Quiznos Could Pay Millions in Settlement

Alan J. Liddle reports at Nation’s Restaurant News that a judge has granted preliminary approval for the settlement of four class-action lawsuits filed by Quiznos Sub franchisees against their franchisor that could significantly alter the relationship of the feuding parties and cost the franchisor up to $100 million. The proposed settlement could impact more than 6,900 individuals now associated with the Denver-based Quiznos system “and several thousand who have closed their franchises,” attorneys for franchisees indicated in court documents.

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Franchisees Exert Pressure on Burger King Board

Elaine Walker reports in the Miami Herald that Burger King’s franchisees say they no longer “trust” or “have confidence” in current management, so they’re going directly to the company’s board of directors with their complaints. That was the message in a letter sent by the National Franchisee Association last week to Burger King’s board of directors. The board needs to take action to repair the relationship with franchisees, which has disintegrated to a level unheard of even for Burger King, the letter said. “Your management team has pushed the franchise community to the brink,” said the letter signed by 27 franchises, including the NFA board and the heads of 21 regional franchisee associations. “We are taking this extraordinary and historic action to communicate our concerns directly to the board.”

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Post Commencement Lease Negotiations Presentation at DDIFO Members Meeting in Chicago

The National Retail Tenants Association (NRTA) presentation at the DDIFO Members Meeting in Chicagoland on December 3rd, 2009 will include how to identify opportunities that occur after a lease is executed, recognizing potential needs that can be leveraged to obtain concessions that can benefit both the Landlord and Tenant. NRTA will also discuss how to evaluate the relative position of Landlords and Tenants when considering post commencement lease restructuring.

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Obama wants $100M more to carry small-business programs

The Obama administration is strongly urging Capitol Hill to add new funds to a popular small-business loan program that is nearly out of money. As part of the $787 billion fiscal stimulus package earlier this year, lawmakers included $375 million to support Small Business Administration (SBA) programs to spur lending through higher guarantees and reduced fees. The administration credits the programs with helping to rejuvenate lending for small businesses. Loan volumes under the program had crashed during the financial crisis last fall and winter. But the programs have been so popular this year that they are running out of money several months early.

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KFC Grilled Chicken Tops List of Memorable New Products, McCafe Second

Stuart Elliot reports in the New York Times that a two-piece Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal at a KFC location in Louisville, Ky. An annual survey of memorable new products gave the top honor for 2009 to the Kentucky Grilled Chicken menu item, which was introduced by the KFC unit of Yum Brands. These are the four other fast-food products that scored the highest in 2009: the McCafe coffees from the McDonald’s Corporation, No. 2; the Torpedo sandwich from Quiznos, No. 6; the Angus Deluxe, also from McDonald’s, No. 7; and Taco Bell Volcano Nachos, from another unit of Yum Brands, No. 8.

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Will Wendy’s bite into Krispy Kreme?

Dan Gearino reports in THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH that Wendy’s/Arby’s has indicated it would like to buy another restaurant company, a possible target has emerged: Krispy Kreme. The rumor surfaced on Breifing.com and then was reported by Barron’s.

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Main Street’s Credit Crunch

Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner spent most of the day Wednesday with small-business owners and bankers, discussing ways to ease the credit crunch that’s stifling economic recovery on Main Street. Geithner and Karen Mills, head of the Small Business Administration, hosted the Small Business Financing Forum, fulfilling a promise President Barack Obama made when he announced initiatives last month to boost lending to small businesses.

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Small Biz Wants Loan Breaks Reinstated

Small business groups and lenders urged Congress to reinstate the 90 percent government guarantee and fee reductions on SBA loans. The economic stimulus bill provided the SBA with $375 million to increase the loan guarantee on the agency’s flagship 7(a) business loans to 90 percent and reduce or eliminate fees on 7(a) loans and 504 loans, which primarily finance real estate. That money, however, has run out.

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Largest BK Franchisee Staying Loyal to the King

The Buffalo News Business Today reports that the Syracuse-based company that is the largest single owner of Burger King franchises is standing by the chain’s promotion of a cut-rate double cheeseburger, and is not participating in an uprising being mounted by many other franchisees. The National Franchisees Association, on behalf of 850 other Burger King operators around the country, has filed a lawsuit against the Miami-based Burger King Holdings Inc., protesting the corporation’s insistence that its franchisees offer double cheeseburgers for $1.

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Quiznos Settles 4 class-action Suits by Franchisees

The Denver Business Journal reports that four class-action lawsuits brought by Quiznos franchisees against the Denver-based sandwich-shop chain have been settled, the company and the plaintiffs’ law firms said Monday. Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement of the suits, which originally were brought in Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois and which have been pending for up to three years.

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