How to Build Your Dream Franchise

Angela DiMarzio/Staff
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Zane Tankel is a hugger.

He's also a chest-puncher and a cheek pincher. Ask him for help, and he's likely to give it. But try and tell him how to do something? No way. Tankel, CEO of Apple-Metro, the company that runs all of the Applebee's in the New York City area, is a rare breed of entrepreneur — a successful franchisee with a hearty independent streak. How does he balance what's best for the chain with what's best for him? He broke it down for's Christine Lagorio.