Looking Ahead To The New Agreement
With all of our festivities now behind us, I would like to start off by thanking all the franchisees who attended our 41st annual convention and trade show and made it a huge success. I would also like to thank all of our vendor partners, who went above and beyond in their support of this year’s convention. Overall, our vendors say it was a very good and profitable trade show, and they were pleased with the participation and orders placed by our franchisees.
I want to acknowledge the folks from SEI, including our CEO Joe DePinto and his team. He was our guest speaker at the Grand Banquet and I would like to personally thank him and his executive team and department heads for attending. They were kind enough to conduct seminars and answer questions from attending franchisees. Our charity event this year benefited St. Jude Children’s Hospital and Swim Across America, and I thank them for their participation both at the trade show and throughout the convention. They are two highly respected charities and we are happy to be a part of their missions.
Now that we are back at our stores, we are looking ahead to the future. Without doubt, the 2019 agreement is what everyone is thinking and talking about. We discussed it during our national convention, and it will continue to be a hot topic in the months ahead. During this time, one thing we need to be careful about is not to be influenced by rumors or uninformed talk.
One rumor making the rounds is that the new agreement has already been written. I want to put that rumor to rest, as even our own CEO has acknowledged that we are just starting to put the new agreement together. As part of this process, SEI asked the NCASEF to submit the names of 12 Board members who could represent us on a committee and provide input during the development of the new agreement. We selected the Board members based on geography and time in the 7-Eleven system (newer and tenured franchisees), handed over the list, and I am very happy to announce that SEI chose six of our members. The rest of the committee is composed of NBLC members and a few other franchisees that SEI chose.
During our July Board of Director’s meeting in Las Vegas, we created an advisory committee consisting of eight Board members who will work alongside the members serving on SEI’s new agreement committee. The advice and recommendations that we receive will be from them, also. We plan to have regular phone calls to gather their insight and feedback regarding what the new agreement should contain.
There are many factors that will affect the next agreement, including minimum wage increases, labor, hot foods, a 10-year agreement versus 15-year, credit card fees, re-up franchise fees and the gasoline commission. This is only the start. There are many other issues that will need to be addressed in the 2019 agreement, but as I’ve mentioned, the talks have just started. In the meantime, we are setting the format with how frequently we will meet with the committee members and SEI.
This early in the process, everyone is wondering what the new agreement has in store for us. I can assure you that the NCASEF Board of Directors and I will work diligently to negotiate the best agreement we can because we also have skin in the game. What comes out of this agreement affects all of us. The rumors that our franchisees serving on SEI’s committee are just window dressing and that the agreement has already been written are not true.
As the agreement comes together, we will have our general counsel look it over and make suggestions. Overall, it is my belief that we are going to have a good agreement for all franchisees. Our CEO has said the 7-Eleven system is built by franchisees, and I believe he realizes that the future success of the brand relies on the success of its storeowners. As we move forward, we need to stay positive. Please feel free to call me or any other NACSEF Board member. We will share any information we have. We are in this together. Franchisee members of the Advisory Committee are:
7-Eleven, Inc. 2019 Contract Advisory Committee
Alan Dumain—Franchisee, Middle Village, NY
Dennis Lane—President, New England FOA
Jay Khan—Vice President, Rocky Mountain FOA
Jay Singh—Executive Vice Chairman, NCASEF
Jim Bayci—President, Midwest FOA
Joann Lawson—Franchisee, Palm Bay, Florida
Joe Galea—Chairman, NCASEF
Kiran Hussain—Franchisee, Van Nuys, CA
Nick Bhullar—Franchisee, Arcadia, CA
Rita Casanova—Franchisee, Austin, TX
Sean Mahmood—Franchisee, Columbia, MD
National Coalition 2019 Joint Contract Committee
Peter Gragnano—President, Suburban Washington FOA
Kathy York—President, Greater Los Angeles FOA
Rehan Hashmi—Vice President, Alliance of 7-Eleven Franchisees
Mike Jorgensen—President, Central Florida FOA, Treasurer, NCASEF
AJ Handa—President, Greater Seattle FOA
Vikas Sharma—Texas FOA
Yousef Nasser—Vice President, UFOLI, NY
Romy Singh—President, Eastern Virginia FOA