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IFA 2020: It Starts with Us

The 2020 IFA convention in Orlando, Florida, was a whirlwind of networking, knowledge sharing, and inspiration about all things Franch™. Seven of the Hot Dish crew joined thousands of franchisors, franchisees, and franchise consultants to dig into the hot issues and big ideas that are shaping the future of the industry. As a powerhouse franchise advertising agency, we immersed ourselves in four days of presentations, round tables, focused learning sessions, and even a few parties. And as an18-year IFA Supplier Forum Member, we were thrilled to meet face to face with some of our favorite clients, colleagues, and friends.  

Our own Hot Dish CEO and Co-Founder, Dawn Kane, was a conference presenter. Her talk “How to Become a Supplier of Choice to Franchise Organizations” was the first session in years that was aimed specifically at the supplier community. Dawn shared insights about how we’ve built our franchise development services into a well-oiled machine. How we fuse passionate relationship building with 360° knowledge of the space. How we always deliver the goods that generate leads, grow revenue, and tell brand stories that stand out.

The theme of this year’s conference was “It Starts with Us,” a call to empower the community as a whole as we continue to grow. TED talk superstar and best-selling author, Simon Sinek, gave a compelling keynote that expanded on ideas from his latest book, The Infinite Game. According to his theory, businesses and franchises need to embrace an “infinite mindset” to really thrive. This means recognizing there are no fixed rules, players, or outcomes.

We at Hot Dish agree. Understanding the “why” of what we do, rather than just what we do, keeps us nimble, and helps us build a stronger, innovative, and more resilient work culture. Sinek’s infinite mindset encompasses five practices, and they’re woven into the fabric of our work, our culture, and our vision.

Practice 1: Just Cause

When it comes to franchise marketing, our cause is ongoing. Our founders found a niche in franchising—to create entrepreneurs through effective advocacy, innovation, and storytelling. We fight for our clients every day because we know their success is ours.

Practice 2: Courage to Lead  

We’re invested in the franchise community because we believe in what they do. We know their challenges—and how to solve them. We’re unafraid of uncharted territory, bold ideas, and surprising tactics. And that keeps our clients coming back.

Practice 3: Trusting Teams

Clarity creates confidence and camaraderie. Discipline and consistency are critical to delivering great results for clients, and for each other. The Hot Dish team owned their role at IFA because of their commitment to the team and their passion for the work of franchise advertising.

Practice 4: Existential Flexibility  

With 20+ years in the franchise advertising business, and 400+ clients served, we know that being able to pivot, adapt, and grow is the only way to survive. Changing technology, culture, and mediums fuel imagination and perseverance. We’re game changers because we get it— the game keeps changing.

Practice 5: Worthy Rivals

Competition sparks creativity. It inspires us to do better and power through the obstacles that we face. It renews our commitment to stay in it for the long haul. We don’t scoff at our competitors; we use them to push us harder and do more than we thought we could do.  

Want to find out more about how our vision and practice can transform your brand? We’d love to talk. Contact us at

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