1. What is Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners (DDIFO)? DDIFO is an independent franchisee association dedicated to protecting and enhancing the business interests of its members.
  2. Why should I join DDIFO? DDIFO has the effect of balancing power in the franchise relationship. Carefully targeted collective action by franchisees can produce results that individual franchisees are incapable of obtaining by or for themselves. Join DDIFO Today!
  3. Why was DDIFO created? DDIFO was started in 1989 to communicate the interests of the Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners to the investment community during a hostile takeover of the then public entity Dunkin’ Donuts. Read the History of DDIFO.
  4. What is the purpose of an Independent Franchisee Association? A franchisee association is a very effective means of advancing the shared interests of members of a franchise system. Franchisees in a chain have many interests that they share in common and that most of those lend themselves quite well to collective action by member franchisees.
  5. Why is it important to support the Independent Franchisee Association? A basic factor to keep in mind is that the business interests of franchisees often differ substantially from the business interests of the franchisor.  Even the best of circumstances, each party, because it is in a different business, is pursuing different goals, using different strategies and operating from different perspectives.
  6. What is the biggest advantage of an Independent Franchisee Association? Against a background of spotty and extremely limited legal and legislative protection for franchisee interests, an independent association can have extraordinarily beneficial effects not only on protecting the interests of the franchisee; but also on improving the franchise relationship itself, making the process of franchising work much better for all parties.
  7. Is DDIFO Recognized by Dunkin’ Brands? DDIFO is declared in Item #20 of the Dunkin’ Brands Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) as required by the Federal Trade Commission Franchise Rule. Formal recognition by the franchisor and formal communication with the franchisor are not relevant to the success of DDIFO.
  8. Is DDIFO a replacement for the Advisory Council? No, in the Dunkin’ Brands system, the Advisory Council is sponsored and funded by Dunkin’ Brands. That system performs a vital, but different function for franchisees.
  9. Are there DDIFO Members on the Brand Advisory Council (BAC)? Yes, as a matter of fact a majority of the representatives currently serving on the BAC (thru January 2012) are DDIFO members.
  10. How much are dues? $250 per shop per year (that is less than $1 per day per shop).
  11. What are my dues used for? Member Dues comprise a portion of the DDIFO budget. The remainder of the budget which must be approved by the Board of Directors, is made up of sponsor revenue. The budget funds such items as:  Employee Payroll, Legal Fees, Director Fees, D & O Insurance, Communications, Government Relations, Charitable Donations, and Contributions to the DDIFO Equity Fund.
  12.  What is the DDIFO Equity Fund?   It is a portion of our budget that the Board regularly sets aside which is not to be used in daily operations and is intended to provide resources for strategic actions.  Expenditures from the DDIFO Equity Fund require Board approval.
  13. Is my Membership in DDIFO anonymous? Yes. DDIFO does not publish lists of members.
  14. Why aren’t there franchisees on the Board of Directors? In May of 2008 the franchisee members of the DDIFO Board officially resigned and elected a professional Board of Directors. The franchisees believed that professional business advisors who are already familiar with the Dunkin' Donuts system would be better able to render objective decisions that are free of emotion and not geared to driving personal agendas and personal gain.  Currently the DDIFO Board of Directors is comprised of six members. There is no prohibition against franchise owners being on the Board and they are free to apply.
  15. What is the Roundtable? The DDIFO Franchisee Roundtable is a group of highly engaged franchise owners that serves as an advisory panel for the Board of Directors and the President of DDIFO.
  16. What is a DDIFO Local Members Committee (LMC)? A DDIFO Local Members Committee is a group of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners that have chosen to organize in a specific geographic area. These regional groups are helpful to coordinate activities locally and to discern and formulate local issues to be addressed by DDIFO.  By forming a recognized LMC they can gain representation on the Franchisee Roundtable and the Board of Directors depending on LMC’s membership size.
  17. Is there a LMC in my area? There are currently two approved Local Members Committees: the Mid-West Dunkin Donuts Franchisee Association (MWDDFA) based in Chicago, Illinois and the Independent Association of Franchise Operators (IAFO) based in Princeton, New Jersey which serves the New York Market.
  18. How can we form an LMC? Please contact Ed Shanahan, Executive Director of DDIFO for guidelines and assistance in forming a recognized LMC.