18/8 Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons Franchise Warning

18/8 Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons overstates the success of its franchises and understates its franchise failures, according to a franchise owner who provided this anonymous complaint.  We invite others to validate or dispute this claim – and share their opinions of the Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salon franchise, the Griff’s Shave Bar franchise, and franchisor Ultimate Franchises Inc.

(UnhappyFranchisee.ComEighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons – How Many Open / Closed / Rebranded? is an anonymously submitted guest post penned by a current or former 18/8 franchise owner.

Scott Griffiths 18/8 SalonsWe have not verified the claims made herein, and invite readers and the company to validate or dispute this and other complaints regarding the 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon franchise or the sister concept Griff’s Shave Bar.

The writer believes all information and numbers to be accurate, but invites readers to verify independently and draw their own conclusions.

Here’s the Guest Post:

Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons – How Many Open / Closed / Rebranded?

Submitted by An 18/8 Franchise Owner.

In a recent Forbes interview (dated 6/13/18), franchise CEO (Chief Exaggerating Officer), Scott Griffiths severely overstates franchise success, open location count, and units in development of the 18/8 Fine Men’s Salon franchise chain.

Scott Griffiths is also the principal of Ultimate Franchises Inc. and the sub-brand Griff’s Shave Bar.

The premise of the article is how the financial crisis helped 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons grow faster through franchising than it would have organically.

While franchising has helped the 18|8 brand grow in store count in recent years, the rapid closing of locations throughout the country has led to many franchisees losing their life savings.

Griffiths states in the article, “Since franchising, 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons has grown to nearly 100 locations, with more than 150 in development.”

Eighteen Eight’s own website only lists 61 operating locations. Where are the other 39?

In a recent internal call with franchisees, Griffiths claims 75 open locations.

Did he mean “nearly” 75?

Where is the truth?

24 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons Have Closed

Eighteen Eight FranchiseBy our count, 24 stores have closed, including Irvine Westpark, which was once the highest grossing location in the country.

1. Irvine, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salon-irvine-2)

2. Westlake Village, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/eighteen-eight-fine-mens-salon-westlake-village)

3. San Rafael, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salon-san-rafael)

4. Walnut Creek, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-walnut-creek-walnut-creek-2)

5. Culver City, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-culver-city-culver-city-5)

6. La Jolla, CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-la-jolla-la-jolla-2)

7. Little Italy (San Diego), CA (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-broadstone-little-italy-san-diego)

8. Washington, DC (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-washington)

9. Coral Gables, FL (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salon-coral-gables)

10. Bethesda, MD (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-bethesda-bethesda)

11. Maple Lawn, MD (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-maple-lawn-fulton-2)

12. North Baltimore, MD (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-greenspring-baltimore-2)

13. St. Louis Park, MN (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-st-louis-park-st-louis-park-2)

14. Bedminster, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-bedminster)

15. Westwood, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-westwood)

16. Florham Park, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-florham-park-florham-park)

17. Edgewater, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-city-place-edgewater-edgewater)

18. Livingston, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-livingston-livingston)

19. Woodbury, NJ (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-woodbury-woodbury)

20. Beachwood, OH (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-beachwood-beachwood-2)

21. Avon Commons, OH (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-avon-commons-avon)

22. Lake Oswego, OR (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-lake-oswego-lake-oswego-4)

23. McKinney, TX (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-mckinney-mckinney)

24. Fort Worth, TX (https://www.yelp.com/biz/18-8-fine-mens-salons-fort-worth-fort-worth)

19 Eighteen Eight Salon Locations Have Rebranded

Griff's Shave BarIt appears that 19 Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salon locations have rebranded:

1. Ocotillo, AZ

2. Waterfront, AZ

3. Newport Beach, CA

4. West Hollywood, CA

5. Dublin, CA

6. Brea, CA

7. Huntington Beach, CA

8. Campbell, CA

9. Roseville, CA

10. Mountain View, CA

11. Laguna Niguel, CA

12. Closter, NJ

13. Jersey City, NJ

14. Mamaroneck, NJ

15. Cool Springs, TN

16. Plano, TX

17. Flower Mound, TX

18. Richardson, TX

19. Bothell, WA

6 Other 18/8 Franchise Locations Have Been Taken Over by Corporate

6 other former franchise locations have had operations taken over by 18|8 corporate;

1. Anaheim Hills, CA

2. Lake Forest, CA

3. Centennial, CO

4. Annapolis, MD

5. Princeton, NJ

6. Powell, OH

The franchise page of the eighteeneight.com franchise website states:  “Total Investment Range is $291,851 – $513,639 for a single 18|8 Fine Men’s Salon.”

Considering all store closures, rebrands, and corporate takeovers, this equates to $14.3-$25.1 million in lost investor value. This total does not include resales that have netted the original owner negative value.

Scott Griffiths claims 150 units in development.   In the first 6 months of 2018 alone, over 2 dozen locations have either closed or rebranded, while only 2 new locations have opened.   In an amazing twist of irony; the recent Forbes article is titled “Growth Stories: How the Financial Crisis Caused This Business To Grow Ten Times Faster.”

Share your personal Growth Story with 18|8 Fine Men’s Salons in the comments.

[End of Guest Submitted Content]

See how many locations Ultimate Franchises, Inc. claims to have as of July, 2017.  See Item 20 for location and sales information, and the exhibits for a list of current and former franchise owners:

18/8 Fine Men’s Salons Franchise Disclosure Document 7/17

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

NOTE:  We invite all parties discussed to share corrections, clarifications, explanations, rebuttals, and alternative points of views.  Franchisors, franchisees, employees and others discussed here can leave comments below or submit rebuttals and clarifications via email to UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com. 

Opinions and representations expressed are those of the parties alone; do your own research and make up your own mind.  We are a discussion site and invite all opinions from all points of view which can be left as comments or submitted to UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com for possible publication.  Anonymous commenting is fine.  Please consider supporting our effort with a contribution to Unhappy Franchisee.

ARE YOU AN 18/8 EIGHTEEN EIGHT FRANCHISE OWNER OR GRIFF’S SHAVE BAR FRANCHISEE?  WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE ULTIMATE FRANCHISES, INC. CONCEPTS AND SUPPORT? 

IS SCOTT GRIFFITHS EXAGGERATING THE SUCCESS & UNDERSTATING THE RISK OF HIS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES?

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Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS:  18/8 Fine Men’s Salons,  18/8 Fine Men’s Salons franchise, 18/8 Salon franchise opportunity, 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons franchise complaints, Eighteen Eight Salon franchise, Eighteen Eight Salon franchise, Griff’s Shave Bar franchise, Ultimate Franchises Inc., franchise complaints, Scott Griffiths,  W. Scott Griffiths, Ron Love, Loretta Hwong Griffiths, , Brigitte Love Thewes, Mark Elson, unhappy franchisee

86 thoughts on “18/8 Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons Franchise Warning

  • September 23, 2018 at 2:21 pm
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    I lost 150k early on and refused to go farther. Got the threats, etc… These guys are crooked as can be. Stay far away.

  • September 24, 2018 at 1:21 pm
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    If there is one thing I have learned from working with Griffiths, it’s that he makes rash emotional decisions that lead to costly mistakes. He also stubbornly doubles down on his mistakes. His EQ is bottom of the barrel. He has attempted to take on a couple franchisees that he has zero chance of winning against, and will eventually lose everything because of it. His only strategy at this point is to hide from being served and delay, delay, delay on court dates. His own lawyer just acts completely confused and dumbfounded whenever contacted, in an effort to avoid more lawsuits.

    You can google “vs ultimate franchises” for the current cases and read the court docs to see how desperate Griffiths is to avoid any trial.

  • September 24, 2018 at 4:21 pm
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    Hi Guys,
    I found William “Scott” Griffiths living at [redacted] Laguna Niguel CA and the new Corporate office operating at 19772 Macarthur Blvd #100 Irvine CA 92612….as “Ultimate Brands, Inc., dba Eighteen Eight Fine Men’s Salons”. I need a phone # for Scott personally or direct phone to this new office. If anyone has anything, please post to this board.


    NOTE: We don’t allow posting of personal information such as phone numbers and home addresses in the comments. I’m sure you can understand why this might be an issue. Thanks. ADMIN

  • September 26, 2018 at 8:02 pm
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    I have his number but hesitate to drop it here. If you can give me a clue as to who you are, I will send it to you.

  • September 28, 2018 at 9:22 pm
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    How does W. Scott decide who gets royalty abatement and who doesn’t? I know a large percentage of the handful left have some sort of ‘deal’.

  • September 29, 2018 at 1:59 pm
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    Historically it’s been dependent on how well his narcissism is fed, but recipient beware… the favors are fickle and come with an obligation to abandon your soul and serve unwaveringly (for example, by distributing poorly written, recycled, factually challenged middle-school tantrums to email lists, forums, etc in support of the scam).

  • September 30, 2018 at 10:22 am
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    I was offered a deal to stay with the franchise. I could not take it in good conscience. I also did not trust that Scott would hold up his end.

  • October 1, 2018 at 1:36 pm
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    How does one continue to defraud unknowing investors into this sham of a franchise? How is Ultimate Brands still alive? No red flags, alerts etc? Yes, we all have to do our homework prior to investing and I am quite certain, that all of us here have done our due diligence and that is why we invested, however, when this many salons have closed or rebranded how is a higher power not involved in an investigation? Or are they? How is it fair that some salons are ‘not’ paying the royalty fees and some are made to? How is this legal? Shouldn’t this be disclosed? How are they allowed to continue to fraudulently take hard earned money from good standing people looking to open a profitable business. Arrests should be made as many lives have been ruined on a fantasy from insensitive, cold hearted narcissistic thieves.

  • October 2, 2018 at 3:49 pm
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    Can anyone accurately report how many franchise locations have either closed, re-branded, or been “taken over” by W. Scott Griffiths and his co-conspirators? I have not seen a comprehensive list since PM of Florida posted an Excel spreadsheet back in March.

    Thanks

  • October 5, 2018 at 1:24 am
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    I don’t know how many have closed but only 58 left on the online booking page (https://eighteeneight.com/book-online/).

    More than 50% closure rate. I hope they keep publishing articles with inflated numbers. It just makes legal claims against them stronger, since continued investments are still being made under false pretenses regarding the health of the franchise. Griffiths was never the sharpest tool in the shed, so leave it up to him to publish more evidence to hurt himself.

  • October 5, 2018 at 3:30 pm
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    Do not trust this company, they are crooked shady liars. They take over franchises and don’t pay their employees or the rent, leaving the franchisee in more debt than they were before. They can’t even hold a retention with their corporate employees because they find out the truth eventually. Closures all over the place. They put up a good front on the outside but be weary, it is fake. Scott couldn’t tell the truth if it was right in front of him, even if he was sober. He and his wife along with Bridgette are con artists. Big hug calls are a waste when they are filled with deception. New software program? Hims? What a joke, try getting out of your old software contract without a hefty fee! I couldn’t and pay dearly every day.

  • October 6, 2018 at 9:44 pm
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    Eighteen Eight was charging $300/mo for something that actually costs less than $100/mo if you were to just purchase directly from Shortcuts on your own. How much are they charging for Zenoti?

  • October 6, 2018 at 10:45 pm
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    Anyone have any updates on any of the legal actions?

  • October 7, 2018 at 9:23 am
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    It was brought to my attention that an image of me is on an above comment. It looks like by the comment this was or is a possible franchisee but I would not assume? I’’m not sure how that happened but I’d like my image removed. I am a previous employee of 18/8 and while I left for many reasons including being stuck with Loretta’s storage unit bill for items I was asked to store when closing a store…,.a bill she still hasn’t paid leaving my husbands credit tainted and the items in the unit up for auction. I’ve tried multiple times for her to pay it and get my husbands name off HER storage unit! I don’t agree with the morals of the company and most of your comments are on point as I, as a previous employee was “screwed over” time and time again but the above comment Is not one I would have posted, especially the part about being charged for software?

  • October 7, 2018 at 2:41 pm
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    Well it looks like another default judgement coming on this case:
    https://www.pacermonitor.com/public/case/24889978/BIT_HOLDINGS_FIFTYONE,_INC_v_ULTIMATE_FRANCHISES,_INC_et_al

    Obviously, Griffiths isn’t going to show up in a courtroom while he already has a pile of default judgements against them and money owed. He can no longer afford to pay legal fees, hence the no response to the most recent cases. A Mickey Mouse operation to say the least. How many lawyers have already dropped W. Scott for not paying?

  • October 14, 2018 at 1:14 am
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    This is the Turkish dude who was supposedly 1) buying the Anton salon and 2) gonna be their latest financial savior. He publicly affiliated himself as a “partner” briefly and then erased them without a trace. Didn’t take all that long beginning to end.

    Guess he got screwed too (shocking) and isn’t bound by an arbitration agreement… either that or he’s the latest in line to not get a response to arbitration demands and file a lawsuit to move it along. Not worth the time and effort to actually read the court docs.

    Sorry they took your money too, dude!

  • October 14, 2018 at 5:33 am
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    The Orange County Superior Court must be so sick of these guys.

  • October 26, 2018 at 2:02 am
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    The first Griff’s is about to open with no valid franchise registration in any state. Got my popcorn out and waiting for the next lawsuit to pop up.

  • October 26, 2018 at 12:14 pm
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    A sham one-off Grifts Shakedown Shack is a fitting tribute to the schmuck who sired this deplorable pant load.

  • October 27, 2018 at 1:42 pm
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    It’s hilarious. One guy buys a development agreement, then their franchise registration expires a few months later and they can’t renew anywhere. Way to get in on the ground floor of Griff’s Ace Bandages and Shave Farce. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!

  • October 30, 2018 at 5:21 pm
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    I’m wondering what anyone had heard about this audit Scott is currently under at the same time he applies for a new business license? I’ve heard they stopped paying rent at Princeton location, like they always do, and that the state, as well as 2 other lawsuits or investigations were served there. They paid on the morning of their court date but unknowingly lost their biggest money maker there, do seeing as how they lost their ‘cash cow’ at that location, it wont stay open for long.
    They lie to employees, bounce paychecks, do not communicate with them, do not send supplies, allow constant harrassment and threats of violence from other employees, and still have not paid back memberships from salons they closed on the east coast the beginning of 2018.

  • October 30, 2018 at 5:28 pm
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    Also, Annapolis is closed and has been. It closed months before Bedminster, NJ.

  • October 30, 2018 at 5:31 pm
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    they 1099’d all their corporate employees for months to get out of paying taxes, and they still cant access any pay stubs from that time.

  • November 2, 2018 at 2:27 pm
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    I have zero sympathy for Previous and Ex Corporate employees posting on this forum who now whine about non-reimbursed storage unit fees and bounced paychecks. So, what are you out, a couple of thousand dollars at most? While everything is relative, most Zees who went under or who are currently struggling to keep their doors open against all odds will lose many hundreds of thousands of dollars. Marriages will fail, homes will be lost, and lives will be shattered by the 18|8 fraud fallout. Previous and Ex Corporate employees who now whine about their minimal loses surely learned of the 18|8 fraud and systems ineffectiveness while still employed by “Corporate,” but facilitated the fraud nonetheless by pretending that their coaching could help to turn things around. Well, the passage of time is making it clear that turnarounds are not possible for the 95%, and you now have to live with the consequences of your deceit. Screw you all!

  • November 3, 2018 at 12:33 pm
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    I agree that financial loses are relative. I do not believe that all corporate employees were in on the scam. Many I have spoken to have left after realizing the truth about this Griffiths and his motivations. Others that just worked at the individual store level could not understand the magnitude of the fraud, and only came to realize something was wrong after missing a couple paychecks. After divesting in the franchise, I have a corporate job again and not getting paid would bother me enough to post something online about it.

    I think it’s important that those people find this website and share their stories here as well. We’re all on the same team now. It’s those that read all this and are willingly still working with Griffiths, that are the problem – this includes lawyers and franchisees that are helping corporate take over failed locations (more to come on this).

  • November 5, 2018 at 11:15 am
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    I agree 100%, Chris Clown, and both encourage and look forward to future posts from current and/or former UF employees shining additional light on the 18|8 SCAM. It’s those staffers and Zees (i.e., staffers who knew something was not right years ago but kept promoting the “VISION,” staffers who now know what is going on but continue to help W. Scott et. al continue the SCAM, and last but not least the Chris Brown’s of the system who try to lull innocent Zees in to thinking there is a way out while personally enriching themselves via the 18|8 SCAM). I look forward to your sharing additional information on such abuses.

  • November 5, 2018 at 11:35 pm
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    I agree that there have been devastating losses by those who trusted this company. Lon Rove, I did not come in here to whine or ask for any sympathy. I actually agree with most of the posts that they are on point. I’m sorry you felt you had to say screw you to all previous employees of UF, but I have no desire to say that back as I feel that would not accomplish anything. We are all complaining about the same company correct? Same team per say?Maybe corporate employees did not have such a large loss but it still matters doesn’t it? What is considered a large loss to some may be different for others who have a different financial lifestyle. You never know what someone is going through and if you are hoping to have previous employees comment I don’t think they will if they are being insulted. Working for a company who does not pay you is not only illegal but immoral. These ex employees including myself live paycheck to paycheck and when that check isn’t there it wreaks havoc and hardship. Same goes with being stuck with 188 bills or storage fees.
    That being said, we are not all the same but we are all against a scam of a company. Can we agree to maybe try to assist each other? I can’t speak for others but I can tell
    you from my experience I left when I found out all the dirty tricks on corporates end. Now mind you, if you are working for a company who is deceiving you as well and it is your financial lifeline to receive a paycheck you do what your boss says? At least I had to until I quickly found another job to support myself and my family. Like I said, when I found out I left. Please don’t assume that the ones that worked for the company didn’t have morals. This company, from the things I found out is deceitful, dishonest and con artists. Take a look at the head honchos that are still feeding lies and still employed, those are the ones behind the mask and dirty schemes.

    I’d like to think that we could chalk this bashing of previous employees up to a misunderstanding that can be resolved. After all wouldn’t it be great if we could all help each other? Thanks for your time in reading this.

  • November 6, 2018 at 7:56 am
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    I agree that not all former UF employees are guilty of perpetuating the fraud. The one’s I know were kept in the dark and once they figured it out they quit. They are some really nice people that took a job based on the same crap the Zees were sold. I am sorry that anyone lost any amount of money. It is true that the Zees have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars on this scam, but UF employees have lost significant money in lost pay. I hired an ex-UF employee. They were messed over in their last paycheck from UF and it caused them to bounce checks. They were one of the lucky ones; UF eventually paid them, but it hurt them in the short term. The main reason they quit UF was because their pay was always off and they had to argue all the time to get what was due them, and they felt UF was slimmy and dishonest. They dislike UF as much as the Zees do. We all should stick together.

  • November 7, 2018 at 9:59 am
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    so Lon Rove, you think you’re the only one who lost? Just bc we lost less money than you doesn’t mean we are lesser of people than you. Maybe your shitty attitude towards the working person is why your franchise failed. Clearly you think bc you have enough money to invest in a garbage company that makes you better than the people who were fed the same lines but as an employee. The associates I knew, never had a clue how shady this company was, and some of them still don’t. I have personally been moved from salon to salon due to shut downs. We have been served papers for eviction, lied to and told everything was paid and then kicked to the curb 2 days later with less than 1 hour notice. But unlike you and your son story, I don’t need anyones pity. I’m just trying to HELP others not make the same mistake I did. I do find it funny how quickly your attitude changed after Chris posted though. So keep on posting your rude comments and trying to make this feed about your loss instead of about unmasking the horrid things that are going on within Ultimate Franchise (or Ultimate Brands, depends on which account they need money from this week). The rest of us will continue to post our experiences and support each other rather than rip each other apart.

  • November 7, 2018 at 1:08 pm
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    Unhappy ex corporate employee: My first post addressing ex/prior corporate employees was intended to be directed towards those in coaching positions who did in fact learn of the fraud prior to terminating their employment with Corporate. Perhaps my finger pointing was not clear enough, but is the reason I specifically referenced “continuing to coach the ‘Vision'” after learning of the fraud. My comments were not directed towards all employees on the Corporate payroll, particularly those working at Corporate owned salons. I also did not reverse my attitude in my response to Chris Clown’s post. I stand by my original post towards all higher-level employees “in the know.” Prior/ex Corporate employees’ bad acts are not excused by the need to pay their apartment rent, car payments, etc. That’s a cop out intended to shirk any responsibility and to ease guilty consciences. Nor did I seek any sympathy in my first post. I am just fine, but others I have spoken with and/or read posts from above are not. I instead meant to direct a tall middle finger towards those who know deep down inside that they deserve said finger.

    Regarding a shitty attitude towards working people being the potential reason for a franchise location’s failure, I have news for you; most locations still operating as 18|8 Salons or those that have rebranded are failing. The system simply does not work. Throwing good money after bad to meet payroll, breaking even in good months, earning a very minimal monthly profit while working anything but semi-absentee hours, etc. are not what any of us signed up for when investing in 18|8.

  • November 12, 2018 at 6:19 pm
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    Has anybody had any success with mediation? Do they even show up? Is it a waste of time/more money?

  • November 15, 2018 at 12:50 pm
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    Dear Current and Former Zees and all Ex Employees,

    Skip and I are thinking of doing a “Buy A Membership, Get a catered Thanksgiving Dinner for 18” starting on Nov 19th.

    We find that we know it all and want to share too much with others, including those who have re-branded or closed their 18|8 Salons.

    Also, if you do not want to get these most valuable tidbits of advice you can opt out checking this forum in the future. TY

    Thank you!

    Nancy Plesnarski
    VP Marketing
    18|8 Fine Men’s Salon – Brookhaven

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