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Papa John's Franchisee Gets Jail for Dodging Overtime

NYC owner also to cough up more than $500K in back pay, damages, penalties

(Newser) - A Papa John's owner tried to make a buck off his employees' backs, and now he's paying big time. Abdul Jamil Khokhar, who owns nine of the chain's restaurants in the NYC area along with BMY Foods, has pleaded guilty to not paying the correct minimum wage... More »

Opening a Subway Is Surprisingly Cheap

Compare $262K to $2.3M for a McDonald's

(Newser) - Want to open a fast-food restaurant of your own? For a McDonald's, startup costs will run you up to $2.3 million, Business Insider reports. But there's an easier route: Go with Subway, where the startup costs are less than an eighth of that figure, at a maximum... More »

Landmark Ruling Opens Door for Fast-Food Unions

Labor board says McD's, franchisees can be named as 'joint employers'

(Newser) - McDonald's can't completely reject responsibility for the pay and working conditions of people in McDonald's uniforms serving McDonald's food at McDonald's restaurants, the National Labor Relations Board decided in a landmark ruling yesterday. The board said that the company could be considered a joint employer... More »

Onetime Delivery Guy Now Owns 18 Domino's

And that's not a rare story

(Newser) - It sounds like a rare rags-to-riches story: A man joins Domino's at 19 as a delivery guy and goes on to own 18 franchises. In fact, 90% of Domino's 4,500 franchise spots are owned by former entry-level employees, says a rep. CNNMoney recounts the story of Rob... More »

Spider-Man 4 Off Because Director Saw Avatar

Director pushed for special effects studio wouldn't pay for

(Newser) - The problems with the Spider-Man 4 script were genuine, but the real reason the flick got the ax is that the director saw Avatar. Sam Raimi became infatuated with the advanced computer graphics in the James Cameron blockbuster and wanted to take advantage of them, insiders tell New York . Sony... More »

Recession Woes Penalize NFL Franchises

Overall revenues up, but some franchises lose value for the first time in a decade

(Newser) - Tight credit and the recession-driven scarcity of buyers and investors slashed the value of eight NFL teams this year, Forbes reports. It’s the first time in a decade that even one team has seen a decline. Though the average team value held steady at $1 billion, Oakland led the... More »

Madoff-Burned Owners Must Sell Mets: Author

Mets call remark 'completely irresponsible'

(Newser) - The Wilpon family will have to sell the New York Mets after losing $700 million to Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme, according to an author who wrote about the money manager. “It's possible they would have to sell by next year,” says Erin Arvedlund, author of Too Good to ... More »

Canuck Doughnut Standby Supplants Dunkin' in Wary NYC

(Newser) - Many New Yorkers met their first Canadian doughnuts today as the Tim Hortons chain took over 12 locations previously occupied by Dunkin’ Donuts, BlackBook reports. “My frantic runs to Canada to buy tins of Tim Hortons ground coffee are over,” a delighted expatriate said. “Everything in New... More »

McD's Huge Angus Burger To Go National

(Newser) - McDonald’s will roll out its deluxe Angus burger nationwide later this year, the Chicago Tribune reports. Until now, the one-third-of-a-pound burger made with premium beef has been available only in a handful of test markets. Though the fast-food chain has said publicly it would delay the launch until next... More »

'Breastaurants' Booming as Economy Tanks

(Newser) - Many restaurateurs are struggling these days, but Hooters and a new crop of imitators are seeing their clientele increase, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Hooters revenues went up 2% from 2007 to 2008, and while the chain is secure—“We’re not looking over our shoulders,” said exec... More »

Twilight Director Booted From Sequel

Studio can't agree on helmer's timeline

(Newser) - Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke, who smashed the record of biggest opening weekend for a female director, will not return for the sequel, Deadline Hollywood Daily reports. Sources inside and outside Summit Entertainment said the director was “difficult and irrational” and that Summit “didn’t like her.” The... More »

Cubs Brass Hope to Sell By February

(Newser) - Chicago Cubs brass expects the team to be sold by spring training, the Tribune reports. The chairman of the team, which is in the midst of a century-long title drought, says it is reviewing bids and could have a deal in place by February. Crane Kenney also shot down rumors... More »

Double Cheeseburger Gets Boot for One-Slice McDouble

McDonald's new burger, with less cheese, takes standby's place on dollar menu

(Newser) - Grumbling from franchisees has McDonald’s set to bump the price of its double cheeseburger up to $1.19, the Chicago Tribune reports. That, of course, would knock it off the popular dollar menu, so plans are to replace it there with the new McDouble—virtually the same burger but... More »

Bull Durham No More: Minor Leagues Have Major Money

Once known for cheap thrills, baseball's lower echelons generating tidy profits

(Newser) - If your impression of minor league baseball is still Bull Durham-era, Forbes has an update for you. Gone are dirt-poor players traveling to low-tech stadiums on creaky buses: The top 20 teams are worth an average $21.2 million each, and they pulled in $9.8 million per team last... More »

Movies That Don't Need Another Sequel

Stale mummies and old archaeologists past their primes

(Newser) - Movie sequels strive to be bigger and badder with each installment. Entertainment Weekly singles out 14 film franchises that should wrap up production—for good:
  1. The Mummy: Eight long years is enough.
  2. American Pie: Straight-to-DVD spinoffs drained the raunchy teen comedy of its fun.
  3. Bring It On: How many movies
... More »

Unhappy Ending, Where Art Thou?

Newsweek critic laments Hollywood's love for the upbeat

(Newser) - Happy endings don't ensure box-office sales, but Hollywood still snubs sad or complex finales—even if they better fit the film, David Ansen writes in Newsweek. Filmgoers don't need movies to end on a smile: Take Titanic or The Third Man. But this year's summer fare, like Iron Man and... More »

Mickey D's Risks Big in Java War

New coffee line is risky business for Golden Arches, Tribune says

(Newser) - McDonald’s may have Egg McMuffin on its face if it can't out-grind Starbucks with a new line of premium coffees, the Chicago Tribune reports. The new coffee rollout, threatened by a shaky economy, marks one of the company’s riskiest launches ever, according to analysts. As food and labor... More »

7-Eleven Takes Top Franchise

Fast-growing chain trumps Subway

(Newser) - After 16 years of flirting with the top seat, 7-Eleven has finally wrested the title of No. 1 franchise away from sandwich heavyweight Subway, reports Entrepreneur. With 5,580 US stores, 25,062 worldwide, and a new one opening up somewhere every four and a half hours, the convenience giant... More »

Muslim Donut Franchisee Fights Pork

Owner told to serve breakfast sandwiches or lose stores

(Newser) - The owner of two Chicago-area Dunkin' Donuts is locked in a legal dispute with the company over conflicts between his religious beliefs and his breakfast menu, the Chicago Tribune reports. A franchisee since 1979, Walid Elkhatib has never served pork products; it wasn't until 2002 that Dunkin' Donuts insisted he... More »

Colangelo, Cuban: Picks To Buy Cubs

They' could both make long-suffering Cubs fans very happy

(Newser) - Team USA executive director Jerry Colangelo and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban are the two individuals most likely to buy the Cubs, argues Jon Heyman.  Both have track records of success, and Colangelo is a Chicago native. The zany renegade Cuban seems to be on the list beause he... More »

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