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3D Printing Pioneer Still Enthusiastic 30 Years Later

Hans Langer, 36 at the time with two young children and just over $50,000 to his name, founded EOS, which manufactured 3D printers at the dawn of their appearance in 1989. Although he saw the potential in the new cutting-edge technology, at the same time he knew he could lose much. It has indeed been a bumpy 30 years. But at 67, now-billionaire Langer is as enthusiastic as ever about 3D printers and their ability to significantly improve on and surpass today's technology. 

Tucked away in the forests of Bavaria, in a building that once housed the printing presses for the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper, is one of the largest 3-D printer factories in the world. On a late-winter morning, it is quiet inside the cavernous space as workers install lasers and wiring in machines that are taller than a person and wider than a desk. When finished, these printers can make everything from parts for rockets to hip implants. The 100,000-square-foot factory is not quite half full, but when it reaches capacity, it will be able to ship 1,000 printers a year.

The man responsible for all this is 67-year-old Hans Langer, one of the original entrepreneurs in the 3-D printing world, who started the company that produces these machines, EOS GmbH, 30 years ago. —Amy Feldman, Forbes

Dr. Langer was honored at the 2019 3D Printing Industry gathering in London in June 2019:

As previously announced Dr. Hans Langer, founder and CEO of EOS, was awarded the lifetime achievement Outstanding Contribution to 3D Printing award in 2019. See our interview with Dr. Langer here for further insight into his direction of the company, and note prior winners Dr. Adrian Bowyer, and Fried Vancraen here. —Beau Jackson, 3D Printing Industry

Photo: Hall with EOS systems for additive manufacturing. Courtesy of EOS

BMM Staff Sun, 07/07/2019 - 08:44
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Perkins Seeking to Terminate One of Its Largest Franchisees

Just a year ago, in January 2018, Pennsylvania-based 5171 Campbells Land Co. LLC bought 27 Perkins restaurants in Pennsylvania, New York and Ohio from bankruptcy court for $7.8 million. The purchase made the franchisee one of troubled Perkins' largest. 

Now, just 17 months later, the owner of those restaurants has been asked by the Perkins company and subsequently ordered — at least temporarily — by a federal judge to discontinue using the Perkins name, not to operate within a three-mile radius of any Perkins restaurant or even identify itself as a former Perkins franchise.

...PMC claims that the defendant failed to pay royalty fees, marketing contributions or other amounts owed to the company. According to PMC, the restaurant operator, which operates Erie County restaurants on Peach Street, Buffalo Road, and West Lake Road, owes more than $742,000 in royalties, $757,000 in deferred royalties, $609,000 in marketing contributions and $54,000 in transfer fees. —Jim Martin, GoErie.com

BMM Staff Mon, 07/08/2019 - 05:30
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Fear of Franchisor Silences Tim Hortons US Franchisees

Tim Hortons' U.S. franchisee association, the Great White North Franchisee Association USA (GWNFA USA), has stated that they have no comment on the recent revisions to their lawsuit for fear of retaliation from their Canadian-based franchisor. And no wonder! American franchisees are well aware that multi-unit Canadian franchisees Mark Kuziora and David Hughes, who spoke up, swiftly lost their restaurants.

The association wouldn’t comment on the revised lawsuit, in a statement through its attorneys. “We have no comment due to a sincere fear of retaliation by Tim Hortons USA on us and our association’s members. The amended lawsuit speaks for itself.”

...The lawsuit accuses Tim Hortons’ owner, Canadian quick-service operator Restaurant Brands International (RBI), of a “pattern of conduct” designed to weaken the association’s standing. The association says that half of Tim Hortons’ U.S. franchisees are members. —Jonathan Maze, Restaurant Business

Photo of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota Tim Hortons by m01229

BMM Staff Sat, 07/06/2019 - 22:37
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Soft-Serve Truck Owner Charges 'Influencers' Double

Fed up with the requests he gets from social media "influencers" who want his frozen treat for nothing, a soft-serve truck owner says he now charges the would-be free loaders double. Last week he received an invitation to spend a day on the weekend supplying a 300-person party for free.

The exasperated small business owner created a sign advising influencer mooches that he not only won't give them ice cream for free, but he will charge them $8 instead of the normal $4 per cone. He posted pictures of the sign on Instagram, where they became a hit.

Nicchi [the truck owner] said the constant requests had become "exhausting." So, this weekend, he decided to make the sign while the CVT Soft Serve truck was parked at a popular Los Angeles flea market. 

He also posted pictures of the sign on the ice cream truck's Instagram page, writing in one caption: "We've decided to make this thing official with signage. We truly don't care if you're an influencer or how many followers you have. We will never give you a free ice cream in exchange for a post on your social media page. It's literally a $4 item...well now it's $8 for you." —Anneta Konstantinides, Insider

Photo: Another business's chocolate self serve, courtesy of Michael Ocampo

BMM Staff Fri, 07/05/2019 - 18:44
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In Search of the Best for Fried Chicken Day

Saturday, July 6, is National Fried Chicken Day. If that gets you wondering how the different chains stack up, one man has rated the tastiness of the output of mostly well-known brands, beginning at okay and running up the ladder to what he says is the best.

To celebrate National Fried Chicken Day, we’re here to help you find the crispiest, juiciest, most delectable piece of poultry in fast food. Americans are passionate about fried chicken and loyal to their favorites, but there’s no denying that some chains do it better than others. Let’s get down to the details, so that you’re ending the day with a mouthful that is finger-licking good. —Heath Owens, Redbook

 

BMM Staff Thu, 07/04/2019 - 17:10
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Chick-fil-A on Track to Be Third Largest Restaurant Chain

Chick-fil-A appears to be on the way to becoming the third largest U.S. restaurant chain by sales, behind only McDonald’s and Starbucks. It was in the number 7 slot in 2017

Some of the reasons The Wall Street Journal attributes to Chick-fil-A's rise include:

  • Simple ingredients
  • Simple menu additions
  • Efficient drive-through performance
  • The company's single-owner franchise system
  • America's taste for chicken has grown, while beef has dropped
  • Increased market share when compared to other chicken-centric restaurant chains —Sarah Taylor, The Blaze 

Chick-fil-A photo by BMM

BMM Staff Mon, 07/01/2019 - 16:56
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Papa John’s Shaq Deal Not an Easy Win

Papa John’s has bet big to team up with retired basketball great Shaquille O’Neal, hoping the deal will help smooth the road ahead after the company’s recent rough ride. But there is no assurance that the outcome will be a winner.

There aren't many products Shaq hasn't been willing to lend his name to since retiring from the National Basketball Association, with USA Today saying he's endorsed over 50 products and companies, earning himself the nickname The King of Endorsements.

Yet among those are numerous examples where lending his name couldn't prevent the decline, including:

 

 

BMM Staff Fri, 06/28/2019 - 02:51
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Domino's Australia Denies Misleading Franchisees on Pay

A lawsuit filed in Australian federal court alleges that Domino's misled franchisees by telling them not to pay employees in accordance with minimum wage law. Domino’s denies it, but says it has not formally received the court documents in the class action suit.

It [Domino's] reiterated that it would defend itself against the class action, although it said the lead applicant had not made any claim against his franchisee employer and no franchisee employer was party to the action.

Instead, employees are seeking compensation against Domino's for alleged underpayment by franchisee employers. —Nikhil Kurian Nainan, Reuters via Yahoo Finance

Photo: Domino’s Honda Benly scooter, Box Hill, Victoria, Australia by Matthew Paul Argall

BMM Staff Sat, 06/29/2019 - 03:00
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AHLA Launches Fight against Human Trafficking

Chip Rogers, president and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AHLA), has announced a national campaign against human trafficking in hotels. Prior to joining AHLA earlier this year, Rogers was president and CEO of the Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA).

With the lofty goal of training every hotel employee on the perils of human trafficking, the AHLA (American Hotel & Lodging Association) earlier this week launched a national campaign designed to unite the industry to combat the widespread issue.

...The AHLA launched the campaign at a strategic roundtable bringing together industry leaders, government partners, law enforcement and national trafficking prevention partners. —Hotel Interactive

No Room for Trafficking - YouTube

Photo: AHLA video screenshot

BMM Staff Fri, 06/28/2019 - 23:20
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83% of Small Biz Owners Seek Tech Advice from Their Accountant

According to results of a survey with over 400 North American firms, 83 percent of small business owners ask their accountant for technical advice.

Small Business Trends contacted Andy North at AccountingWeb to learn more. North put the survey together with Zoho. And he started by talking about the kinds of technology accountants most often answer questions about. First, 62% answer questions on desktop accounting software. And 46% answer questions on software training. While 46% answer questions on support services. And 57% answer questions on data security.

North filled in some detail on these numbers.

“By far the most common (according to the survey) is desktop accounting software along with related third party apps and integration. That’s followed closely by the same for cloud software,” he wrote. “Software training and overall needs analysis was also a common area in which businesses sought advice.” —Rob Starr, Small Business Trends

Image by rawpixel from pixabay

BMM Staff Sat, 06/08/2019 - 09:09
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