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Exclusive: Franchising Has a Great Future

Steve Caldeira, CEO of the International Franchise Association

PODCAST —In a little over a week Steve Caldeira will reach his first anniversary as president and CEO of the 51-year-old International Franchise Association. The IFA's mission is to protect, enhance and promote franchising through government lobbying, public relations and educational programs.

Previously, Caldeira was the executive vice president of global communications and chief public affairs officer for franchisor Dunkin’ Brands Inc., the $7 billion parent company of Dunkin’ Donuts and ice cream chain Baskin-Robbins of 31 flavors fame. He was also a member of the IFA board of directors while at Dunkin’ Brands. Before his career at Dunkin’, Caldeira was co-founder, president and CEO of The Elliot Leadership Institute, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the development of executives in the foodservice industry.

Mr. Caldeira sits atop one of the world’s largest organizations that represent franchising interests.

Businesses typically plan three, and in some cases five, years out. But in this ten-minute interview with Blue MauMau, Mr. Caldeira stretches that vision. He gets his crystal ball out to project what major hurdles franchising is likely to encounter in the next decade and what steps should be taken in order to cope. He had just finished formulating a three-year strategy for the organization, so the future was very much on his mind.

Caldeira stresses that franchising has a great future. But there are some bumps. “The economic recovery will remain slow. Coupled with the tight credit market, we know that franchising will not grow as fast as we’ve seen in the past,” states Caldeira. To cope with the changed economy, the IFA plans to increase its efforts to loosen credit, to increase lobbying in all 50 states (not just Capitol Hill) and to put more focus on selling franchises to returning military veterans. To help with its initiatives, the organization’s CEO would like more participation from franchise owner-operators. “We are trying to break the myth that the IFA is just a franchisor organization,” says Caldeira. “The whole industry needs to come together,” he adds in a plea to encourage franchisees to participate and help navigate some of the toughest challenges the industry has faced in decades.

Click on the arrow next to the speaker icon below to hear the interview. You can also download the Podcast below.

In this Podcast series, Blue MauMau spends five to ten minutes with top leaders and future game changers, addressing innovative and far-reaching issues that the franchise industry faces.

SteveCaldeiraFirstAnniversaryInterview.mp34.55 MB
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About Don Sniegowski

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email