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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South Asian Dunkin’ Franchisees Unite with DDIFO

Martin Desmarais writes in the IndUS Business Journal that the Midwest Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Association has always pushed to be a unified voice for its predominantly South Asian members, so when the New England-based DD Independent Franchise Owners Inc. asked the group to join forces in its quest to bring together all the Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in the United States it jumped at the chance. The Midwest franchise association’s Executive Director Asheesh Seth recently joined the DDIFO’s board in a move that all parties believe will pool the groups’ collective bargaining power.

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Citizens Runs on Dunkin’

Citizens Bank said Tuesday it was opening its first branch inside a Dunkin’ Brands store. The new operation will be at 815 South Main St. in Bellingham. The branch will offer window teller service as well as private offices for loan applications and other specialized services. The branch will be open seven days a week, while an ATM is also available in the eatery.

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Dunkin’ Chief Legal Counsel Steve Horn Is Out

Janet Sparks reports at BlueMauMau that following much turmoil and bad press over its legal team’s aggressive tactics against franchisees, Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis has just announced the latest in his reorganization of corporate executives, stating that the company’s controversial chief legal counsel Stephen Horn is leaving to pursue new opportunities.

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Donut in the sky

Holly Sanders and Josh Kosman write in the NY Post that Dunkin’ Donuts, under fire for unleashing a barrage of lawsuits against franchisees, is pushing a controversial surveillance system that store owners fear will be used to target them. The chain is pressuring franchisees to install a system that it says will curb employee theft and boost profitability. The system links security cameras, including live feeds and hours of footage stored on digital video recorders, to cash register activity to spot suspicious transactions.

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Franchisees say Dunkin’s Brewing Trouble

Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees, embroiled in more than 350 lawsuits with the coffee chain, are accusing the company of aggressively targeting shop owners in an effort to terminate store agreements and collect hefty penalties for alleged contract violations.

Miami lawyer Robert Zarco, speaking yesterday before about 100 franchisees at a meeting of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners in Worcester, warned that the Canton-based coffee chain has turned its loss prevention department into a “profit center’’ and gone after franchisees for infractions that include improper tax filings, unauthorized transfers of the business, and cracked floor tiles, among other claims, as a way to increase revenues during the economic slowdown.

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DDIFO Eyes National Expansion with Addition of Chicago Board Member

The DDIFO, already the largest independent association of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners in the U.S., took a major step toward national expansion this week when its Board of Directors voted to add Asheesh Seth, the leader of the Midwest Dunkin’ Donuts Franchise Association (MWDDFA), to its board.

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Dunkin’ Runs on Lawsuits.

Holly Sanders Ware and Josh Kosman write in the NY Post that critics say Dunkin’ Donuts has come up with another way to make a profit: Pressure franchise owners into paying hefty penalties and legal fees. In an unusual tactic for the franchise industry, Dunkin’ pushes operators to pay penalties and sell their stores or face losing their franchise rights. The fines can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars and include the cost to pay for Dunkin’s lawyers.

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Dunkin’ Donuts’ Loss Prevention Department Wants You! Now What?

DDIFO is please to present Guest Commentary from time time from valued contributors. The following is an article written and submitted by Robert Zarco and Robert Salkowski attorneys at law, from Zarco Law, Bank of America Tower at International Place, 100 S.E. 2nd Street, Suite 2700, Miami, FL 33131, Telephone:(305) 374-5418.

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