Coalition of Franchisee Associations

August 27, 2013

Where Are They Now - Ralph Alvarez

Ralph now sits on five corporate boards. It's good to know his knees 
aren't holding him back.

Realogy Appoints Raul Alvarez to Its BOD

August 20, 2013

Nothing to See Here! Part Two

We mentioned the recent Nation's Restaurant News article. It's
available if one registers an e-mail address on the NRN website.
It's quick and easy and worth it to see the comments from Jim
Johanessen. And, an "expert" is quoted as saying McDonald's
Operators can just say, "Here are the keys, I'm out".

It's more like McDonald's lawyers like Johanessen show up at
the door saying "Give us the keys, you're out".

Just go to the bottom of the page and click on "register".

McDonald's franchisees not leaving brand despite tension - NRN

Psychedelic Big Mac Ad

Could Be a Scene From the 
Yellow Submarine

Click HERE to play video

August 17, 2013

Customers Care About Value Over Price

Darren Tristano, executive vice president at Technomic ...“Prices have
to go up,” he says. “You can’t just keep shrinking the items down or 
keeping product as loss leaders for chains.”

Fast Food Customers Care About Value Over Price | QSR magazine

August 16, 2013

McDonald's U.S. President Struggles to Boost Sales

I found a link to the aforementioned interview with Jeff Stratton. These 
execs continue to claim that pricing decisions are made in Oak Brook: 

    "Stratton is reluctant to significantly raise prices across its menu, 
      despite higher food and labor costs". 

McDonald's U.S. president struggles to boost sales - Chicago Tribune:
                               The burly Stratton

"I am very confident that we're pulling all the right levers on the relationship side to listen to the concerns of our licensees," he said. 

"But to think that everyone is going to be happy in a system this size is a fallacy."

That's exactly what Jack Greenberg said in the late 1990s.

August 15, 2013

Why Good Faith Is Needed in the Law - Opinion

Ron Gardner is the managing partner of Minneapolis-based Dady 
& Gardner, P.A. and limits his practice to the representation
of franchisees.

Frequent visitors to this website will relate to this paragraph:

"Franchisees face an uphill battle whenever a franchisor makes

decision that is in contravention of the franchisee's rights. In 
an estimated 95% or more of today's franchise agreement, a 
franchisor is given almost unlimited ability to "modify the system."
This gives franchisors the ability to inflict hundreds of thousands
of dollars in additional CAPEX investment by the zees (in the event
of a change of image or product line requiring new equipment) and
/or the creation of massive amounts of additional operating costs 
... (particularly labor costs associated with "improved products"),
all in the name of what is "best for the brand."

Click here: Ron Gardner | BlueMauMau, Franchise news for franchisees


McDonald's / IFA Delay Franchise Fairness Legislation

Franchisees In California Concede Defeat, For Now. - Franchise Law

August 12, 2013

Nothing to See Here!

Oak Brook  has begun a PR offense to counter revelations about the stress 
McDonald's Operators are experiencing. The two articles mentioned here 
are subscriber sites so I won't post a direct link. If the articles become 
publicly available a link will be posted.

Since it's the industry leader Nation's Restaurant News is always pretty 

nice to McDonald's. This week's article begins:

"Officials from McDonald’s Corp. pushed back against reports of mutiny
among its owner-operators this week after public comments from McDon -
ald’s franchisees revealed ongoing discussions with the franchiser over 
its rent structure, value strategy and remodeling program. An Aug. 6 
article on said two groups of California franchisees were
“going rogue” by having meetings, listing grievances and suggesting 
negotiations with McDonald’s to Lee ..."

The Chicago Tribune has done nothing but puff pieces on McDonald's for
the past three years so this interview with Jeff Stratton is probably kind of 
fanciful. He's officially the first executive in McDonald's history described 
as "Burly".

The Chicago Tribune looks at the challenges faced by Jeff Stratton, president of McDonald's USA, as the burger giant faces weak sales growth that has created angst among the chain's 3,100 franchise operators. The burly 57-year- old is intense and confident, but he has yet to create any sales momentum despite a renewed focus on faster service and lower-priced items. "

August 10, 2013

Steak 'n Shake Allowed to Pull Plug on Franchisee Computers

If franchisees don't allow the franchisor to fix prices the home office 
will turn off your POS? Yikes!

Steak 'n Shake Allowed to Pull Plug on Franchisee Computers | BlueMauMau:

Smashburger's Tom Ryan Talks Nontraditional Marketing

While he still needs a haircut former McDonald's guy Tom Ryan is using 
social media, word of mouth, and clever promotions to build sales.

Maybe restaurant operators don't have to spend 8% - 10% of sales on 

advertising and promotion (including discounting)?

Smashburger founder talks building brand with nontraditional marketing

Would You Like Fries as an Attachment to That E-mail ?

With two college students in the family (and their friends hanging out) we 
order a fair amount of pizza, wings, etc for delivery. It's probably been five,
maybe six, years since we ordered by phone. Building a pizza on-line is fun.

But will on-line ordering work at a quick service restaurant? That's a whole
different thing. The article posted below makes a good case for it working in 
drive-thru. It's doubtful one can make the same case for the inside counter. 

Simply because - no one knows when the customer will walk in the door. But, 
when they do walk in the door they will expect just to grab the bag of food and 
leave, not stand around for four or five minutes waiting for the order to be 

On-line ordering is coming but it certainly won't revolutionize the industry and 
it won't really speed up service inside the restaurant.

Click Here >  Drive-thru done right |

August 5, 2013

More on Steak & Shake Pricing

"John A. Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting group, a chain restaurant analyst, has studied restaurant franchisor pricing practices in similar circumstances, and has this point of view. "Virtually all US restaurant franchisors allow for pricing variability to meet market conditions and do not mandate pricing. The United States is way too diverse in demography, competition, and cost to build and operate for forced store pricing to work, today.” He said forced pricing would have been a 1960s era strategy."

Bluemaumau REPORTS

CKE Restaurants CEO: ObamaCare Is Irrational

Cavuto | Fox Business - Video

August 3, 2013

Bad Math About Big Macs

Since my early days as a McDonald's Operator 
I've done a lot of press relations work and have 
seen some great reporting and some that was 
really bad. But, nothing as bad as the recent
hype over some leftist college student who
tried to compute what would happen to
McDonald's menu prices if quick service
restaurants doubled their hourly wages.
The left leaning Huffington Post reported 
on his study as though it was real news. 

CNBC Reports

Ground Beef Prices Continue Their Rise

Ground Beef Prices Continue Their Rise | βurgerβusiness

August 1, 2013

The Employment Policies Institute

Founded in 1991, the Employment Policies Institute is a non-profit research organization dedicated to studying public policy issues surrounding employment growth. 

In particular, EPI focuses on issues that affect entry-level employment. 

Here are their factoids on minimum wage

Here's their full page ad in USA Today