A Tennessee Titan: Nashville’s Rise to Big League Prominence

This October, DDIFO will host the annual National Conference at the famed Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. It is our first visit to this super-popular southern city and we are excited to get there. Over the next few issues of Independent Joe, we will feature stories about Nashville, its people and its business community. We…

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Inside Opryland: A Hotel unlike Any Other

The Gaylord Opryland Hotel has a long and storied history. Initially designed to emulate a southern estate, the Opryland Hotel opened to much fanfare on Thanksgiving Day, 1977. During the 1980s, the property expanded in size by two acres and added more than 1,200 guest rooms, a garden conservatory and waterfalls. And in the 1990s,…

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Independent Joe #60 February/March 2020

Before the coronavirus worsened and jeopardized the 2020 baseball season, there was much discussion about the Houston Astros and the sign-stealing scandal that may have fueled their 2017 World Series Championship. Since the scandal broke, a number of people have lost their jobs, including the Astros manager and general manager, as well as the manager…

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What’s Brewing: Drive-thrus, Fight for $15, Labor Law Repealed

You win some, you lose some. That’s the short version of the outlook for quick-service franchise owners as we head towards the end of the first quarter of 2020. On the plus side, the Trump Administration has finally nixed the controversial “joint-employer” rule that has roiled the quick-service sector for more than a half a…

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Will America Run on Plants?

Dunkin’ and Other Chains Assessing “Meatless” Performance When Dunkin’ tested the Beyond Sausage sandwich in Manhattan in 2019, customer reaction exceeded expectations. The meat-free breakfast sandwich – yielding 10g of plant-based protein – became a welcome addition to the menu at 9,000 Dunkin’ restaurants nationwide. That debut into plant-based fare, along with the brand’s 2019…

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Independent Joe #59 December 2019/January 2020

Each year at the turn of the calendar, we see an abundance of stories recapping the year that was. The Year in Review gives us a chance to review what has happened, what we’ve accomplished and where we’ve failed to reach our objectives over the past 12 months. Though generally vanilla and predictable, the Year…

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Independent Joe #58 October/November

Each of us makes commitments that help define the direction of our lives. These include personal commitments to our spouse, family members and friends, and professional commitments to our employer, co-workers and partners. Webster’s defines commitment as, “The state or quality of being dedicated to a cause, activity, etc.,” and Matt Light, our featured speaker…

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On Reaching the Pinnacle

The idea of a Hall of Fame has its roots in Norse Mythology, but it was really brought to fruition with Ludwig I, who was the King of Bavaria, in 1842. He commissioned the building of a memorial called Walhalla to hold plaques and statues honoring great Germans. The Hall of Fame for Great Americans,…

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