Berwyn, PA-based Julip Run Capital funds the JDog Franchising Inc. Julip partners hold top management positions iat the controversial franchisor. Despite Julip’s contention that JDog is providing veterans & military families with an easy, profitable & excellent means to “realize the American dream of owning a business,” hundreds of veterans have lost their investments in recent years and many more are struggling. Why are Chris Debbas & Jimmy Griffiths allowing the deception and exploitation to continue? by Sean Kelly, publisher, UnhappyFranchisee.Com.
[NOTE: Links to referenced documents are provided at the bottom of this post. Feel free to email the author, in confidence, at UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail[dot]Com]
According to Franchise Times, “JDog Brands has been backed by Philadelphia-based Julip Run Capital since 2014…”
The Julip Run Capital website states that
Since 1996, our mission has been to partner with talented CEOs and entrepreneurs to build businesses that have sustainable competitive advantages through scale, execution, or strategic position and can generate higher than average returns for our investors.
Who Runs Julip Run Capital?
Christopher J. “Chris” Debbas is co-founder and the Senior Partner of Julip Run Capital, and has served as Chairman of JDog Franchises, LLC since 2019.
Chris Debbas is also Chairman of the Board of Managers of ACCT Holdings, co-founder and Chairman of inDitto, and serves as President and CEO of the innovative SPA Car Wash Systems, LLC.
James R. “Jimmy” Griffiths, Managing Partner of Julip Run Capital, Vice President, CFO, JDog Franchises, LLC
James R. “Jimmy” Griffiths is a co-founder and the Managing Partner of Julip Run Capital.
Jimmy has served as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer CFO at JDog Franchises, LLC since 2019.
He is also co-owner and CFO of SPA Car Wash Systems, LLC.
The Julip Run Capital website lists Larry Liss as Senior Executive Consultant to Julip Run and states that he’s serves on the JDog Joint Chiefs Board of Advisers.
Capt. Liss (RET.) is unquestionably a war hero, having flown 650 missions as a combat helicopter pilot from 1966 until 1968.
His numerous awards include 25 Air Medals, the Bronze Star, 3 Purple Hearts, the Valorous Unit Commendation for Extraordinary Heroism, the Meritorious Unit Commendation and the Distinguished Flying Cross for Valor.
Capt. Liss was also twice awarded the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and was recently nominated for the Medal of Honor.
Neither Chris Debbas nor Jimmy Griffiths appear to be military veterans.
Julip Run Capital states the JDog Franchise is Profitable, Easy-to-Run & An “Excellent Means for Veterans to Realize the American Dream.”
Americans will support a veteran owned business when offered the alternative…
the company leverages military themed techniques, like the use of camouflage wrapped hummers for brand awareness, and promotes the values of Trust, Integrity & Respect in dealing with customers…
Julip Run Capital claims that they and JDog provide veterans & military families with an easy & profitable path to the American Dream:
Junk removal businesses are generally very profitable and easy to operate, and thus provide an excellent means for veterans to realize the
American dream of owning a business.
From 2020-2022, JDog Terminated 133 Veteran-Owned Franchises. 157 Exited the System Prematurely for a Franchisee Turnover Rate (FTR) of Nearly 100%
The JDog Junk Removal franchise system reported 142 open units at the start of 2020 and grew to 174 by the end of 2022.
A casual observer might perceive that as healthy growth (25%).
However, ITEM 20 of the JDog 2023 FDD issued September 30, 2022 reveals that 157 franchises exited the system prematurely during those three years, including 133 listed as Terminations and 24 as ownership transfers.
Aggressive marketing and recruitment to veterans & military families resulted in 165 new franchises being added – obscuring the high number of failed, closed and/or bankrupt JDog franchisees created during this period.
In The Past 5 Years, Julip-Backed JDog Junk Removal Terminated 152 Veteran-Owned Franchises. More than 200 Exited Prematurely.
Julip Run Capital Financed Development of the JDog Carpet Cleaning Franchise. Despite a 200% Franchise Turnover Rate, It’s Still Being Sold to Veterans
JDog Carpet Services, LLC, was formed on January 2, 2019
According to the JDog Carpet FDD, CEO Gerald “Jerry” Flanagan, Chairman Christopher J. “Chris” Debbas, and Chief Financial Officer James R. “Jimmy” Griffiths all joined the company at that time.
(It was later that month – on January 30, 2019 – that Jerry Flanagan is alleged to have sexually harassed a JDog franchisee’s employee at a company event).
According to the FDD dated June 30, 2020, the company sold three carpet franchises in 2020 (franchisee Lura Bitting in PA, Toby Catlett in SC, & Mustafa Browne in VA).
Between 2018 and 2020, the company had opened and closed its only two corporate-owned carpet cleaning businesses.
The 2022 JDog Carpet Cleaning FDD indicates that the company has since terminated ten* franchises owned by four franchisees:
- Mustafa Browne – US Air Force Veteran (Providence Forge, VA)
- Toby Catlett – US Navy Veteran (Summerville, East Charleston, Hilton Head, North Charleston SC)
- Daniel Corrado – (Centennial, Dakota Ridge, Castle Pines CO)
- Drake Edwards – (Little Elm, Plano TX Drake Edwards)
Additionally, there appears to be at least one closure not in the JDog Carpet FDD:
- Tommy Clevenger – US Navy (Elgin, IL Jun 2020 – Nov 2022 · 2 yrs 6 mos)
* ITEM 20 of the JDog Carpet FDD states 9 terminations but EXHIBIT G lists 10 terminated franchises
Would Julip Run Capital & Their Investors Invest in a JDog Junk Removal Franchise? Or a JDog Carpet Cleaning Franchise?
The Julip Run Capital website states:
We target 30+% returns for equity investors, and 15-20% returns for junior capital.
Are the veterans & military families who are risking their savings, college funds, TSP funds, retirement, homes and home equity, credit scores and security clearances getting those kinds of returns?
Would Chris Debbas or Jimmy Griffiths invest in – or encourage friends or family to invest in – a junk hauling franchise with 100% turnover or a carpet cleaning franchise with 200% turnover in 3 years?
If not, is it ethical to be promoting the JDog Brands franchises to veterans and military families?
Is it ethical to claim that Julip Run Capital & JDog Franchising is providing veterans & military families with an easy, profitable & excellent means “to realize the American dream of owning a business.”
Just my opinion, but it seems to me that if Julip Run Capital, Mr. Debbas and Mr. Griffiths value the reputation they claim to have, they’ll stop selling franchises, focus on supporting those still in business, and start mitigating the damage they’ve caused for the veterans and military families they “terminated.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK? PLEASE SHARE YOU COMMENTS BELOW OR VIA CONFIDENTIAL CORRESPONDENCE TO PUBLISHER SEAN KELLY AT UnhappyFranchisee[at]Gmail.Com.
TAGS: Julip Run Capital, Christopher J. Debbas, Chris Debbas, James R. Griffiths, Jimmy Griffiths, Larry Liss, JDog Brands, JDog Carpet cleaning franchise, JDog, Jerry Flanagan, Tracy Flanagan, Berwyn PA, VetFran, franchise deception, franchise failures, JDog franchise complaints, Sean Kelly, Unhappy Franchisee, franchise failure rates