Members of The American Pizza Community were recently on Capitol Hill to meet with lawmakers for its second annual fly-in.

Small business franchise owners affiliated with some of the largest chains such as Domino's Pizza, Little Caesars, Papa John's and Pizza Hut, as well as company representatives and supplier partners, met with more than 70 congressional offices to discuss policies affecting local pizza stores.

APC described the impact of issues directly affecting the pizza community including dairy and ethanol policy, menu labeling and tax reform. Members also asked policymakers to support The Dairy Freedom Act, as 25 percent of cheese produced by the U.S. dairy industry ends up on a pizza.

Another policy discussed was The Common Sense Nutrition Disclosure Act, legislation that calls for sensible, cost-effective solutions for nutrition disclosure. Pizza store owners support a uniform nutrition disclosure standard that makes sense for the variability of pizza, the segment's delivery and pick-up business model and its customers.

"If we are not in D.C. talking about our issues, then someone else will be, and it will probably not be in our best interest. Sitting face to face with your member of Congress allows you to educate them on our business, and how their decisions can affect it. So many times they associate the trade name as a part of the larger, multi-national franchisor, and not the small business that we really are," said Jim McNerney, owner and operator of 14 Pizza Hut restaurants in Western Pennsylvania.

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