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

131 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.

  • January 25, 2019 at 3:35 pm

    Does anyone know who Scott’s new lawyer is?

    I called Timothy Dillon’s office to discuss the letter from GoCap and they told me that they no longer represent Scott Griffiths or Ultimate Franchises. I had a lawyer friend look up some court docs on the recent lawsuits and found that Tim Dillon as well another lawyer from Irvine have recently asked to be relieved from representing Ultimate Franchises due to unpaid legal fees. Seems like Scott lost big on a couple cases, can’t pay his lawyers, and has no legal representation at this point.

  • January 29, 2019 at 3:01 pm

    I truly believe in Karma. The bottom line is that we must continue to bring awareness to this sham of a franchise. We must ALL remain diligent with posting on this site and any other sites that will inform potential investors of these thieves, liars, con-artists. I do not wish anyone to go through what I and other good faith franchisees have gone through with this disgusting 18/8, Ultimate Brands garbage. They ALL need to be investigated. Every single one of them need to be investigated and arrested. If not, Karma will have a field day on them and anyone around them. What other sites are people posting on? Thank you to Unhappy Franchisee for keeping us alive and bringing awareness. KARMA.

  • January 30, 2019 at 12:26 pm

    Joe Curler,

    Could you please provide additional information on the Del Amo Mall Corporate store? Was it a corporate owned location that was not disclosed in the FDD due to poor performance? When was it opened and disposed of by corporate?

    Darby’s Dad- Curious to know what W. Scott’s alleged local area crimes consist(ed of… At this point nothing much would surprise me. Don’t understand why these guys are not being investigated/charged with felony wire fraud.


  • January 30, 2019 at 7:13 pm

    Thieves and liars. they knew how to take our money, they gave us no support. I hope they all rot in hell.

  • January 30, 2019 at 7:16 pm

    Liars, and thieves. I hope they all rot in hell.

  • February 2, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    I’m glad someone mentioned Andrew Hulse in here. He’s another two-faced bum. One minute he’s telling all the franchises how much he dislikes and distrusts Scott Griffiths, and then a couple months later he’s working for him. One minute he’s berating another franchisee about questioning his ‘integrity’ because he was in the Navy (as if that makes his integrity unquestionable), and the next minute he puts himself in the same division as Chris Brown.

    My analysis is that Hulse didn’t realize how badly he burned himself after opening an 18/8 in Minnesota after the franchise registration in that state got revoked (he invested a ton of money and resources in an asset that could not be resold as an 18/8), so he just decided to double down and be one of the scammers living off the backs of others. I’ll just pause there, since it’s bad enough for him to have to deal with Griffiths as a boss on a daily basis, while also pretending to be Mr. Integrity.

  • February 3, 2019 at 12:01 am

    Former Franchisee/Joe Curler,

    It was in the Irvine Spectrum Center 18|8 store that closed in 2008, not Del Amo. It’s a different situation and may not have required disclosure, not sure, but obviously would have been of interest to investors since it was still a version of an 18|8 and so many of those, in hindsight, have failed. This18|8 had a medspa. The FDD does note for the starting month for the other three 18|8 stores, as well as that they had operated continuously. Why not note the situation with 18|8 men’s salon that had the medspa under common management/ownership?

    See links below.


    The Del Amo closure is just another franchisee closed store.

  • February 4, 2019 at 4:47 pm

    188 Zee,

    Many thanks.

    Former Franchisee

  • February 5, 2019 at 9:03 pm

    Former Franchisee,

    Ok, now I am even more convinced that corporate should have been transparent about this store opening and closure. (Someone might want to take a picture of this yelp info before they take this down.) Some people who heard of this store inquired about it and said Scott dismissed it as being a different concept.

    Hum… All the reviews are about haircuts. When you read the review details, it sounds just like an 18|8. Maybe corporate hung their hat on not noting in the FDD because of it being closed for 3-years before they started franchising. Or, maybe another shell game with one of their legal entities. Below is a cut & paste on the yelp page. Ron Love only alludes to things in common with current 18|8s. Maybe I am missing something.

    What say you?

    From the business
    18|8 MEN’S Haircare and Grooming Services are the reinvintion of the barber shop providing hair and grooming services in a relaxing environment focused on the Unique needs of men.

    At 18|8, our stylists and staff provide the advice, solutions and consistency men deserve in a wide variety of services and treatments, including haircuts, hair coloring, MANicures, face treatments, scalp treatments and massage–all provided at semi-private stations. At 18|8 men can have a unique experience designed to meet their specific needs, rather than being an afterthought at a woman’s salon or settling for a clip-joint-quality haircut.

  • February 12, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    188 Zee,

    I agree 100% that “corporate” owned Spectrum location should have been disclosed in all FDDs issued post-closure. Fraud, fraud, fraud. No gentlemen or ladies at Ultimate Franchises and all of the other entities they go by in the past, present, or future. Scum.

  • February 13, 2019 at 2:49 pm

    I remember at 18/8 University, Ron Love telling us that we should cut paper checks to our employees instead of direct deposit, because sometimes employees do not deposit for a couple weeks or sometimes lose the check or forget to cash altogether.

    Looking back at these comments, it’s comical how desperate these people are, even at a micro level. Tiny pathetic losers. Cockroaches. I’m embarrassed to ever have associated with them.

  • February 23, 2019 at 1:47 pm

    So, below is the cost of goods sold %, by year, computed from the FDD for the 4 years the information was provided. What do you think the odds are the Costa Mesa and Westpark had 47.0% with Pasadena having the exact same % for exact same years for 3 of the 4 years? This just happened to be the same figure Lance told zees to use as a modeling assumption every single year? Imagine that. 11 of 12 computations from the FDD at 47.0% COGS.

    This business has fluctuating retail sales, different stylist levels with different price points for different services and high turnover. Let alone the % being the same 4 years YEARS in a row, has anyone has even had 4 MONTHS of COGS in a row at the exact down to the tenth %? Me neither.

    Pretty amazing. Just saying.

    Costa Mesa Pasadena WestPark

    2011 47.0% 47.0% 47.0%

    2012 47.0% 47.0% 47.0%

    2013 47.0% 52.0% 47.0%

    2014 47.0% 47.0% 47.0%

  • February 23, 2019 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve watched Griffith’s struggle with Excel. It was quite humorous. Just give this man a box of crayons. He’s more comfortable with a coloring book than a spreadsheet.

  • February 28, 2019 at 11:40 pm

    Chris Clown, interesting story. I believe he (Scott) felt like he was quite good at Excel. Ron Love mentioned how amazingly he was into detail with stats, numbers, spreadsheets. (I think that said more about Ron than it did Scott.)

    I understand when Scott presented the initial discussion of hair loss program roll-out, he had these ridiculous numbers on his spreadsheet with zero science behind of the numbers. Numbers just pulled out of thin air. A zee questioned him on his numbers, after requested input, and Scott got upset. If you are confident in your information, you don’t get upset by questions, you welcome it. If you are insecure, you are much more upset.

    Scott has always been a legend in his own mind as evident by how he instructed the PR firms to inflate Scott’s bio so much in store announcement, franchise sales material, etc.

  • March 3, 2019 at 10:52 am

    So, Scott has taken away from us current franchisees the contact information that with helps in reaching out to fellow franchisees. I guess he doesn’t want us helping our help fellow franchisees or getting their advice about what they did about certain situations. Nice. Maybe paranoia has set in.

    I thought we were the 18|8 family. Or, maybe that was just more hollow words at 18|8 U.

  • March 3, 2019 at 8:48 pm

    Observer of the Amazing,

    I believe the odds of every COGS ending in .0% (a more rounded number than say 0.4%) is 1 in 10 billion. There is a 10% chance a 2nd number ends in .0% when the first number ends in .0%. But the FDD has all 12 in a row calculated % to be 0.%!

    These seemed to be managed outcomes. Here is the math: 10% x 10% x 10% x 10% x 10% x 10x % x 10% x 10% x 10% x 10% x 10% x 10% = .0.0000000001%.

    Hum….yep, that is pretty amazing.

  • March 4, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    Thanks for the probability calculation, Lee.

  • March 4, 2019 at 6:52 pm

    Just because ZZ Top used the term “hum” doesn’t mean it’s Lee. Does it? Could be a misdirection.

    As a current franchisee, today I noted Ange sent a note forbidding us from purchasing American Crew’s new Acumen brand. Apparently, the kickbacks haven’t been negotiated yet.

  • March 5, 2019 at 8:51 am

    You just threw some serious shade at the FDD…..That calculation is the type of thing Attorney’s love. If you pulled those numbers from the FDD, specifically item 19, you really ought to take it to an attorney ASAP. Might be a get-out-jail-free card.

  • March 6, 2019 at 3:26 pm

    Brandon, many of us (the most fortunate) have already done just that. Everyone else should do the same.

    And just a heads up. Griffiths will do anything to avoid a courtroom. He’s already about 0 for 20 in legal battles and doesn’t even have a lawyer at this point.

  • March 15, 2019 at 7:41 pm

    I’m wondering how long this house of cards will remain standing. Still find this to be a great idea. But people got greedy. I feel like a fool for believing them. No crazy thoughts of making a fortune but thought it would bring in something.

  • March 17, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Corporate his listed most of their locations for sale. Liquidation has begun.

    With the exception Lafayette, notice the extremely low revenue numbers. Well below anything stated in Item 19 of the FDD.

  • March 19, 2019 at 1:18 am

    Per the links:

    Store Revenue Asking Price Selling Reason Opened
    Lafayette $700,000 $200,000 Corp owned 2014
    Palm Springs $300,000 $100,000 Corp owned 2018
    Anaheim Hill $300,000 $90,000 Corp owned 2014
    Morristown $240,000 $75,000 Corp owned 2017
    Temecula $150,000 $50,000 Corp owned 2017
    Costa Mesa $195,000 $80,000 Corp owned 2014

    Corporate said there is never a reason to close a store. I don’t think they addressed if there was ever a reason to sell a store at a fraction of the total investment. Also, not clear how “corporate owned store” is a selling reason. I thought some of these were franchisee stores.

    Didn’t corporate say at one point they got a new investor? If so, wouldn’t they want to scoop these up? The ad states, “Fine Men’s Salons are a great business to own and operate! There’s a giant void that’s waiting to be filled..”

    One of the top stores has a starting asking price at an amount lower than the cost of construction by itself.

  • March 19, 2019 at 12:50 pm

    Palm Springs already sold out? Didn’t they open just a few months ago?

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