Swipe Fee Settlement Deadline of May 28! – Regarding the proposed credit card swipe fee settlement, franchisees are reminded that they have until May 28, 2013 to advise the court whether they want to be included in the settlement. The proposed settlement offers monetary damages and limited modifications to Visa and MasterCard surcharging rules, but also mandates release of Visa and MasterCard from future liability. As a merchant who accepted Visa and MasterCard beginning January 1, 2004, you have four options to proceed (to join the class, to object, to opt out, or to opt out and object), but the next critical deadline by which time you must act is May 28, 2013. The official court authorized settlement website has more information on the case and your options. Visit their Frequently Asked Questions page and if you are unsure, please check with your legal counsel as each of the four options has specific ramifications.
Another loss for National Labor Relations Board – Again last week, the courts dealt a major defeat to the National Labor Relations Board regarding President Obama’s so-called “recess appointments” to the Board. In this case, New Vista Nursing and Rehabilitation v NLRB, it was the Third US Circuit Court of Appeals that ruled Obama’s “recess” appointments to the NLRB while the Senate was still in session over a long weekend exceeded his constitutional authority. The first such case was strongly pushed by the Coalition for a Democratic Workplace (CDW), to which DDIFO is connected through our work with the Coalition of Franchisee Associations (CFA).
Fair Franchising still percolating in California! – The latest CA Senate staff info advises us that SB 610 (the Senate version of the fair franchising bill we advised you of two weeks ago) is heading to the floor of the CA Senate early next week, possibly as early as Tuesday, May 28. Other intel suggests that calls are coming in and having an impact, but we need it to pass the Senate with as large a margin as possible to send a message to Governor Jerry Brown and the CA Assembly. Contrary to misinformation on the anti-SB 610 website, SB610 provides an affirmative duty of good faith in the business relationship. CFA’s been winning support across the country for this and other fair franchising proposals and now could use your help – California residents please call your Senator and encourage them to support SB 610! The Senate phone number is 916-651-40XX, where XX is the Senate district number. Please call if you can!
More on CFA – And speaking of the Coalition of Franchisee Associations, DDIFO is a founding member and still serves on the CFA Board. Aside from their exceptional work on the fair franchising legislation in California, Maine, Massachusetts and elsewhere across the country, they are also very active in Congress, where they are viewed and respected as experts on behalf of the franchisee community. To that end, CFA annually sponsors the CFA Day Forum in Washington, DC. It is a great opportunity to meet your Senator and Congressperson to discuss issues important to your business. This year, the Forum will be held July 8 through July 10 at the Fairmont Hotel in the District’s Georgetown section. DDIFO strongly encourages members to attend the event. To Register for the CFA Day Forum, click here.
New Jersey Update – To correct some info we gave you last week regarding the minimum wage around the footprint, New Jersey’s ballot initiative on the minimum wage, if passed, will increase the state’s minimum to $8.50 rather than the $8.25 we erroneously reported. In other news from the Garden State, New Jersey Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt has filed aproposal that would require all employers with 50 or more employees to provide all employees (including those who may only work part-time) with accrued paid sick leave of one hour for every 30 hours worked. Employers will also be required to provide employees with notification of their rights under the act, including the amount of earned sick leave to which they’re entitled and the terms of its use. The full text of the proposal is available here (A4125).
Local Government Intrusion continues – Last night, the Board of Aldermen in the Boston suburb of Somerville, MA voted 9 – 0 to ban the use of Styrofoam cups and food containers at takeout food establishments. The ban takes effect May 2014 and carries a $300 fine for violations. Interestingly, it does not apply to foam containers in grocery stores, such as meat and/or egg packaging! We’re certain to see more of these bans proposed around the country and when one’s proposed in your area, please let us know so we can help defeat them!
Competitor News – Starbuck’s Seattle’s Best brand (SBC) opened ten drive-thru stores simultaneously on May 20th in the Dallas area. Eight of the ten stores are on Wal-Mart parking lot pads with drive-thrus and walk up windows but no inside service. The smaller stores, tested in Seattle, are company operated and represent some forward movement in its franchising thrust announced in 2010. Four additional units will open in Dallas later, with one franchisee location in the mix. Since its acquisition by Starbucks in 2003, SBC has focused on retail/CPG products but is said to be focused on the “value side” of the coffeehouse sector. Only about 70 SBC stores system wide are now in operation.
DDIFO National Conference – We’re beginning to put the speaking programs and presentation topics together for this year’s DDIFO National Conference at Caesar’s Atlantic City and we’re confident it will be the best conference yet. One of the features will be a “Conversation with Dunkin’ Franchise Stars”. It will be presented in living room format with several highly successful franchisees discussing amongst themselves a broad array of topics including how they grew their networks so significantly and how others can do so as well – and Conference attendees will get to “listen in” on the conversation! You won’t want to miss their advice, their insight, and their conversation with other Dunkin’ Franchise Stars! There is so much more that we’re working on for the National Conference, we’re confident you’ll enjoy every component of this year’s event! Watch for registration info coming soon and plan now to attend the DDIFO National Conference in Atlantic City, NJ, September 16 through September 18, 2013!
DD Shops in the News – Throughout the state of Illinois, hundreds of law enforcement officers for the 11th year in a row, will stake out Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops to benefit Special Olympics Illinois. The “Cop on a Roof” fundraiser on May 31 will have police officers cover a record 150 Dunkin’ Donuts rooftops to heighten awareness and raise money for the Law Enforcement Torch Run. Over the past 10 years, the event has raised more than $1.3 million for Special Olympics Illinois. A complete list of participating DD locations around the state can be found here.
In light of the horrific devastation in Moore, OK last week from the massive tornado, we noted that many DD shops in Oklahoma and Texas will be helping with relief efforts by collecting donations from guests through in-store cannisters that will support the American Red Crossand their efforts. In addition, Dunkin’ Brands will be making a $10,000 donation to the American Red Cross.