March 26, 2020

WASHINGTON, March 26 – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today announced that it is working with the Owner–Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA) and The American Trucking Associations (ATA) on a new project aimed at helping truck drivers to navigate the coronavirus pandemic.

Truck drivers are playing a unique and essential role keeping the economy functioning during this period of social distancing and quarantine. However, because increased restrictions on dine-in options, truck drivers are struggling to eat on the road and facing new challenges as they do their jobs. In short, their trucks are too big to fit in a drive-thru, it’s largely prohibited for a drive-thru to serve foot traffic, and it’s largely prohibited to dine inside – leaving truck drivers with a dearth of options on the road.

The International Franchise Association and broader franchise community are rallying to accommodate truck drivers and communicate this to the trucking community. Firehouse Subs, McDonald’s, Nathans’s Famous, Ruby Tuesday, Shoney’s, and Sonic are among the first restaurant franchises to commit to accommodating truck drivers. 

“This is a win-win where franchises are making adaptations to serve truck drivers and help keep critical supply chains intact, and foodservice franchises are gaining traffic at a time of need, which supports business continuity and sustains jobs. IFA appreciates the sacrifices truck drivers are making to be on the road away from their families to keep America supplied,” said IFA President & CEO Robert Cresanti, CFE. The IFA represents America’s 733,000 franchise businesses.

 “Truck drivers are on the front lines, delivering supplies to our nation’s hospitals, pharmacies and groceries. We are truly grateful for the actions many restaurants are taking to help keep our drivers fed,” said Chris Spear, President and CEO of the American Trucking Associations. “We thank the International Franchise Association for communicating with restaurants on providing curbside and takeout meals for truckers. Like trucks need fuel, drivers need food… and supporting our nation’s supply chain is key in the fight against COVID-19.”

The ATA is a 50-state federation, representing 37,000 member companies, and millions of drivers. ATA is raising awareness of foodservice franchises making accommodations to its members.

OOIDA represents 160,000 small-business truckers nationwide, many of which are hundreds or thousands of miles away from home hauling freight in response to COVID-19.  OODIA CEO Todd Spencer expressed “One of the many challenges for truckers out on the road right now is finding a place to eat.  We reached out to the International Franchise Association to see if they’d be interested in engaging their members to make special accommodations for truckers, and so far the response has been great.  We appreciate IFA and their members for stepping up to the plate – many of which are also greatly impacted by COVID-19 – and hopefully more restaurants will join this effort.”  

IFA, ATA and OOIDA stand ready to promote the efforts of other food service franchises that accommodate truck drivers during this critical time. 

Information on participating brands is available online here: www.franchise.org/trucking

Any foodservice franchise wishing to get involved should contact IFA’s Josh Merin at jmerin@franchise.org.

About the International Franchise Association

Celebrating 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association is the world's oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 733,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $787.5 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees, and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.