The DDIFO Associate Membership program continues to grow, offering numerous benefits to Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners, DDIFO members, and to the participating businesses and vendors.

Since coming on board in late February of this year, Membership Director Amy Levine has signed on 30 Associate Members. Associate Member businesses and vendors get exclusive members’-only benefits and privileges designed to provide them optimal visibility and access to Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners. At the same time, the program provides value to franchise owners by making them aware of quality vendors offering beneficial products and services, often at reduced or special pricing.

“The Associate Membership program presents a true win-win scenario for our organization and for the vendor members,” said DDIFO President Jim Coen. “Associate Members are given the opportunity to showcase their products and services directly to those who can use them, while franchise owners are afforded multiple options through which they get more value. The more options franchise owners have, the better.”

“In today’s economy, we’re challenged with a real balancing act – keeping down costs while also keeping up with the latest technology and innovations that can boost our business. We need to know what competitive advantages vendors have over one another,” said Dunkin’ franchise owner Matt Doyle. “The DDIFO Associate Membership program helps us not only learn about a wide variety of available vendors but also know that these vendors offer high-quality products and services that have proven valuable to fellow franchise owners and, in many cases, could save us money.”

Further, the monies and sponsorships generated by associate memberships are increasing and enriching DDIFO services and activities in several ways, including:

  • higher quality meetings
  • enhanced programs
  • improved communications pieces, such as Independent Joe magazine and the DDIFO Web site
  • superior educational programming
  • increased advocacy efforts

According to Levine, franchise owners tend to have the best suggestions for businesses that would make strong Associate Members because they are in the best position to assess the value of a particular vendor’s services in terms of how they fit with and meet the needs of Dunkin’ shops.

“Franchise owner referrals are key to the success of the Associate Member program. These leads are often the most valuable as they come with an endorsement from an owner who was pleased with the service or product offered,” said Levine. “We also find that owners are more apt to try a new product or service if they know that their counterparts were pleased with it. Since the goal of the program is to provide franchise owners with quality vendors, products and services, these leads are invaluable as we develop and expand the program.”

Franchise owner referrals already have led to such current Associate Members as: USA Today, TD Banknorth, iTech Digital, Tuck’s Trucks, Starkweather & Shepley Insurance and T&K Asphalt. (for a complete list visit our Associate Member Directory).

Levine is eager to hear from franchise owners who want to recommend vendors for associate membership. If you have worked with vendors that you feel provide first-rate products and services, email her at or call her at 508-422-1161.