International Franchise Association Announces Over One Million California Voters Have Signed Petition to Oppose the FAST Act

December 05, 2022

Spearheaded coalition effort to halt AB 257, flawed legislation that would impose a food tax on Californians and crush local franchise businesses

WASHINGTON, DC – The International Franchise Association (IFA) today announced the submission of over one million petition signatures from California voters in opposition to AB 257, or the FAST Act. The effort by the Save Local Restaurants coalition will give California voters a say on the law’s damaging impacts before it goes into effect next year.

“The FAST Act is one of the single most damaging pieces of legislation for local restaurants and California consumers,” said Matthew Haller, president and CEO of the International Franchise Association. “Since the introduction of the FAST Act, the International Franchise Association has been at forefront of the fight to protect local restaurant owners from being unfairly targeted by this flawed legislation and California consumers from facing skyrocketing food prices at the worst possible time. The state’s own data shows this bill isn’t necessary and that the quick-service industry is being singled out by special interests. IFA will not stop fighting to ensure other states won’t suffer from the harm that California has started.”

The Save Local Restaurants coalition said, “The FAST Act would have an enormous impact on Californians, and clearly voters want a say in whether it should stand. The measure would establish an unelected council to control labor policy in the counter-service restaurant industry, cause food prices to increase by as much as 20% during a period of decades-high inflation, and harm thousands of small family-, minority-, and women-owned businesses across the state. Given less than one-third of Californians support AB 257, it is no surprise that over one million Californians have voiced their concerns with the legislation. The Save Local Restaurants Coalition is committed to helping ensure this bad law will not go into effect and voters have their voices heard.”

AB 257, signed into law on Sept. 5, is based on the flawed premise that working conditions are worse in counter-service restaurants than other food sector establishments, which is why they are being singled out by this bill. According to a recent analysis, this assertion is categorically false and not supported by the state’s own data. California’s own Department of Finance opposed the measuring saying it would create a “fragmented regulatory and legal environment for employers and raise long-term costs across industries.”

According to an analysis by UC Riverside, prices at quick-service restaurants will increase up to 20 percent with passage of AB 257. Recent polling has shown that less than one-third of Californians support this bill. In addition, a survey from the Employment Policies Institute of U.S. labor economists found that 83 percent oppose AB 257. The survey reflects economists' deep concerns about the negative impacts of this bill on fast-food industry growth, jobs, and price inflation.

The Save Local Restaurants coalition, led by IFA, the National Restaurant Association, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, is made up of small business owners, restaurant owners, franchisees, employees, consumers, and community-based organizations.

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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 775,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 8.2 million direct jobs, $787.7 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.