FAIRCHISING: How Can We Restore Fairness in Franchising?

What changes would be needed to restore fairness to the franchise relationship? To restore a win-win scenario in which both franchisor and franchisees are given the respect and authority as should be afforded to business owners? What would a Fairchise opportunity look like? Your ideas and input are invited. by Sean Kelly

(UnhappyFranchise.Com) In recent decades, Franchising has become, to an increasing extent, Unfairchising.  Increasingly one-sided franchise agreements, mandatory arbitration clauses, NDAs and nearly non-existent federal oversight & enforcement have given franchisors the power to dictate nearly every aspect of the franchise relationship with impunity.

Many franchisees claim the “business ownership” once provided to franchisees now resembles indentured servitude or sharecropping.

The FAIRCHISING Initiative is an open exploration, idea exchange and discussion of what changes need to be made to restore the fairness to franchising, and to restore the promise of a Win-Win relationship franchising once provided. 

The FAIRCHISING Initiative asks: What would a Fairchise look like – contractually and in practice?

Which parts of the modern franchise agreement and relationship are to blame for the current inequity in franchising? which should be modified or abolished?

Which parts of the modern franchise agreement and relationship are necessary to maintain brand integrity and cohesion… and should be preserved in the FAIRCHISE model?

The term FAIRCHISING was coined by Businessman Jim Lager, who was a top franchisee for two major franchise brands and is now CEO of the independent Texas Hose Pro company. In mulling his options in expanding his successful hydraulic hose sales and service company out of the Texas market, Lager began to consider how he would modify the current franchise model to restore some of the good faith and fair practices that enabled him to become a successful franchise business owner.

Industry expert, writer and UnhappyFranchisee.Com publisher Sean Kelly suggested an open discussion to hear ideas and opinions from others in the franchise industry as to what elements of the franchise relationship need to be restored, improved or added to create a franchise relationship that benefits all parties in a fair and equitable way.

Your ideas and opinions are invited. Please share with comments on any post, or by emailing them to ADMIN at UnhappyFranchisee[at] Anonymous contributions are welcome.

4 thoughts on “FAIRCHISING: How Can We Restore Fairness in Franchising?

  • Thomas J Downes

    Franchisors know they can do whatever they want with that Arbitration Clause in every agreement. I am a Edible A franchisee and that part of the franchise agreement that deals with disagreements went from 3 sentences to 4 pages. Our owners group went to court lately with them and since they mysteriously moved to Georgia which is very conservative in the Judicial Branch we were rebuffed to go the Arbitration route. My franchisor has completely shut out any discourse with franchisees and we are routinely auto shipped products to sell any and all products they want to test and take the funds out of our bank accounts. The founder and still owner has gone this route with a company he was suddenly put on the board of directors of and we have been saddled with product that never sells and we have to eventually throw away. Our sales have skyrocketed since Covid, and now they are forcing upgrades on us to quadruple down on the founders vision of us as a retail destination which is a joke.

  • Thomas, I hear this over and over in your brand. It’s all about the CEO! Question, would franchisees be willing to file complaints to the FTC? It’s free, but you need to get 20-30 franchisees willing to do that. I can help you with that. I don’t charge for that help.

  • Thomas J Downes

    I did that personally about 4-5 years ago to no avail. We now have Zarco lining up ‘zees and going the mass arbitration route as a Georgia state judge suggested in order to stop the Gestapo tactics being employed by our sick founder and CEO.

  • Yea, the problem is probably you were the only one. Then it’s viewed as an isolated case. Whether lawsuit, arbitration, or FTC complaint, you need numbers. If you have the documentation to the FTC complaint and any response, can you forward that to me?

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