Franchises

Building off Circle finally lands a tenantRestricted Content

June 1, 2009
T-Mobile has inked a five-year lease for a 2,200-square-foot space at the 2 N. Meridian St. building on the northwest corner of Washington and Meridian streets.
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Ritter's buyer retools custard chainRestricted Content

May 4, 2009
Sam Stall
Indianapolis residents have been passionate about Ritter's handmade frozen custard ever since it debuted almost two decades ago. But while the ice cream is sweet, the story of the former mom-and-pop company's attempts to morph into something grander is decidedly bitter. Now, New York-based TruFoods, which bought the company in May 2008, is trying to get the formula right.
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Steak n Shake hoping to roll out lower-cost, limited-service storesRestricted Content

May 4, 2009
Cory Schouten
TV spots for Steak n Shake Co. used to play up the chain's full-service restaurants, complete with friendly servers, real plates and glass ketchup bottles—a departure from the "workaraunts" operated by McDonald's and Burger King. Now, Steak n Shake is developing plans for its own workaraunts.
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Franchisors also feel recession's financial pinchRestricted Content

March 30, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
About two dozen franchises based in Indiana are not immune to difficulties during the recession.
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Franchise outlook is murkyRestricted Content

March 30, 2009
Peter Schnitzler
Undaunted, some entrepreneurs still count on franchises, despite the shaky economy.
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Noble Roman's stands to lose more than it's worth in legal action by former franchiseesRestricted Content

March 23, 2009
Cory Schouten
More former franchisees have joined a lawsuit against Noble Roman's Inc., raising the prospect that a courtroom loss could sink the locally based pizza chain.
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Cookie Cutters not trimming back on expansion plansRestricted Content

March 16, 2009
Sam Stall
Cookie Cutters, a locally based franchise that offers children's haircuts, is so sure of its grip on its niche that — in spite of tough economic times — it hopes to increase its tally of franchised locations past 100 within five years.
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Jack in the Box coming to IndyRestricted Content

March 16, 2009
The West Coast fast-food stalwart Jack in the Box is looking to expand to Indianapolis this year.
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Franchises can be safer business investments in tough timesRestricted Content

December 15, 2008
Scott Olson
What is the current state of franchising, given the tough economic environment?
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Green Mountain entrepreneur compiles 17-percent stake in struggling Noble Roman's

November 24, 2008
Cory Schouten
Robert P. Stiller, a lifelong entrepreneur who built Green Mountain into a wholesale coffee giant with 7,000 customers and $500 million in revenue, owns 3.4 million shares, or 17 percent of the Noble Roman's company.
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Steak n Shake CEO ordering up cost cuts, but shares still sagRestricted Content

October 27, 2008
Cory Schouten

The Steak n Shake Co. has dropped plans to build 20 new restaurants, is cutting overhead expenses by about $20 million, and closed 14 locations. The Indianapolis-based restaurant chain found $16 million in tax savings dating back to 2006 and is working on a new, simple menu built around burgers, fries and milkshakes--all part of a turnaround plan orchestrated by the chain's new CEO, Sardar Biglari.


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Hands-on strategy turns Mike's Carwash into industry modelRestricted Content

September 22, 2008
Sam Stall

Mike's Express Carwash makes money the old-fashioned way. The second-generation family affair, now celebrating its 60th year, has invested its reserves in steady expansion, becoming a model for the $23.4 billion industry in the process. And its owners still sweat the small stuff.


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Ex-franchisees sue Noble Roman'sRestricted Content

July 7, 2008
Cory Schouten
Nine former Noble Roman's franchisees and a current operator have filed a lawsuit charging that the Indianapolis chain lied to them about the costs and risks of opening one of its pizza and sub restaurants. The franchisees say the 1,000-restaurant chain aggressively marketed its stand-alone, dual-brand Noble Roman's and Tuscano's Italian Style Subs restaurants without testing the concept--a scheme they contend was designed to inflate the company's stock price so owners could unload shares at a profit.
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Texas investor enlists former Steak n Shake exec in quest to revive chainRestricted Content

April 21, 2008
Cory Schouten
Two executives with longtime ties to The Steak n Shake Co. have joined a dissident Texas investor in his quest to overhaul the Indianapolis-based restaurant chain. Shareholders who have agreed to work with Sardar Biglari include a former board member the company once described as a "modern-day founder" of the restaurant chain, along with a former partner in Kelley & Partners Ltd., the investment firm led by company patriarch E.W. Kelley before his 2003 death.
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Struggling Noble Roman's takes over franchisee's 6 unitsRestricted Content

March 24, 2008
Cory Schouten
Noble Roman's Inc. has taken over the operation of six franchised restaurants in Indianapolis in a bid to prove its concept can be executed profitably. The move--which comes amid a chorus of discontent from franchisees and as the company explores the possibility of selling itself--could help the 1,000-restaurant chain avoid the embarrassment of store failures in its own back yard.
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Texas investor wins over Steak n Shake shareholders, aims for chairmanship

March 17, 2008
Cory Schouten
Texas investor Sardar Biglari rode a wave of shareholder anger to a landslide victory in his quest for Steak n Shake Co. board seats. Now, the dissident 30-year-old investor who models his approach after Warren Buffett's is hoping to deliver on his promise to turn around the Indianapolis-based chain, with or without the chairmanship he covets.
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Fishers' hoops venue signs 2 franchise deals, plans moreRestricted Content

February 11, 2008
Anthony Schoettle
A multi-court basketball fieldhouse is doing such brisk business in Fishers, its owners have decided to franchise the operation. Scott Burton, CEO of The Fieldhouse, said deals have already been signed with franchisees in Merrillville and in Naperville, Ill.
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Failing Noble Roman's franchisees say chain doesn't deliver on promisesRestricted Content

December 24, 2007
Cory Schouten
Noble Roman's Inc. wrote an impressive comeback story by selling its home-grown pizza and subs concepts to hundreds of gas stations, bowling alleys and food courts. But the Indianapolis company's push to add stand-alone restaurants across the country isn't going as smoothly.
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Ritter's sets new game planRestricted Content

November 26, 2007
Cory Schouten
The Indianapolis-based parent of the Ritter's Frozen Custard brand has been stuck in a cold streak lately, facing scores of new ice-cream competitors and a dwindling lineup of franchisees. But RFC Franchising LLC is planning big changes designed to firm up the home-grown chain, which now has 48 stores in nine states, down from more than 60 locations in 2005.
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Noble Roman's rebuilds empire through franchisingRestricted Content

August 20, 2007
Michael Dabney
Noble Roman's Inc. stock this year has been rising nearly as fast as its pizza dough, defying skeptics who'd written off the long-ailing Indianapolis company. With a new business strategy built on franchising and dual-branded restaurants, Noble Roman's has seen quarter-to-quarter earnings increase for more than two years.
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Modernized Dunkin' Donuts plans 10-plus area storesRestricted Content

August 21, 2006
Chris O'Malley
Boston-based Dunkin' Donuts is salivating over the prospect of ringing up big sales in Indianapolis and wants to franchise at least 10 stores here within the next year as part of a national expansion.
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Noble Roman's seeking a return to gloryRestricted Content

August 7, 2006
Tom Murphy
Noble Roman's Inc. executives think they've found the recipe to lift their company out of its stock malaise. The Indianapolis company started franchising last year restaurants that feature dual branding with its Tuscano's Italian Style Subs, and it plans 157 locations within three years.
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