GF Issue 54

8 MR GATTI’S PIZZA A revamped restaurant on the rise It may not yet match the sheer scale of some other well-known international chains, but Mr Gatti’s Pizza, the iconic family restaurant with a rich nostalgic history, is rapidly marching across the Southern and Midwestern States on a remarkable period of expansion, awarding 16 franchise agreements in less than six months and finalizing deals for nine new establishments across Arkansas and Missouri, three in Louisiana, and four in Texas. “We’ve built impressive momentum over the past few years, and we look forward to proving that Mr Gatti’s Pizza’s best days are still ahead of us,” said Jim Phillips, CEO of the Fort Worth-based chain. The franchise now has 140 locations open or under construction, continuing its upward trend since 2020, and with a strategic plan firmly in place, the brand intends to capitalize on its recent growth by opening 60 new franchise locations in key markets by 2026. Watch this space... 6 MUSEUM OF ILLUSIONS A unique concept in edutainment Truly a pioneer of the edutainment industry, Museum of Illusions presents a unique and original experiential concept straddling the recreation, entertainment and education sectors of the franchise industry, which positions it in a buoyant market with very little to challenge it by way of direct competition. As the largest and fastest- growing chain of private museums in the world with over 10 million visitors to date, Museum of Illusions currently has 48 locations in 25 countries. In 2023, the brand grew its network worldwide by 10 locations – seven in the U.S. (Minneapolis, MN; Atlanta, GA; Las Vegas, NV; Denver, CO; Houston, TX; Austin, TX, Phoenix, AZ); two in France (Marseille and Bordeaux), and one in Montreal, Canada. With each new museum came exciting new immersive exhibits and installations combining elements of art, science, and psychology into an engaging and digestible learning experience. What makes this global franchisor a contender for this year’s list? By leading experiential retail museum concepts, a very lucrative niche in a billion-dollar industry, Museum of Illusions is blazing a trail in international growth. And its expansion ambitions are only just revving up – 18 new museums are set to open across the U.S., Canada, Europe and Africa in 2024. 7 FASTSIGNS Recession-resistant business model 11 MY SALON SUITE Model fuels aggressive growth FASTSIGNS is the leading sign, graphics and visual communications franchise in North America with over 765 locations spanning across the United States, Puerto Rico, the U.K., Canada, Chile, Grand Cayman, Malta, the Dominican Republic and Australia (where centers operate as SIGNWAVE®). The brand continued its trajectory of growth in 2023 with 20 lease signings and is on pace to surpass that record again this year. What’s the recipe that makes it so successful? Franchisees receive ongoing support, with the largest staff-to- franchisee ratio of any sign franchise, a proven business model and great brand recognition. The business model is recession resistant and offers extensive financing options, including discounts for veterans, as well as a range of franchising options, such as co-brands and conversions. MY SALON Suite experienced rapid growth last year, expanding from 250 locations at the start of 2023 to over 330 locations and more than 8,500 members by the close of year. These impressive figures come amid a new strategy to expand the brand’s conversion program and acquire independent salons to develop a footprint across the U.S., as well as a strategic alliance partnership with Propelled Brands to further fuel the brand’s expansion. Founded to inspire and empower the modern-day salon owner, MY SALON Suite offers a unique opportunity for beauty and health professionals to own their own POWERL I ST: FRANCHI SES TO WATCH IN 2024 22 GLOBAL FRANCHISE | ISSUE 8.2