MAUI WOWI Open Letter to Michael Weinberger, Michael Haith
August 17, 2013
Michael Weinberger, CEO, Maui Wowi Franchising, Inc.
Michael Haith, Chairman, Maui Wowi Maui Wowi Franchising, Inc.
We at UnhappyFranchisee.Com recently read of Michael Weinberger’s promotion to Maui Wowi CEO in Nation’s Restaurant News.
I am hoping to get your feedback on two important issues that are being discussed on our website.
Question #1: What is the True Number of Maui Wowi Operating Locations?
The first issue regards what appears to be an ongoing misrepresentation of the size and health of the Maui Wowi franchise chain.
The NRN article states that Maui Wowi has “about 500 locations in nine countries.”
That caught my eye because I had just reviewed the 2009 & 2013 Maui Wowi FDDs, the latter of which states that at the beginning of 2013 Maui Wowi had only 197 locations worldwide.
Between the two FDDs, it appears that the Maui Wowi chain peaked at 317 locations in 2007 and has declined in number each year since.
Despite no reference to more than 317 Maui Wowi locations being open at one time, your company has made many public claims of a dramatically higher number of locations.
According to 2009 press releases issued by Maui Wowi: “600 locations worldwide.”
According to a 2010 Franchise Times article: “More than 600 units across the globe.”
According to a December, 2012 Maui Wowi press release: “Over 600 operating units in eight countries".”
According to Maui Wowi’s current (2013) LinkedIn profile: “600 locations worldwide.”
According to numerous 2013 Maui Wowi press releases: “over 400 operating units in eight countries.”
According to an April, 2013 recruitment ad with Michael Weinberger listed as the contact: “Over 450 locations worldwide.”
As we are investigating these issues, we invite you and your company to share your explanation, refutation, clarification, correction and/or rebuttal regarding this issue.
We understand that things are not always what they seem at first glance, and we promise to publish your responses or statements with the same prominence as we posed the original issues.
Question #2: How is Maui Wowi Fighting What Appears to be a 40% Franchise Failure Rate?
The Maui Wowi 2013 Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD) indicates that between the beginning of 2010 to the end of 2012, there were 331 Maui Wowi franchises open or opened.
During that same time period, a total of 137 Maui Wowi franchise locations were either terminated (69) or “ceased operations – other reasons” (68)
That more than 40% of those who invested $42,000 – $360,000 in a Maui Wowi franchise appear to have ceased operating is highly disturbing.
Can you share what you believe to be the cause of such an unacceptable high franchise failure rate?
What steps is Maui Wowi taking to better support its current franchisees and improve their survival rate?
Has Maui Wowi considered halting franchise sales until the cause of these failures is remedied?
If not, do you think it is ethical to sell franchises to individuals knowing they have such a high risk of failure?
Are your prospective franchisees advised about the number of closures, and the reasons for their failures?
Mssrs. Weinberger & Haith, while we are posing tough questions, we do welcome your point-of-view and will display it fairly and prominently.
Please feel free to review and address the issues and opinions in our posts, linked to below.
Please also feel free to invite your franchisees, employees, & associates to share their opinions on any of the blog posts below.
We will be happy to correct any factual errors or mistatements on our part.
ARE YOU FAMILIAR WITH THE MAUI WOWI FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY OR THE DOC POPCORN FRANCHISE OPPORTUNITY? PLEASE SHARE A COMMENT BELOW.
tags: Maui Wowi, Maui Wowi franchise, Maui Wowi franchise failures, Maui Wowi franchise complaints, Maui Wowi franchise cost, Michael Haith, Franchise Sherpas, Michael Weinberger, franchise fraud, coffee franchise, Doc Popcorn, Doc Popcorn franchise