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Franchisee Attorney Zarco Featured in 'How'd You Get So Rich'

MIAMI - Franchisee attorney Robert Zarco has never shied away from the limelight when fighting for the rights of the hardworking “little guy” in court, but most recently the light shone directly on him in a new television reality-based show called “How’d You Get So Rich?” The program, hosted by comedienne Joan Rivers on TV Land Prime, premiered August 5 and featured the rags-to-riches story of Zarco and others who pursued and made millions living the American dream.

What is surprising is not just his story of rising to the top, but also that someone fighting for franchise owner-operators against large franchising firms can do so well financially. He has represented franchisees who have gone against such notable heavyweights as McDonald's, Burger King, Dunkin' Donuts, Holiday Inn Hotels and other franchisors.


Video clip featuring Robert Zarco, permission to Blue MauMau by TVLand

How’d You Get So Rich? looks at how some wealthy people earned their money and how they spend it. The premier episode features Zarco, the son of Cuban immigrants, who told Rivers how he built a $50 million dollar fortune going to bat for mom and pop and other business owners who are taken advantage of by big franchise and manufacturing companies. He shared how he learned the art of entrepreneurship at age seven when he started his own landscape business, which grew to the point where he was able to purchase his own waterfront two-bedroom, two-bath condo as a teenager. Robert also talked about how he scrubbed toilets at Harvard to help pay for his college education, all while giving Rivers a tour of his $23 million estate on Miami Beach and a ride on one of his three boats, a $3 million Azimut Yacht parked out back at his private dock.

TV Land learned about multimillionaire Zarco from a spread in Franchise Times magazine called Lifestyles of the Rich in Franchise that came out last year. When a producer called him, he was hesitant at first.

“With the economy in trouble and people losing their jobs and personal wealth, I was concerned how I might be perceived in a program like this,” said Zarco. “But then I thought that if my personal story could inspire and motivate other people to try and achieve the American Dream through hard work, persistence and determination, then it would be the right thing to do.”

Zarco said there was a secondary reason he allowed cameras into his home. “Franchisees are the little guys who often get taken advantage of by the big franchisors with deep pockets. I wanted to send a message to these franchisers that they will never outspend us. If we go after them to protect our clients’ rights, we’ll be in for the long haul—until justice is served.”

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Contact him at +1 (270) 321-1268, @bluemaumau or don@bluemaumau.org.