Dunkin CEO: Washington should consult restaurant industry on fiscal cliff

Nov. 28, 2012

Dunkin' Brands CEO Nigel Travis appeared on Neil Cavuto's Fox Business program Tuesday to discuss Obamacare and the fiscal cliff drama unfolding in Washington, D.C.

Travis said Dunkin' Brands — parent company of Dunkin' Donuts and Baskin-Robbins — is very focused on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and has been working closely with the administration to get the rules amended to better fit the broad restaurant industry.

"We've had a lot of success," Travis said, noting that the menu labeling stipulation in Obamacare will be a good thing because "we need one set of rules."

"The biggest difficulty for franchisees is to have different jurisdictions trying to figure out what's appropriate," Travis added. New York City, for example, has had menu labeling in place for a couple of years now.

"The Affordable Care Act will give us one system throughout the country and will save a lot of regluation," Travis said. "We're very fine with (posting calories) and are introducing digital menu boards in most of our restaurants, which will make (compliance) easier."

Travis told Cavuto the one issue he'd complain about is the lack of consultation in regards to the fiscal cliff; a predicament expected at the end of the year when last year's temporary payroll tax cuts are set to expire, as are certain tax breaks for businesses. Simultaneously, it marks the beginning of taxes related to Obamacare, while spending cuts kick in as part of the debt ceiling deal of 2011.

"We're in an industry that is franchised and food. The franchised industry has 9 million jobs in this country, and the food/restaurant industry has 13 million. So, we're the second biggest after the government," Travis said. "That's why I think we need to be consulted. I'm in the camp where we need revenue increases and cost savings, but both parties are talking about a balance and I'm optimistic that we're going to get there."

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Topics: Operations Management , Policy / Legislation

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