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Dana Tanyeri

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Dana Tanyeri

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If there is a "Mr. Johnny Rockets" within the Johnny Rockets' system, it's got to be Lloyd Sugarman.

In his 45 years in the industry, Rich Batley has had the rug pulled out from under him more than once.

In one corner, c-stores, trying to reinvent themselves and steal customers from restaurants by beefing up the quality and quantity of their food.

Venezuelan native Mario Contreras, 32, heads up his own multi-national company, Elbardi International Management, a Charley’s Grilled Subs franchise.

Two for one? Kids eat free? Everybody does that. When Guy Campbell set out to turn around anemic sales on Mondays, he wanted to do something different. He wanted to own Mondays.

Saber, who joined Panera in 2003 after a 17-year run at McDonald’s as a franchisee and senior corporate leader, posed a question that ultimately led to Panera Cares, the company’s groundbreaking pay-what-you-can business model designed to “share the warmth” with those less fortunate.

Casual steak and salad-bar chain Sizzler is on the cusp of a comeback and it’s due in part to Gary and Sally Myers, who throughout their nearly 30-year history as Sizzler franchisees have led more than they’ve followed.

Capping off a night out with his wife last winter, Mark Snyder ducked into a local bakery craving a little something sweet.

Chris Partyka bought into the Pizza Patron franchise system seven years ago with three units in San Antonio, intent on developing that market.

The annual “What’s Hot” survey of 1,800 chefs by the National Restaurant Association pegged gluten-free/food allergy-conscious items as No. 7 on the top 10 trends list this year. That’s up a notch from its 2011 position.

Founded in 1981 by Mueller and his brother Richard, RPM is one of those franchisees that could almost annoy corporate with their steady stream of ideas, admits Jim Stansik, executive vice president of franchise relations for Domino’s.

Think labor unions are someone else’s problem? Think again. While unions and other workers’ rights groups haven’t fed well at the restaurant trough to date, that scenario is poised to change.