October 2018

Nominate a Fellow Franchisee by November 1!

By Kelly Rodenberg 

The AKFCF encourages members to submit nominations for the following three categories of awards to recognize individuals throughout the KFC family for leadership, career achievements, and best practices.

Why nominate someone for an award?

  • This is your opportunity to nominate someone wonderful.
  • It expresses gratitude for their hard work and dedication.
  • It lets them know they are making a difference in the lives of others.
  • Brings positive attention to the association and brand.
  • Conveys affirmative awareness to the good works being done by franchisees.
  • Provides others with a positive example to follow.
  • It’s free to nominate someone!
  • Allows them to be recognized in front of their peers.
  • Gives them the spotlight to shine on the big stage!

If you know someone who demonstrates leadership, commitment, and involvement with AKFCF, please nominate them for consideration as a candidate for one of the below awards.

The President’s Award honors members of the AKFCF who over the course of time, have made substantial contributions to the development of the Association and the KFC Brand. Individuals adhere to high standards of professionalism, decency, and collegiality. This award is given to franchisees who have consistently worked to support the AKFCF’s mission statement and who have performed “over and above” what has been required. This award is at the President’s discretion and is approved by the Executive Committee.

Awarded to second- and third-generation franchisees who have made a significant impact within their region or nationally. It recognizes individuals for their noteworthy contributions, innovative thinking, and volunteerism. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

Presented for the first time in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has given decades of outstanding service and voluntary leadership spanning a career in franchising. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

The awards program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to the association community and is a call for continued service within the system. Award winners serve as role models and mentors for individuals who are interested in making a commitment to a career as a KFC franchisee.

Please send your nominations for all awards listed above on or before November 1 to AKFCF President, Bryan Robinson at brobinson@trfoods.com. Please include a detailed summary stating the reasons for this person’s nomination. Bryan will choose the recipients, subject to the approval of the AKFCF Executive Committee, and the awards will be presented at the 2019 Annual AKFCF Convention next February in Orlando, Florida.

For questions, contact Kelly at 224-209-6701 or at kelly.rodenberg@akfcf.com


Southwest Region Update

By Scott Duke, Vice President Southwest Region

The Southwest Region was very busy this summer. Sales trends continue to be positive, fueled by a very prosperous oil and gas industry. It's great to see that industry expanding their exploratory drilling as it continues to “fuel” a healthy economy. This is allowing many franchisees to continue their aggressive remodel schedules. 

So far, we’ve seen successful remodels from the following franchisees:

  • Atwell
  • Robertson
  • Ampex
  • KBP Foods, and more!

All of us are looking forward to a more aggressive advertising campaign in the 4th Quarter, especially focused on the high end. Coastal communities have seen some really positive comps, as we have been comping over a few hurricanes from 2017.

The SW Leadership has been reloading with fresh talent and the new ideas and energy have been exciting. We are starting to see the next regime of franchisees want to participate, and there are many talented individuals who have stepped up and offered their time and talent.

At our last meeting in San Antonio, we orientated those new leaders into their respective positions, and the future of SW looks very bright.

We recently had a change at the presidential office with Franklyn Nye selling his single store. Franklyn has long been a leader and a respected voice for the Southwest; his leadership and experience will be missed. We were fortunate to have Roger Sparks step up and fill that void and are now looking forward to his leadership for the next few years.

Roger and team have decided to combine efforts with our peers from the Pacific Northwest for the Spring RGM Rally that will now be held in Las Vegas. This should allow for ease of travel and should guarantee higher numbers in attendance.

Last, the Southwest continues to be well represented at the national level with several members holding offices and serving on committees. The influence of the Southwest continues to be strong and should allow for all franchisees in the Southwest to always have a voice.

What’s ahead? A strong group of representatives will be headed to the Super Regional in Denver. The combination of tenured leaders, as well as the “new blood,” will ensure that the KFC Brand will be well supported by the number-one region in the states.


Colonel Sanders’ Original Suit From Longtime Driver at Auction Nov. 2-3

By Heritage Auctions

For the last decade of his life, Colonel Harland Sanders relied on Dick Miller perhaps more closely than anyone else. As Sanders' driver and friend, Miller tended to the Colonel’s estate gardens, looked after Mrs. Sanders, Claudia, after the Colonel's passing in 1980, and came to feel like a part of the Colonel's family.

After nearly 40 years with the company, Miller is opening his personal archive of gifts and memorabilia. The collection spans 20 personal items, including an authentic and iconic white suit and a matching Stetson cowboy hat rarely seen at auction.

The two first met in 1979 outside of Claudia Sanders' Dinner House in Shelbyville, Kentucky. Sanders asked if Miller would mow grass and wash dishes. “Wash dishes?” Miller asked. The Colonel replied, “Yes, the dishwasher is the most important job. The dishwasher knows if people are eating the food or not!” Miller says he even “drove his boss to his grave,” referring to being asked to drive the Colonel one last time — when he drove the hearse at the Colonel’s funeral.

The collection includes both Mr. and Mrs. Sanders’ personal driver’s licenses and an assortment of Sanders’ credit cards, such as his American Express, and even Sanders’ personal Kentucky Fried Chicken Corp. branded Chevron credit card. Miller also is offering Sanders’ personally owned belt buckle, inscribed “COL. SANDERS/SAN ANTONIO, 1974,” and Sander’s personal, silver-toned vintage Diastar 8 Rado wristwatch, all gifts he received over the years.

The archive appears at a live auction Nov. 3-4, 2018 at Heritage Auctions, with worldwide internet bidding available through HA.com.

Miller said the time has come to sell his memorabilia because “I want someone who wants and appreciates the items to end up with them,” he said. “He was very generous with the wealth he earned. It was important to him to donate money to education and schools.”


GAC Report: Midterm Election Update, Week of Oct. 15, 2018

By Mary Donohue

SENATE: In the Senate races, 17 of the 35 feature serious competition. With a 51-49 Republican majority margin, Democrats need only two seats to gain control. Their problem is to defend 26 of the 35 in-cycle Senate states, and that ration yields too few targets to make a realistic run for the majority. 

Below is a prediction of the results of the November election. Certainly, time still remains for the outcome in many of these races to change, and currently, unforeseen events in a dynamic election cycle could obviously alter the final results: 

  • Democratic Seats Staying Democratic: MI - Stabenow; OH - Brown; PA - Casey
  • Democratic Seats Probably Remaining Democratic: MN - Smith; MT - Tester; NJ - Menendez; WV - Manchin; WI - Baldwin
  • Democratic Seats in the Democratic Cusp: IN - Donnelly
  • Republican seats in the Democratic Cusp: NV - Heller
  • Democratic Seats in the Republican Cusp: FL - Nelson; MO - McCaskill
  • Republican Seats in the Republican Cusp: AZ - McSally (Open); TN - Blackburn (Open)
  • Democratic Seats Probably Going Republican: ND - Heitkamp
  • Republican Seats Probably Remaining Republican: MS - Hyde-Smith; TX - Cruz

HOUSE: In the House, Democrats need to convert a net of 24 seats to secure a one-seat majority in the U.S. House on November 6. Many reports quote the number 23 as what is necessary to win control, but the new Pennsylvania map will yield one seat coming back to the Republicans, thus pushing the total up to 24. 

Below is a prediction of the results of the November election. Certainly, time still remains for the outcome in many of these races to change, and currently, unforeseen events in a dynamic election cycle could obviously alter the final results: 

Democrats are on the cusp of converting the requisite number of Republican seats to take a bare majority and seeing their caucus become significantly larger. At this point, the Democratic gain range appears to reach 23 on the low side and 35 at the apex. 

The Democrats have the necessary three factors that a minority party needs in order to capture a majority. They have strong candidates, record-setting resources to support their challengers, and open-seat contests and have made enough districts competitive to provide many avenues toward gaining the necessary seats to assume control. 

With as many as 78 seats in play, meaning the campaigns rate as a toss-up, lean Republican, or lean Democrat, the latter party is on offense in the overwhelming majority of those contests. Needing 1/3 of those to go their way, despite having to win in what are habitually Republican districts, appears a doable proposition with still one month remaining in the election cycle. 

At this point, signs are pointing to at least a small Democratic majority in the House as the campaign cycle enters its final phase and a new Congress begins to take shape. 

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  



September 2018

AKFCF Fall 2018 Board Meeting Summary

By Kelly Rodenberg

•The AKFCF Board meeting was an active, group-oriented, and outcome-focused meeting. The scope of work involved not just the tasks related to the present, but what those tasks will look like in the future. 

•We have reduced the size of the AKFCF Board by one person per region — starting with the February meeting. 

•We have added two large operator seats. Jamie Jackson from Harman’s will be nominated and the AKFCF EC is still working to recruit the right person for the other seat.

•We have created the Squad Committee. The primary directive for this committee is to continually evaluate the AKFCF as a whole (beginning with an evaluation of our committees), and come up with overarching strategy recommendations so we never get behind the evolving changes in the system. 

Objectives of the Squad: 

  1. Review AKFCF committees for structure, objectives, processes, and efficiency. Is it meeting the needs of the members? 
  2. Recommend changes as necessary.
  3. Drive Board member involvement.
  4. Continually evaluate and provide recommendations on AKFCF/Regional processes, structure, and strategy.

The Squad has just finished reviewing the AKFCF Education and Communication Committees. The Committee includes:

  • Jason Zakaras — UMW
  • Raziel Valiente — SoCal
  • Jennifer Thomas — SE
  • Adam Sibert — NW
  • Scott Duke — SW
  • Dan Yagoda — Past President, SE
  • Kevin Schlutz — AKFCF EC, UMW
  • Keith Cole — AKFCF EC, NE
  • Bryan Robinson — AKFCF EC, UMW
  • Jim McKenzie — AKFCF EC, GL


Northeast Region Update: Decisions, Decisions, Decisions 

By Ray Aley

As the Northeast heads to our final Fall Convention in Niagara Falls, two questions loom. These questions are not unique to the Northeast. Each of the AKFCF Regions is likely addressing or avoiding the inevitable. In the Northeast, we are addressing them. What are the two questions?

First, with declining membership, can we continue to offer our members the same level of service they have come to expect? Without the scale, it is difficult to financially continue. With fewer members, there are fewer candidates to fill leadership roles. Will KFCC leadership continue to participate if only a couple dozen franchisees invite them?

We don’t have the answers. We will discuss this because it is vital to our continued success. One possible solution would be to merge with another region. This might effectively double our size to around 90 members (this was our size in 2007). If that is the answer, who takes the lead? Since the AKFCF is composed of regions, would that be up to us? It is on our agenda.

The second question we have to address is, what are we going to do about our Fall Convention? We don’t have anything scheduled after this meeting in Niagara. Some possible solutions include:

  • Have a Fall Board meeting where all are invited.
  • Meet in Washington, D.C., and join the GAC efforts and lobby our lawmakers.
  • Join another association’s Fall Convention (the Super Regional or ???)
  • Not have any meeting or convention

We don’t have the answers. It is clear, the time to discuss is now. Action will be the most important thing going forward for our mutual success. In the Northeast, we have adopted the motto, “Taking the Lead.” With that said, we are happy to start discussions with you about merging and or joining you in Fall. If the AKFCF decides to, “Take the Lead,” the Northeast says, “Put us in coach, we’re ready to play.”



GAC Report: Employee Rights Act

By Mary Donohue

Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN) introduced a bill in the House entitled, “The Employee Rights Act of 2018.” The bill has three, major provisions to protect the rights of employees in union settings by promoting the principle of voluntary unionism intended by federal labor laws. 

Specifically, the bill would do the following: 

Secret Ballot: The bill requires unions to be certified through a secret ballot election in order to avoid the peer pressure and intimidation often associated with card check campaigns; it is estimated that as many as 40 percent of all union certifications are done by card check without secret ballot.

Protect Paychecks: The bill requires that unions allow employees in states without right-to-work laws to opt-in to have their dues used for non-bargaining purposes, rather than requiring them to opt-out. In the last 8 years, unions have taken $1.3 billion from dues and used them largely for grants to left-leaning organizations without member approval or authorization. 

Union Recertification: The bill allows employers to request a secret ballot re-certification election to determine whether their employees wish to remain represented by a union when there has been turnover of more than 50 percent of the bargaining unit since the last election. It protects employees’ current right to petition for a new union election with signatures of 30 percent of the workforce. 

Congressman Roe believes that union advocates in Congress offer legislation in the name of protecting workers, but these policies often advance union leadership. The bill is intended to protect employee choice — not unions or businesses. 

The members of the AKFCF GAC are reaching out to Members of Congress to discuss the bill. If you would like to get involved, please contact your GAC representative. 

Donate to the PAC 
Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  


August 2018

Start Making Your Family’s or Team Members’ Vacation Plans Now for Orlando

By Kelly Rodenberg

It’s hard to believe that in only six months we will be in Orlando for our 2019 Convention. Since we were last there in 2014, Orlando has been constantly evolving with exciting new experiences, attractions, and venues for you to explore.

Rosen Shingle Creek has recently completed enhancements inspired by Florida’s legendary sunshine. As you enter the hotel’s lobby, you will discover a new golden palette of jewel tones. Expanded communal seating areas throughout the grand lobby and conference center will allow for AKFCF attendees to relax, mix and mingle while enjoying magnificent views of the hotel’s manicured gardens and pristine golf courses. The hotel’s guestrooms also have been renovated with a fresh modern feel and upscale amenities. New restaurant outlets have been added as well, such as Tobias Burgers & Brews which serves tastefully crafted beers and bourbons.

A few fun facts:

  • 50,000 – Number of retrieved golf balls from Shingle Creek’s Golf Course waterways
  • 2,616 – Gallons of Creek Ice Creamery frosty treats served
  • 293,760 – Bottles of Rosen spring water drank

Don’t miss out on these fun experiences! The following Orlando attractions are new for 2018. Be sure to check them out while you're in town:

Fast and Furious Ride - Universal Studios Florida
You get to become a Fast family when you’re invited to an exclusive, after-race party hosted by none other than Dominic Torreto himself. As Tej’s custom-built party bus comes to get you, however, arch-rival Owen Shaw (y’know, the baddie from 2013’s Fast & Furious 6) tracks you down and begins an all-out attack to get his long-sought revenge against Dom and his family.

Before the climactic chase through the streets of San Francisco, however, you can make your way through the gang’s base of operations, ogling at Tej’s War Room, taking tons of selfies with the franchise’s various cars, and jammin’ out to Fast & Furious’s soundtrack (all of these nonlinear experiences double as Supercharged’s queue, not unlike how Race through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon does it).

Voo Doo Donuts - Universal CityWalk
If you missed this place in Austin – here’s your chance to indulge. The formerly-exclusively-West Coast chain just about has it all: a massive menu of custom creations (like Oh Captain, My Captain, which combines the toppings of vanilla frosting and Captain Crunch cereal on a raised-yeast doughnut), wonderful décor, an indie recording label, and, yes, wedding ceremonies.

For more information on these attractions, visit https://www.universalorlando.com.

Toy Story Land - Hollywood Studios
Prepare to enter Andy Davis’s backyard, shrinking down to the size of a toy in the process and exploring all the various toys and playsets he’s left around. Alien Swirling Saucers is a spinning ride set to an out-of-this-world soundtrack; Slinky Dog Dash is a family-friendly coaster that dominates a good chunk of the themed land; Woody’s Lunch Box is the quick-service restaurant, fashioned out of a thermos and (what else?) a lunch box; and even Toy Story Mania is hopping into the action, getting a whole new section of track and a new entrance unto Toy Story Land.

Disney Springs is among several U.S. spots on a newly released New York Times list of the 52 Places to Go in 2018. Disney Springs (which was known as Downtown Disney up until September of 2015) has been undergoing a million changes the last few years as many parts have been transformed and lots of things added. It is a shopping and entertainment area that's free for anybody to enter and while the recent Disney Springs construction was lengthy, the end result was well worth it. Visit https://www.disneysprings.com for more information. 

Pointe Orlando - A place where you can elevate your dining experience at restaurants offering everything from casual fare to haute cuisine. Where you can discover a diverse collection of 40 specialty shops. And where, when the sun sets, you can find a place pulsing with energy, music & live entertainment. All within 15 minutes from Rosen Shingle Creek. Visit http://www.pointeorlando.com for the latest information. 

Watch for the Convention article in the fall issue of The Quarterly for more exciting details.


GAC Report: Minimum Wage

By Mary Donohue

The national minimum wage is currently set at $7.25 an hour. Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle agree that it might be time to consider revamping the federal minimum wage, but why has it taken so long? There is a reason that Congress hasn’t voted to raise the federal minimum wage since 2007…

The economic differences for a laborer working in New York City vs. Selma, Alabama vs. Austin, Texas, are vastly different and reflect the need for differences in the minimum wage. The idea that geography doesn’t play a role in setting a minimum wage is illogical and unfair to low-wage workers.

Congress has been struggling to agree on a solution for years and in the meantime, have looked to the states to set minimum wage standards based on cost of living and economic conditions pertinent to their residents.

Battles across the country have taken place in various states regarding increases in minimum wage. New York, Massachusetts, and California are even looking at increases of up to $15 an hour.

The AKFCF GAC has been working closely with Yum! Brands to monitor the minimum wage activity in each state and lobby for franchisee interests. Should the federal minimum wage discussion gather momentum in the near future, it would be in franchisees’ best interests to have a pro-business majority in the House and Senate.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).



July 2018

A Welcome Message From Bryan Robinson

By Kelly Rodenberg

On July 1, Bryan Robinson stepped into the role of AKFCF president. Bryan is very organized with stout common sense and a passion to serve his fellow franchisees. Personally, I am looking forward to working with him to accomplish great things for our association and brand. Read below to see what Bryan has in store for the next year:

I am looking forward to the next 12 months, which are sure to feature significant changes in how we operate as an association. If that sounds like a complaint, it’s not. I actually find that quite exciting, and I hope you do too. It’s not often that a guy from a little town in Indiana has the opportunity to facilitate the creation and defining of new methods and standards for an association.

It’s funny, but just about every AKFCF president’s welcome message has prominently referenced the transformation of our brand or association. So, as I sat down to write this, it struck me that, instead of referencing that again, maybe we all just need to acknowledge that change is our new normal. Transformation isn’t the word we should be using since it implies an end point, a goal reached. It’s truly an evolution we’re talking about, something constant and never-ending. And if there’s a perfect group of people to help lead this evolution, it’s the dedicated and committed members of the AKFCF.

I’m proud and humbled to have been elected to serve as president of this amazing organization. Started by a group of forward-thinking franchisees in 1974, the AKFCF has steadily grown in membership and influence over the years. Like everyone in the association and restaurant business at large, we’ve tried to keep up with the frequent and jarring changes to our industry, which no longer fail to surprise us, but always fail to defeat us! While AKFCF has remained loyal to its originally intended focus over the years, the time has come to make necessary changes in order to provide incremental benefits for our members on an ongoing basis. While AKFCF has never been too comfortable or idle, the time is now, because we’re evolving right along with you.

This next year for the AKFCF promises to be goal-changing: leadership and committees will be restructured in size, scope, and purpose to provide more efficient and effective results. Plus, I want everyone to know why we exist, what benefits and services we offer, and why it’s important for every KFC franchisee to be a member. Additionally, for the first time in many years, our convention will be tightly streamlined and will allow you to come in just for the business meetings or take time away to enjoy all the social activities. 

So, from myself, the Executive Committee, Board of Directors and staff, thank you for your membership and support. We promise to keep evolving to serve you, no matter what the new normal brings this year. —Bryan Robinson, AKFCF president


Northwest Region Update

By Shannon Prendiville

The Northwest Franchisee Association returned to Las Vegas from March 26-29 for our spring seminar. The two-day event was filled with informative sessions designed to assist our dedicated RGMs and ARLs to continue their great work on the front lines. It was a perfect opportunity to recognize our many talented members for contributions to their organizations and to the KFC family.

We kicked off our meeting with an “RGM Rally” to welcome all of the participants. We then moved directly to the Vendor Exhibit Show, where 25 vendors were ready to show their wares. We played a game of “Bingo,” which encouraged all to visit each vendor so that they could be entered into a raffle. Needless to say, we had a great turnout and participation at the Vendor Show!

The next day brought the highlight of our seminar with the arrival of our keynote speaker, Erik Van Alstine. Erik authored the book “Automatic Influence: New Power for Leading Change.” He presented to our group, in a humorous and interactive way, the first piece of his Automatic Influence training — to gain insight and how to be an effective and influential leader in your own world. Van Alstine was the perfect fit for our group, as many of our attendees are interested in personal development training. A big thank you to Katie Robertson and Adam Sibert for making this exciting addition happen this year!

The final evening was a fun-filled event. We loaded up the entire group and headed to Top Golf Las Vegas, which is an outdoor driving range venue. No need to know how to golf or any prior experience, our Top Golf Pro was there to assist. We dined on delicious BBQ and enjoyed the friendly competition between groups. It was an awesome way to end our time in Las Vegas!

We will return to Las Vegas for our spring meeting in 2019, but this time we will be joining forces with the Southwest region. It will be the first time that these two regions have worked together, and it should prove to be an extraordinary combination. We look forward to working together and bringing the best of both regions to the next year’s seminar. It is an exciting time for the regional franchisee groups as we mix up our approaches to these time-honored events.

Northwest Region Update July 2018 Erik Van Alstine    Northwest Region Update July 2018 Top Golf    Northwest Region Update July 2018 Vendor Show


GAC Report: RFS Negative Impacts to the Restaurant Operator and Small Business Owner

By Mary Donohue

The Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) was created in 2005 and aggressively expanded in 2007 to mandate the usage of various renewable fuels into the U.S. gasoline and diesel fuel supply. The RFS diverts critically important corn and vegetable oil commodity ingredients into fuel, resulting in increased food inflation for restaurant operators.

Corn is a foundational ingredient in the American food supply and is used not only as a value-added product in many of the foods we buy, it is also the primary feed ingredient for animal agriculture. Volatility in corn prices causes volatility for every food in the supply chain, from baked goods to meat products… such as chicken.

Since the inception of the RFS is 2005, food commodity prices have become increasingly volatile. In the 13 years since the RFS has been in place, corn prices on average are 81% higher than the 13 years preceding the RFS. The inflation was amplified in 2007 through 2012 when the increase in the RFS mandate far exceeded corn production growth. The impact on small business restaurant owners was immense. The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), through a study conducted by PwC in 2012, estimates that the RFS negatively impacts the traditional quick-serve restaurant by $18,000 per store annually.

Additionally, the PwC study estimated the impact under several scenarios and concluded that the RFS mandate could cost chain restaurants up to $3.2 billion annually, with quick-serve restaurants witnessing cost increases upward of $2.5 billion, and full-servicing restaurants seeing increases upward of $691 million.

Lawmakers need to see the chicken producer, the food services distributor, the restaurant owner and others in the food chain for what they are: major contributors to the U.S. economy.

The AKFCF GAC is working with senators and congressman to come up with a bipartisan agreement to end this harmful program and to help quick-serve restaurants flourish and continue to bolster the U.S. economy.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative, or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).


June 2018

Southwest Region Update

By Kelli Spring

From April 9–11, 2018 the Southwest held its Spring Meeting in Addison, Texas. We had a great meeting full of engaging conversations, high energy from all participants, and we handed out a few awards. There were 200 + attendees and vendors. Our workshops were inspirational and received well by all in attendance. 

The entire time was spent stressing the importance of recognition. 

A new Recognition Committee was set up, consisting of Debbie Ashmore as the chairperson, along with Bill Ford and Ryan Androes. They did an awesome job of recognizing those nominees that were submitted by franchisee organizations from the Southwest area. 

The Southwest Super Star awards went to Pat Freeman of Enid, Oklahoma; Betty Raymond of Idabel, Oklahoma; and Jeff Latham of Bernalillo, New Mexico. 

The Southwest also was honored by the presence of the entire KFCC leadership team at our spring meeting. The Southwest recognized Kevin Hochman for his continued support of franchisees with a signed cowbell. 

Justin Stewart was awarded a photo of himself as the next Colonel. It was awesome to see our region so engaged at this meeting. Lots of other people were recognized for outstanding sales, VOC & BSC achievements. As a region, we are trying very hard to make recognition an everyday thing in our restaurants and in our region. Because, without our team members, shift supervisors, RGM’s and ARL’s none of the franchisees would be where we are today. 

The Southwest Region has a new Executive Committee: Roger Sparks (President), Scott Duke (1st VP), and Ryan Androes (2nd VP). We want to thank them for their commitment to the Southwest and for striving to make a difference in our region. 

We had a wonderful evening at our dinner and casino costume night — as you can see below. The theme was superheroes, which was appropriate for our recognition as we are all superheroes in the KFC business!

Southwest spring 2018 meeting in Addison, Texas     Southwest spring 2018 meeting in Addison, Texas     Southwest spring 2018 meeting in Addison, Texas


GAC Report: Technical Corrections to the House GOP Tax Bill

By Mary Donohue
On Tuesday, June 5th, the Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) Coalition sent a letter to Senate Republicans urging Congress to take “quick action” on making technical corrections to the tax law that President Trump signed last year. 

The technical correction that is how quickly entities can write off the cost of renovations to their stores would benefit KFC franchisees. The authors of the tax law intended for businesses to be able to write off the full costs of the improvements in one year. But due to a drafting error, the retailers and restaurants instead must write off the costs over the course of 39 years. 

"This very large difference in the after-tax cost of making improvements is causing a delay in some store and restaurant remodeling projects, as well as causing some retailers to decline opportunities to purchase or lease new store locations that would require substantial improvements," the retailers and restaurants wrote.

“These decisions not only deny our communities the jobs associated with substantial construction projects but also deny our communities the opportunity to bring new, permanent jobs to an otherwise abandoned store or to revitalize a declining mall,” the retailers and restaurants wrote. 

“The delay investment in remodeling projects is also causing a decline in sales by manufacturers that supply products used in remodels, like energy-efficient lighting and plumbing supplies. Finally, the delay in remodeling projects creates safety concerns because, in some cases, it is causing a delay in installation of sprinkler systems, creating a more perilous situation in the case of fire,” the retailers and restaurants wrote. 

"The drafting error in the [net operating losses] provision imposes a retroactive tax increase on businesses that are in loss positions and already facing liquidity issues," the businesses and trade groups wrote.

Congress will not likely tackle the technical corrections bill until after the mid-term elections in November. Democrats have expressed a reluctance to back fixing drafting efforts unless more substantive changes are made to the tax law. 

Donate to the PAC 
Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  


New Changes to the AKFCF Board Structure

By Kelly Rodenberg

In advance of the 2018 Spring AKFCF Board Meeting held on May 30 in Charleston, South Carolina, Ron Gardner distributed a memo on behalf of the EC to the Board and Past Presidents noting the reasons for changing the current structure. Here are Ron’s comments:

For anyone who has been on the AKFCF Board for any period of time knows, we have all attempted, through various efforts, to create an environment within our Board that would allow more active and engaged discussion at our meetings, and get deeper input on issues that are confronting the AKFCF. Some of these efforts have included rearranging the manner in which we sit with one another, to tweaking the agenda in order to prompt a more thorough discussion of hot topics. While we have seen some improvement in the robust nature of the meetings, we could not, any longer, ignore what Harrison Coerver told us when he helped us with our 2016 strategic plan – a Board that is as large as ours is going to create a challenging environment in which to have meaningful discussions. The Board is extremely large with over 30 members.

Like many at the Regional level, the AKFCF has seen increased hesitancy from franchisees willing to be active participants in our leadership process. In our examination of that issue, we have found, like many of you, that the number of years someone is required to attend meetings is a negative factor in their decision of whether to be a participant long term.

Finally, while not a significant part of the decision making, it is also the case that it costs the AKFCF money to pay for its Board meetings – a cost that goes up as the number of attendees increases. Given the fact that we have not seen any growth in our revenue in the last several years (we have expressly rejected, thus far, any serious discussion of increasing National Support Dues), examining costs is one of the ways the AKFCF can continue to provide the many services that we do to your franchisee members at the Regional level.

To address these issues, and after extensive deliberation, it was the unanimous recommendation of the Executive Committee that the Board adopts bylaw amendments aimed at decreasing the size of our Board.

The Board voted to reduce the size of the AKFCF Board to two members per Region (Regional President and 1st Vice President), starting with the Board Meeting at the 2019 Convention.

Large Operators
The AKFCF has spent a significant amount of time, effort and money in the last year engaging the largest operators in our system to understand why it is they do not or cannot actively participate in the AKFCF. Through those discussions, we learned an awful lot, but the two most critical takeaways were that: (1) the large operators did not completely understand what the AKFCF did and how it benefited them; and (2) that the large operators had a tremendous amount of influence at the NCAC, but virtually none at the AKFCF, because of our requirement that people move through the Regions before they become national leaders.

There is a long and important history in our organization with respect to the requirement that people be active in their Regions before they serve as national leaders. The Regions are the lifeblood of our organization, and deliver, for the most part, extreme value to our members. The Regions are a critical component to our success. That being said, as history has gone on, and as the number of franchisees has shrunk (and continues to shrink at a dramatic pace), the AKFCF is called on much more frequently to engage at the national level with respect to its relations with the franchisor. 

Therefore, in order to more effectively represent all of our members, including the large operators, the Executive Committee felt strongly that it is appropriate to create new seats at the table that will allow us to have the voice of large operators on our Board.

Accordingly, it was the Executive Committee’s strong and unanimous recommendation that the Board vote to allow us to create two new “At-Large” Board seats, to be filled by individuals from large franchise operations (e.g., we have defined large operators to include any organization that is in the 15 largest franchisees, by unit numbers, at the time of the nomination for the individual for the seat. They must be current with paid regional and national dues.) We would limit the amount of time any one individual could sit in this seat to four years (two 2 year terms), and the individual will be appointed by the EC (after receiving recommendations from our Nominations Committee) and approved by the Board.

The Board approved the creation of two at-large Board members chosen from the 15 largest operators. Safeguards were adopted to prevent a large operator from being approved to one of the seats if they already had representation through Regional leadership. Those appointed must be the franchisee or a senior ARL with the franchisee. Individuals are limited to two, 2-year terms.


May 2018

GAC Report: National Labor Relations Board – Joint Employer Update

By Mary Donohue

On May 9, 2018, the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs published the National Labor Relations Board’s submission that the Board is considering rulemaking to address the standard for determining joint-employer status under the National Labor Relations Act. 

“Whether one business is the joint employer of another business’s employees is one of the most critical issues in labor law today,” says NLRB Chairman John F. Ring. “The current uncertainty over the standard to be applied in determining joint-employer status under the Act undermines employers’ willingness to create jobs and expand business opportunities. In my view, notice-and-comment rulemaking offers the best vehicle to fully consider all views on what the standard ought to be. I am committed to working with my colleagues to issue a proposed rule as soon as possible, and I look forward to hearing from all interested parties on this important issue that affects millions of Americans in virtually every sector of the economy.”

The NLRB has begun the internal process necessary to consider rulemaking on the joint-employer standard. The inclusion of the proposal in the regulatory agenda does not reflect the participation of board members Pearce and McFerran. Any proposed rule would require approval by a majority of the five-member board, and the next step would be the issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. 

The AKFCF agrees with the sentiment contained in Chairman Ring’s statement that the joint employer doctrine under the National Labor Relations Act “is one of the most critical issues in labor law today.” In addition, we still expect the NLRB to decide a case that will revisit the Browning-Ferris Industries standard in the coming months. 

This announcement will not affect the AKFCF GAC’s efforts to encourage Congress to enact the Save Local Business Act in 2018. A statutory solution remains the only way to provide long-term operational and legal clarity for franchisees under both the NLRA and Fair Labor Standards Act. 

Donate to the PAC
Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 


Upper Midwest Region Update

By Kevin Schlutz

The Upper Midwest region had its annual Spring RGM meeting at a new venue this year, the Mystic Lake Casino Hotel just outside of Minneapolis. This hotel just opened a gorgeous convention space in December, which was perfect for our group. It was a good thing there was a lot to do inside, as that area got over 16 inches of snow the weekend before we arrived!

We took the farthest room for our main meeting room, so we didn’t get complaints from other groups about how loud we get sometimes. Amid confetti and T-shirt guns, clappers and air horns, excitement was in the air for the 225 attendees. The dual "cashnados" were kept stocked with cash and rumor has it several people did very well in the casino. We also had a magic act straight from "America’s Got Talent" and showgirlrl cheerleaders performing to kick off the meeting.  

In between all of that there also were very interesting presentations from the Leadership Team, Karen Adams, Melissa Cuadra, Tim Ridley, Blaine Ratterman and Craig Arcement. Justin Stewart did a KFC Foundation report and, of course, our beverage partners gave updates. There also was lots of recognition, and we had a wonderful keynote speaker named Dr. Dale Henry, whose message for a successful life was to do two things: Never say “it’s not my job,” and never wish I had (fill in the blank). 

Moving our spring regional meeting around the region helps shorten the trip for some of our members every year, and we also had some visitors this year from southeast New Mexico. Of course, they weren’t that familiar with snow, so President Bob Clawson took them outside and demonstrated making snow angels. (see picture) They, and all the other attendees had a wonderful time. Wednesday nights' dinner theme was your favorite sports team and we had quite a variety from pro sports to college. All in all, another very successful spring meeting. Our meeting next year will be at the Isle Casino and Convention Center in Bettendorf, Iowa, April 15-18.   



Making A Difference

By Kelly Rodenberg

The month of May kick-starts a time of transition for many on the AKFCF board. We’d like to thank the outgoing board members who have finished their terms on the board for their service. These hard-working franchisees have made significant contributions of their time, talent, and personal resources to the AKFCF, and have helped make our KFC family a stronger one. Even though they are stepping off the board, we know they will continue to support the work of the association in the future.

We can all reflect upon lessons learned from this transformative leadership experience:

  • Everyone has something to offer, and their personal uniqueness and experiences allow us to shine brighter and accomplish greater.
  • Mentors are invaluable, their words of wisdom are small deposits into our spirit, which strengthens us to do better and be better.
  • Leadership is a shared responsibility; there is no perfect leader or solution, but positive guidance through constructive feedback empowers and leads everyone.
  • Give credit and praise often, even the smallest of efforts. Every word means something to someone.
  • Don’t take life too seriously. Remember to laugh, enjoy the process of learning and let others laugh with you. Humility is what we strive for, laughter is how we get there!

Thank you to all who have served the AKFCF. Each one of you has positively impacted someone else and propelled others to grow and think to new heights. 

We look forward to working with the new members who not only want to make a positive impact, but embody change by rolling up their sleeves and getting to work to make a difference.



April 2018

The Critics’ Comments Are In!

By Kelly Rodenberg

Each year, we send out an evaluation form within one week after Convention to all attendees for their comments, ratings, and suggestions. The deadline to respond was March 31. Respondents had the option to be entered into a random drawing for two complimentary registrations and three hotel nights at the 2019 Convention in Orlando. The winner was Rodney Walker of Bells and Birds, Inc. in Houghton Lake, Michigan! Below are just a few highlights of the survey for your review:

Overall experience at the 2018 Annual AKFCF Convention:

  • 44% of respondents rated it as excellent
  • 40% rated it as Good

Top three reasons for attending:

  • 64% – KFCC Presentations
  • 57% – Networking
  • 52% – Workshops

 Prime Time guests with highest ratings:

  • Kevin Hochman – 45% rated him as exceptional
  • Scott Bloom – 54% rated him as exceptional
  • Andrea Zahumensky – 36% rated her as exceptional

Highest rated workshops: 

  • How to Bring the Magic Alive in Your Restaurants with Doug Lipp
  • Listen and Learn from Our Best – RGM Panel
  • $5 Fill Ups: The Business Case for Value

Welcome Reception in Convention Center:

  • With more than 235 vendors, and 64 sponsors, and some fun talk show celebrities, the reception in the Exhibitor Showcase at Anaheim’s new Convention Center was a hit!

Town Hall:

  • Over 74% of respondents who attended liked the new format of the Game Day Show, with 77% of them saying the content was of great value
CA Dreamin’ Dinner and The Band Perry Concert:
  • 88% of respondents attended the dinner and concert
  • 44% thought the dinner was exceptional
  • 42% thought the performance by The Band Perry was exceptional 

In 2019:

  • 36% of the respondents said they would like to go to a theme park for the big night
  • 40% of the respondents said they would want to go back to Universal

Thank you to all who attended, supported and participated in the 2018 Convention in Anaheim. The 2019 Convention Committee will be meeting in June to start work on next year’s Convention in Orlando. If you any comments or questions, please feel free to contact me.


GAC Report: Spring Fly-In Update

By Mary Donohue

This past March 13-14, the AKFCF Government Affairs Committee convened in Washington, D.C., for our annual spring fly-in. At this event, the GAC conducted more than 30 meetings on Capitol Hill with Members of Congress and staff, hosted fundraisers for four Members of Congress, and hosted a reception in the Rayburn House Office Building that fed more than 1,000 Hill staffers and Members of Congress. 

Tuesday, March 13 – First Day Recap 
On the first day of the fly-in, the attendees were put through a rigorous afternoon of briefings in preparation for their meetings in Congressional offices. This year, the attendees met with the following industry and congressional professionals: 


  • Scott Vinson, National Retail Federation – to discuss ethanol & the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)
  • Rob Green, House Education & Workforce Committee – to discuss congressional updates
  • Matt Lathrop, Yum! Brands – to discuss depreciation & labor issues 
  • Crady DeGolian, Yum! Brands – to discuss minimum wage in the states 
  • Brendan Dunn, Office of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) – to discuss congressional updates
  • Michael Layman, International Franchise Association – to discuss joint employer 
  • Dan Gans, Polaris Consulting – to discuss hill meeting etiquette 


After the afternoon of briefings, the group adjourned and made their way to the Rayburn House Office Building where they hosted the 12th Annual AKFCF Rayburn Reception, which fed more than 1,000 staff and Members of Congress.  

Wednesday, March 14 – Second Day Recap 
On the second day of the fly-in, attendees began the day by hosting a breakfast fundraiser for Rep. Trey Hollingsworth (R-IN). Rep. Hollingsworth is an up-and-coming freshman Member of Congress and was a constituent member of two KFC fly-in attendees this year. 

The attendees then divided into groups and departed for a morning of meetings in the U.S. Senate. Collectively, we visited with 14 different Senate offices. 

For lunch, the AKFCF GAC hosted a fundraiser for Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX). A former presidential candidate, Sen. Cruz has been a strong supporter of KFC issues at the federal level. Sen. Cruz is one of our biggest advocates for our position on ethanol and the RFS. 

The attendees then divided into groups and departed for an afternoon of meetings in the U.S. House. Collectively, we visited with 20 Congressional offices. Finally, the fly-in participants hosted a reception for Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT) and Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI). Both senators were crucial in the tax reform process and helped negotiate a better rate for pass-through entities than was previously outlined in the original tax bill. 

Hill Meeting Issue Breakdown 
Below is a brief outline of the different topics and issues that the AKFCF GAC discussed in their hill meetings: 

Tax Reform


  • Section 168(e)(6) of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which defines the parameters around restaurant depreciation, wasn’t modified correctly in the new law to provide a 15-year life to qualified improvement property. 
  • The AKFCF supports a technical correction to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act to fix the language in the bill to grant restaurants, leasehold improvements, and retail improvement property a 15-year depreciation period. 
  • Return the bonus depreciation standard back to 15-year scale from the 39-year scale and include the fix language in the “omnibus” spending package to be finalized by March 23rd. 


ACA Reform


  • Even though the latest efforts to repeal and replace the ACA have failed, Obamacare continues to hurt small businesses and employees every day. 
  • Particularly, the 30-hour work week definition for full-time employees.
  • For some companies to maintain a workable budget, this change has forced them to cut many employees’ hours to below 30 hours per week – forcing employees into part-time jobs that drastically hurt the affected employees and their families.
  • Support the Sen. Collins (R-ME) Forty Hours Is Full-Time Act, S.1782 to modify the definition of full-time employee for purposes of the employer mandate in the ACA


Ethanol – Repeal the RFS 


  • The increased ethanol blends in gasoline have resulted in feed cost inflation for the poultry industry and ultimately higher chicken costs.
  • If corn prices remain 57-percent higher than the historical average when the weather has been ideal, a shift in weather patterns will increase costs significantly, and result in more inflation. 
  • These higher ingredient costs have led to substantial impacts to the restaurant operator as PwC estimates, quick-serve restaurant operator costs have risen by at least $18,000 per store, per year due to the RFS. 
  • Support the Goodlatte (R-VA) RFS Repeal Act, H.R.1314 to repeal the RFS
  • Support the Goodlatte (R-VA) RFS Reform Act, H.R.1315 to reform the RFS by repealing the corn ethanol mandate 


NLRB Joint Employer


  • In August 2015, the NLRB created a “Joint Employer” standard in federal labor laws by deciding that prime companies may be held liable for the employment and labor actions of franchisees, over which they have no direct control. 
  • An expanded Joint Employer standard would be bad for franchisors and franchisees alike by pulling back resources and support for franchisees.
  • The Joint Employer standard threatens practically every private sector business in America, large and small and thus, America’s Main Street small businesses created by independent owners in their local communities will diminish. 
  • Rep. Bradley Byrne’s (R-AL) bill H.R.3441 the Save Local Business Act passed the House in November of 2017, which returns the “Joint Employer” standard to its original. 
  • Ask to support the inclusion of Rep. Byrne’s H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act to the “omnibus” spending package to be finalized by March 23rd. 


Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress. You may make your 2018 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  


Southwest Region Update

By Kelli Spring

The Southwest Region just had our spring meeting from April 9-11 in Addison, Texas, at the Crown Plaza. It was a great meeting filled with recognition, Speaker Chad Porter (motivational speaker), The LT Team KFCC, and lots of fun at our Casino Costume night.

We started a New Regional Recognition program. It was launched at this meeting. All franchisees are urged to submit the name or names of their employees they would like to recognize and they can make those submissions on our website.

Our Super Star awards went to: Pat Freelove of Enid, Oklahoma; Betty Raymond of Idabe,l Oklahoma; and Jeff Latham of Bernalillo, New Mexico.

We have updated or website — www.swkfcfa.org — and we would like everyone in our region to use it as a tool to access information they are looking for.


March 2018

GAC Report: Convention Update

By Mary Donohue

The GAC had the pleasure of presenting to the AKFCF at the Town Hall on February 24 in Anaheim, California. During the presentation, Peg Duenow and Mary Donohue gave a comprehensive update that covered pertinent issues on Capitol Hill. 

Tax Reform: Tax reform was a major priority for Republican Leadership in this Congress. When the House tax bill was introduced, the original language was particularly problematic for franchisees registered as pass-through entities. We used KFC franchisee data to construct scenarios for legislators that outlined the effects that the original language could have had on franchise businesses. 

When the numbers came back negative, we worked to distribute them to high-ranking Members of Congress. Through these examples, we were able to jump-start the conversation about small business and turn the pass-through portion of the tax bill in our favor. 

Joint Employer: In the recent months, there has been a flurry of activity surrounding the issue. First, on Nov. 7, 2017, the House passed H.R.3441 the Save Local Business Act by a roll call vote of 242-181. The bill would return the definition of a joint employer “direct and immediate control.” 

Second, on Dec. 14, 2017, the NLRB reversed the 2015 decision to redefine the terms of a joint employer and returned to the original definition of “direct and immediate control.” In a 3-2 decision by the board’s conservative majority, they ruled that to be classified as a “joint employer,” jointly liable for labor violations, a business must have a direct and immediate connection to the employees in question. 

However, this good news was fleeting. On February 26 of this year, the NLRB vacated their previous decision and reverted to the Obama-era definition of a joint employer to “indirect and potential control.”

Overtime: The Final Obama Administration overtime rule was blocked by a preliminary injunction on Nov. 22, 2016. A U.S. District Court granted summary judgment to the plaintiffs and declared the Final Rule invalid on Aug. 31, 2017. 

The DOL under the Trump Administration issued a Request for Information (RFI) on July 26, 2017, in support of a new, proposed overtime rule. The RFI was answered by businesses and business owners. Their responses included parameters about updating the salary threshold and what the appropriate bases for setting an updated standard should be and what businesses can afford. 

The DOL received more than 140,000 comments before the comment period closed on Sept. 15, 2017. Likely, the DOL will make its position known sometime in 2018 and disclose the updated increase to the overtime threshold. 

Renewable Fuel Standard: Under the Trump Administration, we’ve seen a slowing in our efforts to quell the RFS. President Trump was a vocal supporter of the RFS during his campaign, and we’re still attempting to see how he would respond to legislation to quell the program. We’ve taken the approach amongst our coalitions involved with the RFS to strategically message Members who are undecided on the issue in hopes of gaining more support for the reversal of this program down the road. 

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  


Great Lakes Region Update

By Heather Bowling 

The Great Lakes Association is committed to enriching our restaurant leaders with yearly RGM training. In 2018, we are excited to offer the experience of RGM Keystone without the costly travel. The Great Lakes Education Committee, along with KFCC HR Field Training leaders, has been organizing and bringing RGM Keystone classes to numerous areas throughout the Great Lakes region. We couldn’t wait to bring world-class leadership training to our region! The first two satellite classes were held this past November, providing vital leadership skills training to 30 area RGM’s. Henny Penny generously offered to host the first class in Eaton, Ohio at their state-of-the-art training center. The second Keystone class was held in Fort Wayne, Indiana. We also are excited to offer four more sessions throughout the Great Lakes region this spring.

Great Lakes Region RGM Keystone

Franchisees have been eager to send their RGM’s and RGM candidates to Keystone, myself included! I have to be honest, I was skeptical that holding the class outside of the RSC in Louisville would take away from the experience of Keystone. But the satellite class did not disappoint! Participants came away with the same enthusiasm and leadership skills that will help us build world-class operations. Location seems to be less impactful than providing managers the opportunity to engage in our brand culture with other RGM’s.

RGM Keystone also can be held in your area! Contact your KFC Human Resource Leader to discuss hosting Keystone for teams in your region.


Minimum Wage Issues Addressed at AKFCF’s Convention in Anaheim

By Kelly Rodenberg

The AKFCF understands that many KFC franchisees are facing the battle of minimum wage and the effects it has and will have on labor costs, hours and prices. We invited Michael Saltsman, an expert in the field to talk with members during their Regional Association Meetings and to provide a presentation to the AKFCF Board at its meeting.

Saltsman is vice president at Berman and Company, where he serves as managing director of the nonprofit Employment Policies Institute. He is responsible for the firm's work on labor-related topics, managing issue campaigns, testifying before state and local legislatures, and speaking frequently to national and local business organizations. He's a regular contributor to Forbes, the Wall Street Journal and Orange County Register, and his writing and research also have appeared in dozens of other national publications. 

Saltsman previously worked as an economist for the Bureau of Labor Statistics. He's a graduate of the University of Michigan, with degrees in Economics and Political Science. 

Below are some of the initial questions proposed to Michael and his answers:

1. What type or amount of donation would be best to give to EPI if AKFCF wanted to utilize your services? In this a lump sum, by franchise, etc.? 

Saltsman: For franchise groups that support EPI, we have a suggested per-store contribution formula of $200 per store. Some choose to split this commitment over multiple years — the Taco Bell franchisees, for instance, made a three-year commitment. To give one real-world example from this group: For one TB franchisee who had 91 stores, their three-year commitment was $18,200 total, invoiced over three years at $6,066 per year. 

Regarding invoicing: In some instances where it's a smaller group of large franchisees, we've been asked to invoice each franchisee directly. In other instances where an entire franchisee group supports our work, we've had situations where everyone sends their $200/per-store support to the franchisee association and then one check is cut.  

2. With that donation, what does that provide AKFCF and/or what does that allow you to do for us? What is the value that will be provided?

Saltsman: To your question about "value": What you're doing with your support for EPI is supporting our work and mission to educate the public on the consequences of a rising minimum wage. That includes everything I've talked with you about — from studies to op-eds, to videos on affected teens and business owners, to websites, etc. These activities occur with a national scope, but also are targeted in relevant markets based on ongoing or upcoming policy fights. (Right now, for instance, we're engaged in work for upcoming fights in Michigan, Florida, etc.)  We also frequently help out our supporters with their own policy needs — talking points for testimony, an annual update on state and local wage levels, etc.

3. How would you recommend educating the franchisees? The AKFCF’s members are its 7 regions. Each of these regions has their own board and bylaws. 

Saltsman: To your questions on educating franchisees: I'd suggest a combination of in-person meetings and telephone briefings. For instance, if there's an annual meeting where a large number of franchisees fly in, I'd be happy to come into town for that and provide a briefing on the threat environment, and some of our suggested tactics to counter it. Then, depending on travel schedules, I'd be happy to do a region-specific phone briefing for each, or an in-person briefing at select meetings. 

4. Are you willing to speak at Regional Meetings? What time and money does that involve?

Saltsman: Regarding presentations: Yes, we typically waive all speaking fees when we're talking to current supporters, and just ask to cover travel expenses. I typically present and speak for an hour, but I've tailored that for longer or shorter sessions depending on the time allotted. I like to leave time for questions at the end. 

5. If the KFC system contributed the $200 per restaurant that would total around $800,000. How will that money be used and how will your efforts change from what you are currently doing?  With the Taco Bell program, do you invoice the franchisees individually, and if so what percentage are participating? Is FRANMAC involved, and to what level and who are you directly working with? Is Taco Bell Corporation involved?

Starting with the Taco Bell program: With the "Big 12," we do invoice the franchisees individually, which was done at their request. They made a three-year commitment based on the per-store formula, which comes to about $100k in total support per-year. We are not currently involved with Taco Bell Corporation directly — our support with that brand comes from the franchisee level.

Other companies have handled this differently. For instance, a majority of franchisees of a large national franchised restaurant company made a two-year, $700k support commitment while we were running a national campaign in 2014-15 to depress enthusiasm for a federal wage hike to $10.10. Everyone sent their contributions to corporate, which then split the contributions into two checks — one each year. 

To your question of how EPI will use your support: Our expectation right now is that there will be some (perhaps significant) erosion in Republican-held state legislative seats in 2018. The policy implications for the industry are obvious. Without an “offense” communications strategy, we will be overwhelmed by expensive legislation. The polling and focus group work we've done over the past few month’s shows that the industry response most likely to gain traction with the public is to emphasize the plight of low-skilled youth who have unemployment rates 4-5 times higher than the national rate, and who are stranded on the sideline of the job market. Our opportunity is to use the next 12-18 months to inform and engage public support on the growing crisis of youth unemployment — and to link it back to rising entry-level wage rates. 

The support we raise from KFC and others will go to support this expanded education effort. Tactically, that would include the following: 

  • Identifying discouraged youth employees in key markets around the country and producing videos to tell their stories; 
  • Identifying non-typical affected businesses (e.g. nonprofits, service providers to the disabled) to film and tell their stories about minimum wage harm;
  • Additional state-based research and studies on the specific impact of local wage mandates on youth unemployment; 
  • TV PSAs (public service announcements) on youth employment and restaurant careers;
  • Recruiting "advocates" (e.g. teens and small business owners) to sign op-eds for key markets where wage fights are occurring;
  • Targeted promotion of our video on Facebook, YouTube and other platforms. (We can show one of our videos to over 3 million people online for $100k.)

That last communications piece is critically important — we can find and produce compelling stories, but the value comes in being able to get our content in front of the public and legislators, get them to share it and interact with it, etc. That promotion effort also includes outside-the-box tactics where appropriate. One quick example: In 2014, unions launched a national "raise the minimum wage" bus tour that stopped in every state with a competitive legislative race, did a big rally, and then drove on to the next state. They had a massive bus wrapped in a "$10.10 minimum wage graphic." We didn't have the resources to launch our own bus tour, so we created a mobile billboard that followed their bus around the country to counter the message with reporters at every stop. (Photo from on Ohio stop below.) It was very effective and drove them nuts — and cost us a fraction of what labor spent on its tour.

Minimum Wage billboard

The AKFCF Executive Committee and Board will be discussing the next steps on this at its Spring Board Meeting in May. For more information, you can go to www.epi.org. The organization also provided this Powerpoint presentation on this crucial topic. 



February 2018

SoCal Region Update

By Deborah Ossanlo

Our SoCal region had our Fall Meeting again combined with the Northwest region in September in San Diego, California. The AKFCF is encouraging regions to get together on their regional meetings, and for the past two years, we have had the Northwest region join us out here in California. It has been a great learning experience and the feedback from our members has been encouraging us to continue this effort. Speaking with the Northwest franchisees and sharing business practices is a wonderful opportunity. Outside of business, we enjoyed a dinner cruise in San Diego, and a Hawaiian luau with the Northwest!

The Northwest, prior to joining our region the past two years, has gone to Hawaii for their Fall Meetings. They have decided to go to Hawaii again for 2018, and SoCal will be joining in the fun and festivities, as well as a productive meeting! We look forward to continuing these joint regional meetings, and we encourage other regions to consider the same. Vendors love the combined meetings too, since they have one travel plan and get exposure to two regions.


Northeast Region Update

By Dale Moulton

2018 has started off with Old Man winter paying most of the Northeast a visit. Coupled with the weather, we continue to battle minimum wage increases and the associated wage compression. This has presented significant challenges to many of our franchisees. Statewide, New York continues to raise the QSR wage to $15.00 an hour. Our franchisees in NYC are already paying $15.00 per hour. With that said, Ray Aley, Jim Waters, Larry Starkey and Keith Cole continue to keep our franchisees engaged at the local, state and national levels. The Northeast continues to have a strong presence at the upcoming Washington, D.C. Spring Fly-In (March 13 -15, 2018) and at a local Lobby Day in Albany on March 27. We’d also like to thank Crady DeGolian for his leadership on state issues.

We also look forward to the AKFCF Convention where we will have the opportunity to engage with our cooperate partners and network with the other regions. Rob Rianna and our KFCC partners have designed workshops that will add great value. KFCC will help us better understand the menu strategy as we move thru 2018 while strengthening RGM capabilities in our restaurants. During the Regional Breakouts in Anaheim, we will ensure that our members are aligned on common goals for the balance of 2018.

We just completed our spring planning meeting in Atlantic City at Harrah’s. The amazing property provides our region a great venue to bring our RGM teams together. During the three days, we will be recognizing, rewarding, training, team building and having some fun every day.

Our upcoming fall meeting will be in Niagara Falls, September 17–20, 2018. This convention will host another exciting golf tournament, which will benefit the KFC Foundation. Additionally, we are focusing on above store- and director-level training programs for this convention. Please consider this an invitation. For more information, please contact incoming regional President, Joe Farley at jfarleykfc@optonline.net. The Canadian side, Marriott Falls View hotel will be our host for this convention.

In closing, my theme for this year is, “Leading the Way, A Proud Tradition with an Everlasting Legacy.” The Northeast continues to recognize our legacy members. We have been honored to recognize franchisees like Percy Fennel, Dave Evans, Darlene Pfeiffer, Ken Rianna, Ron Giles and most recently Don Lopes. As the 2017-2018 Northeast president, this has been my greatest honor to represent and partner with these amazing people!

See you in Anaheim!


Education Committee Update

By Rob Rianna

The start of the AKFCF National Convention is just around the corner. The Education Committee has been putting the final touches on this year’s fantastic workshops and we can’t wait for you to see them. A few weeks ago, we reviewed the workshops focusing on People. This time we are going to provide you more information about the workshops focused on Operations.

Are your restaurants facing a lot of pressure from the major increases in minimum wages that are occurring all around the country? What can you do to make sure that have the right staffing levels at the time that your business needs staffing the most? The Education Committee and KFCC have partnered on a workshop that will help you understand how to properly use Merit to make a perfect schedule and give your restaurants the best chance to succeed. Our managers need to be proactive when planning and scheduling so we can optimize our labor costs while still providing an exceptional guest experience. This workshop will review the critical principles that will help your restaurants create a schedule that will be more efficient and balanced. Check out our video where we discuss some of these principles. 

The restaurant industry has been a major target for employee manipulation and KFC is no exception. Industry studies reveal that as much as 7 percent of sales can be lost to employee manipulation. The Education Committee, KFCC and two of our vendor partners (Delegate and Overseer) have created a workshop where you will have a much better understanding on issues relating to employee manipulation. You will have the option to chose which vendor partner that you support and attend the workshop that they will be teaching along with KFCC. If your organization uses Delegate than you would attend the Delegate Workshop. If your organization uses Overseer/Parapet Studios you can attend the Overseer/Parapet Studios workshop. The Education Committee has worked with each vendor and our main goal is to teach you how to use their software to find any issues quickly. Once you find a potential issue, they will teach you how to dive deeper to see if that issue needs an action to be taken. You won’t want to miss this valuable time with two vendors who will teach you how to find manipulation quickly and efficiently. 


We’re Ready for “Prime Time,” Are You?

By Kelly Rodenberg

With the opportunities and challenges facing you in your restaurants, I encourage you to attend our Town Hall Game Day Show scheduled for Saturday, February 24 from 10:00 – 11:30 a.m. This franchisee roundup show will provide unlimited access to all the highlights, scores, interviews and analysis from the top AKFCF games played over the 2017/2018 season. Superstar players from the OEC, OSC, REC, GAC, RSCS, NCAC and AKFCF will join host Bryan Robinson to give fans a thorough and insightful analysis of all the team efforts from the frontline. Viewers will have the opportunity to ask questions of their favorite players. The AKFCF Town Hall is for franchisees only and provides an opportunity for you to share your voice and vision with your fellow colleagues. Segments will include:

  • Government Affairs Review with Mary Donahue and Peg Duenow
  • Partnership Survey Results with Alessio DiFranco
  • RSCS Highlights with Chris Held
  • OSC Report by Tom Broome
  • OEC Briefing from Marcus Shelton
  • REC News by Jamie Jackson
  • Technology Input from Brandon Robertson

After the above players are interviewed, Tom Slater, NCAC vice chair; Ron Gardner, AKFCF legal counsel; and Eric Overcash, AKFCF president, will join the team panel to answer any questions and address any concerns you have. If you are unable to attend or want to submit a question in advance, send them to AKFCFgameday@gmail.com.

If you have not already, please take time to review the results of the partnership survey in advance.

Don't Risk Paying a No-Show Fee!
Both of the dinner events in Anaheim require a cancellation notice so as not to incur a $100 penalty.

If you previously indicated you would be attending the dinner on Friday night or the Picnic on Saturday evening and your plans have changed, you must let us know when you check in at registration, February 21 in order not to be charged.

AKFCF Silent Auction – Bring Your Credit Cards and Checkbooks
We are keeping it in the family this year! A silent auction will be hosted by the AKFCF and 100% of the proceeds from the auction will go to the KFC Foundation. The auction will open on Wednesday, February 21 at noon and close at 10:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23. The items and bid sheets will be located in the ballroom foyer.

The heart of what the KFC Foundation does is care for KFC Restaurant employees. As an independent nonprofit organization, the Foundation is committed to providing accessible support and development opportunities to KFC U.S. restaurant teams. Through their charitable education and crisis assistance programs, the Foundation also gives KFC operators valuable tools for recruitment, retention, and engagement. Some of the items include:

  • 3 autographed guitars from The Band Perry
  • 2018 SEC Football Championship Package (Nov 30 – Dec 2, 2018 in Atlanta, GA)
  • Tickets to see Hamilton in NYC, along with airfare and accommodations
  • The AKFCF “Prime Time” TV furniture set of 4 white chairs and KFC Bucket Coffee Table
  • And many more!

With the money collected, the KFC Foundation can continue their efforts with the below programs:

REACH Educational Grant Program: The REACH Educational Grant Program® helps restaurant employees pursue their dreams of going to college.

Rise with GEDWorks: For KFC restaurant employees who didn’t graduate from high school, Rise is a pathway to achieving their dreams — with personal support and a test-pass guarantee.

KFC Family Fund: The KFC Family Fund helps restaurant employees through a personal hardship, crisis or natural disaster.

New Personal Finance Program: When it comes to money, having a plan will help you live a better life. The KFC Foundation’s newest charitable offering pairs a powerfully simple (and completely confidential) online financial wellness service with a personal advisor to help employees take charge of their money right away.

Visit the KFC Foundation Booth (521) in the Exhibitor Showcase for more information. See You in Anaheim!


GAC Report: Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act – Passes H.S. House of Representatives 

By Mary Donohue

On Tuesday, February 6, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 722 the Common-Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act by a roll call vote of 266-157. This bill is sponsored by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) and amends the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act to improve and clarify certain disclosure requirements for restaurants and similar retail food establishments, and to amend the authority to bring proceedings under section 403A.

Restaurants and retail food establishments would have more discretion in how they display nutritional information on menus under H.R. 722.

The bill would direct the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to reissue its menu labeling rules that require chain restaurants and retail food establishments with 20 or more locations to provide calorie and nutrition information for standard menu items. The FDA finalized the rules, which were required by the Affordable Care Act, in 2014 but the compliance deadline has since been extended until May 2018. 

The rules generally require calorie and nutritional information to be displayed within the establishment in one or two ways, depending on how a food item is displayed or sold. Calories have to be posted “per discrete unit” for items such as a slice of pizza, bagel, or muffin. Calories must be displayed per serving for items such as deli salads, soup, or ice cream. The rules include additional requirements for self-service counters, such as salad bars. 

If an establishment doesn’t comply with the rules, the food is deemed misbranded and could result in criminal or civil penalties. Penalties can vary depending on the frequency or severity of violations. 

"The FDA’s one-size-fits-all approach places additional burdens on the backs of our nation’s small business owners without giving them the flexibility they need to actually comply with the regulations,” Rodgers said in a released statement. 

Reps. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Gene Green (D-TX) wrote in the committee report on the bill that it “contains numerous provisions that both decrease consumer access to nutritional information and increase the likelihood of inconsistent or confusing menu labels.” Pallone is ranking member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee and Green is ranking member of the panel’s Health Subcommittee. 

Revised Rules
The bill would require the FDA to issue new rules for displaying nutrition information within one year of enactment and specify a compliance date. Under the revised requirements, restaurants would be allowed to determine how calories are displayed and what constitutes a serving size of standard menu items. Establishments that receive a majority of their orders online or over the phone could provide nutrition information online, rather than on their premises.

The information used for disclosures could vary from actual nutrient content for a number of reasons, including different serving sizes, inadvertent human error, or variations in ingredients.

The bill would also require the FDA to establish standards for displaying information for menu items that come in different varieties — such as soda, pizza, doughnuts, or children’s combination meals. Retailers would be able to choose to display the nutrition information for the whole item or a serving of the item. They also could decide to disclose the content using ranges, averages, or individual labels.

Enforcement Changes
Establishments would have 90 days after being notified of a violation to take corrective action. The FDA would be barred from imposing certification requirements for demonstrating compliance.

The bill would bar states from petitioning the FDA to allow for different labeling requirements than those established by the bill.

Retailers would be exempt from federal and state civil liability for violating the requirements. The exemption wouldn’t apply to civil fines or actions taken by the government to enforce the requirements.

Cost Estimate
Implementing the bill would cost $8 million from fiscal 2018 through 2022, subject to appropriation, according to a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) cost estimate.

The bill wouldn’t affect mandatory spending or revenue and doesn’t contain intergovernmental or private-sector mandates. The CBO said the changes to state petitions wouldn’t be considered a mandate under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act because the FDA already has authority over state nutrition laws.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).  


January 2018

GAC Report: Joint Employment – Where do we go from here? 

By Mary Donohue

On Wednesday, November 8, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 3441, the Save Local Business Act, by a roll call vote of 242-181. We were extremely pleased that the bill passed with strong bipartisan support and in a timely manner.

The bill amends the National Labor Relations Act and Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to provide that a person may be considered a joint employer in relation to an employee only if such person directly, actually, and immediately, (and not in a limited or indirect manner), exercises significant control over the essential terms and conditions of employment (hiring employees, discharging employees, determining individual employee rate of pay and benefits, day-to-day supervision of employees, assigning individual work schedules, positions, and tasks, and administering employee discipline).

The joint employer issue has been of concern to KFC franchisees since the National Labor Relations Board updated their standard. The new standard makes employers more liable for the actions of their employees — thus creating uncertainty across the industry.

The new standard also would have the likely effect of making disgruntled employees potentially more likely to sue, as they may now believe they would have the deep pocket of the franchisor to chase, and not just the small business owner that actually employed them.

However, we recently received wonderful news from the NLRB. On Dec. 14, 2017, the NLRB reversed its 2015 BFI decision and returned the standard to its original. The board ruled that to be classified as “joint employer,” jointly liable for labor violations, a business must have a direct and immediate connection to the employers in question.

Even though this is a big win for our industry, it does not change the need for legislation in Congress. There is a lot of litigation built up over the years on the BFI theory in both the federal and state courts that is unresolved. Without a legislative solution, we could find ourselves back with the same level of uncertainty with a change in administration or a different National Labor Relations Board.

The legislation that passed the House in November of last year now awaits a companion in the Senate. We will keep the AKFCF updated on its movement and call upon franchisees for support at strategic moments.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees.

The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress. You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).


Happy New Year!

By Kelly Rodenberg

What better way to kick-off the New Year than to learn how to be more successful. A few months back, Eric Overcash appointed Larry Starkey to take the lead on a “Best Practice” initiative along with the support of the AKFCF Education Committee. We know there is so much to learn from one another if we take the time to share our knowledge.

If others are doing well, people tend to be interested in what they are doing and how they’re doing it, so that they, too, can be successful. Sharing best practices is a key part attributing to the success of any organization.

A best practice, loosely-defined, is a standard-operating method that produces the best performance and results. Best practices are not, however, rules or laws. They are bendable, adaptable to individual needs and systems. They are learning tools. Having a franchisee culture that embraces the sharing of best practices can help avoid reinventing the wheel, and more quickly enact new processes or programs that can help improve internal processes and service to customers. By its very nature, a franchise organization thrives on best practices. Sharing what successful franchisees are doing encourages others to do the same.

Our hope is to provide these best practices to you on a monthly basis. 

The Bowlings
We traveled to Dayton, Ohio to find out why the five restaurants of Don and Joan Bowling were up 12.5 percent in sales for 2017. Four of their restaurants have been remodeled, and the results are way above normal. We wanted to find out what they might be doing differently. Watch the video to see and better understand their results.

  • Their restaurants were in good condition prior to the remodeling 
  • Most of the Dayton DMA was remodeled as a market 
  • Find out why the "Lid Effect" could have made a difference 
  • See their digital reader boards and their impact to customer perception 
  • A new approach to operations 

If you have best practices you would like to share, please contact us. We look forward to hearing from you!


Education Committee Update

By Rob Rianna

The AKFCF Education Committee has been hard at work preparing our presenters to deliver world-class Workshops at the Annual Convention in Anaheim. We started in June searching for topics that we believe are relevant to the KFC system. As the committee began to evaluate ideas that could most benefit the system, we decided to create workshops that would focus on two main issues that could help the system: People and Profitability.

We cannot run Best on Block restaurants without having the right people on the team. So in this article, we will be all about the workshops that will help us have the best people. It is hard enough to find the right people in today’s competitive market, but if you find the right person, how do you keep them? That is why we created the Hire Top Talent and Create a Culture Where People Stay Workshop. This workshop will guide you through enhancements in the Talent at KFC Program and then introduce the New Team Member Onboarding Program to help retain the top talent that we need to be successful. This workshop will take place on Thursday, February 22, and you can attend at 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m., or 4:30 p.m. Please watch our Carpool Karaoke Video to learn how to “Keep Them All” https://youtu.be/imp2OlOU1SA.

Did you know that currently, we have five different generations that could be working at one of our KFC restaurants? With five different generations, it can be a struggle to know how to reward and recognize their accomplishments. This workshop will be led by Scott Zimmer of BridgeWorks and will not only be instructional but FUN! Scott is a Gen Xer who has been researching this topic for 15 years. Our goal is that you will leave this workshop knowing how to better understand each generation and help create an environment in your restaurants where all the generations could thrive. This workshop will take place on Saturday, February 24 at 1:30 p.m. Please watch our Carpool Karaoke Video to learn more about the generations workshop https://youtu.be/U4NG_Xn7aCs.

How can the AKFCF Convention take place right next to Disneyland and we not learn where all that Disney Magic comes from? Who better to learn some of these secrets from than one of the men who helped shape the Management Training Culture at Disney University? Doug Lipp has written eight books and has been helping organizations better train their teams for more than 20 years. Learn some of Doug’s proven concepts on how to build loyal and engaged team members in your KFC restaurant. “Be our Guest” and attend the How to Bring the Magic of Disney Alive in your Restaurant on Thursday, February 22 at the following times: 2 p.m., 3:15 p.m. or 4:30 p.m. Please watch our Carpool Karaoke Video to learn more about this exciting Workshop https://youtu.be/AvrScfU45HU

What does it take to become a Best of the Best RGM of a KFC restaurant? If you want to find out their secrets, you will not want to miss our Listen and Learn from our Best Workshop. At this year’s convention, we will have multi-year Best of the Best Winners that will share some of their success stories. Four very talented RGM’s will be our panel for this talk-show-style workshop. You will even have the opportunity to ask these RGM’s some questions from the crowd. If you want your restaurant to achieve Best of the Best recognition, do not miss this Workshop on Saturday, February 24 at 3:30 p.m. If you want to become a “Believer,” stay tuned for the Carpool Karaoke Video that will be coming out soon!



December 2017

Celebration for Success and Education

By Franklyn Nye

The Southwestern Association RGM celebration will be held next year at the Crown Plaza in Dallas, Texas, April 9 – 11, 2018.

Why should you attend this meeting? I have 300 reasons why: Cash, learning, cash, friends, cash, fun, cash. Have you figured it out yet? Every franchise organization that registers and participates in all the meetings with their RGM/ARL will receive a $300 refund.  This is only one of the reasons you should attend, though.

More than that, our workshops will be great learning environments for your teams, and we’ll have a lot of fantastic activities to keep up the energy levels and keep the RGM’s fully engaged in the meetings.

The meetings will begin on Monday, April 9 at 9 a.m. with a general SW Association membership meeting.  This will allow our RGM’s to arrive for the opening session at 1 p.m., where they are sure to be thrilled and excited for the next 48 hours.  Kevin Hochman, Phil Klezmer and other members of the KFCC Leadership team, will be presenting to the RGM’s on Tuesday from 10 to 1.  We will be enlightened about the new future of the KFC system operations and processes.

We will celebrate with all our RGM/ARL, because, as we all know, they are the most important part of each of our businesses. Without them, we would not be where we are today. Our RGM’s will meet and greet some of the best vendors within the KFC system, as they will be able to be hands on with them and their wares.

We will again have a Casino Night & Costume party for our final night shindig. The theme will be Super Heroes / Villains.  We are planning to ramp up the excitement, with more food, drinks, and fun.

Go to the www.swkfcfa.org website for more information. Come join the fun! As a member of the SW Region, you can register at the following link. https://www.regonline.com/registration/Checkin.aspx?EventID=2039872

Upper Midwest Regional Short

By Kevin Schlutz

The Upper Midwest regional board has been discussing for a number of years how to replace the many benefits of the mostly defunct local co-op meetings, especially the sharing of best practices and camaraderie. Those meetings were much more than just deciding on advertising initiatives. Franchisees compared sales and costs, talked about issues and shared best practices, and more often than not, came to solutions that could benefit all of them. While national advertising has been proven to be more efficient, we have lost the benefits of getting together every month or so for good old-fashioned sharing.  

Two opportunities have presented themselves so far in our region. This month, there will be a WCO-type meeting in Omaha, hosted by Upper Midwest First VP Jason Zakaras, for franchisees in the surrounding area to try and replicate the benefits we are missing from those co-op meetings. Then, in April, at our spring RGM meeting at the Mystic Lake Resort outside Minneapolis, President Bob Clawson has decided the first half day will be set aside for franchisees and ARLs to come together in a best practice sharing session. What we will learn from this first session will help us plan the agenda for the second. Our hope is that these first attempts will lead to further regularly scheduled and structured meetings in the future, so that all franchisee members may participate, share and gain valuable insights.

The power of the AKFCF and its regions is the combined knowledge and wisdom shared by all of its members, large or small, young or old, so that all might advance and prosper. The Upper Midwest region is constantly working for the benefit of its members. 

GAC Update: End of Year Discussion

By Mary Donohue

On Thursday, Dec. 7, Congress sent President Donald Trump a two-week extension, or continuing resolution (CR), of federal funding that averts a government shutdown this week but defers contentious decisions on spending on defense and domestic programs.

The White House said the President would sign the bill extending the government spending at current levels until Dec. 22. That will be the new deadline for negotiations.

If the President and the lawmakers can agree on overall budget limits over the next two weeks, one option would be to include that in yet another short-term spending bill to keep the government open until sometime in January. Then Congress could try to hash out the remaining details of a trillion-dollar spending plan for the rest of the fiscal year. Lawmakers also are likely to take up raising the nation’s debt limit at the same time.

If there’s need for another continuing resolution, members of the conservative House Freedom Caucus want it to include a full defense appropriations bill, in an attempt to fund the Pentagon without having to agree to a corresponding increase in non-defense funds. 

Tax Update: Where are we now?

Republican negotiations over their tax overhaul bill continue, and talks made progress this week over the corporate rate, while some other issues linger. Republicans are pushing for tax overhaul as a centerpiece of their 2018 midterm campaigns in the face of polls showing Americans disapprove of the plan. Critics say the GOP proposals are skewed towards helping the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

President Trump and many GOP lawmakers have been intent on setting the corporate rate at 20 percent to keep U.S. companies from moving their factories and jobs offshore. But Trump unexpectedly changed his stance last weekend and suggested he was open to 22 percent.

The average rate among countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is about 23 percent and the U.K. is going to be 18 percent next year.

Ethanol & the RFS:

President Trump urged Republicans to settle their differences over the U.S. biofuel mandate at a White House meeting with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and other senators critical of the requirement for ethanol use. Apparently, no resolution was reached at the meeting.

Some senators are exploring the possibility of putting a cap on the price of renewable identification numbers RINs, the tradeable credits used to show compliance with annual biofuel quotas. That could be paired with other changes to help ethanol and biodiesel producers, such as moves to build more renewable fuel blending infrastructure.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).

Are YOU Ready for PrimeTime?

By Kelly Rodenberg

If not, it’s time! The first step is to register by Sunday, Dec. 31. This is the final day to take advantage of the $150 rate. Afterwards, the fee will go up to $250. You can easily register online at http://www.akfcf.com/convention/registration.html

The next step is to make your hotel reservations at the Anaheim Marriott. The group rate is only $199 and this will expire on Jan. 22, 2018. To book your hotel room online, go to https://aws.passkey.com/go/AKFCF2018. You can also make your reservation by calling 877-622-3056 and inform the agent you are with the AKFCF Convention.

Now you just have to make your travel plans. If you are flying into Anaheim, the John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA) is only a 14-mile drive from the Marriott. You can also fly into Long Beach Airport (LGB) which is 18.2 miles away or into Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) at 35 miles out.

If you are local to the area and will be driving, self-parking is available at $25 per day.

The city of Anaheim is the home of Disneyland and provides a great opportunity for some family fun.  If you need tickets to Disneyland or California Adventure Park, click here https://www.mydisneygroup.com/ZMAB18A  to take advantage of our group discount.

For detailed information on all that Anaheim offers and other surrounding areas to visit, go to visitanaheim.org.

We promise an engaging, upbeat, and comedic energy to this multi-layered program. It will be filled with fun, education, networking, music and laughter.

I hope your holidays are filled with the same fun, family and laughter this season. Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


November 2017

Upper Midwest KFC Franchisees Association 43 Years and Going Strong

Membership is a year-long exercise. According to our bylaws, members must renew by the region’s annual meeting, which takes place in October, to be considered in good standing for that year. Since the bylaws also state that only members in good standing can attend meetings, the first renewal notification to the members goes out early in the year, even though convention attendance is based on prior year membership. This prompts a few members to renew.

The next reminder goes out prior to the Spring RGM meeting, which prompts most of our members to renew to be eligible to attend. Once the Spring meeting is over, individual invoices are prepared and mailed to the remaining franchisees in the region who have not renewed, giving them 30 days to go to the national membership site and renew. 

Follow-up by the state directors and regional officers ensues until the Fall annual meeting, for which attendees must pay their dues to attend. This progressive process has worked well for the Upper Midwest region over the last few years to get over 95 percent of the restaurants in the region to renew each year. Every January, the slate is wiped clean and the process starts all over again.

The National Renewal Site has significantly improved the process of renewing membership, especially for members who have restaurants in several regions. The process allows them to renew their membership for all regions at the same time and pay only one operator fee instead of multiple fees if they do their renewals separately. This not only saves time, but saves money, and offers the reassurance that their membership is all taken care of for that calendar year.

Regional secretaries send the link to their franchisees, who can use the same password they use for convention or other meetings. The simple process pre-populates their information and all that is required of franchisees is to put in the number of restaurants they operate in each region and make their payment, either by credit card or check. It couldn’t be easier and the streamlined process eliminates a host of potential errors.

GAC Newsletter Update

House GOP Leadership released the much-anticipated tax bill on Thursday, Nov.2. After a display of unity for the unveiling of an ambitious plan to slash individual and corporate taxes, some House Republicans and interest groups began to pick out parts of the legislation that were not well received.

After the unveiling, at least four Republicans said they would vote against the bill in its current form – most of them Northeast Republicans who represent districts that would get slammed by the plans’ elimination of state and local income-tax deductions. Republicans can only lose a total of 22 votes in the House as the Democrats have already come out in full against the bill. 

The AKFCF is primarily concerned with the 70/30 pass-through provision outlined in the bill. As it reads now, if you structure your business as a pass-through entity, the first 30 percent of franchisees’ income from the pass-through would be taxable at the reduced rate of 25 percent. The remaining income would revert to whatever income bracket you fall in. Here are the new brackets in the draft:

  • 12 percent ($0 - $90k)
  • 25 percent ($90k - $260k)
  • 35 percent ($260 - $1 million)
  • 39.6 percent (over $1 million)

Additionally, the current version outlines a “prove out” provision that allows active owners to pay up to another 30 percent at the reduced 25 percent rate based on assets. Though this avenue to greater savings appears to be a good solution, we’re unsure of the process of applying for the additional lower rate. Furthermore, the “prove out” provision essentially negates one of the top priorities Republican leadership had when they started to work on tax reform – making tax reform less complicated, not more, for American small business owners.

While we applaud our leaders in Congress for engaging in the tax reform effort, we must ensure that small businesses receive comparable treatment to large corporations. We are looking forward to working with leadership this coming week when the tax bill is on the floor to ensure AKFCF franchisees of all sizes receive tax breaks of substantial relief.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and re-election committees of pro-business members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 

Are you aware of all the membership benefits that AKFCF offers?

Membership in AKFCF keeps franchisees on top of important, ever-changing issues, trends and legislation within our industry. Many of you, however, believe the greatest benefit of being a member in our association is the networking and camaraderie that goes on among members. Below are just a few of the benefits of your membership:

  • Strengthening the KFC franchisee system through a "one voice" role in decision making and legal matters.
  • Attendance at the AKFCF’s Annual Convention (only association members and their guests are invited to attend the Convention, which is the ONLY annual convention held for the KFC franchisees in the United States).
  • Subscription to AKFCF Quarterly magazine and E-News, which is full of updates and information about the KFC business.
  • Communication and networking to address common issues, including the AKFCF Mobile App, which is for franchisee association members ONLY!
  • Education and training that you won't get anywhere else - even from our Franchisor.
  • Opportunity to serve on the national board or committee, speak at a meeting or write an article. (Serving on a regional board is a prerequisite to serving on the AKFCF’s board and being considered for a national officer position.)
  • Providing important back-up support to the KFC franchisee members of the National Council and Advertising Cooperative (NCAC).

Please take a few moments today and visit www.akfcf.com. As a member, you have access to all-inclusive member resources and tools through the AKFCF website.

Membership in the AKFCF not only benefits the teams of your restaurants, but it also projects a positive image of your restaurant to your customers. Membership in AKFCF shows a business’ initiative, engagement and a commitment to staying abreast of developments in the industry.

To gain the most from your membership, keep in mind you will get what you put into it. This means you want to be an active and productive member who mingles with other members and contributes to the community by curating useful content. We promise it will worth the time you invest.


October 2017

Autumn is Awesome!

By Kelly Rodenberg
Each season has its perks, but none quite like the fall. It’s time to relish the crisp, cool weather this time of year brings. Everyone enjoys a nice, sunny summer afternoon, but when temperatures soar to the mid-90s, it's just one miserable experience. And, ladies, we all know what less humidity means to you: Better hair days. It’s time to turn off the air conditioners and open the windows!

There’s no denying that the weather is perhaps the most anticipated part of the fall, but honestly there are so many more great aspects.

Fall Foliage

Everything is just that much prettier in the fall. Sure, snow is great to look at, but it is NOT convenient when you have to shovel the driveway in -10 degree temperatures. Summer may leave you nice and bronzed, but that doesn’t stop you from dripping sweat after every place you venture to. And do we really even have a spring anymore? The changing of the leaves creates some of the most beautiful scenery as you walk through most any city.

TV Time

Even though younger audiences don't adhere to quite the same viewing habits as those of previous decades, there's no bigger time of year for a TV fanatic than the fall season. Our favorites are back and we look forward to seeing what’s new. (Yes, I was one of those who couldn’t wait for Will and Grace to return.)


Everyone loves a good excuse to get dressed up and eat tons of candy without feeling too guilty. It doesn’t matter how old you are, this holiday doesn’t have an age limit. Plus, we all know we still watch those scary horror movies made in the ‘80s.


Whether you are cozying up to a good book or a homemade meal, nothing is quite as serene as hanging by the fire. After a long week at work, this can be just what you need to put your mind at ease. And, the bonus – campfire s’mores!

NFL and College Football

Sunday afternoons take on a whole different meaning in the fall: one filled with wings, fantasy leagues and beer. This is also the time to cheer on your college team. College football also gives you a great excuse to visit your old school and relive your glory days at epic tailgates. I have to admit, for me it is the NHL season that I look forward to. Go Hawks!

Comfy Clothes

Ah, the time to whip out your favorite sweaters, boots, jeans, lounge wear, and hoodies.

Did Someone Say Pumpkin Spice?

It’s the season for pumpkin spice everything! On October 1, I anxiously waited in the Starbucks drive-thru line for my first pumpkin spice latte of the season. I even found pumpkin spice dog treats this year. From pumpkin pie to pumpkin craft beers, it’s all amazing!

Take a Look at the AKFCF Fall Line-up!

2018 Convention Registration

Registration for the 2018 Annual Convention is now open! Click here for detailed information on this year’s program and how to register. Watch for your brochure in the mail next week and for a special teaser video on Anaheim later this month.

Best Practices

Learn from the experiences of your peers! Each month we will highlight a specific region sharing a few of their best practices and success stories. This month you will read an update from the Northeast. Please send me your best ideas, practices, and special people who have made a difference in your restaurant so that we can share your story next month.

Large Franchisee Summit

The AKFCF Executive Committee has invited franchisees from 14 large operator groups across the country for a two-day brainstorming session to be held in Chicago next month. As franchise consolidation continues, we felt it was time to start looking at who we are serving and the services we offer, plus to take into consideration the forces that are affecting our larger franchisees. The goal is to position ourselves to offer events and services that meet the needs of all our members – no matter what size organization. We acknowledge that there is a broader constituency that we have not tapped into, and we need to look at the dynamics within their management and operations. Every franchisee has an impact within our Association. We look forward to sharing with you the ideas and strategies from this summit over the next few months.

Award Nominations

Please take a moment out of your schedule today to nominate a special person you know for one of  the AKFCF’s awards. A list of awards and their descriptions can be found in this edition of eNews. Many of you see colleague’s everyday who go above and beyond for the brand and deserve to be recognized. Please share their names with Eric Overcash or me by Nov. 1.

Regional Association Fall Meetings

I encourage all of you who are considering attending a Regional meeting this fall to make the decision to go. It is the perfect environment to meet new people, network with your local KFC friends and family, update yourself on industry related news, hear from the KFCC LT on key insights and brand strategies – and of course Eric, Ron, and I will provide you with the latest on AKFCF actions and legal updates.

Nominate a Fellow Franchisee by Nov. 1!

If you know someone who demonstrates leadership, commitment, and involvement with AKFCF, please nominate them for consideration as a candidate for one of the below awards.

President's Award
The President’s Award honors members of the AKFCF who over the course of time, have made substantial contributions to the development of the Association and the KFC Brand. Individuals adhere to high standards of professionalism, decency and collegiality. Awarded to franchisees who have consistently worked to support the AKFCF’s mission statement and who have performed “over and above” what has been required.  This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

Colonel's Legacy Award
Awarded to second and third generation franchisees who have made a significant impact within their region or nationally.  It recognizes individuals for their noteworthy contributions, innovative thinking and volunteerism. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

Lifetime Achievement Award
Presented for the first time in 2015, the Lifetime Achievement Award recognizes an individual who has given decades of outstanding service and voluntary leadership spanning a career in franchising. This award is at the President’s discretion and approved by the Executive Committee.

The awards program recognizes individual accomplishments and contributions to the association community, and is a call for continued service within the system. Awards winners serve as a role models and mentors for individuals who are interested in making a commitment to a career as a KFC franchisee.

Please send your nominations for all awards listed above on or before Nov. 1 to AKFCF President Eric Overcash at eovercash@oincorporated.com.

Please include a detailed summary stating the reasons for this person’s nomination and head shot photo of the nominee. Eric Overcash will choose the recipients, subject to the approval of the AKFCF Executive Committee, and the awards will be presented at the 2018 Annual AKFCF Convention this February in Anaheim, California.

For questions, contact Kelly at 224-209-6701 or at kelly.rodenberg@akfcf.com.

Taking care of our own when they need it the most.

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have devastated southern parts of the U.S. Fortunately, the KFC Foundation is here to help KFC’s frontline workers impacted by these historic natural disasters.

Through today, Sept. 21, the KFC Foundation has disbursed $93,000 to 186 KFC restaurant employees whose homes or vehicles were damaged by one of the recent hurricanes via our large-scale/quick disbursement process. KFC Family Fund applications continue to come in and the Foundation stands ready and able to assist.

All thanks to you!

Franchisees and their monetary support through the Cole Slaw Donation Program, along with additional gifts from individual franchisees and the generosity of the KFC Corporation, make it possible for the KFC Foundation to be a comprehensive employee support organization, assisting frontline workers via education and hardship assistance programs.

Changes in 2018
In 2018, the KFC Family Fund joins the REACH Educational Grant Program and Rise with GEDWorks (same program, new name!) as being available exclusively to employees at restaurants participating in the Cole Slaw Donation Program. Thanks to the overwhelming majority of KFC U.S. franchisees who contribute to the Foundation in this way, these programs will be here for your people when they need our help.

New in 2018! Financial literacy for participating restaurant employees… Additional information coming your way soon.

Questions? Contact the Foundation at foundation@kfc.com or 800-248-5092.

AKFCF Fall Fly-in Update

On Oct. 3 and 4, the AKFCF GAC returned to Washington, D.C., for the second time this year to meet with Members of Congress and discuss a few legislative priorities; there were 14 franchisees that attended, and they visited with more than 30 congressional offices.  

The fly-in began on Tuesday, with attendees meeting on Capitol Hill to participate in an afternoon briefing session with industry professionals. They were briefed on issues such as tax reform, minimum wage, overtime, joint-employer, health care, ethanol and the RFS. They also visited with congressional staff from the House Education and Workforce Committee.

The afternoon briefing session serves a few purposes, but most importantly it prepares franchisees for their Hill meetings the following day. Hearing about current events and strategy nuances from industry professionals help the attendees stay on message.

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, the franchisees hit the Hill and spent the morning visiting with Senators and the afternoon meeting with Congressman. We determine the Members that each franchisee visits by their address and store locations, while considering the strategic objectives we are trying to fulfill.

Over the two days, we also hosted four fundraisers for various Members of Congress:

  • Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL)
  • Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX)
  • Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX)
  • Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO)

These Members are important to the AKFCF and for a variety of reasons. For example, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) is the original cosponsor on the joint-employer bill we currently have in the House; Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) is the Chairman of the House Rules Committee – every piece of legislation goes through the Rules Committee and he determines which will get a vote; Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) is the Chairman of the Blue Dogs Coalition, a left of center group of free-market Democrats, and is a huge supporter of our joint-employer legislation; and Rep. Jason Smith (R-MO) sits on the House Ways & Means Committee and will be instrumental in rolling our the GOP tax reform plan.

During the fundraisers, franchisees get to introduce themselves to the Members and share personal anecdotes of how actions on Capitol Hill impact their businesses. The fundraisers are closed to outside parties and only fly-in attendees are present – providing a private environment for frank discussions. 

If any members from the AKFCF would like to participate in one of our Washington, D.C., fly-ins, please contact your GAC representative.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress. You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).

Northeast Region: Best Demonstrated Practices

By Dale Moulton

Our biggest challenge up until four years ago was our bench strength. Ric Rozier, Rob Rianna, and Keith Cole unselfishly served as the president of the Northeast twice. During Ric’s second presidency, Jim Waters came into the rotation. Clinton Lewis behind him. Then I was asked to be part of the rotation. If it had not been for Ray Aley, Larry Starkey, Mrs. Pfeiffer, Don Lopes, Freddy Gallant, and many others who offered their support and genuine caring, I may have passed. Jim and Clinton welcomed me and made me feel part of team right away. Joe Farley had declined for many years until Jim, Clinton, and I asked him to come on board. Our rotation is now healthy with Denise Springers as our second vice president; Mike Houston is her shadow, and Alex Rosenblum comes in behind Mike. My involvement today is because of the heart felt invitation that I was extended by many members of the association. Both Joe and Denise would echo my sentiments. I would also go on to mention that the Northeast has shared the national stage with Mrs. Pfeiffer being the only two-time AKFCF president. Larry Starkey also was the president of the AKFCF, and Keith Cole is the sitting treasurer. Larry now represents the Northeast on the NCAC. There is once again a proud tradition within the Northeast not only to serve at the regional level but, more importantly, at the national level.

GAC Commitment
The Northeast has become engaged at both the local, state, and federal levels gaining the commitment and resources of the Northeast franchisees. Ray Aley has spearheaded the efforts of our franchisees to ensure that we are engaged with every level of government that impacts our business. Ray has truly been a champion of our cause and given much of his time to ensure that as many franchisees are involved as possible. Our lobby days in Albany have grown in frequency. Ray has rallied the troops on more than one occasion to ensure the Representatives at the state level know that we are engaged and need their support to better the experience of all. Our Washington fly ins are always well attended. And there is never an issue with finding candidates for the Northeast GAC; Rep. Don Lopes, and now Jim Waters, have worked hard to support the needs of our Association.

Upper Midwest:  Making a Multi-regional Meeting Work

By Kevin Schlutz

In Indiana, Iowa, New Mexico and Minnesota, we’re making the final preparations for another Super Regional fall meeting. Yes, you’ve heard “it takes a village.” In this case, it takes officers, secretaries, and volunteers from all three regions, plus our meetings director, to finish all the preparations to ensure a smooth-running meeting. It’s great to be able to share the work and then come together with all the details handled. While we all used to run our own meetings, and still do for the spring meetings, it is great for each region to do their part in the process and feel that pride of accomplishment when it all comes together. Whether it’s picking the menus, laying out the vendor hall, or running the actual meetings, lots of people are involved. It all starts with picking the venue, which takes place years before the actual event – making sure there is adequate meeting space, accommodations, and accessibility for travel. Picking a golf course for the annual outing. Setting up the registration sites and reservation links and sending invitations to the vendor partners, members, and corporate partners. Picking menus, developing agendas, contracting speakers, answering questions, coordinating with suppliers and service providers. Oh, and who is going to run the audio visual, since everyone has a deck these days? Thankfully, we have Jon and Justin who cheerfully volunteer for that, and we have no shortage of committee reports and others who have interesting messages for the participants.

That’s the whole purpose of all this work. To provide the proper atmosphere for members to listen, learn, discuss, and share what will make the system better, stronger, and more cohesive than they were before. As AKFCF President Eric Overcash says, it’s our job to provide the members with a great return on their investment of time and money to come to these meetings. That return takes many forms, and we all work together to make it happen.


September 2017

Becoming a Better Public Speaker

By Kelly Rodenberg

Jerry Seinfeld made a great joke based on a simple observation:

“I read a thing that actually says that speaking in front of a crowd is considered the number one fear of the average person. I found that amazing; number two was death! That means to the average person, if you have to be at a funeral, you would rather be in the casket than doing the eulogy.”

And even though this statement may be quite amusing, it is not scientifically accurate. However, research has shown that public speaking is in fact one of the most common social phobias.

So, for instance, when many of our association franchisees receive an amazing opportunity to take on a leadership role that involves numerous speaking engagements where they will have to talk on a particular subject in their field of expertise, or to give a live interview on the radio or TV, they immediately jump to a place inside themselves out of sheer panic. Hearts race, breathing stops, and minds go totally blank. For many, the mere thought of having to put themselves out there leaves them terrified, and they often turn down the offer to become a regional president or the president of the AKFCF.

Last year, Joan Bowling, AKFCF Leadership Committee chair, wanted to create a workshop to help future leaders overcome this fear, making the path to leadership less intimidating for those who wanted to climb the AKFCF executive ladder. We partnered with Chip Booth, executive producer of Booth Production Group, to develop a workshop series that would provide the tools and skills to prepare future leaders for public speaking.

Members invited to participate included: Greg Atwell, Eric Overcash, Bryan Robinson, Jim McKenize, Justin Stewart, Brandon Robertson, Jeanine Bagshaw, and Alessio DiFranco.

Part one of the workshop took place in January over an eight hour period. Attendees were asked to give impromptu ice breaker speeches on topics they knew nothing about. They learned how to use an official presidential teleprompter and talk from behind a lecturn. They had to memorize a Convention keynote speech given by one of AKFCF’s past presidents, make it their own, and then deliver it on stage in front of their peers. Once delivered, they were critiqued by their peers. Not an easy exercise to be part of!

Part two of the workshop just concluded in August. This time, the attendees had to write their own presidential keynote speech. They no longer had the security of standing behind a lecturn but had to walk and command a full stage. They had to learn how to use down stage confidence monitors and be prepared if, at some point, technology went out. Life never goes as planned; we are all dealt some curve balls, but it’s how we deal with those curve balls that matters!

Chances are that you'll sometimes have to speak in public as part of your role. While this can seem intimidating, the benefits of being able to speak well outweigh any perceived fears. To become a better speaker, use the following strategies:

  • Plan appropriately. Understand the process.
  • Practice. Practice a lot.
  • Engage with your audience. Relate your story to them. Add emotional touches.
  • Pay attention to your body language.
  • Think positively. Be confident.
  • Cope with your nerves.
  • Watch recordings of your speeches. Watch yourself speak in the mirror.
  • Talk about what you know. Make it your own.

The good news is that, with thorough preparation and practice, you can overcome your nervousness and perform exceptionally well. The more you push yourself to speak in front of others, the better you'll become and the more confidence you'll have.

This group worked hard, learned valuable skills, and had fun doing it! If you have any questions or would like to be involved in the next workshop on speech coaching, please contact Joan or myself.

Here are just a few quotes from some of the great speeches written by our attendees:

Brandon Robertson
“So, you see, we all have people in our lives that we owe our gratitude for helping us along our journey to become who we are today. If I had not taken the opportunity to call Minnie Stottle at Tony Orlando Theater and accepted the job as night auditor, I would not be a KFC franchisee today.”

Bryan Robinson
“The small changes you make today can make a big difference tomorrow. Accountability is ours; we need to continually evolve.”

Jim McKenzie
“The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past…we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one strength we have, and that is our attitude…I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.”

Alessio DiFranco
“We have found that finding and cultivating leaders is a slow, grass-roots project that requires many people over time to grow leaders. They say raising a child takes a village. In this case, raising a leader takes a lot of chicken pluckers.”

Eric Overcash
“YOU GET BACK MANY TIMES MORE THAN WHAT YOU GIVE is never more true than with your KFC family!!!”

Justin Stewart
“I was once asked by a close friend, “What is it that helped you become successful in your career?” The answer instantly popped into my mind. I’ve just always known I would be. It’s not that I was cocky or arrogant; I just had this internal belief that one way or another I would succeed.”

GAC Report: Congress Returns to Deadlines & Division

Congress enters the fall legislative session facing a calendar peppered with a government funding decision, Trump administration nominees to consider, and a pending House Joint-Employer bill that would limit labor and employment liability for affiliated businesses.

The Senate considered political nominees and federal government appropriations during the run-up to the August recess. Some moves were delayed by the debate over replacing Obamacare. In the House, Republicans continued ongoing legislative effort to reverse some other Obama-era policies.

Lawmakers are likely to continue to pursue those priorities throughout the fall, but may once again be slowed by partisan divides. The Senate filibuster rule means the Republican majority in that chamber will need to convince at least eight Democrats to cross the aisle to move any legislation. 

Additionally, Congress must get past the looming possibility of a government shutdown. Legislation currently funding the government is set to expire at the end of September, and a long-term spending measure may be complicated by a dispute over whether to raise the federal debt ceiling.

Party-line division is largely expected to continue as members consider political nominees, employee benefits such as paid leave, union election procedures, joint employer liability, and conflict-of-interest restrictions for retirement advisers.

Deputy labor secretary nominee Patrick Pizzella is still awaiting Senate confirmation, and management lawyer William Emanuel still needs to be approved by senators for a seat on the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). Business advocates, such as the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, would like to see the White House and Congress pick up the pace on nominations so that the Labor Department and NRLB can change course on various policy legal questions.

House Taking Legislative Lead & Labor Focus on Joint Employer Legislation

The GOP-controlled House this Congress has moved several pieces of legislation on labor-related issues such as compensatory time for overtime and union election rules.

Lawmakers plan to build on that success with a joint employer bill (H.R.3441) that could be marked up before the end of September. The Save Local Business Act would limit the circumstances under which businesses in staffing, franchise, and other contract relationship can be required to bargain with affiliated workers or be held responsible for wage-and-hour-violations related to those workers.

Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL) has spearheaded the campaign for cosponsors during the August recess and is looking to add moderate Democrat support in addition to the strong Republican support he’s already finalized.

The legislation is the latest effort to reverse the National Labor Relations Board’s 2015 decision in Browing-Ferris Industries (BFI) in which the NRLB held that organizations with indirect control over contractors, franchisees, or staffing agency workers can be considered their joint employer under federal labor law. The bill would also undo the Fourth Circuit decision in which the appeals court took a similarly expansive view of liability in overtime and minimum wage cases.

The AKFCF GAC will be discussing this bill at length with lawmakers at our upcoming fall fly-in taking place October 3-5 in Washington, D.C.

Senate Focus on Funding & Nominations

Many bills that have found their way out of the House now sit untouched in the Senate as time-sensitive issues such as executive appointments and efforts to keep the government open after the end of the fiscal year take priority. The ongoing healthcare debate and upcoming push for a tax overhaul could also continue to clog up the calendar. 

The chamber’s appropriators will also be moving forward soon with their version of the Labor-HHS appropriations bill, which funds agencies such as the DOL and NLRB. The Appropriations Committee is scheduled to mark up the bill, which hasn’t been made public.

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to members of Congress. 

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute. 

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com).

August 2017

Great Lakes Regional Update

Planning hands-on service projects

Just as Harland Sanders left a lasting impact on fast food, he has also inspired KFC franchisees to give back to their communities. The Great Lakes Education Committee, chaired by Bob Widder, has taken on the task of planning hands on service projects for their region. On May 1, 2017, the Great Lakes kicked off their Spring Association Meeting by organizing a dinner at the Ronald McDonald House Charities in Columbus, Ohio. The RMHC is a modern facility that houses families traveling far from home, spending weeks or months seeking treatment for seriously sick or injured children. The RMHC serves three meals a day, 365 days a year provided by individual donors, churches, organizations and corporate businesses like KFC. The GLEC had the task of feeding 150 family members of sick children being treated at Nationwide Children's Hospital. KFCC generously donated the food. Original Recipe chicken, mac and cheese, and green beans were brought in from local KFC restaurants. The fresh aroma of biscuits and cookies, baked on site, filled the Ronald McDonald House. Seventy volunteers, made up of KFCC employees, vendors, and franchisees served the families a home-style KFC meal.  It was great to support those in need and to show KFC cares by delivering a great southern style, home cooked meal!
How can you join the Great Lakes Education Committee on their next service project?  Stay tuned for details on the 2017 Fall Super Regional service project in St. Petersburg, Fla. This event will be a carry in donation to be given to a local charity.  We hope to see you there!  If you can't make it, there will be a hands on service event at the 2018 Fall Super Regional meeting in Denver, Colorado. As KFC franchisees, we work hard to preserve the legacy Harland Sanders left by giving back to the community.

GAC Report: Joint-Employer Legislation Introduced

On Thursday, July 27, Rep. Bradley Byrne (R-AL), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX), Rep. Lou Correa (D-CA), Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), and other cosponsors met on Capitol Hill to announce the introduction of the “Save Local Business Act” (H.R.3441).

The legislation will restore the NRLB’s joint employer standard as it existed prior to the 2015 Browning-Ferris case – creating certainty and stability in business relationships and restoring the prior standard of joint employment liability.

As you are aware, in the 2015 case involving a waste management company Browning-Ferris and a staffing agency, the NRLB abandoned a 30-year-old position that a company had to have direct control over the actions of an employee to be considered a joint employer. Instead, the board concluded that a company might be a joint employer even if it had indirect or potential control.

This is a concern to KFC franchisees because if the new standard is taken to its logical conclusion, franchisors such as KFC might determine that they will be liable no matter what happens, and as a result, decide to exercise even more control over the day to day operations of your independently owned and operated business. It also would have the likely effect of making disgruntled employees sue, as they may now believe they would have the deep pocket of the franchisor to chase, and not just the small business owner that employed them.

After the announcement by the cosponsors, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) released the following statement:
"In 2015, the NLRB made a terrible decision to hold privately-owned franchises accountable for employees working at other franchises that they didn't hire and have no relationship to. Deeming franchise owners 'joint-employers' of such employees could end up costing thousands of jobs, tank small businesses, and provide a boon for trial lawyers attacking businesses for labor practices that those franchise owners don't control. What's worse, this decision was made unilaterally by executive branch employees in the Obama Administration, giving the American people no chance to defend small businesses and voice their opposition through their representations.
"In America, we don't punish a person for someone else's actions. The Save Local Business Act introudced by Representative Bradley Byrne (AL-01) will treat American businesses fairly again so they can go back to what they do best -- hiring workers and providing quality products and services for their customers."

We are urging AKFCF members to reach out to their Members of Congress in the House of Representatives and encourage them to cosponsor the bill (H.R.3441). If you need help identifying your Member of Congress or need assistance getting in touch with their office, please contact Mary Donohue at Polaris Consulting (mdonohue@polariswdc.com) for more information. 

Donate to the PAC: Contributing to the AKFCF PAC is the best way to support the election and reelection committees of pro-business Members of Congress who share the same concerns as franchisees. The money raised in the PAC goes directly to Members of Congress.

You may make your 2017 AKFCF PAC donation online by visiting our portal on the AKFCF website. Please click here to be guided to the website and contribute.

For more information, please contact your regional GAC representative or Mary Donohue of Polaris Consulting, LLC (mdonohue@polariswdc.com). 

Back to Work After a Trip to Ireland

By Kelly Rodenberg

Since it’s the last month of summer, I thought I would share a few highlights of my summer vacation in Ireland with you.

Ireland’s reputation precedes itself, as a first-time visitor I thought I might know what to expect: fields of clover, wooly sheep, stone castles, some Irish stew and Guinness galore. But there’s so much more to Ireland than its stereotypical charms.

On March 20, I turned the big 50 and as a gift to myself for this milestone, I booked a trip to Ireland with three of my best friends. Mind you, we have been friends since middle school, were roommates in college and could survive a 10 day trip together 24/7.  We decided to skip the bus tours stopping at leprechaun-filled souvenir shops and find better things to explore on our own time. Instead, we plotted out our adventure by car from Shannon to Dublin. Below are just a few of my first-timer experiences to the Emerald Isles.

Driving in Ireland – Remember HARD&