How to Build Your Dream Franchise

3 of 9

Be a good neighbor.

As a matter of franchise policy all Applebee's are supposed to open at 11 a.m. daily. But because Tankel's Times Square location is within a block of several hotels, he wanted to open early and serve a hearty tourists' breakfast complete with fresh ingredients. "Applebee's found out we were using fresh eggs, and thought we shouldn't," he recalls. "I say, 'If it's your money, do it your way, but it's our money, and if we don't sully the brand at all, we're doing it our way.' They kind of close their eyes to it." (A spokesperson says: "We appreciate how innovative and entrepreneurial Apple-Metro is.")