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Franchise Agreements

7-Eleven has one of the most controlling and intrusive Franchise Agreements under the sun.  There is almost nothing left of the "independent contractor" status that once existed.  I would like Don or another writer do an analysis of the benchmark cases in California which defined the parameters which define that status of "independent contractor" and the many ways SEI is violating those definitions.  It appears more and more that 7-Eleven Franchisees are under so much SEI control, that they are actually less independent than actual employees.  Also do a comparitive with other Franchises like Subway and KFC, etc.  I wonder if Franchisees are really seperated employees with increased liability exposure without benefits.

Thanks for listening.    Keep up the good work...

Area Franchisee for UPS Stores

Given to understand that Area Franchisee Operations survives on the royalty earned from the stores under it. How this can be profitable? What are the key challenges of this business?

Ideas for a business?

When starting a business it's hard to have a great unique idea of what kind of business to start cause it seems that all are in the market. I dont want to be stuck as an employee, I want to have a business of my own.

Does anyone have an advice?

General Release - Cold Stone

A 2nd generation franchisee is buying my store. Cold Stone has a General Release clause in the transfer document. But they are not ready to execute a mutual general release. What is the drawback if I transfer without a mutual general release? Only other option is to close the store. But this does not get me a general release either. Has anybody out there been able to get a general release from Cold Stone? Any help or suggestion will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Facts Weekly's picture

I am NOT a franchise ...

I want to make sure that it is ok for me to use the website/forums even though I dont fit the definition of a franchise. Many of the people that contact me are looking for a franchise opportunity so I typically have to explain the difference between what I offer and a how a franchise functions.

I enjoy your website and have used it in the past.  I decided it was time I make it official and sign up for an account.


Laws for Canadian Publicly Traded Companies

Can anyone tell me what are the governing laws for a Canadian Franchisor that is accepting money from franchisees under the table in order for them to become multi unit franchisees. These funds are above and beyond the monthly Royalties that are being collected?

Dunkin and K cups

What does everyone think of Dunkin Donuts selling K cups for Keurig machines for a comeptetitor (Green Mountain)?

Isn't that a problem? Does BK sell McDonalds fries?

Dunkin and K cups

What does everyone think of Dunkin Donuts selling K cups for Keurig machines for a comeptetitor (Green Mountain)?

Isn't that a problem? Does BK sell McDonalds fries?

Dunkin' Single Serve K-Cup

I think it's going to be a home run product once they open up all distribution channels. Although Dunkin is only going to offer the K-Cup thru participating f'ee stores only, it'll be a temporary test market until Dunkin lifts the exclusive arrangement for the optional K-Cup product.

I think Dunkin is going to be very happy with the new K-Cup sales.

Granville_Bean's picture

Zor v. Zee

K-Cup says: "I think Dunkin is going to be very happy with the new K-Cup sales."

Yup, I think so.  How could Dunkin give up such a market. 

Now as for how the Zees feel about this? Unless there is something in the FA that pertains, it doesn't much matter does it?  Or their Zee Assoc can try to negotiate a role. But Zees merely griping to each other won't change a thing.

Re: Dunkin and K cups

I think it's absolutely fine for Dunkin to offer Keurig K-Cups to the millions of consumers and offices that have Keurig Single Serve Systems. Especially since Dunkin locations can't serve this market.

Re: Dunkin and K cups

It is going to touch the franchise market. If I buy a box on 12 DK k-cup that mean I will go at least 12 times less to DK to get coffee I can get it at home. It has hurt the franchise.


My zor went public a few years ago and everything changed. They are now making huge profits while our margins go down consistently. How can a company just change the business model and get away with it?

Stratus of Nashville

Hi, I've run into a business selling cleaning franchises called Stratus. Do you have any background info from your own opinions?

Franchisee Defaults; Can I Get Paid?

I am a former franchise owner who sold the business. Part of the sale price was paid in cash at the time, and I financed the rest, to be paid back over time. The owner incorporated, and the promissory note was signed by the corporation. The new owner has defaulted on the loan, says he no money, and says that he will likely opt to file bankruptcy if I file suit or seek a judgment. I suspect this is the truth: He's broke, and the business has struggled in the three years he's had it. Because the loan is with the corporation, I can't go after the owner personally.

Any suggestions on how I might be able to get paid? The only asset the corporation probably has that has any value is the value of the turfs, the terretories the franchisor would resell if they returned to the franchisor. Virgin turfs in this system sell for $50,000 each; the owner has two of them. Do I have any leverage with the franchisor? Can I get a lien? What is my best approach?

Lesson to future sellers: Get your money up front, and get a personal guarantee!

Re Franchisee Defaults; Can I Get Paid?

Find a time machine and go back and get a personal guarantee or stop being cheap and foolish by looking for free advice when it's obvious you need an attorney to look carefully at your options and rights.

Food franchise

Fresh Healthy Vending products usually dictates that operators visit and restock,Fresh Vending machines have succeeded in a host of common areas across the country,Fresh Healthy Vending is committed to assisting locations across the US provide healthy snacks conveniently through state of the art vending systems.

Survival rates for non-franchise startups

Are there any recent, non-biased studies that indicate the multi-year survival rates for non-franchised startup businesses that provide either new products or new services within the "Green Economy"?

Looking for information for franchise Dixie Cream Donuts

Looking for information for franchise Dixie Cream Donuts. Having hard time finding solid data on this opportunity. Is there a web site that will provided free financial and realistic growth projections?

Granville_Bean's picture

ha ha ha

"Is there a web site that will provided free financial and realistic growth projections? "

Yeah right!

Status of Mrs Fields & TCBY

Hello, we are looking to buy a Mrs Fields/TCBY established store. I've read the stories about bankruptcy, etc. Can you tell me the current financial condition of this company and if we should take the leap with our retirement funds?

Thank you!

Franchise right to cap pricing

Is it legal for a franchisor to cap your pricing to what you sell your items for and then charge you extra for your goods to shrink your margin.They are calling it maximum price. When this went into effect we have lost an estimated 4% in food cost. Are food cost was 25% know it averages 29% to 30% depending on volume.

Granville_Bean's picture

Burger King

Wasn't this settled in the Burger King litigation?

Maximum Pricing is Legal

It may not be fair, you might not like it, but it is legal.

Franchise right to cap pricing

Is it legal for a franchisor to cap your pricing to what you sell your items for and then charge you extra for your goods to shrink your margin.They are calling it maximum price. When this went into effect we have lost an estimated 4% in food cost. Are food cost was 25% know it averages 29% to 30% depending on volume.

Opinions concerning Yoshinoya franchise opportunities

Hello all - I am interested in learning more about the "viability" of a small Japanese-oriented franchise fast food chain called "Yoshinoya." I am completely new to this site (and franchising generally) but, having lived in Japan for a few years, I am well aware of this restaurant and just recently learned of its franchise expansion inside the US.

I would be grateful for any information/guidance on how to properly evaluate this franchise as a potential investment. Thanks so much for any advice/thoughts/comments.

Naturals 2 Go Vending

Do you have any background information or success rate information Naturals 2 Go vending opportunities?  thanks

The Original Pancake House

I would appreciate any information (good or bad) about The Original Pancake House franchise. I am considering purchasing an existing operation.

Granville_Bean's picture

never heard of 'em

Never heard of 'em until you mentioned 'em.  Around for a while, not many units.  So - buying an existing location - WHAT DO THE NUMBERS LOOK LIKE.  Cuz that's what it's all about.

craters and freighters

Do you have any numbers on Craters and Freighters?

American in Europe

Hi Franny.

Really like your web page and articles. I am an international manager and business leader that have specialized in many areas of high tech. I would ultimately like to remain here in France. My concentration has been in Customer Support, BPO, and project management.

I would like to look into franchising but I must say I am overwhelmed with the options and the more I pull back the curtain the more it looks like a VERY high risk investment.

Would you or your community be able to help me evaluate the best/right path forward for myself? I need to understand how to find the right variables to make a sound decision.

Rob Baker

Golden openings

Have you ever heard of this company as far as franchisee goes?

Kumon Math & Reading Center

Any advice on owning and operating a Kumon Center?

Looking for franchisees in the UK and US Market

Dear Sir or Madam!

We are a publishing house situated in Austria and try to enter the UK market via franchising!
It would be great, if you can support us in this case and write about us in your blog.

Below find a kind of press release.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask me!

Austrian innovative business concept would like to enter the market of UK/ United States!

The Austrian publishing house novum publishing is since 13 in business and covers the whole German-speaking market, Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Since 2007 the publishing house is also situated in Hungary and since 2010 there is also a novum publishing branch in Spain. The next step in expansion is planned in the UK via franchising. The concept of the company is based on the fact that many authors cannot find traditional publishers, because these are snowed under with thousands of manuscripts and so most new authors are ignored. Therefore novum publishing offers a wide range of services beginning from the book design to the authors own marketing plan. It seems to be a very lucrative business. In the German speaking market about 3000 manuscripts per year are received. Out of them, about 600 new releases are generated each year. The publishing house also reacted on the ebook hype. Every released book will be also available as ebook. The big advantage of a franchisee would be that the most authors come into contact with the company via the internet. As a result no active acquisition is needed. The investment of a prospect franchisee would be between 75 000 and 125 000 euros. For this investment the franchisee gets a to his needs adapted ERP-System, content management system, training, franchise manual and also ongoing support. Interested persons can contact the franchise manager of the company directly via email:

Cruise One

Great Show last night “Behind the Counter”- I was interested in purchasing a Cruise One franchise and I wanted to know if there’s any addition information you might have on this company.

Franchise Disclosure Documents

I found Dunkin Donuts' 2008 Franchise Disclosure Document. Do you happen to have the 2010 or 2009 version? Your help would be really appreciated.

Thanks so much,

what can the franchise do

My franchise agreement just expired and I chose not to renew. I have sold the business and now the franchise is calling the store telling the new owner that they own the phone number and the new owner needs to disconnect the number or allow them to forward the number to another franchisee that is 4 miles from my old store. The new store owner is not part of the franchise and has changed the name and has no signage from the franchise. Can the franchise take the phone number or come after me to get the phone number from him? They have been calling the new owner and harassing him about it.

Granville_Bean's picture

so what

"My franchise agreement just expired and I chose not to renew. I have sold the business "

Ya sold the store, what do YOU care, why is it YOUR problem?

(You REALLY sold it, right?  Not just a fake sale to an affiliate so that you could keep going and get out of your franchise?

mapping software


Can you suggest some good mapping software programs for mapping territories in North America?


mapping software

Hi. DOes anyone know of some good software for mapping territories?

mapping software

Microsoft MapPoint North America is excellent for territory mapping.

Quiznos-Post Law suit


I'd like to ask after long hours of speaking to former owners of Quiznos and current owners of Quiznos & reviewing P&L, Balance sheets and Focus groups.  what is the recommedation of the community post law suit settelment.

I'm trying to look above the mud slinging and have found many positives and negatives to this Franchisor.

I feel at this point I need feed back from someone from the outside looking in on this Franchisor that's factual and principle on what they say and can be researched to agree or disagree with stated facts or Hypothesis.

Thanks and look forward to the dialog.

Disclosure Law

I bought a franchise  that utilizes an open territory system.  i am in the same kind of business as servpro which uses a closed system.  That means we can market our business any where includeing where another franchisee may be trying to run his/hers.  My problem is with disclosure.  someone else bought the same franchise as i about 6 months before.

I was never disclosed about this person before makeing my buying decision.  He was not listed in the FDD.

My question is were they supposed to disclose this to me.

  I would not have bought the business had i known this zee was so close to me.

Did they break any laws.  Do I have any legal recourse.

Thank you for any help you can provide.

Granville_Bean's picture

Did they break any laws. Do I have an legal recourse.

What does your lawyer say?  (That would be your franchise lawyer, not the guy who handled your house closing or your traffic ticket.)

Home Decor Franchise Woes

We have recently bought into a Home Decor franchise where it feels like we were given false information about the potential profits. Now that we are open, it seems like it is our fault for not advertising enough, not having the right product, not being team players, not taking out big enough loans, etc. Has anyone else bought into Real Deals on Home Decor with similar experiences?

What are our rights for re-couping our investment as the debt grows and the sales don't?

Reading through other posts, it sounds like all franchises can leave their franchisees with similar feelings and maybe we just didn't do enough due-diligence about our purchase.

Looking for help.

What happened

What came out of your situation?

Finally Out

Many, many, many years in the franchise. Most of the time belittled by Corporate because we would not follow all of the stupid rules. In all the years we were a part of the "family" we were visited only once onsite and that was to resign the contract. It was lucrative and fun at first, but then a box store moved in. It killed us over night. Same prices, same product, but able with their buying power to do sales every day. Did you hear that? Every day! When you are only open 2 days (or three now) people can't remember when you are open and not. Even our friends would shop at the box store because they knew it was open. Every time you would bring up competing with the box store they would say that if we would be nicer, more sales, advertise more etc.
Corporate would freak if you did not use their suggested prices. They were typically a 1.8 - 2.0. Mostly toward the lower. With this low of a margin you need to have huge traffic to make up the margin and take care of your overhead. In our first several years we did. Then the store moved in. Traffic went down + a low margin = debt!!!!. We resigned the contract as they promised big changes. Nothing. The "family" acts horrified if it was ever suggested that they were anything but angelic. I think they really do believe it. It is a bad franchise. That is the long and short of it. I wish I could leave my name and number to give credibility to all of this, but, when we left we had a nightmare with their idiot lawyer (they call him grandpa). Gloves come off if you leave the family and the real persona comes out. Call lot's of former franchisees. With luck you will get me - I will show you our books.
I can't call them dishonest because they really believe what they sale. They are closer to psychotic. You will know if what is coming out is crazy if they are smiling. You will know that you are dead if they are not!!!


You are not alone. Seems the Corporate Officers of Real Deals Home Decor based their statements to potential franchisees on their fanatical self-centered dreams, clearly not reality. They have about 5 "pet" stores who actually do a lot in sales. However, there is no mention of the amount of Debt these "pets" are incurring. After personally speaking to each of these franchisees and the lion share of the rest, I uncovered one consistent fact. Only ONE of those pet francisees even knows how to do a set of financials, and only Two of the (then) 60 even had! Yes, you heard me. After 6 months in business with my own RD store, while at "convention" I found that 96.6% (58 of 60) of the franchisees were not even completing or reporting their monthly financials and further, did not know how to and could not afford an accountant to do so - the heartbeat, if you will of their companies. None had any idea if they were making money or losing money. Not even 4 of the top 5 selling stores knew if they were spending more than they were making, but they know they were having to place new orders constantly. I was effectively stunned to learn that there is absolutley no possible way on Gods green earth that the corporate "Full Disclosure" financials could be anywhere in the realm of correct if 96.6 percent of the franchisees that make up that number do not even know how to complete and report monthly financials!!
In my experience, Full Disclosure was NOT. Seems a little illegal yes?
Then, there is the unspoken "1st Law" of Real Deals on Home Decor, which one finds out soon after morbid reality kicks in, and their money has flowed out to the Corporation. Real Deals Law #1 "If you can't say something nice...." A large portion of the franchisees seem highly intimidated by the 5 sisters and their puffy chested hubbies on this unspoken but blindly followed law. Absurd? Absolutely! Those (myself included) who question, disagree, show any degree of business or accounting acumin, common sense, affluence, or other characteristic of NOT being intimidated by the corporate crew are quickly thrown under the bus, kicked to the curb, and otherwise ostersized. Those who follow like zombies into the dark are rewarded regularly by corporate lip service, not substance. So guard your silverware and keep your bike locked up in the back yard lest you lose it to theives in the night!

Real Deals

I have been looking into opening a Real Deals out here in Michigan and have been pleased with what I've seen. In my research I came across this forum and was surprised to see such a negative perception of the business. I'd be interested to hear about the other aspects of the store, aside from the financial reporting. Have you sold it, or tried to sell it? I'm hoping that being out east will be a successful market. Do you have some advice on what to watch out for?

RD Home Decor Broke me too

Talk to current Real Deals on Home Décor Franchisees, Not Corporate. The franchisor could sell you a freshwater lake in the middle of the Indian Ocean. Talk to franchisees in your area. Good Luck getting any to be brutally honest. If you send emails to 10, or call 10, and all 10 don't get immediately back to you, take the hint.
Remember the Real Deals 1st Rule "If you can't say something nice...".
If you hear from a couple who talk it up, ask them where they are located exactly and invest in a trip to their store as a "customer", then be a fly on the wall. Shop. Look closely at product, sale or markdown prices, number of customers in the store, etc. You will see most likely, a friendly face behind the counter. That's part of the customer service any business should have. It is NOT indicative of a happy franchisee. It's indicative of a business trying as all should to drum up more business. That's just common sense in any business.
All I heard was positive from two franchisees and no return communcation from many more until I bought in. Then, up popped honesty behind cloaks of night in dark alleys. All seem terrified and tight lipped to be honest in daylight for fear of some imposed form of retribution from the franchisor. Many, Many, Many are currently losing their shirts, pants, kids college funds. If you decide to sell your store, that's a sign you are losing your life savings first of all! People making money don't sell their income.
Franchisees can only sell a store to a corporate approved buyer, and only for the amount or a percentage there-of of your inventory cost at time of sell. Don't think you can build a business and sell any blue sky. It's not allowed. Most vendor products are sub-par and difficult to sell even at RD price points.
Also, are you aware of the economy? Not a good time for anyone in the business of selling non-essential discretionary product. Take a walk through your own city or town. Are small businesses closing? Are the malls a little emptier? Are stores carrying less product than a year or two ago? These are all your signs. I bought mine before the economy crashed, and still couldn't give the product away. Wait, yes, that's how I turned most of it over. I gave it away. I did not intend to go into philanthropy.
Remember, you pay royalties on your gross sales, even if you are begging customers to buy product below your cost. This is not your cash cow. This is a dead dog.
Have you scouted available buildings and rent? Is this a business that you would put in the busiest mall in town? Next to Ross or Marshalls? You wouldn't be able to pay the rent. Is there a Ross, Marshalls, Wal-Mart, Target, Tuesday Mornings, Hobby Lobby or the like in your town? If so, walk away. You will not compete, even at Real Deals pricing. Are you 500 miles from any kind of home decor store? If so, maybe the 100,000+ surrounding population would love a decor store, so open your own- Don't buy a franchise. If you are in an area like that, you don't need a franchise to succeed. You just need to advertise!
Why don't you investigate by being a RD customer for a year 1st. Be a customer and watch the store traffic, amount of discounts being offered for product, the 50 Off racks, etc. If you consistently see unbelievably good sales deals as a customer, then that franchisee is in trouble. If you look around and the store isn't absolutely FULL of customers who are actually BUYING lots of items at FULL RETAIL PRICE regularly, with lines at the checkout, then that franchise is in trouble. If the only time you shop there, or anyone else actually shops there are during sale Events, that franchise is in trouble. Also, LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!!!!! Do Not believe any less will work. It will not.
No matter how they sell it, most of the "off the beaten retail path" franchisees are in deep trouble, which is all but 5 of them - give or take one or two.
Destination shopping is one more of the many RD concepts that have failed miserably. The first comment on this site about this franchise dated November of 2010 is from a RECENT buyer into the franchise. The comments made by them are all 100% true and I respond because that is exactly my experience too. That is the insult one gets if they aren't earning profit. It's all their own fault for all of the reasons that contributor stated, and more. Remember, the franchisor has absolutley NO risk if you buy in. Their only involvement is with your money flowing out to them for hanging their sign on your door. So hang your own sign on your door and follow your own heart and your own business sense, make your money, buy your product, and make or lose your money on your own, don't throw it out the window like we did. STUPID STUPID STUPID! Yes, Hind site is 20/20!
And by the way, The Financials IS THE BUSINESS!!!! LIFE OR DEATH. It Tells All, It IS THE HEARTBEAT. It’s the Single Most Important Part of -key word here- BUSINESS.
I WAS a team player. I did follow corp "suggested Orders", I did invest more than most of the other franchisees to start, I did follow the rules, and I got the same sad lip service and empty promises, and hollow communications lacking any degree of follow-up, just adding insult to injury. I did start to do whatever it took to Not lose my investment, including ignoring suggested orders for product I could not sell, EVER. I did spend a lot on advertising, but still the concept failed. If you do not get good solid advice, help, communication, and a Shared Risk etc. from the franchisor, beyond their weekly pulls directly from your checking account for their share, your franchise will fail. Again, GUARD YOUR SILVERWARE, LOCK UP YOUR BIKE IN THE BACK YARD, AND DO NOT THROW YOUR HARD EARNED MONEY INTO THESE PEOPLES POCKETS. It's a ONE-WAY ROAD, PERIOD! Most Real Deals franchisees who are still involved, are just hoping to get some of their life savings back.
Yes there are about 5 franchisees who, by appearances are doing OK. Have you calculated that percentage of the whole? That's just one of your risk factors. How confident are you that you will be one of them?
If you are still Hell-bent on this franchise because you've already bought the empty bill of goods, then all one can say is Good Luck, and I'm sure we'll see you on the flip-side, but here's to hoping we don't.

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About Franny

Franny's picture

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.