AFC Enterprises’ Cheryl Bachelder at a Glance

Some of the best experience executives can gain comes as a result of them going through and coming out of difficult, but transitional situations.  Visionary leaders include those who are willing to share their experiences to help others advance. Bachelder, C. popeyes_5218 - may 2012

Cheryl A. Bachelder, CEO of AFC Enterprises, Inc., franchisor of Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen, provides her insights on achieving system cohesion in the November issue of IFA’s Franchising World magazine.  Bachelder, who will serve as a keynote speaker during the association’s Annual Convention in New Orleans, Feb. 22-25, 2014, will address her plans for the brand’s future and getting there.

Here are a few excerpts from the interview.

  • Revitalizing Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen

“If I had to attribute it to one thing, I would attribute it to our revitalization of our relationship with franchisees.”  Bachelder added that “It was my belief that the fundamental foundation of franchising is to have a strong, healthy and aligned relationship with the franchisee.”

  • Management Style

“I would describe my management style or my management philosophy as:   my job is to serve well those that are entrusted into my care.  And serving people well is understanding what helps them to be effective and successful and reach their goals.”

  • Leadership

“The most significant role of the leader is to seek out and understand the strengths and talents of team members and align them so that collectively, when you bring it all together, the capabilities are there for the organization to succeed.

“As a leader, whether you’re leading a restaurant, a group of restaurants or you’re a leader in a franchisor organization, I really want to encourage leaders to understand their role as being stewards of the next generation of leaders.  In our business, we essentially develop leaders for a living.”

Look for the complete interview in the upcoming November Franchising World magazine and find details on the IFA Annual Convention now. Continue reading

U.S. Trade Mission to Sub-Saharan Africa Kicks off in Johannesburg



The U.S. Trade Mission to Sub-Saharan Africa kicked off Sept. 26  in Johannesburg, South Africa.  With stops here, Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos and  Nigeria over the next week, the delegates were excited and anxious to get to work understanding the markets and meeting qualified prospects.

The trade mission, which is produced by the U.S. Commercial Service and is sponsored by the International Franchise Association and Franchise Times magazine, has become a true partnership with all the parties doing their part to create and deliver international development services to IFA franchisor members.

Participating franchisors on the mission include CKE Restaurants represented by Geoff Spear, vice president of International Relations; Curves represented by Clive Robinson; International Dairy Queen represented by Amir Kremer; Focus Brands Inc. which include Carvel, Cinnabon, Schlotzsky’s, Moe’s Southwest Grill and Auntie Anne’s Pretzels represented by Scott Chorna, director, International New Business Development; Global Franchise Group which include Great American Cookies, MaggieMoos, Marble Slab Creamery and Pretzelmaker represented by John Barber, chief development officer and John Peddar, executive director, International Business Development; Hertz Equipment Rental represented by David Riker, CFE, director, Global Franchise Development; Johnny Rockets represented by Duane Messerschmidt, director, International Sales and Support; Tutor Doctor represented by Frank Milner, CFE, CEO; and Wing Zone represented by Hair Parra, vice president, International Development.

The Global Franchising Team Leader for the U.S. Commercial Service, Jennifer Loffredo is responsible for overall coordination of the mission for the three stops.  As sponsors of the event, both the IFA, represented by Scott Lehr, senior vice president, U.S. and International Development and Franchise Times represented by Nancy Weingartner, executive editor, provided initial marketing for the mission and support throughout the mission.

As with all trade missions, the goals are to help the participating franchisors understand the markets visited from a legal, demographic, real estate and development perspective but most importantly to get them face to face with qualified master and area development prospects for one-on-one discussions.


Deputy Senior Commercial Officer with the U.S. Commercial Service South Africa, Brent Omdahl welcomed the group to Johannesburg and introduced his team, Felicity Nagel, commercial specialist and Jean Claude Gelle who had been busy the last month setting up the qualified visits for the delegates. The country team briefing was led by Deputy Chief of the Mission, Virginia Palmer and Larry Harris, Commercial Counselor and Cory Pickelsimer, senior agriculture attaché.

South Africa, known by many as the gateway to Sub-Saharan Africa has strong financial markets and solid infrastructure which makes it an idea country for U.S. Franchisors to launch their African growth strategy.  Seven of the 10 fastest growing cities in the world are in Africa.  South Africa ranks 40th in the “ease of doing business” ranking, which is well above most of its neighbors.  More than 400 U.S. companies are in South Africa and the two countries have $17 billion in bilateral trade.  Top industries in South Africa include energy, healthcare, agriculture, technology, transportation and retail. Wal-Mart recently entered the market by purchasing a 51 percent interest in South Africa’s MassMart and the investment appears to be a paying off with strong growth. The unemployment rate is 25 percent although it is higher in some of the rural and poorer areas.

Some of the challenges for American companies in South Africa include finding skilled workers and the effects of organized labor on the cost of running a business.  While supply chain challenges can still occur, South Africa is much more advanced than its northern neighbors in this area. For food franchisors, beef & poultry can generally be sourced in South Africa. Because of high duties on imported U.S. beef and poultry, it is advised to purchase locally. Sauces and condiments can also be sourced locally but duties are a more reasonable 10 percent from the U.S.

The general migration of the population in South Africa is heading to the large cities of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town.  In fact it is estimated that more than 40 percent of the country’s GDP comes from the Johannesburg area which suggests that any entry into South Africa should begin in Johannesburg where the middle class is growing substantially.

Derek Smith, president of the Franchise Association of South Africa then provided the group with some statistics of growth of the market for franchising. He reported that franchising now has a legislated definition within the Consumer Protection Act and that FASA has drafted a code to submit to the National Consumer Commission and is offering to fill the role of Alternative Dispute Resolution for any complaints that may arise from the franchising sector. Mr. Smith also shared that franchising accounts for 9.7 percent of the GDP in South Africa and involves 17 different industries; 300,000 are employed directly in franchising with more than 30,000 SME’s in franchising. It was interesting to learn that of the 600 franchisors in South Africa, 90 percentare local.  The largest category within the sector is the food and restaurant category which represents 22 percent of the total. Derek reported that 50 percent of their franchisor members had been in business for more than 12 years and 75 percent at least six years. He described a few of the challenges ahead for franchising in South Africa, which include finding the right franchisee that is qualified both financially and with the skills to grow the business; increased costs such as labor, utilities and fuel. It still appears that FASA’s members are optimistic – 88 percent expect growth this next year.  He described a new jobs fund that the government is rolling out which could create 10,000 new jobs per year over the next nine years. With this fundmwhich will assist with training, mentorship and coaching, FASA hopes to create an additional 150-200 new franchised outlets which will create 2,000 new jobs in the next three years.

Of course the primary purpose of the Trade Mission is for the franchisors to meet with qualified master and areas development prospects previously set by the USCS staff.  The group quickly ran off to their scheduled appointments for the afternoon.

Later in the day the delegates reconvened for a panel discussion of franchise best practices.  Speakers included Peter Moyanga, McDonald’s Franchisee with eight locations; Eric Parker, CEO of consulting firm Franchising Plus and co-founder of Nandos and Salim Shermohammed, CEO of Impact Investments, a multi-unit Franchisee in the U.S. and now partner in new food brand in South Africa.  Mr. Parker described the local franchise market as robust and dominated by some very strong players such as Famous Brands whose brands include Debonairs Pizza and Steers Burgers and Mug & Bean; Nandos; Chicken Lickin and Wimpy.  He also cautioned the U.S. franchisors on finding the right partner and being willing to adapt to local flavors.  He mentioned a number of U.S. franchisors that have entered the market and left. The speakers discussed an important measurement – LSM or Living Standard Measurement and stressed that U.S. Franchisors need to know where their market is and target it.  They reported that the upper end of the LSM – six and above is already well serviced and that the real opportunity in South Africa is in the 4-6 range, keeping in mind that the average monthly salary is 2,500 rand (approximately $250 per month)

The evening was spent at the U.S. Commercial Counselor’s residence for a reception and dinner where the delegates met with other government and commercial contacts wrapping a very full first day in Johannesburg.

Tutor Doctor to Open as Franchising Campaign Drives Growth in Tunisia

Sousse Tunisia

This spring, the State Department, OPIC and the Middle East Investment Initiative teamed with IFA to support the growth of franchising in Tunisia.  This effort has born fruit with Tutor Doctor, the tutoring franchise that provides individualized home-based instruction to all ages, announcing the scheduled opening of its first North African location in October.

The signed agreement is a result of a Tutor Doctor’s visit to Tunisia in March 2013 for the Tunis MedFranchise Expo 2013, supported by the International Franchise Association and the Middle East Investment Initiative.

The Arab Spring began in Tunisia.  To support the growth of democracy, the US Department of State established a “partnership” with Tunisia to raise the level of economic development there.  When the State Department asked the Tunisians what they needed, they responded “Franchising”.  “As a market that is rapidly creating new opportunities for entrepreneurship, Tunisia is a great growth market for our brand,” said Rogelio Martinez, Vice President of International Franchise Development for Tutor Doctor. “This is the place of birth of the Arab Spring Revolution; this is a country where people want change. One of the best ways to create change is to give people opportunities to have better education to help them aspire more in life. This is what Tutor Doctor is all about.”

The Tunisian initiative is just one example of how IFA helps its members access international opportunities.  IFA offers a variety of resources including international educational programming at IFA’s Convention and the International Franchise Expo as well as trade missions stops in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria and China in 2013 alone.  In October, IFA will host its members on a study tour of Australia in collaboration with the Franchise Council of Australia.

Leading the expansion in North Africa are franchise owners, and brother and sister, Asma Belgaied Hassine and Tahar Belgaied Hassine. Prior to investing in a Tutor Doctor franchise, Asma worked as a team manager for Lyxor Asset Management, a subsidiary of Société Générale, the second largest French bank. She studied in Tunisia until the age of 18 and then moved to France where she received a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a master’s degree in Applied Mathematics, both from Ecole Centrale Paris. Her brother, Tahar, is a field force manager for a pharmaceutical company in Tunis.  He received his MD from the MD school of medicine of Tunis and he is expecting to receive his MBA in 2014 from the Université de Quebec à Montréal.  “We are eager to begin launching operations come October with the opening of Asma and Tahar’s Tutor Doctor location in Tunisia,” said Frank Milner, President of Tutor Doctor. “Tunisia is an untapped franchise market and now, with the help of the Middle East Investment Initiative, more qualified candidates will be able to pursue their dreams of becoming a business owner.”

Tutor Doctor will devote still more attention to growth in emerging African markets, exploring Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa as part of the upcoming Franchise Trade Mission co-sponsored by the IFA.   Tutor Doctor plans to open at least two more offices in Africa within the next three months.

“Tunisia, the Pearl of North Africa, has always been in the cross-roads of different civilizations and is the birth-land of science and literature,” said Asma Belgaied Hassine. “Nowadays, in this emerging country, knowledge continues to be the key to the future. We strongly believe that giving the best tutoring support for the best value is what we need in Tunisia and Tutor Doctor is giving us this opportunity. When we first met Rogelio from Tutor Doctor, we were charmed by the idea of opening our own Tutor Doctor franchise and we knew that it was exactly what we were looking for.”

Tutor Doctor’s presence will contribute to the economic growth and educational opportunity essential to the success of Tunisia’s political transition.

Worker Centers and the Future of Union Organizing


Thursday, the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions held a hearing to address the future of union organizing and one particular strategy to build employee support for unionization, worker centers. Worker centers were examined by the Subcommittee members and a panel of four witnesses on Thursday as a result of recent media attention and increased scrutiny of their organizing practices. In his opening statement, Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) highlighted the uncertainty of the legal classification of worker centers, stating that they “often engage in traditional union activities, such as corporate campaigns and employee walkouts. But because they operate under the guise of nonprofits community organizations, they can avoid a range of federal standards that have long governed union conduct.”

This is the first hearing examining worker center organizing efforts, which have led to high profile protests, walkouts and marches. “It’s about time that federal officials took a hard look at Big Labor’s efforts to avoid labor organizing regulations by using worker centers to recruit new members, and attack employers,” said Worker Center Watch spokesman Ryan Williams, in a statement released by Worker Center Watch on the day of the hearing.

The ambiguity and lack of regulations governing these organizing methods, allow worker centers to employ union tactics, while operating free of the laws that regulate unions. “Worker centers are simply unions in disguise; they are front groups designed to do and go where unions are prohibited.” added Williams.

Recent proposals by the U.S. Department of Labor and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) concerning micro-unions and ambush elections threaten to disrupt the traditional union organizing process, and hurt employers and employees alike by speeding up elections not allowing them to freely communicate. Increasingly, employers cannot adequately educate their workers as to the benefits and consequences of union membership because of the short timetables for elections. Employees are being hurt by gerrymandered bargaining units, union bosses who can act with impunity, and the removal of the secret ballot from the union election process.  Now that policymakers have addressed the contentious issue of worker centers, clarification as to the legality of worker centers and their actions should begin to surface.

To watch video from this hearing click here. 

Interim HealthCare Visits on Capitol Hill Inspired by Caldeira’s Comments





By: Kathleen Gilmartin, President and CEO, Interim HealthCare

IFA President and CEO Steve Caldeira joined us on September 9 to help kick off our Interim HealthCare Franchise Business Meeting in Washington, DC. His presentation and comments about the state of franchising offered valuable insights and inspiration to our franchisees before we headed over to The Hill for our planned visits with 35 senators and 24 house representatives.

Although he cited statistics indicating 1.4 percent growth forecast this year in franchise establishments and 1.9 percent for jobs in franchising,  Steve commented that today’s political environment is causing uncertainty and stifling job creation. He pointed out that, with the IFA leading the charge, franchising as a whole needs to make their voices heard in Washington.  He outlined a 3-pronged approach including lobbying by the IFA, political power with FranPAC and grassroots activities to Congress all supported by a strong base of media and public relations.

Armed with information from Steve and background from our own health care network, our business leadership went to Capitol Hill to make our voices heard. We met with some of the most influential and powerful people in Washington who are making decisions on Medicare and Medicaid policy and spending. We explained that we are constituents not only from a home care, home health and hospice provider standpoint, but as employers and we shared the realities of our daily tasks and how confusing the current state of healthcare can be, not only for us, but for our customers and employees.

In meetings with the Washington decision makers we predominately heard them say yes, we will work with you on care in the home and yes, we know it needs to be simpler from provider and employer perspectives. We even heard there is openness to considering reinstating the definition of “full time” employee back to 40 hours a week from 30.

Our Interim HealthCare Greenville CEO, Richard McDuff accompanied me to the meeting with Senator Lindsey Graham (R) from South Carolina.  Other Interim HealthCare business leaders met with House Speaker and Congressman John Boehner (R-Ohio), Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), members of the Senate Ways and Means Committee as well as the Finance Committee members.

“It is so important for us talk to our government leaders,” Caldeira told our group. “When companies care enough to come to Washington and talk to our politicians – like you’re doing today – it strengthens the franchising industry. Interim and Kathleen have been important advocates not only for the IFA, but for all of franchising.”

Our scheduled trip to The Hill was inspiring and productive and Steve’s participation at our meeting was a great addition. We saw democracy at work and realized, as we do each year, that you don’t have to be a lobbyist to make your voice heard and influence decision making.

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