Horn & Hardart franchise ads on Craig’s List offer the chance to “own a piece of American History” for just $25,000. Who are these people & what is their relationship to the iconic Horn & Hardart Automat concept? Is Horn & Hardart coming back, or is someone trying to exploit an historic name?
(UnhappyFranchisee.Com) Horn & Hardart franchise opportunity ads are popping up like weeds on Craig’s List, soliciting would-be franchisees on local sites targeting markets in PA, NJ, DE & NV.
Horn & Hardart Café, a 100 year old Philadelphia tradition is back and is now offering franchise opportunities in the York, Pa. Metro areas. We are excited to announce we have also brought back the infamous AUTOMAT displaying sandwiched, desserts and soups behind a window for accessibility using your credit, debit or smart card. Our H&H Cafes will be offering our famous H&H coffees, cappuccinos’. and lattes. We are also offering our delicious breakfast sandwiches, wraps, paninis, sandwiches, soups, salads, specialty organic juices, smoothies, pastries and more. . ..
H&H Cafes is offering both Single store and Area Development franchise opportunities. As a Special Spring Promotion we are now offering two (2) franchises for a low Franchise Fee of $25,000. Our Royalty Fee is a 5% a month on Gross Sales
Best of all we are offering 100% financing over the initial Franchise Fee of $25,000., ten (10) year loan, low interest rate. (Not an SBA Loan.)
Free Full site location
Free Lease negotiations
Full Franchisee Support
100% financing over initial Franchise Fee of $25,000
Flat Fee Monthly Royalty Fee
Call David Malin for full details: (888)550-8020 toll free
Horn & Hardart Franchise Red Flag #1: Watermarked Stock Photo
We traced the watermarked stock photo in the ad to Alamy stock photos, which describes the photo as:
A recreation of the famous Horn & Hardart Automat using original preserved machinery in the Lunch Hour NYC show at the New York Public Library in the Schwarzman Building in Midtown Manhattan on Tuesday, June 26, 2012. The expansive exhibit shows aspects of lunch as performed by New Yorkers over the years. The show visits the history of the mid-day meal as is was taken by New Yorkers covering everything from homemade meals to quick lunch joints to hot dog carts and everything in between.(© Richard B. Levine)
One could assume that there is no successful, operating prototype – a minimal requirement for a legitimate franchise offering. Using a stock photo is bad – but couldn’t they have paid the $14.99 to remove the watermark?
Horn & Hardart Franchise Red Flag #2: Corporate Office is “Virtual”
Googling the Horn and Hardart Franchise Group corporate office address (1150 1st Avenue, Suite 501, King of Prussia, PA 19406) reveals that it’s located in a shared “virtual office” that will staff your business with “virtual assistants” for as little as $5.00 per day.
Horn & Hardart Franchise Red Flag #3: Corporation is 8 Months Old
Horn & Hardart may be a “100 year old Philadelphia tradition,” but the Horn & Hardart hasn’t even reached its 1st birthday. According to the PA Department of State registry:
Name HORN & HARDART FRANCHISE GROUP LLC
Entity Number 4371854
Entity Type Limited Liability Company
Entity Creation Date 07/23/2015
The Craig’s List ads tout the AutoMatReturns.com website for franchise information.
However, the AutoMatReturns.com domain name was just registered 2/29/16.
Related domain hornfg.com was registered 10/30/15 and hornandhardartcafeteria.com was registered 11/10/15.
Horn & Hardart Franchise Red Flag #4: Dennis Mason
The Horn & Hardart Craig’s List franchise ads state “Call David Malin for full details: (888)550-8020 toll free”
The number (888) 550-8020 is associated with controversial Frenchtown, NJ-based franchise broker Dennis Mason, who often hides his identity with fake names.
Learn more about Dennis Mason here: DENNIS MASON Franchise Lawsuits, Controversies, Aliases & Warning
Horn & Hardart Franchise Red Flag #5: Similarity to NY Bagel Café Alleged Scam
We’ve received many complaints from people who allege that they answered NY Bagel Café franchise ads on Craig’s List that promised “100% financing beyond the franchise fee.”
Many allege that they sent Dennis Mason a franchise fee based on that promise, and neither he nor NY Bagel President Joe Smith provided them financing nor returned their fees.
The wording of the Horn & Hardart franchise ads (“Special Spring Promotion,” “we are offering 100% financing over the initial Franchise Fee of $25,000”) is virtually identical to the wording of the NY Bagel Café franchise ads used by Dennis Mason in that alleged scam.
Additionally, the victims of NY Bagel Café called the same number: (888) 550-8020
And, just like NY Bagel Café, the Horn & Hardart ad promises direct financing, but the Q&A section of the H&H website states:
Q. Do you provide financing?
A. We do not provide financing.
Horn & Hardart Franchise: Be Wary, Do Your Homework, Let Us Know What You Find
If you look into the Horn & Hardart franchise opportunity, please proceed carefully. Please let us know what you find out about this company, because we have more questions than answers at this point.
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