Small Regular - No Sugar! Newsletter DDIFONew Delaware Law Clarifies Franchisee/Franchisor Roles – Earlier this week,Delaware Governor Jake Markell signed into law, HB55, legislation that establishes that the franchisee and franchisor relationship is actually one where the franchisee is considered an independent contractor!  The proposal passed both branches of the Delaware legislature unanimously and is similar to a bill that was passed into law in Georgia last year.

Updating Fair Franchising in California – Solid efforts continue in the Golden West, as SB-610, the California version of Fair Franchising has been given hearing dates within the General Assembly.  In short, the bill would require franchisors and franchisees to deal with each other “in good faith” and protect franchisees’ right to join together in associations.  In addition, is specifically allows franchisees to sue a franchisor who “offers to sell, sells, fails to renew or transfer, or terminates a franchise” without acting in good faith!  In the Assembly, it has been referred to two separate committees, both of which have already scheduled hearing dates on the legislation.  The Assembly Committee on Judiciary will hear the bill next Tuesday, June 18, while the Assembly’s Committee on Business, Professions and Consumer Protection has a hearing on it either June 25 or July 2.  We’ll let you know when we confirm the actual date.  In the meantime, there is much work to be done and we encourage all to contact individual Assembly members and urge them to support SB-610!

Hiring the Convicted? – Yes, the Wall Street Journal reported earlier this week that the Obama Administration has filed lawsuits against two separate large employers alleging that the employers improperly used criminal background checks in hiring decisions!  The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission(EEOC) filed complaints in federal courts in Illinois and South Carolina contending that the screening policies which barred hiring of potential employees because of a criminal background had the effect of discriminating against black applicants.  Fortunately, since the EEOC is a Commission and not a regulatory agency, it cannot impose mandatory rules and therefore needs court ratification.

“Ban the Box” in New Jersey – In a similar vein, the New Jersey Senate took testimony this week on a Senate proposal called the “Opportunity to Compete Act”.  Amazingly, the bill (S.2586), which also has a companion bill in the Assembly (AB3837), would supplement the State’s current civil rights law to provide persons with criminal histories certain protections while seeking employment!  More specifically, the bill would prohibit an employer from conducting a criminal background check on job candidates until a conditional offer of employment was made!

DDIFO Connecticut/New York Meeting – In the week after nextDDIFO will host its next Membership Meeting, interestingly part of which will cover employment law, at the Heritage Hotel and Conference Center in Southbury, Connecticut on Wednesday, June 26, 2013.  We are thrilled that employment law Attorney Hugh F. Murray,a partner in the Hartford office of the major law firm of Murtha Culina LLP, will present on employment law issues nationally as well as in Connecticut up to and including their mandatory paid leave act.  We are equally anxious to welcome Tax Attorney Matt Kelley of Ernst & Young, who will present on the requirements and implementation schedule of the Affordable Care Act (Obama Care).  He presented in Chicago a few weeks ago and will again advise franchisees of all the steps they must take in order to ensure compliance with the new federal health care mandates.  The complete program will run from 2 PM until 7 PM including a cocktail reception from 5 PM to 7 PM.  This meeting is open to all Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees, so plan to join us in Southbury on June 26!

DDIFO National Conference – DDIFO is still working hard on confirming speakers and presentations for the 2013 DDIFO National Conferenced this September 16 – 18 at Caesar’s Atlantic City.  In fact, DDIFO staff will be heading to Atlantic City next week to meet with hotel staff and firm up our needs for the Conference.  We’ve got some great presentations planned, a stellar Hall of Fame Dinner and Award Presentation in the works and we’re hoping to lock in a  number of additional speakers very shortly. Watch for registration materials coming soon and plan now to attend the 2013 DDIFO National Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, September 16 through 18, 2013!

CFA Lobby Day Forum is next month – Franchisees should plan to attend theCoalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA) Lobby Day Forum in Washington DC in just over 3 weeks!  The two-day conference with visits to Congress to discuss issues of import to the franchisee community is scheduled for July 8 through July 10 at the Fairmont Hotel in the District’s Georgetown section.  DDIFO strongly encourages members to attend the event.  Register for the Forum here.

Charitable Efforts – Invitations are in the mail for 5th Annual John Henderson Invitational Golf Tournament on August 26 at Kirkbrae Country Club in Lincoln, RI.  Proceeds from the Tournament benefit Special Olympics Rhode Island.   Elsewhere, as a result of its one-day “Iced Coffee Day” initiative in the Greater Buffalo area, Dunkin’ and area franchisees donated $6,732 to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute.  This year’s total represents a 50% increase in donations over the 2012 total raised!  In downtown Buffalo, RPCI was founded in 1898 and works to prevent and cure cancer.

Market Conditions – Analyst John Gordon writes that “despite some same store sales headwinds caused by the so-called 2013 same store sales cliff, the theme noted early this year that sales comps would be down vs mild winter weather in 2012, the industry is doing fine.  There are no large publicly traded restaurant companies in real trouble . . . from a liquidity or default basis.  The industry was at +2.5% SSS (per MillerPulse) in May, almost all driven by ticket.  In almost all cases, the two year and five year comps trends are solid; if that was the Street metric, we’d all be celebrating.”


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2 Year Comp






Legend; two year comparables are the May 2013 v May 2011 comparison.