Hand & Stone Makes Big Splash at 2023 Multi-Unit Franchising Conference

The annual Multi-Unit Franchising Conference is designed for the best and brightest in multi-unit franchising. Our CEO, John Teza, and Chief Development Officer, Jennifer Durham, have both attended MUFC multiple times over the last two decades and cannot speak more highly of the event and the team that puts it on, Franchise Update Media. This was another record-breaking year for the team, with an attendance high of nearly 2200 franchisees, franchisors, and suppliers.

FUM wasn’t the only team breaking records - we had the most Hand & Stone multi-unit franchisees attend this year – a total of 11 franchisees representing 16 states! For many of our guests, this was their first time attending, and each had a great experience. Texas multi-unit franchisee, Heather Mize, explained, “Thank you to our corporate team for all you do to grow our brand and help make us successful at the franchisee level. I truly tell people all the time that the reason that my husband and I joined the Hand & Stone concept was that we fell in love with the corporate team and felt like we were buying more than just a name to hang outside our store, we were buying the team behind the brand! I found the conference very informative and inspiring, but more importantly, I loved the opportunity to connect with other H&S owners and you guys on the corporate team! My heart is full of gratitude for this wonderful opportunity!”

It is with great pleasure we share that our largest franchisee, Eric Danver, won this year’s Mega Growth Leadership Award for achieving excellence in growth and expansion! After taking just five years to become the brand’s largest operator, Eric Danver cemented his place in Hand & Stone history as one of the system’s great franchising success stories. It’s a story that continues to be written and gets more impressive with each passing year. As of January 2023, Danver’s FGG Spa, LLC owns 48 Hand & Stone locations in eight states along the East Coast from Florida to New Jersey. Eighteen of those spas were acquired in 2021 and 2022, with 10 more acquisitions under his belt in just the first month of this year. He also celebrated two Maryland grand openings in the past year and has set his immediate sights on developing two more spas in South Florida and North Carolina. His goal in 2020 was to grow his portfolio to 50 spas in five years; he will do that and then some. Eric is always willing to share his franchising knowledge and did so for the third year in a row on the Next Gen Track panel and spoke about how he creates opportunities for the next generation of leaders.

Not only is MUFC an incredible networking event, but the education and business advice you take away from the speakers and panelists is also invaluable. We are grateful to have such experienced operators in our system, and we were proud to have two Hand & Stone multi-unit franchise owners on panels for the third year in a row. Nicholas Marco was a panelist during the “Build Your Infrastructure to Grow: The Right Financial Partner is Key” session. Nicholas owns 11 spas throughout New Jersey and sits on the Franchise Update Media Advisory Board. He explains, “It is always a pleasure to speak on behalf of the Marco Region and share what I’ve learned in the past two decades in the business.”

This event is beneficial to not only our franchisees but to our franchise development team as well. Our Senior Director, Franchise Development, recaps his first MUFC experience: “I have been in franchising for over 6 years, and the Multi-Unit Franchise Conference has always been the “can’t miss” event. Being able to finally attend this year with the Hand & Stone team was an amazing experience to say the least. MUFC really showcased what franchising is all about: people helping people achieve their dreams. I am humbled to be a part of such an amazing brand and community and look forward to continuing to build the relationships that were started at MUFC for years to come.”

If you attended MUFC in recent years, then you know how much of our skincare goodies are a big hit! Once the conference floor doors open, attendees surround our booth asking about our products and their role in our five-revenue stream business model. Our two amazing skincare partners, ClarityRX and Dermalogica, are always happy to gift us some of their staples to speak about their brands and our partnerships to attendees. This year, we decided to take it up a notch and offer massage and facial services in our booth! A special thanks to our local Las Vegas multi-unit franchisee, Lisa Mascari, for lending her massage therapist, Amy, and esthetician, Kelsey, for the event.

We are already looking forward to next year! If you missed us at this year’s MUFC and want to learn how you can join us by 2024, please email us at Jennifer Durham jdurham@handandstone.com, Matt Foxx mfoxx@handandstone.com, or Sam Tacca stacca@handandstone.com.