Live To Tell | February 22, 2019
Live To Tell | February 22, 2019

The underground story of business, entrepreneurs and influencers.

Talk About It

Fantastic: As more and more data reveals consumers increasingly prefer food delivery to its alternatives, Blaze Pizza is responding with a menu adjustment. The Los Angeles-based pizza chain has added a 14-inch pizza option to its menu, becoming the latest brand to test larger pizzas in an effort to boost delivery sales by emphasizing a sharable offering. When is more pizza ever anything less than fantastic?

Celebrity: NBA star Kawhi Leonard is notorious for keeping quiet. You’d think that would make him pretty hard to market, right? New Balance was charged with the task after Leonard signed a lucrative sneaker deal with the brand and rose to the challenge by embracing Leonard’s silent-but-deadly demeanor in a new commercial that debuted during NBA All-Star Weekend. The commercial has no sound and instead includes a series of text that directs the viewer to focus on talent over Twitter presence. “Kawhi doesn’t need your attention,” the commercial reads. “He already has it. Game speaks for itself.”

Cash Money: Instagram users will be able to put their cash money toward a good cause thanks to a new donation sticker that is reportedly debuting on the app later this year. The feature mirrors Facebook’s fundraising tool that has raised over $1 billion for charitable organizations and personal causes since its launch and will let users search for non-profits and add a donate button to their Instagram story. A “potentially lucrative side effect” of the feature, TechCrunch pointed out, is the fact that it will require users to put their credit card information on file, helping to further Facebook’s commerce strategy in 2019.

Forward Thinking: Restaurant brands looking to better serve customer demands while also increasing back-of-house efficiency had a host of beverage equipment options to explore at the annual NAFEM show earlier this month. One of the coolest products on display was the Bottoms Up automatic beer-pouring system that fills pints and pitchers of beer from the bottom of the glass using a magnet. While the system has been around for a decade, brands like Taco Bell and Pizza Hut are starting to use the equipment as a means of reducing waste and giving employees more flexibility behind the counter.

Friend or Foe: The U.S. Department of Labor has officially rescinded the “80/20 rule” after announcing plans to revise the law late last year. Since 2009, restaurants had been prohibited from paying employees sub-minimum wage for non-tipped work like cleaning. As of last week, the federal government will no longer prohibit foodservice employers from paying their employees a tipped-wage for performing duties “contemporaneously with direct customer-service duties.

Quote: “With any brand, older ones especially, there are long lists of priorities and challenges. If you're able to rank and concentrate on those priorities, you'll have more success. For us, we worked with a leadership coach who helped us determine our core brand focus and values. ... By identifying these driving factors at the heart of our business, we’ve been able to find better ways to embed them through our system.” - Hungry Howie’s CEO Steve Jackson on the brand’s rise to legacy status.

Heating Up

Too often, brands prioritize selling franchises over developing franchisees. To put themselves in the best position for long-term success, 1851 publisher and No Limit Agency CEO Nick Powills argues in his latest column, franchisors should chase royalties, not fees. By focusing less on the one-time fees that come with a franchise sale and instead on the royalties that come with a strong system full of happy, profitable franchisees, brands create better value for themselves when (not if, when) they explore a sale.

Life Drives Success

This week, Nick interviews his longtime friend, Scott Thompson. Thompson has nearly two decades of experience in the franchise industry, in almost every capacity, at that. He’s been a multi-unit franchisee, master franchisee, franchise supplier, broker and has served on the executive team and board of multiple franchisors. His current role as Chief Development Officer at L-5 Capital and Big Blue Swim School challenges him to draw on all of his previous roles to ignite brand growth. The two discuss how life’s early trials fueled their path to success, personally and professionally.