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7-ELEVEN Franchisee Protest Photos

September 2, 2014

7-ELEVEN Franchisee Protest Photos:  7-Eleven franchise owners continue to stage protests against their franchisor 7-Eleven, Inc., CEO Joe DePinto, parent Seven and I Holdings Co. and Seven and I Chairman Toshifumi Suzuki.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  The photos below were taken at a 7-Eleven protest outside of CBS Studio Center, 4024 Radford Ave, Studio City, CA on August 27, 2014 and posted to Flickr by dukhiloga.

Information by dukhiloga indicates that 7-Eleven Joe DePinto was at CBS Studio Center for business-related taping.  Other 7-Eleven personnel were also spotted entering CBS.  Joe DePinto was reportedly spotted in a black SUV,  which quickly sped away from 7-Eleven franchisee protesters.

Captions on dukhiloga‘s Flickr pictures state “Get Ready for 7-Eleven Experience Vegas 2015”  referring to the annual 7-Eleven franchisee convention where protests are expected.

The CBS studio protest comes on the heels of approval for 7-Eleven franchisees to proceed with their lawsuit against 7-Eleven, Inc. for allegations that the Japanese-owned convenience store giant violated the Fair Labor Standards Act.  Read more at:

7-ELEVEN Franchisees Allowed to Proceed With FLSA Suit

Thanks to dukhiloga for posting these photos:

 

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7-Eleven Franchise Protest
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 7-Eleven Franchise Protest

ALSO READ:

Has 7-ELEVEN Declared War on its Franchisees? (Index)

7-ELEVEN Franchise Lawsuit Alleges Exploitation of 7-11 Franchise Owners

7-ELEVEN Franchise Blues – A Protest Song

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 7-ELEVEN FRANCHISE, 7-ELEVEN ASSET PROTECTION & JOE DePINTO?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: 7-Eleven, 7-Eleven franchise protest, 7-Eleven franchisee protest, 7-Eleven franchisee picketing, 7-Eleven franchise protest photos, 7-Eleven franchisees picketing, 7-Eleven franchise opportunity, 7-Eleven franchise complaints, 7-Eleven franchisees,  7-Eleven unhappy franchisee, Joe DePinto, Joseph DePinto, Seven and I Holdings, Marks & Klein,

Tax Franchise Owners Say Don’t Buy a Franchise!

August 27, 2014

Which tax franchise is best to own?

A Liberty Tax franchise?

An H&R Block franchise?

A Jackson Hewitt franchise?

Several tax franchisees on the Liberty Tax discussion thread recommend:  No franchise.

If they had it to do over again, they would have started an independent tax preparation and gone it alone.

UnhappyFranchisee.com commenter finally gone wrote:

If anyone wants to see if franchising or in this case a tax office is the right move for you I suggest you do this. First compare buying a franchise to opening your own store using the same amount of funds. Take the Franchise Fee you were planning on paying and set it aside to open your own business so for example sake lets say 40000. Take 10k or so to pay yourself while you educate yourself about the business and build yourself a real business model. It may not take the 10k but for example purposes it is just a number but take the time needed to educate yourself the right way. This may take 3 months or even a year but learn the business.

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Then go ahead after your education period and start the process of opening your business. The cost your going to spend to open your own branded tax office in reality is not going to cost you any more than you were going to spend opening a Franchise Store and since you were seriously considering it you should have the capital to do this without touching the remaining 30k you put aside by not purchasing a Franchise.

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Now your ready to open and go through your first season. I know some of you are asking what about software and support? It may amaze some of you but you can purchase top of the line software with excellent support in many cases for nothing just because if you are going to offer bank products and are going to be doing a decent amount of returns the software company will waive the fee because the amount they will be paid via the bank for your production. Even if you decide your not offering bank products software with support is not that expensive at all.

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Now were off and open. Take 10k to 15k of the money you were going to pay just for the franchise fee and use it to promote your business and your services. If you did your homework during the time you took to educate yourself this will be easy. You could spend more but that’s up to you. I would split it between my first and second year. You should by now have a good idea what works and what doesn’t if you did your homework.

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Now here is where the numbers really start making sense. If you are a Franchisee your only getting 75 percent of every dollar your making. Why?because your paying royalties and advertising fees and those get paid no matter if you received anything from them or not. If you do 100k in fees under your own brad your 25k better off.

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It is not that hard to realize that taking your money and getting yourself educated and prepared is by far the right way to go but you need to do budgets for both and look at what your really paying when you sign a franchise agreement.

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I hope this gives you at least a starting point to make an informed and logical choice. Because the difference between these 2 options can change your life. In Franchising they tell you your in business for yourself but not by yourself and that is so appealing. They do not tell you what that means. It means when you try to do something to help your business succeed they can and will tell you what is acceptable and it matters none that what they tell you may harm you or stunt your business growth. It means that anytime they wish to interfere and change things they can and you paid them allot of money to give them this right!

Frustrated & Disgusted agrees, writing:

finally gone, you are so right.

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People think that buying a franchise also buys them a proven system that will increase sales faster than would have happened otherwise.

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I have over 20 years of corporate marketing background. There is no such thing as a proven system. What creates demand in one area, does not always work in another. Giving away $50 Cash in a Flash [A Liberty Tax promotion] in one area may flop in 10 others.   I tried CIAF and it fizzled big time.   Wavers can bring in some customers, fail in another. Local marketing to businesses had minimal return.

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What always works is true word of mouth by giving good service and having satisfied customers. Every business owner will attest to that. That can easily be done with or without franchise help.

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Hence, build your own brand, your own business by creating satisfied customers.

What do you think?

Is buying a tax franchise a waste of money or a smart way to start a tax preparation business?

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

H&R BLOCK Franchise Complaints

JACKSON HEWITT Franchise Complaints

LIBERTY TAX SERVICE Franchise Complaints

ARE YOU A TAX FRANCHISE OWNER OR FORMER FRANCHISEE?  ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH TAX PREPARATION FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITIES?  SHARE AN INSIGHT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: tax franchise, tax franchise opportunity, tax franchise complaints, Liberty Tax franchise, H&R Block franchise, Jackson Hewitt franchise opportunity, tax preparation franchises, starting a tax business, unhappy franchisee

PACIUGO GELATO Franchise Complaints

August 25, 2014

Are you familiar with the Paciugo Gelato franchise?  Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  According to the Coleman Report, the default rate for Paciugo Gelato SBA-backed franchise loans is 24%.

That’s high enough to earn Paciugo Gelato a spot in our Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate (2014) list.

Why do  Paciugo Gelato franchisees default on their SBA loans at such a disturbing rate?  Please share your thoughts below.

According to the 2014 Paciugo Gelato Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD):

# of Paciugo’s franchise agreements 2011 – 2013 including transfers:  58

% of Paciugo’s franchise agreements ending in reacquisition, closures or transfers to new owners:  39% (23)

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the Paciugo Gelato franchise chain has been stalled out, with 42 U.S. locations in 2010 and 42 locations in 2013.

Why does Paciugo Gelato have a high 24% SBA loan default rate?

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE PACIUGO GELATO FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Paciugo Gelato franchise, Paciugo Gelato franchise opportunity, Paciugo Gelato franchise complaints, Paciugo Gelato closures, Paciugo Gelato failure rate, unhappy franchisee

PHILLY PRETZEL FACTORY Franchise Complaints

August 25, 2014

Are you familiar with the Philly Pretzel Factory franchise?  Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  According to the Coleman Report, the default rate for Philly Soft Pretzel Factory SBA-backed franchise loans is 28%.

That’s high enough to earn Philly Soft Pretzel Factory a spot in our Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate (2014) list.

Why do  Philly Pretzel Factory franchisees default on their SBA loans at such a disturbing rate?  Please share your thoughts below.

The Philly Soft Pretzel Factory franchise website boast solid growth as a selling point, stating:

“Since our first franchise opened nearly 20 years ago, in-stores sales have continued to grow. In fact, 45% of franchise owners own multiple stores.”

Another claim is that Philly Soft Pretzel Factory operations is simple:  “We offer fresh ‘hot outta the oven’ pretzels and a few other products such as pretzel dogs, pretzel cheeseteaks, peperoni melts, and cinnamon pretzel twists. We make it as easy as possible to run our system, so we we keep our product line limited.”

It boasts the solid support system of the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory:  “We focus on providing unmatched franchise support through our Franchise Support Managers who work with you to maintain operation efficiency and build sales through store visits and consistent communication.”

According to Entrepreneur magazine, the Philly Soft Pretzel Factory franchise chain has grown from 110 U.S. locations in 2011 to 129 locations in 2014.

Why, then, does Philly Soft Pretzel Factory have one of the highest SBA loan default rates in the nation?

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE PHILLY PRETZEL FACTORY FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Philly Soft Pretzel Factory franchise, Philly Soft Pretzel Factory franchise opportunity, Philly Soft Pretzel Factory franchise complaints, Philly Pretzel Factory franchise, Philly Pretzel Factory franchise opportunity, Philly Pretzel Factory franchise complaints, Philly Pretzel Factory closures, Philly Pretzel Factory failure rate, unhappy franchisee

NESTLE TOLL HOUSE CAFÉ BY CHIP Franchise Complaints

August 25, 2014

The Nestle Toll House Cafe franchise company is NOT owned by corporate giant Nestle.

That’s the first thing you should know.

It’s owned by a Richardson, TX-based Crest Foods, Inc. which was a single-unit Mrs. Fields franchisee.

The second thing you should know is that, according to the Coleman Report, the Nestle Toll House Cafe franchise has one of the worst SBA franchise loan default rates in the country.

With a loan default rate of 30%, the Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip franchise earns a spot on the UnhappyFranchisee.Com Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate list.

The third thing you should know is that American taxpayers may be partially footing the bill for these failed cookie franchises, since our tax dollars pay back the banks for SBA-guaranteed loans.

Are you familiar with the Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip franchise?  Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.

Things look even worse when one digs into the Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD).

According to the 2014 Nestle Toll House Café FDD:

The total number of Nestle franchises open between 2011 – 2013:  120

% of Nestle Toll House franchises closed, reacquired, not renewed:  30%  (36 total)

% of Nestle Toll House franchises closed, reacquired, not renewed, or transferred to new owners:  39% (54)

Number of Nestle Toll House franchises sold but not opened:  32

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

Nestle Toll House Cafe Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) 2014

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE NESTLE TOLL HOUSE FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY AND THE NESTLE TOLL HOUSE BY CHIP FRANCHISE PROGRAM?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Nestle Toll House, Nestle Toll House café franchise, Nestle Toll House Café franchise opportunity, Nestle Toll House Café franchise complaints, Nestle Toll House Café by Chip franchise, Nestle Toll House Café by Chip franchise opportunity, Nestle Toll House Café by Chip franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee

EXTRA INNINGS Franchise Failure Warning

August 25, 2014

Extra Innings franchise has been listed as one of the worst franchises in terms of default rate on SBA franchise loans.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  According to the Coleman Report, Extra Innings franchise owners have defaulted on 32% of the SBA-backed loans granted for Extra Innings franchises to date.

That earns Extra Innings a spot in our The Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate list.

Are you familiar with the Extra Innings franchise?  Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.

Extra Innings Franchise Owners Are Striking Out

When the Extra Innings baseball practice franchise closed, Frank Kosa posted his condolences on the location’s Facebook page:

“Sorry to see you closed, another victim in the long line of Extra Innings’ closures…well over 17 in the last 5 years.”

Extra InningsVisitor posted this to BlueMauMau.org:

“Horrible Franchise  Stay as far away as possible from this Franchise. Over 80% never make it beyond 4 years. Save your time and money and please look elsewhere for your own business.”

While Visitor’s 80% may be a bit high, Frank Kosa’s statement appears to be dead on.

Our analysis shows that out of the 52 Extra Innings franchises open between 2008 and 2013, 20 (38%) were terminated, reacquired or ceased operations “for other reasons.”

That means that franchisee investments of $158K – $557.5K each were lost, and American taxpayers helped foot the bill for the loans that were SBA-guaranteed to the bank.

STATUS OF EXTRA INNINGS FRANCHISE OUTLETS 2008-2013*

Year Outlets at Start of the Year Outlets Opened Terminations Reaquired by the Franchisor Ceased Operations – Other Reasons Outlets at End of Year
2008 32 4 0 0 0 36
2009 36 4 2 0 1 37
2010 37 4 0 0 4 37
2011 37 5 0 1 5 36
2012 36 0 0 1 3 31
2013 31 3 0 0 3 31
TOTAL 32 20 2 2 16 31

*  Source:  Extra Innings Franchise Disclosure Documents 2011, 2012, 2014

The Extra Innings franchise system shows how a franchise chain can look relatively stable to an outside observer when, in fact, franchisees are investing and failing.

Extra Innings had about the same number of units in 2008 (32) as it did in 2013 (31).

However, Extra Innings simply replaced its failed franchisees each year with new franchises.

Those 20 franchisee closures could represent total lost initial investments ranging from $3,160,000 to $11,150,000 or more.

We would love to hear from Extra Innings the franchisor and its franchisees as to why they believe the baseball training franchise has such high turnover, and what they have done to try to reduce it.

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE EXTRA INNINGS FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Extra Innings, Extra Innings franchise, Extra Innings franchise opportunity, Extra Innings franchise complaints, Extra Innings closed, Extra Innings closures, Extra Innings franchise failures, SBA franchise loans, SBA franchise loan defaults, worst franchise, unhappy franchisee

NOBLE ROMAN’S (NROM) Franchise Complaints

August 24, 2014

Noble Roman’s franchise has distinguished itself by its high franchisee failure rates, and its insistence on suing franchise owners once they fail.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Noble Roman’s, with a reported SBA Franchise Loan Default rate of 38%, once again has been named to our list of The Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate.

One writer has described Noble Roman’s as “franchising’s version of The Walking Dead…”

They’ve also been criticized for trying to change their entire business concept to take-and-bake pizza.

Are you familiar with the Noble Roman’s pizza franchise?  Please share a comment – positive or negative – below.

InNoble Roman’s Still Pursuing Franchisees on BlueMauMau.org, Corbin Williston wrote:

Pursing phantom royalties from defunct franchisees and pursuing franchise fees from new applicants, Noble Roman’s (OTC: NROM) is a puzzling case study in franchising.

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Founded in 1972, the pizza chain has spent the last 15 years as franchising’s version of The Walking Dead

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Franchisees of NROM have suffered some of the highest SBA loan default rates, and as far back as 1999 one analyst observed: “They’ve been marginally unsuccessful for a pretty long period of time.

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In 2008 one commentator noted that NROM’s business strategy “reeks of desperation.”

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Franchisees who lose their entire investment and have their loan collateral foreclosed upon are still liable to Noble Roman’s, as the attorney for NROM explained to the local paper:

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“The agreements required [the franchisees] to keep [their restaurants] open for a 10-year term,” said Jeffrey Gaither, an attorney for Noble Roman’s. “When they closed after a year or two years or whatever, Noble Roman’s was entitled to damages and the royalties they would have received.”

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The franchisee attorney has asked the judge to reconsider, noting that the franchise agreement does not specifically provide for future royalties.

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The court awarded NROM $164,592 in lost future royalties for the period after the franchisees had gone out of business, and an additional $1,100,000 in attorney fees.

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A relatively small franchise system, NROM has used litigation as a revenue source and the position of their attorney Jeffrey Gaither should not be a surprise to any franchisee; the company has a history of litigation against franchisees.

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Common sense would suggest that prospective purchasers would stay far away from this franchise, but PT Barnum’s reputed dictum would seem to have been based on NROM franchisees; one analyst projects sale of 35 new franchises in 2014.

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Amidst the current debate over franchise relationship legislation, the decades-long saga of NROM illustrates the concern as to whether the government should intervene to save franchisees from their own failure to perform basic due diligence. The NROM franchise push began precisely because the company was having difficulty making money operating stores, and the franchisees have fared no better than the corporate owners did.

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In spite of a history of failure and no clause limiting future royalties, coupled with known high franchisee loan defaults, people continue to sink their life savings into NROM franchises.

Noble Roman's

Restaurant expert John A. Gordon commented on Williston’s article:

I grew up in Indianpolis and spent my early formative restaurant management years there.

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Noble was created on my college campus, IU Bloomington. It was a heavy pizza and beer neighborhood pizza place. It has some midwestern identity.

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Once the QSR pizza wars began, they lost ground quickly. By late 1990s, all their company stores closed.

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In the 2000s, of course they started franchsing. By 2009, they were involved with litigation with every one of their franchisees. The franchisees ran out of money and had one attorney after another, in Hamilton County Court.. Because of a pro hac vice admissions issue, the franchisees weren’t served well by their last attorney. They lost. NROM can list their liquidated damages all they want on their balance sheet, but you can’t get blood out of a turnip.

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Noble has now reinvented themselves  to be a frozen take and bake purveyor, with “points of distribution” in various grocery stores. They are not really a restaurant and not a franchise. Investors should take proper note. Their SEC document talks to “points of distribution”, which is shelf space or a cardboard label, not a restaurant.

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Papa Murphy’s, which itself has just been sued, is the dominant take and bake operator and is about to IPO.

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

NOBLE ROMAN’S PIZZA: Worst Franchises for SBA Loan Defaults

FRANCHISE LAWSUITS: Noble Roman’s Granted Summary Judgment Against Franchisees

ARE YOU A NOBLE ROMAN’S FRANCHISE OWNER OR FRANCHISEE?  ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE NOBLE ROMAN’S FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Noble Roman’s (NROM), Noble Roman’s franchise, Noble Roman’s franchise opportunity, Noble Roman’s franchise complaints, pizza franchise, pizza franchise opportunity, pizza franchises, unhappy franchisee

DAILY GRIND Coffee House Franchise: What Happened?

August 24, 2014

Daily Grind Coffee House & Café franchise boasted in 2007 about its high listing in the Entrepreneur 500.

In 2014, UnhappyFranchisee.Com named the Daily Grind Coffee House & Café to a less flattering list:  The Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Default Rate.

45% of the loans to franchisees to open  Daily Grind franchise locations have defaulted, causing the franchisees – and U.S. taxpayers who guaranteed the loans to the banks – financial distress.

What happened to the once-promising Daily Grind franchise chain?  Are you familiar with the Daily Grind?  Please share a comment or insight below.

The Winchester, Virginia-based Daily Grind franchise once boasted more than 100 franchises open or in development.

Today there’s scant evidence on the Internet the chain ever existed.

The URL for the chain promotes the website of a single independent coffee shop in Martinsburg, WV.

Daily Grind:  Casualty of the Franchise Wars?

Here’s a press release from 2007 about the growth of Daily Grind Coffee House & Café:

Daily Grind Coffee House & Cafe Receives Top Rankings In Entrepreneur(r) Magazine’s 2007 Franchise 500(r)

Winchester, Virginia based Daily Grind Coffee House & Cafe, one of the largest coffee house franchises in the country, was recently ranked #234 out of 500 by Entrepreneur(R) Magazine

(Monday, February 05, 2007) – Winchester, Virginia based Daily Grind Coffee House & Cafe, one of the largest coffee house franchises in the country, was recently ranked #234 out of 500 by Entrepreneur(R) Magazine in its annual FRANCHISE 500(R) listing…

This is the first year Daily Grind has been ranked by Entrepreneur(R) Magazine, placing #2 in the competitive coffee house category. "We’ve always been a leader in the coffee house franchise industry. I applaud our franchisees, area developers and corporate staff on this laudable achievement. To be recognized by such an esteemed publication for our accomplishments is truly an honor," says Leo Tudela, CEO of Daily Grind corporate.

"As we continue our national expansion, we are absolutely committed to providing the support new and existing Daily Grind franchise owners need in order to be successful and as Ed Chapman, one of our founders is fond of saying, ‘Lets Drink Some Coffee!’"

Tudela added. With over 100 coffee houses currently open or in development located throughout North America, Daily Grind is one of the nation’s fastest growing coffee house franchises with an excellent reputation for providing high quality specialty coffee beverages and freshly prepared food in a comfortable environment.

Opening their coffee house in 1995, Daily Grind Coffee House & Cafe began franchising in 2000. They began marketing their coffee house and cafe system and local level of store owner support necessary concept to entrepreneurs seeking to own and operate their own successful business.

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE DAILY GRIND FRANCHISE CHAIN?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: Daily Grind Coffee House franchise, Daily Grind franchise opportunity, COFFEE franchise, coffee franchise opportunity, coffee franchise complaints, Ed Chapman, Leo Tudela, unhappy franchisee

24SEVEN VENDING IntelliVend Franchise Complaints

August 24, 2014

24SEVEN VENDING IntelliVend franchise scheme is gone but no doubt the financial damage it caused has not been forgotten.

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  According to the 2014 Coleman Report, 24Seven Vending has one of the highest SBA franchise loan default rates in the past decade (46%).

A 24Seven Vending franchise blog from 2009 stated:

“…Many of you are so frustrated and have been suffering from intimidation, or being afraid to stand up and say anything, for fear that they will strong-arm and threaten you into submission.   Many have lost their businesses or are going to lose their business or are just plain hanging in there because there’s nothing else you can do.  Some have been forced out of their homes.   Their families uprooted and life savings lost.”

See the other worst franchise loan defaulters here:  Worst Franchises by SBA Loan Defaults (2014)

Are you familiar with the 24Seven Vending franchise or the IntelliVend franchise parent VTL Group or its principals?  Please share your experience or a comment below.

According to this 2007 company press release, 24Seven Vending routes sold for $254,000 each and the New Zealand-based VTL Group sold more than 100 24Seven Vending franchises

VTL sells its 100th franchise in the United States

Kiwi technology transforming a traditional American business

Auckland, 14 March 2007 – New Zealand-listed vending machine franchising company VTL Group Ltd (NZX: VTL) has reached a milestone with the sale of 100 franchises in the United States under the 24seven vending machine franchise brand.

The US franchised 24seven vending routes normally sell for $US254,000 each. They are created from the trading stock of sited machines acquired by VTL Group from established vending machine operators, which have been converted to VTL’s proprietary technology prior to being franchised as ‘going concern’ routes.

Group chairman Gary Stevens says VTL’s technology is the key to converting marginal vending businesses into profitable owner-operated franchises.

“We’re delighted to have sold our 100th 24seven franchise to an operator in Miramar, Florida.“Our 24seven vending machines automatically report their sales so that our franchise operators know what lines are selling, what needs restocking and when machines need servicing. VTL’s technology transforms the profitability of vending machine businesses by providing a total management system, which maximises sales and reduces operating costs. It also introduces greater accountability and best-practice standards within the vending industry. This allows us to convert an old-style and mature business to our technology and franchise platform and create a dynamic, modern franchise that provides profitable opportunities for owner-operators.

“Proof of this is the fact that some franchises have been on-sold to new owners at higher prices.” He says VTL is continuing to build its stock of sited machines through the acquisition of service routes from local US companies.

“Our acquisition of Nor-Cal Beverages, Inc., in November 2006 delivered us more than 20 routes which we will sell down as franchises in the Northern Californian region over the next 12 months. More recently we have just completed negotiations to acquire the vending routes of Arctic Vending in California.” Mr. Stevens says the 24seven vending machine franchise model generates revenue from the sales of franchise businesses, plus on-going revenue streams through the collection of monthly monitoring fees and sales royalties.

VTL Group sold its first 24seven franchise in the US in July 2003. The company also has sixty nine 24seven operators within Australasia.

In the US, Service America’s core business has been restructured and the sale of non-core assets is expected to be largely concluded before the end of the financial year. Seconded CEO John Hotchin has installed a strong franchising culture and a consistent level of franchise sales is being achieved. As a result, Service America delivered a small operating surplus in the six months to 31 December 2006, which was well ahead of last year and slightly ahead of forecast. Service America has some 37,000 vending machines on some 10,000 sites under its control in North America, the equivalent of more than 400 franchises, including the routes franchised to date. Mr Stevens said the recognition of the value being added by VTL’s business and technology platform in the US has seen the strengthening of the company’s balance sheet by $US7.3 million 2 with the introduction of two Boston-based cornerstone shareholders, Mr John Halpern and Mr. George Denny III, who paid $US1 (approximately $1.45) a share last month to each acquire a 9.95% shareholding in the company…

About VTL Group Limited

VTL Group Limited (NZX:VTL) is a global franchisor, with its franchised brands represented internationally including Australasia, North America, UK and Europe. VTL Group’s franchise model is supported by a complete management system including its leading-edge proprietary technology and financing. The company’s primary growth strategy for 24seven® and Shop24™ is based around purchasing quality electronic vending equipment for 24seven or the manufacturing of its Shop24 units, installing proprietary control technology and building a network of franchised owner/operators.

For more information, please contact: Gary Stevens, Chairman, VTL Group Limited

However, there is little trace left on the Internet of this hard-selling franchise except a short-lived franchise warning site from 2009 and 2010 called “Intellivend Blog Spot.”

Vending Franchises Cause Pain, Suffering, Financial Loss

In a 2009 post, “Intellivend Blog Spot” stated:

Intellivend Vending 24seven Franchise Investigation

Welcome to the Intellivend Blog Spot! This blog is intended to provide insight into the facts and the current status of Intellivend and associates. We also welcome and encourage those that want an anonymous voice to share their experiences and adverse impacts dealing with any of the related companies.

  • All Seasons Holding, Inc
  • All Seasons Services, Inc
  • Service America Group, Inc
  • All Seasons Vending Inc
  • VTL
  • 24Seven
  • Bacon Whitney LLC
  • VendPath LLC active
  • Stonemark Beacon Inc active
  • Intellivend LLC active

These companies were all formed by the same group of individuals. All have been either bankrupt, dissolved or gone into receivership within last 4 years. The executives behind these companies are the following.

The executives behind these companies are the following.

  • John Hotchin (CEO Bacon Whitney, CEO Director All Seasons Services, Director Nathans Finance, Co founder Director VTL, Director All Seasons Holdings Inc, CEO Service America)
  • Charged with misleading investors by making false statements to investors owes $174 million to 7000 investors; less than 10 per cent is expected to be recovered.
  • Mark Bruno  (President and Founder Bacon Whitney, President and Director All Seasons Services Inc, frequent visitor to Intellivend)
  • George Denny  (Chairman of the Board All Season Services, Halpern Denny Fund majority share holders in Service America Group, Share Holders in VTL, Chairman of Board Bacon Whitney, Partner George Denny fund)
  • John Halpern (Board of Director All Seasons Services Inc., Partner George Denny fund, Halpern Denny Fund majority share holders in Service America Group, Share Holders in VTL, Board of Bacon Whitney)
  • Chris Rollins (Northeast District manager (92-98) for All Seasons Services Inc., VP and eventually Chief operating development officer of Bacon and Whitney. Claims he invested his own money into the business and has taken over defunct Bacon Whitney which is now known as Intellivend)

The FACTS:

Lawsuits are mounting; the numbers of franchisees suing are into the double digits and escalating into multiple states across the country.

Vendors are not being paid

Commissions and Royalties are being diverted, franchise owners are paying Intellivend 10% of gross sales and they have failed on numerous occasions to deliver the commissions and have diverted monies.

Services levels are falling due to Technology outages

Franchisee’s Revenues falling

Franchisee’s defaulting are increasing

Expenses are rising with very expensive law firm Boylon Brown based in NYC hired to defend the lawsuits and default franchisees. Most likely were your royalty payments are going.

Intellivend is getting desperate they have resorted to creative methods of raising capital. They have been generating invoices without ever presenting or notifying the individuals of outstanding balances. They are going straight to debt collectors whom are directly harassing people who have lost their business. Its Likely these debt collectors are sold bogus debt, pennies on the dollar in order for Intellivend to raise some much needed capital.

Most are failing the few that are prospering well soon if not already will feel the bleeding. There is no reinvestment into the business three is no added value to your investments. The good equipment is being sold off, locations are being sold or traded to competitors. They have no facilities to store any equipment. The vast majority of the equipment you are operating is out of date and has very high maintenance cost which you have the burden of repairing.   They are charging unreasonable moving fees and MMF even when there is no justification.

Even there own employees have lost confidence in the leadership and are looking for a new jobs.

…Many of you are so frustrated and have been suffering from intimidation, or being afraid to stand up and say anything, for fear that they will strong-arm and threaten you into submission.

Many have lost their businesses or are going to lose their business or are just plain hanging in there because there’s nothing else you can do.

Some have been forced out of their homes.

Their families uprooted and life savings lost.

Meanwhile these greedy individuals are profiting from hard working honest families who have been deceived.

These entities and individuals have made claims and representations whether orally or in writing, which is inconsistent with or contradicts the marketing materials and disclosure documents which are unlawful.

If you have been misrepresented and or deceived during and after the sales process and or have been mistreated in any way please post your story on the blog.

ALSO READ:

FRANCHISE DISCUSSIONS by Company

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE 24Seven VENDING FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY OR THE INTELLIVEND FRANCHISE?  SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

TAGS: VENDING franchise, vending franchise opportunity, vending franchise complaints, 24Seven franchise, 24Seven franchise opportunity, 24Seven franchise complaints, VTL, 24Seven, Bacon Whitney, VendPath, John Hotchin, Mark Bruno, George Denny, John Halpern, Chris Rollins, SBA loan defaults, franchise loan defaults 

MAUI WOWI Franchise Owner Shares Frustrations, Advice

August 22, 2014

Maui Wowi Franchising, Inc., is a Colorado corporation offering franchises to sell MAUI WOWI* fresh fruit smoothies, Hawaiian coffee and related espresso beverages, a variety of Hawaiian products, and other products developed by or for Maui Wowi Franchising, Inc.

Maui Wowi products are sold from either fixed store fronts, non-traditional locations such as malls, airports or business complexes, or from portable units placed at events that occur on a periodic basis or are held in special or temporary venues.

The investment for a Maui Wowi franchise can range from $42,000 to as much as $360,050.

Maui Wowi: A Chain in Decline?

UnhappyFranchisee.Com has published concerns regarding the seemingly high failure rates of Maui Wowi franchisees.

According to Entrepreneur, Maui Wowi’s domestic franchises have declined from 365 in 2010 to 207 in 2014.  Read more here:

MAUI WOWI Franchise Complaints

MAUI WOWI Franchise Warning

Is MAUI WOWI Juicing Its Franchise Numbers?

We reached out to Michaels Haith & Weinberger on what’s causing the decline and what’s being done about it, but never received a response:

MAUI WOWI Open Letter to Michael Weinberger, Michael Haith

However, a Maui Wowi franchise owner contacted us with his (or her) thoughts on the issues we raised.

“Maui Wowi Corporate Has no Sense of Urgency or Accountability”

The Maui Wowi Franchisee told us:  “Mainland, i.e. the Franchisor, plays too much on the Hawaiian laid back attitude.  There is no accountability for keeping, or even setting, deadlines.  Announcements with dates are made and when the date comes and goes, it’s no big deal to them.  Life goes on, they continue to collect a paycheck; all the while many of their franchisees hang in the balance frantically gripping a bunch of bananas high in a tree waiting for it to let loose tumbling them to the ground in a painful thud (i.e. high franchise failure rate).”

 

“Maui Wowi’s High Franchisee Turnover is Tied to Poor Support”

The Maui Wowi Franchisee told us:  “The cause of the high abandonment rate between 2010 and 2012 can be partially blamed on the downturn in the economy. But general observations of the sales cycle through purchase, training, and becoming an active franchisee indicate that there is minimal support at best once an operator gets up and running.  Training is insufficient, support requests go unanswered for days and even weeks, requests to have marketing materials designed take weeks to complete, all marketing materials have the undertone of selling a franchise instead of promoting a great product and lifestyle, and the list goes on and on.”

 

“Maui Wowi Does Not Listen to Franchisees, Lacks Success Plan”

The Maui Wowi Franchisee told us that there have been positive developments

“The steps that Maui Wowi have been taking in recent months to fix the high failure rate are:

1) Make Michael Wienberger CEO (August 2013 – http://www.prweb.com/releases/maui-wowi-hawaiian/New-CEO/prweb11027255.htm) which allows Michael Haith to focus on Franchise Sherpas (which is what he’s been doing for years anyway),

2) Hire Kerri DeLaRosa as Director of Franchise Support (November 2013 – http://www.prweb.com/releases/maui-wowi-hawaiian/Hires-Director-Support/prweb11306468.htm), and

3) Hire Jeff Lougee as Franchise Business Manager (July, 2014 – http://www.prweb.com/releases/maui-wowi-hawaiian/hires-new-employee/prweb12042976.htm).

“While these placements are desperately needed, the rest of the staff are inexperienced, there’s a lack of accountability and trust within the entire franchise system, change is unbearably difficult to achieve, genuine listening to the franchisees is not in their repertoire, and no overall plan to success has ever been revealed.”

 

“Prospective Franchisees:  Call Many Owners Before Signing”

A Maui Wowi Franchisee told us:  “Maui Wowi only discloses information about those that have left the system through the FDD.  

“Each prospective purchaser of a Maui Wowi franchise must do their own due diligence and talk to present and former owners in order to come to the conclusion that Maui Wowi is right for them.

“They are all listed in the back of the FDD and anyone interested in purchasing any franchise better call lots of people outside those that the franchisor suggests in order to glean a full complete picture.”

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE MAUI WOWI FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY?  PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.

The Maui Wowi franchisor is also invited to provide a response, clarification and/or rebuttal, as always. 

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

tags: Maui Wowi, Maui Wowi franchise, Maui Wowi franchise failures, Maui Wowi franchise complaints, Maui Wowi franchise cost, Michael Haith, Franchise Sherpas, Michael Weingartner,

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