The National Food Service Security Council (NFSSC), a trade association for loss prevention and risk management professionals in the casual-dining and quick-service restaurant chain industry, announced it is expanding membership categories to include qualified franchisees and vendor companies.

“For the first time ever NFSSC is opening its membership doors to franchisee operators and vendor companies serving the multi-unit food service industry,” says Cliff Stepp, director of assets protection at Yum! Brands, and president of the NFSSC. “For the past couple of years we have had inquiries from both the franchise and vendor community expressing desire in becoming members of NFSSC. I am pleased that our board of directors has agreed to extend membership opportunities to these important sectors of our community.”

A new Associate Member category will be created, giving franchisees and vendors non-voting member rights but still providing other member benefits. Cost for vendors will be $750 per year, while franchisee organizations of member companies can join for $250 per year.

“By being able to add members from these business sectors, NFSSC will become more diverse in our learning and educational offerings,” Stepp says. “We also believe that these new voices will be able to strengthen our position within the industry and better prepare NFSSC for going forward with our mission and objectives. NFSSC has always been about education and networking within the restaurant industry’s corporate professional loss prevention structure. Now we have the unique ability to add even more elements to that equation.”

NFSSC will host its 31st annual conference, August 1-4, 2010, in St. Louis. The event will feature keynotes, educational sessions and workshops, exhibits, scheduled practitioner/vendor meetings, and a host of entertaining networking functions.