Everyone knows the newspaper business is bleeding red ink. But don’t tell that to Forbes Magazine, which just picked Coffee News as one of the best franchises to buy for under $100,000. Coffee News is an ad-supported publication that’s available for free in restaurants and coffee shops. The weekly rag features “super-learning and subliminal techniques” that supposedly make the publication super-appealing to readers and advertisers. Not your cup of joe? How about American Poolplayers Association, which operates pool halls for local leagues of 25,000 players? It also made the Forbes list. And then there’s our personal favorite, Christmas Decor, which helps homes and businesses set up and take down their Christmas lights. It’s number 15 on the Forbes list with a franchise fee of $13,000. Who cares that you only work one month of the year. It beats no months of the year, which is probably what the future holds for the franchise editor at Forbes.
Naked lunch. Former Subway franchisee and strip club owner Anthony “Cousin Vinny” Agnello was booted from the Subway family in 2007 for putting up Al Capone posters in his restaurant. But that didn’t stop Agnello from opening up another sandwich shop called Cousin Vinny’s Way, which not only featured $5 foot-long subs, but “nonstop, hard-core, live action from some of the most beautiful young ladies who have ever chosen to take their clothes off in public,” according to the company flyer. Sounds good to us. The only problem is that Agnello continued to use Subway-branded napkins, bags and menus in his new joint. Subway sued and now Angelo could pay $100,000 in damages, which proves there really is no such thing as a free lunch — especially when strippers are involved.
Hot wheels. In 1983, Papa John’s founder John Schnatter sold his beloved Z28 Camaro and used the $2,800 to start his pizza franchise. Now that he’s rich and famous, Shcnatter tracked down the car’s current owner and paid him $250,000 to get it back. Is Schnatter crazy, or crazy like a fox? After all, he got pretty good mileage from his car quest, landing on the front page of Yahoo! and in newspapers across the country. Schnatter even offered free pizza to any and all Camaro owners. But he but stopped just short of a fuzzy dice giveaway.