PRESS RELEASE – Acai Express On Fast Track To East Coast Growth

Acai Express® will be featured at the Franchise Growth Solutions Pavilion (booth #346) at the 2018 International Franchise Expo (IFE) May 31-June 02 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

For Immediate Release
Contact Gary Occhiogrosso
email at [email protected]

Acai Express On Fast Track To East Coast Growth
Leading Organic Super Food Franchise soon to take on New York and New Jersey

NEW YORK May 09, 2018
Acai Express®, the Puerto Rico-based chain that offers a fresh fruit and nutrient-rich menu for healthier living, is focused on opening its first New Jersey location in 2018. Acai Express®’s next location will be the fourteenth (14) fast casual super food shop for the brand. From its humble beginning as a surf side food truck, Acai Express® currently has twelve (12) locations in Puerto Rico and one (1) stateside location in Cocoa Beach, Florida.

”The preference for a healthy lifestyle and the demand for a super food based diet has never been stronger.” Says Acai Express® founder, Hector Westerband. He envisions Acai Express outposts in every city in America and around the globe. The cornerstone of his fast casual shop’s menu is the acai berry, a purple, antioxidant-rich stone fruit that hails from the Amazon River basin. Through his work with Brazilian farmers, Westerband is helping support the communities in which the berry is grown, preserve the rainforest from further deforestation, and bring social responsibility to his franchise concept.

“As the leader in 100% organic Grade A acai and a menu that includes acai, oatmeal and pitaya bowls, smoothies, salads, juices and lemonades, Acai Express offers high quality, high nutrient meals, grain bowls, and/or desserts for active consumers.” Westerband adds, “While research has shown that Americans are willing to pay more for healthier foods, at Acai Express they don’t have to! Acai Express® offers convenient, affordable, and delicious food that is good for you – and that feeds the mind, body and soul.”

Acai Express® has teamed with franchise industry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey Acai Express® fast casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from thirteen (13) in 2018 to twenty-five (25) locations by 2020. Acai Express® is expanding in NY, CT, PA, NJ and along the eastern seaboard.

Acai Express® will be featured at the Franchise Growth Solutions Pavilion (booth #346) at the 2018 International Franchise Expo (IFE) May 31-June 02 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York.

ABOUT ACAI EXPRESS®
Acai Express® is an Acai-based super food shop that uses fresh and organic ingredients to create nutrition-rich meals for active and adventurous consumers who are proactive about their health and wellbeing. From one surfside food truck in Puerto Rico in 2013, Acai Express has grown into a recognized lifestyle brand available in 13 locations in the Puerto Rico and the U.S. Acai Express combines the growing trend toward one-bowl meals, super food ingredients, and fresh fruit smoothies in a socially responsible business model.

ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC
Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand concept and development, strategic planning, real estate and architectural development, vendor management, lead generation, and advertising, marketing and PR including social media. Franchise Growth Solutions’ proven “Coach, Mentor & Grow®” system puts both franchisors and potential franchisees on the fast track to growth. Membership in Franchise Growth Solutions’ client portfolio is by recommendation only.

For more information on ACAI EXPRESS® fast casual restaurant concept, please visit acaiexpress.com. For information on owning an ACAI EXPRESS® franchise, please contact Gary Occhiogrosso at [email protected]

“Franchises in Urban Markets across the USA”

Given the numerous types of goods and services offered by franchised operations and the resurgence of Urban markets, there is a growing trend by franchisors to focus their growth plans on the urban renaissance.

“Franchises in Urban Market across the USA”
By FMM Staff Writer

Competition in a rising Urban Economy
The US economy is one of the most innovative, dynamic and competitive in the world. Known to be the largest consumer market, there are many brands both domestic and international that focus on entering key Urban markets. The past two decades have witnessed more and more families entering and living in the urban core of the US. However, opening in a downtown location pose some challenges for the franchisee. Urban areas often have rigid regulations and extra taxes, especially for the restaurants. Rent, the most important element can be significantly higher than the franchise model calls and may drive the franchises out of the market. Organizations and individuals that realize these uniques Urban opportunities sometimes need to make adjustments to their existing models or create a new one to match the needs of the resurging Urban market. Those that can afford the rent are often forced to move into a storefront half which may require redesigning the concept of franchising from a well-established architectural footprint.

Success Keys
Regardless of the market size; according to the Gary Occhiogrosso, Founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC., a franchise needs the following attributes to be successful:

• It must be credible and needs a proven track record of success
• It must be substantially different and better from its competitors
• The systems must be in place and the knowledge transferable.
• Most importantly, the franchise must provide a return on the investment for the franchisee.

Varied Products and Services
Surprisingly, according to the IFA’s Economic Impact Study, there are over 900,000 franchise business locations and more than 3,200 different franchise creating more than $2.3 trillion in sales every year. One out of every seven jobs in the US is directly created through franchising. In addition, about 54 percent of every retail dollar is spent at a US franchisee.
Of the 3200 franchised brands, 55 percent are retail franchises of which 45 percent of the market is controlled by food. The balance of the brands in the franchise industry are service-related brands IE: lawn care, painting, real estate, senior assistance, plumbing, electrical and other mobile “man with van” type businesses.

Focus on Growth
Given the numerous types of goods and services offered by franchised operations and the resurgence of Urban markets, there is a growing trend by franchisors to focus their growth plans on the urban renaissance. The idea that “the higher the population, the greater the potential customer base” is luring franchise companies that otherwise up to this point never considered some of the larger US Urban markets. The question is; will this trend be maintained and eventually lower the financial risk associated in higher rent areas with growing competition. Be that as it may, many of franchise systems remain focused on maintaining their presence in the top 50 markets in America.

References
Franchisedirect.com, IFA, Franchise Growth Solutions,LLC.
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Let Franchise Growth Solutions turn your business into a franchise, visit www.frangrow.com

“Franchising and Succession Planning”

The key is to create the best succession plan for your current circumstances. Revisiting, re-evaluating and if necessary, updating your plan should be done annually or whenever a major event takes place in your personal or the life of the business. Succession planning requires that you seek financial and legal advice from a trusted, professional and experienced planner. Your advisor can you help you assess the best route to take, create a plan and eventually assist in carrying it out. Your succession plan should also address a number of strategic business moves.

“Franchising and Succession Planning”
By Gary Occhiogrosso
Founder – Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

Succession planning is not a topic that many small business and franchise operators what to think about. In addition to it’s often times negative connotation, its priority can sometimes be lost in the everyday whirlwind or running a business. Nonetheless, the topic is critical not only to address the question of succession should you suddenly pass away, but what role it plays in your overall business exit strategy.

When you are creating a succession plan for a franchise business, you must make important decisions and answer a number of questions. For example; these decisions may involve selling your business, transferring it to a family member or shutting it down completely? Other considerations may include whether you want to a structure your plan so that it can be executed during your lifetime, or at your death? Keep in mind, as a franchisee your options may be limited to any guidelines or rules set forth in your franchise agreement.

The key is to create the best succession plan for your current circumstances. Revisiting, re-evaluating and if necessary, updating your plan should be done annually or whenever a major event takes place in your personal or the life of the business. Succession planning requires that you seek financial and legal advice from a trusted, professional and experienced planner. Your advisor can you help you assess the best route to take, create a plan and eventually assist in carrying it out. Your succession plan should also address a number of strategic business moves. In fact, it should layout guidelines for the possibility of a sale, merger or a capital raise. It is important to state that a franchise succession planning is more than just anticipating the owner’s desire to sell the business, death or retirement. You must also consider the fact that an owner can become disabled, have conflicts with other business partners or simply approach the end of the term of a franchise agreement.
For a franchised business a plan may include the current franchisee identifying a successor, where the franchisor must then approve the successor franchisee. You may be limited to who may purchase the business or if you are allowed to transfer the franchise to a family member that would otherwise not meet the franchisor’s criteria for acceptance as a franchisee.
As you can imagine there are numerous exceptions and issues that come into play. Hence, it is important to build a successful succession plan as part of your overall Business Strategy. Many franchisees and small business owners prefer to ignore succession planning but the consequences of no succession plan can destroy years of hard work and built up equity in your business. As I have often been quoted as saying, “in business, everything touches everything else”.
Tips for a Successful Succession Planning

Consider the family dynamics
Even though the succession planning may include the family members, the existing franchise owners may also need to objectify the future leadership. Start by finding out which family member possesses the right skills, experience, and knowledge.

Selecting the right advisors
Franchise owners should seek legal guidance from the team of legal advisers. This may include attorneys, accountants, business consultants and other trusted advisors.

Realistic decisions
Be realistic about the business value. It is important to have a third party place a value on the franchise to help understand the framework and parameters of the franchise transfer.
Major Issues to Consider When Succession Planning
Are there any restrictions (external or internal ) imposed by the franchisor.
A detailed and a comprehensive buy-sell agreement funded with adequate insurance to buy out the interest of the deceased partner
A well-defined management strategy that determines who is immediately available to undertake the management functions when uncertainty prevails

Reference
Griga, M. (2018). Succession planning Archives – Commercial Associates. [online] Commercial Associates. Available at: https://www.caaa.biz/tag/succession-planning/ [Accessed 1 Apr. 2018].

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About the Author:
Gary Occhiogrosso is the Managing Partner of Franchise Growth Solutions, which is a co-operative based franchise development and sales firm.
Their “Coach, Mentor & Grow Program” focuses on helping Franchisors with their franchise development, strategic planning, advertising, selling franchises and guiding franchisors in raising growth capital.

Gary started his career in franchising as a franchisee of Dunkin Donuts before launching the Ranch *1 Franchise program with its founders. He is the former President of TRUFOODS, LLC a 100+ unit, multi-brand franchisor and former COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille. He advises several emerging and growing brands in the franchise industry

Gary was selected as “Top 25 Fast Casual Restaurant Executive in the USA” by Fast Casual Magazine and named “Top 50 CXO’s” by SmartCEO Magazine. In addition, Gary is an adjunct professor at New York University on the topics of Restaurant Concept & Business Development as well Franchising & Entrepreneurship. He has published numerous articles on the topics of Franchising, Entrepreneurship, Sales, and Marketing. He is also the host of the “Small Business & Franchise Show” broadcast over AM970 in New York City and the founder of FranchiseMoneyMaker.com To learn more visit: www.frangrow.com

SKINNYPIZZA OPENS IN GREENWICH CONNECTICUT – PIZZA THAT IS “BUILT WITH NO GUILT”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
SKINNYPIZZA® OPENS IN GREENWICH CT
Healthier Take on NY Style Pizza Adds 5th Fast Casual Restaurant
Now, diners pay one price and build their own custom SkinnyPizza® from a large selection of fresh toppings -Built With No Guilt®.” — Joe Vetrano, FOUNDER AND CEO

NEW YORK – APRIL 11, 2018
www.skinnypizza.com
SkinnyPizza®, the New York City-based chain that offers a healthier take on traditional New York-style pizza, will open its first Connecticut location on April 11, 2018 at 30 Greenwich Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut.SkinnyPizza®’s new location, the only pizza eatery on Greenwich Avenue, is making its home in a building first constructed in 1875 and is part of the Greenwich Avenue Historic District listed on the National Historic Register.

Skinny Pizza Franchisees and Greenwich residents, Dr. Denis and Eleni Bouboulis said, “We are really excited to be opening a SkinnyPizza in the Greenwich community. We fell in love with the SkinnyPizza® concept and believe it’s a great addition to Greenwich Avenue.”

Bouboulis adds, “SkinnyPizza® flavor-packed, thin crust pies are lower in calories and made using all natural, potassium bromate free flour.” SkinnyPizza® also offers a menu of pastas, salads and soups, all with a healthier take on traditional Italian favorites.

SkinnyPizza® was founded in 2009 by Long Island veteran restaurateur and CEO, Joseph Vetrano. He describes SkinnyPizza® as “real pizza, real thin.” From his experience working in his family’s pizza and pasta restaurant, Vetrano saw the trend to cut carbohydrates and calories in classic food stuffs – and offer a level of interactivity to the process. Now, diners pay one price and build their own custom SkinnyPizza® from a large selection of fresh toppings. Vetrano calls his custom SkinnyPizza® pies, “Built With No Guilt®.” Vetrano continued by announcing that SkinnyPizza® plans to roll out a new Cauliflower Pizza Crust”

SkinnyPizza® will cater to Connecticut consumers who, like ninety-three percent (93%) of Americans, enjoy pizza monthly, and the two-thirds who opt for a thin crust pizza variety, according to Statistic Brain in 2018. The SkinnyPizza® menu was designed for those that are health- and environmentally conscious, with pizza sauce made from organic tomatoes and pasta dishes made from organic, GMO-free, egg-free, cholesterol-free, low-sodium, high-fiber pasta. The location also offers a line of soups that include vegan, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options.

The Greenwich Avenue SkinnyPizza® location will open in Connecticut on April 11, 2018 with a ribbon cutting at 10amET. Local politicians and members of the Chamber of Commerce will be on hand to conduct the ceremony. To celebrate the Grand Opening, SkinnyPizza® will offer one dollar ($1.00) priced pizzas from 11:30am to 2:30pm to 500 customers who present a redeemable ticket on-site. Street teams locally will distribute the tickets to Greenwich Avenue shoppers and merchants in the days leading up to the Grand Opening. SkinnyPizza® will also provide the Greenwich Chamber with pizza samples at their Business Showcase on April 26, 2018.Mr. Occhiogrosso has over 30 years’ experience in franchise development and was integral to the success of nationally recognized brands including Ranch *1, Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille, and brands found under the multi-brand franchisor, TRUFOODS, LLC.

SkinnyPizza®’s Greenwich location joins other franchises & company owned restaurants in New York City, Long Island, Dallas, Pennsylvania and Saudi Arabia. Vetrano has teamed with franchiseindustry expert, Gary Occhiogrosso, founder of Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC, to expand the turnkey SkinnyPizza® fast casual QSR (quick service restaurant) business model from five (5) locations in 2018 to fifteen (15) locations by 2020. SkinnyPizza® franchises are currently available in NY, CT, PA, NJ and along the eastern seaboard.

SkinnyPizza shoot @ 225 Liberty Street Locacion, NYC

ABOUT SKINNY PIZZA®
SKINNYPIZZA® is the first fast casual pizza concept emerging from the New York market; the home of some of the greatest tasting pizza in the country. SKINNYPIZZA® has transformed pizza, one of America’s most popular food options, into a healthy food choice that raises the consciousness of nutrition and health. SKINNYPIZZA® is categorized as fast casual dining that offers custom made pizza, organic salads, soups and pastas. SKINNYPIZZA®’s diverse menu prides itself on using fine ingredients with no preservatives or additives. The ingredients used are delivered fresh daily from local markets. The tomatoes are 100% organic and the meats are hormone and nitrate free. The pizza crust is made using all natural flour, potassium bromate free. The guests choose from original white crust, wheat or gluten-free and can build their own custom pizza according to their dietary preference. All-natural Stubborn sodas are among the beverage selections available.

ABOUT FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC
Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a strategic planning, franchise development and sales organization offering franchise sales, brand development, strategic planning, real estate and architectural development, vendor management, lead generation, and advertising, marketing and PR including social media. Franchise Growth Solutions’ proven “Coach, Mentor & Grow®” system puts both franchisors and potential franchisees on the fast track to growth. Membership in Franchise Growth Solutions’ client portfolio is by recommendation only.

For more information on SKINNYPIZZA® fast casual restaurant concept, please visit skinnypizza.com. For information on owning your own SKINNYPIZZA® franchise, please contact Gary Occhiogrosso at 917.991.2465 or via email at gary(at)skinnypizza(dot)com

CONTACT: Gary Occhiogrosso
Franchise Growth Solutions
917.991.2465
gary.skinnypizza.com
www.frangrow.com

Video Education Series-Onboarding New Franchisees

Video Education Series-Onboarding New Franchisees
By Gary Occhiogrosso – Managing Partner – FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS,LLC.

Enjoy the first edition in our franchisor education video series. This session covered the topic of “Onboarding” new franchisees. Our panel of experts share tips for successful growth of your franchise company. Our panenist: Robyn Elman, Paul Samson, Jason Mazzerone, Ed Teixeira.
Hosted at Harold Kestenbaum’s Franchise Forum in #Melville, NY
The full 1 hour session is available by contacting [email protected]

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About the Moderator and Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.

Mr. Occhiogrosso’s involvement in business development & franchising began in 1984 when he left a decade-long career in NY radio to become a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee. In addition to operating a successful retail shop, Mr. Occhiogrosso created a wholesale baked goods division within the company which supplied donuts and other fresh-baked goods to over 80 points of sale while concurrently serving on Dunkin’ Donuts’ franchisee advisory council and advertising committee. Mr. Occhiogrosso continued his involvement in franchising in 1989 by opening a gourmet confection and gift basket shop, Ralph’s Nut Pound. As a advisor to the franchisor, the company developed 53 additional units.

He followed up its success in 1991 with GPM Consulting Inc., a New York-based Sales and Brand Development firm which successfully developed several national franchise brands including Blimpie Salad and Subs, Treasure Cache, Teamworks and Ranch*1.

Working with the founders of Ranch *1 Franchise Corp., he grew the brand into a 60 unit restaurant chain with commitments for an additional 200 units. Gary and the original Ranch*1 management team created the operating system and strategic development plan for the company. In addition he planned and executed Ranch*1 advertising and brand development strategy which included the “Howard Stern” radio show and NY TV campaigns.

Mr. Occhiogrosso moved on to become President & COO of Desert Moon Fresh Mexican Grille a Fresh Mexican fast casual concept where lead the concept from a 4 unit start-up to 23 unit regional chain. He elected to leave that role in early 2009 to become the President of the up-and-coming 100+ unit Multi Brand franchisor TRUFOODS, LLC.

He is the founder of the educational franchise website: Franchise Money Maker.com and Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC.Mr. Occhiogrosso maintains memberships in the International Franchise Association.

FRANCHISE GROWTH SOLUTIONS, LLC. is a strategic planning, franchise development & sales organization. Admission into our membership client portfolio is by recommendation only. Our service is offered only to those recommended & qualified franchisors committed to growing their brand. Our “Coach, Mentor & Grow”® program helps put your system on a fast growth track.

Franchise Growth Solutions. LLC. can connect you to and expertly deliver all franchise disciplines from:

Franchise Sales * Concept & Brand Development * Operations Manuals

Strategic Planning * Real Estate Selection * Lead Genration

Social Media, Advertising & Marketing * UFDD Development * Public Relations

Architectural Design & Construction * Vendor Negotiation & Product Purchasing

Developing your “Elevator Pitch” * Media Coaching

Since we limit our client list, you must be recommended into our Member Client Portfolio. Please contact us to discuss a free evaluation interview. We will have an open, honest discussion regarding your brand, its growth potential and whether we mutually agree if Franchise Growth Solutions, LLC is a good fit. www.frangrow.com