January 20, 2015
Cornwell Tools franchise owner Toby Warner claims that the company induced him to buy tens of thousands of dollars worth of their tools on credit, failed to provide promised support, then threatened him and his family with legal action once he was completely over his head.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Cornwell Tools is threatening to put a lien on the young couple’s house, and are threatening a trademark infringement lawsuit because Toby is trying to sell his Cornwell-logoed truck.
Toby Warner has started a website and a YouTube Channel to document his American-Dream-Turned-Nightmare experience as a Cornwell Tools franchisee.
(Learn Toby Warner’s story here: CORNWELL TOOLS Franchise is a Scam Claims Franchisee)
How common is it for Cornwell Tools to sue its own franchisees for an inability to pay for the inventory they require?
A quick review of past franchise disclosure documents confirms that Cornwell Tools sues dozens of its own franchisees every year. Perhaps as many as ten percent of its franchisees.
Listed below are the Cornwell Tools collection lawsuits the franchisor initiated during one recent fiscal year.
The list, submitted as part of Cornwell Tools 2014 Minnesota Registration Application, details cllection suits brought against 43 of its own former franchisees.
Cornwell Tools Sues Dozens of Franchisees Every Year
1. Collection suits brought by Cornwell against former franchisees in the last fiscal year for payment for tools sold to the former franchisees by Cornwell:
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Anthony S. Aman and Anita Aman, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000318 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Robert A. Bayless, American Arbitration Association case filed 01/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000013 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on June 11, 2013 (No. CV-2013-06-2884); District Court of Oregon case filed on September 17, 2013 (No. CV-13090186)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. James C. Baird and Jug City Tools, LLC, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000314 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. James R. Brown and Janis N. Brown, American Arbitration Association case filed November 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000465 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on April 12, 2013 (No. CV-2013-04-1967); Circuit Court of Florida case filed on December 17, 2013 (No. 2013CA-006315-0000-00
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Keith R. Bush and KB Enterprise, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000315 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Bradley J. Cargile, American Arbitration Association case filed January 17, 2013 (No. 53 114 E 00015 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on November 5, 2013 (No. CV-2013-05-2543)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Aaron Carrillo and Kim Carrillo, American Arbitration Association case filed January 1, 2012 (No. 52 114 E 000048 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed July 10, 2012 (No. CV-2012-07-3990); New Mexico District Court case filed on January 31, 2013 (No. D-202-CV-2013-00497)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Daniel and Belinda Chapman, American Arbitration Association case filed 08/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000244 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on December 16, 2013 (No. CV-2013-12-5854)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Brett L. Christiansen, American Arbitration Association case filed 08/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000246 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on December 10, 2013 (No. CV-2013-12-5749)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. James J. Cleary and Deborah S. Cleary, American Arbitration Association case filed November 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000462 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on May 2, 3013 (No. CV-2013-2267); District of Texas case filed on May 30, 2013 (No. 13-51416)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Joseph C. Cote, American Arbitration Association case filed June 3, 2013 (No. 53 114 E 00171 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on November 5, 2013 (No. CV-2013-11-5237)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Herman H. Deimler, Ill, Herman H. Deimler, II, and Anna Deimler, American Arbitration Association case filed 12/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000413 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Anthony Delgado and Ana I. Melendez, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000360 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Victor Desa and Lena M, Desa. American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000359 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Bobby Lee Duke, American Arbitration Association case filed August 7, 2013 (No. 53 114 E 00247 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on December 10, 2013 (No. CV-2013-12-5747)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Blake K. Frazier, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000343 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Clyde Funk and Belinda Funk, American Arbitration Association Case filed February 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000092 12); Ohio Court of
Common Pleas filed on August 14, 2012 (CV 2012 08 4642); Superior Court of California case filed on February 14, 2013 (No. 12N01637)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Bill and Paula Gibbs, American Arbitration Association case filed 12/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000412 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Daniel Grenig, American Arbitration Association case filed May 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000179 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case
filed October 9, 2012 (CV-2012-10-5636)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Dewayne Hudson, Inc., American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000320 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Jerry Hurley and Wendi K.G. Hurley, American Arbitration Association case filed February 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000098 12); Ohio Common Pleas Court case filed July 5, 2012 (CV-2012-07-3934); Superior Court of California case filed on June 20, 2013 (30 2013 00639315-CU-EN-CJC)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Richard L. Jackson, American Arbitration Association case filed 08/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000248 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on December 19, 2013 (No. CV-2013-12-5907
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Michael B. Kearney, American Arbitration Association case filed July 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000296 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed December 14, 2012 (CV-2012-12-6785); Circuit Court of Wisconsin case filed on March 18, 2013 (13 FJ 0003)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Dora V. Lopez and Tony M. Lopez, Jr., American Arbitration Association case filed 12/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000411 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Gary M. Macleod, American Arbitration Association case filed November 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000466 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on April 24, 2013 (No. CV-2013-04-2155); District Court of New Mexico case filed on September 30, 2013 (No. D-202-CV-2013-06616
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Mark and Cheryl McElrath, American Arbitration Association case filed 09/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000295 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Raymond S. McMaster, American Arbitration Association case filed May 2, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 00182 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on January 8, 2013 (No. CV-2013-01-0149); District Court of Oregon case filed on July 5, 2013 (No. CV13070100)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Douglas S. Olson and Linda L. Olson, American Arbitration Association case filed 01/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000010 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on May 29, 2013 (No. 2013 05 2665); District Court of Minnesota case filed on September 23, 2013 (No. 70-CV-13-18081)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Joshua D. Parth, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000319 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Charles K. Patterson, Allie Patterson and Patterson Tools, American Arbitration Association case filed 12/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000414 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Ryan Peterson and Ann Peterson, American Arbitration Association case filed 08/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000245 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on December 16, 2013 (No. CV-2013-12-5852.
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. James M. Polimeno, American Arbitration Association case filed May 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000178 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed October 9, 2012 (CV-2012-10-5635); Superior Court of Massachusetts case filed on May 15, 2013 (No. WOCV2013-00309A)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Kenneth R. Roberts, Jr. and Roberts Tools Dist., LLC American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000317 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Nicholas A. Salzgeber, American Arbitration Association case filed October 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000406 12);· Circuit Court of Wisconsin case filed on July 18, 2012 (12 CV 84); District Court of Wisconsin case filed on August 27, 2013 (1:13-14261-cjf)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Manuel A. Santillanes, Valerie Santillanes, and Gotcha Tools, American Arbitration Association case filed 08/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000243 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Brian and Angela Schlichter, American Arbitration Association case filed 01/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000012 13);
Circuit Court of Washington case filed on April 15, 2013 (2013-LM-6
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Marcus J. Sedberry, Shawn L. O’Quinn and M&S Tool Sales, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Jason Syphers and Sharon Syphers, American Arbitration Association case filed February 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000090 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed August 7, 2012 (CV-2012-08-4523); Circuit Court of Oregon case filed on February 8, 2013 (No. 13P10131
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Douglas S. Thomson, American Arbitration Association case filed 10/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000316 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on September 10, 2013 (No. CV-2013-09-4326); District of Arizona Court case filed on November 27, 2013 (No. 2: 13-bk-20652-RJH)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Jonathan M. . Trawinski, American Arbitration Association case filed January 17, 2013 (No. 53 114 E 00011 13); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on May 30, 2013 (No. CV-2013-05-2692); Superior Court of California case filed on October 29, 2013 (No. CIV 524972)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Michael Todd Urton, American Arbitration Association case filed November 28, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 00463 12); Ohio Court of Common Pleas case filed on May 21, 2013 (No. CV-2013-05-2544); District Court of Texas case filed on October 24, 2013 (No. 2013019751)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Andrew W. White and Robert E. White, American Arbitration Association case filed 12/01/2013 (No. 53 114 E 000428 13)
Cornwell Quality Tools Company v. Charles F. Williams and Trena D. Williams, American Arbitration Association case filed December 1, 2012 (No. 53 114 E 000490
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January 20, 2015
The 1-800-Radiator & AC franchise company “are crooks and they have forced us into bankruptcy,” according to an angry former franchisees.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) “1-800 Radiator stole our franchise, stole our territory that we built, and we got nothing,” writes LuAna C. Plonski, who bought a 1-800-Radiator franchise with her husband Tobias.
Ms. Plonski contends that investing in a 1-800 Radiator cost her more than $250,000 and landed them in bankruptcy.
Public records indicate that the Plonski’s lost their home to a bank foreclosure. The home was recently sold at a public auction.
LuAna Plonski contends that after opening, the 1-800-Radiator franchisor, Radiator Express Warehouse, Inc. from Benicia, CA, undermined their business with outrageous fees and promotions that forced them to discount their products.
Ms. Plonski contends that 1-800 Radiator had told them they had several parties interested in buying their business.
Instead of helping them sell their business, Plonski claims 1-800-Radiator made a deal with a competitor (Performance Radiator) to take over the Plonski’s telephone number and exclusive territory.
“1-800 Radiator stole our franchise… and we got nothing.”
My husband and I purchased a 1-800 Radiator franchise in April 2007.
We borrowed and leveraged all of our financial resources to purchase this Franchise for $200,000 including our inventory. In addition, we had to have a cash injection of $50,000. So the total was $250,000.
I realized in the first 2 weeks that we would never make a dime. The Franchisor continued to throw promotion after promotion, discounting our sales up to 25% and besides their 10% off the top of our gross sales, they charged erroneous phone call fees called rollover sales. sales calls that we had no control of the rollover process. They made the accounting very confusing even for the top notched CPA’s that we hired with years of experience with franchises. At one point I calculated over 25% of our gross sales being paid to the Franchisor out of our checking account which the franchise agreement required full access to take money out whenever they pleased.
Our original franchise agreement stated “no quota on sales” yet they harassed us for documented sales visits. All a ploy in the end to sell our franchise, customer base and everything we worked for and forced us into bankruptcy.
We offered our business for sale, and they led us on for several months, stating they had 5 interested parties in buying our business. We then get a call on Friday Dec 19, 2014 that none of the deals went through. That night, our main phone number was then forwarded to [a competitor,] Performance Radiator. We made some inquiries and found out that not only did they sell our number, they sold our territory with a non compete clause. Now, no 1-800 Radiator franchise in bordering states can service our territory in the state of New Mexico. All of the calls roll over to Performance Radiator. Not only our local phone number but the main Franchisor’s toll free number now rolls over to Performance Radiator.
1-800 Radiator stole our franchise, stole our territory that we built, and we got nothing.
Now we are stuck with inventory we can not sell and an SBA loan that we borrowed $200,000 for this business. In my opinion, the 1-800 Radiator franchisor who is actually called Radiator Express Warehouse, Inc. from Benicia, Ca are crooks and they have forced us into bankruptcy.
If you own a franchise or contemplating doing business with these people, don’t! If they did it to us, they will do it to anyone.
LuAna C Plonski
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TAGS: 1-800-RADIATOR & AC, 1-800 Radiator franchise, 1-800 Radiator franchise opportunity, 1-800 Radiator franchise complaints, Joe Rippey, Joseph Rippey, Radiator Express Warehouse, radiator franchise, franchise opportunity, franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee
January 20, 2015
Cornwell Tools sold its franchise opportunity as an “exciting adventure,” claims a former Cornwell Tools dealer.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) After the company ran him into tens of thousands of dollars in debt, he says, Cornwell Tools abandoned him to fail.
Now that the franchise has made him physically sick and destroyed his family, he claims, Cornwell Tools calls him relentlessly for money, and is trying to put a lien on his home.
The Cornwell Tools franchisee is telling his story on YouTube and his website in order to warn others not make the same mistake he did in trusting Cornwell.
The franchisee, who has posted on our site as “Toby Warner” has put up a website here:
He has also started posting his story on videos on YouTube.
Here is a heart-wrenching account of the financial and emotional toll the Cornwell Tools franchise has had on his life and his family, along with a warning to those considering a Cornwell Tools franchise:
Here are some of the allegations this franchisee is making regarding his Cornwell Tools experience. The excerpts are taken from a letter he published on his YouTube channel.
Cornwell Tools Promised Him Wealth & Adventure
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
It had always been a dream of mine since I was little helping my dad work on cars to own my own business and if it could be in the tool industry even better. I love all things mechanical. So I set up a meeting with a district manager and at this meeting they tell you everything you ever wanted to hear, from all the money you will be making and the stuff you can have.
They really sell the lifestyle of tool man as an amazing adventure, along with the trips you get to take to conventions where you get to see the latest in tool innovation, and who doesn’t love technology? So needless to say I was hooked on the idea.
Cornwell Tools Franchisee Plunged into Debt
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
All I needed was a little money a truck and they will take care of the rest. So I said yes I wanted to join the family because that is what the company is supposed to be: a family. I am not a rich man (far from it) so I pulled every string that I had to come up with the $10,000.00 that you had to have to even get into the business even asking my mother-in-law for help which no man ever wants to have to do.
Then I leased a truck from a finance company that ended up being another $14,000.00 and keep in mind I was trying to keep my cost down. I wasn’t making any money at this point and didn’t have the money in the bank to be throwing around. So I went with a cheap used truck and I was already into things for $24,000.00 so far and wasn’t even working for the company yet.
The next step was training I went to Wadsworth OH for a one week training class. I left this one week of training lost without a clear view of what I was going to be doing, but I kept a positive attitude. Then they sold me tools to sale on my truck another $35,000.00. So at this point now I am $59,000.00 dollars in plus another $15,000.00 to start a customer base for me to sale too. So I end up in $74,000.00 dollars, $50,000.00 of which I owe back to Cornwell.
To put it in perspective for you starting this business cost me almost $20,000.00 more than my home did so I was feeling well in over my head.
Cornwell Tools Provided Inadequate Training & Support
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
Long story short 3 weeks later we hit the road with a manager to teach me the ropes. After only 2 weeks I was left on my own… no manager in sight, and I felt as though I was thrown to the wolves…
I learned quickly that Cornwell didn’t care what the situation was, they wanted their money no matter what. They didn’t teach me half of what I need to know to take care of customers. They didn’t teach me the tricks to ordering tools and what I should keep stocked on the truck. Most of the tools they stocked my truck with the customers didn’t even want so I was constantly ordering more tools to try to keep the customer happy so they would get what they wanted and so they would want to do business with me. Rookie mistake overextending my self financially and mentally.
I would call trying to get help and guidance. I called everyone I could think of trying to get help, but I only saw the district manager once every other month. I was told that I would have help and guidance getting started… I could never get ahead. I just kept handing money over left and right. My sells were not adding up to stay ahead of the bills that I had incurred getting into the business.
Cornwell Tools Product Backlogs Hastened Failure
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
Cornwell would send you sales flyers with stuff for customers to buy. Customers would put in orders for things they saw in the flyer and then they were left waiting months for the product because Cornwell didn’t have it in stock or it was on back order. Eventually customers get fed up when you can’t provided them with what they want and what do you think they do? They go to another dealer to get what they want and put a stop order on the product they wanted from you, so now your left with a product that you have already paid for, but no one to buy it. Mechanics can’t wait weeks for tools they have cars they have to get done to make money for themselves and there families.
In no time the customers were coming fewer and far between. So the sales were in the gutter and the few people that were hanging in there with me and still ordering from me got a huge let down when the orders I placed didn’t get filled. I felt abandoned by Cornwell. I wasn’t making enough money to satisfy the weekly payment they wanted from me and if you miss a payment to them even by a few days you get cut off, period. So you end up owing them money that you cant even try to get to them because you cant get the tools for the customer that wanted to buy them. No money equals no product no product equals no money to give to Cornwell.
Cornwell Tools Franchise Took Physical, Emotional, Financial Toll
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
…In the end I was so stressed mentally and physically I began having panic attacks and dreading having to get out of bed every morning. The alarm clock would go off and the panic would set in the instant roll of the stomach the worry of how am I going to make it through this day. By the time my feet hit the floor, the nausea would take over the need to purge myself of this unwanted soul blackening cloud hanging over my head.
I struggled through like this for months puking every morning before going to work not eating because food at this point would just prolong the life span and who in there right mind wants this life? Not me. Not like this, broke, barely keeping my head above water. I had to get out after is was all over with I was broke. Now I had a truck payment I couldn’t afford a family that was in ruins and Cornwell calling every day wanting money threatening to sue me.
“Cornwell scammed me…”
Cornwell Tools franchisee wrote:
In my opinion Cornwell scammed me out of what money I had with empty promises and smoke and mirrors. I have a wife and kid that have been let down and I have been destroyed financially and mentally. This whole endeavor has had a serious impact on my health. So in my opinion if you were ever thinking of becoming a Cornwell dealer this is the worst thing you could ever do….
So if after watching this and reading this letter you still want to go a head with becoming a dealer for Cornwell don’t, but if you do Good Luck. You’re going to need it.
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January 16, 2015
Another failed YoFresh Yogurt Café franchise owner, Ayman Ismail, claims that he was scammed by the franchisor company and its CEO Chris Gregoris.
The company blames the franchisee for not adequately marketing the location and not following the system.
The original franchisee who sold the location to Ayman Ismael, Bruce Clark, Sr. publicly defends the franchisor and calls the location “awesome,” but privately (according to an email sent to Ismael) called the location “horrible” and proposed suing Chris Gregoris and the real estate company for setting the franchise up to fail.
Welcome to the messy world of franchise failures, folks, where there’s always enough finger-pointing and blame to go around.
YoFresh Yogurt Café Franchise Failure Rate is 38%… & Rising
Of the 25 YoFresh Yogurt Café franchise locations listed as open as of January, 2015, we estimate more than half (13) opened in 2014.
In 2014, 13 new YoFresh franchise locations opened in IL (Chicago, Evanston, Woodstock), MI (Brighton), MO (Fenton), NJ (Brick, Haddonfield, Princeton/Montgomery), PA (Etters), TX (San Antonio), WI (Hales Corner) and FL (Orlando).
In 2014, 9 YoFresh franchise locations closed in FL (Orlando, Winter Haven), NJ (Denville), NC (Durham), PA (Lebanon, West Chester), and TX (San Antonio, Woodlands, Cypress).
At least two locations opened and quickly failed within 2014 (Orlando, FL & Durham, NC).
YoFresh Yogurt Café franchises that closed prior to 2014 include locations in AZ (Las Vegas), NJ (South Amboy, Fairfield, Roseland, Livingston), PA (Horsham) and TX (San Antonio).
We estimate that a total of of the 42 YoFresh Yogurt Café franchises that have opened, 16 have already closed.
That’s an estimated franchise failure rate of 38%… and climbing.
YoFresh Franchisee Claims He Lost $170,000 in 11 Months
According to comments shared with UnhappyFranchisee.Com, YoFresh Yogurt Café franchisee Ayman Ismail and his wife saved for 15 years to own their own business.
Mr. Ismail claims that, in less than 1 year, he lost his Hunter’s Creek YoFresh store in Orlando, Florida, lost more $170,000, sunk deep in debt and is being sued by the landlord of the property.
Agreeing with another angry former YoFresh franchisee, who posts under the name “YoStink,” Mr. Ismail wrote*:
“I agree with yostink. It is a scam… no support from this franchise what so ever… badddd location… baddd franchise.”
The original franchisee for the YoFresh Yogurt Café location at 13651 Hunters Oak Dr., Orlando, Florida was Bruce Clark, Sr.
Bruce Clark signed on as a franchisee in 2013 and began construction on the Hunters Oak location. Bruce Clark alleges that he has Meniere’s disease, an inner ear disorder, and was unable to complete construction on the store. YoFresh CEO Chris Gregoris arranged for Ayman Ismail to take over the location, equipment and franchise from Bruce Clark, with the assistance of YoFresh’s Yasir Syed.
Publicly, Bruce Clark, Sr. called the Hunters Creek location “awesome,” praised the franchisor and placed the blame for the franchise failure squarely on Mr. Ismail.
Bruce Clark, Sr. posted this comment on our site:
I am a strong supporter of Chris (franchisor) I originally I was the franchisee for the Hunters Creek location. I have had tremendous support from him with any all concerns. They were always addressed quickly and positively…
There were many reasons for his failure, none of which were the fault of the franchisor. An awesome location with Little Caesars on one side and Tijuana Flats next to me on other side. When He became delinquent on note payments i offered my services to him. He was very suspicious and did not trust my advice. I offended him when i spoke up of my observations such as offering ethnic samples of food to customers. Also he did not adhere to the posted hours of operation. Many times he would leave store locked up and leave and go who knows where. Other times he would lounge in chair and watch TV. He acted very disinterested.
When i took over the store, I tried, even with a horrible back rent debt along with a very bad reputation. i quickly found out i could not save the store. I have a very long 42 year history of running businesses very successfully. Twenty two years in food service owning four restaurants. It is very sad that store had to close, BUT it is NOT the fault of the franchisor.
However, in an email Bruce Clark Sr. allegedly sent to Mr. Ismail and his wife on Monday, November 17, 2014, Clark clearly places the blame on the franchisor, even to the point of suggesting they sue Mr. Gregoris and the real estate company. While Bruce Clark publicly calls the location “awesome,” it appears that he privately communicated that it was “horrible” and a Rita’s franchise had failed there previously.
The purported email from Bruce and Glenann Clark to Ayman and Suad Ismail reads:
Subject: Ayman, Suad, from Bruce & Glenann
Date: Mon, 17 Nov 2014 18:33:35 –0600
Ayman and Suad, We are finally realizing what is going on here. This location is horrible. Menchies has a great location and therefore gets many many customers, even lines of customers, even though people told us our yogurt is better than theirs!
It’s the location, it’s bad.
Rita’s Ice Cream was in our location before us and they did not do well either. That should have raised a RED FLAG for Chris and Jerry Robson and Nathan Palmer from the National UC Realty company. Instead they gave us this BAD site and said we would do 500K a year and it will never do well, or even come close to doing well.
We want to ask you, would you two like to join us in a lawsuit against Chris and National UC Realty company to recoup yours and our finances/losses?
Our finances are very low as we lost as much as you or more, but if all of us could figure out a way to do it, I know we could win. I think we should include the management company that we rent from too. They allowed another ice cream shop after they had a failed one!
Bruce & Glenann
Franchise Failures Bring Ugly Endings
There aren’t any winners in this scenario.
Franchisor Chris Gregoris has another failed franchise and a higher failure rate as a result. He says that he will be more selective when it comes to franchisees, but also says Ayman Ismail’s application was pretty strong.
The franchisor is faced with more bad publicity and must face the very real possibility that the business model is not sustainable.
Franchisee Bruce Clark Sr. has likely suffered financial loss from this, and has received some pretty unflattering exposure.
And, worst of all, Ayman and Suad Ismail not only face a substantial financial loss and a lawsuit from a landlord, they must grapple with the anger and turmoil that comes from feeling victimized and cheated – whether that was truly the case or not.
This is why franchise buyers should seriously consider the ramifications of franchise failure as well as success.
If a failed franchise would devastate you and your family – don’t do it.
* Spelling and punctuation cleaned up for readability
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January 2, 2015
Muscle Maker Grill franchise owner Sean Burgio was helping customers get loaded on more than carbs, according to Bethlehem Township, PA police.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) According to a story in MCall.com, the 32-year old Burgio was the target of a drug raid that that netted more than 30 pounds of marijuana, 19 guns, methamphetamines and cocaine.
Sean Burgio and his brother David Burgio opened the Easton, PA Muscle Maker Grill franchise in the 25th Street Shopping Center at 2411 Nazareth Rd, Easton, PA in July, 2013.
Officials have said they don’t yet know what – if any- role the Easton Muscle Maker Grill franchise played in Burgio’s alleged illegal narcotics distribution business.
Muscle Maker Grill Franchisee Burgio May Have Dealt Drugs for Several Years
According to the Mcall.com story:
[Bethlehem Township police Sgt.] Blake said the investigation began in October after Bethlehem Township police received information that Burgio may have be dealing drugs in the area. The investigation revealed Burgio may have been dealing for several years, Blake said, adding that Burgio’s name had popped up in past drug allegations.
As part of the operation, investigators conducted surveillance of Burgio’s home in a quiet residential neighborhood and made several undercover drug buys, Blake said.
“I don’t think it was nickel-and-dime operation,” Blake said. “Our feeling is that he was dealing more in larger quantities.”
Police from Bethlehem and Palmer townships, the Northampton County Drug Task Force and agents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration served the warrant.
The narcotics investigators were conducting surveillance on the house early Monday but were concerned Burgio’s child might have been in the home, so they delayed the breach, Blake said. As they kept an eye on the home, a Palmer Township officer spotted Burgio driving home.
Burgio was arrested in his BMW in his driveway, he said. Burgio had $120 in his pocket and a satchel containing $9,340 and two semiautomatic handguns in the back seat of the car, according to court records.
Was Burgio’s Muscle Maker Grill Franchise Financed With Drug Money?
Did Sean Burgio finance his Muscle Maker Grill franchise with drug money?
Was the Easton Muscle Maker Grill used to launder dirty money from the sale of methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana?
Police said they didn’t know “if funding to open the restaurant can be tied to the drug operation… federal agents are looking into the financial aspects of Burgio’s drug business.”
It will be interesting to see what comes out in the investigation to come.
We will also be interested to see what other controversies come to light this year regarding the troubled Muscle Maker Grill franchise chain.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE MUSCLE MAKER GRILL FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY OR ITS FRANCHISEES? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
TAGS: Muscle Maker Grill , Muscle Maker Grill franchise, Muscle Maker Grill franchise opportunity, Muscle Maker Grill franchise complaints, Sean Burgio, David Burgio, Rod Silva, Muscle Maker Grill front, Muscle Maker Grill drug dealer, Muscle Maker Grill arrests, Muscle Maker Grill franchisee arrest,
December 10, 2014
Frontier Adjusters franchise owners Jayson Contino and Mamye Contino are suing franchisor Frontier Adjusters, Inc. and related entities, parent company MerryMeeting, Inc., and executives John M. Davies, Edward Ferrie, Patrick Enthoven, Jeffrey Harcourt, and Milo Bolender for breach of contract, civil conspiracy, violation of the North Carolina Unfair and Deceptive Trade Practices Act, Violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Wage and Hour Act, and Negligent Hiring and Retention.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The lawsuit was filed October 6, 2014 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Charlotte Division. A downloadable copy of the initial Complaint and the Defendant’s Answer to the Complaint are posted below.
The Continos are represented by the prominent franchisee law firm Marks & Klein of Red Bank, New Jersey and local counsel DeVore, Acton & Stafford, P.A. of Charlotte, N.C.
The Defendants are represented by Cleveland, OH-based Ulmer & Berne, LLP.
Frontier Adjusters parent company MerryMeeting, Inc. also owns Sunbelt Business Brokers and a number of franchise companies, including Geeks on Call, Computer Troubleshooters, Inspect-It 1st, MTO Clean, Inner Circle, Pro Energy Consultants, and CPR Cell Phone Repair.
Are you familiar with Frontier Adjusters and/or other MerryMeeting franchises? Please share your opinion below.
Lawsuit Alleges Greed is Driving Frontier Adjusters’ Franchise Dictatorship
Frontier Adjusters franchisees were already-experienced insurance professionals who performed a variety of insurance-related services, such as claims investigations and appraisals, for insurance companies and self-ensured entities in their territories.
For decades, individual franchisees were responsible for attracting, developing and servicing their own client bases in their exclusive areas.
The lawsuit contends that when Frontier Adjusters was acquired by John M. Davies’ MerryMeeting, Inc., a multi-concept franchisor, Davies had a secret agenda to centralize control of the Frontier Adjusters sales process, and significantly diminish the autonomy of its regional franchisees. In 2009, Frontier intiated its Frontier Adjusters National and Regional Customer Program, aka “FANRCP.”
According to the suit, the “FANRCP” program stripped franchisees from the direct relationship with prospective clients in their markets, and transferred so much control to the franchisor that Frontier Adjusters franchisees should no longer be considered business owners.
According to the suit:
In furtherance of the secret implementation of the FANRCP program in the years 2001 to 2009, Defendants put into place multiple aspects of the FANRCP program, including, but
not limited to:
(i) a call center to receive client assignments;
(ii) a required computer system which provided to Frontier the names, contact information, and claim specifics of all assignments received, and claims investigations conducted by all the franchisees;
(iii) seeking ownership by the Franchisor through its required computer system, of all data related to clients and client assignments;
(iv) seeking authority for the Franchisor to dictate to the Franchisee the rates that would be charged for assignments;
(v) seeking authority for the Franchisor to determine the Franchisee’s legal rights regarding collection of invoices for work performed;
(vi) establishing unreasonable minimum billing requirements for the Franchisees which the Franchisor used selectively, arbitrarily and capriciously for the purpose of eliminating Franchisees who were disfavored; and
(vii) use of Software and other computer systems, mandatory disclosure of their insurance industry client and associated contact information prior to the effective date of FANRCP.
Despite emphatic opposition from franchisees, between September of 2009 and April 5, 2010, Frontier forcefully implemented the FANRCP against its franchisees.
…The Franchisor, in anticipation of its imposition of FANRCP, had engineered Franchisee reliance on the Franchisor to obtain assignments from clients, and planned to use that reliance against any Franchisee that did not accept the program.
… As such, the consequential franchisee-dependence stemming from the FANRCP, endowed the Franchisor with the capacity to make its threats and coerce franchisees into
Frontier Adjusters Allegedly Sells Claims to Direct Competitors of its Franchisees
One of the most disturbing allegations of the lawsuit is that Frontier is not centralizing its marketing and sales functions to improve efficiency or service, but to make the greatest corporate profit – even when doing so hurts its franchisees by selling accounts to their direct competitors (!).
According to the suit:
…Frontier sell claims to direct competitors, Custard Insurance and Bulldog Insurance, because these entities pay a forty percent (40%) fee, rather than the fifteen percent (15%) fee paid by Frontier franchisees.
… Upon further information and belief, Defendant [Frontier Manager Edward] Ferrie has his own side-business and a secret Frontier franchise location in the State of Arizona. Through Ferry’s secret franchise, Ferry intercepts claims from the home office and sells them to business [sic] throughout the United States.
Is Greed Redefining the Frontier Adjusters Franchise?
There are several interesting aspects of this Frontier Adjusters franchise lawsuit which we hope to delve into as the litigation progresses.
If the allegations are true, Frontier Adjusters, like 7-Eleven, may have to justify why their franchisees should not be considered employees (thereby eligible for wage and benefit protections afforded employees) when they have stripped them of the decision-making power and autonomy associated with independent contractors and business owners.
If the allegations are true, Frontier Adjustors may become another cautionary tale that we’ll use to warn prospective franchisees that no matter how carefully you research a franchise concept or its management, all bets are off when new owners take over.
Are you Familiar with Frontier Adjusters and MerryMeeting, Inc.? Share a Comment below.
Note to Plaintiffs and Defendants & Attorneys: UnhappyFranchisee.Com offers all those discussed on this site an open invitation to provide corrections, clarifications, rebuttals or other statements which we will publish with the same prominence as the original post. Our intent is to provide both sides a chance to state their views, and let our readers make up their own minds. Email ADMIN at UnhapyFranchisee[at]Gmail.com.
COMPLAINT: JAYSON CONTINO, ET AL. vs. FRONTIER ADJUSTERS, INC., ET AL. Complaint Document
ANSWER TO COMPLAINT: JAYSON CONTINO, ET AL. vs. FRONTIER ADJUSTERS, INC., ET AL. ANSWER OF DEFENDANTS
TAGS: Frontier Adjusters franchise, Frontier Adjusters franchise complaints, Frontier Adjusters lawsuit, Frontier Adjusters complaints, MerryMeeting Inc., MerryMeeting lawsuit, MerryMeeting complaints, John M. Davies, Edward Ferrie, Patrick Enthoven, Jeffrey Harcourt, Milo Bolender, insurance franchise, franchise opportunity, franchise complaints, franchise lawsuits, franchise opportunity, franchise complaints, unhappy franchisee, Jayson Contino, Mamye Contino,
November 19, 2014
1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending is suing competitor Chris Wyland of Grow Healthy Vending for defamation.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) 1-800-Vending claims that Wyland seeded the Internet with bogus complaints about its company, its vending machines and its owner Jeff Marsh.
In a comment responding to our post on the lawsuit (CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING), Grow’s Wyland denies that either he or any member of his household posed as disgruntled customers and left Internet comments about 1-800-VENDING or Jeff Marsh.
Wyland says that he believes that 1-800-Vending filed the lawsuit in an attempt to discredit Grow and to discredit “all reviews ever written against them regarding poor equipment, poor locations, poor services as a way to distance themselves from their own past.”
Chris Wyland further states that Grow Healthy Vending is “currently filing a lawsuit against 1800 Vending and Healthy You Vending”
WYLAND: Healthy Vending Competitors Are Deceptive, Predatory
While Wyland vehemently denies placing the online comments about 1-800-Vending & Jeff Marsh (including one characterizing Jeff Marsh as a pedophile), he does not hold back when it comes to criticizing competitors in the healthy vending industry, including 1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending.
First of all I do not deny that in the past I have made very specific comparisons to not only our business model and 1-800 Vending/Healthy You but also to other competitors in our industry.
I do so because I believe these companies do not always tell the truth, they overcharge for inferior equipment, they use last minute discount offers to pressure prospective operators into doing business with them and ultimately their operators fail because of it.
We run into equipment all the time offered at a steep discount from what the operators originally purchased them at because the equipment is of a much lower quality than they expected, they overpaid for it and then didn’t receive qualified locations to place machines.
Wyland states that the 1-800-Vending / Healthy You Vending lawsuit is a desperate response to the fact that Grow Healthy Vending “provides better equipment and services but we do so at a lower cost than anyone else in our industry.”
Regarding the lawsuit, he states:
I personally believe based on recent events and after speaking to some potential operators that 1-800 Vending/Healthy You Vending is only using this lawsuit as a way to steer prospective clients away from us and to them.
I think it is the only ammunition they have.
I have expressed more than once that I would compare our equipment and business model one on one against this company anywhere in the country.
WYLAND: 1-800-Vending machines are inferior, overpriced & made in India
Grow Healthy Vending CEO Chris Wyland states that the vending machines provided by 1-800 Vending/Healthy You Vending and Jeff Marsh are manufactured in India, are of inferior quality, and are sold to inexperienced, trusting business owners at a “ridiculous” mark-up.
Chris Wyland states:
We have never stated anything that we do not believe to be 100% factual.
1. The 1800/Healthy You Vending Machine is manufactured by Seaga.
2. I have personally purchased machines from Seaga and visited their location in Frankfort, IL. I did not see machines being manufactured there and have been told that this machine is actually made at their facility in INDIA. A company by the way that we are actually suing because of the poor equipment and services we received while doing business with them.
4. The snack coils are welded in so the snack portion cannot be re-configured. I believe this puts operators at a dis-advantage.
5. The machine has an “upper” snack portion which is not refrigerated and has a “lower” drink portion and does not have the ability to vend yogurts, smoothies, fresh fruit, vegetables, etc.. It is not health and safety rated.
6. The machine uses lexan plastic instead of glass. The machine in comparison to the Grow equipment uses a lower quality metal and compressor.
7. Operators who purchase machines from 1800/Healthy You Vending must pay 100% in advance for their equipment prior to securing locations.
8. The cost of this machine from the manufacture is I believe in the range of $2000. They routinely sell this machine for between $8000 -$9000 per machine. I personally believe this markup is ridiculous and takes advantage of new business owners.
9. This machine has less capacity and offers less variety than our standard G3 machine which is priced much less. In fact it costs us more money to purchase our machine from our factory and we sell it for less markup than any other company in our industry.
10. The 7 year “limited” warranty is exactly that. “Limited”. Essentially when an operator needs a part they must pay 50% of the “list” price of that part. The “list” price is created by the company, which is typically marked up to cover 100% of their cost.
Chris Wyland claims, it seems, that his passion arises from his concern for individuals who are seeking to build legitimate businesses in healthy vending but are being preyed upon by his unscrupulous competitors.
He contends that his Grow Healthy Vending / Sprout Healthy Vending company is different than his dubious competitors in the healthy vending racket:
I believe that we have a great industry that operators can be very successful at if they receive high quality equipment and services that they do not overpay for.
I will not apologize for attempting to build a model and protect our brand because I know that over the past 4 years we have always had the best interests of our operators at heart.
We are not perfect but when issues arise we fix them quickly…
Grow Healthy Vending
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING?
WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH?
SHARE YOUR OPINION OR VIEWPOINT BELOW.
Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Seaga Vending machines, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines
CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING Sued by 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING
November 16, 2014
Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, LLC, Sprout Healthy Vending LLC and Grow Healthy Incorporated are being sued by 1.800.Vending Inc. which also operates as HealthyYOU Vending.
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) The suit was filed October 3, 2014 by attorney Richard D. Burbridge of Burbridge, Mitchell and Gross in The United States District Court for the District of Utah.
The lawsuit alleges that Chris Wyland posed as disgruntled customers of his competitor 1.800.VENDING and posted defamatory statements about the company and its principal, Jeff Marsh, on complaint sites such as PissedConsumer.Com.
You can read the full complaint by clicking on the link at the bottom of this post.
According to the lawsuit, Chris Wyland sells business opportunities that “weren’t properly registered in all states in which they do business. After their lack of registration became a competitive issue for Defendants, Wyland threatened to spread rumors critical of [1.800.VENDING] on the Internet.”
The suit alleges that defamatory statements regarding 1.800.VENDING and one of its owners, Jeff Marsh.
One such statement, posted on the complaint site PissedConsumer.Com, stated that 1.800.VENDING is run by “crooks and pedophiles” and that owner Jeff Marsh “has been indicted for lewd acts with children.”
Vending Wars: Chris Wyland Called Jeff Marsh a Pedophile?
The suit claims that after initiating a legal process, the comment was traced back to an IP address assigned to Dawna Wyland, Chris Wyland’s wife and an employee or agent of one or more of his companies.
The anonymous comment, allegedly posted by Chris Wyland, reads, in part:
[1.800.Vending] is a complete scam ran [sic] by crooks and pedophiles …
Their owner Jeff Marsh has been indicted for lewd acts with children and I am sure they are under investigation by the government for stealing money from people.
They took my money, sent me to some locating service company that promised good locations and a year later I still don’t have any and they won’t return my calls.
The suit alleges that Chris Wyland planted defamatory comments around the Internet, then encouraged his prospective healthy vending customers to seek out the online comments about Jeff Marsh, 1-800-Vending and HealthyYOU vending.
Wyland’s marketing materials allegedly state:
[Healthy YOU/1-800 Vending] is widely known for its heavy handed sales tactics and drastic discounts to get consumers to buy.
The machines are manufactured overseas …
Another quick search of the internet under the various rip off reports and complaint boards will find several negative postings regarding the equipment and services Healthy You/ 1800 Vending Operators have experienced.
Chris Wyland’s Honesty Has Been Questioned Before
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has encountered Chris Wyland before.
In 2011, when Chris Wyland was sales director of Fresh Healthy Vending, he assured the Administrator of UnhappyFranchisee.Com and prospective customers that Mark Trotter and Nick Yates were not connected to that company.
A prospective customer of Wyland’s provided what he claimed was an accidentally sent email from Chris Wyland that showed that he was making deceptive claims as to Yates’ and Trotters’ involvement.
Other 1.800.VENDING / HealthyYOU Vending Complaints May Be Valid
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has done a confidential audit of the comments left about 1.800.VENDING on our post 1-800-VENDING Complaints.
We flagged one comment that may have been posted by Chris Wyland posing as a disgruntled customer of HealthyYOU Vending.
However, an audit of more than 10 negative comments left regarding the company appear to be left by others from all over the country.
Commenters who left negative posts were posting from such states as Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Massachusetts, New York, Virginia, Tennessee, Utah, California, Arizona and Texas.
So while the accusations that Chris Wyland seeded the Internet with some especially nasty and defamatory comments, that doesn’t mean that other complaints lack validity.
As with all franchise and business opportunities and especially with vending opportunities, conduct extensive, independent research and draw your own conclusions.
When in doubt, err on the side of caution. (In other words, grab your checkbook and run!)
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH CHRIS WYLAND, GROW FRANCHISE GROUP, or SPROUT HEALTHY VENDING? WHAT ABOUT 1.800.VENDING, HealthyYOU VENDING OR JEFF MARSH? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Chris Wyland, Grow Franchise Group, Sprout Healthy Vending, 1-800-VENDING, HealthyYOU Vending, Healthy you Vending, Jeff Marsh, Jeffrey Marsh, Chris Wyland Lawsuit, Online Defamation Lawsuit, Richard Burbridge, Burbridge Mitchell and Gross, Healthy Vending franchise, Healthy Vending machines
November 12, 2014
The Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise location in Delaware, Ohio is getting unwelcome attention from the apparent walkout of its entire crew.
UnhappyFranchisee.Com has posted the picture and selected comments below.
A picture of a handwritten sign was posted on imgur.com and linked to from discussion site Reddit.
In just a day and a half, the photograph had generated 1,028,101 views and 800 comments on the two sites.
The sign from the Delaware, Ohio Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise read:
ATTENTION: The DICKEY’S crew has QUIT ♥ .
The store is under Staffed & the owner doesn’t care enough about the store to take care of it.
♥ Visit the Lewis Center Store!
We ♥ the Customers!
♥ Ex Dickey’s Crew
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Entire Crew Walks Out
What do you think? Share a comment below!
Commenter stay-chivalrous claims to have witnessed the struggling, understaffed Dickey’s:
I was there last Sunday and they had 2 people running the place during the church rush. Things were bad, the line was incredibly long. I gotta hand it to the two people handling it though, they did their absolute best to keep the customers happy and get them moving. At one point customers were helping with things like cleaning the floor in front of the pop machine after the drain clogged in it, collecting up dishes that had fallen on the floor, and more.
To the ex-crew of Dickie’s I say thanks for doing a bang up job on Sunday and holding out as long as you could!
Yelp! Commenter Jeffrey S. also reported problems at the Delaware, OH Dickey’s:
Went to “Dickey’s” because my partner in crime and I were in the mood for BBQ Ribs.
We pulled to the drive-thru and waited and waited.
A server came on the speaker and asked us to hold please. We waited another solid 10 minutes.
Finally a different server came on the speaker and before I could say a word immediately told us they were not only out of ribs, but also out of numerous other mains on the menu.
Excuse me, it was only 5pm and the dinner hour was just starting.
A word of advice .. You only get ONE chance at first impressions .. I wish I could give this joint less than one stars because they FAILED and FAILED miserably.
Some commenters claim to have seen similar occurrences at other Dickey’s franchise locations.
This is actually pretty weird, almost the exact same thing happened at the Dickey’s in my town a few weeks after it opened.
Maybe one month after it opened there was a sign on the door that said something like “W have been forced to close our doors because Corporate lied to us about the costs of running one of their franchise. send complaints to (some corporate email)”
Dickeys must be a very poorly run company.
There was a Dickeys near me that went down a while back — same problem.
Franchise owner didn’t give a rat’s ass, and it went up in smoke (no pun intended) in pretty short order (also no pun intended).
Dickey’s Insiders Claim Systemwide Problems
Commenter and Dickey’s franchisee ScumbagSolo claims the problem is that Dickey’s sells franchises to unqualified owners:
I bought a Dickeys Barbecue that had gone downhill because of a shitty [previous]owner.
i bought it from the franchise that had kicked the lady out and took over operations.
I’ve turned that place around. Unfortunately the franchise is trying to expand so fast that they are allowing anyone to buy one it seems.
Some of these owners don’t give a fuck and want to buy a restaurant where they don’t have to do anything and just rake in the money.
I’m sorry but that’s not how it works.
Commenter MnkeyBlast claims understaffing is a corporate strategy:
I was a manager at a dickeys in Dallas.
The only way to get the numbers to met is by being borderline understaffed.
And they “teach” how to.
Roland Dickey, Jr. is to Blame, Says Commenter
Commenter no_defaults claims that the problem starts at the top, with CEO Roland Dickey, Jr.:
I actually have a connection with the ownership of Dickey’s (they’re franchises, but there is a single owner of the concept).
The current owner is the son of the man that spent his whole life building the business. The father was a stickler for quality and had very high standards for his franchises.
Once the son took over he essentially said “fuck it, let’s get all the franchise fees we can”.
They loosened the franchising rules and the strictness in product control and essentially just wanted the upfront franchise fee (something like 45K).
That is part of the reason why in the last 10 years you may have noticed a huge increase in the number of Dickey’s, including those right down the street from others.
He doesn’t care.
If somebody wants to open one and will pay the franchise fee, that’s all he cares about.
It will be the slow demise of the franchise, but he’ll ride out the fortune hard.
Embattled Delaware, Ohio Dickey’s Barbecue Reopens
According to a Delaware Real Estate blog, the Delaware, OH Dickey’s was closed for lunch Monday but was reopened by dinner, staffed with labor from a recently opened location owned by the same franchisee, William Bridges:
…Dickey’s Barbeque Pit in Delaware is not closing its doors.
Yes, it was not open for lunch on Monday morning. But that was an employee issue, not a management issue according to an employee at the Lewis Center location. Employees from the new location have been activated to open the Delaware store in time for dinner [Monday].
This all on the tale of a successful three-day launch of the Lewis Center location in the Kroger Marketplace development at Columbus Pike – US 23 – and Lewis Center Road (8641 Columbus Pike, Suite 240, Lewis Center).
Online commenters state that the Delaware, OH operational problems are nothing new, and that the restaurant had been closed down for an extended period of time at least once before.
Obviously, Dickey’s corporate was not concerned enough with these operational issues to keep William Bridges from opening a second Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise nearby, despite the problems with his first.
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Tags: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise, Delaware Ohio Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s crew quits, Dickey’s franchise Delaware Ohio, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit employee walkout, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchisee lawsuit, Roland Dickey Jr., Roland Dickey, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit closed, Dickey’s complaints
November 2, 2014
A Dickey’s franchise owner states the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise is “like a glorified pyramid scheme that takes all your money, sues you for more, and leaves you homeless and penniless.”
UnhappyFranchisee.Com recently received a very compelling account from an anonymous Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise owner entitled:
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit: How to lose everything you own (and your livelihood) in 5 years or less.
See Part One of this first-hand account here:
In Part One, Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee alleged that Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise personnel lie to franchisees about unit profitability, use underhanded techniques to extract additional monies from franchisees, and get vendor kickbacks at franchisees’ expense.
In Part Two (below), Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee states alleges that Dickey’s provides inadequate franchise support, ineffective marketing and is indifferent to the plight of its failing franchise owners.
Allegation: Dickey’s Provides Little to No Franchise Support
Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee writes:
For the first couple of years of owning a franchise, there was little or no support at the local level. We would see someone from the corporate office about once every three months. We often wondered what they did with the 9% we were paying them weekly.
We very rarely seen local advertisements, and when we did, there were usually misprints. I received one in my mail yesterday that listed only two Dickey’s in this state when there are several more.
They also listed a few in neighboring states, but not all of them. If you are taking the time and spending the money to advertise, wouldn’t you want to get it right and maximize your exposure?
As of last year, we could request some of our ad money be allocated to specific local vendors, but that was usually declined. Nobody I know (and I know a lot of people at Dickey’s) could effectively tell me how and where the money is spent.
I know factually that several heads of the marketing department have been fired for overspending. Believe it or not, when that was happening, most restaurants were producing record sales. But when the department goes “upside down” (Dickey’s phrase, not mine) then they have to stop spending for months just to catch up.
I have taken more than my share of calls from local ad vendors looking for payments months overdue that DBRI has owed.
Share your opinion below: Does Dickey’s provide valuable support and effective marketing that justify 9% of gross sales?
Allegation: Dickey’s Knowingly Sells to Undercapitalized Franchisees
Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee writes that Dickey’s Barbecue Pit will knowingly sell franchises to those with inadequate capital or experience.
This same allegation made regarding Dickey’s sale to and termination of registered sex offender and undercapitalized franchisee James Neighbors (Read DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise: Roland Dickey Sells to, Then Sues, Registered Sex Offender)
According to Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee:
I read a comment on unhappyfranchisee.com that says DBRI is overselling. This is partly true, but I will tell you what I was told by a member of the Franchise Development Team.
I asked why they were selling franchises to some questionable people with sketchy backgrounds and questionable finances and ethics.
This individual replied: “We have to sell to undercapitalized bottom feeders in order to grow. Our magic number is 500 restaurants, which is the point where we start attracting serious buyers with endless capital that will buy up entire states”.
I don’t know about you, but that is the first time I realized for sure that this Franchise was not for me.
Does Dickey’s knowingly sell to unqualified franchisees just to pad its numbers and collect fees? Comment below.
Allegation: Dickey’s Sets Up Franchisees for Failure Then Sues Them
If these allegations are true, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit is one of the most insidious and evil franchise organizations of recent times (and that’s saying something).
Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee alleges that Dickey’s sets up franchisees for failure, then either resells their franchises or sues them for hundreds of thousands in damages.
It was around that time that the final straw came for me. In a state with exactly two Dickey’s restaurants in it (approximately 20 miles apart), DBRI had the testicular fortitude to open a third Dickey’s exactly 3.1 miles from my location on the same street! I was approached by Richard Phillips (director of sales) and Lauren Parker (assistant director of sales) who informed me of the sale.
Richard put his hand on my shoulder and said “don’t worry about it, they have absolutely no restaurant experience, you will own that restaurant within a year”.
My restaurant is now closed and the new restaurant remains open. The new restaurant took 20% of my business in a brand new market with little competition.
DBRI forced the competition down my throat and I lost because the new store had more capital than I did.
When the new store opened I dropped below my break-even point and stayed there for over a year hoping it would change, but it didn’t.
I received numerous emails and phone calls from the corporate office saying my sales are down, what are you going to do about it? I asked that they help with some extra advertising and it never happened.
DBRI watched me fail for over a year and never once offered a solution to the problem they caused. I received a letter the other day following an email to my attorney stating DBRI would be suing me for liquidated damages for just under $500,000.
I am already in the hole to debt collectors for $200,000 and the bank has filed a suit requesting they take immediate possession of my house.
No one needs to go through what I am going through right now, please don’t believe a word DBRI says to you, Roland Dickey Jr. would sell his grandmother to make a dime.
What do you think? Is the Dickey’s franchise a predatorial scam that preys on franchisees?
Allegation: Dickey’s is a Dictatorial Pyramid Scheme
Anonymous Dickey’s Franchisee concludes:
I leave you with these thoughts: DBRI, to me, resembles a narcissistic dictatorship that is chasing the almighty dollar into purgatory.
In reality, it feels more like a glorified pyramid scheme that takes all your money, sues you for more, and leaves you homeless and penniless.
What do you think? Is Dickey’s a “glorified pyramid scheme” or a legitimate opportunity?
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
Tags: Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise, Dickey’s franchise lawsuit, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise complaints, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchisee lawsuit, Roland Dickey Jr., Roland Dickey, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit closed, Dickey’s complaints, Dickey’s lawsuits