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The Week in Franchising, March 27, 2012

A roundup of the past week's developments affecting franchisees and franchisors. 

New IFA metric finds franchising in better health
A new gauge of franchising’s economic health showed continued improvement in the sector during February, the sixth consecutive monthly gain. The International Franchise Association’s new Franchise Business Index rose to 107.7. That translates into a 1.3% increase over the FBI for February 2011.

The metric compares franchising’s current financial situation to a base period of January 2000. The higher the index, the more robust conditions are for that component of the economy. The FBI measures financial wellbeing for all of franchising, not just restaurant licensing.

BBQ chain founder signs on as SPIN! zee
The SPIN! Neapolitan Pizza chain has awarded rights to develop 35 franchised stores in southern California to Craig Hofman, the owner of the Lucille’s Smokehouse BBQ concept.

Hofman, who operates 15 Lucille’s outlets, said he was looking to develop his own Neapolitan venture when he came across the founder’s of SPIN!, Gail and Richard Lozoff and Edwin Brownell. The trio was also the founder of Bagel & Bagel, which morphed into the Einstein Bros. bagel chain. SPIN! is based in Kansas City,  MO.

Papa John’s salutes its best
Papa John’s International has chosen its franchisees of the year. An operator was chosen as best of breed in three size categories: Kenyatta and Herb Theodore, LMT Services in New Orleans, in the one-to-three stores classification; Abdi Neghabat and Rich Malekzadeh, PJ Cleveland West, Los Angeles, for four to 10 units; Bo Knapp, Perfect Delivery, Greenville, N.C., 11 or more stores.

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