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Every spring, CAFA has a Lunch and Learn for the most important developments in franchise sales.

This year, we have stellar group of experienced sales professionals to lead our panel discussion.

1. What's New in franchise Sales?

How has Social Selling affected franchise sales?

Do you know the 3 different ways you can recruit new franchise operators on LinkedIn? Which is most effective? Which is most risky?

Why advertising on Facebook may be a waste of your brand's time and money. And why your new website redesign may fail.

Why LinkedIn company pages are the way to recruit, and what you have to do to be successful. How you can help your franchise brokers to expand your brand's reach in LinkedIn.

2. What hasn't changed in franchise sales?

The "series of mental operations" your franchise prospects must complete remains unchanged.

Your brand requires a written, formal and defined franchise sales process with:

1. A way to qualify candidates.

2. A way to move qualified candidates through your process.

Why experienced professionals are needed. How to use a CRM or automated sales process to complement your professionals.

3. What have people forgotten about Franchise Sales?

Many franchisors have forgotten the art of prospecting. Everyone new to franchising wants leads, without doing the work to prospect.

Joe Caruso.jpg

Joe Caruso, " I got my franchising start over 20 years ago with Hardee's and Carl's Jr, during a restructuing.

I had to change everything we did and rebuild our franchise sales process.

So I re-designed the entire process - which is still in use today."

Dr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough.jpgDr. Michael (Mick) Riddiough, "Having worked within the franchise industry for 30 years, I have extensive knowledge of the essential tools needed to succeed in today's market. "

"Recently, by utilizing new media, digital marketing and a wide range of classic sales methods and development models ... we were able to help a franchisor grow from 9 units to 92".

Sidney Lee.jpgSidney Lee, For 11 years I "manged largest and most strategic licensed account relationship in the Starbucks Coffee Company LS portfolio."

Now, my company Choice Advisors, "helps entrepreneurs succeed in either buying a franchise or transitioning an existing business from an "operator model"​ to a "franchise growth model".

warren lewis.jpgWarren Lee Lewis Moderator, is the author, The Franchise Seller's Handbook, 2010.

And recently awarded, The Best Lawyers in America 2009-2016, Listed in Washington, D.C. for Franchise Law

Time: Tuesday, May 24th from 11:45 - 2pm

Tower Club, Tysons Corner, Northern Virginia.

For our newer members, please review the Tower Club's Dress Code.

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

Click Here to Pay and Register

For the past five years I've had the privilege of being the President of the Capital Area Franchise Association (CAFA).

For CAFA's January 2015 lunch & learn program schedule we were honored to hear from Robert Cresanti, then Executive Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy of the International Franchise Association (IFA).

Robert had a full house and shared his perspective on the state of franchising. He spoke candidly about what the IFA was forecasting for 2015, the priorities for the year: credit access, taxes, health care, veterans in franchising and the continued importance and impact of franchising in our economy.

Now, I am pleased to announce that Robert Cresanti, as the new IFA President & CEO, will be back to CAFA to launch our 2016 lunch & learn program schedule on Tuesday, January 19, 2016 at The Tower Club in Tysons Corners, VA.

Start the year by hearing from someone who clearly understands the issues and opportunities for franchising in 2016.

At this year's event we will have an "Actor's Studio" style exchange between Robert and Warren Lee Lewis of Akerman LLP with ample opportunity for audience participation and questions.

For over 20 years, CAFA, 6 times a year on the 3rd Tuesday of alternating months, brought together some of the best, brightest and most innovative franchisors, franchisees and franchising professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region to share their franchising knowledge and insights.

CAFA is member organization dedicated to the best in franchising and franchise education that encourages guest attendance at all meetings.

Two weeks ago, Joe Caruso wrote up an overview of How Important Franchising was to the US Economy, based on Steve Caldeira's presentation to CAFA.

I have looked at the presentation further, to find out what the IFA was doing at on the legislative level.

Here is an overview of the IFA's top concerns.

Public Policy Issues.png

Now, I found it very interesting that the IFA, which is mostly comprised of franchisors, would be interested in "Workforce Regulations".  

My experience as a franchisor is that franchisors are very reluctant to discuss with their franchise owners anything do with HR compliance.  

Franchisors leave it to franchisee owner's to obey all state and federal workplace laws.

Even more puzzling to me was this slide:


Ok, I get why franchisors are worried about anything that extends the jurisdiction or reach of the NRLB.

But, why are franchisors worried about David Weil, "the nominee for Wage & Hour Division Administrator"?

Wage and Hour violations happen at the franchise owner level, unless the franchisor has significant units not in compliance.

The audience didn't get an chance to ask Steve more about this, so I am putting this out there.  

Why should the franchisor be worried about more Wage and Hour violations, unless their own units are not in compliance?  

Why is the franchisee's failure to comply with local state and federal Wage and Hour laws a concern for the franchisor?  I don't get it.


Over the past three years it's become an annual event for the Capital Area Franchise Association - CAFA to have Stephen Caldeira, President of the International Franchise Association - IFA get the new year started with his franchising outlook.

Until this year when unfortunately Steve was unable to make for CAFA's January 2014 lunch & learn event. No worries however Steve made Scott Lehr Vice President U.S. & International Development at the IFA available to take his place. I have known Scott for as long as I have been in franchising and we were pleased to have him stand in for Steve. 

Well our unprecedented winter weather put the kibosh on CAFA's January meeting at the very last minute. We had to reschedule. And when we did I received an email that Steve could speak at our March event.

For those of you who haven't made it to a CAFA event attendees begin arriving around 11:30 AM or so to sign in, get their badges, talk with each other until the lunch service begins. Our featured speakers and panelists session begins at 1:00 PM, ends promptly at 2:00 PM and there's post meeting networking as well.

One of the real pleasures of being President of CAFA is every year I get to have Steve at my table for lunch every January and of course this year in March. Which is great and I look forward to it each year. 

Now something I learned about Steve 3 years ago was that when he speaks at a luncheon like CAFA as part of his game plan he forgoes lunch and pays all of his attention on his table mates. This year was no exception.

And one of the things he shared with me was how much he enjoys the CAFA meetings each year.

There's one additional benefit to sitting with Steve, the table gets an extra dessert to share.  Steve "donates" his dessert to the table.

Both Steve and I in our careers have worked for large QSR franchise systems and we compared notes on franchisee and franchisor relations and in particlular working with franchisees to resolve troubled situations.

Our experiences paralleled in that it was always more desirable to exhaust all efforts to work things out with franchise owners whenever possible.

Franchising and the IFA are fortunate to have a leader like Steve who has hands-on franchise experience and is so genuinely relatable and engaging.

In Steve's presentation it was reinforced how vital franchising is to the US economy and livelihoods of so many people.

1.  Growth in the Economy.

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2. Franchises are creating more jobs.



3.  Sectors in which Franchising dominates as a business method.



For the full presentation from the IFA and Steve Caldeira, please sign up for the Capital Area Franchise Newsletter.

See you all next year!


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I want to personally invite you to attend our next CAFA Lunch and Learn meeting, November 19th.

We have a very interesting and challenging topic:

How Franchisors Can Avoid Large Dollar Damage Awards Created by Franchisee's Actions?

(It might subtitled: "The Dumb Things that Franchise Systems Do To Themselves")

The Franchisor and Franchise Owner relationship is a difficult one, when it comes to making sure that the Franchise Owners have enough information, correct incentives to be in compliance with the law.

Failure results in million dollar claims against the franchise system.

These million dollar cases should worry all franchisors and franchise owners. I know it keeps in-house franchisor counsel awake!

The franchisor wants the franchise owners to have the best compliance advice possible.  For everyone's sake.

How can a franchisor do more than inform franchisees about the law and urge them to confer with their lawyers to confirm that they are compliant?

Listen to our expert panel & bring you own questions and solutions.

Click and Register Here.

For those of you who don't live in the Washington area, if you know any Franchisors, Franchisees or Industry Suppliers,  forward this invitation along to someone you know.

Looking forward to seeing you all, again.

Click and Register Here.


Papa Johns, Domino's and Jiffy Lube all have one thing in common.

Each Franchisor paid a lot of money to settle class actions because some of their franchise owners made a mistake in complying with TCPA.

Near to $75 million.

Rite Aid paid $20.9 million to settle a Wage & Hour Class Action lawsuit, last year.  Because they misclassified employees as assisant managers to avoid paying minimum wage.

These million dollar cases worry all franchisor and franchise owners. 

The franchisor wants the franchise owners to have the best compliance advice possible.  For everyone's sake.

How can a franchisor do more than inform franchisees of the changes and urge them to confer with their lawyers to confirm that they are compliant?

Listen to our expert panel & bring you own solutions & ideas!


Daniel Blumenthal.jpg  Daniel Blumenthal, Corporate Counsel at Elevation Franchise Ventures

David G. Ross.jpg David G. Ross, Franchise Lawyer for Franchisees, Commercial Litigator, Employment Lawyer

   Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator 


Tuesday, November 19, 2013, from 11:45 - 2pm; The Tower Club in Tysons Corner VA 

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

Click Here to Pay and Register 


Any franchisor interested in maintaining a durable and substainable franchise system has to first make sure that most, if not all, the franchisees are making money.

So, if you are a franchisor, franchisee interested in improving and measuring profitability, then this event is for you. 

If participating in this Roundtable Event adds only 1% to unit level P&L bottom line this year it will be worth your time and attention.

Our experts will have you wondering if your Franchisor's agreement requires for Franchisee's P&L's on a monthly basis, then what reports should be available to assist in business planning.


Click Now to Register and Save Your Seat



 John Gordon, Analyst 


 Gregory Plotts, Accountant

       Syed Iqbal, Popeye's Franchise



 Warren Lee Lewis, Moderator 


Here are the Topics that our experts will cover:


1. Why You need to look at more than Top Line Sales.

2. Why Cash is King and not Earnings, or EBITDA.

3. How to Construct a Useful Standard Chart of Accounts.

4. How to Get Your Franchisees to Want to Provide their P&Ls, every month like clockwork.

5. Empower Franchise Business Consultants with Reports that matter to Franchisees



When & Where is the Event:


Tuesday, July 16th, 2013, from 11:45 - 2pm;

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

The Tower Club

8000 Towers Crescent Drive,  Suite 1700

Vienna, VA 222812


Click Now to Register and Save Your Seat


The CAFA round-table led by Warren Lewis franchise attorney at Akerman Senterfitt, with panelists David Gould a 20 year franchise sales veteran, Nikki Sicilian, Director of Development at Buffalo Wing Factory and Pub an emerging franchise and an audience packed with franchise professionals discussed franchise sales.

Nikki Sicilian explained Buffalo Wing Factory's sales strategy. As an emerging franchise brand, they have focused their search on recruiting new franchisees in their core market of Washington, DC targeting established franchise brand and independent operators.

David Gould shared his wide experience with capital intensive, large footprint, child care franchising, and also lower cost print and business services franchise.

David emphasized importance of having a great franchise sales funnel, or sales process, to ensure franchise recruitment success.

The Audience's Response - When to Provide an FDD

Warren, David and Nikki's program elicited great audience participation.

One very lively discussion ensued about when to give the FDD to a prospective franchisee.

There was mixed opinion amongst the franchise professionals assembled ranging from giving the FDD at the outset or at discovery day.

1. Franchise attorneys in the room agreed that no matter where a franchise seller thought it best for their franchise sales funnel to responsibly deliver the FDD in the event a bona fide qualified prospect requested an FDD the franchisor must provide it upon that reasonable request.

2. But Franchise sellers expressed the concern that "time kills deals" and if you give the franchise-buyer the FDD too soon they can get bogged down with their attorney and other influencers. (This was not a popular sentiment amongst the franchise attorneys who only make money by making deals happen!)

3. However, David pointed out that having a well-designed franchise sales funnel solves the sales problem in a compliant manner.

With a correct sequencing, the FDD could be delivered well before the discovery day. The Franchisor would meet 14 day waiting period that must occur before a franchise deal can close by early delivery of the FDD.

Time does indeed kill deals, so don't put yourself in the position of having closed a deal and then have to wait an extra two weeks. "Don't turn a yes into a maybe." said David.

There was consensus that unnecessary added time can hurt your franchise deal closing "batting average".

A Recap - What Your Sales Funnel Must Include

And while time may kill deals, rushing to a quick franchise transaction close is a problem as well.

When it comes to prospective franchise-buyers, whether they be first-timers or savvy multi-brand multi-unit franchisees, they have a lot of questions.

These questions center around 3 primary things buyers want to know about your franchise offering .

1. Is my area available?

2. How much does it cost?

3. How much can I make?

And since franchising is a complex ongoing relationship sale successful franchisors take great care in designing their franchise sales funnel.

The best franchise sales funnels have a decision-tree that includes these 7 major steps.

1. Inquiry pre-qualification

2. Application qualification

3. Concept - Discussion

4. Relationship - Discussion

5. Development - Discussion

6. Discovery Day Meeting

7. Franchise Agreement Execution

Professional franchise sellers design their franchise sales funnel or process to move franchise candidates through these steps by listening to the 3 concerns expressed by all franchise candidates.

At the recent Capital Area Franchise Association meeting in Washington D.C, jointly produced with the IAFD, we had a great round-table on how to comply with the new ACA/Obamacare regulations.

Some great ideas, and much discussion.

Obviously, much more practical work needs to be done before October, 2013.  

Looking forward to you joining us providing some answers for the franchise community.  

More round-tables like this need to happen.

 Practical Solutions to ACA/Obamacare banner


Practical Solutions to ACA/Obamacare - Follow Up Papers


Affordable Care Act (ACA) Update: Full-Time Status Determination Rules - Courtesy of Co-Sponsor ADP

This article was originally featured in our ADP Eye on Washington update. On December 28, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a proposed regulation 1 regarding the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Shared Responsibility provisions, which affect large employers (generally those with at least 50 full-time equivalent employees).



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Myth vs. Fact- Myth #1: All Businesses Will Be Required to Provide Health Insurance to All of Their Employees |

  Myth vs. Fact- Myth #1: All Businesses Will Be Required to Provide Health Insurance to All of Their Employees As a business owner, it's important to understand how the Affordable Care Act can affect your business. However, with so many misconceptions about how the Affordable Care Act works, this can be difficult.  


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Questions and Answers on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions Under the Affordable Care Act

  December 28, 2012 Basics of the Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions 1. What are the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions? Starting in 2014, employers employing at least a certain number of employees (generally 50 full-time employees and full-time equivalents, explained more fully below) will be subject to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions under section 4980H of the Internal Revenue Code (added to the Code by the Affordable Care Act).  


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PPACA: Play or pay? 7 reasons why 'pay' is not the easy answer

  Today's guest post is from United Benefit Advisors CEO Thom Mangan, who offers up seven reasons that the decision to pay or play may not be as cut and dried as employers might think. Enjoy, and as always, share your thoughts in the comments. -Kelley M.  


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S Corporation Health Insurance Reporting > Yount Hyde & Barbour Co-Sponsor


In recent years, the Internal Revenue Service has made a point to crack down on the reporting of medical insurance premiums paid on behalf of greater than two percent shareholders of a Subchapter S corporation.



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Akerman - Meeting Sponsor - Warren L. Lewis




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The time is now for you to make your preparations for complying with the Affordable Care Act/ObamaCare.


Please join our expert panel for a ground-level interactive discussion that will certainly help you with your business planning.


Garry L. Wilson Panelist,  Gregory Plotts Panelist  Warren Lee Lewis Moderator 


And remember Open Enrollment begins October 1, 2013  Please feel welcome to invite your franchising friends and colleagues.




Tuesday, March 19, 2013, from 11:45 - 2pm;

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

The Tower Club

8000 Towers Crescent Drive,  Suite 1700
Vienna, VA 222812


On Tuesday, January 15, 2013 you can meet Steve Caldeira in person at the Capital Area Franchise Association - CAFA luncheon meeting at the Columbia Country Club, Chevy Chase, MD and hear him share his perspectives on a range of franchising issues, including capital access, health care, taxes, franchise growth and franchising's importance and impact on our economy. And you can have lunch with him.

Now, there are a lot of hardworking women and men in franchising. And we certainly appreciate their efforts, however Steve Caldeira, President and CEO of the International Franchise Association - IFA has been front and center franchising's chief advocate and spokesperson.

What I like about Steve is his ability to make friends wherever he goes and even with those who might not immediately share the IFA's economic and financial vision.

If you have never had the pleasure of meeting Steve in person here's a quick video review of Steve doing what he does best.

Watch Steve in action at the 2012 IFA Convention

Steve has focused the IFA team on what's important to franchisees and franchisors.

And here's what happened with the IFA and franchising in 2012?

Steve was our CAFA guest speaker last year when we had an overflow audience.

So this year we've taken great care to ensure everyone will have great seats with plenty of time to network with your new and old franchising friends. Be sure to get yours now.

CAFA was founded in 1989 by franchise professionals in the Mid-Atlantic region, Warren Lee Lewis, a franchise lawyer with Akerman Senterfitt LLP, and well known franchise professionals Mary Rogers and Karen Marshall.

For 23 years CAFA has like clockwork, 6 times a year on the 3rd Tuesday of alternating months, brought together some of the best, brightest and most innovative franchisors, franchisees and franchising professionals to learn and share their franchising knowledge and insights.

CAFA is member organization that is dedicated to the best in franchising and franchise education.

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