Skating in a New Direction

Over the course of the past month or so, we’ve watched three of America’s major sports present All-Star games, where their sport’s premier players are recognized and fans can witness the best of the best competing for all-star bragging rights. Most of these contests fail to live up to the hype, but in one case,…

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What’s Brewing: Calorie labeling, Minimum wage, Scheduling

It may seem hard these days for Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners to catch a break, with everyone from the federal government down to the local city council taking aim at the quick service restaurant industry. But Dunkin’ and other franchise owners got a big reprieve recently when the Food and Drug Administration gave the boot…

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Two Words that Changed the Face of Franchising

For four years – between 2011 and 2015 – a group of business owners representing the biggest names in franchising joined with a team of lawyers and consultants to amend the California franchise law and level the playing field in a sector of the U.S. economy responsible for nearly $500 billion in gross domestic product.…

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Restaurant Closures put Food Safety in the Spotlight

Just three months after the much-anticipated opening of its first New York City restaurant, Chick-fil-A voluntarily closed the Manhattan store. Citing “restaurant maintenance and facility updates,” the restaurant remained shuttered from December 30, 2015 until the morning of January 5, 2016, while it responded to a total of 59 violations, ranging from fruit flies to…

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Bruce MacDonald’s Franchising Story is a Family Affair

For many American families living in the northeast, Dunkin’ Donuts has been a part of their daily routines for decades. Whether it’s starting the day off with a trip through the drive thru or picking up a dozen donuts on the way to a social gathering or on the way home from church, that iconic…

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Sign At Your Own Risk Critical Lease Provisions to Negotiate or Avoid …The Sequel

In our last issue of Independent Joe, we discussed some of the critical lease provisions contained in a franchisee’s lease which, if not identified and properly negotiated, could have a material impact on the viability of a business. The provisions addressed in that issue – exclusive use protection, landlord’s consent to assignment and continuing liability…

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Independent Joe #36 February/ March

If there’s an extra glow to the Golden Arches of McDonald’s these days, you could say it’s because the morning sun is shining all day. Last spring, McDonald’s was reporting “negative guest traffic” as a cause of its 33 percent drop in net income. This year the world’s largest food chain is basking in the…

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Irony of Ironies as NLRB is Found Guilty

Yes, you read that correctly, the National Labor Relations Board was found guilty of unfair labor practices last week in a case brought by its own union.  An administrative law judge with the government’s Labor Relations Authority ruled the regulatory agency (charged with objectively arbitrating worker’s rights in private employment) violated their employees’ rights by…

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New York Appeals Court Halts Sodium Warning

Just one day before fines and penalties were scheduled to begin, the New York state appeals court has granted a temporary stay in the National Restaurant Association’s lawsuit challenging the validity of New York’s new sodium warning requirement.  Just last week, NY supreme court justice Eileen Rakower threw out the NRA suit and dismissed their…

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ACA Marketplace “Improvements” Finalized for 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week issued final changes for insurance marketplaces along with the schedule for open enrollment periods in 2017 and beyond.  The specific changes deal with out-of-network costs, required notices when provider networks change and improved risk adjustment formulas among other issues.  In addition however, the CMS finalized…

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