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Tech, Labor, Tariffs and More on IFA Board's Minds


Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet and board member of the International Franchise Association, gave her outlook on franchising in 2019 along with 13 other directors.

The “robust” job market will be a challenge in 2019 for people charged with selling franchises, says Jania Bailey, CEO of FranNet, in a new survey of International Franchise Association board members sharing their outlooks for 2019.

The jobs outlook "is always a strong competitor for franchise development teams and this will be the landscape for 2019 unless we have a dramatic change in the market,” she says. “We must continue to present well matched concepts to the clients that provide them with an attractive alternative to the corporate world.”

Tom Baber, multi-unit IHOP and Money Mailer franchise owner, agrees that labor is a top priority, particularly finding innovative ways to both find and keep talent. The higher minimum wage movement “will force ingenuity to give great service with a smaller number of people,” he said.

Charles Chase, president and CEO of FirstService Brands, has his eye on tariffs. “Tariff imposition wreaks havoc on buying and selling functions,” and uncertainty “forces price increases,” he said.

Several board members called out technology as a key issue in 2019, including Lorne Fisher, CEO and managing partner of Fish Consulting. “The other challenge we envision is technology’s impact on operational excellence and driving innovation. Brands cannot rest on their past success. They will need to continue to innovate in all aspects of their business.”

In all, 14 IFA board members shared their outlooks for franchising in 2019, in the IFA’s annual Board Perspectives Q&A.


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The latest news, opinions and commentary on what's happening in the franchise arena that could affect your business.

Laura MichaelsLaura Michaels is editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3210, or send story ideas to lmichaels@franchisetimes.com.
Beth EwenBeth Ewen is senior editor of Franchise Times. She can be reached at 612.767.3212, or send story ideas to bewen@franchisetimes.com.
Nicholas UptonNicholas Upton is restaurants editor at Franchise Times. He can be reached at 612.767.3226, or send story ideas to nupton@franchisetimes.com.
Mary Jo LarsonMary Jo Larson is the publisher of Franchise Times Magazine and the Restaurant Finance Monitor.  You can find her on Twitter at




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