At our recent AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summit, franchisees from many different brands and walks of life participated in a round table discussion of their most pressing concerns. The summit was an excellent “meeting of the minds,” and fired up attendees to stand up and address many of the biggest challenges franchisees face. In order to do that, we’ve developed six unique task forces, and we need committed and motivated participants to drive them forward.

Each task force will focus on one major issue that often divides franchisees and franchisors. The purpose of the task force is to clearly articulate the primary issues related to that challenge and then to suggest remedies, which will be presented for consideration at our next AAFD Franchisee Leadership Summit.

Please CLICK HERE if you are interested in joining a task force and are willing to work hard to make real change to our system! (This link will take you to a survey where you can choose your task force.) We will also be scheduling a Franchisee Leadership Council conference call soon. Anyone interested in joining a task force or learning more about this effort should join. Keep your eyes open for more information on that!

Below is a list of each task force with a short description:

The Franchisee Equity Task Force

This task force will look at what it means for a franchisee to have “equity” in a franchise and what right they have to retain that equity if they should leave the franchise or be terminated. The group will look at rights to sell, renew, and grow, as well as rights after termination.

The Franchisee Association Task Force/Franchisee Association Benefits Task Force

This task force will focus on two different but related areas. First, the group will determine how best to achieve recognition of a franchisee association from a franchisor. (Does this require a broad legislative push or a franchise-by-franchise contractual effort?) Secondly, the group will look at how franchisee associations can maintain relevance in order to retain and grow membership for the long-term.

Market and Territorial Protection Task Force

Territory rights and market protection are among the most crucial and complex issues that franchisees and franchisors face. The market protection clause in a franchise agreement can literally mean professional life or death to a franchisee. This task force will face difficult questions, such as what market protection rights should franchisees expect and how to fight for them when a franchisor’s interest is usually diametrically opposed to their own.

Marketing and Marketing Funds Task Force

One of the primary benefits of joining a franchise is supposed to be the power of shared marketing. All franchisees pay into the marketing fund, but are they all getting the promised, or even fair, benefit? This task force will discuss common marketing abuses and propose methods to create a more fair and transparent use of marketing funds.

Group Purchasing Task Force

Group purchasing is an area ripe for abuse by franchisors. (A comparison of Subway and Quiznos group purchasing tactics may offer an excellent case study.) This task force will shine the light on unethical franchisor behavior in this area and make recommendations on how franchisees can use the substantial power of group purchasing to their benefit.

Rights to Compete Task Force

The right to compete language in franchise agreements is often murky. What defines a competitive franchise, and who makes that decision? Is it fair to require a franchisee to abide by a post-term competition ban even if that franchisee fulfilled all the terms of his or her franchise contract? This task force will look at developing a fair resolution that will protect franchisors from unfair competition and franchisees from overly harsh restrictions.

Interested in joining a task force?

If you have any questions about the task forces, please contact Terri St. Jacques at terries[dot]stjacques[at sign] We also invite you to join our upcoming Franchisee Leadership Council conference call to learn more information. We’ll send out more details, including date and time, about that call soon.