Franchise Businesses And Their Charities Honored At Fourth Annual “Franchising Gives Back” Awards Dinner

Franchise Businesses And Their Charities Honored At Fourth Annual "Franchising Gives Back" Awards Dinner

IFA Foundation Honored the Best, Most Innovative Community Leaders and Charitable Programs across the U.S.

Franchise Businesses And Their Charities Honored At Fourth Annual "Franchising Gives Back" Awards DinnerWashington, DC  (Restaurant News Release)  The International Franchise Association’s (IFA) Foundation announced today the winners of its fourth annual Franchising Gives Back Awards, who were honored at an awards dinner on Sept. 4 in Washington, D.C. Established by a generous donation from Roark Capital Group, Franchising Gives Back salutes the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide.

“The economic footprint of franchising is very big, but, in many ways, the social footprint of franchise businesses in thousands of communities, impacting our neighbors and customers in very personal ways, is even bigger,” said Steve Romaniello, CFE, managing director, Roark Capital Group. “Since we launched the Franchising Gives Back program in 2015, IFA members have donated more than $245 million and 2.3 million hours to non-profit organizations.”

The IFA Foundation recognized five Gold Winners at the Franchising Gives Back Celebration & Awards Dinner. The winners are:

  • Spirit of Franchising Award: A Novel Idea LLC (Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon franchisee) benefiting San Antonio Clubhouse – A Novel Idea is San Antonio Clubhouse’s longest-serving corporate partner, raising more than $100,000 for the organization, sponsoring $15,000 in matching grants and, employing 30-35 Clubhouse members through the organization’s Transitional Employment program at Auntie Anne’s and Cinnabon locations.
  • Enduring Impact Award: Molly Maid benefiting Ms. Molly Foundation – Each year, Molly Maid spearheads their annual “Making a Difference Drive” to support victims of domestic violence. Molly Maid chartered the Ms. Molly Foundation in 1996 and has since raised more than $2.8 million for over 120 shelters, safe houses, and domestic violence agencies across America. Approximately 80 percent of locally owned and operated Molly Maid franchise offices raise and donate funds and collect personal care items to donate to local community safe houses and agencies.
  • Support Our Veterans Award: Jersey Mike’s Subs LA Co-Op benefiting Jersey Mike’s Month of Giving – Operation Gratitude – Operation Gratitude is a military-base charity that sends individually addressed care packages to our military deployed overseas and their children left behind, as well as first responders, new recruits, veterans, and wounded heroes. To date, the Jersey Mike’s Los Angeles Co-Op has raised more than $2.4M for Operation Gratitude during the company-wide annual charitable initiative Month of Giving. These funds have helped support the non-profit organization’s mission and paid for the shipping of 170,000 care packages.
  • Innovation and Impact Award: Uptown Cheapskate benefiting Charity Fill-A-Bag Event for BuildOn – Uptown Cheapskate has raised over $360,000 through the Fill A Bag Event to support charity partner, BuildOn, which builds schools in some of the most under-served areas in the world. Schools constructed in Mali, Senegal, Nicaragua, Nepal, Burkina Faso, and Haiti will benefit those communities for decades to come. The Charity Fill-A- Bag event converts clearance and donated merchandise directly into cash by selling a $15 bag that customers stuff full of product.
  • The Newcomer Award: College Hunks Hauling Junk benefiting Hauling Away Hunger Project for Feeding Children Everywhere – Both College Hunks and Feeding Children Everywhere share the same commitment to sustainability. College Hunks helps support this mutual commitment by deploying “Hunks”, who were already located throughout the country to help set up the Hunger Projects. In 2017, College Hunks had the goal of 300,000 meals donated within one year. To date, more than 400,000 meals have been donated, putting College Hunks ahead of the game as they continue to work towards their goal of one million meals by 2020.

Additionally, five Silver Award Winners were recognized during the dinner. They are:

  • Spirit of Franchising Award: Crimson Enterprises (Captain D’s franchisee) benefiting Children’s Hospital of Alabama
  • Enduring Impact Award: Hooters of America benefiting Give A Hoot Program for Hooters Community Endowment Fund
  • Support Our Veterans Award: Ben’s Soft Pretzels benefiting Pretzels for Heroes for Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
  • Innovation and Impact Award: 1HUDDLE benefiting Newark Works
  • The Newcomer Award: Island Creamery Inc. (Baskin Robbin’s franchisee in Puerto Rico) benefiting Puerto Rico Renace (Instituto Psicopedagógico de Puerto Rico)

“This year’s awards program is a testament to the incredible charitable work franchise owners, franchisors and suppliers are doing across the country and internationally,” said Michael Isakson, Chair of the IFA Foundation Board. “It’s quite simple: when you do good, you feel good. Honoring those who donate countless volunteer hours and dollars is our mission and we hope to inspire businesses across the world to continue to share their stories with us for years to come.”

The IFA Foundation has been building a national registry to profile franchise businesses and their charitable initiatives nationwide. Franchisees who are members of the IFA and have made exceptional contributions to their community are encouraged to take the opportunity to be acknowledged for their support efforts. Members can do so by visiting, where they can submit details about their charitable activities — including hours volunteered and money donated — as well as upcoming events, news, and blog posts.

Franchising Gives Back depends on donations to the IFA Foundation. For more information on contributing to Franchising Gives Back through its partner program — including sponsorship opportunities for the Annual Awards event — please visit For more information on the awards winners and Franchising Gives Back, please visit For more information on the awards winners and Franchising Gives Back, please visit

About the IFA Foundation

Celebrating 35 years of education, research and excellence, the International Franchise Association (IFA) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization and supported through the generous contributions of IFA members and others. The Foundation’s mission is to advance franchising and the free enterprise system by increasing the knowledge and professional standards of all members of the franchising community; educating the next generation of franchise practitioners; increasing recognition of franchising’s key role in the free enterprise system; and providing comprehensive information and research about important developments and trends in franchising.

About the International Franchise Association

The International Franchise Association is the world’s oldest and largest organization representing franchising worldwide. IFA works through its government relations and public policy, media relations and educational programs to protect, enhance and promote franchising and the more than 745,000 franchise establishments that support nearly 7.9 million direct jobs, $713.2 billion of economic output for the U.S. economy and 3 percent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). IFA members include franchise companies in over 300 different business format categories, individual franchisees and companies that support the industry in marketing, law, technology and business development.

About Roark

Roark focuses on franchised and multi-unit business models in the retail, restaurant, consumer and business services sectors. Since inception, affiliates of Roark have invested in 62 franchise/multi-unit brands which collectively generate $27 billion in annual system revenues from 29,000 locations in 50 states and 78 countries. Roark’s current brands include Anytime Fitness, Arby’s, Batteries Plus Bulbs, Buffalo Wild Wings, CKE Restaurants (the owner of Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s), Corner Bakery, Driven Brands (the owner of Maaco, Meineke, CARSTAR, 1-800-Radiator and Take 5 Oil Change), Drybar, FOCUS Brands (the owner of Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, McAlister’s Deli, Moe’s Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky’s), Great Expressions Dental Centers, Il Fornaio, Jimmy John’s, Jim ‘N Nick’s, Massage Envy, Miller’s Ale House, Naf Naf Grill, Orangetheory Fitness, Pet Retail Brands (the owner of Pet Supermarket and Pet Valu), Primrose Schools and Waxing the City. For more information, please visit


Shannon O’Reilly
Fish Consulting

Gionne Jones
IFA Foundation