111 episodes

Most startups are doomed to fail. But there’s an alternative route to financial freedom for hungry entrepreneurs. One that involves far less risk, far more work-life balance, and just as much profit. Franchises. Franchise Empires gives aspiring franchise owners the playbook to build a multi-unit franchise empire of their own. Every episode we hear from guests who are building their franchise empire: Franchisees who started with one unit and aren’t stopping until they get to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands more locations. Hosted by The Wolf, you’ll hear exactly how to turn your ambition into tangible actions and take your first steps up the franchise ladder. We’ll break down the steps you need to take open your first franchise, your second location and beyond, along with the many pitfalls to avoid. Wolf answers all your questions about owning and running your franchise, and interviews guests with first hand experience like Greg Flynn, the multi-billion dollar restaurant franchisee, Jamie Weeks, the largest OrangeTheory franchisee in the world who’s launching his own fitness franchise SweatHouz, and Jason McGowan, Co-founder and CEO of Crumbl cookies. Want to get started on your franchise owning journey? Tune in every Tuesday for a new episode. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Interested in participating as a guest at Franchise Empires? Submit your request here!

Franchise Empires The Wolf, A Workweek Friend

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 38 Ratings

Most startups are doomed to fail. But there’s an alternative route to financial freedom for hungry entrepreneurs. One that involves far less risk, far more work-life balance, and just as much profit. Franchises. Franchise Empires gives aspiring franchise owners the playbook to build a multi-unit franchise empire of their own. Every episode we hear from guests who are building their franchise empire: Franchisees who started with one unit and aren’t stopping until they get to dozens, hundreds, or even thousands more locations. Hosted by The Wolf, you’ll hear exactly how to turn your ambition into tangible actions and take your first steps up the franchise ladder. We’ll break down the steps you need to take open your first franchise, your second location and beyond, along with the many pitfalls to avoid. Wolf answers all your questions about owning and running your franchise, and interviews guests with first hand experience like Greg Flynn, the multi-billion dollar restaurant franchisee, Jamie Weeks, the largest OrangeTheory franchisee in the world who’s launching his own fitness franchise SweatHouz, and Jason McGowan, Co-founder and CEO of Crumbl cookies. Want to get started on your franchise owning journey? Tune in every Tuesday for a new episode. Make sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.
Interested in participating as a guest at Franchise Empires? Submit your request here!

    S9 E9: 130 Units in 60 Months: Inside Soccer Stars’ Booming Franchise Model

    S9 E9: 130 Units in 60 Months: Inside Soccer Stars’ Booming Franchise Model

    Who can forget being shuffled around to soccer games in the back seat of mom’s minivan, eagerly waiting to find out what post-game snacks awaited you at the end of your little league matchup?
    What if there was a franchise that could capture that same magic?
    The Wolf talks to Adam Geisler and John Erlandson, the co-founders of Youth Athletes United, which represents brands like Soccer Stars and Amazing Athletes, about the plan behind their youth sports immersion platform. With over 130 locations and 76 owners, they share their unique insights on scaling the business and the potential of selling more franchises.
    The Wolf also chats with Kevin and Chelsea Meyer, two owners of the Soccer Stars franchise, about the challenges they faced in converting businesses into successful franchises. What was the importance of hiring a GM? And how has the growth of soccer in the US contributed to the astounding success of Soccer Stars?
    Tune in to find out John, Adam, Kevin, and Chelsea’s insights into what just might be the most fun franchise in America to own!

    Soccer Stars is one of the nation's leading youth educational soccer programs in the country. We are a mobile-based franchise focused on teaching the fundamentals of soccer while having fun. Our programs are class and game-based activities focusing on kids starting at 1 and up to 14+ years of age. You can learn more about us at soccerstarsfranchise.com.

    00:00:50 - Youth Sports Platform Expands Franchise
    00:06:26 - Discovering Soccer Stars Brand Journey
    00:10:35 - Balancing Full-Time Jobs with Franchise
    00:16:16 - The Power of People in Business
    00:18:26 - Hiring a GM for Scaling Success
    00:22:32 - Adapting to Franchisee Growth Challenges
    00:29:14 - Developing Long-Term Goals for Soccer
    00:30:54 - Lionel Messi Joins MLS, World Cup 2026 in America
    00:36:10 - Connecting with MLS Franchise Opportunities
    00:38:46 - Challenges of Starting a Franchise
    00:40:57 - Franchise Challenges: Staffing and Retention

    Follow Adam:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/adam-geisler-1442697/
     
    Follow John:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/john-erlandson-62409b4/
     
    Follow Kevin:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kevin-meyer-4168632a4/
     
    Follow The Wolf:
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
     
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
     
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!

    • 44 min
    S9 E8: Unpacking beem Light Sauna’s Formula to Success

    S9 E8: Unpacking beem Light Sauna’s Formula to Success

    How does the co-founder of beem Light Sauna think about scaling a thriving health and wellness franchise? The Wolf talks with Cynthia May, CEO and Co-Founder of beem Light Sauna, to discover her secret to scaling from 0 to 65 locations in a little over four years.
    Cynthia reveals her biggest challenges and successes in scaling a franchise brand, unraveling how she and her team developed systems that allowed their franchisees to truly thrive. How did culture and values fundamentally shape the nature of her franchise?
    Cynthia also shares her insights into the unique benefits of light therapy— from mental health to weight loss and detoxification, she explains why customers are drawn to their private individual suites and rooms and how their membership-based business model sets the stage for success.
    Plus, what’s in store for beem Light Sauna? And how has partnering with prelaunch partners and vendors upped their marketing game?
    Tune in now to find out!
     
    Join the fastest-growing VR franchise in the world and be among the first to bring premium immersive VR experiences to your community.
    Invest in the future of entertainment by visiting franchise.sandboxvr.com.
     
    00:01:30 - Scaling a Franchise Brand Successfully
    00:05:43 - Finding the Right Location for Brands
    00:08:46 - Partnering for Membership Sales Success
    00:15:16 - Customizable Infrared and Red Light Therapy
    00:21:25 - Top 3 Reasons for Wellness Retreats
    00:25:29 - Transitioning from Founder to CEO
    00:34:18 - Establishing Culture and Values for Business Success
    00:40:50 - Goals for beem Light Sauna Beyond Units
    Learn More About beem Light Sauna:
    Website: https://franchise.beemlightsauna.com/
     
    Follow Cynthia:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiamay/
     
    Follow The Wolf:
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!

    • 43 min
    S9 E7: How Checkers & Dave’s Hot Chicken Became a National Cult Obsession

    S9 E7: How Checkers & Dave’s Hot Chicken Became a National Cult Obsession

    Before it became a media franchise sensation, Dave’s Hot Chicken was a pop-up shop in East Los Angeles creating a line as long as the eye could see. Now it has a national cult following with investors like Drake and Usher invested in the Nashville-style chicken chain.
    The Wolf sits down to chat with founding franchisees, Andrew Feghali and Lawrence Kourie about the challenges and triumphs of starting a franchise in a new market and the excitement of becoming part of a rapidly growing brand. 
    Hear how Dave's Hot Chicken has gained attention not only for its mouth-watering menu but also for its celebrity investors. How do its chef-inspired offerings set it apart from the competition? And how has Dave’s made the art of the simple menu work in their favor?
    Can Dave’s Hot Chicken compete with In-N-Out? Lawrence and Andrew explain how focusing on the people behind the brand and creating room for growth has led to a fantastic working culture and a high degree of scalability.
    Plus, don’t miss out on an exclusive sneak peek into the future of Dave's Hot Chicken, including plans for expansion and international growth.

    Sandbox VR is the world’s most advanced virtual reality experience. With more than 45 locations across 7 countries, this full-body gaming provides unprecedented realism and complete immersion that’s not possible anywhere else. Groups of up to six can roam the VR space together, exploring exclusive virtual worlds and relying on each other to succeed while surviving a zombie apocalypse, battling a mighty dragon, hunting for lost treasure, and more.
    Visit Franchise.SandboxVR.com to learn more.

    00:00:00 - Franchisees Share Dave's Hot Chicken Story
    00:03:53 - Dodgers Game Meeting Leads to Successful Store Opening
    00:06:06 - Opening a Franchise in San Diego
    00:12:55 - Balancing Speed and Patience in Expansion
    00:18:52 - Simplicity Key to Dave's Success
    00:22:14 - Celebrity Investors Back Dave's Hot Chicken
    00:26:18 - Third-Party Delivery: A Big Model
     
    Follow Lawrence:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/lawrencekourie/
     
    Follow Andrew:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/andrew-feghali-6728197a/
     
    Follow The Wolf:
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
     
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
     
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!

    • 32 min
    S9 E6: How Dinesh Goswami Acquired 125+ Pizza Huts, Popeye’s, and Taco Bells

    S9 E6: How Dinesh Goswami Acquired 125+ Pizza Huts, Popeye’s, and Taco Bells

    Did you know when it comes to where your franchise is situated, there’s a breakfast side and a dinner side of the street? 
    Dinesh Goswami certainly does, and with 125+ franchise locations open, including Pizza Hut, Popeye’s, , Taco Bell, and Checker’s, he knows why understanding your location is the #1 thing you can do to ensure the longevity of your franchise. 
    Dinesh talks with the Wolf about his diversified portfolio and the valuable lessons he’s learned from his extensive franchising career about staying resilient and consistent in the face of economic fluctuations. How have specialized franchise lenders and SBA loans helped Dinesh to scale? Plus, discover his unique approach to acquiring talent and fostering a people-centric business.
    From understanding the importance of location selection to leveraging organic growth opportunities, Dinesh provides his incredible insights into the challenges of franchising at a high-level scale. 
     
    00:00:48 - From Banker to Popeyes Owner
    00:02:12 - Corporate Dropout Opens Successful Franchise
    00:05:03 - Considerations for Choosing Restaurant Locations
    00:12:39 - Avoid Costly Mistakes When Opening a Restaurant
    00:14:03 - How to Convince Someone to Switch Jobs
    00:18:41 - Capital Strategy for Business Expansion: SBA Loans or Profit Funneling?
    00:21:06 - Specialized Lenders for Franchise Industry
    00:29:25 - Diversifying Brands for Steady Growth
    00:36:04 - Understand Your Strengths Before Marketing
     
    Follow Dinesh:
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dinesh-goswami-463547130/
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/dineshvgoswami/
     
    Follow The Wolf: 
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
     
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
     
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!
     

    • 42 min
    S9 E5: Mobile Station Mogul: Gas Biz Guy on the Future of the Gas Industry

    S9 E5: Mobile Station Mogul: Gas Biz Guy on the Future of the Gas Industry

    What’s the latest Twitter beef with an army of minions going to war for Gas Biz Guy? Is it a joke or is there legitimate beef behind the brawl?  
    Join The Wolf as he sits down with viral Twitter personality Gas Biz Guy (aka Chris Hellgeth), a self-made entrepreneur who turned a ten-cent cigarette sale into a $100 million-a-year gas distribution business. They break down the secrets to success in the gas station industry, including the importance of value, experience, and building a strong brand.
    Discover how the Gas Biz Guy built his business from the ground up, overcoming challenges and seizing opportunities along the way. From cashing checks to gas station ownership, he shares his entrepreneurial journey and offers valuable insights for aspiring business owners.
    The Gas Biz Guy also peels back the curtain on the little-known gas and convenience store industry, unpacking the unique synergy between quick-serve restaurants and gas stations and exploring the opportunities they can provide potential investors.  
    And later, he and the Wolf dive into the evolving trends in the convenience store industry, from the rise of novelty energy drinks to the increasing focus on customer experience. Find out how higher-margin locations are expanding their margins by providing a clean environment and excellent customer service.
     
     
    00:00:00 - Gas Station Enthusiast Dominates Twitter
    00:04:14 - From a 10 Cent Cigarette Sale to a $100 Million Success
    00:08:26 - Solving the Unbankable Population Issue
    00:12:14 - Gas Stations: Profit from Convenience, Not Gas
    00:15:22 - Gas Station Industry's Value Proposition
    00:20:15 - Buying from Distributors: Convenience Store Margins
    00:24:32 - Cooler Products Dominate Market Growth
    00:25:47 - Synergy Between Gas Stations and Restaurants
     
    Follow Gas Biz Guy:
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/gas_biz
     
    Follow The Wolf: 
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
     
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
     
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!
     

    • 36 min
    S9 E4: The Visionary Leader Behind Pearle Vision's Eyewear Empire, with Bill Noble

    S9 E4: The Visionary Leader Behind Pearle Vision's Eyewear Empire, with Bill Noble

    How did a West Point flight school graduate become the founder of 79 optical stores across the US? Bill Noble, Pearle Vision’s largest multi-unit franchise owner, joins the pod to chat with the Wolf about his fascinating journey from sitting in the cockpit to building a nationwide franchise empire.  
    From his early days at Harrah's Entertainment to his transition into the retail industry, Bill shares valuable insights on leadership, partnership, and the challenges of growing a franchise business. Discover how his military background and experience in the gaming industry shaped his approach to leadership and motivated him to start his own franchise.
    Bill discusses the importance of maintaining a true partnership between franchisors and franchisees and reveals how honest feedback and open communication contribute to the growth and success of a franchise organization.
    He and the Wolf dissect the strategies and considerations involved in acquisitions and growth and uncover how market conditions and lending criteria can impact a franchise's expansion plans.
    Whether you're a seasoned franchise owner or considering starting your own business, gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics and intricacies of building a successful franchise empire.
     
    00:00:23 - Military Veteran's Journey to Retail
    00:03:27 - First Leadership Role Outside Military
    00:05:42 - Transitioning Leadership Skills from Gaming
    00:08:11 - From Lenscrafters Employee to Franchise Owner
    00:15:12 - Navigating Pressure as a CEO
    00:18:31 - Converting Corporate Locations to Pearle Visions
    00:21:21 - Transitioning from Corporate CEO to Franchise Leader
    00:24:37 - Navigating Growth in Changing Markets
    00:29:38 - Approaching Leadership as a Franchise Owner
    00:38:07 - Balancing Personal Identity in Competitive Organizations
    00:45:27 - Franchise Concept Evolves into Partnership
     
    Follow Bill: 
    LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/williamnoble1/
     
    Follow The Wolf: 
    Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/
    YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf
    Website: https://www.krokit.com
     
    And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.
     
    Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.
     
    And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!

    • 43 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

Boyen168 ,

Great podcast, a lot of value

Love this show. Just don’t understand the music mid podcast while you’re talking.

MelissaDflip ,

Great content!

Really enjoying the in-depth interviews and convos on this podcast! As an experienced marketer of franchises and now a new AR and franchisee - I’ve loved all of the key learnings here.

Cute Pandas!!! ,

FIX THE AUDIO

I love Cali Coffee but the interview was painful to listen to because of your audio. it sounded like they were talking in an empty room with echo. Also as the host you need to stop using the word “like” as you are talking. I know it’s a hard habit to break but good interviewers don’t do that. I did enjoy hearing from the Cali owners as this is my favorite coffee place.

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