13 February 2024 |

S8 E4: The Hand and Stone Massage Franchise Who Has Built a $80m/year Empire

By Adam Ryan

Eric Danver is the man who’s owned 100+ franchise locations over the course of his impressive career, including 58 Hand and Stone locations and 53 Philadelphia-based Papa John’s. He chats with the Wolf about his storied franchise career and the new challenges and opportunities the business presents in an ever-changing landscape.  

From his humble beginnings in the pizza industry to building a successful portfolio of Papa John’s and Hand and Stone franchises, Eric shares his insights on what it takes to thrive in the competitive food industry. Learn about the strategies and operational excellence that propelled his success and how he navigated the complexities of mergers and acquisitions.

And later, he and the Wolf also talk about the ever-growing industry of pickleball and the new and unique franchise opportunities it presents. Is it possible Ace Pickleball is onto a future goldmine? Tune in to find out Eric’s true thoughts on the matter, and much, much more!


00:00:00 – From Domino’s to Papa John’s

00:02:21 – Papa John’s Dominates Philadelphia Pizza

00:05:12 – The Secrets to Successful Operations

00:09:34 – The Cost of Building a Papa John’s Location

00:14:13 – From Food to Spas: Hand and Stone

00:22:28 – Building a Big Company: Roles and Responsibilities

00:23:40 – Maintaining Stability in Margins and Talent Acquisition

00:28:35 – Networking Tips for New Franchisees

00:34:23 – The Future of Ace Pickleball

00:39:42 – Ace Pickleball Expanding with New Locations

00:42:24 – The Benefits of a Membership


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Paylocity is the modern, all-in-one platform that makes HR and payroll easier — so you can focus on your employees. We’ll make onboarding faster, recruiting smarter, and compliance simpler. To learn more visit paylocity.com/restaurants.


Find Out More About Hand and Stone:

Website: https://www.fggspallc.com


Follow Eric: 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ericdanver/


Follow The Wolf: 

Newsletter: https://workweek.com/brand/the-wolf-of-franchises/

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@thewolfoffranchises

Twitter: https://twitter.com/franchisewolf

Website: https://www.krokit.com


And for exclusive insider content, don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel.


Are you a future franchise entrepreneur? Find all of the tools you need to launch, operate, and expand your franchise empire with the platform created by The Wolf himself, Krokit.com.


And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Franchise Empires, I’d be so grateful if you could drop me a 5-star review on Rate My Podcast. Thank you so much!