Would you like fries with that appendectomy? Believe it or not, health care is following in the path of fast-food franchises. And leave it to a doctor named Scott Burger (no joke) to lead the charge. Burger is the co-founder of Doctors Express, a privately run urgent care center that is looking to open 3,000 new clinics around the country. The company has chosen the franchise model to grow the business. You don’t even need a medical background to own one of these franchises, reports USA Today. Doctors Express is primarily looking for good business people who can pony up approximately $500,000 to get a franchise up and running. The company says it will guide potential franchisees in everything from what credentials to look for when hiring staff to how to pick the best location. Doctors Express is believed to be the very first franchised medical clinic. Our health care system is so messed up, it’s a wonder nobody thought of this sooner.
From bad to worse. It’s already been a pretty miserable year for franchising. Now comes word that CIT Group, one of the largest providers of funding for franchised businesses ranging from Dunkin’ Donuts to Pizza Hut, had barely escaped bankruptcy. “If CIT were to go away, it would take a financing option away from our franchisees who want to buy stores or expand their networks,” Dunkin’ spokeswomen Michelle King told Reuters. The big questions on everyone’ mind is whether franchisees can find an alternate source of capital as CIT tries to right the ship. At least one franchise professional says he’s not optimistic. Craig Moore of CiCi Enterprises, which owns and operates 650 CiCi Pizza restaurants, says that interest in his franchise has never been higher, but the odds of securing a loan have never been lower. “The reality is the American dream is dead right now,” he says. Dude, that’s cold.
Dollar burger imbroglio. The only thing better than a $5 sub is $1 double cheeseburger. At least, that’s what Burger King thought. Until its franchisees threatened open revolt, reports the Wall Street Journal. Hoping to attract recession-weary consumers, BK tried to push through the $1 dollar promotion, but franchisees balked. Naturally, they were terrified that half the population would converge on their restaurants and put them out of business. Have you looked at the unemployment figures lately? There are lots of hungry people out there. In the end, a compromise was reached. Instead of the double cheeseburger, BK will be promoting its Whopper Jr. for $1.