DICKEY’S Franchise Owners Share Frustrations & Fears

Dickey’s franchise owners are invited to share their frustrations, fears, challenges, & complaints – by leaving a comment or sending an email – on a confidential basis.  Roland Dickey, Jr. and other members of the Dickey’s Barbecue Restaurant Inc.  (DBRI) are invited to respond to their franchise owner’s concerns and to our questions, and to share what is being done to address these issues.  All familiar with the Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise are invited to join the discussion.

See other recent posts here: Dickey’s Franchise

(UnhappyFranchisee.Com)  The Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise chain reached its expressed goal of opening its 500th restaurant in March, 2016th.

Dickey's Barbecue PitSome complain that the company’s focus on unit growth and corporate revenue has come at a heavy cost – a cost borne by its struggling franchisees and its former franchisees.

We’ve been contacted by numerous franchisees who are struggling to keep their businesses afloat.

They complain that changes in vendors (from Sysco to US Foods and back to Sysco), changes in menu, and forced shipments of holiday food items that don’t sell have driven food costs up, not down.

They complain that DBRI (through family-owned affiliates such as Wycliff  and Spark Intelligence, Inc.) is further driving up their costs by adding mark-ups, accepting rebates on purchases made by franchisees, and adding additional fees.

Dickey’s franchisees claim that the DBRI-controlled marketing programs rely too heavily on discounting, BOGO offers and promotions involving giving away free food… promotions that may lead to greater revenue for the franchisor and its affiliates at the expense of franchisee profitability.

Many franchisees have said that they’ve noticed a sudden and appreciable drop in advertising coverage earlier this year.

According to the Dickey’s Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD), “A statement of the operations of the Marketing Fund will be prepared annually by Dickey’s and will be made available to [Dickey’s franchisees] upon request, as well as an accounting of Marketing Fund expenditures.” 

Franchisees report that their request for the advertising fund report have been ignored or denied.

Dickey’s franchisees pay 4% of their gross sales into a franchisee advertising fund, which DBRI administers.

DBRI has failed to provide franchisees a detailed accounting of the expenses of the franchisee advertising fund, despite the fact that they are contractually obligated to do so.

While their specific situations vary,  franchisees who have contacted us all express a consistent view that their franchisor DBRI is indifferent to their struggles and not overly concerned about their plight.

In fact, some have expressed the suspicion that the corporate strategy is to allow Mom & Pop owners to finance the opening of new restaurants, then allow larger multi-unit franchisees to take them over for little or nothing as they fail…

The end result, some contend, will be a larger chain with fewer owners to oversee.

Are you a Dickey’s franchise owner?  What do you think?  Is Dickey’s doing all it can to help its franchisees be successful?  What improvements would you like to see them make?  Share a comment below or send an email in confidence to UnhappyFranchisee[at]gmail.com.

You can also view and provide input on these issue-specific pages:

Dickey’s Online Ordering

Dickey’s Marketing Support

Dickey’s Menu Changes & Menu Management

Dickey’s Switch to Sysco

Dickey’s Threats, Bullying & Churning of Franchisees

Roland Dickey, Renee Roozen, DBRI Invited to Address Franchisee Concerns

UnhappyFranchisee.Com will continue to publish the most common complaints and sources of dissatisfaction among Dickey’s franchise owners, and give DBRI execs every reasonable opportunity to provide corrections, clarifications, rebuttals, or explanations.

Our goal is to give voice to both sides of these issues with the hope that DBRI will listen to its struggling franchisees and attend to their concerns in a constructive manner.

Dickey's Renee RoozenWhy should Dickey’s engage in public dialogue with a site called Unhappy Franchisee?

Unfortunately, DBRI has created an internal environment of distrust among its franchisees.

Some believe their concerns fall on the deaf ears of an indifferent franchisor.

Others are afraid of negative repercussions from speaking out.

A recent news story about two franchised store closings in Wisconsin provide examples of why franchisees do not feel that they can share their concerns with their franchisor.

Maureen Wallenfang, who writes for the USA Today news network, published a story in local news affiliate the Post-Crescent about the simultaneous closures of Dickey’s franchises in Appleton and Green Bay, WI.

The story is titled The Buzz: Dickey’s BBQ closes in Darboy, Green Bay.

In the story, Anthony Falbo, a Dickey’s franchise owner who recently closed two locations, was quoted as saying “We can count 15 to 20 (other franchised Dickey’s) closings around the country in the last month and a half, based on conversations we had with other franchisees.”

Dickey’s spokeswoman Michelle George, based in Dallas, said that Falbo’s claims of recent closures was inaccurate.

Michelle George stated:  “‘That number is how many close in a year.”

While Ms. George’s denial of a franchise closure problem might fool the public, Dickey’s franchise owners know that the company tends to hide its store failures by selling failed locations at “pennies on the dollar” or even giving them away for free to a succession of owners.

Click photo for Dickey’s Closure List

A Dickey’s location could, hypothetically, have had 3-4 owners who each lost money on it without ever closing.

We estimate that 41% of the Dickey’s franchise agreements in the past ten years ended in closure, termination, reacquisition by the franchisor, or “transition” to another owner.

See what we’ve found regarding closures and resales here:  DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Closed Location List

Sometimes, failed franchises are temporarily taken over by DBRI and put on the market at fire sales prices.

There are currently 41 Dickey’s franchise locations listed for sale by franchise brokers (See DICKEY’S Franchises for Sale)

Half of these franchise locations have a sale price under $200,000, with some listed as low as $39,000 and $49,000.

Dickey’s spokesperson Michelle George must surely be aware that a $39,000, $49,000 or even a $150,000 franchise resale represents a lost investment (or investments) even though the store may technically not have closed.

We estimate that 41% of the Dickey’s franchise agreements in the past ten years ended in closure, termination, reacquisition by the franchisor, or “transition” to another owner.

See what we’ve found regarding closures and resales here:  DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Closed Location List

Threatening Struggling Franchisees is Not in Dickey’s Best Interest. Helping Is.

In the same news story, the Wisconsin franchise owner said that high costs, made worse by a recent vendor change,  forced he and his wife to pull the plug on their two Dickey’s franchises.

Dickey’s President Renee Roozen’s response was to deny that there’s a problem with costs, and to state that DBRI was going to “pursue all available remedies”(legalspeak for “We gonna sue’m!).

Seriously, Ms. Roozen?  No expression of concern for the franchisees who bought into your system and lost their investments?

You are going to SUE your franchisee for losing their money with Dickey’s?

(As for Ms. Roozen’s contention that franchisees are enjoying lower prices and improved service with the vendor change, we will be happy to share complaints of franchisees about higher prices, worse credit terms, and forced-shipments seasonal items that traditionally don’t sell.)

The lesson for Mr. Dickey, Ms. George and Ms. Roozen:  If you want franchisees to share their concerns with you, you must not deny that their problems exist, and you must not threaten to sue them if they share their opinions. Because if you aren’t willing to listen to their concerns, they’ll eventually share them with others… like the media, litigation attorneys, etc.

Hopefully, now that they’ve reached 500 stores, DBRI will reevaluate its priorities, and put Open and Honest Dialogue with Franchisees at the top of the list.

Dickey’s Franchise Owners:  What Issues & Concerns Would You Like DBRI to Address?

Roland Dickey, Jr., President Roozen, DBRI:  What Would You Like to Communicate to Your Struggling Franchisees?

Also Read Past Posts on Dickey’s Franchise:

 

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise Complaints

DICKEY’S BBQ Is Dickey’s Overselling its Franchise Opportunity?

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT: How to Lose Everything in 5 Years or Less (Part 1)

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT: How to Lose Everything in 5 Years or Less (Part 2)

Is DICKEY’S BBQ Hiding Franchise Failures?

Are DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise Owners Being Exploited?

DICKEY’S Franchise Liquidation Clause: Enough Reason to Walk Away.

DICKEY’S Franchise Advice From a Wary Franchisee

DICKEY’S Franchise Class Action Lawsuit Filed in CA

DICKEY’S BARBECUE Franchise, Jerrel Denton, Roland Dickey Jr. Sued for Fraud

DICKEY’S Franchise Owner Claims he was Burned by Dickey’s, Roland Dickey, Jr.

DICKEY’S Franchise: Open Letter to Roland Dickey, Jr.

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Employee Walkout Goes Viral

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Franchise: Roland Dickey Sells to, Then Sues, Registered Sex Offender

DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT Makes an Unhappy Franchisee Happy – Then Sues Him

 

 

PLEASE SHARE YOUR THOUGHTS & TIPS BELOW

Please share a comment (anonymous is fine) or Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com.

 

ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE DICKEY’S BARBECUE PIT FRANCHISE?    PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT, TIP OR UPDATE BELOW.

Contact UnhappyFranchisee.com

Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise, Dickey’s franchise, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit franchise complaints, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit Renee Roozen, Renee Roozen, Roland Dickey Jr, Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, Dickey’s complaints, franchise churning, Dickey’s failure rate, Dickey’s franchise failure rate, barbecue franchise, barbeque franchise, BBQ franchise, franchise failure rates,  worst franchises, unhappy franchisee

 




33 thoughts on “DICKEY’S Franchise Owners Share Frustrations & Fears

  • December 8, 2016 at 5:23 pm
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    Did anyone actually receive credit terms? I know Tamala and the whole Dickeys “team” promised them, but, did anyone actually receive them? We had great credit terms the first time around with Sysco, and were paid up and were set up on a truck to truck payment. Which normally would’ve been fine if we weren’t paying two weeks of us foods bills.

  • December 8, 2016 at 5:39 pm
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    No credit terms. Plenty out of stocks. Disgusting substitution items. Higher prices. Deliveries in the middle of lunch hour. Thanks for nothing Dickeys!

  • December 8, 2016 at 5:42 pm
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    Higher prices for sure and late deliveries. Lots of being pushed around, we have credit terms, we don’t have credit terms. What was the point of filing out ach paper work and credit paper work? If you have to pay online and were told COD, cut off for your next truck until your paid up. The most disgusting part was delivering for two weeks while we were still paying us foods then all of a sudden pay up the two weeks of food.

  • December 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm
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    Yep! Those 2 first weeks were horrible.
    And this week Sysco started charging me interest and penalties for not paying immediately

  • December 8, 2016 at 6:19 pm
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    Oh wow that I’ve never heard of!

  • December 8, 2016 at 6:45 pm
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    Dickey’s management still believe there’s no problem with the brand.

    If the store is not performing, they always blamed the owners for not doing enough and it’s never on them.

    Food cost has risen especially after they started to manufacture their own paper product under their own Wycliff company. There are still issue or concern brought up to Dickey’s using their BOSS system or area directors never gotten any response back and no one from Dickey’s reach out to the owners. For Dickey’s to claim that switching to Sysco was a business decision that will lower cost or improve operations are just excuses. Everyone owners in Dickey’s know that it’s a step down. How many wrong products we received weekly, increases in cost, no night drop delivery, product being substituted or even out of stock , there are just so many issues.

    Not only these, Dickey’s is forcing stores to switch to new menu that will lower average ticket and not telling us that those stores that are already switched are regretting it. There is just no transparency and if you want stores to succeed, they need to listen.

    Renee sent out email after she was promoted to be the president of the company promising better correspondence and quicker response time, .. things are just getting worst and as one of the long time Dickey’s owner, I’m not surprised at all. It’s all promise, talk, threat and no action and improvement.

    The only thing they did well is sell franchise and your journey to failure will start right away.

  • December 8, 2016 at 7:37 pm
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    I am hearing a lot of complaints about the new menu raising food costs and problems withe Sysco transition. Can those who have converted to the new menu give some specifics as to how it’s affecting food cost, average ticket, etc.?

  • December 8, 2016 at 8:12 pm
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    It breaks up plates they now order 4 or 8 oz meats and then don’t get the cheaper price to add two sides so no one does and If they do add a second side and get 8 oz meat it actually costs less then a one meat with two sides plate used to cost but you give more meat!

  • December 8, 2016 at 9:20 pm
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    Prices are also “Market pricing” So your meats by the 1/4, 1/2 or 1lb are all different prices, pulled pork being one of the cheaper prices and brisket being more!

  • December 9, 2016 at 4:57 pm
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    DBRI tells us that COGs will drop with the new menu which is a total lie. They release a suggested prices sheet and the prices are so incredibly low that COGs will increase to 40-45%. We made adjustments quickly and have found ways to make the menu better on our own and provided meal options so guests get 2 sides and a drink because they won’t otherwise.

    DBRI tries to sell you that lower prices and a lower average ticket will increase guest counts because people will want to come back more. Problem is they can’t drive anybody into the restaurant because their marketing is the worst. So while stores are struggling to stay open, sales/average ticket drops, COGs and labor go up and DBRI does nothing about it.

    The menu is confusing for the guests and causes too many guests to not return or just flat out not order.

  • December 9, 2016 at 5:03 pm
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    Thanks, Anonymous. When did the new menu roll out? Was it phased in or all at once?

    Is it voluntary, or mandatory?

    Does Dickey’s provide an overall marketing plan for the year that communicates the overall strategy for the year and the media mix and budget?

    Will they work with you on custom marketing programs for your market or region – beyond the ad fund – or are you on your own?

  • December 9, 2016 at 7:10 pm
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    Owners were given dates they had to have it changed by. You can push it off for awhile but, eventually they are just going to force everyone to do it and I’m sure they will say it’s a provision buried in your 200+ page franchise agreement.

    Owners used to be able
    To request marketing money for advertising they wanted now that’s no longer permitted.

    Does anyone actually have a copy of their marketing money expenditures? I’ve heard a lot of people say they’ve requested it (me included) and haven’t received them.

  • December 9, 2016 at 8:55 pm
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    The new menu started being phased in during Q2 this year and continues to roll out across the country. Stores are able to keep some options that aren’t on the standard menu (fries, Tanglers, okra, loaded potatoes) but you can’t have them printed on your actual menu or your take-out menu. They also won’t appear on our online ordering menu. So guests will call the store because they can’t find the fries on the menu. Dickey’s said they won’t change this and it all is very confusing for the guests.

    Dickey’s will provide the media mix by quarter but will not provide a budget even though they used to before 2015. In 2015 the radio spend in our market was twice what it is now (asked radio rep) even though we have more stores in our market paying into the fund.

    Dickey’s made us sell whole chickens for a couple of months but because they can’t effectively market anything nobody would come in to get one. We smoked 1 a day and half of the time it would get wasted or sold at half price at the end of the night. At first the chickens costed us about $3.50/chicken and we sold them at $9.99. By the end of the promotion they force shipped them to us at a price of over $7/chicken. There was never any communication about this force shipment or the price increase.

  • December 9, 2016 at 9:27 pm
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    We started removing the whole chickens on our orders. We would wait until the last moment to submit an order and go and take it off. Their “idea” if advertising is facebook. Facebook can be a great tool, but not everyone has it, not everyone follows the corporate page, and. It everyone checks it all the time. Just like the tacos, if people want tacos they don’t come to a BBQ joint for them.

  • December 12, 2016 at 10:29 am
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    Very high Cogs. I havent been able to go under 40% since the Transition process between US Foods and Sysco.
    Apart from facebook ( which is good), corporate marketing does not exist !!! I think 4% marketing is extremely expensive for facebook and text messages. We need to push corporate to use more effective media (billboards, tv and radio).

  • December 12, 2016 at 7:48 pm
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    High COGs, low availability or even out of stock. We had almost never experienced this with US Foods but now with Sysco this is just usual business. Dickey’s is requiring us to order twice a week 55 cases to satisfy Sysco. If we not order so much each time we get slammed with a 50$ delivery fee. How should we order so much if we don’t have the business to do so?

    I do agree with Emmanuel that 4% forced marketing fund participation is way too high for what we are getting. Marketing is a joke! Facebook we can do ourselves. What we need is a proper marketing campaign which is actually targeting the main problems. The current marketing plan just throws a little here and there with the hope that something will stick.

    From my experience with corporate I must say that they are living in a completely different realm where everything seems to be perfect for the Dickey’s Barbecue Pits.

    It is time for us to found a action group Dickey’s to force corporate to comply with their FDDs and help us to survive.

  • December 12, 2016 at 8:59 pm
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    Has anyone been given an accurate accounting of their marketing money?

  • December 14, 2016 at 11:43 pm
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    This is the worst Franchise I owned one for a year before it failed they took advantage of me and mislead me A 25 year old Man with no business or restaurant experience and a small 100k they said I could easily take over a dickeys and be highly successful for that they claimed a well educated 6th grader could run our store that is how easy it is well with I went in with this great story and their promise to even pay for the first food order come to find out they have NO support and went back on a verbal agreement of them buying the first order needless to at the business failed and I’m still picking up the pieces of losing EVERYTHING

  • December 15, 2016 at 6:38 pm
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    Christopher Jenkins would you want to chat

  • December 18, 2016 at 12:54 am
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    Has anybody communicated Dickeys that they no longer can keep the store open?

  • December 18, 2016 at 12:56 am
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    Can someone share about the process of selling the franchise or shutting down?

  • December 18, 2016 at 9:38 pm
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    Disappointed- have the admin share your contact info with me or admin can share mine, feel free to reach out,

  • January 14, 2017 at 7:12 pm
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    Everything every one is saying is 100% true! I used to have 14 day terms with US Foods and almost 14 day terms with Sysco when I first opened. I was never late and never had any issues. Now that we go back to Sysco I get 2 day pay terms. That is utter crap as they more or less said there is no way to get our old terms. I know of only a couple of stores if that many that actually got 7 day pay terms. The new CEO is just a puppet of Roland Dickey Jr. Nothing is going to change. Sure she introduced new councils that are supposed to give us our voice but the only people they chose are “Yes Men”. I don’t think they picked anyone that actually would not agree with them. I am not sure how they are supposed to be a fair voice if they don’t choose people that will disagree with them. The decisions they have been making in the last year or two only benefits them. I have yet to see one that benefits us the franchisee. There are going to be more and more closings if they don’t change.

  • January 17, 2017 at 10:53 pm
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    We are a very sad fraternity indeed. Any potential franchisee please heed my warning: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES FRANCHISE WITH DICKEYS. They are NOT in the restaurant business but rather the franchise selling business. Our story is a take of bitter disappointment and failure after almost 10 years. We are very close to terminating our business because it simply doesn’t work. The margins are very small and the corporate office is either clueless or criminal – in my view the latter. Dickeys exists as a means to transfer wealth from your family to the Dickeys family. It’s really not that complicated. In my view it is simply better to close and face bankruptcy rather than continue this charade of a business. I wish each of you the very best of luck.

  • January 18, 2017 at 10:28 am
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    Texas – I couldn’t have said it any better if I tried! Dickey’s is in the business of transferring individual Franchisees’ hard earned savings to income for Roland Dickey Jr and his minions. Period. They don’t even try to build a solid restaurant business, just sell more franchises so they can collect more royalties and sue their Franchisees when they run out of time and money.

    Anonymous – Regarding the outrageous Sysco terms, or lack thereof (I too went from 2 weeks to 2 days), I have been told on 2 separate occasions by different people at Sysco that the current set up was DICTATED by Dickey’s when they negotiated the agreement. I asked my contact, a Director at Sysco, if I could quote him on that and he said “Yes, go talk to them”…

  • January 18, 2017 at 5:25 pm
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    I am a general manager of a Dickeys, and I have been saying these things for over four years now.

    I have watched the decline of these stores for the last seven years. The quality of product has suffered over the years for the sake of keeping things simple. But trust me, people still find ways to mess things up, even when they’re “simplified”.

    There is little to no real support from DBRI, and it’s getting worse. They have all these “brilliant” ideas to “fix” our problems, but the almost always make things worse. They own some of the companies we buy our products from, so they charge whatever they want for those products, and they keep going up.

    The focus needs to be turned from volume of stores, to quality of work being done in the stores. Also, more advertising that does NOT involve us just giving tons of food away would be a huge help. This article is so true in every sense. I used to be proud to work for this brand. Now, I’m looking to get the hell out myself and find work elsewhere.

    They do not prepare the franchisees for operating these stores, and let just anyone buy one. I hope that this all gets to their ears and positive changes are made before many more buy into this brand to loose their life savings while DBRI gets rich.

    If it continues, they WILL watch this brand crumble faster than it came up.

  • January 25, 2017 at 3:17 pm
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    so many parallels in RDJs escalating greed and tactics over the last 7 years to the people featured on the American Greed show. I don’t think RDJ can stop himself at this point something else will have to stop him I don’t think it is Renee

  • January 25, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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    “something else will have to stop him”

    I wonder if Junior ever stops to consider that 99% of the Dickey’s locations are owned by franchisees?

  • January 26, 2017 at 4:16 pm
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    I think a better business model is to “exploit” the ambitions of the franchisee. Most folks who purchase a franchise have some past success in their professional careers, have the means to purchase a business and, above all, have a desire for more. Nobody buys a franchise to work 363 days per year and be told to give food away as the only means of advertising. If a valid partnership was forged between franchisor and franchisees then it would be a win/win for both. The current model exploits the franchisee to the point that failure is a given and the people who have invested the most – the franchisees – are the single source of negative advertising for the franchisor. I’m not smart enough to figure out was DBRI is doing. My intuition tells me they desire us to fail because it is more profitable. Sue the franchisee, sell the failed business and then do it all over again when the new owner fails. The menu switch is a classic example of setting folks up for failure. Take away popular menu items, lower prices and watch the margins steamroll into the red. It has to be by design.

  • February 7, 2017 at 11:51 am
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    Hey, Texas. I used to work at Dickey’s and I can tell you for certain that they are not setting you up to fail by design. Don’t get me wrong, they don’t care if you fail because you’re on the hook for damages regardless, but if you fail they think it’s your fault. They genuinely believe that all of their terrible ideas are actually pure genius, because they are that incompetent and ignorant. They don’t do real product testing, RDJ just has an idea and tells people to make it happen. People will love asiago cream spinach at a barbecue joint! People won’t miss fries or onion tanglers! People will love a taco made from canned beans and sausage, or mashed potatoes and sausage! People won’t care that we’ve completely changed the menu after 70 years!

    So while it may look like they have a clever design to make you fail, they don’t. They’re just that stupid.

  • February 14, 2017 at 5:09 pm
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    The whole problem with Dickey’s corporate is RDJ. He has absolutely no idea about business. When you listen to him speak on webinars it is clear that he is so unbelievably out of his depth.

    I watched my control of my business systematically taken away from me by someone who has no business running any company. They are 100% responsible for the failures of the stores. They lie, they cheat, they do everything they can to extract as much money from the franchisee as possible. They over sell and don’t care about protecting a territory. As long as you have a pulse and a checkbook Dickey’s are happy to sell you a franchise and watch you beg steal and borrow to try and fund it once they have you hooked. They forced stores to buy overpriced equipment such as $4000 Bose speakers to put in the restaurant. Who the hell needs that? But the rake off they get means they will push overpriced equipment onto people who cannot afford it.

    As sales fall they increase the pressure on the franchisee by higher cost of goods that increases their rake off. Even companies like US Foods do not want to work with them. They force franchisees to take systems such as Tech in the box that will not make one scrap of difference to an owner’s bottom line. They take over the franchisee’s POS system and lock them out, loading it with thousands of discount promotions. They force owners to reduce their prices, they change the menu so that just to break even with the previous menu a franchisee would need to double the foot traffic. They introduce hilarious menu items because RDJ decides that people will love to eat canned beans and mash potato in a taco. If people want tacos they go to a Mexican restaurant! What next Sweet and Sour brisket?

    They beat on about technology and how they are leaders in innovative software to know what sales are at any point in time, yet the POS the franchisee is forced to use is ancient. The terminals run on Windows XP which was dropped by Microsoft for support 2 years ago, yet they still sell them. NCR cannot even support chip readers on these terminals, though they won’t tell you that. Dickey’s does not care that franchisees lose money in charge backs as a result of this.

    They wash their hands of every issue raised by franchisees. They hate their franchisees and the franchisees hate them. Because at the end of the day Dickey’s corporate only does what is in their financial interest. They are not interested in their franchisees making money so long as they can take as much as they can, and if that includes someone’s life savings, their house etc then so be it.

    The Dickey family are akin to the Ponzis. They have no soul. The company is completely full of friends or relatives of the mafioso family. Their employees are terrified of them. They are hounded and constantly harassed and micro managed by the tyrant RDJ and most leave after very short periods of employment. The only reason they get people to take a job is because they pay well.

    They have been through so many franchise directors it is not funny. The poor guys try to help and work alongside franchisees but they are constantly bogged down with reports and checklists that they are totally dysfunctional. Many people have tried to change the culture and failed. Barry Baron promised change but could make not a scrap of difference, because RDJ truly believes he is right. So many good people came through the door and went because they were not allowed to use their experience to make things better. RDJ is a tyrant, a dictator who tramples people into the mud.

    RDJ believes that all franchisees are lazy and their sales are falling because they do not work hard, or their stores are dirty or the food is not prepared properly. He doesn’t see that they have no clue at corporate what constitutes good food. Anything that was good on the menu five years ago has been sacrificed for poor quality processed garbage. They do not even know how to cook meat for god sake! They don’t understand good food, they do not understand palate, or what flavors compliment each other. They think that food out of a can sold as “fresh homestyle sides” is fantastic. The quality of the sides has deteriorated significantly. I was once very happy with the food. But they have systematically destroyed it, at the same time raising the costs through the roof. They sell their spicy cheddar sausage in Walmart for $2.69 a pound. That is about what a franchisee pays for it cost. A franchisee is expected to charge 14 bucks a pound while you can get it for 2.69 in Walmart. Any moron can see that it is damaging to a franchisee. Well any except RDJ.

    And then you have the old man, who thinks that putting his mug on TV with “Edna” will somehow endear him to the public and people will flock to the stores in droves. The marketing budget was plundered by the man constantly traveling all over the country to visit stores that really did not benefit one bit from it. And now the tv ads focus on how cheap every meal is at Dickey’s instead. Yes – no profits for the owners. But corporate will still continue to extract money from the owners because that is their only purpose for being. The whole system is based on fantasy, the costs are too high for any owner to make a decent living, and you will be expected to work yourself into the ground.

    Just try selling your store, you will be lucky to get 5 bucks for it! Anyone want mine for nothing?

    This company should be investigated by the FBI.

  • February 14, 2017 at 7:27 pm
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    Can’t argue with anything stated. From a concept perspective, I can’t really figure out what they are trying to do other than purposely run folks out of business so they can sue for damages and sell stores. Literally exploit every dime from a franchisee and then go do the same to the next guy. I think their day is coming. At least let us hope!

  • March 15, 2017 at 5:20 am
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    Exploited franchesee, I definitely agree wth everything you stated. I’ve had 7 years of experience with different franchises. I worked so hard just to make a profit with this company. The marketing is a complete joke. I trained for 2 weeks under another manager and got my own store to manage. They have these owners and managers who aren’t prepared for all of the mishaps that the service industry has. You can’t blame the owners because they really have no say in it. They sign these horribly structured contracts. I’ve only seen one owner actually get away with legal action and with all due respect, that person had no business owning a restaurant. Dickeys throws in their own pathetic attempts to make things better, but turn out to be unorganized money pits. (Soups, dips, homemade chips, Walmart sausage, tacos, brioche buns, overpriced reuseable cups you can’t refill every visit etc)

    They have such an outdated system, you can’t even use a wireless printer or credit card chips with their systems. It constantly crashes and the admins update information without any real consent or consistenty. It can be one price on the main menu, but not updated for promos. I’ve worked at gas stations with better pos systems and loyalty redemption systems.

    The G4 concept rollout was a complete disaster. The seasonings used were changed for no damn reason. The strikes from us foods and The change to Sysco was distaterous at best. The costs keep going up and the profits are going down. You won’t be able to make it up with cutting labor because the product isn’t the same and the customer experience suffers regardless.

    There is so much money wasted now a days. New lemonade machines, new tea machines, new menus. They make you guys order grills, equipment, and iPads that are unnecessary. Hell, I complained about the grills so much because they refused to let you guys order proper cleaners and disinfectants. The chemical companies they switched to are pathetic. The floor cleaner was garbage and glass cleaner never worked.

    The last location I worked for finally made me want to walk out. The employees constantly stole from the owner, they gave away product to help the customers come back, and they had to turn people away because product couldn’t be ordered. the management didn’t have control of the store and was so desensitized to all of it. The systems that were in place were constantly changed to keep up with whatever issues were going on (menu change, product change, shortage through distribution, late orders) it’s hard to manage your company when you don’t know if you’ll have food to feed your customers with. You can over order but sometimes that wouldn’t help. You go from spending 30% more for the same product you got 6 months ago. I got tired of watching an owner struggling to make a profit and work for virtually nothing. It makes you feel like if you make a mistake, your taking food out of someone’s mouth. It’s hard to see a business get taken from someone systematically and have the employees exploite the pathetic business model. Im sorry I flew off the chain a little bit on that, but it’s hard to watch good people fail because the support they are given collapses around them.

    Dickeys is literally acting like a for profit college. You May get the tools you need to be successful, but your always gonna have to pay for a debt regular people don’t have to pay for because you chose to get help from these succubuses handling the business. Bob marleys last words were “money can’t buy life” but your life will give them money if you allow it.

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