La Quinta’s Backward Step

Recently La Quinta created a Brand Council to represent its franchisees and their concerns. This Council replaced the Franchise Advisory Council (FAC), which had consisted of seven franchisees and three executives from the La Quinta franchise department.

Stating that the FAC was not “as effective as it could be,” La Quinta arbitrarily eliminated the FAC and formed a Brand Council consisting of seven franchisees and eight officers from La Quinta (Chief Executive Officer, Chief Operations Officer, Chief Development Officer, EVP of Eastern Corporate Operations, EVP of Western Corporate Operations, VP of Franchise Administration and VP of Franchise Operations).

La Quinta justifies this important change by stating “The Brand Council is comprised of all constituencies within La Quinta, and serves as a forum to encourage an open exchange of ideas which are equally voiced and vetted.” But what happens when there is a difference of opinion regarding any important franchise issue? Does La Quinta think that its franchisees can’t count? Does La Quinta think that an “open exchange of ideas which are equally voiced and vetted” is the equivalent of a fair outcome? The 8 to 7 majority guarantees that the La Quinta management viewpoint will always prevail.

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