CFA membership has its benefits


May 03, 2011

Established and emerging franchise systems alike might want to consider membership in the Canadian Franchise Association. The CFA is a not-for-profit trade association that represents many franchise systems in Canada and acts as the industry’s representative in dealing with government on issues that have an impact on franchising. Its members included franchisors, franchisees and franchise support service providers, such as lawyers, accountants and marketers.

I recently attended the association’s national convention, held in Niagara Falls, Ont., and was impressed by the program and the turnout. The CFA typically engages well-known executives from some of the country’s largest brands to speak about the growth of their particular business and provide advice on how their success can be translated to growing systems. Breakaway sessions include seminars and roundtables that address relevant business, legal and marketing issues that affect the industry as a whole.

As has become customary at such industry conventions, discussions focused on managing difficult economic times, both at a corporate level and among a system’s franchisees.

Pino Di Ioia, chief executive of the iconic Beaver Tails franchise, said attendance at the convention and membership in the CFA is worthwhile “because of the inspiration and best practices we are exposed to” and that through speakers, seminars and networking, participation in the CFA “helps us learn from successful industry players.”

Rob Lancit, President of CANAM Franchise Development Group, which help franchisors expand across Canada, said “Since our online directories service franchisors, the CFA National Convention was a great opportunity for me to touch base with our current clients to see what we are doing right for them and learn about how we can improve their experience. The timing of the convention was perfect for us as we launched our new design of in late April and the Convention was invaluable in providing feedback on what changes should be incorporated.”

The CFA holds events throughout the year to provide forums for those in the industry to socialize, network and educate, such as Legal Day, Marketing Day, franchise trade shows for franchisee recruitment and others.

Chad Finkelstein is a franchise lawyer at Dale & Lessmann LLP in Toronto and can be reached at or (416) 369-7883.