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Ask FrannyThis forum was created so that readers and members of Blue MauMau can post questions to Franny about issues of interest to small business and franchise owners. Franny sometimes invites world-class subject matter experts to answer tough questions

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Re: Quiznos Food Cost

Food costs are a function of set menu prices - but you knew that .......
Menu prices vary by areas of the country, and household incomes within the same area.
Q's FC can range between 26% to 33%.
If the corporate person will not give you an answer, I would consider it a red flag.

Quizno's food cost

I see thm closer to 34-36% as actual food cost, not theoretical f/c
So you have to include all coupons and waste and discounts.

Run Away, Run Far, Far Away From Quiznos

Forget about Quiznos - you're better off investing your 250k in a cd and taking a $10 an hour job at Walmart.

Don't believe me? Tricky Dick Emmett is Q's corporate attorney and he brags about being a franchisee, but NOT a Quiznos franchisee. He wouldn't touch Q with a 10 foot pole. He's invested in Papa John's. Why? Because the Papa John's business model makes sense and makes money for franchisees. Quiznos? If you're lucky you'll eek out a small salary. Unlucky? You'll end up filing a Chapter 7. And if you try to fight Q will hound you until you're broke; financially and emotionally. One poor man, Bob Baber, committed suicide because of Q's nasty tactics.

Quiznos Closing Left and Right

You should also ask about Quiznos' negative growth rate. The self-proclaimed "fastest growing QSR" has seen the number of open restaurants DECREASE by more than 10% so far this year. A net of 600 restaurants have closed. The major reasons are high costs, a predatory franchisor, and encroachment. Q purposely puts as many Q's into a busy area as possible, and if you do have a store doing well it'll be a matter of time before Q's start sprouting up all around you. Remember, Q doesn't care how you're doing. They make more from two stores surviving at $6,000 a week than one store doing $10,000 a week. And if you do your due diligence you'll find plenty of bitter current and former owners who saw profitable operations undercut by the pirates at Quiznos.

Quiznos not closing

With the 1.5 years that Greg Brenneman had to work his magic, the simplification of the system, the weekly voice mails, lowered food costs, introduction ofthe MAT marketing, and now the roll-out of the delivery program; how dare you say that Quiznos are closing!!! The only Quinzos that are closing are the bad operators who are not following the system.

Re: Quiznos not closing

You're being sarcastic, right? Surely you can't be serious. This has to be a joke.

Quiznos Are Closing

At the beginning of the year there were approximately 4600 restaurants. Today there are approximately 4000. That's a decrease of 600 stores.

And the bad operators in the Quiznos system are at corporate, starting with that second stringer, Brennenman and his lapdog Dino.

Forget About Quiznos

My advice is to find someone else to partner with. You can figure food cost at 33%+, add paper and you're at 35%. Then figure in your labor at a minimum of 25% unless you've decided this is a hobby. When you get done with the rent, the note, the delivery insurance, and the rest of your bills there's absolutely nothing left. Basically, when you've bought a Q you've bought yourself a minimum wage job with no way out.

In addition, the sucking noise you hear once you open your store is Quiznos taking every penny they can from you. The highest food cost for a major QSR - you're paying what a Mom and Pop pays for food on top of the 12% in royalties and add fees! The ads are terrible and there's no accountability. They force ship stuff you don't need and the food quality, once much superior to Subway, is now on a par with that chain. Finally, Q is trying to make the 5/7/9 mandatory and you can't make a PROFIT at that price, no matter what part of he country you are in. Only Q makes money, on the food sales and vendor kickbacks, as well as your weekly royalty check.

What you should be looking for is a franchisor that will give you all the important information up front. The fact that Q does NOT should be a major RED flag. The system should have food and ad co-ops, own at least 10% of the open stores/restaurants, and should have a stellar reputation.

Finally, Quiznos drove a man named Bob Baber to suicide a couple of years ago - by destroying him financially and emotionally. The leopard hasn't changed its spots.

Q Food costs

You are looking at about 31% to 33%. You first need to do your due diligence and talk to other Quiznos owners about food costs and all other issues.

Quiznos Food Cost

Thank you for your response. It appears that most responses were from people that have, or know someone that has, had a less than stellar experience with Quiznos. The food cost seems a little high, especially in light of the fairly large fees associated with being a franchisee.

I currently own a small private label restaurant that runs around 28%, and that number includes my paper goods etc. Quiznos doesn't sound all that attractive, I suppose, considering the changes they have been going through, unless the store is around $9500 a week.

Q Has Lost Its Way

And don't forget originality, or lack there of. The latest Quznos rollout is.....Meatball Subs. Yes, the same sandwich that was dropped last year because of low sales is back. There has been no complaints that we dropped it, no demand for the meatball sub, every other sub shop has one, and that's what our big "Event" is. And at Q's "recommended price" the food price of this loser comes in at 37%.

What happened to original recipes, the finest ingredients, and a decent profit margin for franchisees? Why do we even have a "chef" on the payroll. I guess "chef" zach was too busy creating new peanut butter and jelly sandwiches again. Quiznos has lost its way.

Quiznos Executive Staff Wandering Around Aimlessly

Quote "We've assembled the finest executive team in the QSR indurstry"

Yeah right. Failed delivery program, stores closing right and left, high food cost, lousy advertising program, and the list goes on. Oh I forgot about the goal of simplified operations, lower food costs and an extra profit of $10,000 for each Quiznos location.

Under Q's Thumb

Why would an operator who runs a private label restaurant and makes decisions on everything concerning decor, the menu, food quality, costs, and ambience want to defer those decisions to a group of incompetents that has overseen a drop of open Quiznos restaurants by more than 10% in the past 8 months? And how will you react when the intimadators at Q tell you you have to sell a sandwich at 40% food cost whether you want to or not? You won't like it but that agreement you signed says you'll do it and like it..and if you don't they'll make your life a living hell with no way out except selling for pennies on the dollar.

Good Operators Undercut By Quiznos

And don't kid yourself about how bad these failed operators are. Running a restaurant isn't rocket science - it comes down to food quality, location, cost, and competition. When you partner with a chain that takes kickbacks from strip mall operators your location stinks. When your franchisor makes more money from food sales and vendor kickbacks than from royalty payments then your profits are non-existant and encroachment leaves you competing against other Q's for customers. When food quality is cut significantly and your food costs continue to stay in the low to mid 30's you're squeezed and financially crippled. Eventually someone goes broke and closes. The franchisees are smart enough to succeed in life and put together the financing to open the Quiznos. The reason they close is Quiznos - a rotten organization filled with thieves and scum.

Expect Other Q's To Pop Up

all around you if your store does $10,000 a week. There's no guaranteed territory and Q has no qualms about putting stores within a mile or two of each other.

Do a google search on "Quiznos problems" or an internal search on Google here on Blue Mau Mau. If you do you'll stay far, far away from the "Fastest Closing QSR".

Re: Expect Other Q's To Pop Up

Yes, that happened to me - except there were TWO stores opened, each within a half mile of my location.
Fast forward 3 years, and both of them shut down (no buyers!)
They played the last man standing game.
I am still standing, but have a lot of wounds on my financials.

Hiring Ex-Franchisees

to sell franchises. In the UFOC/FDD it is required to list the last five years of employment for a Franchise Sales Agent. But what if the person was a past franchisee, that is listed on the 2007 & 2008 UFOC/FDD as a sales agent and owned a franchise that closed in 2000? Even though it has been past the 5 year - should that information still be disclosed to prospective franchisees considering the fact that this person went financially under? It is also (yes hearsey) known that this person told franchisees that they would be "successful" in high rent store front locations. In addition, this same person was an employee of the fanchise even before 2007 but there is not UFOC documentation other then possibly newsletters and so forth.

Bottom line, could this be a start of proving misrepresentation of the franchise?

Thank you.

Re: Hiring Ex-Franchisees

No it would not be required as a salesman disclosure under the circumstances you've described.   

The Truth Shall Set You Free!


Franchisor for sale

DOes anyone know of any franchise systems (franchisor) that may be for sale? I am looking to acquire a franchisor of a good franchise system through my private equity firm.

franchisor for sale

There is a publicly traded company called Itex that is looking for a potential buyer. They have 90 offices and are the leading corporate barter system in the country.

Darnelle White's picture

Lists of Troubled Franchisors that Franchisees Watch

This is a site that targets and is a news source for franchise owners so your question is probably best answered by trade journals that target franchisors, such as Franchise Times. There's also an online publication in New Zealand called Franchise-Chat in which a local professor has specialized in franchising issues. He likes to write articles about American franchise practices and has guests write on franchisor issues. Those are the places with the audience you want. My own view is that the articles in those publications are VERY watered-down so ironically you may have to end up getting information from this franchisee site.

There are two potential sources for franchisor acquisition. One is a beginning franchise system. These are typically businesses that have been around for a while. These small systems have started to franchise but have stagnated because of a lack of understanding. These systems need know-how to correct their course and capital. Franchise consultants like the Bibby Group, iFranchising, Franchise Architect, Michael Seid, FranCorp and others probably hear of these problem chains on a regular basis because they sometimes are approached by these small systems to get fixed. I have seen some of these franchise consultants post here so maybe they'll pick up on your question and answer you.

There are also large franchise systems on the verge of bankruptcy in need of capital and new management. Here is a list of those bankrupt and distressed systems in Blue MauMau's buying tools area. Mrs. Fields brand just announced Chapter 11 bankruptcy because of their inability to pay their debts. Bennigan's franchisees are trying to buy back company-owned restaurants, all have filed chapter 7. And then there's the NexCen mess who are selling brands and are desperate for capital.

Can you post what you've found so far as lists of franchise systems that are good candidates to be acquired? Let's see if I can add to it. Other members might have something to add as well.

Franchise control over web site publication

Here's a potentially stupid question:

I'm a present franchise owner (in CA)

The only things in my Franchise Agreement covering the internet/web sites states:

Section 5.2: You may not use any Mark, any derivatives of the Marks or similar mark (1) as part of any corporate or legal business name, (2) with any prefix, suffix, or other modifying words, terms, designs, or symbols (other than logos we have licensed to you), (3) in selling any unauthorized services or products, (4) as part of any domain name, homepage, electronic address, or otherwise in connection with a Website, or (5) in any other manner we have not expressly authorized in writing.

Section 9.3: Your local advertising and promotion must follow our guidelines, which may include, among other things, requirements for, or restrictions regarding, the use of the Marks and notices of our Website's domain name in the manner we designate. You may not develop, maintain, or authorize, without our prior written approval, any Website that mentions or describes you or the Franchised Business or displays any of the Marks. You agree that your advertising, promotion, and marketing will be completely clear, factual, and not misleading and conform to both the highest standards of ethical advertising and marketing and the advertising and marketing policies that we prescribe from time to time. You may use direct advertising only directed to customers located within your Territory. We may specify third parties that you must use for the design and development of your local advertising; however you will be required to pay those third parties directly without any offset to your required local expenditure requirements.

The franchise operates a web site, but this site does nothing except talk about the services offered - basically your typical BUY ME site.

I perform a lot of volunteering, also charitable sponsorship and free of charge educational work for the community. Besides being able to show this (past and future), I'd also like to have a forum where others in the same service community can share their knowledge and experiences, and those in our customer base can also provide feedback/comments.

I'm being told I cannot operate any web site involved in any way with the service sector in question, even if said franchisor marks are not used or my involvement in said franchise is mentioned.

Is this worth fighting? i.e. winnable dispute

This is only the latest example of this franchisor's fascist methods; perhaps I am overly sensitive but I am wondering if this is a typical franchisor behavior as well?

Granville_Bean's picture

you signed it?

So you agreed to this and now you don't like it?

Does seem kinda overbroad.

But it is part of an agreement you signed?

Signed agreement

Sure, I did sign the agreement.

Note I have zero desire to take control over said Franchisor's trademarks.

I just think there is a huge difference between protecting a trademark and preventing a franchisee from posting pictures and blogging about charitable activities.

Rather than give me a guideline on acceptable practices in so doing, the franchise is taking their normal route of saying no.

But I didn't fall of the banana truck yesterday; the language of the agreement is both overly broad and also only covers their trademarks.

If need be I'm perfectly happy to NOT let them reap the benefits of my work.

Granville_Bean's picture

but you will portray yourself as a franchisee?

It sounded like you were going to identify yourself as a franchisee.  If that is not what you meant then I misunderstood you.  They would have an interest in that.  Perhaps a franchisee was going to come out big either for or against gay marriage as their charitable activity, and they wanted to stay away from such a polarizing subject.  It is easier for them to "just say no" than pick and choose among which causes they will approve of its franchisees not only engaging in BUT PUBLICIZING.

Does your "system" have.its own in-house charities as some do?  (For example, Ronald McDonald House.)   Do they have an "official" interweb format for franchisees to participate in, as some do?  If they did, I'd think they'd have a better excuse for saying "use our system or else" (IF IF IF someone wanted to portray themselves as say Dunkin's of Sprinfield, Joe Smith OIperator, rather than just "Joe Smith".).

Franchisor protection of their trademarks

I understand and agree with the need for the franchisor to protect their marks - your example is perfectly understandable and reasonable.

However, what I had asked to do (and be given guidelines to follow) was simply to ask how I could for example post a calendar of upcoming events (charitable and otherwise) I would be participating in. Post pictures from said events. Host a forum where questions in the field I am in could be answered.

For me to be clear that all pictures, support, Q & A, or whatever is strictly personal and not a reflection of the franchisor is something I'm perfectly happy to do.

Even to keep all mention of said frachise marks out, is something I'm perfectly happy to do.

But to say a) You can't have your own website or b) You can't post what you do on the Internet because your activities are in the same ballpark as the franchise seems ridiculously restrictive.

That said franchise isn't doing diddly squat on the Internet is a secondary issue.

michael webster's picture

Excellent Question

On the contrary, it is an excellent question and will be the subject of much future litigation.

I am not going to give you legal advice because you need to have an attorney look at the entire Agreement and FDD. The parts you have cut and paste are in your favour, but so what -- you need a full review.

Get some other like minded franchisees together and pay for review of your contract, a plan, and counter-plan with respect to online advertising. 

But, I am a big fan of doing and say sorry, rather than asking permission. 

Email if you want more information. 

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

"Franchisr sues

Franchisee for helping the community" is a headline that jus ain't gunna happen.

More information

Mr. Webster,

Thank you for your opinion.

I am in the process of seeking out a lawyer with some expertise in California franchise law.

If you know of someone - please by all means let me know.

I am not seeking to overturn the agreement; what I want to do is to get a clear understanding of what I am and am not entitled to do from the existing language, then get a written guideline to follow so that I will not violate said agreement, and finally a letter to the franchisor stating what has been done and why to forestall any more stupid nonsense. With, of course, the intent to be able to both publish on the Internet AND protect said franchise's trademarks.

Paul Steinberg's picture

Cali zee atty

Lagarias is out on the left coast. Litigator, and also a scholar.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

michael webster's picture

good choice

I recommend Paul's choice of Peter Lagarias, also.

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Paul Steinberg's picture

Overbroad lawyering

Guest quoting the UFOC: You may not develop, maintain, or authorize, without our prior written approval, any Website that mentions or describes you or the Franchised Business or displays any of the Marks.

By the language of the UFOC, if you set up a page on Facebook or a family website to share photos of your trips to Disneyworld you are in violation of your franchise agreement. And when your wife gives birth, be sure to get the franchisor's written permission before your college posts a "New Arrivals" news item on the alumni website or you could get sued by your franchisor.

If you want to have some fun, send your franchisor certified letters before each post you make on any website. And be sure to send them those 870 pictures of your little bundle of joy; I would make each photo a separate request.

...And lawyers and franchisors wonder why their franchisees regard them as a-holes...


Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

michael webster's picture


Actually, Paul the quote doesn't dispose of the question that the guest asked.

Michael Webster PhD LLB
Franchise News

Paul Steinberg's picture

Overbroad fascists

OK, yes, many franchisors are overbroad fascists.

But they don't have the same standards as Il Duce; at least he got the trains to run on time, and this new bunch of wanna-bees can't even accomplish a good traffic cone prank...though a $27M loan scam would be an impressive endeavor.

Almost makes me wish I'd been alive back in the ancient days of Solomon, when big tail fins ruled the roads and Minnie Pearl Chicken franchises were selling like hotcakes.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

RichardSolomon's picture

Those were wonderful days, Paul

Mouton Riothchild, vintage 1970, was $ 250 a CASE. Ducru Beaucaillou, vintage 1959 - a wonderful year, was $ 540 a case in 1976 when a buddy of mine and I bought the entire inventory of it in the city of Detroit - a sleeper on a restaurant wine list that was dying to get rid of it.

A birthday dinner for 30 at Mario Lelli's great restaurant in Detroit, with great wines, was only about $ 2,500, including the  tip.

The magnificent home my ex wife now lives in cost us $ 135,000 - current value about  $ 1,300,000.

My bar tab at the IFA May Legal Symposium where I was the speaker on franchise litigation and walked out of the room with over $ 3,000,000 in new business was only about $ 12,000 - Marriott Hotel as I recall. (Circa 1982 or 83)

Don Sniegowski was in Jr High School.

You were ????--

Richard Solomon,,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School


Anyone familar with the KaBloom flower franchises?

Re: KaBloom

have worked for the franchise for several years and watch as each store slowly looses its clientele and quality designers due to lack fo sales. have since joined another franchise long established for over the past 15 years..was told that kablooms as it is was crated is no longer really a franchise in any standing..and its franchise operator larry flaherty also leaving makes the final stamp of disapproval on it this past march....a dying franchise and borderline below par florist at best..


Does anyone have any information regarding getting released from Curves? I am a franchisee in good standing, and have contacted my area director to start the process, but she will not give me any additional information, just that releases are handled on a case by case basis. She gave me an email address without a contact name. I sent an email but have not gotten a response.

cleaning franshise

I am looking at vangaurdcleaning franshise I need to know is it a good one or not is it worth investing 10000$ and hope that I well some money back I looking for an advice thank you

franchise due diligence

I am looking at purchasing a franchise (EWS). Where do I go to find truthful information?

RichardSolomon's picture

Go to www,

Great pre investment due diligence - expect to pay about $ 2,500 for vetting one deal, or $ 5,000 for many deals over a six month period.

Richard Solomon,,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

FDD (FOC) wording

When disclosing litigation in the FDD companies (i.e. MBE/UPS) dismiss the litigation saying things like they intend to "vigorously defend themselves". But, they tend to try to settle and bury the litigation.

Can they be held accountable for their own wording in the FDD (or FOC)? Are they not misrepresenting the fact that they think they are innocent, by stating thay they intend to defend themselves?


Does anyone have a mailing address for FranSynergy in Alabama?

Tinker knows

You could ask Tinker to serve the lawsuit papers on FranSynergy. She would do it for free.


I'm trying to serve them with legal papers--I need to contact regarding money that Specialty Coffee Coop owes my company. I have a phone number but no address.


FranSynergy suit

Typical Cuppy's victim.

Too cheap to pay a process server.

Boomer businesses?

As a baby boomer, no, I'm looking to start a business to work in until I retire in six years and maybe beyond. Any one out there doing this? If so can we talk?

Dry Cleaners

What is your opinion on the dry cleaning business...good and bad. As well as what things should I watch for as I begin my due diligence process?

Paul Steinberg's picture

Dry clean lease

Watch out for your property lease. Some leases and some zoning regs used to restrict dry cleaners because of the fumes and chemicals. My understanding is that the chemicals have changed, but you may still have the restrictions in place. You don't want to waste a lot of time if you can't operate a dry cleaners in the site you picked.

Paul Steinberg
Franchisee Attorney, New York City, Ph: 212-529-5400

Dry Clean

Paul...thanks for the information!

What sort of margins are typical (EBITDA) are typical for a dry cleaner?

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About Franny

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Public Profile

Franny is a columnist for Blue MauMau who answers questions about running and owning a franchised business establishment. Those who have questions can post them under the Ask Franny forum. Readers may comment on the questions there. If the post is answered by Franny, it will be featured on the frontpage of Blue MauMau under the "Ask Franny" column. Franny sometimes invites Subject Matter Experts to answer. Please do not mention your franchisor, vendor or your own firm's name in your question.