Franchise watch: Multi-Unit Franchising Conference turns 20

Franchise watch: Multi-Unit Franchising Conference turns 20

The largest event for multi-unit operators returns to Vegas in April

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The Multi-Unit Franchising Conference (MUFC) is marking its 20th year of growth by relocating to the brand-new Caesars Forum, Las Vegas’ newest conference center. Located across the street from Caesars Palace, the 550,000-square-foot, $375m, state-of-the-art center will accommodate the event’s growing number of attendees and exhibitors.

This year’s MUFC will take place April 14–17. The first and largest conference dedicated exclusively to multi-unit franchising, the 2019 MUFC drew more than 1,700 attendees, representing more than 16,000 units and $19bn in revenue.

“I have been attending the MUFC since 2006 and have made a deal every year I attended, with only one year being the exception,” said 2020 conference chair Tony Lutfi, a longtime multi-unit franchisee.

“Along with my family, I grew our portfolio from less than 50 locations to more than 230 with seven brands in 11 states. This growth could not have been possible had I not invested the time and energy in meeting, networking, and learning from others at this annual event.” The conference kicks off with the annual pre-conference charity golf tournament, which includes an awards ceremony and meal at the beautiful Arroyo Golf Club on Tuesday, April 14.

The conference itself begins Wednesday morning with keynote speaker Kevin O’Leary, best known for his appearances on Shark Tank. Nigel Travis, chair and former CEO of Dunkin’ Brands, is the afternoon keynoter. The day also will include general sessions, an opening networking reception in the Exhibit Hall, and the debut of an after-hours meet-up and cocktails event.

“I have been attending the MUFC since 2006 and have made a deal every year I attended”

Thursday begins with a bang: Capt. Scott Kelly, the first NASA astronaut to complete a full year in space, will be giving a keynote speech. He will be followed by the much-anticipated annual MVP Awards. Each year about a dozen multi-unit franchisees are recognized as Most Valuable Performers (MVPs). Categories include Veteran Entrepreneurship, Noble Cause, American Dream, Former Pro Athlete, Mega-Growth Leadership, and more.

Based on feedback from last year’s attendees and input from the Conference Advisory Board, the 2020 MUFC will feature six educational tracks: Succession Planning, Franchisee Growth, Service Brands, Operations & Profitability, Next-Gen Franchisees, and Legislative Impact.

“The conference allows you to unwind from your business and open your mind to ideas and methods of business explained by peers who have lived through the issues or potential mistakes you would have made if you did not attend,” said Andy Cabral, a Dunkin’, Baskin-Robbins, and Pollo Campero franchisee.

Friday morning’s closing session, “Find, Engage, and Keep Great Employees,” will be led by Eric Chester, workforce researcher and author of On Fire at Work: How Great Companies Ignite Passion in Their People Without Burning Them Out.

AT A GLANCE

Where: Caesars Forum, Las Vegas, Nevada

When: April 14–17, 2020

Contact: Diane Phibbs, dianep@franchiseupdate.com


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