Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Ed's Deal Expected to Open 65 More Stores

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Big Ed's Deal Expected to Open 65 More Stores

Article excerpt

By Darrell Morrow

Feature Editor

A major expansion of the Big Ed's Hamburgers franchise chain of restaurants is planned.

Big Ed's founder Ed Thomas has signed a licensing agreement for Jim Fite Marketing Management Resources Inc. to serve as franchisor of the chain.

The plan developed calls for increasing the number of Big Ed's Hamburgers franchises by about 65 within five years, Jim Fite said.

The franchise operation had fallen from 46 franchises to 16 during a period of more than two years following a serious auto accident injury suffered by Jennie Thomas, secretary and treasury of Big Ed's Hamburgers Franchise System Inc., Fite said.

Thomas also suffered serious health problems and was hospitalized for three months earlier this year. He still is unable to work on the franchise system, Fite said.

The remaining 16 franchises are located in Oklahoma City, Norman, Moore, Mustang and Stillwater. The Big Ed's chain previously also was registered to sell franchises in Missouri, Kansas and Arkansas, but dropped those registrations due to the family illnesses, Fite said.

"The Thomases have four Big Ed's that they own themselves, and the rest are all franchises," he said.

"We are planning to operate through a license from Big Ed's to act as the franchisor for the chain. We have been around Oklahoma City since 1966. We are looking forward to it. We are looking forward to initially expanding back into Oklahoma.

"My forte in years past has been just consulting, primarily with small business, although I have worked with the Oklahoma Publishing Co. and Airstream of Ohio and other relatively large businesses.

"My personal focus has been to find something closer to home so I wouldn't have to travel so much, because I have had two heart attacks," Fite said.

Fite previously has taught business management at four colleges, including Oklahoma Christian University of Science and Arts.

"We are excited about it. We have seven new prospective franchisees that we are working with. We are very strong in research to help them find the better locations, and hopefully give them the support that Big Ed, because of health, had not been able to give," he said. …

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