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Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association

Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association



The Upper Midwest Region is one of seven domestic regions that make up the Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees, Inc. (AKFCF). The AKFCF was formed in 1974 and has a colorful history. Click here for a detailed timeline of the last 35 years!

When Colonel Sanders sold Kentucky Fried Chicken, he feared his franchisees would lose control of their own businesses and the future that they were working toward and in which they had invested. So he encouraged them to unite to protect the franchisees that he considered part of his own “family” and to give the franchisees a voice in the future development of a concept which would prove to be far greater than was envisioned at the time. This brought about several small meetings with early franchisees and in 1965 the Southeastern Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisee Association was formed and formally organized in Atlanta, Georgia. Ten years later, the AKFCF (our national association) was incorporated in the same city.

The AKFCF is unique with the “family” spirit of its membership and firmly rooted in the values of Colonel Sanders. Its purpose is clearly stated with its Mission Statement, adopted September 12, 1993, in Washington, DC: “The Association of Kentucky Fried Chicken Franchisees, Inc. is united to protect, promote and advance the mutual interests of all member franchisees and the Kentucky Fried Chicken system”. This mission statement was updated effective May, 2000, to reflect a worldwide focus.

The AKFCF remains focused on protecting and promoting its members’ investments in a healthy KFC organization.

History of the Upper Midwest Region
The Upper Midwest KFC Franchisee Association was first formed in 1974, at an organizational meeting of franchisees in Chicago. The first regional association was formed in the Southeast in 1965, and as more organizational meetings were held, more regions came into being. Also in 1974, the AKFCF, an umbrella organization of the regions was formed, to provide communication and support between the regions.

The Upper Midwest is composed of parts of 9 different states. It includes all of Wisconsin, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Iowa, the northern two thirds of Illinois, and franchisees with restaurants in NW Indiana and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan which belong to advertising co-ops in the region. Membership is annual and dues are comprised of a set amount for the franchisee and then so much per restaurant.

The region normally has three meetings per year, one at the national convention, a spring meeting focused on Restaurant General Manager development, and a fall annual meeting for the franchisees and their families. Initially, the fall meetings were always held at the Thunderbird Hotel, next to Memorial Stadium in Bloomington Minnesota. After many years, that hotel just wasn’t big enough and the fall meeting was moved to the Radisson South just a few miles west for the next 10 years. Since then we have become much more adventurous, traveling to Tucson, Cancun, the Chicago Lakefront, Phoenix three times, Huntington Beach, Palm Springs, Redondo Beach, Marco Island, San Antonio and Albuquerque. This coming fall meeting will be in Marco Island. Initially, the spring meetings moved around the region from place to place, allowing everyone to visit other parts of the region. Some of the ones I remember were in Cable Wisconsin, Omaha, Peoria, Lincoln, Brainerd, Dubuque, Milwaukee, Des Moines, Madison, Cedar Rapids, and the Chicago suburbs. Then we went a few years without official spring meetings, doing training meetings at various sites around the region, and then it was decided, based on the success of other regions, to have a big Spring RGM Rally in Las Vegas, and those have continued and have been very successful. In 2009, because the launch of new Kentucky Grilled Chicken fell on our meeting dates, instead of having the meeting in Vegas, there were various Rallys held around the region to prepare for the launch. In 2010 and 2011, the meeting was in Vegas in conjunction with the Southwest region. In 2012, the spring meeting is going to be held back in the region at a resort in the Wisconsin Dells.

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