Live To Tell | March 8, 2019

The underground story of business, entrepreneurs and influencers.

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Fantastic: Schnatter Steps Away From Papa John’s Board

It's the news we’ve all been waiting for: Papa John’s and its estranged founder, John Schnatter, have reached an agreement that paves the way for his departure from the news cycle and the brand—sort of. Schnatter has agreed to step down from the Papa John’s board of directors to make way for a “mutually acceptable independent director” to take his place, yet will still remain the brand’s largest shareholder. Schnatter will also drop his lawsuit against Papa John’s as a result of the agreement.

Celebrity: Actor Danny Trejo Expands His Taco Chain in LA

If you don’t recognize the name Danny Trejo, you’ll definitely recognize his face. While best known for roles in Machete and From Dusk Till Dawn, Trejo has been everywhere in Hollywood for the better part of three decades. His face is becoming even more prevalent in LA in 2019 thanks to the branding of his young restaurant chain, Trejo’s Tacos. Trejo’s Tacos opened its first location in 2016, and has since grown to seven locations. Its flexible restaurant footprint and offering—the brand also has a coffee and donut sister concept— has allowed Trejo’s restaurant brand to continue growing, with one location already open in 2019 and another opening set for April. While currently expanding concentrically in LA, the brand has its sights set on Houston, Dallas or Denver for future growth.

Cash Money: Domino’s Sweet 16,000

The world’s largest pizza franchise just keeps getting larger. Earlier this week, Domino’s hit lucky No. 16,000 with the opening of a new store in Cheektowaga, New York, with no plans of slowing down. The brand plans to invest up to $120 million in its supply chain to support the opening of an additional 2,000 new stores in the U.S. over the next decade. Domino’s said continued openings will provide the brand a sales boost along with increased efficiency and larger delivery operations.

Forward Thinking: Foldable Smartphones

The foldable phone market has arrived, but not without skepticism. So far, the two options that have debuted—Samsung's Galaxy Fold ($1,980) and Huawei's Mate X ($2,600)—are costly and have received little to no critical consumer feedback. Despite this uncertainty, phone manufacturers are fast-tracking their own versions, Apple included. The company’s iPhone glass supplier is working on a new flexible product, according to multiple reports, with a foldable iPhone potentially coming as early as 2020.

Friend or Foe: Pizza Hut Tests Charging Extra for Parmesan and Red Pepper

Everyone knows that guacamole is extra, but typically free add-ons may soon be, too. Pizza Hut recently confirmed it is testing 99-cent mini-shakers of parmesan and red pepper flakes in Southern California—two condiments that regular diners are used to dousing onto their pizza for free. Rising labor costs in California are likely to blame, as the minimum wage in the Golden State was raised to $12 last month, with all businesses required to pay workers $15 per hour by 2023. Pizza Hut: friend or foe for taking away free, unfiltered access to crucial pizza garnishes?

Quote: On the importance of hustle...

“I’m a firm believer that mindset is everything in life and business, and having that positive mentality before I even leaped into [business for myself] was so valuable to me. I went into real estate believing I would succeed—and I think with all of the hustle, energy and dedication being a real estate broker takes, that helped a lot, and still does to this day.” — Chicago real estate professional Kim Howard on how she was able to establish herself as an industry leader.

Heating Up
In his latest column for 1851 Franchise, No Limit Agency CEO Nick Powills discusses the extensive, exhausting and exhilarating process that is writing your first book. The five-year process culminated in Powills’ debut work, “Sticks & Stones: Building Entrepreneurial Success from Life's Struggles.” Part memoir, part personal development book, “Sticks and Stones” blends personal experience and earned business acumen to empower readers to connect their story with their vision. “Sticks & Stones” is published by Inc. Magazine and is now available for purchase from Amazon and at 200 airports and Barnes & Noble stores nationwide.

Life Drives Success
On this week’s podcast, Powills interviews Tim Jensen, president of military-themed apparel brand Grunt Style. Jensen, a Marine Corps veteran, initially applied for a job with the company as a graphic designer but was hired as a production manager instead, tasked with folding shirts. Through his superior work ethic and dedication to Grunt Style’s ideas, Jensen’s impact on the company propelled him up the ladder to his current position among brand leadership. Now, Jensen oversees a multi-million dollar business and champions the hiring of military veterans to its ranks.