THE AMERICAN PIZZA COMMUNITY TAKES SMALL BUSINESS PERSPECTIVE TO POLICYMAKERS
Current Regulations Impede Job Creation and Business Growth
Washington, D.C., March 31, 2017 – Members of The American Pizza Community (APC) were on Capitol Hill March 22nd and 23rd talking to legislators about policies that affect pizza stores, owners and employees. The fly-in marked the sixth-time small business franchise owners representing Domino’s, Godfather’s Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Little Caesars, and Papa John’s came to Washington, D.C. to meet with Members of Congress and their staff – in total, more than 50 congressional offices.
Pizza franchise owners discussed the economic impact of the pizza industry, including the fact that pizza is a $38 billion industry in the U.S. that creates jobs for more than one million people.
Brad Price, a Godfather’s Pizza franchisee with 15 stores throughout Iowa and Minnesota, said, “our industry is among the most regulated of all business industries, and it’s important at this early stage of the new Congress to hear directly from constituents about the impact legislation will have on us.”
According to coalition members, if an anti-business environment continues, the ability for small businesses to grow and create jobs in communities around the country will be severely impacted. With more than 74,000 pizzerias in the U.S., pizza stores are in every congressional district around the country.
Current policies and regulations the American Pizza Community members addressed with lawmakers include:
- Common Sense Menu Labeling Reform. Immediately reform the “one-size-fits-all” menu labeling regulation imposed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) which calls for in-store nutrition labeling boards in restaurants with 20 or more stores by May 5, 2017. This inflexible rule does not make sense, will not give customers the information they need, and will be costly for small businesses. The APC supports the Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act (S. 261/H.R. 772), which would allow restaurant owners the flexibility to implement the rule with online compliance for establishments that rely on remote ordering and delivery. Ninety percent of most major pizza chains take pizza orders remotely.
- Overtime Pay Exemption. A federal court has delayed a Department of Labor (DOL) regulation from taking effect that raised the annual salary threshold dictating which workers qualify for overtime pay (once they pass 40 hours a week) to $47,476 from $23,660. These regulations would impact 3.2 million retail and restaurant workers, and according to an Oxford Economics 2016 study, it will cost $745 million for retail and restaurant businesses to comply. The APC supports a delay in the overtime exemption rule until a more complete understanding of the rule’s economic and employment impact can be studied.
- Joint Employer Standard. The National Labor Relations Board has threatened the relationship between independent franchisees and franchisors by redefining the “joint employer” standard as “actionable” control over the independent business. This harmful rule would destroy a 30-year franchising model as existing businesses may close and entrepreneurs will avoid becoming franchisees altogether due to loss of the independence and ability to run their own business. Instead, the APC supports the reintroduction of the “Protecting Local Business Opportunity Act” (H.R. 3459 and S. 2686), a bill that simplifies the definition of the joint employer standard and clarifies the traditional role between franchisees and franchisors.
“It was a terrific experience to represent small business owners, our brand and our industry in Washington D.C.,” said Chris Reisch, a Domino’s franchisee based in Lexington, Kentucky. “The opportunity for face time with Members and staffers to discuss topics that are critical to our industry, and as small business owners within our communities, was invaluable.”
About The American Pizza Community
The American Pizza Community is a coalition of the nation’s large and small pizza companies, operators, franchisees, vendors, suppliers and other entities that make up the American pizza industry. The coalition was formed in 2010 to advocate for policies affecting pizza companies and operators including menu and labeling information, fair wages, work opportunity tax credit, background checks, tax policies and small business access to capital.
Current members include Blackjack Pizza, Breadeaux Pizza, Domino’s Pizza, Figaro’s Italian Pizza, Godfather’s Pizza, Hungry Howie’s, Hunt Brothers Pizza, the International Pizza Hut Franchise Holders Association, Little Caesars, Nick-N-Willy’s, Papa John’s Pizza, Papa Murphy’s Pizza, Papa's Pizza To-Go, Papa Romano's Pizza, Pieology, Pizza Factory, and Pizza Schmizza. Supplier partners include Coca-Cola, Leprino Foods Company, Middleby Marshall, Paradise Tomato Kitchens, PepsiCo and Tyson Foods. Affiliate partners include the Consortium for Common Food Names, the National Pork Producers Council and the Tomato Products Wellness Council. www.AmericanPizzaCommunity.com