A virtual cup of coffee with DDIFO Executive Director Ed ShanahanStill Fighting In Illinois – Through our membership with the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA), of which DDIFO is a founding member, we have signed on to an important amicus curiae brief filed with the Illinois Supreme Court in the case of Avon Hardware, et al v. Ace Hardware.  The case involves a disclaimer in the Ace franchise agreement that essentially tells franchisees they can’t rely on anything the franchisor tells them!   The amicus brief was filed this past week on behalf of the CFA, DDIFO and a host of other CFA member organizations.

Maine Wants to Know – Under new regulations recently enacted, businesses within the state of Maine must now report all new hires to the state within 7 days of their employment.  Ostensibly, the goal of the regulation is to streamline the collection of child support as the new Maine Employer Portal is on their Health and Human Services page.  Their Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page provides more details. In an ironic twist, this new high-tech reporting vehicle does not work with Google Chrome – you must log in to Internet Explorer!

Albany Costs to Rise – Notwithstanding the administration’s decision to delay for another year, the implementation of the ADA employer mandate, employer health care costs in the Greater Albany, New York area are projected to rise by $300 to $700 per month beginning in January, 2014.  The projected cost increase, released this week by the Department of Financial Services, applies whether health coverage is purchased through private insurers or the state’s benefit exchange.

Getting to (Absolute) Zero – Details are now out on the new “absolute zero” ban on trans fats that was passed last week in the Boston suburb city of Chelsea, Massachusetts.  Despite strong testimony from medical professionals on the natural production of “trans fats” in the baking process, the ban was approved on a 4-0 vote by the local Board of Health.  The new restriction, the most stringent in the country, will not be effective until January 1, 2015, but it is still a bona fide absolute ban on trans fats within the City.  Trans fat bans have been enacted in several cities on the east coast as well as for the entire state of California.  All existing bans are shown on this map.

North Carolina Overhauls Tax Code – A compromise bill negotiated by both branches of the North Carolina legislature and the office of Governor Pat McCrory has cleared the legislative branches and is on its way to the Governor.  He has said he will sign it.  Proponents of the overhaul claim it will provide tax breaks for individuals as well as businesses, while the opponents describe it as providing “tax cuts for the wealthy”.  An article identifying organizations supporting it and opposing it can be found here.

Virtually Touring Caesar’s – Just under two months until the DDIFO National Conference at Caesar’s Atlantic City on September 16 – 18, so we continue our Virtual Tour of Caesar’s Atlantic City, our National Conference Host Hotel.

Boardwalk Beer Garden – When you’re ready for a cold one, the Boardwalk Beer Garden at Caesars Atlantic City is the place. “Smack dab on the Boardwalk outside Caesars, drink your favorite beers, and some microbrews you may not be familiar with, while enjoying one of the best people-watching spots in the city.” – Atlantic City Insider

National Conference Registrations – Registration is now open for franchisees to reserve their attendance at the 2013 DDIFO National Conference, September 16 – 18 at Caesar’s Atlantic City, right in the heart of the world famous Atlantic City Boardwalk. To register, simply complete the registration form here.  We would also point out that the Caesar’s Atlantic City room block for the DDIFO conference is also now open.  To secure your room at $159 per night, call Caesar’s at 1-800 223-7277 by August 30 and cite DDIFO Conference.

Hall of Fame Nominees – We’re excited to begin receiving nominations for induction into the DDIFO Hall of Fame!  The nomination form as well as the eligibility criteria can both be found on the DDIFO web site.  Get your nominations in early. All nominations must be received by end of business on Friday, August 16!

Exhibitor and Sponsorship Registrations – Sponsorship and exhibitor registrations will be opening officially this coming week and we will begin taking credit card payments when the registration opens as well!  Watch for the notice coming to you soon! Email Joan Gould for more information.

QSR Market Snapshot – The restaurant sales trend overall improved a bit in June. Restaurant sales growth for the QSR segment (there are no other month by month more granular breakouts for DNKN right now) was up 4.2% in June, exactly half due to traffic and half due to higher ticket.  The 2 year sales trend (2013 v 2011) was up a more dramatic 7.9%. DBI reports earnings next week.

Competitor News! – The Krispy Kreme, Inc. Board of Directors has authorized a stock repurchase up to $50 million, effective immediately.  As of July 12, the company had about 66 million shares of common stock outstanding.  Last year, the company completed a repurchase of $20 million in common stock.

With Sympathy – We offer our heartfelt condolences to DDIFO General Counsel Carl Lisa, Sr. on the passing of his mother, Filomena “Phyllis” Lisa, last weekend.