With now well over 100 company-owned Starbucks locations seeking union representation elections under the administrative eye of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), each new location where unionizing efforts are successful presents additional potential challenges for the QSR industry at large and franchising in particular. The latest Starbucks location to formally endorse representation by the Starbucks Workers United union is in Mesa Arizona, where Starbucks workers approved the union by an overwhelming vote of 25 in favor to 3 opposed with 12 employees not voting. Certification of the results of the formal vote, which ended earlier in February, was delayed because of a formal review that the company had requested. That review was completed and the results certified last Friday. There are now 3 unionized Starbucks locations in Buffalo New York and one in Arizona, with many more coming up to bat soon. Although successfully organizing individual franchised locations is likely to be more difficult for union organizers, the ripple effect going through Starbucks stores across the country should be cause for concern throughout the QSR franchise owner community. It would behoove you to stay on top of this issue going forward.