Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee organization is looking to use the power of bulk purchasing to reduce health insurance costs for its members.
For years, Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees in the region have pooled their resources to purchase ingredients and equipment.
Now, a large franchisee group is preparing a way for franchisees to join together to buy health insurance and other back-office services as well.
The DD Independent Franchise Owners’ leadership last week unveiled a new effort to its members to purchase a Blue Cross Blue Shield plan through an intermediary that could provide health coverage for thousands of employees who work at franchise locations.
Kevin McCarthy, the franchise organization’s new board chairman, said the board has asked National Association Management Group LLC of Kennesaw, Ga., to make a formal presentation to the board in July about the bulk insurance purchase.
“They’re going to say here’s what the costs will be and here’s what the benefits will be,” said McCarthy, a lawyer from Cohasset and a former executive at the Dunkin’ Donuts chain, headquartered in Canton. “If we look at this in July and it looks good (then) we’re going to tell them to get it set to roll out by the fall.”
Presumably, bulk purchasing would make it easier and cheaper for franchisees – many of them just own a handful of Dunkin’ locations – to offer health insurance.
The effort will be particularly helpful in Massachusetts, where many employers are mandated by the state to provide health coverage for their workers, McCarthy said. But he said the franchisee group would have pursued the change even if the health care mandate wasn’t in place.
If the health insurance rollout is successful, the franchisee organization will consider offering other services to its members. Those services could include business insurance, payroll processing and mystery shoppers, McCarthy said.
“We have to start slow and keep adding more and more services as time goes on,” said Mark Dubinsky, the president of the franchisee organization.
The franchisee organization is separate from the Dunkin’ Donuts Northeast Distribution Center in Bellingham, although Dubinsky shares space with that business. The distribution center business is a cooperative that was started more than 25 years ago by franchisees to handle bulk purchasing of food items and equipment.
With more than 1,700 shops operated by nearly 150 franchisee members, the DDIFO represents about one-third of the Dunkin’ Donuts shops in the country.
Jon Chesto may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.