It’s Buyer Beware for Franchisees

THE BENEFITS of owning a franchise are made clear in “Buying into a franchise can take uncertainty out of getting started’’ (Business, Oct. 11). But, based on our experience at Mediation Works Inc. with franchises, potential hazards inherent in these businesses should also be addressed.

Read More »

Starbucks Settles With Ex-Exec Who Went To Dunkin

Dow Jones Commodities News Select reports that the Starbucks Coffee Co. announced Friday night it had reached a settlement with Paul Twohig, a former executive who ran the company’s retail operations in the U.S. southeast who left to take over as brand operations officer for rival Dunkin’ Donuts parent Dunkin Brands. Starbucks sued Twohig, claiming he had signed a noncompete agreement, according to a report published Oct. 7 in the Boston Business Journal.

Read More »

Starbucks’ Tip Policy Held to Violate Minnesota Law

Smartbrief reports that on September 30, 2009, Judge Patrick Schiltz of the Federal Court for the District of Minnesota declared that Starbucks Coffee Company’s tip distribution policy violates Minnesota law. Faced with a request for clarification from Starbucks, Judge Schiltz affirmed the breadth of his holding, writing, “Starbucks’ policy violates Minnesota law by requiring employees who work on a particular shift to share tips received on that shift with employees who do not work on that shift.”

Read More »

Weighing in on Press Coverage

Op-Ed by Matt Ellis, DDIFO’s Communication Director. Response to the Boston Globe’s recent article “Franchisees say Dunkin’s brewing trouble” illustrates the differing opinions franchise owners have about seeing their issues discussed in the press. Some lauded Jenn Abelson’s article as an important discussion of an issue of interest to the entire Dunkin’ Donuts franchise community; others saw it as an improper public airing of dirty laundry. In either case, any news related to Dunkin’ Donuts strikes a chord because of the popularity and positive perception people have for Dunkin’ Donuts and its products.

Read More »

Trial Date Set in Federal Court for Dunkin’ Donuts Suit

Paul Grimaldi reports in the Providence Journal that a Vermont businessman hopes to ring up perhaps the most important sale of his career in late 2009 when he tries to get a jury to side with him in a prolonged dispute with Dunkin’ Donuts. Irwin Barkan, of Waitsfield, Vt., will return here Dec. 2 as the dispute goes to trial in federal court –– four years after the coffee shop chain and its former franchisee became embroiled in the legal battle.

Read More »

Dunkin’ Brands Makes Top-Level Marketing Shift

Karlene Lukovitz writes at MediaPost.com that Dunkin’ Brands’ Thursday announcement that it is “strengthening” its senior leadership team by putting veteran retail executive John Costello in the new position of chief global customer and marketing officer also carried the news that Frances Allen, brand marketing officer for Dunkin’ Donuts for two years, has concurrently “decided to step down.”

Read More »

Dunkin’ Chief Legal Counsel Steve Horn Is Out

Janet Sparks reports at BlueMauMau that following much turmoil and bad press over its legal team’s aggressive tactics against franchisees, Dunkin’ Brands CEO Nigel Travis has just announced the latest in his reorganization of corporate executives, stating that the company’s controversial chief legal counsel Stephen Horn is leaving to pursue new opportunities.

Read More »

Attorneys Criticize Dunkin’ Donuts’ Litigious Behavior

Following Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners’ (DDIFO) twentieth annual meeting in September, president Jim Coen issued a letter to members stating that the association favors a more collaborative approach to reconciling the problems that Dunkin’ Brands sees the need to litigate against. He declared, “Dunkin’ Brands continues to pursue litigation against franchisees and shows no signs of changing their seemingly harsh and predatory practices.”

According to Coen, DDIFO is willing and able to take this discussion with Dunkin’ behind closed doors, but the franchisor has not shown as of yet, its willingness to do so. He explains, “Keep in mind that there are hundreds of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners who are today, fighting for their livelihood, trying to protect and defend their sweat equity built over many years, against a seemingly arrogant and intractable Dunkin’ Brands Loss Prevention with very deep pockets. I think that is unacceptable.”

Read More »

Starbucks Sues Former Exec for Working for Dunkin’ Brands

Ilaina Jonas reports at Reuters that coffee retailer Starbucks Corp is suing a former executive it accuses of violating non-competition and separation agreements when he went to work for rival Dunkin’ Donuts. Seattle-based Starbucks said it is suffering ongoing harm as long as Paul Twohig, a former division senior vice president, remains employed at Dunkin’ Donuts, according to the complaint filed Monday in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Seattle.

Read More »

Independent Joe & Jim Videos

There are three videos to watch: Scroll down to view all three! What a Hoot! [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/WorcesterMeeting.flv 570 318] [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/DressingRoom.flv 570 318] [flv:https://ddifo.org/movies/PostMeeting.flv 570 318]

Read More »