Hot Legal Issues for Franchisors

Ok, when was the last time you got free ideas from your attorney?

Free ideas that made you think?

Free ideas from not one but two experienced franchise attorneys?

Well, CAFA’s next meeting isn’t free either, but for the price of lunch you can learn about the latest hot legal issues for franchisors.

See you Tuesday, July 21st at the Columbia Country Club!

R. Scott Caulkins.jpg

R. Scott Caulkins, Attorney at Caulkins & Bruce, PC.

I am a shareholder of the law firm.

My primary practice areas are Complex civil and business litigation, franchise law and corporate transactional work.


Warren Lee Lewis, Shareholder-Franchise & Licensing at Akerman Senterfitt

Time: Tuesday, July 21st from 11:45 – 2pm

Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase MD

For our newer members, please review the Columbia Country Club’s Dress Code.

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Please click Here to Pay and Register

New Way to Nurture Leads is the Future of Franchise Sales

Franchisors are getting inquiries from people much earlier in their buying journey. These people are not ready to buy, yet. Although they might be qualified to do so.

How do you maintain their interest in your brand?

How do you get them excited enough to purchase?

What is working and what isn’t working?

We are very pleased to have Graham Chapman of 919 Marketing, Heather Rosen of FranNet, Mike Schlegel, VP Development of Dogtopia and Kristen Diviney McGarr, Managing Director at Sailtime join our panel.

Find out exactly what is and is not working for them. Learn what you can do next to attract & keep people interested in becoming franchise owners.


Graham Chapman, Franchise PR and Social Media Pro who Helps Brands Increase Online Visibility and Qualified Franchise Sales Lead Flow.

Graham is a passionate, driven, and energetic account executive who specializes in creating and executing customized marketing, PR and social media programs for franchise brands.

919 Marketing is working with over 20 franchise brands, many just like your brand.

Heather Rosen.jpg

Heather Rosen, FranNet Franchise Consultant, Business Advisor and Consultant, in Virginia and Washigton D.C.

Thinking about buying a business? Starting one from scratch? Or, are you looking at franchises?

If you are thinking of starting or buying a business in Virginia or Washington D.C., or if you would like to become an area developer, why try to identify the best businesses available in your market on your own?

Mike Schlegel, CFE.jpgMike Schlegel, CFE, Vice President, Development at Dogtopia

Dogtopia is a national dog daycare and boarding franchise. It is headquartered in Tyson’s Corner VA, and has locations in 13 states.

Dogtopia is expanding the brand nationwide as well as Canada and is actively pursuing entrepreneurs who are seeking a rewarding business opportunity in the pet industry.

Kristen Diviney McGarr.jpgKristen Diviney McGarr, Managing Director at Sailtime.

SailTime is the global leader in fractional sailing with over 35 locations in the North America and Australia. We are actively working to expand our operations throughout the United States, Canada, South America and Europe. SailTime is growing the boating community by offering easy and affordable access to luxury yachts.

warren lewis, franchise attory Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator

Time: Tuesday, May 19th from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA

For our new members, please review the Tower Club’s Dress Code.

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register

How Franchises Can Win at Local Marketing

Franchises, at their core, are simply businesses.

While many franchise activities can seem confusing because they are split between franchisors and franchisees, franchise marketing should be a united effort with a goal of driving positive business growth.

Not only do franchises need to worry about overall national brand messaging, franchisors also need to be aware of how their message breaks down at the local franchisee level. And social media has made this much harder than it used to be.

We are pleased to have (2) great experts for this important topic.

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Joseph Naggiar Executive Market Director at LocalVox Media Inc

LocalVox Media provides a best-in-class local, social and mobile marketing platform that helps local businesses publish and promote events, announcements and deals to a range of on line channels including, social media channels, email newsletters and to their own web sites as well as optimize their presence on Google Places and tens of other directories.

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Sara McElroy manages marketing for Potomac Family Dining Group, the seventh largest Applebee’s franchisee with 69 restaurants throughout Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and North Carolina. Prior to joining the company, she served as director of marketing for regional fast casual franchisors California Tortilla and Elevation Burger.

Additionally, she worked as a graduate intern in local store marketing and hospitality for celebrity chef Spike Mendelsohn’s nationally acclaimed burger concept Good Stuff Eatery.

Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator

Time: Tuesday, March 17tth from 11:45 – 2pm

Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase MD

For our newer members, please review the Columbia Country Club’s Dress Code.

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register

Politics and the New Challenges of Franchising

We are pleased to have our traditional report on the state of politics and franchising.

This year, Robert Cresanti, Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy at International Franchise Association, address us.

Robert has an extensive background in the Federal Government & will give us the insider’s view of what is happening & what is important to Franchising.

Robert Cresanti.jpg

Robert Cresanti, Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy at International Franchise Association

Warren Lewis

Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator

Time: Tuesday, January 20th, 2015 from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA

For our new members, please review the Tower Club’s Dress Code.

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register

Modern & Effective Ways to Train Franchise Operators

We are very pleased to have Chris Allbrooks lead this panel.

Joining Chris, will Robert Bilotti, from New York.  Robert is the President of Novita Training.

Developing training and certification programs has always been a challenge.

But, now keeping in mind the recent NLRB decision & other Joint Employer factors, it is even harder.

Join with us and learn the modern way to train your franchise operators.

Chris.jpgChris Allsbrooks, Director of Store Operations, ZIPS Franchising, LLC




Robert Bilotti.jpg

Robert Bilotti, President of Novita Training

Novita specializes in New Employee Onboarding, New Franchise Training and Custom Training Development. Visit for more information



Dave Kohn.jpgDave Kohn, Director of Training at Glory Days Grill. Glory Days Grill is a full-service, sports-themed family restaurant featuring great food at very affordable prices, outstanding service and real-time entertainment.  Every restaurant brings together award-winning menus accompanied by state-of-the art televisions tuned to a variety of sports, cartoons, news and entertainment offerings. 



RosemarieHartnettphoto.jpgRosemarie Hartnett, CFE, President at Abrakadoodle. Since 2002, Abrakadoodle has engaged kids with creative art classes for kids, fun themed summer art camps, holiday art camps, art parties and special events such as art activity days, school art assemblies and other programs. 





   Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator 


Time: Tuesday, November 18th  from 11:45 – 2pm

Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase MD

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register 

Advanced Issues in Franchise Compliance & Control

In light of the rapidly changing regulatory landscape with respect to how much control franchisors can and should have over their franchise operators, we have a special program on Franchise Compliance & Control.

A month ago, the National Labor Relations Board, made a preliminary finding that the franchisor McDondald’s could be consider a joint employer with some of its franchise operators for the purposes of allowing the employees of the franchise operators to engage in collective bargaining – becoming a union.

The union involved is the SEIU, or Service Employees International Union.

The SEIU was also instrumental as an instrumental sponsor of a Franchisee-side legislation in California, SB-610, which makes non-renewal of a franchise difficult unless there have been significant material breaches of the franchise agreement.  Says the SEIU

“The relationship between franchisees and franchisors needs to be more balanced to ensure that small business owners have more say in running their business, including the ability to improve conditions for their employees.”

What does this mean or foretell for franchisor and franchise owners relations?  

David Worthen.jpgDavid E. Worthen, Franchise Attorney at Gray Plant Mooty

I have extensive experience in franchise litigation, particularly issues involving underreporting of sales, tax fraud, unapproved products, defamation, trademark violations, covenants not to compete, encroachment, nonpayment, and vicarious liability.



R. Scott Caulkins.jpgR. Scott Caulkins, Attorney at Caulkins & Bruce, PC

I am a shareholder of the law firm. My primary practice areas are Complex civil and business litigation, franchise law and corporate transactional work.



Alexander Tuneski.jpgAlexander TuneskiCounsel at DLA Piper

I concentrate my practice on representing franchisors and trademark licensors domestically and internationally in a broad range of transactional and regulatory matters. I have significant experience counseling franchisors and licensors of all sizes, from start-ups to mature publicly traded companies, in a wide variety of industries.



   Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator 


Time: Tuesday, September 23rd  from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – RoundTable 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register 


Unit Economics – Remember Last Year’s Talk?

Capital Area Franchise Association founder and well known franchise attorney Warren Lewis led the important panel discussion:

How to Improve On Your Franchisees’ Unit Economics, on July 16th, 2013.

Joining Warren on the panel were Gregory Plotts, CPA of Yount, Hyde & Barbour an expert in franchisor/franchisee audit, accounting and consulting services and John A. Gordon of Pacific Management Consulting Group an analysis, advisory, expert witness and business intelligence aggregator focused on the franchise restaurant sector.


1.  The Problem – Lack of Timely Reporting

There is great opportunity for better franchisee unit level performance reporting and corresponding franchisor support.

However, the audience concluded that less than 40% of franchisors get meaningful and timely reporting from franchisees.  

Warren also pointed out that in 35 years of franchising, he has never terminated a franchise agreement solely because the franchisee wasn’t reporting on a timely basis.


2.  Why it Matters Even More

John Gordon pointed out that the U.S. restaurant marketplace is overbuilt, yet  still growing.

So, the competition for sites is intense pushing rents up for prime locations and requiring franchisee and franchisor operators to be focused on unit level performance like never before.

Those franchise systems that are better at getting their data have a competitive advantage. Popeyes is out muscling KFC, for example.

Greg Plotts emphasized that creating dashboards with Key Performance Indicators – KPI- in as close to real-time as possible enables both franchisees and franchisors to be nimble and act on what the KPI reporting is telling them.


3.  The Opportunity for Franchise Systems

The audience asked how do you get to a point where a franchise system can get the reporting and KPI platforms built and adopted?

Every franchise systems need a Standard Chart of Accounts.  (Restaurants can start with the National Restaurant Association’s uniform chart of accounts.)


Here are the 6 takeaways from the experts and CAFA audience: 

A. Franchisors should:

1. Produce reports that are valuable to both the franchisor and franchisee.  Franchisors need to find out what reports their franchisees need.

2. Get the franchise field consultants focused on the franchisee’s unit level P&Ls. To have onsite in the field meetings without good numbers with franchisees is not the best use of franchisee and franchisor time.


B. Franchisees should:

1. Understand that some of them will want to know how they rank, and that group should be the first to work on a standard chart of accounts together with the franchisor and service providers.

2.  Understand that money spent on accounting platform now will pay off in future growth.


C.  Service Providers/Suppliers Should:

1.  Not push the franchise system to a cloud based platform or even dashboards until there is sufficient buy in by the franchisees.

2.   Understand the different needs for reports, by franchisee and franchisor and tailor the product accordingly.


CAFA’s next Lunch and Learn on Unit Economics will be Tuesday, July 15th, 2014


Stop Giving Everything Away & Start Making More Franchise Sales

The Franchise sales process has changed since I began over 20 years ago.

Back when I started out, people interested in franchises used the telephone to inquire and request information.

Because they saw our ads in the Wall Street Journal or some other important franchising magazine. 

We talked to them and sent our info packets out through the mail or UPS NextDay.  The sales process had begun.

But, today franchisors are building costly & elaborate franchise recruitment websites.

  • They give probable purchasers glossy franchise brochure PDF downloads.

  • They use higher-powered full-blown & expensive CRMs to move the probable purchasers through to a sale.

Yet, here’s the biggest complaint I hear today from franchisors.

Their sales teams can’t get people on the telephone. The leads will not call them back -or the phone number was fake.

Now that is a big problem. 

You cannot sell franchise to someone who won’t answer their phone or call you.  

Why aren’t they returning your calls?

You built a wonderful franchise “information platform”. These probable purchasers have all the research they need.  Don’t they?

But, they still won’t return your call.

Do you know why?

The probable purchaser feels as though he doesn’t need to talk to your franchise sales team members.  You have provided all the information.

You had the best of intentions. You wanted to make it easy for their sales team to sell franchises.  It is disappointing to spend all this money.

I know what the problem & I can fix it.

Because I have been doing franchise sales development for a very long time.

And Mike Webster knows a thing or two about how people really make franchise investment decisions.

So, when you need a combination of great practical skill and wonderful social science – which no other franchise developer group can give you- give us call and we will fix your sales process for you.

The Main Reason Your Franchise Recruitment Website Will not Sell Franchises

The quality of franchise sales has decreased over the last twenty years.  And I know some of the reasons why & what can be done to reverse the trend.

First, we have to remember that there is no specialized franchise sales training available to franchisors.  

In contrast to Amazon, Microsoft, IBM and Xerox, there is no sales as process, no question based selling or no consultative selling training offered to franchisors.

Despite having to sell a complex product with very large price tags, franchise sales is often treated like a consumer sale.  

“Here is our franchise agreement, one price fits all. Buy my stuff.” Doesn’t work well.

Second, there has also been an unfavorable growth in technologies – first CRMs and now web portals.  The aim is to displace the salesman.  CRMs and web portals are sold with the promise of making the machine or website eliminate the need for the consultative based sales force.  

But, the end product is not a commodity and we cannot reduce the sales process to a mere transaction.  

Finally, many sales departments have forgotten their ability to sell.

Let me tell you about a little test I did, some years ago.

I gathered our top 50 franchisees in terms  of gross revenue.  I also found their initial applications.  I then redacted their names from the applications, but nothing else. (Back then, we weren’t collecting a lot of personal information.) I distributed the applications of what would be our top 50 performers to our sales staff.

How many of those top 50 performers would our sales staff identify and process acting only on the very incomplete application?


We would have missed all 50 – because we were now more focussed on the demands of the CRM rather than selling.  We demand too much information before we begin the sales process – and most of the information is not needed.  (And what is needed isn’t asked for!)

We have forgotten how to sell.  We aren’t mentoring our younger sales forces, the way I was mentored.

So, take a look at your online application.  Ask whether you really need the candidate to fill out all the information just in order to start your sales process.


If you only sell one franchise because of attending this Lunch and Learn, it will be worth it.

Time: Tuesday, May 20th from 11:45 – 2pm

The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

Registration 11:45 – 12:15 – Lunch 12:15 – 12:45 – Round Table 12:45-2:00

Click Here to Pay and Register