Franchisees Exert Pressure on Burger King Board

Elaine Walker reports in the Miami Herald that Burger King’s franchisees say they no longer “trust” or “have confidence” in current management, so they’re going directly to the company’s board of directors with their complaints. That was the message in a letter sent by the National Franchisee Association last week to Burger King’s board of directors. The board needs to take action to repair the relationship with franchisees, which has disintegrated to a level unheard of even for Burger King, the letter said. “Your management team has pushed the franchise community to the brink,” said the letter signed by 27 franchises, including the NFA board and the heads of 21 regional franchisee associations. “We are taking this extraordinary and historic action to communicate our concerns directly to the board.”

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KFC Grilled Chicken Tops List of Memorable New Products, McCafe Second

Stuart Elliot reports in the New York Times that a two-piece Kentucky Grilled Chicken meal at a KFC location in Louisville, Ky. An annual survey of memorable new products gave the top honor for 2009 to the Kentucky Grilled Chicken menu item, which was introduced by the KFC unit of Yum Brands. These are the four other fast-food products that scored the highest in 2009: the McCafe coffees from the McDonald’s Corporation, No. 2; the Torpedo sandwich from Quiznos, No. 6; the Angus Deluxe, also from McDonald’s, No. 7; and Taco Bell Volcano Nachos, from another unit of Yum Brands, No. 8.

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Largest BK Franchisee Staying Loyal to the King

The Buffalo News Business Today reports that the Syracuse-based company that is the largest single owner of Burger King franchises is standing by the chain’s promotion of a cut-rate double cheeseburger, and is not participating in an uprising being mounted by many other franchisees. The National Franchisees Association, on behalf of 850 other Burger King operators around the country, has filed a lawsuit against the Miami-based Burger King Holdings Inc., protesting the corporation’s insistence that its franchisees offer double cheeseburgers for $1.

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Quiznos Settles 4 class-action Suits by Franchisees

The Denver Business Journal reports that four class-action lawsuits brought by Quiznos franchisees against the Denver-based sandwich-shop chain have been settled, the company and the plaintiffs’ law firms said Monday. Chicago-based U.S. District Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer gave preliminary approval to a settlement agreement of the suits, which originally were brought in Colorado, Wisconsin and Illinois and which have been pending for up to three years.

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Ten tips for franchise due diligence

Christa Hoyland writes in QSR.com that Marianne Cintron of Glendora, Calif., thought she had done her homework. When she and her husband looked into buying a Cold Stone Creamery store from a franchisee last year, she started by trying to talk to a number of current franchisees. Of the five who returned her calls, four were selling their stores. Despite the unusually high percentage of sellers, Cintron was reassured by the good things most of them had to say about the concept.

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DDIFO Welcomes New Members!

DDIFO has been invited by a number franchise owners in a number of cities to come and meet franchise owners face to face. I am visiting Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners around the country in an effort to learn more about your issues and concerns as well as share with you the vision and mission of DDIFO. The meetings have resulted in many franchise owners joining DDIFO. DDIFO welcomes 100’s of new shops as members from the following states: New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, North Carolina, Maryland, Virginia, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Florida, and Georgia.

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Burger King’s $1 Double Cheeseburger Upsets Franchisees

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Burger King Corp. has aggressively pushed its $1 double cheeseburger to attract price-conscious consumers, but the chain’s franchisees say the value pricing is costing them money. The National Franchisee Association, a Kennesaw-based group that represents more than 80 percent of U.S. franchised Burger Kings, filed a lawsuit this week against Burger King, a Miami, Fla.,-based chain, over pricing issues. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, seeks to prevent Burger King from dictating maximum pricing for the franchisees.

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Peace Treaty Brews

Holly Sanders Ware and Josh Kosman report in the NY Post that Dunkin’ Brands is reaching out to angry franchisees they write: Dunkin’ Brands, accused of squeezing profits out of franchisees by suing them, is trying to make friends before it’s too late. Chief Executive Nigel Travis has been quietly meeting with angry franchise leaders in recent weeks, after a spate of unflattering reports about the doughnut chain’s litigious ways, sources with direct knowledge of the meetings saidTravis has told franchisees he is willing to take a fresh look at their contracts and would consider changes that give operators more say over their stores, sources said.

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DDIFO Eying Opportunities on Capitol Hill

On February 3-4, 2010 DDIFO Legislative Affairs Coordinator Rob Branca will be in Washington representing the DDIFO at the second annual CFA Day (Coalition of Franchisee Associations). “I’m really looking forward to getting together with other operators from other franchise systems and with our elected officials and their staffs to discuss important legislation,” said Branca. “It’s important that we bring our perspective to these folks and discuss how new laws and reforms will impact our businesses.”

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Massachusetts State Rep Forry Helps Promote Small Business

Considering her personal and professional background, it is no wonder that Massachusetts State Representative Linda Dorcena Forry is a true friend and champion of small business owners. From her beginnings as the daughter of Haitian immigrants through her college career and into her decade-plus career in city and state government, Rep. Forry consistently has demonstrated a passion for education, community and public service.

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