Thursday, July 28, 2011

Popeyes AFC Enterprises Moving to Dunwoody

Here's some great news for the PCID and Dunwoody - the franchiser and operator of Popeyes restaurants is moving to Dunwoody (Perimeter Center Terrace) from Sandy Springs. Hopefully this is the start of a new trend whereas businesses, not apartments, move to the Dunwoody section of the PCID.

Here's the official press release:

July 28, 2011

AFC Enterprises to Relocate to New Corporate Headquarters


ATLANTA--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- AFC Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: AFCE), the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, today announced it has entered into a lease for a new corporate headquarters in Dunwoody, Georgia when the lease on the company's current building expires in the latter part of the year.
The new headquarters will be located at The Terraces North at 400 Perimeter Center Terrace, where the company will occupy approximately 55,000 square feet of Class A office space.
"As we prepare to celebrate our 40th year, we are excited to expand our support center to accommodate the company's continued global growth and to create a new corporate headquarters that appropriately reflects the distinctive Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen brand," said Cheryl A. Bachelder, president and chief executive officer. "It was important to us to select a location with a wealth of amenities for our team members, franchisees and our many visitors and business associates; and Dunwoody provided the perfect solution for our needs."
Joel & Granot Real Estate, LLC. represented the company in its office relocation and the new space is being designed by architectural design firm, KPS Group. Popeyes anticipates a move-in date in the fourth quarter of 2011. Financial terms of the lease were not disclosed.
Corporate Profile
AFC Enterprises, Inc. is the franchisor and operator of Popeyes® restaurants, the world's second-largest quick-service chicken concept based on number of units. As of April 17, 2011, Popeyes had 1,997 operating restaurants in the United States, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Cayman Islands and 25 foreign countries. AFC's primary objective is to deliver sales and profits by offering excellent investment opportunities in its Popeyes brand and providing exceptional franchisee support systems and services to its owners. AFC Enterprises can be found at www.afce.com.

AFC Enterprises, Inc.
Alicia Thompson, 404-459-4572
Vice President, Popeyes Communications & Public Relations
popeyescommunications@popeyes.com



Rumor on the street has Popeyes in negotiations to put in a flagship franchise in the PCID area.  The McDonald's restaurant on Ashford Dunwoody Road (across from Perimeter Mall) is always busy.  Currently there are no Popeyes franchises in the city of Dunwoody.  I also heard Popeyes is considering the old Ace hardware location (Mt Vernon and Dunwoody Club area) since many groups in that area are anxious to have a fast-food joint in that location.

Any time a business brings corporate jobs to Dunwoody it's a great thing.  Now if the city stopped paying for a billboard on I-85 maybe we'll see more businesses move in. It's ironic that a city so opposed to billboards is using taxpayer funds to have our own billboard in Atlanta.


I  have not discussed the CVB lately, so now seems like a good time to do so.  First off, know that the CVB is funded by a hotel tax.  The city gets part of the money and the CVB gets the other part.  The CVB has to spend its share on marketing and promoting the city.  The funds cannot be nest-egged for future use. Basically they need to spend everything they bring in - on marketing and promotion.  That's a State of Georgia rule, not our own.

One of the main goals of the CVB is to fill the hotel rooms.  Lots of companies in the PCID (and other areas of Dunwoody) bring in sales reps, managers, new employees, etc. Where are they staying?  Hopefully in Dunwoody hotels. 

Dunwoody has a paid position for business development, see HERE.  I'm not sure what his role was in bringing in Popeyes - maybe nothing, maybe something, maybe everything.  Hopefully he is working with the CVB.

On another note, with a well-funded CVB, an economic development manager, and a Chamber of Commerce, WHY does council and city manager feel the need to spend $750,000 over the next four years on marketing and public relations.  We are a city, NOT a for-profit business.  We DO NOT need someone playing on Facebook.  I don't care if the city wins artsy fartsy awards every year.  How about we focus on an award for best sidewalks and best paved roads!

The city is required to post notices in a newspaper in regards to public meetings, zoning appeals, and a few other things so there is a need for some public relations position.  I think it's a part-time job, but apparently not.  Dunwoody is served by three newspapers: The Crier, The Dunwoody Reporter, The Dunwoody NeighborDunwoody Patch, and nearly 4,214 blogs. If any city in Georgia has its fill of news outlets, it is Dunwoody.  Does the city's Marketing department exist just to try and fill the appetites of all these news sources?  No way do we need more than a single staff member for marketing and public relations, and that staffed position should not be earning more than an entry level police officer.

Sorry for the rant, and Welcome, Popeyes! I'm hungry for some Bonafide Popeyes Chicken!

Finally, stay tuned for RFP-Gate.  Forget about the phone hacking garbage over in Europe.  Soon we'll be reading about RFP-Gate, the story of How Lowe Can We Go.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Southeast HomeSchool Expo

The HomeSchool Expo is this weekend in Marietta (at the Galleria)

Click HERE for detail on admission pricing, times and dates

There are guest speakers, workshops (for those interested in learning the ins and outs of homeschooling and for the experienced), a college fair (yes, lots of colleges aggressively recruit home-schooled kids), etc.

Even if you do not homeschool you may find the book/workbook selection of interest. Parents can purchase books or an entire curriculum on site. Many parents use the public schools but supplement using certain math programs.

Here's a story from TulsaWorld from a couple years ago.

Although the hard-core home-school parents don't like it much the public schools are even involved in home-schooling.  DeKalb County has a program with a private company called K12.  It's called Georgia Cyber Academy. It may be too late to enroll, but take a look, maybe not too late.  Anyway, K12 has a solid program.  Students log in to an account and lesson plans are already there, for the entire school year.  There is some involvement from a "teacher" as per the state's rules, but it's fairly minimal and won't negatively affect your efforts.  If you have never home schooled, K12 (through DeKalb County, or just buy it and the books on your own) offers a solid program.

Dunwoody/Alpharetta area has lots of options for home-school groups, including accredited classes.  These classes are usually at a church. 

Some resources:
http://www.veritasschools.com/Georgia
http://www.dunwoodyclasses.com/
http://www.northgeorgiahomeschooler.com/Academics.htm
http://homeschool-life.com/ga/dasch/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/dunwoodyhomeschoolhive/

There are no exact numbers for the number of kids being home-schooled in Dunwoody, but I estimate it to be about 250-300 kids in grades K-12.