New IFA Task Force to Review Branding Standards | Franchise News

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Membership in the International Franchise Association gives certain franchisors and suppliers the “patina” of good reputation and credibility, said Michael Seid, even when it is not deserved, a situation to which he is concerned. ‘strives to remedy as chair of IFA’s new brand standards working group.

Seid, managing director of franchise consulting firm MSA Worldwide, said for people like him who have been in the franchise business for decades, “we get mad when we see the Burgerims of the world,” a reference to the franchise. burgers that sadly collapsed at the end of 2019. “And for every Burgerim, I can roll out a hundred big franchisors,” he said, but the industry itself is being affected by the bad players.

Burgerim’s franchise page always features the IFA member logo. Matt Haller, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs at IFA, said the IFA has sent the company and the bankruptcy company a cease and desist notice regarding its use given that Burgerim is no longer an IFA member in good standing, “but has entered a black hole.”

In a May 25 letter to members announcing the creation of the task force, IFA President Catherine Monson wrote: “The IFA needs to adapt in terms of who and what it represents in order to ensure that the interests of all stakeholders involved in the franchise relationship are fair in the future. Seid, along with Neighborly COO Mary Thompson, will lead the task force and seek input from franchisors, franchisees and vendor members in the coming months before making recommendations to the IFA Executive Committee. .






Michael Seid, Managing Director of MSA Worldwide, is leading a new brand standards working group for IFA.


While this task force is new, Seid noted that his efforts are not. He led a different task force about 10 years ago that culminated in IFA adopting a Guiding Principles Statement, a list of 12 agreed-upon points such as “Franchisees must clearly understand the business model. franchise before investing ”and“ franchisors should clearly understand the franchise business model before choosing franchising as a method of expanding their business concept.

The brand standards working group “will build on what we started back then,” Seid said.

“We’re basically saying we have to look at ourselves and what we can control,” Haller said. “We can control the types of franchises that are part of our organization. “

While there is now a process to join IFA, “it could be better,” Haller noted. “If you have a franchise and you have a franchise information document and can pay membership dues, you are eligible to become a member,” he said. “And I think we can do better.”

Haller, along with other members of the association’s leadership team, will participate in the task force, which in turn will also consult with regulators, including Dale Cantone, Assistant Attorney General of Maryland, and Theresa Leets. , Deputy Chief Counsel in the Securities Regulatory Unit of the Legal Division of the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation. The Federal Trade Commission, which is currently reviewing the franchise rule, will also be consulted. Lawyers Ron Gardner, whose firm Dady & Gardner works with franchisees, and Lee Plave, a partner of Plave Koch whom Seid described as “ex-FTC”, are also on the task force.

The task force’s work, Monson noted in his letter, “is an extension of a broader reputation and research campaign on which the IFA Board of Trustees and the IFA Foundation leadership have been working for several years. month”. This campaign, Haller said, stems from a meeting of IFA leaders at the association’s convention in February 2020 and continued with a retreat where the group looked at “what we do for workers. franchise, what we do in terms of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Earlier this year, the IFA created a Black Franchise Leadership Council and recently completed a franchise census that drew more than 3,500 responses.

“So it’s that bigger look at what we stand for and how do we communicate that,” Haller said. The association plans to launch a public reputation campaign later this year.

The IFA has about 1,000 contributing franchisor members, Haller said, and about 650 supplier members. Franchisees make up a smaller portion of members, but Haller added that thousands of franchisees are active in public policy efforts even though they are not members.



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