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.

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Eighteen 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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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

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

  • October 1, 2019 at 11:41 am
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    To Margaret’s point, I got off to a great start and after three months in business was convinced break even was just a few short months away. As we all know now, there is no such thing as marginal productivity in this model. It ended up taking me two years and several hundred thousand in working capital to reach break even.

    I took two validation calls in the first three months and spoke highly of the concept. One of those callers ended up opening a salon. To this day, I feel very guilty about that call and the only thing I can say in my defense was I really believed I was on the way to profitability. If the Palm Springs franchisee reads this – please forgive me for misleading you so badly.

  • October 2, 2019 at 3:44 pm
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    I think that most of us were led to believe that we were “off to a great start.” That was part of the scam script, and the “Corporate” employee coaches were fully aware of our false hope because they were also coaching the franchisees who had already learned the truth. Corporate also made a point of recruiting newbies to participate in validation calls while the newbies still believed that they were on the path to break-even. Damn them all to hell.

  • October 13, 2019 at 12:09 am
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    W. Scott’s full incompetence on display in the publicly available bankruptcy docs. Every single corp owned location was losing (bleeding) money at the time Ultimate Brands declared bankruptcy. A blind monkey would have done better. Compare these to the numbers in the FDD.

    Location // YTD Gross Income // YTD Gross Expenses // YTD Net Income
    Costa Mesa, CA // $254,472.17 // $309,376.22 // -$54,904.05
    Temecula, CA // $81,401.41 // $132,462.73 // -$51,061.32
    Newport Beach, CA // $9,490.10 // $9,556.58 // -$66.48
    Lake Forest, CA // $73,281.35 // $153,031.64 // -$79,750.29
    North Scottsdale, AZ // $64,246.87 // $64,404.42 // -$307.55
    Pasadena, CA // $272,984.24 // $334,045.93 // -$61.061.69
    Topanga, CA // $285,415.53 // $366,382.61 // -$80,967.08

  • October 15, 2019 at 6:52 pm
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    Everybody get their bankruptcy mailer?

  • October 19, 2019 at 7:42 pm
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    I didn’t get anything. What was in it?

  • October 20, 2019 at 2:08 pm
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    It is from Marshack Hays LLP, Regarding Case No 8:19-bk-12516-TA/Chapter 7 “NOTICE OF MOTION TO APPROVE CASH COLLATERAL AGREEMENT COMPROMISE, AND POST-PETITION FINANCING”

  • October 20, 2019 at 10:42 pm
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    I think STG’s Lance Freeman, who is now President, was possibly rewarded for his break-neck 18|8 franchisees selling in spite of the repudiation by CNBC’s Marcus Lemonis, may have some legal exposure. Lance was the guide leading investors to the connection with this franchisor. He educated folks over multiple sessions, using his position as a franchising expert he fielded lots of questions in getting folks to the buy. He would (or should) have known about the improbability of YOY and cross-store consistency of the 47.0% COGS %’s in the FDDs given the 3 levels of stylists, product level fluctuation, etc. He also should have known that corporate’s high producing stylists were contractors despite his selling us on the employee model. The FDD’s COGS reflecting contractor vs. he was selling, made the FDD ‘apple’ and an ‘orange’ purchased. Lance provided the contractor affected 47% FDD figure to potential investors in use for their analysis that were also embedded in the FDD numbers, if legit, would have been the effect of paying payroll taxes on the 8% of tips, while the customers were paying 20%. Several people have reported that he told franchisees and another buyer was about to buy the territory they were looking at. Nice line used over and over so the prospects would not research much further, but stay focused on the misleading FDDs, the information provided at Discovery Day and the information he provided in those educational systems. Time was not Scott’s/Lance’s side. You had to decide immediately.

    Also, as noted above, Lance also appears to have carefully steered prospects to talk to only those franchisees he suspected would be giving glowing reports on their decision to pay $100K for rights to opening a business that will most likely ever have a recovery of their investment. He urged franchisees on several occasions to raise to their hands talk to potential investors. Funny, folks with not so great of an experience with 18|8, in many cases with longer tenures, were passed over.

    Without Lance’s efforts, it would appear that Scott would not have been able to accomplish what he intended, albeit with consequences felt by so many. For his lockstep help and navigation using flawed representations, Lance, who was contracted help, was even on the corporate Christmas card sent to all the franchisees.

    Sounds like culpability.

  • November 2, 2019 at 8:29 pm
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    W. Scott Griffiths is still doing interviews trying to sell franchises, even after being removed due to incompetence. Published on 10/7/19. This man is a total embarrassment. It’s like he’s in denial. What is he still getting out of it after Chapter 7? Is it just a show for his own ego?

    https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/scott-griffiths-founder-18-8-fine-mens-salons-griffs/id1323641416?i=1000452625029
    https://soundcloud.com/modrnbusiness/red-boswell-004-818-griffs-podcast

  • November 3, 2019 at 1:48 am
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    Just launched this. Per the episode website, it was posted 26 days ago from the date of this note. Unless the website had some huge delay from the original airing, the appears to be just more fraud on top of the other fraud.

    Love the way SG answers the softball questions by someone who has done zero research before giving access to their audience. Ryan Hicks essentially owns up to, at the front of the interview. In the end, if people invest, in part, due to people putting on people who tell lies to get people to invest, then it makes them look really bad.

    FYI, I noticed just now 11 different “business” SG appears to have setup or has been a principal in.

    Seems like a lot.

    William & Scott, Inc.
    1) Grreat Griff
    2) 2Ultimatebrands
    3) Ultimate Franchises, Inc
    4) Scott Griffiths Design Associates, Inc.
    5) Great Griffs Two Corp
    6) 18/8 Fine Men’s Salons
    8) Boombang Ventures, Inc
    9) Boombang, Lic
    10) Men’s Haircare Online Booking
    11) Mana Concepts, Inc

    His business associates come up as Lisa Lu Hwong, age 90 and Jeffrey J McLaren, age 50.

    Chris, thanks for sharing the interview note.

  • November 5, 2019 at 12:56 pm
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    all associated in some way or another with the IFPG broker organization. do not engage them.

  • November 9, 2019 at 6:51 pm
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    Did IFPG make this site do as it says?

    The “founder” is boasting that they would and now it appears they did.

    Anybody know the ifpg’s true origin?

    And is anybody know why no one ever shows up to any other webinars or calls?

    Claim to have all these members but France or seems to be two or three times larger

  • November 10, 2019 at 6:26 pm
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    According to IFPG, Franchise consultants/broker average between $18K to $30K for a one-unit sale. Multi-units are much, much more. (https://www.ifpg.org/franchise-consultant-training/how-much-can-i-make/)

    States don’t even validate FDD numbers when there is that much incentive to falsify the records.

    In CA almost everything is regulated. Yet, for franchising, you can just make stuff up or choose what not to put into an FDD that is required. No worries. The scamming doesn’t hold you criminally accountable,

    The franchisor’s consultant/broker is motivated to pass on the lie when lest they lose X times $30K

    STG gained a lot by following along with SG’s scam. No motivation to ensure the lawsuit not listed in FDD was listed or require to see private financial records showing COGS and income provided, etc.

    I wonder how much STG took in from playing along.

  • November 12, 2019 at 12:27 pm
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    To understand the large groups like IFPG and FranServe is to see why the operate the way they do. These organizations make the bulk of their money getting brokers to join at $19,900 – $24,900 and then either charge a monthly membership fee or take a royalty in FranServe’s case which depending on who you ask is a violation of franchise law. They also make a significant amount of money bringing in franchisors at a monthly or yearly fee ranging from $150 a month to over $10k a year. Despite their claims these big broker groups rarely, if ever truly vet the franchises they represent. If they will pay the fees then according to the groups they are a good franchisor which unfortunately is rarely the case. The unsuspecting brokers take their groups leadership at their word and try to promote these brands only to have their prospects learn that the franchise is not what it is cracked up to be which leads to not only no revenue for the broker but can damage the broker’s reputation as well. Now don’t get me wrong, these groups DO represent some very strong franchises, but the more they can claim they have helps recruit more brokers. “We are the biggest because we have 500 brands” is a common claim which at face value sounds great but in reality only a small fraction of them are actually selling any units, much less a worthwhile investment. I was recently told that a large portion of the brands that are represented by these groups do not even have any franchisees, just a company owned unit. Unfortunately the big groups like IFPG and FranServe have gotten away from wanting to actually help franchisors grow and are focused on lining their own pockets by overpromising and under delivering to brokers and franchisors. The business model has changed tremendously in recent years.

  • November 12, 2019 at 1:10 pm
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    To this question… “Anybody know the ifpg’s true origin?”

    The owner of IFPG used to be a staff member of a defunct organization called Franchise Alliance. Some bad press came out about Dan Prechtel, the owner of Franchise Alliance which turned that company into a sinking ship almost overnight. Dan, the owner of IFPG along with a couple of other Franchise Alliance affiliated members basically took the database, spun up a website and offered a home to the Franchise Alliance brokers which is what has led to what IFPG is today. Oddly the birth of FranServe, their biggest rival, was born out of the very same Franchise Alliance downturn, just a slightly different plan of execution.

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