Franchise leaders Dennis McKinley of Detroit Equities and Greg George of Rising Phoenix Group officially closed a deal to form Empire Franchise Group.

In this agreement, they will acquire 100 percent of Franchise Genies to create one of the Southeast’s largest franchise development companies. Rising Phoenix will invest in current Detroit Equities brands and together they will develop corporately own brands and will also seek to strategically acquire performing brands that have under five units.

The deal will bring a total of 12 brands under their management umbrella. All are expected to close by the end of August.

Food & Beverage Franchises under Franchise Genies include:

  • Roll On In Sushi Burritos & Bowls—Roll On In Sushi Burritos & Bowls offers a menu that explores the edge of multi-cultural boundaries, bringing sushi burritos, sushi tacos, sushi bowls and even sushi donuts to a whole new level.
  • Buzzed Bull Creamery—Buzzed Bull Creamery harnesses the power of liquid nitrogen to bring you and your family fresh, premium ice creams and milkshakes while offering a one-of-a-kind-experience. They hand-craft each ice cream and milkshake to provide a fully customized option. For adults, they specialize in alcohol-infused ice cream & milkshakes.
  • Mr. Bagel Meister—Mr. Bagel Meister is a well-known neighborhood bagel, breakfast and lunch hot spot. They serve their valued guests freshly baked bagels, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, coffee and much more. Their locations have a classic design and fun atmosphere that is sure to bring back memories of the good old days when life was simple.
  • Barry’s Cheesesteaks—At Barry’s Cheesesteaks, they focus on making a real Cheesesteak, just like they have done in Philly. They try to share a lot of love and good food in their community.
  • Burrito Shak—The goal of Burrito Shak was simple. With a family; children ages one and three, founder, David Longo noticed a need for a restaurant that served up quality ingredients with flavorful chef inspired recipes in a quick dining atmosphere. He wanted to keep the menu tasty, yet affordable for all to enjoy.
  • Thumbs Up Diner—Thumbs Up Diner has been an Atlanta institution for over a decade. Their headquarter location is in downtown Atlanta adjacent to the Martin Luther King, Jr. historic district while their other locations service clients throughout the Atlanta metro area. They continue to set the standard for breakfast and beyond everywhere they go.
  • Peño Grill—At Peño Grill, their award winning food starts with the freshest ingredients utilizing their founder, Jamal’s, family recipes to bring you flavors you have never tasted before. The music, excitement, and food come together to form an intoxicating experience that is sure to put a smile on your face.

Other industry franchises include:

  • We Clean Dumpsters—They are the industry leader in helping others start their own commercial dumpster and residential trash can cleaning business. They’ve helped hundreds of entrepreneurs start their own highly successful dumpster and trash can cleaning business across four continents.
  • The Float Spa X—Flotation therapy is a powerful, self-guided, holistic option for faster physical recovery from training and injury. It also provides symptom reduction from chronic pain conditions and relief from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions.
  • No Grease Barbershop—Founded by twin brothers Damian and Jermaine Johnson, who are second generation barbers. Together with over 25 years of experience, these gentlemen refined No Grease! Barbershop into a business that “develops people, who develop families, who develop communities”. Doing all this while holding true to all the traditions of the American Barbershop.

“The Franchise Industry is constantly evolving,” says George. “With Dennis and I bringing our resources and experience together, the Franchise Genies brand will serve as a one stop shop and source for everything related to franchising.”

“The future brings opportunity,” adds McKinley. “Today we are deciding to be a part of the future.”

Empire Franchise Group has a significant amount of experience in owning franchises, being the franchisor and taking multiple brands from one off to multi-million-dollar brands. They have been franchisors, franchisees, franchise representatives, venture capitalists and investors so they know what to look for in an emerging brand.

Greg George has been in the franchise industry for over 20 years and has helped build several multi-million dollar franchise brands during his career. His area of expertise are in franchise development, brand building, vendor relations, real estate, funding and people development. His knowledge of the franchise process from A-Z has helped countless individuals and business reach their franchising and business goals. His passion is for taking a vision and turning it into reality.


Dennis McKinley currently leads the Atlanta-based branding company Detroit Equities, which runs the Atlanta-based businesses Cru Hookah Lounge and the Original Hot Dog Factory. Currently, he helps entrepreneurs and small businesses build their brands through strategic investments, and some of his previous background experience also includes real estate, e-commerce, and product development.

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