EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS: Franchisor Responds to Franchise Lawsuit

Edible Arrangements franchise owners filed a lawsuit last week, alleging that, over the past few years, the Edible Arrangements franchisor has systematically made changes that are extremely detrimental to their franchise businesses.

(Read EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS: Franchisee Lawsuit Alleges Unfair Practices, EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS, Tariq Farid Franchise Complaints)

The company vehemently denies the allegations, and vows to “defend the complaint vigorously.”

In response to reports of the lawsuit, which was filed by the EA Independent Franchise Association representing 170 Edible Arrangement franchises across the United States, Edible Arrangements issued the following statement:

edible arrangements logo

Statement Regarding EAIFA Lawsuit

Edible Arrangements International, Inc. has received a copy of the EAIFA lawsuit
filed last week and strongly disagrees with the EAIFA’s characterization of the
facts and conclusions. The Company plans to defend the complaint vigorously
and is very confident its strategies to build and evolve the Edible Arrangements’
system are expressly allowed and have been undertaken in good faith.

Since its inception, the Company’s main objective has been and always will be
to continuously improve the business opportunity for our franchisees and the
customer experience.

Some of the changes that Edible arrangements franchise owners object to include:

  • Requiring individual franchises to use approved produce vendors, even if a franchisee has a long-standing arrangement with a local vendor.
  • Making all franchisees have Sunday hours.
  • Requiring franchisees to buy new computer and software system directly from Edible Arrangements rather than another vendor offering a lower price.
  • Requiring franchisees to share their customer lists with Edible Arrangements.
  • Reducing the franchisee’s revenue share of online orders from 100% to just 20%.

Franchisees also allege that the Edible Arrangements franchisor is engaging in “virtual encroachment,” and unfairly competing with them via an ecommerce site at DippedFruit.Com.

EA Independent Franchise Association is represented by Justin M. Klein, a franchise attorney at the Red Bank, NJ law firm of Marks & Klein, LLP


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12 thoughts on “EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS: Franchisor Responds to Franchise Lawsuit

  • Of course they are going to DEFEND themselves!!! Tariq Farid is so cocky and arrogant that he thinks he has power over everything. His brother was quoted saying that if we don’t buy his overpriced computer system, “we will make you.” That means they will turn off your internet orders and tell any call orders that your location had to close down. They are liars!!! They use fear and intimidation to control us!!!
    It will be very interesting to see how this plays out as this company has done some SERIOUS ILLEGAL things. He likes to show his power and money and can afford to defend himself or try to bleed us dry.

  • This is a bit of an odd lawsuit: pretty sure that the franchisees, if they hired the right web development people, could outrank the franchisor’s website. Be a very good way of defusing the threat.

  • John Esposito

    He does not allow his franchisee to have their own website.
    Tariq Farid is a liar. He told us stories about how he made it through tough economies But he forgets to mention that he had flower shop that supported the edible arrangement store. He had no overhead when he opened edible store in 1999. He used all the resources of the flower shop to kick start his company. He used space in the flower shop so he didn’t have to pay rent, he used the labor from the flower shop so he didn’t have to pay payroll, he used the van of the flower shop so he had no van expense. He also had 5 brothers who worked for almost free so he didn’t have to hire more people. He also bought from where ever he could get a great deal. He was only open till 4:00pm and closed on Sunday.
    Now that he has made it he wants his franchisees to goo through dirt to make it. Now he wants us to open till 7:00pm and open on Sunday which is about 25 extra hours than the hours he used to open. This Calculated to about $1000 of extra expense a week and $4000 a month. Hew used bamboo skewers in his arrangements which costed about .30 cent for a hundred skewers. Now we have to pay over a $1.00 for the plastic skewers. For a store that does 10 orders a day is paying roughly $200 a month more than Tariq did until he changed to plastic skewers. I could go on but I think you get the point. If you add all the things together; arrangement bag, hang tag, absorbent pad, rusty containers, arrangement foam and fruit, the extra labor, refrigerated vans and other that i don’t have the time to mention an average store is probably paying at least $15000 a month more than Tariq payed for Cost of goods in his stores before he implemented his ripoff policies.

  • Falgun Desai

    This is good information. i was really interested looking to open 2 to 3 stores but from the sound of this franchise company i have a feeling i am going to be a slave for this franchisee. Thank you so much for this information

  • Denise

    Who are the vendors for the plastic skewers, any one?

  • Tony Thomas

    does anyone have any information related to whats going on in 2017? These complaints are from 2010. Have things changed or not? What happened with the law suit?
    How are the owners of today handling the practices that go on?

  • Tom cann

    Things have not changed as we currently have over 400 stores for sale. Sales are down over 40% from last year. We are in serious oh shit mode right now as the average store is only valued at a third of what we originally paid for it. Don’t buy EA as it is collapsing fast. Tariq does not care not matter what he states as his actions prove it.

    He is constantly firing his team all the time. He just fired 3 Vice Presidents. This is the 8 group that he has fired in 2 years.

    Here is the recent letter

    Early in my career as an entrepreneur my mother gave me some business advice that I have followed ever since:

    “Don’t run after money, it runs really fast! Do the right thing, and it will chase you.”

    Not only have I been feeling this as I’ve stepped back into the day-to-day management of Edible®, but our Franchisee Advisory Board (FAB) meeting earlier this week really brought this home for me.

    Today as I look at the state of the Edible Arrangements® franchise network, it seems that the customer-first, entrepreneurial spirit many of you experienced when you joined us has begun to wane. We’ve been focused on “chasing the money.”

    This dangerous shift began years ago, as the web took off and we began to place less emphasis on stores, satisfied that the web would do the work. We did not focus on service and quality.

    As a result, we are in a difficult position heading into the fourth quarter. Sales are down and much of it can be traced back to that lack of focus on quality and service. At the Home Office, we share the responsibility for letting it happen, and for not holding all of our franchisees accountable for delivering on our brand promise. We have made serious changes at the management level; Jim Smits, Tony DiPippa, and Amanda Allen are no longer with the organization, and we wish them well. I will continue making changes to provide the structure and guidance necessary to ensure that we are not settling for anything less than 100% satisfaction for our franchisees and our customers.

    We are not an e-commerce company; we are an experience company, and that requires a commitment to exceeding customer expectations at every touch point — at the Home Office and in our stores. Nothing less is acceptable.

    Which brings me to the role we will play in changing the momentum and “Winning the Fourth Quarter.”

    First, we are intensifying our focus on being “business builders.” As a franchise company, we sell businesses to entrepreneurs (and we have some of the best, many of whom I have been proud to call partners). That means we will hold every franchisee accountable for managing their business. Many of you have asked me to do this, and we will. That is the best way to protect our return on investment. All of us have worked so hard to bring the brand we love where it is — we cannot let it slip.

    We will step up and provide you with the tools, the savings, the support, and anything else that will give you the greatest opportunity to win. For example, we are making immediate changes at BerryDirect® including a new discount program to help you win every day.

    We are moving forward aggressively with our rebranding effort and have engaged one of the world’s premier branding agencies, Leo Burnett, to help drive this effort. As part of this transformation, we are rethinking many of the things we have done in the past.

    We also have a tremendous opportunity this holiday season with business gifting. You will see much more information from us on the role we expect each of you to play in this effort in the coming days.

    I’m even rethinking Sundays! After all, if we’re going to be working very hard, I recognize that we may need a day to recharge. More to come on this.

    But to win this holiday season, complete compliance will be mandatory. I will hold my team accountable more than anyone to deliver 100% service to each of our franchisees, and I expect the same from our franchisees to their customers.

    Finally, it is important that you know we are not doing all of this in a vacuum.

    Our FAB meeting this week with some of our top-performing franchisees was incredible. It was one of the most enlightening and emotional meetings we’ve ever had. The passion and dedication of these franchisees were remarkable. They, too, recognize the issues we are facing and the need to immediately address them at every level. Many of the ideas we will implement moving forward will come from their input. We all left that meeting more inspired to win, and to deliver on the potential of the Edible® brand.

    I will have much more news to share in the coming weeks, but I was reminded at the FAB meeting that about 10 years ago we faced a similar transformational moment, when we first made the decision to go on TV. It was one of the most difficult economic times, but the franchise system came together as one and it became a launching pad for dramatic success.

    It is time to do it again. Let’s roll up our sleeves and return to a focus on doing what’s right. Let’s bring back the WOW!

    Let’s win.

    Tariq Farid
    Founder & CEO

  • Taylor Bolar

    The above post from Tom cann is accurate. Actually things have gone from worse to worst .

    They’ve paid salaries to EAI employees using “National Television Fund” , a fund paid into by the franchisees and one that should be used only for running commercials on TV. Since franchisees started questioning them, they in 2018 stopped the Fund and instead raised the fee paid on internet orders by franchisees to 6.5% from 2% . Now no one can question them on how they spend that money.On top of this they do not return any of the fees collected on orders coming from the web when the order is cancelled or turns out to be fraudulent.

    Whole of 2017 the Marketing team did not market any major holidays. Sales are still down by over 40% . Based on the latest weekly statistics from last week 400 out of 1156 stores are making less than $3500 a week.It has gotten so bad that by end of this year 100s of stores will close.

    Tariq Fareed continues to rip the system and screw the franchisees.If you planning on buying into this franchise please DO NOT else you’ll regret not heeding to this advice all your life.

  • Roonie

    The ‘King’ Returns and Here the troubles starts again.
    Past 9 months business is stand still.
    It takes somewhere close to 250K to open a store. And there are more than 400 stores in the system out of 1200 which are making less than 2500 dollars a week and they need to pay rent, wages and I forgot the ‘Increased Franchisee Fees’ which they decided to take based on a clause in FDD. Using the loop hole. Tariq Farid loves to quote his mother ‘Not Chasing Money’ all he does is ‘Chasing Money’.

    NO money collected from the Franchisee towards marketing was used, EDIBLE ARRANGEMENTS STOPPED ALL MARKETING SINCE THE KING TOOK OVER AND THE SALES ARE FALLING.

    how does EAI survive? Increase the franchise fees. Also they decided to cheat Franchisee by taking 1.5% towards local marketing and marketing team at edible has no plans yet on how they plan to spend the 1.5 locally for every store which they are going to steal. All being announced before Vday one of the busiest holidays.

    Tariq owns ‘Berry Direct’ which is the company where the franchisees need to buy the containers etc. They have marked up the price, for example a teddy bear which is less than 9 inches is being sold for $6.15 to the franchisees. Berry Direct which is COGS account for the franchisees is has been increasing. So bottom line tariq makes money in every step of edible arrangements.

    He is the software provider too, its called Netsolace. This has been there for 15 years but franchisees have no ability to track inventory, all it does it for the king to track his sales.

    A balloon which i can buy at Nikkis or other outlets for .29 cents is being forced on franchisees at a starting price of .80 cents.
    Our family is stuck with multiple locations and we are hoping we would be able to dump it soon and move on …..

  • Carlos perez

    Is totally incredible that this franchise went to the store 6960 collins avd in miami they did an inspection and everything was perfectly clean but because the owner iris nieves is doing promotion in spanish on tv and radio they decide to loock her shop down thats not fair that is called racism she ask for spanish comercials and the owner said that the spanish people don’t buy fruit that stores is the top sales store and the owner of the franchise aloud to let some one open a store in the same area just trying to make her drop her gloves in my personal opinion the owner of the franchise is the most unfair,evil and racist, as a proof of what i am writing they locked the store down june 12 2018 with no explenation.It is very sad to see that this is the franchise that she has raised with all the radio and tv comercials using all her knowlege and after she finally has it on top they just went and lock the shop down just because most of the customers are spanish peoplE (RACIST)

  • Karen B.

    Are there any EA franchisees that are considering closing and or filing bankruptcy due to the bizarre behavior of the Edible Executives and the continuing downward spiral of the business? I believe we have a very good case for a legitimate class action suit and would like to know if there are others that are thinking the same.

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