Independent Joe #42 February/ March

In some of its earliest iterations, it was referred to as yellow journalism. Back in the early days of this nation’s history, it manifested itself in so-called Pamphlets, where the writer would use a pseudonym and slander his political opponents with outrageous allegations – some having just a sliver of truth, others lacking even the…

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Don’t get caught in the spin cycle

In some of its earliest iterations, it was referred to as yellow journalism. Back in the early days of this nation’s history, it manifested itself in so-called Pamphlets, where the writer would use a pseudonym and slander his political opponents with outrageous allegations – some having just a sliver of truth, others lacking even the…

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What’s Brewing: Sodium Regulation, Minimum wage

The Trump Administration sooner or later will start delivering on its promise to slash government red tape but, in the meantime, the battle over wages, sick leave and food labeling requirements continues to rage on at the city, state and county level. New York City officials are crowing over a court victory upholding their new…

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How Vicarious Liability Can Leave Franchisees Exposed

It is fairly common for franchisees and franchisors to be sued together for an injury that occurred at a franchised location. Likewise, more recent lawsuits have extended to employment-related claims alleging that the franchisor and franchisee are “joint employers” and, therefore, jointly liable for any alleged misconduct of employees at the franchised location. In the…

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Franchisee Completes Circle by Returning to Root

Dennis Gramm knows Dunkin’. While the franchisee operates four stores in northwest suburban Chicago (with two more stores under construction), he also has a unique perspective amongst his peers, having spent 11 years on the corporate side of Dunkin’ Brands before becoming a franchise owner in 2007. “In the eyes of some of the legacy…

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Independent Joe #41 December 2016/January 2017

If there was one theme that ran throughout the recent DDIFO National Conference held at Foxwoods Resort Casino, it was “Be vigilant.” The theme framed discussions on franchising, government relations, Dunkin’ Brands’ new franchise agreement and the competitive landscape facing QSRs like Dunkin’ Donuts. And while some speakers presented the theme in more desperate terms…

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We the franchisees of the Dunkin’ System . . .

As a political junkie (and a professional lobbyist for over 30 years), I was listening intently last summer when the major party candidates for president gave their nomination acceptance speeches. Now, as we look ahead to the inauguration of Donald J. Trump as our nation’s 45th President, it’s worth pausing to reflect on something his…

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What’s Brewing: Calorie Labeling, Minimum Wage, Sick Leave

Dunkin’ franchise owners can expect to find a friendlier ear in federal government now that Republicans control both Congress and the White House. Any attempts to raise the minimum wage on the federal level are arguably pretty much DOA now. Ditto for other issues, such as reclassifying managers as hourly workers, and union-friendly rulings by…

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One vs. Many: Structuring a Multi-Unit Franchise Network

When advising clients on the acquisition of a multi-unit franchise network, we are often posed the age-old question: “Should we own the assets in one entity or multiple entities?” At the risk of sounding too much like a lawyer, the answer to this question is, “It depends.” Each franchisee has a unique set of hot…

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Will Predictive Schedule Mandates Work? Have you Flown Lately?

Predictive scheduling mandates require employers to have perfect advance knowledge and employees to act perfectly. It seeks to legislate an impossible result, every minute, every hour, every day.  No business can perfectly predict how many customers will come in the door or what they will order.  It is very difficult to predict needed staffing and…

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