A virtual cup of coffee with DDIFO Executive Director Ed ShanahanObama Administration Delays Employer Mandate – Not only big news, but Good News!  The big story of the week was the Obama Administration’s decision to delay the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate until 2015 – coincidentally after the 2014 mid-term congressional elections, but whatever their reasons . . .  The delay in implementation was broadly reported and written on extensively over the course of the past several days.  QSR web.com reported that aside from the delay in the employer mandate, the administration also announced that a simplified reporting process will also be incorporated.

Virtually Touring Caesar’s – In preparation for the DDIFO National Conference at Caesar’s Atlantic City on September 16 – 18, we want to help you familiarize yourself with all that this year’s conference venue has to offer.  As the Conference gets closer, watch for different summaries in each issue of “Small Regular!”

Shopping Options – Attached to Caesar’s Atlantic City via an enclosed Skywalk over the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk are The Pier Shops at Caesars.  The Directory for the three-levels of the Pier Shops reads like a who’s who of famous and top line retail outlets and boasts luxury names such as Burberry, Gucci, Tiffany & Co., Louis Vuitton and a host of others.  There’s also an array of distinctive and popular brands from Apple to Victoria’s Secret as well as a wide selection of restaurants!

Concerned about Over-reaching Government? – Believe it or not, Waukesha County, Wisconsin has a zoning provision that actually bans drive-thru windows within the county.  Unwittingly, the Town of Waukesha Board of Supervisors violated the ban when it granted a drive-thru permit for a new Dunkin’ Donuts in the center of town.  An effort is underway to overturn the restriction and the issue will be heard at a public hearing on July 11 in the Waukesha Town Hall.

Hitting a Milestone: 500 Stores In New York City – The Big Apple will celebrate Dunkin’ reaching a significant milestone in the nation’s largest city – its 500th store will open next Tuesday July 9 !  At the all-morning celebration, CEO and Chairman Nigel Travis as well as President of Global Marketing John Costello will be part of the ribbon cutting and speaking ceremony.  The shop is located at 323 West 42nd Street.

Tipping Coverage Generates Discussion – A small piece on BlueMauMau reporting on DDIFO testifying before the Massachusetts Legislature on our proposed tip pooling legislation generated quite a bit of back and forth with the general public.  You may want to read it here and keep reading through the comments.

Going With The (Regional) Flow! – Dunkin’ recently launched a new Cuban sandwich in its Miami and Fort Lauderdale shops.  The Dunkin’ Donuts Cuban features roasted pork loin, Swiss cheese and Black Forest ham on an oven-toasted French roll and is topped with creamy spread of Dijon mustard and chipped dill pickle.

Dunkin Stock Generates Buzz and More Coverage – In a research note released this week, Lazard Capital initiated coverage of Dunkin’ (DNKN), issued a buy rating on it and raised the stock’s target price to $51.

Iced Coffee Fundraiser a Huge Success – Dunkin’ franchisees donated almost $30,000 to the Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center from their successful “Iced Coffee Day Initiative” held throughout the New York Capital region back in May.  $1 was donated to the 125-bed hospital for each Iced Coffee sold on May 22.

DC and Congressional Meetings! – DDIFO Executive Director Ed Shanahan will join a number of dedicated DDIFO franchisee members next week in Washington, DC at the CFA Lobby Day Forum, meeting with several members of Congress to advocate for the interests of the broader franchise community.  With yesterday’s July 4th holiday, summer vacation season starts in earnest, but DDIFO continues to advocate on behalf of your interests as a franchisee before various government agencies at the national as well as state levels.  DDIFO hopes its members a safe, happy and enjoyable summer vacation season, and know we’ve still got your back!