Businesses cap hiring to avoid Affordable Care Act fees | Indonesia moves to limit franchise ownership | Happy's Pizza reaches 100-restaurant milestone
February 25, 2013
IFA SmartBrief
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Businesses cap hiring to avoid Affordable Care Act fees
Many small businesses are job sharing across businesses and instituting a hiring cap at 49 employees to avoid high penalty fees under the Affordable Care Act, according to this article. IFA president and CEO Stephen Caldeira predicts the health insurance law could force businesses to close and a 2011 Hudson Institute study estimates the mandate will cost the industry $6.4 billion and put 3.2 million jobs in jeopardy. To minimize the damage, Dunkin' Donuts CEO Nigel Travis asked Congress to redefine full-time employee to prevent cuts in worker hours, this article states. The Wall Street Journal (tiered subscription model) (2/22), MSN Money (2/20)
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IFA convention focuses on U.S. economy and global growth
The uncertain U.S. economy and international expansion were among the top issues discussed at the IFA Annual Convention in Las Vegas last week. IFA president and CEO Steve Caldeira identified the Affordable Care Act, taxes and regulation and immigration reform as critical domestic issues for the industry in 2013. The convention also focused on expanding its member base, aiming to increase multiunit operators and actively engage more of its 1,271 franchisors. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (2/21)
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Indonesia moves to limit franchise ownership
Indonesia's government is phasing in a law that will limit franchise ownership to 250 units, potentially slowing growth for quickservice chains including Yum! Brands' KFC and Pizza Hut, which currently operate about 700 units there. "It's going to probably slow things down a bit," said Technomic's Darren Tristano. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/24)
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Happy's Pizza reaches 100-restaurant milestone
Michigan-based franchise Happy's Pizza opens its 100th location today in Detroit as part of an aggressive expansion plan. Founded in 1996, the pub-style restaurant will add 21 new locations nationwide in 2013 and plans to enhance its sports-bar setting. "We're excited about introducing this new concept. It's what our franchisees were asking for -- a place to bring your kids, watch sports, sit and enjoy a glass or wine or beer," said Christina Rice, vice president of franchise development. The Detroit News (2/22)
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Volunteering could be good for your leadership skills
Many business leaders spend time volunteering, writes Karin Hurt. That gives bosses a chance to hone their skills in a non-hierarchical environment, meet people and explore new fields. "Volunteering is an investment in the community -- and in your growth as leader," Hurt writes. SmartBrief/SmartBlog on Leadership (2/21)
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Buying a new franchise vs. an existing franchise
Entrepreneurs face an important decision between acquiring an existing franchise or starting a new franchise, Curtis Kroeker writes. Although becoming part of an existing franchise provides a proven track record, customer base and flexibility, entrepreneurs might prefer the clean slate and lower price of a new franchise, he writes. Both options offer benefits and disadvantages but ultimately the decision is made based on personality, risk assessment and business preferences, he notes. Inc. online (free registration)/ blog (2/21)
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STR: U.S. hotels' revPAR jumped 8.8% in January
January saw robust gains in key hotel metrics in the U.S., including an 8.8% rise in revenue per available room -- the strongest growth in the metric since June 2012, STR reports. Average daily rate during the period was up 5.1% as occupancy increased 3.6%. "The results were driven both by solid ADR and demand gains with Washington, D.C., Miami and New York among the top performers," said Brad Garner, chief operating officer of STR. "The chain scale segments saw growth across all scales, with luxury leading in both ADR and revPAR growth rates." TravelPulse (2/24)
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Social media study analyzes Instagram food photos
The Cheesecake Factory, BJ's and Seasons came out on top for Instagram engagement, followed by Capital Grille and P.F. Chang's China Bistro, according to a study by social marketing platform MomentFeed. The study analyzed rates of Instagram engagement using photos tagged to 30 large restaurant brands during December. The study emphasized the importance of Instagram and other social media promotion campaigns that help increase traffic and exposure such as the "UpgraDDe Your Sandwich" contest that awarded Dunkin' Donuts gift cards to selected participants. Nation's Restaurant News (free registration) (2/22)
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IFA's California Franchising Day coming March 5
Mark your calendar for March 5 to attend IFA's California Franchising Day in Sacramento, Calif. It will be a great opportunity for franchisees and franchisors to let the California Legislature know the major economic impact that franchising has in the state. In addition to meeting with legislators and staff, attendees will also speak one-on-one with key policymakers to educate them on the franchise industry. For more information about Franchising Day, contact IFA Director, State Government Relations, Public Policy & Tax Counsel Dean Heyl.
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One-Day Opportunities in Franchising Seminar set for St. Petersburg, Fla.
Join IFA, the St. Petersburg, Fla., Economic Development Office and Mayor Bill Foster for the first One-Day Opportunities in Franchising Seminar of 2013. This program will educate prospective franchisees on opportunities in franchising while connecting you to diverse candidates and opening doors to assist you with expanding your brand in new markets. The event will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 11 at Valpak headquarters. To secure a speaking role during the program, participate as an exhibitor or obtain additional program information, contact IFA Senior Director of Education and Diversity Miriam L. Brewer. There is no cost for IFA members to participate.
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IFA Member Monday
Home Helpers commits to recruiting mature, qualified individuals
Home Helpers has signed AARP's Work Reimagined Pledge, a national effort to help mature, qualified workers pursue more satisfying careers with employers that are hiring. Leveraging the professional networking website LinkedIn, AARP's Work Reimagined program enables mature job seekers to advance themselves in today's tight job market using social media. By signing the pledge, Home Helpers is committing to actively seeking mature workers to join its mission of becoming the most trusted and respected provider of senior home care services.
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Policy and Finance Update
TD Bank helps veterans become franchise owners
IFA and TD Bank announced a partnership to create an initiative for military veterans who want to enter the franchise industry. TD Bank said it will offer low interest rates and fee waivers on loan applications to veterans from Maine to Florida. "A military background provides veterans with important skills and traits that we see in small business owners," said Rich Bradshaw, head of SBA lending at TD Bank. Worcester Business Journal (Mass.) (2/21)
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Small businesses face off on raising the minimum wage
Several small-business owners support President Barack Obama's plan to raise the federal minimum wage, while some of the nation's largest small-business groups, including the IFA, are not in favor of the proposed increase. However, the wage increase is not yet a primary concern for IFA members, IFA vice president of government affairs and public policy Jay Perron said. Bloomberg Businessweek (2/21)
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Sequestration may deal hard blow to small businesses
If the $85 billion in sequester cuts take effect Friday, the impact on small businesses might be dire, Robb Mandelbaum writes. The budget cuts could result in a loss of 1.4 million jobs in the private sector, half of which would come from small businesses, said Stephen Fuller, a professor at George Mason University's School of Public Policy. Funding for programs within the Small Business Administration are also at risk, including loan guarantees and counseling programs. The New York Times (free-article access for SmartBrief readers)/You're the Boss blog (2/21)
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It is wonderful how much news there is when people write every other day; if they wait for a month, there is nothing that seems worth telling."
-- Anna Masterton Buchan,
Scottish writer
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