Many franchised brands do an excellent job talking about their charitable giving and veteran’s discounts—which are hugely impactful—but the industry as a whole could do a better job highlighting the economic impact on cities, regions and the U.S. economy as a whole. To that end, Arby’s parent Inspire Brands has launched Inspire Impact, which is a data-driven platform to show how the franchised conglomerate is making positive contributions to the local and national economy.

Including a map that details state-by-state economic impacts, Inspire’s new initiative shows the number of jobs, franchisees, restaurants built, new jobs created and funds raised through philanthropy to show the massive company’s statewide and aggregate benefits.

Nationwide, the Inspire numbers are impressive: more than 240,000 jobs, more than 700 franchisees, 8,100+ restaurants and a total economic impact of $3.8 billion in towns and cities across the country.

A sucker for interactive maps of all kinds, I dug into the impact for several states including my home of Minnesota. According to the site, Inspire’s multiple restaurants are responsible for more than 4,000 jobs in Minnesota, with 115 total restaurants, $614,000 in funds raised for philanthropy and an overall boost of $73.2 million.

The franchising industry is lucky to have such a great association in the IFA, which pools resources for lobbying, community do-good drives, industry outreach and lobbying members of Congress to show the impact and import of our industry.

It’s about time more franchised mega-brands followed Inspire’s lead to use hard numbers to prove the brand’s impact. Anecdotally, from personal and family conversations it’s clear there’s more work to be done educating average folks about franchising, which is one of the most accessible ways for Americans to improve their financial standing. That’s a message worth shouting from the rooftops.

More information on the Inspire Impact initiative is available at


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