Franchise Fairness Myths and Realities

What is franchise fairness? According to failed franchisees and franchisees locked (so they think) into abusive franchise relationships, franchise fairness is that state of affairs in which they are not required to observe strict compliance with the very one sided contracts they signed.

According to franchisors, franchise fairness is that state of affairs in which franchisees bought franchises and signed franchise agreements after doing competent due diligence and making affirmative investment decisions as adults responsible for their acts.

Both of these notions are fantasies. Neither state of affairs exists and neither ever existed in the history of franchising. If you need the particulars of why these notions are fantasies, read the franchise fraud tutorial articles published at FranchsieRemedies,com.

Where is the reality? What is reasonably expectable in the real world of franchising?

To come to a reality based appreciation of the franchise relationship of today, 2009, there have to be factual reference points. Once we identify the reference points, we can begin to have practical comprehension. Everything starts with the facts of the current situation.

First, a disclaimer - You can’t read anything written by a lawyer without his asserting some CYA disclaimer or other, right? Well, this isn’t a CYA disclaimer.

Over the years I have had a running feud with the AAFD, a pseudo franchisee affiliation group claiming to be the foremost advocate of fairness in franchising. It was never an advocate of anything, as advocacy is a prelude to action. Chanting mantras into the air without doing anything in furtherance of the cause is not advocacy. “We want franchise fairness” is just noise in the absence of overt competent action. The AAFD never engages in any action other than holding ridiculous meetings; publishing pie in the sky criteria for what it called fair franchise agreements; bestowing awards upon some of the worst franchise thieves in the modern history of franchising – all in the hope of generating sufficient revenue to “pay the rent”, as one famous New York City franchise lawyer so often puts it. It was never anything more effective than being the Alvin and the Chipmunks of franchising – a chatting society of loser, underfunded timid franchisee groups.

Because I have always loudly and often voiced my disrespect for the AAFD and its absurd “leader” some franchisee supportive lawyers and writers have accused me of being against fairness in franchising. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I am very aggressively in favor of balanced franchise relationships. Fairness only happens in balanced transactions. If you can’t find a route to a balanced transactional relationship and make it happen in reality, the weaker side will always get screwed. In the instance of franchise investment, the weaker side consists of people who refuse to use competent pre investment due diligence resources that vet the deal quality as well as the legal documents. They refuse to use competent due diligence resources for two reasons. They falsely believe they know enough about franchising and how it works and what the contracts and disclosure packages mean – they don’t have a clue – they have no prior relevant experience. They are unwilling to spend the money that competent pre investment due diligence costs. Consequently, they sign on to ridiculous deals and go broke. They then blame the circumstances on the government and on so called crooked franchisors.

The reality is that crooked franchisors are out there, and they can be identified before you buy their franchises. There are telltale facts about franchise deals that no one should ever sign on to. People who understand how to spot these can save you from going broke on bad franchise deals. If you choose not to use them, your being fleeced is not the result of franchise unfairness. It is the result of your own incompetence. In short, it has nothing whatsoever to do with unfairness.

In reality there are also crooked franchisees that cheat their franchisors. Having signed very one sided agreements, and having failed to organize effective independent franchisee associations to deal with the legal imbalances, they falsely believe they are justified in simply fudging. They lie, cheat and steal just like the crooked franchisors. This is also not franchise unfairness. The difference is that in this instance the franchisors do have effective machinery to deal with non-compliant franchisees.

Independent franchisee associations can overcome the disadvantages of one sided franchise agreements. Let’s pretend independent franchisee associations cannot get there. Lets pretend independent franchisee associations are those that were not started very early; have insufficient support through (sufficient) dues paying membership; are led by people who have no clue how to lead an independent franchisee association; and accomplish nothing. They may hold meetings and call people names and pass out ridiculous awards (that I call Brass Bob awards), but they are useless.

If you want franchise fairness to become a reality, you must vet the deals you invest in competently, and you must have an effective independent franchisee association. If you lack either one of those, you will get screwed almost every time. Since an effectively led independent franchisee association is as much benefit to a franchisor as it is to its franchisees, failing to establish and support one is one of the most absurd things franchisees could ever do.

Will you ever live to see franchise fairness provided by legislation? NO. Never. Nothing any government can do could ever produce “fairness”/balanced transactions in a free market without destroying the free market. No right that anyone has – none whatsoever – is self executing. You must defend your position. Statutes that prohibit fraud do not eliminate fraud any more than statutes that prohibit murder have eliminated murder. You must be locked and loaded and affirmatively protect your interests in every human situation. What you were taught in high school and college about notions of “equality” – especially economic equality – was an absurd lie. If there were economic equality there could be no freedom to negotiate the kinds of deals that free markets provide. Economic freedom depends upon people being able to decide for themselves what terms they will accept or decline and what they can live with, considering how adept they are in managing commercial relationships. Both these actions require competence. When the incompetent fail to recognize their limitations, they are the sheep that the wolves enjoy eating. These are not arguments. These are plain old facts.

I am the most forceful advocate I know of in favor of franchise fairness. The difference is that I know that it will not happen without self help. Holding meetings and fantasizing about how to use words to overcome a complete lack of action are ridiculous notions with no possibility of achieving any worthwhile goals.

These, my friends, are the differences between the realities and the myths about franchise fairness.

Profile picture for user Richard Solomon

Comments

An excellent article Richard.

An excellent article Richard. As an employee of various franchisors over the past 35 years (all still in business and very reputable) I can tell you from experience that the first thing that happens when a franchisee gets in financial difficulty is that the monthly franchise fee suddenly becomes "unfair". It was OK in the years the franchisee was making money, but now, regardless of why the financial trouble exists, there is this expectation that the franchisor can suddenly change or suspend the fee.

Most reputable franchise companies make the bulk of their income from the monthly fee. I can tell you that my current company has been hard hit by the current economy and as a result has had to cut back just like the franchisees have had to do.

I have always known that my livelihood depends on successful franchisees that make money and are anxious to grow their business. I also know that the majority of businesses i have watched close were led by owners who failed to capitalize on the systems and procedures that were offered to them and that the successful owners, in fact, did use those systems and procedures to their benefit.

I'm sure that unfair and unscrupulous franchise operations exist, but most of them are exposed sooner rather than later. I agree that proper due diligence, especially in today's information overload society, should help prospects to weed out the bad apples.

The demise this past week of the AAFD should be a turning

point at which people take responsibility for their situations and stop seeking magical bullshit solutions.

Demise of the AAFD?

"The demise this past week of the AAFD..."

Is the AAFD defunct? Is there info posted anywhere about this?

Purvin announced his resignation as maximum leader two weeks ago

Do you think that bozo would leave it if there were one more nickel to wring out of it?

In my opinion it was never anything but toast, but now there can be no doubt. The leading whiner's club is gone - even more than ever.

Solomon for AAFD Prez

Actually, it seemed that Purvin was the main problem with the AAFD. I had hoped that he had perhaps been ousted by those who saw potential in making the only group resembling a franchisee organization relevant enough to survive.

I thought perhaps they were seeking a successor in earnest. I had rather hoped you would throw your hat in the ring, Richard. You could certainly liven up the next AAFD convention. Just imagine the potential song and dance numbers at your acceptance ceremony.

That certainly would be interesting

How about it Richard? 

Do you mean that as a compliment or are you wishing for me

to have a lot of misery and frustration?

I take that as a compliment, and I appreciate the gesture.

On the other hand, the AAFD is not a working model in its present form. Purvin was into theories of God knows what. I am not into the theoretical. People were bleeding their last while Purvin held conventions and sang songs. Purvin thought that franchisors would clamor for his approval, and in reality no one gave/gives a tinker's damn about his approval. His awards meant nothing and eventually were seen to be completely corrupt - given to the worst sort.

What I and Mike Webster hope to accomplish is to build real meaningful functioning independent franchise associations that are respectable and not mere charades about what franchising should be about. Mike and I know that effective independent franchisee associations can mean wnderful lives for successful franchisees. Take a look at  the Bk association and at Popeye's association. Those are for real and their franchisees get respect and make good money.

Everyone is going through rough times these days, but even with the troubles (as we Irish like to call them) the groups with good systemwide support (not 100 % but very high) thrive.

Mike and I forsee a coalition of such associations, but not a coallition of impoverished and desperate failing franchisees who won't/can't stand strongly together and get  'er done.

I have never even given a thought about whether the AAFD could become transformed into such a coalition model. 

Meant as compliment

It was meant as a compliment.

It would be interesting to see what would happen if you and the other detractors were invited in to see what could be done and whether the ship is sound - just pointed in the wrong direction. I thought perhaps Purvin's departure meant that he had been ousted by those looking for a bold new direction. Anything short of that will mean it will just fade away, and rightfully so.

The basic concept of having an international coalition of

franchisees, or an affiliation of franchisee association groups is essentially a sound one - in fact one that has long been needed.

My opposition to the AAFD was always that it didn't do anything. Working on fairness standards means nothing to me if you are not also teaching the art of relationship management and how it can be used to overcome the disadvantages of one sided contracts.

If the AAFD had done that, I would have no arguments about the standards bullshit.

But the purpose has to be translatable into improving the present tense for the constituency. If you are not showing people how to handle the tough situations, everything else is nonsense.

Has the reputation of the AAFD for uselessness so tarnished it as a concept that it just has to be scrapped and something new started to replace it that doesn't have that smell of decay and death about it?

If I were doing it, I would prefer not to have to spend time and resources trying to live down the prior history and reputation of my predecessor organization.

Maybe that was just the wimpy persona of Brass Bob. He was always a spineless poseur, pretending to be a leader of something.

Re: Franchise Fairness

Two points:

First, I agree with you with regard to the AAFD who I referred to previously as the Neville Chamberlain of franchise negotiations.  They are trying to negotiate with franchisors whose own goals are in direct conflict with AAFD's "balanced" agenda.

Second, I disagree with your comment "Statutes that prohibit fraud do not eliminate fraud any more than statutes that prohibit murder have eliminated murder."  There is a significant difference between the two:  With fraud you still exist and are able to seek retribution. Currently, the laws, just like the FDD, are written in favor of franchisors thereby making it almost impossible to stop the fraud without government intervention.

Excellent article.

Wrong again, OS. Being "alive" didn't get you whole, did it?

The laws work in the same way, regardless of the offense. Either you create the mechanisms to defend your interests or they will be taken away and you will be left hanging out on BMM arguing about how terrible everything is.

Well, they don't have to be terrible. But to make it otherwise, people have to get real and quit whining.

Every time you are asked to support some political project, tyhose seeking your support always make promises about all the great things they are going to do. Do any of them ever do it? HAHAHAHAHA!

Re: Wrong Again (profiting from the status quo)

As I said before, it allows for retribution.  Will fraud continue - yes.  But don't tell me that laws that level the playing field won't help shut down the frauds.  Right now the laws are written to allow frauds to flourish.  Ask "Guest".  Its obvious he revels in it.  He has yet to come out specifically against fraudulent franchising.  Considers this a game. 

How many cases have you and your fellow attorneys lost or been unable to proceed with even though there were clear issues of fraud because of some loophole that has allowed franchisors to go free.  Cut the crap.  I agree with you about "due diligence" but there are quite a few of your fellow attorneys posing as franchise attorneys that we pay some big bucks to that don't know their ass from their elbow and are unable to protect franchisees due to their incompetence.  Talking about incompetent lawyers, you've stated here that you are going after one - proving my point.

Will the laws change?  No.  Not while those involved in the fraud continue "owning" Washington - to the joy of "Guest" and his cronies.  Campaign Money Links SBA Fraud Company to Key Lawmakers | Business Intelligence

 

Rusty Oldsword fraud is against the law however stupidity is not

What do you suggest we do about stupidity in franchise selection?

What do you suggest we do about systems who

permeditate scamming victims in the franchise world? 

Premeditated fraud

Premeditated fraud in franchising is not seemingly a crime unless you can afford to pursue it civilly.  Otherwise there is no remedy and no penalty.  That is what makes it so attractive.

And that is why people need to start with a visit to BMM before they sign a franchise contract; any franchise contract.

You won't be scammed if you avail yourselves of competent

preinvestment due diligence resources. If you do that you don't get skinned.

If you fail to do that you almost certainly will get skinned.

Maybe this wasn't meaningfully available when you bought your frnachise. But now there is no excuse for anyone getting cheated.

My clients do not get cheated and they do not buy bozo franchises. My clients don't have to give a tinker's damn about the state of the law, because what is there is adequate for them. No due diligence client of mine has ever had to sue anyone about fraud.

To respond to OldFart's question - Yes I have lost cases for the wrong reasons. No one wins every case. You show me someone who claims to have won 'em all and I'll show you someone who has never tried a case. Litigation - even if you can afford it - is never certain for many, many reasons.

That's why I offer pre litigation/arbitration case analysis to help lawyers find the flaws in their potential cases before they get out there and make a public record that will only hurt their clients. Is that service cheap? No. But not gettng that service is very frequently a disaster. I've been doing this a very long time. 45 years experience is a valuable resource.

Absolutely

I cannot imagine the introduction of laws that will ultimately make any real difference to the numbers of lousy franchisee outcomes.

Have there been any changes to US laws over the last 10 years that have improved the chances for franchisees of not being ripped off?  Is there any US franchising related law that could do with some fine tuning now?

I cannot imagine the introduction of laws that will ultimately make any
real difference to the numbers of lousy franchisee outcomes.

So they best be starting their franchising education before rather than later.  Later gets ugly.

The notion that some law will protect you from the vicissitudes

of your trying to do pre investment due diligence on something in which you have no experience as an investment investigator is simplyu ridiculous.

What most people fail to understand is that this is not about the state of the law.

It is about not losing everything you own.

I can't change the past. But today there is no excuse for losing everything and having to file for bankruptcy/administration because you bet it all on something you only thought you understood.

But God gave us all free will. If you want to roll those dice alone, be my guest.

Re: Absolutely

Campaign Money Links SBA Fraud Company to Key Lawmakers | Business Intelligence

Ray, in answer to your question "Have there been any changes to US laws over the last 10 years that have improved the chances for franchisees of not being ripped off?" click the link above.  Whatever changes have occurred are cosmetic at best. 

When firms as well funded and staffed as, say, a Nixon Peabody, are present to "sway" the writing of laws one way or another it would be impossible for a Solomon or a Webster or a Steinberg to have much impact.

Franchisors and their minions are fully aware of the lopsided representation in D.C.  Just look at "Guest's" responses:  Condescending to franchisees, unwilling to respond to NUMEROUS requests to come out against scamming and consistently attempting to move the conversation to personal attacks as opposed to discussing the facts.  This is how the franchisor community "negotiates" (keep up the good job AAFD).  The IFA is fully aware of the scamming and the laws are written to perpetuate the problem.  Again, read the story to the link above.

You need to stop being ridiculous about political contributions

That's how all governments work. The problem is not with the system - it is timeless and goes back way before recorded history - the problem is that franchisee groups fail to get into the game.

I would start a WhinePAC tomorrow, but no one would send in money enough to pay the trust account carrying charges on it.

Re: political contributions and political clout

Richard, my argument HAS been the lack of franchisee involvement.  We discussed franchisee PACs in another string.  My comments here are not to dissuade political contributions - it is to show how franchisors have the upperhand when legislation is written.  I am not about abolishing franchising.  As many here have claimed, there are good franchisors out there.  Getting franchisees more involved is most important and getting them to realize that their large numbers can completely overwhelm the franchisor stranglehold on almost all franchising legal matters. 

I just received a phone call from a franchisee formerly with my system (he is now bankrupt).  He was elated that CIT just filed.  They were a major financier of my system - until they saw the number of bankruptcies that were hitting them - then they stopped all lending to my franchisor in early 2008.  They have the numbers.  They have the statistics.  Could statutes, requiring those lenders involved with government loans to compile the information and provide live statistical information, help make franchising safer?  If franchisors are too afraid to publish their numbers because it would "mislead" the buyers then why not make the SBA lenders do it .  Now the info IS at arms length and (since the SBA lenders are required under SBA guidelines to gather income tax filings from the borrowers anyway) the info will be live - and truthful.

P.S.  Don't tell me how difficult it would be.   CIT stopped the lending because their info was aggregated for them to see the loan failure rates - adding in net P&L would just be one more step.  A small effort to put forth for 80-90% guarantees.

OS - Please send me a link to my personal email address

so I can verify that CIT stopped loans to franchisees of your franchisor in 2008  -

Guest works for Dunkin Brands

He was the first to use the moniker and used it first posting to defend Dunkin's horrendus shakedowns of its franchisees.

Who else would defend such low life practices, except a lwyer at Nixon Peabody, of course?

and that would explain

Guest's lack of substance, his office bound views on franchising, his ability to interpret fiction as fact and his attempts to sell it.

PAC

Oooo.. and can we get the government to help with Corporate earnings reports to make the stock market safer, and more regualtion on hedge funds?

MadoffPAC?

Oh wait.. there is risk in investment, both with the business you invest in and who you do business with.

OS, I've got a great investment opportunity with projections provided for collecting tolls on a very well known bridge... what do you say?

Rusty Oldsword once again naive

Mandatory Item 19 FPR is unlikely to ever happen and having lenders compile earnings performance data will never happen and even if it did it would be incomplete and unreliable.

Furthermore, Rusty Oldsword I am against all fraud and stupidity. My question to you is do you know the difference between fraud and stupidity?

thanks for the real world comment, and

once again, giant yawns to the repeated commentary of this community. you hate it, warn against it, offer services to guard against it, but never talk about how well you;ve done.

what an F'ing downer of a party you would all throw.

Ask your pal, Steve Horn, Guest

How well franchisees have done in protecting themselves against predatory behavior by franchisors.

UMM,like I said

a party of loathing. what a bunch of sickos.

do any of you have a successful life in any respect????

Re: Guest and performance data

Reliability of the numbers.  Let's see, by whom would I most likely receive truthful information about revenues, the franchisor or the lender who receives the actual P&L of each and every borrower of an SBA loan.  Hmmm. 

Funny how "Guest" jumps on fair and honest disclosure requests with such panic and fear.  Let's play 'Fear Factor' guest.  Two choices:  be thrown into a pit, unprotected, filled with viper, rattle and king cobra snakes --  OR -- permit the lenders to post the information they already have at their disposal to allow the "investing public" to see what they are truly getting into.  My guess is you would pick the snake pit (you'd feel right at home)

Re: Re: Guest and performance data by oldsword

Rusty Oldsword if your so certain that some cobbled together amalgam of various pieces of financial data from borrowers submitted irregularly to lenders is the salvation to would be franchisees please tell us all how it would work?

Guest right Oldsword wrong

It is impractical for lenders to compile reliable performance data for prospective franchisees. The lenders wouldn't be able verify the data and wouldn't take on the liability that would come with the performance disclosure.

Contrary to Oldsword I would suggest that prospective franchisees consider the many franchise concepts that make earnings claims and perform focused due diligence with the guidance of an experienced franchise attorney.

Marion "Mitch" Tannenhauser

Re: Mitch and earnings claims

The "data" is from each borrower's income tax return which the SBA requires the lender obtain annually from each and every SBA borrower they have.   It would be easy for the SBA to absolve the lender from any liability since it is the income tax statement with an appropriate accountant's signature.  Second, lenders already aggregate most of the information anyway to see loan failure rates (there is a list of loan performance available on this very site so you can't say they don't do it).

As for the earnings claims.  Frandata had my franchise on a top 25 list.  Another organization put it on the top 100 list.  When I spoke to Frandata about it they said all they did was go by the (then UFOC) earnings claim data presented. 

And CIT stopped lending to my franchise system due to "disproportionate number of failures".  Go figure.  (pun intended)

Oldsword the complied information couldn't be verified

I think you are oversimplifying the complexity of your solution. It is just impractical and you have not though it through.

Marion "Mitch" Tannenhauser

Re: Mitch - complied information

Mitch, if I am oversimplifying then what is CIT doing?  After reviewing the very same information that I believe should be available publicly, CIT, one of the nation's largest lenders to franchises nationwide, stopped lending to my franchise system. 

The information is available.  It will show the real revenues of franchise systems (which is exactly what franchisors are afraid of), franchisors do not have to fear "earnings claims" and franchisees (investors) can now make truly informed business decisions on where to place their capital - WOW, just like CIT did.

What is CIT doing? Going Bankrupt!

So Rusty Oldsword you did as well as CIT did!

CIT does not have data on every loan of any system it loans to and they don't collect monthly P&Ls on more than a random basis.

You have extrapolated the little information on franchise lending you've collected into a remedy for what you think is wrong with franchising and in a word you have it wrong.

RE: CIT and bankrupt

Jackass, I never said monthly info.  Read AND comprehend please.  Annual income tax statements you moron.   Which means annual revenue numbers (you know, the very information that is inflated in order to meet SBA requirements and guarantee approval) AND CIT did not go bankrupt due to SBA loans - it is a liquidity problem having to do with their inability to borrow during a credit crisis.

And it has data (annual income tax returns, loan failures) from the loans THEY underwrote.  Your damn stupidity is almost unbelievable (but you work for franchisors so I guess it shouldn't be too much of a surprise). 

CIT saw the loan failure rates and saw the revenue numbers from the information they are obligated to collect from their borrowers.  Your responses, when you even bother to come across with information rather than name calling, is pathetically uninformed.

Rusty Oldsword called me a name, boo hoo

It is you, Rusty Oldsword that is the moron. You naively think that the solution to evaluating franchises is to get lenders to disclose their data to the public. First it would be unreliable and they should not be compelled to do it.

Furthermore, people can focus on franchises that do provide FPRs right now.

CIT's bankruptcy does have to do with their inability to sell SBA loans at a profit, hence their lack of liquidity.

Re: Guest's solution to franchise buying: "Trust Us"

You're right guest.  Who would think annual revenue numbers and actual profitability would be important to a potential franchisee?  Unreliable?  Then the IRS would like to know about it since the info involved is the income tax return.  And of course lenders should not be compelled to disclose the info.  Why, that would mean knowing whether the franchise system is worth investing in and proving the reliability of the FPRs. 

As for CIT, their SBA lending is a very small portion of their overall financial operation. 

Once again, pathetically uninformed (just like you want your buyers).  I'm sure the readers would be interested in knowing what system you work for.  You are too interested in hiding information and twisting facts. 

Belinda has a tee shirt that she wears when doing work in the

garden. It says "Trust me. I'm a lawyer"

In Texas that's funny right there.

Rusty Oldsword are you more of moron or a fool?

Tell me how accurate these compilations by lenders of borrowers tax returns would be? How would these lender disclosures work exactly?

OS, Guest makes a good point!

How would non-uniform tax returns that are not prepared under GAAP be compiled into a disclosure for a specific franchise by a lender? I think guest may be right on this subject?

Marion "Mitch" Tannenhauser

While tax returns aren't prepared according to GAAP, they

are prepared according to tax accounting rules. Even if they were prepared according to GAAP they would still need tempering to facilitate comparability -which means that discretionary treatments would have to be reconciled- useful life for one example and depreciation elections for another.

Probably the discretionary items would be eliminated - as these are non cash charges anyway (dep and amortzn). Owners' compensation would have to be rationalized, as well as some benefits, the luxury cars, yachts and airplanes (yeah right).

The point is, however, that  these harmonizing adjustments are not done, so the returns don't tell you anything across a continuum.

So it aint the GAAP issue that makes the information largely useless. It is useless per se unless someone has the incentive to temper it - which the SBA does not have or want for political reasons.

So -this argument isn't worth the effort.

Rusty Oldsword has a temper

so he could be a "tempering" clearinghouse for reconciling franchisee tax returns.

Rusty Oldsword is just vengeful...

He has a punitive nature and feels powerful by lashing out against franchising. He should be pitied.

Listen up clowns

I've heard from many intelligent business people who walked in the franchise door believing they had all the information and they were making a real effort and they were compliant.  And then they were scammed.

You theorists should get off your butts and sign a contract ... preferrably with Quiznoes.  You may have been selected at birth to have family backing but given your pettiness I doubt you would have survived in any other climate.

See what comes from not sleeping on a tempurpedic!

You two need to get a room.

You are obviously madly in lust for each other. Normal people who are simply in some platonic relationship do not behave this way.

The sooner you two get to it, the sooner your issues will be resolved. The digital age has a broader meaning than just electronics, you know. You should be reaching around to each other.

Rusty Oldsword if only stupidity were a crime

you would get a life sentence of hard labour working at a McDonald's. Can you say "would you like fries with your burger"?

Dear Guest you are too hard on Oldsword

He/she was defrauded and bamboozled by the franchise conspirators (IFA/SBA/FTC/Franchisors).

How could OS avoided failure since we all know that franchising is a rigged game and more people fail than succeed?

Victim

The CFA is in the game

It is young and just getting started, but it has a PAC and organizes political lobbying days for its members on the Hill. The next CFA Day on the Hill is in February.

Some of its members have their own PACs and do their own lobbying on top of the CFA efforts. These are some of the strongest, best run independent franchisee associations in the country. Burger King, Pizza Hut, Subway, Dunkin Donuts, Hardees, Midas....

There are franchisees in the game. New to the game for sure, but in it to stay.

BTW--Excellent article, Richard. Spot on target.