Taco Bell’s FRANMAC On the Hill

By Joey Williams, Intern, Government Relations and Public Affairs

Congressional Franchise Caucus co-chair and Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis addresses attendees of Taco Bell's Congressional Reception

On Tuesday, June 20, as a part of Taco Bell’s FRANMAC (Franchise Management Advisory Council) on Capitol Hill, Taco Bell franchisees gathered with members of Congress, staffers, and brand supporters at their Congressional Reception. The event was a celebration of the work being done for small businesses, as well as a medium for conversation about how elected officials can continue to support franchising.

The event started with some words from Minnesota Rep. and Congressional Franchise Caucus co-chair, Collin Peterson, who joked that he was excited to be there because there are Taco Bells in his district. He focused on the importance of small businesses fighting against government regulations. Regulations, such as an increased minimum wage or expanded joint employer, hinder franchises’ ability to operate as small businesses. He closed his statement by reiterating that franchises are no different than any other small, locally owned business, and needed to continue fighting to be treated as such.

Next, Caucus co-chair and Illinois Rep. Rodney Davis told his family’s story about franchising giving them economic opportunity. His father rose from a McDonalds employee to a franchisee with multiple locations. Franchising is important not only personally to him, but to our economy. He concluded by saying “franchising means jobs, franchising means opportunity.”

After the speakers were done, attention turned toward the seemingly endless platters of soft-shell tacos. While all-you-can-eat Taco Bell is a good incentive to go, the event was a great opportunity to have a larger discussion about the direction of franchising. Events like these are essential as they give voice to a business model that represents over 2% of our GDP. Franchise brands and owner associations around the U.S. are leaders for the entire small business community and should be encouraged by successful events such as this.