Capital Buzz: Eatery franchise, anyone?

By Thomas Heath
Monday, September 20, 2010

Amsterdam Falafelshop, the Adams Morgan eatery with a cult following, is going to start selling franchises.

The initial franchise fee is $25,000 and 5 percent of sales. The company may add a 3 percent royalty fee for advertising.

The six-year-old restaurant, owned by Scott and Arianne Bennett, is looking to grow slowly by first selling franchises up and down the East Coast.

Amsterdam Falafelshop comes highly recommended by Zagat, the respected restaurant guide.

The Buzz, a foodie, plans to visit soon.

CARLYLE'S MEET-UP

District-based Carlyle Group held its annual investor meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in D.C.'s West End last week.

A decidedly international crowd of 900 well-heeled individuals and pension fund reps crowded the Ritz's main ballroom to learn how the $90.6 billion that Carlyle manages is faring.

We hear the mood was generally upbeat, even though Carlyle has taken its recession lumps like everyone else. One attendee said Carlyle reported that its domestic portfolio companies grew revenue, paid down debt and increased profit, but the number of employees remained the same -- a sign of the current economic times.

Amidst the dense Power Point slides, the crowd heard from former secretaries of state Colin Powell and Madeleine Albright, "Meet the Press" host David Gregory and political wag Bill Kristol, as well as former Treasury secretaries Robert Rubin and Hank Paulson.

All work and no play? Nope. The classic rock band Chicago, long in the tooth but still standing, got the crowd almost as pumped up as their hopes of high returns on their investments.

THE BUZZ HEARS:


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