Independent Joe #74 June/July 2022

This year was supposed to be different. After a pandemic, racial unrest, supply chain issues and more, 2022 was to be the year things began to normalize. But then, Russia declared war on Ukraine, inflation – climbing at a 40-year high – didn’t recede as predicted, and today everything costs more than it did a…

Read More »

Independent Joe #73 April/May 2022

“Skin in the game,” is how Dunkin’ President Scott Murphy explains the decision to increase the number of corporate-owned locations. “It demonstrates to our franchisees that anything we ask them to do, we will now be executing at a large scale alongside them.” While Dunkin’ has acquired franchise units from time to time – including…

Read More »

Independent Joe #72 February/March 2022

 Since the coronavirus pandemic was first declared an emergency here in the United States, we’ve been making slow, but steady progress and we’re now starting to see the fruits of those efforts. Oh, not with regard to COVID.  I’m talking about the FTC Franchise Rule and government efforts to clamp down on abusive franchisors,…

Read More »

Independent Joe #71 December 2021/January 2022

 It’s been a long journey since the coronavirus pandemic reached our shores back in early 2020. Over the course of those first few months, governments ordered non-essential businesses shut, indoor dining was banned and people who left their homes were told to wear masks (even for a solitary jog). Houses of worship were ordered…

Read More »

Independent Joe #70 October/November 2021

Back in 2014, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees were adding amenities like free Wi-Fi, comfortable seating and even conference rooms to appeal to a growing sector of people staying connected and working remotely. By then, Dunkin’ had already established itself as a leader in drive-thru service—having helped pioneer the modern drive-thru experience. But in the late 2000s…

Read More »

Independent Joe #69 August/September 2021

Facing a continued staffing crisis and growing labor costs, many businesses are looking beyond the next hire. Consider the barista who never calls in sick or the coffee-making bots that brew up to 300 portions per shift, work 24/7 and never take breaks, except for refilling or cleaning. In many ways, the crippling U.S. labor…

Read More »

Independent Joe #68 June/July 2021

April 22, 2021 marked day four of Dealmakers Week, presented by Franchise Times. It was also the day the magazine announced its 2020 Deal of the Year. Not surprisingly, the award went to Inspire Brands for its $11.3 billion purchase of Dunkin’ Brands. On hand to receive the award was David Pipes, Inspire Brands chief…

Read More »

Independent Joe #67 April/May 2021

McDonald’s has been a model of consistency for most of its six decades of dominance in the quick-service restaurant world. Burgers, shakes and fries, prepared quickly – always tasting the way you expect, no matter where they are purchased – and at a price that’s easy to swallow. With the exception of its famous flops,…

Read More »

Independent Joe #66 February/March 2021

New Dunkin’ owner Inspire Brands is not only one of the largest restaurant companies in the world, it also wants to be a leader in the collection, analysis and use of data. To that end, Inspire’s CEO Paul Brown recently created a new corporate position. Navin Sharma, a senior executive with Inspire since 2018, is…

Read More »

Independent Joe #65 December 2020/January 2021

 There’s a story that many of us in the Association Management profession hear when we first enter the field. It is generally told to underscore the importance of volunteerism and illustrate that associations need to rely on the engagement of their members to ensure their success. It goes like this. There were four people…

Read More »