IFA Urges No Vote on New Jersey Anti-Hospitality Bill

March 20, 2023

NJ franchisee Tom Baber warns of the “far-reaching and harmful ramifications” A-1958 would have for franchisors, franchisees, and the entire New Jersey economy, particularly damaging as the state prepares to host the 2026 World Cup

TRENTON – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today urged a “no” vote on New Jersey bill A-1958, which the organization warns would undermine the franchise business model in the state. The legislation would insert the state government into private franchise contracts, promote litigation, and diminish brand standards – the foundation of the franchise model. The bill is being considered today by the New Jersey Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee.

 Testifying on behalf of IFA, Tom Baber, an IHOP and Money Mailer franchisee based in New Jersey, says:

 “In its current form, A-1958 has far-reaching and harmful ramifications for hospitality franchisors, franchisees, and the New Jersey economy. But more than that, the legislation is a fundamental dismantling of the franchise business model by entirely removing any ability for franchise brands to enforce brand standards.

 “Brand standards are the foundation of any franchise, whether it’s a hotel or an IHOP like mine. And those very standards are what make a franchise a franchise. Without them, an entire brand name is subject to damage by a small few who chose to ignore them. That select few have the potential to damage the equity of countless franchisees both here in New Jersey and beyond. This legislation creates ambiguity and undermines the enforcement of franchise contracts. It would undoubtedly promote litigation between franchisees and franchisors, and result in sub-standard services and products for consumers in New Jersey.”

 In a letter to the committee today, IFA Vice President of State Government Relations Jeff Hanscom writes:  

“The proposed legislation would create ambiguity and undermine the enforcement of franchise contracts, promote litigation between franchisees and franchisors, and result in sub-standard services and products for consumers in New Jersey. This legislation is government overreach in its most obvious form, inserting the state of New Jersey as a third party in private contracts between franchisors and franchisees.

“The legislation is being pursued by a small percentage of hospitality franchise owners and is not at all indicative of the overall landscape of the industry in New Jersey or beyond.”

IFA’s Open for Opportunity Roadshow recently visited New Jersey, hosting local franchise business owners and elected officials for discussions on the ways the franchise industry will provide critical support to the state for the 2026 World Cup. This legislation stands to undermine the businesses that will make this event a success, “only hurt[ing] New Jersey’s economy and franchising in the state.”

There are currently 17,000 franchise establishments in New Jersey, which generate over $18 billion in economic output and employ over 170,000 New Jersey residents. The legislation stands to not only harm New Jersey’s existing hospitality franchises, but also impact the entire franchise model in New Jersey and any future expansion.

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About the International Franchise Association:

Celebrating over 60 years of excellence, education, and advocacy, the International Franchise Association (IFA) 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 approximately 790,492 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.4 million direct jobs, $825.4 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy, and almost 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.


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