Franchising With a Side of Fascinating

When the general public thinks of franchising, popular brands such as McDonald’s, Subway and KFC may come to mind. And why not, 57 percent of franchise businesses involve food — 38 percent are quick service restaurants, 13 percent are table/full service restaurants and 6 percent are retail food, according to IFA’s Franchise Business Economic Outlook prepared by HIS Global Insight.

Here’s a look at just a few members from these franchise categories.

Kat Cole, who today is president of Cinnabon, said she took on leadership roles early, such as serving as class president, and has learned to question what leads to success more than what ends in failure, according to a recent New York Times article.  Auntie Anne’s President and COO Bill Dunn started working in one of his father’s Wendy’s restaurants as a teenager and hopes he’ll be remembered for his push for continuous improvement, he shared with QSR Magazine. And childhood friends and  Zaxby’s co-founders Zach McLeroy and Tony Townley dreamed up the company nearly 25 years ago while shooting hoops in McLeroy’s backyard.

And then there are the industry’s multi-talented, multi-tasking franchisees. This coal miner’s daughter was a part-time cashier for Taco Bell while attending community college and went on to hold managerial positions in several franchise restaurants.  Today Shana Gonzales owns four Checker’s restaurants in Atlanta. IFA Treasurer Aziz Hashim, who is president and CEO of NRD Holdings, LLC, earned a degree as an electrical engineer and then promptly went into franchising. Today he’s one of the top 200 franchise operators in the United States with such high-profile brands as Popeye’s, Subway, KFC, Taco Bell and many others.  IFA board member Mitch Cohen, who franchises more than a dozen Baskin-Robbins and Dunkin’ Donuts locations in Long Island, N.Y., and  co-chairs Dunkin’ Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation, is also a Guinness World record holder for most ice cream cones prepared in one minute — 19.

Yes, there are challenges affecting the franchise industry, but unique individuals like these and many others are more than prepared to address them.  You can learn more about industry issues and solutions during the IFA Public Affairs Conference, sponsored by ADP, Sept 16-17 in Washington, D.C.




Visited IFA’s FranBlog Recently? Take a Tour

I was talking with someone recently who wasn’t totally familiar with IFA’s SSTF

blog. Officially, it’s described as:

“A blog with news and views from the International Franchise Association representing more 825,000 franchise businesses across 300 business lines, providing for nearly 18 million jobs and generating over $2.1 trillion to the U.S. economy.”

For busy franchise executives, it’s a haven for quickly finding information on a variety of topics affecting their businesses and the franchise industry. Take a quick tour and you’ll find posts that detail a recent ruling of the National Labor Relations Board that would negatively affect franchisees, learn the five reasons why you should attend the IFA Public Affairs Conference in September or how CKE Restaurants CEO and IFA board member Andrew Puzder, CFE, drove home the message about the harmful effects of joint-employers status on franchising before a recent U.S. House of Representatives’ panel. Use the search button to find those topics of particular interest to you and your business.

Recently posted articles include the association’s lawsuit against Seattle for equal treatment, IFA’s recent reports on lending and the economic outlook, as well as credit tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act, among many others.

And while you’re reviewing the posts, take a few minutes to vote on the most critical issue for the franchise industry today from a list of five selections!

Congressional Subcommittees Investigate ACA Employer Reporting and Individual Tax Credits

Yesterday the Health and Oversight Subcommittees on House Committee on Ways and Means conducted a hearing surrounding tax subsidies under the Affordable Care Act.  Health Subcommittee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) and Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Charles Boustany (R-LA) convened the joint hearing to discuss the income verification system used to determine individuals’ eligibility for tax credits to purchase insurance, and to address reports of incorrect tax credit payments being issued and later reclaimed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).  The panel of witnesses included experts in health and tax policy including Douglas Holtz-Eakin, President of the American Action Forum and Katie Mahoney, Executive Director of Health Policy for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Much like the sentiment towards the law itself, the views expressed in the joint hearing were split among partisan lines.  In opening remarks, Chairman Brady and Chairman Boustany expressed deep concern with the lack of accountability and efficiency with the current income verification system and eligibility requirements for tax credits.  Chairman Brady noted that, “Today, eight months after the start of open enrollment and well over a month after the extended open enrollment ended, the income and eligibility verification system is not completed.  And the burden and the cost of that failure will fall on the American people.  That is simply unfair and unacceptable.” Without proper income verification, individuals in some cases are receiving incorrect tax credits, which they are then required to repay months later when filing tax returns.  In order for the verification system to function correctly, massive amounts of data is required to be submitted by employers.  However, due to delays in the employer mandate, the regulations around employer reporting requirements have also been delayed.  During her testimony, Katie Mahoney from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce acknowledged that it is absolutely necessary for more flexibility for employers to come into compliance with the regulations of the ACA.

The International Franchise Association has submitted comments regarding employer reporting requirements to the IRS and Department of the Treasury as part of a coalition striving to increase flexibility for employers.  Accurate employer reporting is crucial to the success of other parts of the ACA, but it must be implemented responsibly and without disrupting employers who have already seen large cost increases because of the employer mandate to provide health insurance to employees.  In addition to pushing for changes to the definition of full-time employee, the IFA will continue to protect franchise business owner’s interests from the potentially harmful effects of the ACA requirements.

Iwry Announced for IFA Public Affairs Conference


We’ve just added another speaker to the lineup for IFA’s Public Affairs Conference. Mark Iwry of the U.S. Treasury Department will participate in the panel “The Administration’s Take On The ACA – Education & Implementation For Your Business”. That panel will discuss implementation, compliance and resources available for the Affordable Care Act. You can still register for the Public Affairs Conference over at .org.

You can read Iwry’s full bio below

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Franchise Congress and the Public Affairs Conference video

The Public Affairs Conference was a huge success bringing together franchise business leaders in Washington. We put together a short recap of the event that does a great job pulling out some of the important reasons why people go. The video ends with information on how to get involved in Franchise Congress. Franchise Congress is IFA’s grassroots program  to increase our impact on issues that affect the success of franchising. While the Public Affairs Conference is a great event, we need business leaders engaged year round. You can watch the video below and follow this link to receive more information about the program.