All posts by All Points Public Relations

Coconut’s Fish Cafe Marks Millionth Customer with Grand Prize Giveaway

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Coconut’s Fish Cafe Marks Millionth Customer with Grand Prize Giveaway

Iconic Hawaiian Restaurant Celebrates Monumental Moment with Food, Fun and Prizes

KIHEI, Hawaii – The moment has arrived.

Coconut’s Fish Café (Coconut’s), the famed home of Hawaii’s favorite fresh fish tacos, will honor its one-millionth customer on Wednesday, February 11th in its Maui restaurant at 1279 South Kihei Rd.

The lucky customer will be rewarded with a year of free dining. Guests that are present for the milestone moment will be awarded t-shirts, leis and other prizes throughout the course of the afternoon. Special guest, Kimokeo Kapahulehua, a renowned Maui-based cultural ambassador, will be present for the celebration.

“The grand prize giveaway is our way of saying thank you to the individuals and families who dine at our restaurants day in and day out,” said Michael Phillips, founder and CEO of Coconut’s Fish Cafe. “From the beginning, we have been committed to serving our friends, family and neighbors the freshest fare on the island. Because of this, many of them keep on coming back for more.”

Since opening its flagship cafe on Maui in 2009, Coconut’s has consistently lived up to its beloved reputation. Three clear distinctions define the brand and separate it within the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry. First, it’s the Aloha spirit that guides each cafe’s operational excellence. Kindness fills the cafe, cleanliness can be observed throughout, guests are given undivided attention and vibrant colors, custom surfboard tables, and Hawaiian décor electrify the atmosphere.

The next distinction is the restaurant’s menu, which is filled with fresh flavors that burst with every bite. True to its Hawaiian roots, the brand’s signature dish, Fish Tacos, have seven textures and 17 different ingredients. The use of pineapple and mango deliver the tropics directly to each guest’s plate and the brand’s fish are caught wild.

The third key differentiator is price. Coconut’s offers value to its customers unlike any other concept. Nowhere else is fish of this high quality offered at $12; in upscale restaurants, the same pieces of fish are sold for $40 or more.

“Throughout the years, I have seen so many faces at Coconut’s – students, families, professionals, tourists – every kind of customer,” added Phillips. “With our fresh fish and Aloha spirit, we have built a loyal following on the island, which has transformed our family-restaurant into a local institution. I couldn’t be more proud of my each and every one of our staff for helping us reach this moment.”

While seating is limited, the Maui-based restaurant has served an impressive number of customers in the years since its launch, turning tables an average of 11 times throughout the course of the day.

In addition to the success Coconut’s has achieved locally, the brand has earned approval in mid-2014 to expand through franchising in California. The company has now located its mainland headquarters in Reno, Nev. and will award multi- and single-unit opportunities in markets up and down the California coast to qualified restaurant investment groups and individuals in 2015.

To learn more about Coconut’s, visit the brand’s website CoconutsFishCafe.com.

About Coconut’s Fish Cafe

Michael Phillips, a successful entrepreneur several times over in the restaurant industry, founded Coconut’s Fish Cafe in 2009 in Kihei, Hawaii on the island of Maui. Retired in Hawaii yet seeking a restaurant offering fresh foods and outstanding service, Phillips started Coconut’s to enjoy great-tasting meals with his neighbors in Kihei. Today, Coconut’s is revolutionizing the fast casual restaurant sector with its fresh, healthy and affordable menu options, featuring wild-caught fish and a wide selection of fresh, authentic Hawaiian ingredients. Currently with its flagship in Hawaii and corporate headquarters in Nevada, the restaurant concept is expanding across the country through a focused franchising initiative.

To learn more about Coconut’s Fish Cafe franchise opportunities, contact Frances Oney at franchising@coconutsfishcafe.com. And for more information about the cafes, visit www.coconutsfishcafe.com.

PR Associate Niveen Saleh Discusses Phone Etiquette in February’s Seminar

10980152_895703827129049_5705855472937201125_oAt All Points PR, we spend our mornings pitching reporters, editors and producers over the phone. Whether we discuss our clients’ expert roles in their fields, or an achievement they are making to the community, we try to get on the phone as much as possible.

Phone pitching is a great way to establish relationships with the media, and it gives our work more of a human touch. With this being said, there are also a couple of rules that come into play when contacting any member of the press.

This month, we are happy to say that fellow PR Associate Niveen Saleh, decided to tackle this subject in her Monthly Seminar, titled “Phone Etiquette in PR.”

Here is a summary of her key points:

Always ask the reporter if he/she has time to discuss your pitch

  • Phone pitches should last a minute or less.
  • Focus on the larger story and how your client fits into it.

Don’t be afraid of rejection

  • If the reporter doesn’t want to use your pitch, take the opportunity to ask what he/she would be more interested in.

Benefits of phone pitching

  • Creates a sense of urgency
  • Prompts an immediate response
  • Makes you more memorable

Overall, Niveen had a great and visual presentation. She provided helpful tips that are sure to guide any PR professional while calling a member of the press.

Stay tuned for our next Monthly Seminar!

Kenmore Square Crowds Get Falafel Fix: Amsterdam Falafelshop Opens Second Boston Shop

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Kenmore Square Crowds Get Falafel Fix: Amsterdam Falafelshop Opens Second Boston Shop

Popular, Top-it-Yourself Falafel Shop with Amsterdam Vibe and Cult-Like Following Open in Premier Boston Location

BOSTON – Amsterdam Falafelshop is catapulting the falafel craze it has created in Boston to a new level.

Today, the iconic fast casual restaurant concept announced its second Boston area shop, seventh overall, is opening mid February in Kenmore Square.

Located at 642 Beacon Street, the new shop is in close proximity to Fenway Park and Boston University in a vibrant mixed-use residential and entertainment neighborhood. Local entrepreneurs and business partners Matt D’Alessio and Laurence Wintersteen own and will operate the new shop.

“Our time has arrived. Amsterdam Falafelshop is solidifying its place in Boston lore as the brand expands its presence locally and is received so well by our growing fan base,” said D’Alessio, who owns and operates the brand’s Somerville location that commands remarkable foot traffic at all hours, lunch through late night. “Opening in Kenmore Square is another validation of just how popular our shops have become. The falafel, the ambiance, the service…it’s all tops among our competitors.”

A staple in the Washington D.C. area, where there are four existing locations, this is the area’s second Boston area restaurant. Amsterdam Falafelshop also has locations open and in development in Virginia and Maryland.

“It’s clearly become an infectious brand,” said Wintersteen, a seasoned restaurateur in the Boston market. “The constant flow of people coming by and welcoming us — getting excited for our arrival — during our last days of construction, is further evidence of the demand for the brand.

The renowned top-it-yourself falafel shop with a vibe, culture and flavor that commands a global fan base has become a sensation, consistently topping best-food lists, receiving widespread food-critic acclaim and winning over the hearts of discerning customers who have made it a top restaurant on Yelp. In addition to serving fresh-made falafel sandwiches and Dutch-style fries [“frieten”], shops offer nearly two-dozen toppings for patrons to customize their falafel. These unique differentiators inspired D’Alessio, who couldn’t resist the opportunity to expand with Amsterdam Falafelshop.

“We are excited to be working with Matt and Laurence to grow the brand,” said Arianne Bennett, co-founder and CEO of Amsterdam Falafelshop. “I have said from the beginning that we want to grow with the right people. Matt and Laurence are a great example. They share our passion for cool vibes, fresh falafel and a culture unlike any other. We are thrilled to have them on-board.”

In addition to growing in Boston, Amsterdam Falafelshop is moving forward with an aggressive U.S. franchise growth plan calling for expansion into other select urban centers where the brand can maintain its originality among a diverse collection of consumers. The company is still accepting applications from qualified franchisees interested in further developing key U.S. areas throughout the Northeast, Eastern Seaboard, Midwest and Southeast. Target markets include the Washington D.C. metro area and Baltimore, Atlanta, the Carolinas, Miami, Tampa, the New York metro area, Philadelphia and Richmond. Plus, Amsterdam Falafelshop has also pinpointed metropolitan areas across the midsection of the nation such as Chicago, Ohio, and other major metro markets in Texas and California.

For more information about Amsterdam Falafelshop and the new Kenmore Square location, visit: http://www.falafelshop.com.

About Amsterdam Falafelshop

Since opening in 2004 in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Adams Morgan neighborhood, Amsterdam Falafelshop has become a magnetic destination. The top-it-yourself falafel sandwich and Dutch-style fries shop with a vibe and culture tailored to meeting the taste and atmospheric demands of urbanites nationwide creates an unforgettable, unique experience in every community it enters. Shops retain a feeling of neighborhood independence amid a period of crucial franchise growth. With three locations operating today and multiple units in development, plans call for an exponential increase in franchised sister-shops, adding dozens of Amsterdam Falafelshop franchise locations across urban centers nationwide. For more information about the restaurants, please visit www.Falafelshop.com. To learn about available franchise opportunities, click on the website’s “Franchise Opportunities” tab.

All Points PR Elicits Substantial Coverage for Client Giveaway Day

All Points PR secured a standout piece with the influential Dallas Morning News on behalf of restaurant client la Madeleine Country French Cafe in order to promote their highly anticipated event Free Croissant Day. Working with editors at the paper, All Points secured several articles, social media posts and a TV segment announcing the giveaway.

Social Media for SMBs in 2015

Business owners, no matter how small the operation, can no longer ignore social media. Make the most of your online presence in 2015 by learning to turn posts into sales.

ENGAGEMENT > FOLLOWER COUNT

While having millions of followers is great, it’s more important to have an engaged following. Engaged followers buy your product, encourage their friends to look at your brand and perform the vital function of word-of-mouth marketing. When looking for numbers to show the growth in your pages, think about more realistic metrics: impressions, total reach and click-through rate.

TRACK YOUR EFFORTS

In some ways, social media marketing is no different than traditional marketing: invest in platforms you can track. Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest all have built-in management tools for businesses. Third-party sites like Curelate will compile the stats from Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr for you in one convenient place. By keeping records of how each site performs with your brand, you can easily decide where to put money to get the most bang for your buck. In some cases, you can directly correlate your sales with these social advertising numbers — we call this the point of conversion.

CONTENT IS KING

Focus on creating a captive audience by mixing posts that sell your product/service with relevant trending content. Even better, link back to your blog, where you can keep your customers engaged after the point of sale by providing valuable content to them. For example, if your business is in the beauty industry, post about seasonal skin care tips, the best lipstick to wear to an office holiday party or how to maintain the shape of a long beard. Give your customers a reason to look at your page even when they aren’t due for a haircut.

BIGGER, BETTER IMAGERY

A 140-character post is simply too long for many consumers to read. The key to capturing new audiences in 2015 is bright, beautiful imagery. This could mean investing in a professional photographer or starting up an Instagram. Videos are also great to market your business on social media. The Ice Bucket Challenge last summer is a perfect example of how a simple call to action in a video can create a viral campaign.

STICK TO WHAT WORKS

One of the most important things to remember this year is that your business does not need to be on every social media channel. Pick those that have the best impact on your fan base. The best way to decide which is best is to look at the engagement and reach on each.

TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS

Looking for the best way to make an impact with your social media marketing in 2015? Hire professionals. While anyone can create a social media page, managing it efficiently — in a way that turns a profit for your business — requires more than just checking it once or twice a day. While organic reach is nearly non-existent, the cost per acquisition on social media is still a fraction of what you’ll pay for traditional advertising, so get the most bang for your buck by turning to a PR or marketing agency to run your pages.

Download the PDF file .

Coconut’s Fish Cafe Blesses Historic First Franchise Opening with Traditional Hawaiian Ceremony in Dallas

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Coconut’s Fish Cafe Blesses Historic First Franchise Opening with Traditional Hawaiian Ceremony in Dallas

Iconic Hawaiian Cultural Ambassador Leads Grand Opening Celebration; Authentic Ritual Bridges Hawaii and North Texas

KIHEI, Hawaii – Coconut’s Fish Cafe has given Dallas residents a strong dose of Hawaiian culture. At its historic, first franchise opening held recently at Dallas’ attractive Pavilion on Lovers Lane shopping center, guests witnessed a traditional Hawaiian blessing ceremony and sampled many of the restaurant’s tropical dishes.

The famed home of Hawaiian fish tacos and the wildly popular phenomenon that has become an unquestioned sensation on the mainland hosted a celebration to welcome long-time, loyal fans and new DFW admirers alike. The Dallas opening marks a new milestone for the brand, becoming the first franchise location and a symbol of the ongoing U.S. franchising strategy announced last year.

The grand opening event began with a traditional Hawaiian blessing intended to unite workers and guests in the spirit of aloha. Kimokeo Kapahulehua, renowned Maui-based cultural ambassador, flew in to officiate the blessing. As an integral figure in the preservation and restoration efforts of Hawaiian culture and tradition, he exemplifies the warmth and friendliness of the Islands.

“The opening marked a memorable day for our brand. I have no words to describe how grateful we are to open our cafe doors to the Dallas community,” said Michael Phillips, founder and CEO of Coconut’s Fish Cafe, who opened the first location in Kihei, Hawaii on Maui in 2009. “The locals have welcomed us with open arms from the beginning and are the sole reason this event was such a success.”

Dallas’ grand opening event is a significant moment for the concept and the start of region-wide growth for the brand. As Coconut’s recently announced its franchising initiative targeting the mainland, the brand is thrilled to have the father-son duo of Tim and Nathan Brasher opening and running the cafe in Dallas. Together, they plan to continue spreading the aloha spirit through opening several additional cafes between Dallas and Austin in the coming years. The next location will also open in the Dallas market in the first quarter of 2015.

In addition to the planned Texas expansion, Coconut’s earned approval in mid-2014 to expand through franchising in California. The brand has now located its mainland headquarters in Reno, Nev. and will award multi- and single-unit opportunities in markets up and down the California coast to qualified restaurant investment groups and individuals in 2015.

Coconut’s offers value to its customers unlike any other concept. Nowhere else is fish of such high quality offered at $12; in upscale restaurants, the same pieces of fish are sold for $40 or more.

Given the differentiators, Coconut’s stands as a premium brand in the fast-casual category. To preserve the brand equity it has built, Coconut’s is taking an extremely calculated and methodical approach to awarding franchise opportunities. Qualified candidates must prioritize the brand as his or her/the group’s primary business. Previous restaurant ownership is preferred, and, most importantly, franchisees should embrace the Aloha spirit that has cultivated Coconut’s culture.

Complete with thorough training, site selection support and marketing programs, the Coconut’s Fish Cafe business model has been cultivated to attract individuals or teams with an ambition to succeed, strong values and solid community connections.

To learn more about Coconut’s, visit the brand’s website CoconutsFishCafe.com.

About Coconut’s Fish Cafe

Michael Phillips, a successful entrepreneur several times over in the restaurant industry, founded Coconut’s Fish Cafe in 2009 in Kihei, Hawaii on the island of Maui. Retired in Hawaii yet seeking a restaurant offering fresh foods and outstanding service, Phillips started Coconut’s to enjoy great-tasting meals with his neighbors in Kihei. Today, Coconut’s is revolutionizing the fast casual restaurant sector with its fresh, healthy and affordable menu options, featuring wild-caught fish and a wide selection of fresh, authentic Hawaiian ingredients. Currently with its flagship in Hawaii and corporate headquarters in Nevada, the restaurant concept is expanding across the country through a focused franchising initiative.

To learn more about Coconut’s Fish Cafe franchise opportunities, contact Frances Oney at franchising@coconutsfishcafe.com. And for more information about the cafes, visit www.coconutsfishcafe.com.

All Points PR Uses Social Media to Secure Series of News Segments

All Points PR reached out to influential anchors of San Diego’s Fox 5 station to secure five clips during one two-hour morning show. During the segment, the news crew toured the store, saw how the ice cream was made and interacted with guests. The whole process was embellished by Fox 5’s social media coverage of the event, drawing more attention to client Sloan’s Ice Cream.

La Madeleine Signs Multi-Unit Development Agreement with Chalak Mitra Group

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La Madeleine Signs Multi-Unit Development Agreement with Chalak Mitra Group

Deal includes acquisition of five existing units and development of 12 new cafés in Oklahoma and Central Texas

DALLAS – La Madeleine, the authentic country French café, announced today a multi-unit agreement that further advances the company’s strategic franchising initiative.

Coming as another indication of la Madeleine’s strength and desire to elevate its footprint in select U.S. markets, the agreement showcases the demand the brand commands from many of the restaurant industry’s most seasoned owner/operator groups. The Dallas-based restaurant company, which has a collection of more than 70 bakery cafés, has completed the deal with the Chalak Mitra Group, a team of proven restaurant operators who currently run hundreds of fast casual restaurants in Texas in addition to multiple units of KFC, Taco Bell and Long John Silver’s.

“This newly formed relationship with the Chalak Mitra Group is a significant step in la Madeleine’s franchise development strategy,” said David Gonzalez, vice president of franchise development for la Madeleine. “The Chalak Mitra Group has a strong reputation in the restaurant industry as rock solid operators. Their understanding of the fast casual segment serves la Madeleine well.”

Deepen Patel, a veteran of the Chalak Mitra Group, will be the operating partner behind the 12 new la Madeleine cafés planned for Central Texas and Oklahoma, as well as the existing five cafés in San Antonio and Tulsa. He previously owned a small chain of pizza shops in Dallas.

“La Madeleine is an obvious fit for Oklahoma and Central Texas. Cities such as Oklahoma City, Wichita Falls, Norman and Amarillo are in for a delicious fast casual surprise,” Patel said. “Plus, we’ll expand the concept in a few of our existing markets such as San Antonio. The brand is in prime position for growth and we’re proud to be the group carrying on its tradition.”

Part of la Madeleine’s unique appeal is its consistent customer traffic throughout the day, at breakfast, lunch and dinner. Currently, the concept offers a tremendous ground floor opportunity to become part of a brand adored for its food and ambiance in the restaurant industry’s top-performing fast-casual sector.

“Aligning with a group such as Chalak Mitra is tremendous validation for our franchising initiative,” said Gonzalez. “This agreement further solidifies the reputation of the la Madeleine brand within the restaurant industry.”

La Madeleine’s signature country French recipes are handcrafted and made to order in a warm and relaxing environment. Each café conjures the aura of the French countryside, welcoming guests to experience delectable country French cuisine in a warm, inviting ambiance every day. Writing recipes using classic French techniques, la Madeleine’s menu includes 76 items made from scratch daily. For more information, visit www.lamadeleine.com.

About la Madeleine

Dallas-based la Madeleine Country French Café was established in 1983 by self-described “French country boy” Patrick Esquerré to fulfill his dream of bringing classic French country fare to America. Inspired by his mother’s cooking, Patrick insisted on maintaining the integrity of French cuisine by using fresh ingredients and recipes that have been passed from one generation to the next.

From its signature fireplace to its crave-worthy food, la Madeleine offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where guests are invited to come and stay in a casual, French home atmosphere. La Madeleine’s French-inspired fare served throughout the day during breakfast, lunch and dinner features handcrafted entrées, sandwiches, salades and soupes, as well as freshly-baked breads, artisan pâtisseries and several additional distinctive specialties. La Madeleine’s authenticity, innovation and fresh menu items differentiates the brand, creating widespread restaurant investor appeal.

A treasured part of many communities for more than 30 years, there are currently more than 70 cafés across Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. For more information on menu items, café locations and hours of operation, visit www.laMadeleine.com.

For more information about franchising, visit www.lamadeleine.com, or contact David Gonzalez at (214) 458-7022, or email him at dgonzalez@leduffamerica.com

PR Associate Amy Lecza Sends All Points PR to AP Style Boot Camp

10923583_884171634948935_5150281668553607088_nAs a franchise PR firm, we stay true to AP Style in all communications possible. When we are consistently tracking news coverage, crafting new pitches or press releases, AP Style has never let us down. With this being said, we were thrilled to see that Amy decided to conduct an “AP Style Boot Camp” for her monthly seminar.

Highly regarded in our office as a clear communicator, concise writer and someone who has nearly memorized the AP Stylebook, Amy was the best person to present on the topic.

Here is a summary of her key points:

As PR professionals, we are consistently connecting with reporters and editors regarding story ideas, interview arrangements or to simply check in.

For this reason, in any and all correspondence, it is important to stay true to AP Style standards, as it is the language of the media. Out of respect for the journalist, PR professionals need to make a valiant effort to refer to the AP Stylebook as much as possible.

Commonly used and mistaken in media circles, we discussed several topics that we write about frequently, including:

  • Dateline
    • Avoid redundancies. Abbreviate when specific numerals are given. Avoid using the year unless necessary.
  • Academic Degrees
    • The preferred form for academic degrees is to avoid abbreviations of a degree. Don’t capitalize in colloquial usage.
  • Commas
    • In a series, omit the last comma unless specified by the company.
  • Hyphens
    • Do not use a hyphen with an adverb. Use as few as possible. Avoid ambiguity. The purpose of a hyphen is to avoid confusion.

From here, you have the inside scoop on how to properly write in AP Style. Whether the guidelines dictate how you capitalize a word or omit a comma, do not underestimate the smallest details when aiming for a reporter’s respect.

Amy did a fantastic job in helping us understand the most important rules of AP Style. She even quizzed our team at the end!

Stay tuned for February’s seminar, led by PR Associate Niveen Saleh.

Executive Care Expands Home Care Franchise into Clearwater

Executive Care Expands Home Care Franchise into Clearwater 

Dynamic Entrepreneur to Open Leading National Home Care Concept in March 2015

CLEARWATER, Fla. — Executive Care announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement to open an office in Clearwater. The new office located at 2753 State Road 580 #201 marks the company’s first Florida office and represents the organization’s 12th franchise location. Opening in March 2015, the new office will serve residents throughout Pinellas County.

Local resident Andy Corbett is opening the location. He will be participating in daily operations with the support of his neighbor, Ryan Abremski. At age 44, this will be Corbett’s second career as he has worked at Publix for 28 years, serving as the produce manager for two decades. Abremski also worked at Publix before joining the human resource department at Blooming Brands, Inc. Together, their experience with business operations has prepared them for their next career with Executive Care.

“I am very excited to bring Executive Care to Florida,” said Corbett, a longtime New Port Richey resident. “Now is the right time to invest in the home healthcare industry and I’ve found Executive Care’s model to be the best fit. I’m eager to start providing care to the residents of Pinellas County.”

Sensitive to the caregiving needs of those with illnesses and the local aging population, the Executive Care team launches with a clear understanding that individuals should receive care where they are most comfortable — in their home. Their investment in Executive Care means parts of west Florida will soon have a new level of skilled and non-medical care.

The new Executive Care aims to bring up to 50 new jobs to the region in the next two years, and is looking to expand the home care agency’s reach further.

“We are pleased to welcome Andy to the Executive Care family,” said Lenny Verkhoglaz, CEO and co-founder of the company. “With Andy and Ryan’s combined efforts and knowledge they are the perfect recipe for Executive Care. We are thrilled to have them at the helm for this expansion.”

Executive Care offers a variety of caregiving and skilled nursing services to help families often overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing care to a loved one — all while ensuring the patient remains in the comfort of his or her own home. In a crowded sector, the company has built a reputation from the ground up.
To guarantee the highest quality, Executive Care requires all prospective caregivers undergo an intensive pre-employment screening process, including a criminal background investigation, verification of references and an employment history check. All caregivers are insured, experienced and undergo skills tests and continuing education training. Registered nurses closely supervise and monitor all staff, conducting periodic evaluation assessments.

For more information about Executive Care’s new office in Clearwater, email Andy Corbett at Andyc@executivehomecare.com. 

About Executive Care
Executive Care, based in Hackensack, N.J., delivers a comprehensive selection of home care services tailored to the every need of its customers. From companionship and personal care to 24/7 live-in care and skilled nursing, Executive Care ensures customers receive safe, reliable and certified in-home medical and personal services. At the heart of Executive Care is the relationship forged between caregivers, customers and families. The company has announced plans to grow, offering an attractive franchise opportunity in the fast-growing home care sector. To learn more about Executive Care’s services, visit ExecutiveHomeCare.com. For more information on the Executive Care franchise opportunity, email Todd Leonard, vice president of operations and franchise development for Executive Care, at todd@executivehomecare.com or call (855) 393-2372.

All Points PR Coordinates Byline Opportunity on Franchise Business Site

All Points PR secured an opportunity for a byline on Be The Boss Canada. The piece ran live on the site and will be promoted by BTBC through their email newsletters and on the home page. All Points worked alongside the franchisee to create and edit the byline so it was suitable for the site, which is well read by many in the Canadian franchising industry.

Download the PDF file .

“Yes, And…” All Points PR Hits the Stage

IMG_40593 Workplace Lessons We Can All Learn from Improv Comedy

To celebrate the year 2014 and the holidays, All Points’ holiday party involved an improv workshop at one of Chicago’s most popular comedy clubs. Known worldwide for its groundbreaking comedy scene spawning legends like Tina Fey, Amy Poehler and Seth Meyers, Chicago has a reputation for improv comedy greatness.

Learning from the best, the improv workshop gave the All Points team the chance to connect outside the office and interact in a way that we don’t normally. For those unfamiliar, improvisational theater (or “improv”) is a form of theater where most or all of what is performed is created at the moment it is performed. Thriving on collaboration, creativity and communication, the tenets of improv are easily adapted to the workplace. This sort of humor helps people learn and retain real skills.

So what did we learn from our two-hour foray into the world of comedy that can be applied to our professional lives? Three key components:

Communication

During the workshop, we were asked to stand in a circle and throw an imaginary ball to a team member. Upon throwing said object, we were to say, “red ball,” and when the ball was “caught,” the recipient was to say, “thank you, red ball.” Once we were all used to the red ball, the director threw into the mix “red bull,” “red bowl” and “rebel.” This caused confusion, and, frankly, chaos, until we learned to communicate our intentions.

As anyone who’s ever worked in a group project at work or school knows, communication is the key to ensuring a project is successful. Clearly articulating your expectations makes all the difference, and it also makes conflicts and misunderstandings much easier to resolve. Good communication helped us articulate the differences between each imaginary object.

Enthusiasm 

Understandably, not everyone is jumping out of his or her seat in excitement when a stranger asks him or her to stand up on stage in front of his or her bosses and coworkers to participate in a potentially humiliating comedy routine. However, many of us are placed in these situations daily – stepping out of our comfort zones to best serve our clients and customers and stretching ourselves to be the best we can be.

At the workshop, we partook in several silly exercises that helped foster closeness between colleagues – for example, we stood in a circle and all tried to clap at the same time. Some people got it right on the first try and some took a little longer to get the hang of it. But whether it’s an improv skit or an impromptu presentation on an unknown topic, we learned to approach our problems with positive thinking and enthusiasm, doing whatever it takes to ensure success.

Positivity

One of the most important pillars of improv is positivity. We learned to build off of one another’s ideas using constructive phrases like, “yes, and…” As we learned, this phrase is powerful because it allows us to validate our partners while still adding something. Saying “yes, and…” to an idea that may at first sound far-fetched or hard to accomplish leads to creativity and growth. In the workplace, this translates to being willing to learn from our coworkers and peers while still adding something positive to every interaction.

At the All Points office, these qualities – communication, enthusiasm and positivity – are essential to our success. A great example of this is a recent internal project completed to showcase our monthly results to our clients. The project was a perfect example of collaboration, because people from separate PR and social media teams were able to work seamlessly with leadership to look at a problem from all angles and improve a situation for the entire office.

When put into practice, the skills learned in improv can be beneficial to offices and groups large and small. As we learned in the workshop, always say “yes!”

All Points PR Secures Feature Opportunity with Franchise Trade Magazine

All Points PR coordinated a feature opportunity for fast casual bakery cafe concept Brioche Dorée in QSR Magazine. Not only is it the cover story, but there’s a great photo included in the spread, and the story highlights the momentum behind the brand, the authentic European roots and the success the model has had adapting to a US consumer base. It also included a look ahead to 2015 and beyond.

Download the PDF file .

All Points PR Secures National and Syndicated Exposure for Client

All Points PR secured an interview with the Associated Press for client Patrice and Associates, a national network of staffing firms. The story ran on the AP site’s “Big Story” pages, and was also syndicated to dozens of other high profile sites and print publications, including the Washington Post, the Omaha World Herald, San Antonio Express-News and the New York Times.

Bruegger’s Bagels Names Paul Carolan President

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Bruegger’s Bagels Names Paul Carolan President

Proven Fast Casual Restaurant Sector Executive and Development Expert Takes Helm as Brand Advances Menu Innovation, Bakery Design and Consumer Marketing Leads Relocation of Beloved Bakery-Café Brand’s Headquarters to Dallas

DALLAS – Bruegger’s Bagels announced today the promotion of Paul Carolan to president. A distinguished industry executive who has successfully guided operations and growth for a high-profile collection of restaurant industry brands, Carolan takes leadership of all aspects of Bruegger’s Bagels, which today includes more than 300 bakery-cafés.

“Paul brings a fantastic wealth of knowledge and a remarkable perspective. Bruegger’s Bagels will undoubtedly benefit from his cross-functional development and operations expertise as well as the relationships he has cemented in the restaurant industry with dynamic multi-unit operator/investor teams, suppliers, foodservice companies and real estate insiders,” said Claude Bergeron, president and CEO of Le Duff America, Inc., parent organization to Bruegger’s Bagels and the North American subsidiary of the world’s second largest restaurant company in the café-bakery sector – Groupe Le Duff S.A. “We are at an important moment in the history of Bruegger’s Bagels and Paul is the right leader to take us into the future.”

Carolan assumes the role as president of the brand, which is known for its freshly baked, authentic New York-style bagels, wholesome ingredients and signature coffees, on the heels of its headquarters relocating to Dallas. Bruegger’s Bagels leadership team members join management from Le Duff America, Inc. and its sister brands, la Madeleine and Brioche Dorée, at the Dallas offices.

“There is fantastic energy enveloping Bruegger’s Bagels right now,” said Carolan, who most recently served as chief development officer for Le Duff America’s Bruegger’s Bagels, la Madeleine, Brioche Dorée and Timothy Coffee brands. “I’m blessed to have many strong Bruegger’s team members already in place. We’re on the cusp of differentiating ourselves even more prolifically among the competitive set with an array of strategic initiatives.”

Under Carolan’s leadership, a trio of key initiatives is underway, including:

  • New artisan menu items
  • A refreshed bakery-café design prototype focused on enhancements that reinforce Millennial loyalty
  • Amplified digital marketing, including an interactive series of videos with emphasis on engaging content geared towards strengthening loyalty among existing fans and driving trial with new brand adopters

Already set in motion, and paralleling the Bruegger’s Bagels tagline, “Tradition You Can Taste,” the comprehensive strategy began in 2014 and shifts into its next phase in 2015.

Carolan is well prepared to lead the charge. Prior to joining Le Duff America, he held top development positions at Sun Capital Partners, the well-known private equity investing company with holdings that consist of more than 1,900 restaurants, and Einstein Noah Restaurant Group, Inc.

Earlier in his career, Carolan was regional vice president and vice president of standards for ARAMARK’s Business Services division, which included overseeing restaurant operations and new location development. He developed his base of restaurant experience with Host Marriott, where he spent nineteen years in a series of supervisory roles.

A certified public accountant (CPA) and graduate of Virginia Tech with a degree in Accounting, Carolan and his wife, Jill, reside in Fort Worth, Texas. They have two grown daughters and are proud grandparents.

About Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc.

Bruegger’s Enterprises, Inc. (BEI), a leader in the fast-casual restaurant segment, operates 305 Bruegger’s Bagels bakeries in North America. Renowned for its authentic, fresh-baked bagels, the chain also offers a wide variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options made with high-quality, simple ingredients served with its unique brand of hospitality. Bruegger’s Bagels is dedicated to the communities it serves and supports charitable causes locally and nationally. BEI’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, S.A., is the world’s second-largest company in the bakery-cafe sector. Founded in 1983 in Burlington, Vermont, BEI is now headquartered in Dallas. For more information, please visit www.brueggers.com or become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/brueggers.

For more information about Bruegger’s Bagels franchise opportunities as well as adding the brand to your non-traditional venue, visit brueggers.com/franchise and complete the Franchising Inquiry Form.

All Points PR Secures National Multimedia Exposure for Lifestyle Brand

All Points PR secured a media opportunity for Pop Weight Loss to showcase some healthy holiday snacks for kids in Parenting magazine. All Points created the recipes, shot and edited photos and coordinated several interviews for experts at Pop to share with the wide audience of the magazine. The colorful spread ran online alongside a photo gallery.

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Kona Ice has Biggest Year on Record

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Kona Ice has Biggest Year on Record

Shaved Ice Franchise Adds More than 100 Trucks in 12 Months; Brand Boosts Nationwide Giveback with Highly Celebrated Flavor Our World Campaign

FLORENCE, Ky. – The success of Kona Ice continues to snowball.

In the past 12 months, the brand added a staggering 142 trucks to its growing fleet of mobile gourmet shaved ice vehicles, raising the overall unit count to 600-plus trucks on the road in 45 states. The expansion and continued adoration of the beloved franchise has raised the brand’s giveback figure to an impressive $25 million.

“Since day one, Kona Ice has been committed to a higher purpose,” explains Tony Lamb, founder and president of Florence-based Kona Ice. “Our success is about more than our bottom-line. We got into this business because we wanted to make a difference. The growth and profitability of Kona Ice is what is allowing us to do great things. Our expansion is helping further our mission to “Flavor our World.”

The momentum Kona Ice has achieved in the past year has helped drive the success of its new “Flavor Our World” Campaign. The purpose of the campaign, which launched in February, is to help Kona Ice create a stronger connection with the communities it serves. Through a social media contest, fundraisers and other exciting promotions, the brand has added new flavor to neighborhoods across the country.

One of the many ways Kona Ice showcased “Flavor Our World” this past year was the celebration of National Chill Out Day, a Tax Day promotion designed to ease the stress of tax filing. Operating under the tagline “No Taxation without Relaxation,” the brand’s franchise partners handed out FREE Kona Ice at post offices, courthouses and other community focal points throughout the country on the day following the federal holiday.

In the months that followed, Kona Ice launched its #CelebrateLife Instagram photo-sharing contest. The contest encouraged followers to post a picture of themselves “Celebrating Life” with Kona Ice using the hashtag #CelebrateLife and #KonaIce. Finalists were awarded a free Kona Ice t-shirt and grand prize finalists earned $1,000 in cash. Each cash prize-winner was honored with a “Celebrate Life” community block party that included food, music, games and entertainment courtesy of Kona Ice.

In addition to the National Chill Out Day promotion and the #Celebrate Life Instagram contest, Kona Ice created and shared inspiring video testimonials capturing the impactful work of Kona Ice’s franchise family. The brand also held a blood drive in Northern Kentucky to show support and raise awareness for Evan Perricelli, a little boy featured in many of Kona Ice’s marketing materials that was diagnosed with a rare blood condition requiring a bone marrow transplant.

“I am at a loss for words,” adds Lamb, who personally lead a Kona Ice campaign to keep alive a school Lego robotics program. “The success of our “Flavor Our World” campaign has surpassed even our expectations. Whether it be giving a young person a $1,000 check towards their college education or hosting a bone marrow drive to help save a little boy’s life, everything we have accomplished in the past 12 months has made a difference. I couldn’t be more proud of our corporate team, franchise partners and brand.”

The success of the brand’s “Flavor Our World” campaign is anticipated to continue driving company growth well into the new year. Company projections are calling for nearly 100 new franchise units in 2015, increasing the overall unit count to nearly 700 trucks. Additionally, Kona Ice’s three-year business forecast anticipates 1,000 franchised trucks nationwide.

Providing entrepreneurs interested in investing in the franchise a full suite of support services ranging from initial and ongoing training to sales and marketing programs, the affordable Kona Ice franchise fee is only $15,000. Plus, Kona Ice offers its owners financing programs for the purchase of trucks and the minis. Ideal franchise candidates are outgoing individuals, husbands and wives, fathers and sons, and other two-person teams who love the idea of serving the community.

To learn more about Kona Ice, visit: http://www.kona-ice.com/

About Kona Ice

A true community ally renowned for facilitating endless fundraising options, Kona Ice has given more than $25 million dollars back to neighborhood schools, organizations and teams since its inception in 2007. The brand’s iconic truck offers customers a one-of-a-kind experience, featuring the opportunity to create their own Kona Ice on the self-serve Flavorwave™, while enjoying the soothing sights and sounds from the tropics. Currently, there are 600-plus franchise units in more than 44 states. For more information about booking Kona Ice for a fundraiser or event, visit www.kona-ice.com. To learn more about available franchise opportunities, visit www.ownakona.com or call (800) KONAICE.

8 New Years Resolutions for Career-Focused Millennials

shutterstock_223132003As the year comes to a close, a perfect opportunity for self-reflection presents itself. Now is the time to look forward to a new year and renew professional ambitions. The truth is that most New Years resolutions fail because they’re often too unattainable. This year try to look at your life more realistically, and set goals that are doable. To keep yourself in check, set reminders in your calendar to make sure you dedicate a few minutes each day to your new goals.

All Points is a vibrant, young and creative workplace and we are all looking inward this new year. As you look ahead to 2015, consider these resolutions for the career-minded millennial that work for us.

Evaluate your five-year plan

Look back at how far you’ve come in five years, and think about what you can accomplish in another five. Consider your professional ambitions and visualize those goals for success. Think of every part of your professional journey as a stepping-stone, and take full advantage of every opportunity to put you even closer to your end goal. Take time to write down your plan so you can reference it throughout the year.

Continue learning

Even if you’re not looking to continue your formal education, look for opportunities to learn and grow within your field. Check out professional societies that often have relevant events, workshops and seminars. The opportunity to learn from peers and industry mentors is important to professional development – at All Points, each team member hosts a monthly seminar throughout the year to share knowledge on different industry related topics. Consider starting something similar in your office.

Clean up your social media space

Take a look at any millennial’s smartphone and any and all social media apps are sure to be found. But college is over – it’s now time to take a good, long look at your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and see what can go. A good rule of thumb is to pretend the boss of your dream job and your grandmother are combing your pages. Keep on deleting until you’re proud of how you’re portraying yourself. A professional image online is as important at a professional resume.

Save money

There’s really no way around this one – it’s time to get serious about saving. Make a basic spreadsheet of your monthly expenses and see where you can make cuts. It’s probably not necessary to spend $20 a week on Starbucks, and imagine the money (and calories) you’ll save if you commit to making a lunch a few days a week. It’s the little things that add up to save you big money in the future.

Establish a concrete work-life balance

We’re more connected than ever – we have access to our work and emails on our phones and, though it’s important to stay connected, don’t be afraid to unplug. Pursue a hobby that relieves stress so you don’t burn out at work where it counts. Whether it’s something active like running, yoga or hiking, or something calming and creative like painting, cooking or crafts, the stress of the day is sure to melt away if you have something productive to look forward to in your off time.

Make the most of your commute 

Ever thought about how much time you spend every month in your car or on the train on the way to and from work? The Huffington Post reports an average commute of 45 minutes both ways. While nothing relieves the stress of the day like cranking Taylor Swift so loudly that pedestrians can sing along, try to do something more productive – find an educational podcast, listen to NPR or read/listen to a book.

Put down the remote and pick up a book

Speaking of reading more, find a topic that interest you and stick with it. It’s proven that reading improves your verbal, written and linguistic skills – this can only mean good things for your work. There’s no better time to find the perfect book – post-holiday sales are in full swing, and nearly every news site has a Best of 2014 book list to peruse – you’re sure to find a new favorite.

Tap into your passions

Millennials are more social conscious and driven by causes than generations of the past – find something you’re passionate about and organize a volunteering day for your coworkers. See where your personal interests can fit into your work – have a conversation with your supervisor about integrating them. You’ll feel more involved in your work and you might even make an impact beyond yourself!

Whether you pick one or all of these resolutions to pursue in the New Year, make sure to keep yourself accountable. Check in with yourself halfway through the month to see where you can adjust your expectations – studies say that it takes 21 days to build a habit. If February rolls around and you’re still going strong, you might have started a new lifestyle. Good luck!

Canada’s Top Home Inspection Business ‘A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections’ Continues Explosive Growth in Canada and Across the Globe

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Canada’s Top Home Inspection Business ‘A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections’ Continues Explosive Growth in Canada and Across the Globe

Company Celebrates its Tremendous Success in 2014 and Plans to Become Largest Home Inspections Firm in the World

HALIFAX, Nova Scotia – A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) is finishing up an outstanding 2014 filled with dozens of office openings and an increased presence around the world. The company continues to provide trust, safety and security to homebuyers and realtors through an innovative home inspection business model.

And, 2015 is projected to be even bigger and better.

Growth plans in 2015 call for another year of double-digit office increases in Canada, building on the incredible 16 additional franchises added in 2014 so far. And now, more realtors across Canada are recommending ABCHI, boosting the brand’s increase rate of inspections year over year to more than 15 percent in 2014.

“It is very rewarding and quite impressive to reflect on all of our talented franchise partners’ accomplishments across the globe this year,” said Bill Redfern, founder, president and CEO of ABCHI. “The success we have experienced with A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections is grounded in the strength of support the brand offers our home inspector franchise partners. We take pride in our ability to provide extensive training, ongoing marketing assistance and a collection of proven systems and processes to help franchise partners run an effective business. And the numbers reflect that it is paying off.”

Already, ABCHI is Canada’s largest home inspection business and it is on its way to becoming the largest in the world, growing steadily in North America, Europe, South America, New Zealand and beyond.

The success ABCHI franchise partners are currently experiencing is a reflection of both the incredible marketing horsepower and industry relationships as well as ABCHI’s proven business model. With demand growing for reliable and professional home inspections that publish easy to understand results, the company is filling a void in what is often seen as an ad hoc home inspection industry. Using proprietary software, ABCHI creates comprehensive reports for consumers that help them make more informed decisions about homes they are considering purchasing. A growing number of real estate firms, agents and mortgage companies are also commonly recognizing ABCHI franchise partners as unparalleled in working with their clients.

Ideal for corporate escapees in search of greater work-life balance, ABCHI offers franchise investors a turnkey operation. According to company estimates, franchise partners can earn a healthy living working less than eight hours a day following the ABCHI business model. With few additional startup costs, the total franchise fee is $29,900. The low-cost franchise investment includes training, marketing tools and ongoing support from the home office.

“We are seeking to award franchises to candidates who may be tired of working for someone else or who are seeking a new career path,” added Redfern, a former realtor who specifically trains franchise partners on the realtors side of the transaction and how to best work with all parties on a professional level. “The right franchise candidates for us are people who want to take control of their career and invest in a proven formula to achieve that. The key to this franchise is in the quality of work one puts into it, not in the quantity of hours worked.”

Redfern started his home inspection business in Canada in the mid-2000s, remarkably turning it into the largest home inspection franchise in that country after only two years of franchising. His track record of success stems from his remarkable attention to detail. Every ABCHI inspector is insured and certified above licensing standards, going beyond what provinces and states require of independent home inspectors.

For more information about A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections and franchise opportunities, visit www.ABuyersChoice.com, call (877) 377-8626 or email bill@abuyerschoice.com.

About A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) is a franchise business meeting the huge demand for home inspections. The company is rapidly expanding throughout Canada, the United States, and worldwide, on a path to become the world’s largest home inspection company. By focusing on developing and maintaining local, trust-based relationships with its customers, ABCHI is creating a home inspection business unlike any other. Currently, there are nearly 200 franchises across Canada, the United States and dozens more internationally. For or more information, please visit www.ABuyersChoice.com.

 

Power Train Launches Franchising Initiative; Introducing Elite Athlete Training for Everyday Americans

Power Train Launches Franchising Initiative; Introducing Elite Athlete Training for Everyday Americans

Sports Performance-Focused Fitness Concept Announces Strategic U.S. Growth; Brand Plans to Add 600 New Franchise Locations in the Next 10 Years

MANHEIM, Pa. – Power Train, the performance-driven fitness concept that has built a reputation for training everyday people like professional athletes, today announced a strategic franchise growth initiative that aims to add 600 new franchise locations in markets across the country in the next 10 years. The brand is targeting investors with a passion for helping others meet and exceed their fitness and sports performance goals.

“From day one, we have set-out to build a program that would deliver real results – that could provide a solution for professional athletes, as well as those who are wandering around a gym looking for answers. Our focus has never changed,” said Steve Saunders, the founder and president of Central Pennsylvania-based Power Train. “Now, we have the opportunity to share our proven workout system with people everywhere. This is the moment that we have been striving towards.”

Currently, Power Train has 15 existing locations based throughout the country, holding total or partial ownership in 11 of the units. Power Train operators are based in Upstate New York, Central Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

The momentum Power Train has achieved in the last 12 months is fueling the brand’s growth strategy. New corporate-owned locations are set to open in West Chester and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania within the next two to three months. Looking ahead, Power Train is targeting key U.S. markets throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina to add additional franchise locations.

Power Train facilities are self-contained, dedicated training centers ranging from 3,000 to 9,000 square feet, with an average size of 2,400 square feet. The centers are designed for hands-on, guided training sessions.

Power Train has achieved a reputation for training many of the nation’s top athletes including NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB stars. The company offers individualized small group training, specializing in delivering customized performance enhancement programs that are tailored to meet the needs and goals of each individual member. For the past 15 years, trainers have been constantly evolving this scientific approach to sports performance-driven fitness. Today, the Power Train team is bringing the approach to consumers looking for real, measurable and sustainable results.

“When athletes’ careers, livelihoods and multimillion dollar contracts depend on their physical performance, there is no faking it,” added Saunders. “We bring individualized training, immediate results and sustained, measurable improvements to those who are serious about achieving their fitness and sports performance goals.”

Founded in 2001, Power Train is the brainchild of renowned fitness expert Steve Saunders. Saunders developed the concept while conducting off-site training sessions with professional athletes based throughout the Northeast. As his one-on-one workout sessions grew in popularity, he refined the concept to provide professional-level personal training at a lower price point. By establishing lower trainer-to-member ratios, Steve has been able to maintain the brand’s signature, customizable training approach while making the workout system more accessible.

Complete with training, site selection, marketing and ongoing support, the business model has been cultivated to attract individuals or teams with an ambition to succeed, strong values and solid community and business connections. The Power Train franchise investment is under $200,000.

For more information about Power Train, visit http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/. For more information about available franchise opportunities visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

About Power Train

Founded in 2001 by fitness expert Steve Saunders, Power Train is revolutionizing the sports performance-driven fitness sector with its state-of-the-art training approach. The workout system, which offers customized training plans to help members achieve real results, is used by professional and world-class athletes from a variety of sporting disciplines. With 15 locations based throughout the U.S., the brand is expanding across the country through franchising with plans to open 600 locations by 2020. The brand is targeting markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina for new locations.

To learn more about Power Train visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

For more information about available franchise opportunities visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

Pod Life – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Written by All Points Public Relations associate Amy Lecza.

When I was 16, I had a job working at a certain home furnishing and décor retailer, and I hated it. I hated the music (a repetitive cycle of 80s and 90s slow jams peppered with love songs from the early 2000s), I hated the menial work and, more than anything, I hated the dank, depressing break room which was our only respite from the fluorescent lights, intercom announcements and choking candle odor of the sales floor. Let’s just say that I didn’t last long as an employee.

The importance of a healthy work environment cannot be overstated – it’s the difference between looking at each day as full of potential and wishing your car would run out of gas on the way to work. After all, we spend more time at work and with our coworkers than we do with our friends and families – it’s vital to the health of the office that employees feel comfortable at work.

At All Points PR, we sit in pods. They’re a sort of mixture of cubicles and an open floor plan. A young office like All Points thrives on creativity and cooperation – take a look at the photos below and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

The pros of a seating arrangement like this are many. The openness fosters creativity and collaboration. It makes it possible to learn from others – both directly and indirectly. Teamwork is easy, and we’re able to work together on projects without needing to book a conference room. Plus, our office faces an entire wall of windows, so we always have access to natural light. We have ample desk space to accommodate the organizational systems of our choice as well as plants, which, according to Psychology Today, promote productivity, health and stress relief.

But with any set up, there are going to be drawbacks. Putting 10-15 people in the same room with relatively no barriers can make for noisy times. There is little privacy for quiet work or phone calls. And, with any job where you’re at a desk, it can be challenging to get up and move. Of course, these can all be overcome with a little creative thinking. Volume control becomes essential when so many people are on the phone simultaneously, and there are other options available, like working alone at a table in the conference room or the kitchen. And, in a pod system, chances are likely that you’ll need to work with someone in some capacity across the office. Instead of calling or emailing them, take the opportunity to get up and walk around for a few minutes – the Washington Post reports that standing more, even at a desk job, can lower the risk of obesity, illness and death.

All Points has harnessed the energy of creativity and the focus necessary to meet deadlines and work quickly with a pod system of seating. Consider your company’s goals and the work type as you make changes to your workspace – yes, it’s important to be productive, but a bit of openness can go a long way for the general morale and happiness of employees. Many All Points employees have been here for two or more years, and we’re planning to stay a while!

POD 1 POD 3 POD 3

 

Our PR Associate Samantha Kritt Discusses Integrated PR Strategies at Our Franchise Firm’s Monthly Seminar

“Integrated PR is a valuable method to consider while consuming news and securing opportunities for our clients,” said PR Associate Samantha Kritt during her presentation last week.

As a Chicago-based franchise PR firm and highly skilled team of PR and social media experts, we were excited to see Samantha share some effective strategies as we tap into one another’s talents.

Samantha’s presentation, “Integrating Social Media Into a PR Plan,” provided useful tips to consider in assisting our clients, as well as the many tools at our disposal.

Here is a summary of her key points:

Our reporters, the lovely people who make our job possible, are more than just the stories they write. They have interests, beliefs, and social media accounts that we can follow. You might be surprised to see how many things you have in common, as well as how personable your correspondence becomes. Long story short – it is important to engage with our contacts.

Integrated PR comes into play through driving event awareness. Besides sending out a pitch to reporters, you can use social media to:

  • Tweet from the brand page
  • Research social media influencers in the event’s vicinity.
  • Join trending topics and engage in conversations

Overall, integration is key in all areas of PR and client support. The process of building relationships with the press comes with diligent research, a few re-tweets here and there, and an overall plan to work with more thoughtfulness.

Samantha’s presentation was invaluable to our franchise PR firm. As we consistently work alongside one another, a good boost in knowledge and team morale is always welcome.

Stay tuned for January’s presentation by PR Associate Amy Lecza!

All Points PR Featured as Leading Public Relations Firm

All Points PR Founders Jamie and Lauren Izaks were recently featured in The North Shore Weekend for building a successful public relations firm. In less than three years, All Points PR has grown as a leading player in the competitive public relations industry. The agency’s family-oriented work environment and compelling team of talented professionals has helped set All Points PR apart.

All Points PR President Jamie Izaks Shares His Expert Advice On Leveraging Your Digital Content Marketing to Nurture Your Leads

All Points PR President Jamie Izaks shares expertise about the industry in Franchising World Magazine, the flagship publication of the International Franchise Association. In his latest article, Jamie dove deeper into ways to utilize digital content marketing to nurture and drive franchise leads.

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All Points Secures Coverage on Behalf of Client’s Mid-Atlantic Expansion

All Points PR secured coverage on behalf of Russo’s New York Pizzeria’s plans to continue its East Coast growth. In addition, the story was included in FS Insider, the e-newsletter for FSR Magazine. Sent directly to the inboxes of thousands of franchising and food industry insiders, this newsletter is another great way to spread the word about Russo’s momentum.

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All Points PR Client Featured for Charitable Fundraising Efforts

All Points PR secured coverage in the Atlanta Journal Constitution on behalf of 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon in Atlanta, for their efforts to raise money for prostate cancer during the month of November. During the “Movember” campaign, customers could participate in a mustache growing contest, and receive free clean-ups and discounts on products, with proceeds going to the Movember Foundation.

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A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections Named as Top Franchise for Minorities

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections Named as Top Franchise for Minorities

World Franchising Network Selects ABCHI for its Prestigious Listing 

POMPANO BEACH, Fla. The World Franchising Network has designated A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) as one of the top U.S. franchises for Minorities. Among hundreds of companies considered for the honor, World Franchising Network spotlights ABCHI in the 8th annual list of the “50 Top Franchises for Minorities.”

The results were recently featured in USA TODAY’s “Franchising Today” section.

“Diversity is a cornerstone of our company,” said Bill Redfern, the CEO, founder and president of ABCHI. “From our home office to our regional directors and our unit franchisees, a diverse set of individuals has helped ABCHI become a world-class franchise. Given our recent run of international growth, it is clear that ABCHI has a core belief in celebrating the differences that make us all unique in our own special ways.”

The World Franchising Network selected 50 franchisors from hundreds of companies requesting evaluation for inclusion in the article. There was no cost to participate in the survey. Each participating franchisor was required to submit a completed questionnaire. The questionnaire noted the number of operating units owned or managed by minorities, as well as the number of minorities in senior management that earned over $60,000 per year.

“The steady increase in minority representation in franchising, especially among Hispanics, Asian-Americans, and South Asians, over the last several years is very encouraging,” stated Rob Bond, founder and president of the World Franchising Network. “It certainly is evidence of minorities’ intrinsic values and work ethic. Additionally, franchisors continue to make a concerted effort to reach out to minorities, which is ultimately highly beneficial in the long run to all parties involved.”

ABCHI is one of the world’s largest home inspection franchisees with nearly 200 branches throughout Canada and the United States. Additionally, the company has grown into New Zealand, Europe and South America.

Redfern started the home inspection business in Canada in 2007, remarkably turning it into the largest home inspection franchise in the country after only two years of franchising. His track record of success stems from his remarkable attention to detail. Every ABCHI inspector is insured and certified above licensing standards, going beyond what the government requires of independent home inspectors.

For a more complete list of franchise systems that wish to increase their minority representation, please go to www.WorldFranchising.com and select Minority Franchising from the Search Franchises dropdown menu. The site lists companies that are actively committed to recruiting and supporting minorities, as well as resources that are essential to the evaluation process. The site represents an effective and cost-efficient tool for franchisors to increase minority representation within their systems.

The World Franchising Network also has several other websites focusing on franchising. To learn more about the World Franchising Network, please click here for our 2014 Media Brochure.

About A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections

A Buyer’s Choice Home Inspections (ABCHI) is a franchise business meeting the huge demand for home inspections. The company is rapidly expanding throughout the United States, Canada and worldwide, on a path to become the world’s largest home inspection company. By focusing on developing and maintaining local, trust-based relationships with its customers, ABCHI is creating a home inspection business unlike any other. Currently, there are nearly 200 franchises across Canada, the United States and dozens more internationally. For or more information, please visit www.abuyerschoice.com

It’s Handled: 3 Foolproof Steps to Manage Any PR Crisis

It’s every company’s worst nightmare – your business is in the news, and not for something good. Maybe it’s the departure of a high-profile executive, an accusation of racism, sexism or homophobia or simply a misunderstanding that escalated quickly. The public eye can turn on you in a flash, and it’s important to have a calm, calculated approach to crises.

You don’t need to look too far to see instances where PR crises abound – take Bill Cosby, for example. Virtually overnight, he went from America’s most beloved TV dad to an alleged sexual predator. Public perception is everything. The odds that your business will face a massively publicized international sex scandal are slim, but crisis management skills are essential for problems big and small that can affect you temporarily or even permanently.

Consider a local restaurant that fails a health inspection. Anyone in the restaurant industry knows that something as innocent as leaving an ice scoop in the ice machine can ruin a health inspection score, but when customers hear that their favorite neighborhood breakfast place failed a health inspection, visions of room-temperature meat, rats and mold dance in their heads.

In these situations, it’s important to prepare both reactive and proactive responses. In more detail, a reactive response is what you might use if a reporter calls your restaurant for a comment on your less-than-perfect health inspection score. At this point, you should decide the reach of the news – you may want to prepare a reactive statement for servers, cashiers and other hourly employees who might face abrupt questions from customers and the media. The executive team should also have a reactive response at the ready. A proactive response to a crisis is also essential to prepare, but may not be necessary to use. You might use a proactive response if you’re facing a barrage of media inquiries – both proactive and reactive responses give you the opportunity to control the story and the message.

Here are three guidelines to crafting a crisis statement worth sharing.

Show Sympathy

Let your customers know that you understand their frustration and disappointment. Put yourself in their shoes – they want to feel heard.

“We sympathize with our customers who have expressed concern. We understand the special role that our restaurant has in the lives of our valued guests.“

Assure Change

Share with customers that change is in the works, and your company is doing anything and everything in its power to fix the problem.

“As soon as we heard about the issue, we responded immediately. We have several procedures and policies in place to ensure that our restaurant meets and exceeds inspection standards, as well as the expectations of our guests.”

Reinforce Values

Your customers should know that your company values remain the same – you’re still committed to providing excellent service, and an isolated incident does not compromise that.

“We are making certain that the restaurant remains a warm, welcoming and safe environment for families, community organizations and visitors. We thank you for many years of loyalty.”

At All Points Public Relations, we utilize this three-step process on our franchising industry clients large and small, from restaurants and retail operations to health and fitness studios, tech companies and everyone in between. Your reputation is everything – especially in franchising, where individual locations are a reflection of the parent company. Protect yourself by thinking ahead.

If you’re on the lookout for help preventing future crises, connect with us. We’re committed to showing care and consideration for all impacted parties while protecting the image of our valued clients. For more information about All Points PR’s crisis communication services, visit www.allpointspr.com/services/crisis-communications.

Power Train Launches Franchising Initiative; Introducing Elite Athlete Training for Everyday Americans

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Power Train Launches Franchising Initiative;

Introducing Elite Athlete Training for Everyday Americans

Sports Performance-Focused Fitness Concept Announces Strategic U.S. Growth; Brand Plans to Add 600 New Franchise Locations in the Next 10 Years

MANHEIM, Pa. – Power Train, the performance-driven fitness concept that has built a reputation for training everyday people like professional athletes, today announced a strategic franchise growth initiative that aims to add 600 new franchise locations in markets across the country in the next 10 years. The brand is targeting investors with a passion for helping others meet and exceed their fitness and sports performance goals.

“From day one, we have set-out to build a program that would deliver real results – that could provide a solution for professional athletes, as well as those who are wandering around a gym looking for answers. Our focus has never changed,” said Steve Saunders, the founder and president of Central Pennsylvania-based Power Train. “Now, we have the opportunity to share our proven workout system with people everywhere. This is the moment that we have been striving towards.”

Currently, Power Train has 15 existing locations based throughout the country, holding total or partial ownership in 11 of the units. Licensed Power Train operators are based in Upstate New York, Central Pennsylvania and Hawaii.

The momentum Power Train has achieved in the last 12 months is fueling the brand’s growth strategy. New corporate-owned locations are set to open in West Chester and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania within the next two to three months. Looking ahead, Power Train is targeting key U.S. markets throughout Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina to add additional franchise locations.

Power Train facilities are self-contained, dedicated training centers ranging from 3,000 to 9,000 square feet, with an average size of 2,400 square feet. The centers are designed for hands-on, guided training sessions.

Power Train has achieved a reputation for training many of the nation’s top athletes including NFL, NHL, NBA and MLB stars. The company offers individualized small group training, specializing in delivering customized performance enhancement programs that are tailored to meet the needs and goals of each individual member. For the past 15 years, trainers have been constantly evolving this scientific approach to sports performance-driven fitness. Today, the Power Train team is bringing the approach to consumers looking for real, measurable and sustainable results.

“When athletes’ careers, livelihoods and multimillion dollar contracts depend on their physical performance, there is no faking it,” added Saunders. “We bring individualized training, immediate results and sustained, measurable improvements to those who are serious about achieving their fitness and sports performance goals.”

Founded in 2001, Power Train is the brainchild of renowned fitness expert Steve Saunders. Saunders developed the concept while conducting off-site training sessions with professional athletes based throughout the Northeast. As his one-on-one workout sessions grew in popularity, he refined the concept to provide professional-level personal training at a lower price point. By establishing lower trainer-to-member ratios, Steve has been able to maintain the brand’s signature, customizable training approach while making the workout system more accessible.

Complete with training, site selection, marketing and ongoing support, the business model has been cultivated to attract individuals or teams with an ambition to succeed, strong values and solid community and business connections. The Power Train franchise investment is under $200,000.

For more information about Power Train, visit http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/. For more information about available franchise opportunities visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

About Power Train

Founded in 2001 by fitness expert Steve Saunders, Power Train is revolutionizing the sports performance-driven fitness sector with its state-of-the-art training approach. The workout system, which offers customized training plans to help members achieve real results, is used by professional and world-class athletes from a variety of sporting disciplines. With 15 locations based throughout the U.S., the brand is expanding across the country through franchising with plans to open 600 locations by 2020. The brand is targeting markets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia, Florida, Texas and North Carolina for new locations.

To learn more about Power Train visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

For more information about available franchise opportunities visit: http://www.powertrainfranchise.com/.

Potbelly Sandwich Shop Targets North Carolina for Franchise Growth

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Potbelly Sandwich Shop Targets North Carolina For Franchise Growth

Planned Expansion Includes Multiple Shops; Spreading Good Vibes, Great Sandwiches and the Potbelly Neighborhood Hangout Experience

Chicago, IL – December 1, 2014 – Potbelly Corporation (NASDAQ: PBPB) (“Potbelly”) announced today a franchise growth plan targeting North Carolina – a strategy that will position the lively neighborhood hangout for expansion into communities in all corners of the market, including Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Winston-Salem, Fayetteville, Cary and Wilmington.

Potbelly plans to enter key markets throughout North Carolina this year and is currently accepting franchisee inquiries. The region has been targeted for expansion because of its strong mix of attractive residential and growing business communities, where the Potbelly experience will be appreciated as a mealtime hangout spot for great food, friends, eclectic décor and live, local music.

“We are determined to maintain Potbelly’s culture and values as the brand expands into new markets in North Carolina and across the country. The focus for franchise growth is on small to medium sized markets — building the franchise business one neighborhood at a time,” said Mike Walters, head of franchise development for Potbelly Sandwich Shop. “When we meet potential franchisees, we specifically look for proven operators with a high business IQ and a strong commitment to making new Potbelly shops an extension of their community.”

The Potbelly franchise business focuses on awarding the opportunity to highly qualified operators that have extensive experience and the desire to carry on Potbelly’s tradition as the neighborhood sandwich shop as well as being a brand ambassador within their communities. Multiple new shops are planned for North Carolina, starting with Greensboro, as the brand prepares for its debut in the state.

Individuals and groups interested in learning more about Potbelly Sandwich Shop franchise opportunities should visit www.potbelly.com and click on the Franchise Information link at the bottom, or call (312) 676-3310.

About Potbelly

Potbelly Corporation is a fast growing neighborhood sandwich concept offering toasty warm sandwiches, signature salads and other fresh menu items served by engaging people in an environment that reflects the Potbelly brand. Our Vision is for our customers to feel that we are their “Neighborhood Sandwich Shop” and to tell others about their great experience. Our Mission is to make people really happy and to improve every day. Our Passion is to be “The Best Place for Lunch.” The Company owns and operates more than 300 shops in the United States and the District of Columbia and our franchisees operate more than twenty shops domestically and in the Middle East. For more information, please visit our website at www.potbelly.com.

Contact:      Investor Relations: Investors@Potbelly.com | 312-428-2950

 

 

 

Executive Care Expands Home Care Franchise into Cherry Hill

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Executive Care Expands Home Care Franchise into Cherry Hill

Local Entrepreneur to Open First South Jersey Office of Leading National Home Care Concept

CHERRY HILL, N.J. — Executive Care announced today that it has signed a franchise agreement to open a new office serving Cherry Hill and neighboring Camden County communities. It marks the Hackensack, N.J.-based company’s first agreement to open an office in South Jersey, and represents the organization’s tenth franchise location. The office is scheduled to open in January 2015.

Dr. Kara Conliffe is the local resident launching the business.

“Reaching this moment in my professional life comes with great pride,” said Conliffe. “I am thrilled to be part of the Executive Care family. Without a doubt, the company has established itself as the most trusted home care provider in New Jersey, and beyond.”

Sensitive to the caregiving needs of those with illnesses and the local aging population, Conliffe launches Executive Care with a clear understanding that individuals should receive care where they are most comfortable — in their home. Her investment in Executive Care means Cherry Hill residents and others in nearby Camden County communities will soon have a new level of skilled and non-medical care.

“In life and in business you always want to make a positive difference,” added Conliffe. “Executive Care provides a platform to be a difference maker, while launching a business that I can grow because of the strong demand for our services.”

The new Executive Care office aims to bring up to 50 new jobs to the region in the next two years, and is looking to expand the home care agency’s reach further.

“Kara and the office in Cherry Hill are fantastic additions to the Executive Care family,” said Lenny Verkhoglaz, CEO and co-founder of the company. “Her talent and the growing need for a higher level of home care in the region are the perfect recipe for Executive Care.”

Celebrating its tenth anniversary this year, Executive Care offers a variety of caregiving and skilled nursing services to help families often overwhelmed with the responsibility of providing care to a loved one — all while ensuring the patient remains in the comfort of his or her own home. In a crowded sector, the company has built a reputation from the ground up.

To guarantee the highest quality, Executive Care requires all prospective caregivers undergo an intensive pre-employment screening process, including a criminal background investigation, verification of references and an employment history check. All caregivers are insured, experienced and undergo skills tests and continuing education training. Registered nurses closely supervise and monitor all staff, conducting periodic evaluation assessments.

For more information about Executive Care’s new office in Cherry Hill, email Kara Conliffe at karac@executivehomecare.com or call (826) 424-5555.

About Executive Care
Executive Care, based in Hackensack, N.J., delivers a comprehensive selection of home care services tailored to the every need of its customers. From companionship and personal care to 24/7 live-in care and skilled nursing, Executive Care ensures customers receive safe, reliable and certified in-home medical and personal services. At the heart of Executive Care is the relationship forged between caregivers, customers and families. The company has announced plans to grow, offering an attractive franchise opportunity in the fast-growing home care sector. To learn more about Executive Care’s services, visit ExecutiveHomeCare.com. For more information on the Executive Care franchise opportunity, email Todd Leonard, vice president of operations and franchise development for Executive Care, at todd@executivehomecare.com or call (855) 393-2372.

Franchise Deal Inked to Bring the First Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen Franchise to San Antonio

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Franchise Deal Inked to Bring the First Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen Franchise to San Antonio

San Antonio Developer Signs Multi-Unit Agreement

SAN ANTONIO – A local developer and experienced business owner has signed a franchise agreement with Russo’s Restaurants to open a Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen in San Antonio. The well-known, Houston-based upscale Italian restaurant brand and its fast casual sister concept Russo’s New York Pizzeria bring to life old world charm, handcrafted recipes and warm hospitality. It will be the first Russo’s location in San Antonio and is slated to open in the spring of 2015 at The Rim, a premium mixed-use residential and shopping destination. The new restaurant will be situated at 17631 La Cantera Pkwy, off of I-10, just north of the 1604 Loop.

“There is nothing quite like Russo’s in San Antonio. We offer original Italian recipes that visitors and local residents will fall in love with,” said Chef Anthony Russo, founder and CEO of Russo’s Restaurants. “There is no denying the need for quality Italian dining in San Antonio. As the city grows, the community seeks newer, fresher concepts that are fun for the entire family. We can’t wait to give our loyal fans even more of what they crave – delicious, New York-style pizza and handcrafted Italian recipes in a cool and trendy interior that is a cozy, family-friendly atmosphere.”

The Russo’s name has become synonymous with coal-fired New York-style pizza and authentic Italian meals. The upscale restaurant surrounds diners with warm, inviting décor to enjoy crisp coal-fired pizza cooked in a 1000-degree brick oven in just three minutes. Beyond the brand’s specialty pizzas, menu items include fresh salads (insalata), soups (zuppe) and homemade pastas. Authentic Italian cannoli, fresh seafood, chicken, veal and flatbread sandwiches are just some of the distinctive dishes on the menu. The full Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen menu is available for viewing at: www.russoscoalfired.com.

“If it’s not fresh, we don’t serve it,” said Russo. “The emphasis on quality food is apparent from our menu creations to our open kitchen concept. We want our guests to know that serving great food is our number one priority.”

The majority of Russo’s Restaurants locations are in south central Texas. There are additional multi-unit franchise opportunities throughout Texas, in the Greater Houston market, as well as San Antonio, Austin and Dallas-Fort Worth.

“We are advancing our strategic growth plan in the beginning of 2015 with plans to add 20 to 30 restaurants in the next three years. The new phase of franchising will more than double our number of U.S. locations,” said Jim Carr, newly appointed director of franchise development for Russo’s Restaurants. “In addition to the U.S. markets, we have targeted international territories as well, and are in early discussions with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and China.”

Highlighting the performance of Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, and its sister brand, is the nearly 24 percent average net profit, which includes average food costs of less than 21 percent, a figure well below the national average for the fast casual pizza/Italian sector. Plus, the brands’ average unit volume surpasses $1 million. The most recent Russo’s opening saw weekly sales income between $35,000 to $60,000. Russo’s branded restaurants are profitable during their first year of operations.

For proven restaurant operations teams and driven entrepreneurs interested in pizza franchise opportunities, most commercial loans require a low down payment of 20 to 30 percent of the total investment to launch a restaurant. Moreover, Russo’s works with a collection of preferred third party financing sources to support its franchisees.

Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen and its traditional Italian recipes trace their origins to a tight-knit family where the kitchen was the center of all activity. As a young child, Anthony helped his grandmother roll dough for cannoli, carefully wrapping it around four-inch wooden broomsticks in order to perfectly shape the traditional Italian pastry. By the age of 12, Anthony was learning authentic Italian recipes. Earning the Chef’s distinction at the young age of 18, Anthony honed his skills as a culinary expert working in his parent’s fine Italian restaurant and then opened his own pizzeria just a few years later. He then opened Anthony’s Pizzeria in Clear Lake, Texas, and later two restaurants in Houston; one named Café Anthony and the other named Russo Café Anthony, an upscale Italian restaurant.

Today, Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen and Russo’s New York Pizzeria have garnered a cult-like following for their truly authentic and delicious Italian dishes made from the freshest ingredients and its New York-style pizza. The restaurants blend premium recipes with the magic created around a homemade Italian meal.

About Russo’s Restaurants

Russo’s Restaurants is a 36-location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo’s Restaurants are composed of a mix of corporate and franchised locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. Russo’s has entered international markets as well, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. There are an additional 20-plus units in development both in the United States and internationally. Chef Anthony Russo has created his concepts from years of applying his unique, family recipes featuring New York-style pizza along with a broad variety of handcrafted pasta creations, calzones, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts, reflecting his commitment to his New York roots where food and family come first. To learn more about Russo’s franchise development opportunities, visit www.russoscoalfired.com or contact Jim Carr, director of franchise development at j.carr@nypizzeria.com.

Russo’s New York Pizzeria Opens 20th Houston Area Restaurant; Expands with Continued Franchise Growth

New York Pizzeria

Russo’s New York Pizzeria Opens 20th Houston Area Restaurant; Expands with Continued Franchise Growth

Houston Developer Opens Russo’s Adjacent to NRG Stadium on Houston’s Southwest Side; Russo’s Restaurants Continues Historic Level of U.S. Expansion

HOUSTON – The wait is over on Houston’s southwest side.

Russo’s New York Pizzeria has arrived. Now, more of Houston’s raving Russo’s fans can savor the tastes, aromas and unmistakable ambiance of an authentic New York-style pizzeria. The well-known fast casual Italian restaurant that brings to life old-world charm and hospitality recently opened at The Shops at 3 Corners, 8236 Kirby Dr., Suite 160.

Local resident Asif Malik, an experienced hospitality industry entrepreneur with impressive business acumen, opened the Russo’s New York Pizzeria location directly adjacent to NRG Stadium, proudly serving local residents, businesses and thousands of hungry football fans.

“From the moment customers walk in, they know they’ve come somewhere special. They’re getting a true ‘slice’ of New York on Houston’s southwest side,” said Malik. “Everything is made from fresh ingredients. From the giant slices of pizza and calzones to the pasta, these are traditional Italian dishes served just the way our guests have come to expect from Russo’s.”

The Kirby Drive New York Pizzeria is the 20th Russo’s Restaurant to open in the Houston area. The expansion signals the continuation of significant franchise growth for the brand throughout the United States and beyond. The company is advancing its strategic growth plan in the beginning of 2015, adding 20 to 30 restaurants in the next three years. In addition to the U.S. markets, Russo’s has already taken off internationally, with multiple locations in the Middle East. Plus, early discussions are underway with developers in Canada, Mexico, the Philippines and China. The 12-month period from late-2013 to today represents the brand’s most aggressive growth phase.

Highlighting the performance of Russo’s New York Pizzeria, and its upscale sister brand Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen, is the nearly 24 percent average net profit, which includes average food costs of less than 21 percent, a figure well below the national average for the fast casual pizza/Italian sector. Additionally, the brands’ average unit volume surpasses $1 million. The most recent Russo’s opening saw weekly sales revenues between $35,000 to $60,000. Russo’s branded restaurants are profitable during their first year of operations.

For proven restaurant operations teams and driven entrepreneurs interested in pizza franchise opportunities, most commercial loans require a low down payment of 20 to 30 percent of the total investment to launch a restaurant. Moreover, Russo’s works with a collection of preferred third party financing sources to support its franchisees.

“Opening our 20th location in the Houston DMA is a momentous occasion for Russo’s Restaurants,” said CEO Anthony Russo, a formally trained chef who opened his first Russo’s New York Pizzeria in 1992. “We couldn’t be happier about carrying on the Russo’s tradition with a new restaurant in Houston and doing so with a team as gifted as Asif’s. With their qualifications, Russo’s is continuing to build a bright future in our home Houston market.”

Russo’s New York Pizzeria and its traditional Italian recipes trace their origins to a tight-knit family where the kitchen was the center of all activity. As a young child, Anthony helped his grandmother roll dough for cannoli, carefully wrapping it around four-inch wooden broomsticks in order to perfectly shape the beloved Italian pastry. By the age of 12, Anthony was learning authentic Italian recipes. Earning the Chef’s distinction at the young age of 18, Anthony honed his skills as a culinary expert working in his parent’s fine Italian restaurant and then opened his own pizzeria just a few years later. He then opened Anthony’s Pizzeria in Clear Lake, Texas, and later two restaurants in Houston; one named Café Anthony and the other named Russo Café Anthony, an upscale Italian restaurant.

Today, Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen have garnered a cult-like following for their truly authentic and delicious Italian dishes made from the freshest ingredients and its New York-style pizza. The restaurants blend premium recipes with the magic created around a homemade Italian meal.

About Russo’s Restaurants

Russo’s Restaurants is a 36-location national and international franchisor of the fast casual and casual dining brands Russo’s New York Pizzeria and Russo’s Coal-Fired Italian Kitchen. Based in Houston, Russo’s Restaurants are composed of a mix of corporate and franchised locations across Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, Florida and Hawaii. Russo’s has entered international markets as well, with locations in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates. There are an additional 20-plus units in development both in the United States and internationally. Chef Anthony Russo has created his concepts from years of applying his unique, family recipes featuring New York-style pizza along with a broad variety of handcrafted pasta creations, calzones, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts, reflecting his commitment to his New York roots where food and family come first. To learn more about Russo’s franchise development opportunities, visit www.russoscoalfired.com or contact Jim Carr, director of franchise development at j.carr@nypizzeria.com.

All Points PR Secures Local Market Coverage on Behalf of Upscale Retail Concept Opening

All Points PR supported VOM FASS’ newest location re-opening in Ventura, California. Over the course of the store opening, All Points PR secured a placement that stemmed from a visit paid by a local food reporter to the store to see what the buzz was about. In the feature below, the Ventura County Reporter shared details and a photo of the visit.

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All Points PR Generates National Publicity that Validate Franchise Concepts for Future Investors

All Points PR secured a profile feature on behalf of its client Wild Wing Cafe. The profile includes information on your personal/professional background, path to business ownership and the success and growth of the restaurant location. Plus, the article included a restaurant exterior photo and linked to the website, helping readers visualize the Wild Wing Cafe concept.

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All Points PR Helps Clients Gain Brand Recognition with Exceptional News Coverage

All Points PR secured press for Russo’s New York Pizzeria CEO Chef Anthony Russo. This consumer focused article positioned Russo as an expert by sharing knowledge of the food and fresh ingredients that he uses to create dishes in the restaurants. Main Street is generally very business focused, so the audience is more diverse and interested in Russo’s as a potential franchise investment.

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Coconut’s Fish Cafe Sets Stage for Prolific Franchise Growth in 2015

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Hawaiian Craze is Huge Hit on Mainland, Nets Interest of Restaurant Operator/Investor Groups; Poised for Strategic Expansion in Top U.S. Markets

 KIHEI, Hawaii – Coconut’s Fish Cafe (Coconut’s), the famed home of Hawaiian fish tacos and the celebrated fast-casual phenomenon that has become an unquestioned sensation on the mainland, announced today a franchise expansion plan that positions the brand for strategic growth into prime U.S. markets in 2015.

Initially, Coconut’s is pinpointing key cities throughout the Southern and West Coast regions of the country for new cafes. Additional markets tabbed for future growth will be identified throughout the year ahead. Marking a significant moment for the concept, the brand’s first franchisee, a multi-unit operator in Texas, will open eight cafes between Dallas and Austin in the next 24 months. The first two locations will open in the Dallas market in late-2014 and early-2015 respectively.

“The brand has so many endearing qualities that operators can barely contain their excitement when they realize the opportunity before them with Coconut’s,” said Michael Phillips, founder and CEO of Coconut’s Fish Cafe. “Despite the interest over the years, we’ve been patient to start franchising, and now that we’ve begun, there is tremendous buzz with restaurant investors. It’s amazing what happens when a brand like Coconut’s delivers on its promise to bring world-class, Hawaiian-inspired dishes and a piece of Maui’s distinctive environment to restaurants throughout the country. And, we’re doing it with exceptional service focused on Aloha and Ohana (family).”

In addition to the planned Texas expansion, Coconut’s earned approval in mid-2014 to expand through franchising in California. The brand has now located its mainland headquarters in Reno, Nev. and will award multi- and single-unit opportunities in markets up and down the California coast to qualified restaurant investment groups and individuals in 2015.

“The brand is infectious – we ‘wow’ our customers with every bite. They can’t get enough of the fresh, made-to-order dishes created from healthy ingredients,” added Daniel Oney, COO of Coconut’s Fish Cafe. “It’s this admiration for the cafes and our menu that sink in with investors – there is clear evidence that we have tremendous demand for the Coconut’s experience.”

Since opening its flagship cafe on Maui in 2009, Coconut’s has consistently lived up to its beloved reputation. Three clear distinctions define the brand and separate it within the fast-casual segment of the restaurant industry. First, it’s the Aloha spirit that guides each cafe’s operational excellence. Kindness fills the cafe, cleanliness can be observed throughout, guests are given undivided attention and vibrant colors, custom surfboard tables, and Hawaiian décor electrify the atmosphere.

The next distinction is the restaurant’s menu, which is filled with fresh flavors that burst with every bite. For example, the brand’s signature dish, Fish Tacos, have seven textures and 17 different ingredients. The flavors Coconut’s developed for its menu are true to the brand’s Hawaiian roots. The use of pineapple and mango deliver the tropics directly to each guest’s plate and the brand’s fish are caught wild.

In addition, Coconut’s offers value to its customers unlike any other concept. Nowhere else is fish of this high quality offered at $12; in upscale restaurants, the same pieces of fish are sold for $40 or more.

“The product and customer service standards combine to offer an experience that surpasses guest expectations with each and every visit,” added Oney. “It is often heard that 5-star restaurants cannot provide guests the experience that Coconut’s provides.”

Given the differentiators, Coconut’s stands as a premium brand in the fast-casual category. To preserve the brand equity it has built, Coconut’s is taking an extremely calculated and methodical approach to awarding franchise opportunities. Qualified candidates must prioritize the brand as his or her/the group’s primary business. Previous restaurant ownership is preferred, and, most importantly, franchisees should embrace the Aloha spirit that has cultivated Coconut’s culture.

Complete with thorough training, site selection support and marketing programs, the Coconut’s Fish Cafe business model has been cultivated to attract individuals or teams with an ambition to succeed, strong values and solid community connections.

About Coconut’s Fish Cafe

Michael Phillips, a successful entrepreneur several times over in the restaurant industry, founded Coconut’s Fish Cafe (Coconut’s) in 2009 in Kihei, Hawaii on the island of Maui. Retired in Hawaii yet seeking a restaurant offering fresh foods and outstanding service, Phillips started Coconut’s to enjoy great-tasting meals with his neighbors in Kihei. Today, Coconut’s is revolutionizing the fast casual restaurant sector with its fresh, healthy and affordable menu options, featuring wild-caught fish and a wide selection of fresh, authentic Hawaiian ingredients. Currently with its flagship in Hawaii and corporate headquarters in Nevada, the restaurant concept is expanding across the country through a focused franchising initiative.

To learn more about Coconut’s Fish Cafe franchise opportunities, contact Frances Oney at franchising@coconutsfishcafe.com. And for more information about the cafes, visit www.coconutsfishcafe.com.

Senior Account Lead Rosie Gillam Presents at All Points PR’s Second Team Seminar

photoLast week, we had a great time kicking off our second monthly team seminar with senior account lead Rosie Gillam.

Rosie presented on a topic that is near and dear to our media-loving hearts, “Get Your Message Straight: Why Everyone Needs Media Training.”

At All Points Public Relations, a Chicago-based franchise PR firm, we support our clients in media training for a variety of TV, radio and print segments and interviews. We nominated Rosie to share some best practices that she has up her sleeve.

From start to finish, Rosie provided helpful tips on acing any interview, and feeling confident along the way.

Here is a summary of her key points:

As publicists, in order to provide media training we must know the format of every interview we secure on behalf of our client. Each format has different demands. The six to keep in mind are: 

  • Print/Online Interviews
  • Television Interviews
  • Ambush
  • Radio Talk Show
  • Telephone
  • Editors Desk-Side

For example, if our client has a television interview, we would recommend that they stray away from wearing black, white, or small patterns. However, big patterns or jewel-toned colors will compliment anyone on camera.

Recommending television attire is one way to demonstrate that preparation is key in any interview. But, as always, the content of the interview is the most important part.

As our client puts their best foot forward, we always provide three ways to support their efforts: identify our objectives, prepare stats/figures and examples, and prepare responses to tough questions.

When our client finally has their interview, the conversation should be natural and personable. Even if a tough question is thrown at our clients, they can always politely ask to follow up over email after the interview. There are many options a client has before allowing themselves to get nervous.

Then there’s after the interview, where Rosie underlined some great points that are a must for any interviewee. Three suggestions are:

  • Send a follow-up message via email
  • Thank the reporter for their time
  • Bullet three target messages

Overall, Rosie provided many helpful tips during her presentation on a service we are proud to provide to our clients. She outlined the most important aspects of media training, while also demystifying the interview process.

Stay tuned for December’s seminar, led by PR Associate Samantha Kritt.

La Madeleine Opens in Tanglewood to Satisfy Cravings for more Tastes of the French Countryside

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“Rompre le Pain” (Breaking Bread) Rewards First 50 Guests
in Line at 6:30 a.m. with Handmade Bread Every Week for a Year

HOUSTON – Residents, neighboring businesses and guests of Tanglewood Court, the highly touted residential and entertainment mixed-use community in the Galleria area of west Houston, will soon welcome the arrival of la Madeleine Country French Café. Opening at the corner of San Felipe and Fountainview Drive, la Madeleine offers a refined fast casual dining experience complete with its signature French-inspired recipes that are handcrafted and made to order in a warm and relaxing environment.

To celebrate this widely anticipated café, la Madeleine is sharing its joie de vivre (joy of life) with Tanglewood residents and the surrounding communities through an opening event unlike any other before it in the area. La Madeleine’s Rompre le Pain, or breaking bread, rewards the first 50 guests in line at 6:30 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 4th with a weekly supply of the brand’s fresh baked breads for a year. The café will present each of the first 50 guests certificates to redeem their delicious rewards during a 12-month period.

“There is a lot of positive buzz in the community about the new Tanglewood café. Rompre le Pain honors our cherished French bakery tradition by inviting guests to break bread as we celebrate each and every opening,” said John Cahill, chief operating officer at la Madeleine. “The first batch of our fresh-baked breads will be coming out of the oven as our Rompre le Pain participants are filing through the doors. We are preparing to welcome an excited crowd of guests on the first day right as we open.”

The distinguished bakery café, which is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, features more than 75 made-from-scratch menu items prepared using classic French techniques, including the brand’s signature Tomato Basil Soupe, Caesar Salade, Country French Breakfast, Croque Monsieur and Chicken la Madeleine. The café also features an open display bakery where guests can see pastry chefs creating la Madeleine’s signature viennoiseries and pâtisseries.

Encouraging all to take a momentary break and unwind without the rush of the day in their way, the new Tanglewood café is la Madeleine’s nineteenth location in the Greater Houston area. The design reflects the brand’s new layout and décor, which unites comfort with a country French atmosphere – the unmistakable la Madeleine motif. Wood floors, hearth fireplaces, rustic beams and a lighter color palette all accentuate the brand’s updated look and feel, creating an inviting atmosphere to enjoy a meal with family, friends and colleagues.

La Madeleine at Tanglewood Court welcomes guests to experience delectable country French cuisine and its warm, inviting ambiance daily from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For more information, carryout service or to book a catered or hosted event, visit www.lamadeleine.com.

About la Madeleine Country French Café

Dallas-based la Madeleine Country French Café was established in 1983 by self- described “French country boy” Patrick Esquerré to fulfill his dream of bringing classic country French fare to America. Inspired by his mother’s cooking, Patrick insisted on maintaining the integrity of French cuisine by using fresh ingredients and recipes that have been passed from one generation to the next.

From its signature fireplace to its crave-worthy food, la Madeleine offers a warm, welcoming atmosphere where guests are invited to come and stay in a casual, French home atmosphere. La Madeleine’s French-inspired fare served throughout the day during breakfast, lunch and dinner features handcrafted entrées, sandwiches, salades and soupes, as well as freshly-baked breads, artisan pâtisseries and several additional distinctive specialties. La Madeleine’s authenticity, innovation and fresh menu items differentiates the brand, creating widespread restaurant investor appeal.

A treasured part of many communities for more than 30 years, la Madeleine has more than 70 cafés across Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Oklahoma, Texas and Virginia. For more information on menu items, café locations and hours of operation, visit www.laMadeleine.com

All Points Secures Front Page Event Placement

All Points PR secured coverage on behalf of its client Bottle & Bottega. The piece ran online and in print on the front page of the Arts & Entertainment section of the publication. The coverage includes background about Bottle & Bottega, a description of the Ladies’ Night Out event, guest endorsements, photos, links and more. Additionally, the piece mentioned he brand’s franchise expansion plans for the Chicagoland area and throughout the U.S.

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All Points PR Secures Business Opening Announcement

All Points PR works with Franchising, the widely read publication by industry professionals across a variety of business sectors, to secured announcements on behalf of its clients. Recently, All Points PR secured a new business announcement in Arlington, Virginia on behalf of Murphy Business. The announcement helped build momentum and provided an SEO bump for the entire Murphy Business brand.

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All Points PR Secured Q&A in National Franchising Publication

All Points PR secured a Q&A on behalf of its client Executive Care, a home healthcare company. The article highlighted the Connecticut franchisee’s journey into the entrepreneurial world, specifically franchising. The article received multiple shares on Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin. It was also shared on high traffic business websites, like Yahoo Small Business.

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Company Culture: From Seminars to Pizza Parties

Screen Shot 2014-11-13 at 5.01.40 PMThe buzz-phrase “company culture” has undoubtedly come up in every professional setting and college classroom over the last several years. Why is this phrase so important and what does it actually mean to employers and their employees? Everyone defines it differently, but the definition of company culture that All Points Public Relations, a Chicago-based franchise PR agency, finds most fitting and all encompassing is “a set of shared vision, values, norms, systems, beliefs and habits. “

Ultimately, company culture is the personality a company develops over time that embraces its mission, expectations and work atmosphere. At All Points PR, the mission is “to support entrepreneurs and entrepreneurially spirited organizations through the persistent execution of effective public relations and social media programs.” This is accomplished through working closely with clients and by hiring and fostering the growth of talented individuals. This is also accomplished through creating a strong company culture.

The culture at All Points PR inspires team members in a multitude of creative and exciting ways. For example, we commonly host incentive programs, seminars and office gatherings. The purpose of these programs is to add to our team’s continued education, career development and to allow us to grow as an agency by bonding and working together.

Specifically, throughout the year, incentive programs are conducted as a way to invite employees to think outside the box and go the extra mile. This past summer, a fun in-office competition titled “Hit of the Week” was held, during which an employee’s exceptional media placement, social media result or content marketing result was rewarded. Each week, the winning employee was presented a trophy and he or she was celebrated in the office for the hard work. At the end of the program, the entire team went out to celebrate a different kind of hit at a Chicago White Sox baseball game. Programs like “Hit of the Week” allow us to celebrate each others successes, learn from our teammates, increase our team bond and ultimately strengthen our company culture.

Recently, several team members initiated a new seminar program, which highlights our company’s public relations systems. The program was launched with a large group brainstorming session during which employees nominated one another to give a presentation on a topic that would benefit the agency. Once a month, a different employee takes the topic that they were nominated for and makes a presentation. For example, one of our publicists presented tips about finding the right publication and reporter using tools like Cision Point. These interactive presentations help spark team discussion and bring the agency together. To read more about the kickoff presentation titled, “Research and Development: Finding the Right Reporter,” by associate Adee Feiner, click here.

At All Points PR, team lunches, friendly basketball games, team runs, baby showers and Halloween parties are commonplace. These events can be as big as a late night bowling party to celebrate the winter holidays or as small and intimate as gathering around the conference table with cupcakes to wish a team member a happy birthday. At these gatherings inside jokes, team collaboration and bonding happen naturally. This creates a shared sense of company pride.

There have been plenty of studies that suggest employee happiness is directly linked to productivity, which leads to high client satisfaction. Unhappy employees tend to do the minimum amount of work required, but those who feel appreciated are loyal and passionate. Those employees in turn stay at a company longer, work harder and more creatively, going the extra mile. A Columbia University study shows that the likelihood of job turnover at an organization with strong company culture is only 13.9%, whereas the probability of job turnover in poor company cultures is as high as 48.4%.

All Points PR believes that continued education, career development and even sometimes the most ordinary things, like a pizza party, can have a big impact on company culture because those experiences bring us together and allow us to share vision, values, norms, systems, beliefs and habits.

All Points PR Secures In-Depth Franchise focused Q&A in National Publication

All Points PR secured a Q&A on behalf of Great American Deals, a hyper local daily deal site. The article featured the three owners of North County Deals in San Diego who shared franchising expertise, advice for future franchise owners and details on the Great American Deals franchise opportunity. The article generated impressive social results, generating 30 shares on Linkedin, 42 shares on Facebook and 133 shares on Twitter.

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All Points PR Garners Impressive Shares for “Free Coffee Day” Campaign

All Points PR works with influencers via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Reddit to generate awareness and engage consumer for its client’s social media campaigns. Recently, on behalf of la Madeleine’s “Free Coffee Day” campaign All Points PR reached out to bloggers across the nation, securing multiple tweets, Facebook posts and Instagram post that mentioned the event and tagged the la Madeline brand.

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Local Exposure Targets Prospective Investors in Brattleboro, Vermont

All Points PR secured phenomenal exposure on behalf of Little Ceasers’ brand in the Brattleboro, Vermont area. The piece of coverage gives great background info on the company. The story also provides full details about the franchising movement and the care Little Caesars puts into selecting a local entrepreneur to bring the brand to the area.

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All Points PR Secures Placements in Top Franchise Portals

All Points PR cultivates great relationships with top populications such as Franchising, the widely read by industry professionals across a variety of business sectors, including current and prospective franchisees that keep up with news from a range of industries. The franchise portal published the information to announce restaurant opening in Kentwood, Nebraska on behalf of client Patrice & Associates.

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All Points PR Helps Position Clients as Experts in their Fields

All Points PR secured press coverage secured with CBS Local – Phoenix , a national network of local CBS news sites. CMIT Solutions is positioned as small business IT advocates, with a comprehensive collection of services that fill a much needed void in the marketplace. Running in the “Let’s Get to Work Phoenix” column of the news station’s website, is great exposure for CMIT Solutions franchise in the Phoenix DMA.

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All Points Secures Press about Seasonal Promotions

All Points PR secured placements on behalf of Stevi B’s unique winter promotions. The placement below supports efforts to generate industry awareness around the Stevi B’s brand, it’s marketing campaigns and franchise opportunities. All Points PR continues to build momentum and awareness by sharing news of the winter promotions with the trade press, helping Stevi B’s gain an SEO bump.

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Entrepreneur Startups Validates All Points PR’s Clients’ Franchise Opportunities

All Points PR secured a story that featured Kona Ice as an established national concept and as a brand built to stand the test of time. The feature lists Kona Ice’s many brand differentiators and the reasons why franchisees and consumers are so enamored with the brand. Such articles help validate the franchise opportunity and generate new franchisees leads for Kona Ice.

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