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



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.




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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

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

  • January 17, 2019 at 7:40 am

    The Feds must look into these thieves. They are Con Aritsts that steal your money & paint this picture of everything rainbows and unicorns. Scott Griffiths has money in off shore accounts and everyone around him is just as responsible as him. SOMEONE OUT THERE must know how to get these guys arrested, it’s been going on long enough. Our lives are ruined because of these thieves, it’s time for payback.

  • January 17, 2019 at 11:18 am

    Jennie, please take a few minutes to file a complaint with the California Dept. Of Business Oversight, and your state’s equivalent oversight body. If the federal government reopens some day, you may want to contact the SBA office of the Inspector General, who is rumored to have a quiet investigation going out of their San Diego office. One might also research Scott Griffiths crime(s) alleged at the local level by calling the Orange County Sheriff substation in Aliso Viejo, CA, which serves his adjacent community of Laguna Niguel. These are really bad people, though. So be careful. Once they are cornered, I wouldn’t rule out the possibility that these criminals will become violent.

  • January 17, 2019 at 11:45 am


    How many of you would be willing to contribute $$$ to a coordinated information campaign that would spread the word via the media & Internet and also coordinate complaints to multiple relevant state and Federal agencies?

    If you would be interested in exploring the idea, send a confidential email to the administrator of this site at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com. No obligation… just gauging interest and soliciting input


  • January 23, 2019 at 2:00 am

    Smart zees learned a long time ago to question Scott & company at every turn. Those who closed their stores before they drained their life savings were smart. There was never any substance behind this franchise. In hindsight, we know there is a reason that corporate only built four stores, including the one they closed in the Del Amo mall that they were not forthcoming about, like everything else, to the would-be investing zees. Future zees asked, but it is clear, like so many other statements leading up to their decision to invest, the reasons given were simply not true. It is clear now why that they were racing to sell so many franchises in spite of being advised to build slowly (quality first).

    One of the more significant untrue statements made by 18|8 and St. Gregory channeled as their representative is that this was employee staffed model. (They followed up at 18|8 U before folks had signed their personal guarantees to build their store.) Even though they sold it this way, their own master stylists were contractors. They repeated this “employee model” over and over such that virtually all franchisees heard this on the various discovery days held over the years. Corporate even developed employee commission scenarios based on what you charged for services. Selling this as an employee model ensured that they could not run afoul of any legal challenges. The funny thing is after multiple corporate officers confessed in various sidebar conversations that they indeed had contractors at the master level after franchisees had already purchased development rights, they also kept denying it in other circles. Over and over they told potential franchisees 18|8 was an employee model but did not mention that their own largest revenue producing group, master stylists, were contract laborers. Sold one thing, did another. They never came clean on this aspect of talking out of both sides of their mouth. The problem for corporate on this subject is that are so many witnesses these statements and that was one of the main pillars in the model sold.

    I do hope that Scott, and what few remaining enablers like Chris Brown and Andrew Hulse, who for some reason are choosing to spend much of their working years in service to 18|8, will develop a conscience in spite of any financial conflict of interest when talking to fellow franchisees. Scott, Brigitte, as original officers, do the right thing. Come clean. Look at yourselves in the mirror. The gig is up. This whole thing was all a house of cards from the start. Franchises are supposed to have low failure rates in return a percentage of the gross, but the 18|8 foundation was shaky, at best, from the start leading to the state we are in. Quit taking a portion of the amount we pay for vendor products/services (rebates) etc. that you haven’t advised us of, though required. (Yes, Scott, a number of times the vendors, unhappy with you, have admitted to struggling franchisees of the cut you get.) Cut your royalty fees. (When you consider the undisclosed rebates you get from us, it makes the profit-killing 8% you get look even more absurdly high.) Do what you can so the remaining franchisees that trusted in you do not lose their life savings. Think of them. Put meaning behind those hollow statements about caring for our success on the Big Hug calls. Admit to the obvious that lays bare for all to see. This would be a start to the healing those who believed you so much they decided to sign personal guarantees and invest their savings.

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