in its system. Adams observes, &quot;If one franchisee doesn&#39;t take a store, another one will.&quot;</p> <h3><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>McDonald&#39;s new turnaround plan </strong></span></h3> <p>In a blitz of activity, Steve Easterbrook, McDonald&#39;s three-month new president and chief executive officer, is leading food, marketing, organizational and communication changes at McDonald&#39;s. It is experimenting with customized burgers and an all-day breakfast menu. BurgerBusiness reports it is also testing a new higher margin signature burger &quot;with white Cheddar cheese, tomato, lettuce and creamy Dijon mustard sauce. It&#39;s on a potato bun that&#39;s a step up from most of the burgers on what used to be the Dollar Menu &amp; More.&quot; After a 13-year hiatus, a <a href="http://www.bluemaumau.org/node/14512/talk#comment-136210" target="_blank">modernized Hamburglar</a>, a man with stubbly beard and yellow-banded fedora, was brought back to duty by the brand last month to announce its new limited time offer sirloin burger.</p> <p>Easterbrook has a turnaround plan: &quot;Our goal is to be a modern, progressive burger company that is responsive to consumers&#39; evolving preferences, provides a contemporary experience for our customers and drives long-term value for our system and our shareholders.&quot; The CEO adds that there is a renewed emphasis by the company to work with franchisees, suppliers and employees &quot;on the basics of great-tasting, high-quality food, compelling value and outstanding service.&quot;</p> <p>The global company is shifting management to handle a world of rich, developed countries and poorer, developing ones. It will also take monthly pressure off itself by discontinuing its monthly earnings reports, likely after this month. It has been the only restaurant chain that issues monthly earnings in addition to the more usual quarterly earnings.</p> <p>McDonald&#39;s Corporation wants better communication and marketing too. Towards those goals the firm announced this morning that it had hired Robert Gibbs, the former Press Secretary to U.S. President Barack Obama. As the company&#39;s global chief communications officer, Gibbs will lead McDonald&#39;s corporate relations group, which manages communications as well as government and public affairs. In tandem with the Gibbs announcement, McDonald&#39;s also said that it has recruited a new global chief marketing officer, also from outside the firm, Silvia Lagnado. Ms. Lagnado is the former chief marketing officer for spirits company Bacardi Limited.</p> <p>McDonald&#39;s systemwide sales for May decreased by 7.2 percent worldwide. When it factored sales in constant currencies the decrease turned into a 1.8 increase, with European sales swinging from a huge 13.4 drop to a 5 percent increase.</p> <h3><img alt="McDonald&#039;s May 2015 Same-restaurant sales by regions" src="http://www.bluemaumau.org/sites/default/files/resize/McDMay2015SSS-380x331.png" style="float: right; height: 331px; width: 380px; margin-left: 5px; margin-right: 5px;" width="380" height="331" /><span style="color:#800000;"><strong>Franchisees see out-of-touch McDonald&#39;s</strong></span></h3> <p>McDonald&#39;s franchise owners are at historical highs in their discontent with their franchisor. Last week the Wall Street Journal <a href="http://www.wsj.com/articles/discontent-simmers-among-mcdonalds-franchisees-1433272884">reported</a> a long-time franchisee in the South, who is trying to restructure his debt, saying, &quot;I have never seen the operator community so demoralized, frustrated and distrusting.&quot; The franchisee added, &quot;There are operators who are looking at the calendar and saying, &#39;If business doesn&#39;t get better in six months, I have a problem.&#39;&quot;</p> <p>Consultant Richard Adams of Franchise Equity Group recognizes that some franchisees may be loaded with abnormally high loans. That is because in the last few years McDonald&#39;s Corporation has aggressively shoved franchisees into remodeling with promises of store sales increases &ndash; all on their (the franchisee&#39;s) dime. &quot;But the sales increases didn&#39;t show up,&quot; says Adams. &quot;That is why McDonald&#39;s franchisees are not going to invest in any more expensive programs. They just can&#39;t.&quot;</p> <p>The consultant to McDonald&#39;s franchisees and other brands thinks that even with decreasing sales, franchisees can wait out this CEO and see what his wave of top-down change brings. &quot;From the franchisee perspective, they certainly are not in the panic that management is. They take the long view,&quot; says Adams. That is because McDonald&#39;s restaurant owners have twenty-year franchise contracts. Adams points out that over the past twenty years, franchisees have seen seven CEOs at McDonald&#39;s. &quot;If you are a McDonald&#39;s franchisee, you see these chief officers come and go every couple of years,&quot; he says. &quot;It&#39;s just not a big deal.&quot;</p> <p>For years McDonald&#39;s franchisees have been quite critical of their franchisor. They feel its executives and managers are increasingly sealed into their ivory tower in Oak Brook and less plugged into franchisees and their customers. &quot;I don&#39;t think there has been a big change in the culture,&quot; says Adams on whether the new CEO and management are listening better to restaurant owners for answers. He recalls how a recent Turnaround Summit by new CEO Easterbrook was a top-down presentation. &quot;My understanding is that there were not a lot of breakout sessions or robust discussions with franchisees. It was all pretty much top-down, as was a subsequent video and presentation that Easterbrook did,&quot; Adams remarks.</p> <p>Consultant Adams has advice for McDonald&#39;s franchisees: &quot;Save your money and don&#39;t fall for every corporate program that comes around.&quot;</p> <!-- google_ad_section_end --> http://www.bluemaumau.org/14512/down_again_may_mcdonald%E2%80%99s_makes_changes#comments food Bonnie Riggs foodservice research McDonald's franchisees new CEO NYSE:MCD President Barack Obama restaurant chain turnaround restaurant researcher Richard Adams Robert Gibbs Silvia Lagnado Steve Easterbrook TDn2K's Black Box Intelligence The NPD Group Victor Fernandez Tue, 09 Jun 2015 19:21:20 +0000 Don Sniegowski 14512 at http://www.bluemaumau.org