December 2018

Happy Holidays KFC Family!

By Kelly Rodenberg
From our family to yours, we wish you a joyful holiday season filled with what's most important — spending time and creating memories with your friends and family. At AKFCF, we are especially grateful for supporters, like you, who can give St. Jude families the greatest gift of all — more time with their loved ones. 

This February at the 2019 Convention, we are asking you to give thanks for the healthy kids in your life, and give to those who are not. So that St. Jude families will continue to receive the little things that make their stays more enjoyable away from home, we are asking each of you to bring a donated item from this list with you to Orlando. We will have a designated area near the AKFCF registration desk for you to drop items off when you arrive. Because all a family should have to worry about is helping their child live and be comfortable in a home away from home. 

You all showed generous support to Shriners Children’s Hospital during our Convention in Austin when we asked this of you in 2017, and I know we can donate even more in Orlando!

Thank you all for your generous support and happy holidays!


Upper Midwest Region Update

By Kevin Schlutz

Is email an outdated mode of communication for keeping our members informed? For more than a decade, the regional Secretaries and AKFCF have relied on email as their number-one form of communication with you, our members. Secretaries constantly strive to keep their distribution lists up to date and current amid the constant changes in the membership. But with all the spam and other clutter hitting our email inboxes every day, does everyone take the time to read even a short, informational email?

Many believe in the busy world we live in that texting is becoming much more viable and apt to be read. This is the reason your regional Secretaries have been asking to update your contact information, including your mobile number, so that through a new program they and the AKFCF can send short texts to the members. Obviously, email still will be used for some things, but where a text would work, we believe that would be more appropriate.

Please cooperate by submitting your mobile number so that all members may be reached in this manner. We also are working on standardizing our communications according to a schedule so that you receive the information you need at the right time. As always, please let us know if you have any ideas or suggestions for better communications.


GAC Report: Technical Corrections Lame Duck Bill

By Mary Donohue

The AKFCF signed onto a letter sent to House and Senate leadership as part of the QIP Coalition that urged Congress to support the inclusion of technical corrections to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) in end of the year legislation to fix the Qualified Improvement Property (QIP) language.

The QIP Coalition is a group of like-minded businesses across a variety of industries who are negatively impacted by the error that was mistakenly written into the final language of the TCJA.

The drafting error in the QIP provision of the TCJA causes building improvements to be written off over 39 years instead of one year as contemplated under the Act. As a result, a taxpayer gets to write off only 2.5% of their improvement costs in the year the expenditures are made, and 97.5% over the remaining 38 years, instead of writing off 100% of the cost in the year the expenditure is made.

The very large difference in the after-tax cost of making improvements is causing a delay in store, restaurant, and leasehold remodeling projects. These decisions not only deny 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 restaurant. Finally, the delay in remodeling projects creates safety concerns because, in some cases, it is causing a delay in the installation of sprinkler systems creating a more perilous situation in the case of fire.

The investment delays were confirmed in a recent survey by the National Association of Business Economics, which found that two-thirds of companies in the services sector say their capital spending remains unchanged since enactment of the tax reform law, which is attributed to the error in the law causing restaurateurs to put off new investment until after the provision is fixed.

The AKFCF GAC is working with allies in Congress to get this bill passed before the end of the Congressional session. We will keep the AKFCF membership updated of any changes.

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 (


November 2018

Just a Few More Days to Save!

By Kelly Rodenberg

Don’t wait, register by November 30 and save $100 on your AKFCF Annual Convention Registration Fees.

Why arrive early and stay late? For all the fun that AKFCF Prime Time 2 and Orlando have to offer!

Wednesday, February 6th

Ray Zimmerer Memorial Golf Tournament
7:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Rosen Shingle Creek Golf Course
(Registration deadline is Jan. 11, 2019)

Tee up on a brand new course: The redesigned Shingle Creek Golf Course! Planned by Arnold Palmer Design Company, the hotel’s new course is both innovative and classic. Set along the historic Shingle Creek headwaters of the Everglades, the course provides a challenging and rewarding game of golf for all skill levels. The natural beauty of the course creates a feeling of seclusion from the hustle and bustle of Orlando.

AKFCF “Prime Time 2” Registration and Green Room Experience
Wednesday, February 6 – 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Thursday, February 7 – 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Get the VIP treatment when you arrive on-site in Orlando! It’s a whole new registration experience as you arrive and check in for “Prime Time 2.” Begin by walking the red-carpet to take a selfie with your fellow celebrities in front of the step and repeat screen, then obtain your VIP badge that allows you access into the show and exclusive private events. Once checked in, you can enter the NEW AKFCF “Prime Time 2” Green Room. Just got off the plane and want to look and feel refreshed? We’ve got you covered with experts from our hair, make-up and massage team. Relax and unwind in a fun and funky atmosphere with unique finger foods and drinks. And don’t forget to pick up your swag bag on the way out!

Friday, February 8th
Private Party at Universal Studios Florida™
6:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
(Transportation provided – buses will begin departing at 5:30 p.m. and run every 30 minutes)

Get ready for one of the biggest parties AKFCF has ever thrown, because we’ve reserved The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ - Diagon Alley™, Springfield, U.S.A. ™, and the World Expo areas at Universal Studios Florida™ just for you!
All night long, you’ll have unlimited access to experience the magic and excitement of Diagon Alley™, including the multi-dimensional thrill ride, Harry Potter and the Escape from Gringotts™. Plus, you can board the Hogwarts™ Express and journey to Hogsmeade™ Station in Universal’s Islands of Adventure™ and back.
In the World Expo area, you’ll zap aliens to save the galaxy on MEN IN BLACK™ Alien Attack™. And, you can enter the world of The Simpsons™ like never before! Visit Springfield, U.S.A.™, for an intergalactic spin on Kang & Kodos’ Twirl ‘n’ Hurl, and crash through Krustyland on The Simpsons Ride™.
Enjoy an array of food and drinks at each of these area’s themed restaurants at your leisure.
It’s a night of unforgettable fun and excitement — and it’s all yours!

Harry Potter characters, names and related indicia are © & ™ Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. Harry Potter Publishing Rights © JKR. (s18)
The Simpsons RideTTwentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. The Simpsons TM & © 2018 Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Men In Black & Alien Attack: TM & © 2018 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc. All rights reserved. Universal elements and all related indicia TM & © 2018 Universal Studios. All rights reserved.

What’s coming to Orlando in 2019?
With so many amazing new additions heading to the parks, 2019 is shaping up to be one of the greatest years for theme parks in history. From massive new lands with multiple attractions and experiences to exciting new roller coasters, and even a few new family-friendly rides, there's no better time to visit Orlando than next year. Here are the top 5 new rides coming to the Orlando theme parks in 2019.

Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Fans of the galaxy far, far away will soon enter a whole planet filled with new adventures. Batuu is a remote trading post at the edge of the galaxy and in late fall of 2019, we'll be able to explore the Black Spire outpost village. You'll be able to experience two new rides here: One where you get to pilot the Millennium Falcon, and another where you'll have to escape the clutches of the First Order right in the middle of a climactic battle between the dark side and the light. The new land will also feature street side shops, a Cantina where guests can order a glass of blue milk, and a restaurant where the food is grilled over the flames of a pod racer engine. Plus, there will be alien residents and free-roaming droids around every corner. It's going to be out of this world!

Mickey & Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Prepare to step into the movie screen as your family joins Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy on an all-new adventure through the wacky animated world of the new Mickey Mouse Shorts. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is the first ride to ever star the famous mouse, and it will feature a new type of high-tech projection effect on moving surfaces to help recreate the fun and frantic energy found in the popular Mickey Mouse shorts. This new family attraction also will feature its very own theme song, that's being written just for the ride. With crazy twists and turns and surprises around every corner, it will be an exciting new addition for the whole family when it opens in 2019.

Harry Potter Themed Roller Coaster at Universal Orlando
Fly far beyond the grounds of the Hogwarts Castle in an all-new adventure starring you. A brand-new roller coaster experience is coming to The Wizarding World of Harry Potter – Hogsmeade, located inside of Universal's Islands of Adventure. On your daring adventure, you'll meet some of the Wizarding World's rarest magical creatures and visit new and mysterious places. Universal is touting the new attraction as their most highly themed roller coaster to date, and they're calling it a new generation of thrill ride that will be fun for the whole family. Stay tuned as more details for this new coaster will be revealed in early 2019.

Tigris Roller Coaster at Busch Gardens Tampa
Get ready for some white-knuckle excitement when Busch Gardens Tampa opens their newest roller coaster. Located near Jungala, where the tigers reign, Tigris will be Florida's tallest launched coaster. On this intense attraction, riders will be launched up to 150 feet up and travel along more than 1,800 feet of steel track. You'll be catapulted forward at more than 60 mph, and then fall back down backward before taking on the inverted heartline roll. The track layout is designed to mimic the awe-inspiring agility of the tiger, the world's largest and most powerful cat. This new addition will start welcoming its first brave riders in the spring of 2019.

Lego Movie World at LEGOLAND Florida
Everything is awesome at the all-new Lego Movie World opening at LEGOLAND Florida in the spring of 2019. This whole new land will feature two new rides and one completely re-imaged one, a giant themed play area for kids, and chances to meet your favorite characters from the film. One of the attractions will be a totally re-imagined version of the interactive boat ride, The Quest for Chi, as this area will be replacing The World of Chima land at the park. One of the new attractions will expand the land even further, adding an immersive new adventure through Emmett's hometown of Bricksburg.

And that's not all, because 2019 has much more to offer at all of the parks! Sesame Street is coming to SeaWorld Orlando with new kid-friendly rides and a brand new parade. Aquatica Orlando is opening a brand new water thrill slide called KareKare Curl. Lightning McQueen is getting a new show at Disney's Hollywood Studios to help teach kids the art of driving. The Magic Kingdom is unveiling the new "Move It! Shake It! MousekeDance It!" dance party. Universal Studios Florida will be opening a brand new live-action show to replace Terminator 2: 3D. With so many new things in 2019, it's shaping up to the best year ever in Orlando!

Click here to see what 2018 brought to Orlando!

We hope you can take time away from your restaurants for a few days to experience all that Orlando has to offer with your friends and families.


GAC Report: Midterm Election Results as of Nov. 13, 2018

By Mary Donohue

House: Democrats needed a net gain of 23 seats to flip the House of Representatives. So far, they’ve gained 32 seats, with 10 races to go. Democrats have taken control of the House for the first time in eight years. 

Currently, Democrats have control of 227 seats and Republicans have control of 198 seats. 

Senate: Republicans kept the Senate — and picked up seats in the process. 

Notable races include: Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) narrowly beat out Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX). Three Republicans flipped Senate seats in states that Trump won in 2016 (Mike Braun (IN), Kevin Cramer (ND), and Josh Hawley (MO). Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) was beaten by Jacky Rosen (D-NV), and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) won his race. 

The Arizona, Montana, and Florida Senate races are still outstanding as the votes were too close to call. Mississippi will go into a runoff as per their special election. 

Currently, Republicans have control of 51 seats and Democrats have control of 46 seats. 

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 (  


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 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


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

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 (  



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 (  


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

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 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 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 (



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 (


June 2018

Southwest Region Update

By Kelli Spring