HARTZ edpic2Lawrence Hartzog’s dreams of running a successful fried chicken restaurant came true when he opened his first Hartz Chicken Buffet in southern Texas 40 years ago. The restaurant earned a reputation for having some of the best fried chicken in the South, and its fair prices and commitment to old-fashioned customer service enticed patrons to keep coming back. Before long, the restaurants began to multiply, and Hartz became a staple eatery in the Houston marketplace. 

Today, there are more than 60 Hartz Chicken Buffet restaurants throughout Texas and Malaysia with additional stores on the roster. The Spring, Texas-based company has continued to grow throughout the years because it has never strayed from its core specialty: dazzling customers with authentic, Southern-style, golden-fried chicken, says Quan Vu, controller and manager of Hartz Franchise Restaurants Ltd.

GOLF USA ED PIC1Swinging For Stability

New leadership has the Golf USA operation focused on supporting existing stores while preparing for growth in new markets.

When Brad Bowen took over ownership of Golf USA in late 2013, he understood that to be successful the brand had to renew its commitment to its small town stores. Prior ownership had expanded too aggressively into bigger markets where Golf USA found itself competing against large chains with deep pockets. But it was at the small town locations where Golf USA’s attentive customer service stood out and franchisees became a part of the community, creating personal relationships with junior and senior golfers alike. “That’s where we’ve seen a lot of success over the years,” Bowen says.

FOOT SOLUTIONS ED PIC1Even though one’s feet are a small portion of the human anatomy, they take all of a person’s weight, especially when walking or running, and when they ache, a person feels bad all over. Nearly eight out of 10 Americans have experienced foot pain, according to a recent survey of 1,021 adults by the American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA), and these people’s problems worsen with age. This is the market on which Foot Solutions concentrates.

“We try to focus on the baby boomer,” founder and CEO Ray Margiano says. “Most of our customers coming in are 40 and older. As a person ages, especially females – easily 65 to 70 percent of our customers are female – they start developing foot issues they never had before. That’s why we focus on that market – they have issues we can solve pretty easily.”

GILLIGAN ED PIC1Gilligan Oil Co. is expanding by remodeling its convenience stores, increasing its food franchises and delivering gasoline and diesel to its own and other stations.

Although oil and water don’t mix, Gilligan Oil Co. is profiting from coffee and gasoline, along with donuts and submarine sandwiches, which consumers seem to crave when traveling around town or on trips. The company also has vertically integrated into wholesale diesel and gasoline distribution.

DKI ED PIC1As the largest disaster restoration contracting organization in North America – not to mention the first and only green-certified company in its industry – no job is too small or too large for Disaster Kleenup International (DKI). Established in 1974, the Wood Dale, Ill.-based company’s portfolio ranges from $300 toilet overflows to multimillion-dollar disaster relief efforts that followed the 9/11 terrorist attacks and Hurricane Katrina. No matter what the size, every project receives the same immediate response, attention to detail, technical excellence, quality service and fair pricing, President Dale Sailer asserts.

That’s because DKI is a service franchise that consists of hundreds of members all working under the same objective of raising the industry bar for technology, service, safety and sustainability. In sum, the organization has 173 members with 252 offices in the United States and 41 members with 56 offices in Canada, as well as international expansion opportunities on the horizon. Its broad customer base covers every market sector from residential and commercial to industrial, institutional and municipal government. As a result, its potential for expansion appears limitless.

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