This seems like a great franchise. However I've heard whispers of bad things about them, but nothing specific. Anyone got any info, good or bad, to share about this franchise. I'm going down to Orlando in two weeks for discovery day and would appreciate any info.
Editor's Note (Nov 5, 2009): Below is an official response to comments made in this public forum about FiltaFry from Jason Sayers, President of FiltaFry. Mr. Sayers, who has registered on Blue MauMau and posts under his real name, contacted me by phone to introduce himself and emailed me the posting below from a Filta domain name. I have decided to re-post his remark here in the forum description area. - Don Sniegowski
Having watched this blog from the sidelines, we thought it was time to post. We don’t normally post in such forums, we have a business to run, but we felt it right to do so in this case.
Believe it or not, we are actually fans of Bluemaumau. The fact that people can post and give their views is a good thing. However, a few people who are intent on discrediting Filta have corrupted what is a good idea for a forum.
We have been in business for 15 years and operate in 26 countries around the world, either via franchised or company owned operations. The FiltaFry service was launched in the USA 7 years ago and has been received extremely well from Franchise Owners and Customers alike.
The FiltaFry service is provided to over 5,000 restaurants every week, week in, week out. We have literally hundreds of endorsement letters from current customers, both independent and large corporate names, who love the service… and no we don’t pay customers for them.
Yes we have Franchise Owners who have failed. Many that do leave the system which many see as failures are unfortunately through life circumstances such as illness, divorce, spouse moving job etc. We are not immune to everyday life occurrences. The general perception that any franchise is the ticket to success is incorrect. In business, the owner has to have the right idea, work hard and have the drive and commitment (especially in the early years) to succeed. Franchising provides the right idea for people and a proven framework and systems to help them succeed. What it cannot do is turn somebody into a success. It can only help.
We put the train firmly on the tracks and show initially and on-going all our franchisees how to be a successful driver. Unfortunately in reality, the responsibility and dedication needed to be a driver every day is too much for some and they slip back to sitting in the carriage as a passenger and the train has no driver – it is going to crash.
Speak with any franchisor and you will hear the 25/50/25 rule (or a derivative of it).
- That is 25% of the network are stars. These Franchisees expand their business, bring new ideas to the table and generally help the whole brand move forward.
- There are 25% of the network that are unhappy, cannot see how to achieve success, do not want to be in business, and will do anything to show that it isn’t their fault.
- The remaining 50%, in the middle, are the Franchises who earn a good living, listen to advice, try and improve their businesses and should improve their skills along the way to become good business people.
Yes, we take some of the responsibility for the poorer performing Franchisees. We should have screened them harder to begin with and not accepted them into the system. During the height of the economic boom it was easy to pick up business everywhere. Even those Franchisees without any drive couldn’t help but fall over business. In this bubble of success we, like many franchisors, dropped our guard and took people we shouldn’t have.
However, this doesn’t mean that the business doesn’t work or that most of our Franchisees aren’t driving ahead, expanding, purchasing more territories, adding vans, taking on staff and generally performing profitably.
Bear in mind that every Filta franchisee attends the same four week training program, has the same initial and on-going support and has a good territory full of potential customers. And yes, it is hard work. Why then do some not grow while others take-off? Every franchisee has the same training and support, the same everything. There is only one common denominator for failure in our business - the individual.
In the last month alone, we have had 4 Franchise Owners renew their Franchise Agreements for additonal 5 years terms. That surely demonstrates the success of this business.
Many franchisors get blasted on blogs such as this. Unfortunately that’s life. The good Franchise Owners get on with building their businesses’ and don’t have time to visit these sites (I don’t suggest they divert their attentions), while the unsuccessful ones sit and home and spend time blogging and blaming instead of putting the time into building theirs.
I will answer some of the questions and comments posted on this site.
Yes we have had staff changes. What business hasn’t? Every business employs people and at some stage lets them go for one reason or another. Do all our Franchisees keep all the same employees for ever? We have a number of staff who have been with us in the USA for over 5 years and we have let staff go after only a year or two. That is business.
As with any organization, some ex-staff members remain bitter and feel wronged particularly when the unemployment levels are so high. Everyone is entitled to his opinion but postings on this site, from one person in particular, are simply aimed at smearing our business. This has been pretty obvious given the postings that refer to us giving him money and he’ll stop posting.
Some of the shareholders from The Filta Group invested into, and helped run, a biodiesel business called Xenerga in 2007. Crude Oil prices had been fairly stable but rose from $60 to $96 per barrel during 2007 leading to greater interest in alternative fuels. By July 2008 the price of crude oil had rocketed to $145 per barrel. The business took off with several plants producing and selling quality fuel.
However in just five short months, in late 2008, oil took its biggest drop in history to $37 per barrel. This, coupled with the financial crisis taking firm hold, left the vast majority of the biodiesel plants in the USA facing closure. There are thousands of press articles showing this. Unfortunately, in 2009, Xenerga was a casualty of this, when two of its three plants closed due to the market conditions.
There still appears to be little light at the end of the tunnel for biodiesel but we hope that market conditions improve one day for the many people who shared our vision and remain in the industry today.
In the 15 years of operating the FiltaFry business, the company has only ever had 3 law suits brought by Franchisees. Yes, that’s 3 in 15 years. Not bad for any franchise organization, especially in this highly litigious country. All of these have been in the USA and all during the current recession. I recently read an article that legal cases in general had quadrupled since the recession began, people trying to get money from anywhere.
In the US system, any party can bring a civil case another party claiming anything at all. Until it is resolved, the claim remains.
One of these is a countersuit from a franchise owner who, after not being allowed to renew his Franchise Agreement, continued to trade, affecting neighboring franchisees and the brand. It is Filta’s responsibility to protect its existing Franchisees. Therefore in 2008 Filta filed suit so stop the ex-franchisee trading. The Filta Group won the legal case for the return of the equipment. He continued to trade. The judge ordered the ex-franchisee to return the additonal machine he possessed. Still he continues to trade. If this ex-franchisee, who posts as sledman, thinks the business is so bad, then why continue to trade? You will always get these people.
Another was only in business for a few weeks before he quit. Not exactly demonstrating the commitment mentioned above.
We are happy to discuss any outstanding legal matters directly with people. We will not discuss them on an open forum.
Yes, we have had two versions of the machine in the USA in the last 6 years. This is called ‘improvement’. All of those Franchisees who follow the operations manual do not have any issues with the machine. Do things go wrong with it? yes… it’s a machine. Purchase a BMW or Mercedes and it will go wrong one day. However, we have technical support on hand to assist any problems there may be.
Claims on this site about hole sizes and pressures are utter nonsense and are designed to simply smear. Our machines work fine.
We have used the same filter design for the past 15 years. The filters are made from paper and, as a natural product, paper quality can vary. We had a couple of bad batches last year from our manufacturer. Even then, the failure rate was only 20% and all defective filters were replaced to the Franchisees free of charge.
We have overcome any performance issues that arose and now have 3 different suppliers for our filters.
The supplier of our machines in the UK, Cardev, did declare bankruptcy in 2009. Like most manufacturing companies, it struggled in the recession. A new UK company, with the same owners and still trading under the Cardev brand, purchased all the assets of the business (including the FiltaFry equipment), and continues to provide excellent service to The Filta Group. In fact, 30 new machines and currently en-route to the USA as I write. The UK supplier continues to be one of the three cartridge suppliers to The Filta Group.
In addition we always ensure that we have a fall back stock situation for any short term eventuality.
It has been suggested on this site that FiltaFry doesn’t work and that FiltaCool was introduced to prop it up. Somebody then suggested the FiltaCool doesn’t work. Neither could be further from the truth.
Not many companies are with a customer once a week for a good period of time. FiltaFry franchisees have a massively unique strong relationship with their customers. This is called a Customer Base. Customer Bases are very valuable. It was always our aim to maximize our relationship with these customers and provide other environmentally friendly products and services.
FiltaCool is a product that fits this niche perfectly. It solves a problem that kitchens have with their walk-in coolers, it saves the customers money and it takes just 5 minutes to service once every 3 months. The markup for the Franchisee on this product is 400%. This is a winning product.
There is a rival franchise out there that sells franchises to sell this product. That franchise alone costs $70,000. We offer this as part of our Filta franchise.
We have several more products and services that are due to be introduced through our Franchise network in 2010. This again is improving the business for Franchisees. Customer Base is valuable.
As a company, we are an easy target for anybody to post garbage. The only people who have actually posted their names on this site are existing Franchise Owners who post in defense of the slanderous remarks posted by Guest or Guest 2.
I notice that not one of our detractors on this site actually post in their real names. If you have truthful information to post, then you have nothing to fear from posting in your real names. Have the guts to post in your real names or simply do not post at all. The information you currently give is factually incorrect, simply designed to smear, and oftentimes slanderous.
Viewers of this blog should not take anything written seriously unless there is a real name given. If they claim to be a current or ex-franchisee, and don’t appear in the FDD, then they are not.
It is our policy not to comment on postings that do not have a real name behind them.
I see an outdated copy of a link to an FDD on this site. If anyone is interested in this business, they should speak directly with us, attend a discovery day, receive an up-to-date FDD, and call the network for validation.
I would like to finish this posting with a saying that we have written on the wall in our offices “Do the right thing”. We will never always get decisions right. However, all of our staff try to “do the right thing” when making decisions every day.
President, The Filta Group, Inc.
Anyone know anything about Filta Fry?
Re: Check out this
I have been involved with more than one franchisor. My advice would be this: The one step you should not skip is contacting as many of the existing franchisees as possible. See if they all lack the vision to carry out multi-van operations as you have been told.
Contact as many franchisees as you can and ask them
if they were able to achieve the results that you project.
Ask them what hours do you work?
How many billable hours a week are achievable?
What problems do you have?
Do you see oppportunity to expand?
What is the average period of time your customers stay with you? How often do customers cancel?
I am scheduled to go to discovery day in Orlando on Jan 8th. Talked to corporate asked a ton of questions, liked what I heard. Read all thier material, watched the DVD. This franchise meets a lot of my criteria when screening potential business opportunities.
Flexible hours, no weekend working (for me at least).I want to work 8-5 or get to that point within first year.
I must make/take home $100,000 per year and be able to grow this figure.
limited competition and as a bonus, exclusive territory.
This business is affordable and it's somthing I know I could do well.
It's not the most glamorous business, but I know I can do it, and the money potential is there.
Then I go to franchiseforum.com and see some negative comments on FiltaFry, but "callum" username- removed a very significant thread, I guess of a bunch of negative comments, on FiltaFry so I can't tell what the negative issues are with FiltaFry. This guy Michael Webster knows what it was all about and I've tracked him to this site. I need to get a hold of him to ask him what all the fuss is about FiltaFry.
I was gung ho about FiltaFry until now. So PLEASE, can somone tell me why a should think twice about Filta Fry? Michael Webster...please tell me whats so bad about Filta Fry?
The discussion at franchise chat focussed on the difference between the sales materials and what the reality of the business was.
If you have the FDD, send it and I will try to re-create the discussion making observations about the current sales material and FDD.
But the overall thrust was that many people doubted the implicit earnings projections being made by Filta Fry, doubted the business model made sense for franchising. It was more of a two men and truck operation. That is my recollection.
Michael Webster, a franchisee attorney in Toronto, Ontario, publishes a website on business opportunities and franchises called "The BizOp News"
If anyone else has info on Filta Fry, I'm all ears!
Thank you Michael for your response.
I get the FDD on Jan 8th when I visit corporate. I'll be happy to forward it to you when I get it.
I do know they are evolving their business model because they haven't been completely happy with the complacency of many of their franchisees. Filta Fry blames themselves, because they have awarded territories to franchisees with "man in a van" type mind sets and haven't been able to get them to grow the business further when the potential is there to grow plenty. So, they are telling these type operators, o.k. if you won't grow the business to its potential we are going to put another franchisee in your territory to accomplish that growth potential. I'm sure this is causing quite a stir for such franchisees. But, I can see their point.
So they are now screening applicants for more business/entrepeneur minded individuals. Makes sense.
Numbers: They say 1 van can service 30 to 40 accounts twice a week and then it's time to add another van and so on and so on. The service revenue is approx. $62 per visit. So,best case scenario revenue,per van, is 40 accounts X 2 visits per week X $62 per visit = $4,960 per week. Lets say, in reality, you can only do half that. That's $2,480 per week X 50 weeks a year = $124,000 per year. Let's also say expenses are $60,000 per year. That's $64,000 per year net income per van. I think there is potential here for business minded person to do quite well, especially when there is minimal competition. I don't know any outfit doing this except Filta Fry.
This is all very preliminary analysis of course, but if 20 accounts is sustainable, the model works for me.
As I get more info on the franchisor, costs & fees, I'll develop a more detailed pro forma and post it here.
"Numbers: They say 1 van can service 30 to 40 accounts twice a week and then it's time to add another van and so on and so on. The service revenue is approx. $62 per visit. So,best case scenario revenue,per van, is 40 accounts X 2 visits per week X $62 per visit = $4,960 per week. Lets say, in reality, you can only do half that. That's $2,480 per week X 50 weeks a year = $124,000 per year. Let's also say expenses are $60,000 per year. That's $64,000 per year net income per van. I think there is potential here for business minded person to do quite well, especially when there is minimal competition. I don't know any outfit doing this except Filta Fry."
Make sure that this exact representation is in the earnings claims section of the FDD. Don't take no for an answer, if you are relying upon this representation.
Michael Webster, a franchisee attorney in Toronto, Ontario, publishes a website on business opportunities and franchises called "The BizOp News"
I am also looking into the franchise. Now if a service call takes about 1 hour and you are going to service 40 accounts twice a week, you are looking at a 80 hour work week....not counting travel time, lunch breaks etc. So the $124,000 per year figure is only realistic if you want to work at least 16 hours a day (more like 20). Solution is to have two people working the business but then your pay is cut in half. Also I have worked in many a kitchens - you will have to work around their business hours so a 9-5 day is not realistic, in my view.
Being a jorneyman chef, the product does sound quite good and is needed in the industry - if it works. The claims that they make regarding oil break down, odor, etc etc is correct. We always cleaned our oil basically through a big coffee filter...seemed to work quite well.
Has anyone ever actually done any scientific research to see if their method prolongs the oil life, or does it just make it look nice and clear??
Hmmmm.....do I continue on with this venture....??
filta due diligence
I am at the same point where you were when you posted your comments. I've been to discovery day and doing the financial projections. Have you gone forward? I mostly agree with your analysis of the business.
Bets thing to do is to have an attorney look over your franchise agreement and make sure you don't agree to anything unreasonable that will leave you hanging from a tree. You must be able to have have some recourse should the franchisor defaults as well! Example, lack of support, which I have heard they can be guilty of. Any good business deal boils down to the contract you sign.
they ripped me off big time
I was a filtafry franchisee in uk
they tell you what you want to hear just to get your hard earned cash from you, then after that they never give you support,
The head of filtafry in uk ROSCO is a PRICK he makes out that he started this filta fry off years ago, infact he bought it from Mr Victor Clewes, who as far as i am aware he the CEO of FiltaFry USA.
Mr Clewes is a Great Man!!!!
It is a shame he went over the pond to the USA, Thats when it all went wrong!!!!!!
FEB 2009 FiltaFry uk HAS LOST THEIR LARGEST ACCOUNT "MOTO" Shame ha ha ha ha Good luck rosco You wanker!!!!!!
HE WHO DARES WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Victor Clewes - LOL
You can have Victor Clewes BACK !
I could speak volumes on the subject of FiltaFry, but won't !
Be VERY VERY VERY cautious, in looking at this business.
Re: Victor Clewes - LOL
We all should start a association and bring filtafry DOWN!!!!!!
Why not start an association for looser franchisees that never got off their backsides and ruined a good business. Then they perpetuate their shame by writting slanderouse drivel on these types of sites to try and mitigate their utter and total inability to be succesfull in anything they do, including probabley their personal lives. As a hard working succesful franchisee I don't want to be associated with these morons.
Well I left filtafry, And set up on my own, 4 years on I have a very sucsessful business, and will be starting a franchise very soon,
I glad to see people like you are still in filtafry..... makes my life very easy
Re: Ex Franchisees
Been drinking the kool aid eh?
I am going there as well to Orlando for Discovery Day. Would also like to know if anyone has any legitimate complaints about this franchisor?
Jan 8-filta fry discovery day.
I'll be there on the 8th, staying at the double tree. It would be nice to meet up maybe Wed. evening and swap "spit" as it were. You can bet I will hire a franchise attorney to look over the FDD and contract, should I pursue the business that far.
But, so far, as long as you don't mind dealing in hot grease the business model seems viable. I'll leave a message for "obama" at the front desk when I check in with my cell phone # on it. give me a ring when you get settled in.
I just signed and agreement with Filta this morning. I too think it is a great business. We had some concerns about things in the FDD, had an attorney advise us on the agreement and finally came to terms with Filta Group on the Franchise.
My advice is to read everything carefully and know what you are getting into. They are willing to negotiate on some items, so if you have concerns bring them up.
davwii777, what items did
what items did you change? Keep us up to date about your progress.
A friend out west bought a franchise awhile back and was happy with the support he received, training and a development guy who came to his territory for 2 weeks and got him started. Based on this good experience, we decided to give it a try but were disappointed that they had new people and a lot less support. They seem to have turn over and you can get stuck with a support guy with little to no experience who's supposed to get you started. They also use contractors. I guess all this is to save money but its at the expense of the franchise owners. You should insist on getting an experiences development guy (ie; more than a year or two experience) and also don't let them cut your support time. You need 10 business days but they will cut it to calendar days if you let them. Most restuarants don't want to deal with you on the weekend, so don't let them talk you into less time than promised.
I saw this company last night while reviewing Mighty Distributions. I see great potential here too... of course, it is the dirty work of a restaurants but the work needs to get done. A lot of companies (Fortune 500) are outsourcing all types of jobs - AP processing, freight payments and reporting, etc. I see those as low margin type work but transaction volume pays the bills there. In this case, if you can job cost each "trip" than you could focus the cost structure to fit. 20 to 30 restaurants in a city is easy to find - may not be easy to get, but I think that comes with demonstrations and illustrations of the value. Personally, I would want at least 3 vans working continuously.
I am reaching out to the company tomorrow to learn more... Would you be interested in coming together over a conference call to discuss our questions / concerns? I am a financial controller today for a big company out of Texas. So numbers are my life... I never trust the financial data from the FDDs - especially if it seems too good to be true.
One comment I saw on the web (not sure where now - perhaps the franchise blog Michael uses). Indicated that the company provides the "national accounts" and you must take them or another franchise can take them... and it appears that they manage the customer base (i.e. they collect and schedule jobs?)... I need to learn more on that.
Update on where I am
O.K. let me summarize where I am currently.
* Like Filta Fry initially, business makes sense, little competition, exclusive territory, service sells itself, can make money at this business (roughly one van doing 30 accounts can net you approx $50K a year) those are my numbers, but I'm a financial analyst and I've evaluated some existing filta franchises for sale thru a bus. broker.
*scheduled a discovery day with the franchisor. You go to Orlando HQ and meet the corporate players,meet the orlando franchisee, ask all the questions you want, and get straight answers. They demonstrate service, wine & dine you, show you how they help you succeed, etc. at the end of the day they give you the FDD and a lot more helpful info on financing, van purchase, superpages.com (to help you target restaurants in your area), etc.
*I evaluated the FDD with my lawyer and as you might expect, the FDD is all one sided (their side). So we are making plenty of amendments and I told Filta we would discuss them when we were finished making our changes.
*lawyer also advised me that a review of their financials reveals they are one step away from going under, which is scary. If they go under what happens to me (you go under with them since you must buy the centerpiece of your service from them (the proprietary filters themselves). Filta admits they have had some hiccups and they have re-organized, to provide better support to the field, and that 2008 financials are much, much better. Can't get those for another 60 days.
*Called a couple of other franchisees and got some alarming responses.
1. Selling or trying to arrange demonstrations is harder in real life. Many times the problem is trying to find the right person to talk to. May have to go up the ladder several rungs, and the higher you go, the harder it is to reach the individual. corporate doesn't help much either in these situations. Very frustrating.
2. Account termination. companies change management and many times new management looks at the financials to see where they can cut costs. Guess who's first to go? Yes, Filta (espcially if they are unfamiliar with Filta). Now you have to try to re-sell the account all over again. This is a fact of operations I didn't think about.
3. One thing franchisees stressed, is that the sales effort is much more demanding and frustrating than you might think. As soon as you say you filter grease, you get a deaf ear because they already have in line filtration. They just don't want to hear anymore. So it's very frustrating. Get used to it, this part is a challenge. I new sales would be a challenge however, franchisees say it's tough trying to do the work and make sales calls too. They really wish corporate would insitute a regional sale rep support effort to help them here. They need help out in the field with the sales effort. corporate currently doesn't have a regional sale rep system, but they say they are working on it.
I am also noticing a lot of franchisee turnover. In 2007 turnover was more than double any preceding year, I get the sense 2008 will reveal a lot of exiting franchisees. Why? I think frustration in the field. The business is harder than the picture corporate paints, and corporate is not focused on providing the type of help franchisees desperately want and need out their (sales support)as much as they should be. They are more focused on new business development (say some franchisees).
So I am going to spend the next few days calling all the existing and exiting franchisees that will talk to me.
I was gung ho, now Im Uh oh. I still think the business idea is a good one, but just how bad is it out there in the field, and just how significant to the business is this lack of corporate sales support that franchisees desparately want, but currently do not have? Just how bad is account turnover? I'm beginning to think new franchisees will have a very uphill battle if they are trying to sell AND operate the van at the same time. One franchisee said, you need to either operate the business and hire an independent sales rep, or hire a technician and sell full time yourself. It's almost impossible for you personally to do both and get anywhere. That's just his opinion of course, but it makes sense. I just wonder if you did hire an independent sales rep, would Filta require you send them to training first? $$$
So that is where I am right now. I am curious to find out what experience others have had, who are following the road I am on or ahead of me as far as starting up your territory.
I would certainly be willing to call you or arrange a conference call with all franchisees, ex franchisees, new franchisees, or those where I am. Send me a private email with your phone number and/or email address.
Re: Update on where I am
All these items you have discovered are true. I was on my own the day after I signed on. The horror stories I could tell you. I am successful, but only because I disowned myself from Filta. They are thieves and liars. The equipment and the filters are a joke. I could go on and on forever, but I want to be brief. Walk away and don't look back!
Re: Re: Update on where I am
Save your time and money. Not one person from my training class is still in the system. Call existing and former franchisees and ask about the defective proprietary filters that The Filta Group continues to send to its franchisees. There is absolutely no support. Turnover at corporate level is constant. It is a joke.
URGENT PLZ HELP
i want to talk to u regarding filtafry in toronto, canada. i am doing research as i want to start my own business. i read ur omments and i feel u rhe rite person i can talk to. plz email me ur contact details. i will really appreciate all ur help.
Do you have any more info on Filta Fry? How is your research going?
I'm about buying an existing franchise in Tampa, but after seeing all this comments I'm seriuly thinking to drop this. What can you advice me?
I am a Filtafry Operator in the UK and have noted some of your comments. With regards fees etc for filters etc I looked hard into the franchise and the business "market" in the area of choice.
If starting on my own I would have not had the backing some say was not there on start up.This is a tried and tested service by a company who lead the way in filtration.Yes there are now other companies who have picked up on what Filtafry do and capitilising in on this fact.And they will charge service fees and filter fees.
Yes its hard starting out and they say that if you graft hard enough and get past the first 2 years of any new business start up,you have cracked it.Stats also tell us that you are more likely to survive if you own a franchise rather than start up yourself.
I have heard people say that there is no infield support in generating business for the franchisee, if you went into business for yourself,"you" would be responsible for generating your own customer base!!. As a business owner you have to get out there and make yourself known to your respective sector.You dont have to hire a"salesman" to go and generate business for you,there are other means of marketing your business as with any business start up.I get my daughter to ring 20 customers a week and from the interested parties, she sends out information on the service. She then follows that up a week after they receive the info,and from the those still interested parties then arranges for me to do a site survey.
Get familly,friends involved you will be suprised how much they get out of it in helping.My daughter could not wait to ring me to say she had from the prospective 24 calls she made,18 were interested of which 10 were very interested and the remaining percent she could not get in touch with the respective person in charge.
One gent said that mention "filter grease" and they say no thanx.I actually clean and filter fryer systems with supposed filtration for a large organisation,and these units are not cheap.The selling point of the Filtafry Service is that these systems are gravity fed and only remove debris,and do not remove carbons,water content from the oil.I also supply a good quality oil which filters better than most vegetable oils.I make the point because the customer supplies his customers with quality fried produce,and by maintaining quality oil in the fryers does have impact in his sales.
Its not all about the filtration either,it takes into consideration labour charges the client still has to pay one of his employees to clean the fryer,and believe me we do a better job.Theres the health and safety to his employees.What about chemicals they have to pay to clean out the fryers.What about the issue of the employees handling "hot oils".
I have a customer with 5 kitchens I service in a University, 2 years I have had the same customer.Along came a new "executive" chef and on finding that the fryers were being cleaned by an outside contractor,immediatly set about getting rid of the service and save money for his new employer.Unfortunately,he lost by a huge vote.Why because one of the main factors of the service is the removal of the "H&S" issue to the employees and the service is carried out in far quicker time,meaning less down time in the operation.By the way,most of the kitchens are run by women and do not want to clean fryers!!
As I was informed last week by one of my customers when asking him how business was over the weekend, he replied "great", we had a good nite saturday and was complimented on more than one occasion by customers on the standard of the food been served, and you had a big part in that.Made me feel better knowing I had contributed,but most of all because I take an active interest in my clients I build a better relationship,and subsequently I have had further jobs come my way in way of "word of mouth testimonials".I put the testimonials on my site,and that generates more interest because people who visit the site can see its from local retaurants,golf clubs,hotels you name it.
I dont have much contact with head office because I am getting on with my business,but if I need follow up to a possible "national" account or information its there.I dont ask them to hold my hand every day to make money.I was never a salesman,but as time moves on you soon equip yourself to being positive about the service you believe in. Just as much you would have to do if starting up on your own.
Like any franchise or business you go into,research well,do your homework.Good Luck
Re: Update on where I am
A Filta Fry franchise in not worth $70K to $80K. You can start the same business yourself with very minimal investment. This company is after your franchise fee.
Yes I heard the concern out there over National Accounts. At discovery day we asked corporate about it and I specifically asked them who sets the rate and how do we know we can make a profit from servicing the acct. Do we HAVE to service the account if you get the account.
National Accounts are accounts Filta negotiates on the national level. lets say, SuperWalmart. SuperWalmart agrees to use Filta's services in their delis. This means if you have a SuperWalmart you can walk in, identify yourself as the Filta rep in the territory, and you can begin servicing them. Corporate does the research and analysis to set the rate (usually on the higher end, they say). Walmart does not want thousand of bills from across the nation. The billing is centralized thru Filta. Filta charges you 10% of the service fee for managing the centralized billing process. You send filta the invoices each month, and filta sends payment to you.
You do not have to service the acct if you do not want to, but filta has the right to arrange for someone else to come into your territory to do it for you. Probably a neighboring franchisee.
I think National Accounts are a good thing, and corporate assured us the rate they set will ensure that franchisees make a profit.
national accounts are new and Filta doesn't have many yet. But it is an important focus for Filta at present.
I am comfortable they have our backs on this issue. Thier national account effort will fail if we aren't making a profit, and I don't think corporate is going to let that happen. the effort would be a huge win, they have a lot at stake, They must ensure it succeeds. And part of that equation is making sure franchisees are profitable servicing national accounts
Be Sure You Know What a National Account Is
Okay lookee. Some of you have this national account thing backwards. What it usually means is that your "corporate" (your Zor) has granted a discount price to someone else's "corporate" Zor, that any of their Zees can get a discounted, pre-set rate.
The restaurant Zee does NOT have to use you. You can't just show your ID, walk in and start "servicing" them. We are a Zee and have national account pricing with Muzak, Ecolab, Taylor and a bunch of others some of whom we use and some we don't. We even have national account pricing with one of the Big 3 Detroit car companies but I don't drive one of their cars!
I doubt very much that Walmart has agreed that they are obligated to let the first Filta Fry person to walk in, "service" them. More like if they CHOOSE to use Filta Fry, that Filta Fry has to give them the pre-arranged price.
Just found this thread...The National Accounts Program is very small and the account does not have to use you. In my opinion, Flemings Steakhouse is the only true National Account and corporate lets the franchisee bill directly. The "National Account" topic is to try and "woo" the prospective franchisee. From these posts, doesn't seem like anything has changed from the corporate dog and pony show. When I came thru...Victor Clewes was telling everyone "we are working on Publix and The Darden Group". Neither ever materialized and came to find out it was due to how corporate handled it. I became a franchisee based upon what I heard from coroporate and corporate franchisee sidedkicks. I regret it. I have built everything on my own with absolutely no help with The Filta Group and have done fairly well. But they do not support and will not help if you decide to sell. They are all shady and will say one thing and do another. Do yourself a favor and look at other opportunities!
Going your own way
Im responding to your post. Would things have worked better,and with less upfront cost and/or debt if you had bought filter equipment from other companies as mentioned herein, and marketed yourself? Was training usefull or b.s.?
Business sounds good as presented, but I am totally unfamiliar in the restaurant/fryer industry. I fear that maybe these guys are snake oil saleman, and I'm about to drink the Kool-Aid, if you know what I mean.( and get ript off to the tune of $70K+ !)
Any comment or esponse would be appreciated
Best regards and good luck.
Okay but not great
Like most ANY franchise, it can be good but not great. There is hardly a really NEW idea out there. Don't be thinking how the money is gojng to pour in. If it is that cheap & easy, "just buy a van", why isn't EVERYONE doing it?
Your competition is that restaurants already have the capacity to do this themselves, in-house. This limits what you can charge, it has to be cheap enough to offer an advantage to them. We have 4 restaurants and would not be interested. Your in-store demo isn't going to be all that impressive, they already know how to do this themselves, how impressed are they going to be that you know how to do it too?.
The other POTENTIAL for SERIOUS competition is for someone who already has a national or regional service operation like ECOLAB/GCS, A-Tech, etc. to decide to go into this. These people already have national accoutns and are already in the restaruants servicing their dishwashers, their fryers, etc. For example Ecolab/Service Solutions has been soliciting their existing restaurant accounts to try and get their pest control business.
You could buy yourself a job with this but the people who are starry eyed over the big money are dreaming. If you think it is a good "concept", invest in the Zor not the Zee.
I was curious as to how your research went particularly from a numbers perspective.
Filta Fry- Not for me.
I had a conference call with Filta Fry this past Tuesday and declined. Bottom line was I didn't feel I was getting much value for my $67K investment.
You can buy a machine on the open market for $2,500 that does substantially what their machine does.Go to www.cecilware.com and look at their filtration machines.
After initial training and the help they give you establishing your initial client base(defined as $500 a week in revenue), they leave you on your own pretty much to do the rest. They provide weekly calls with a "mentor" franchisee, but its all you baby other than that.
So what really am I getting for $67K that I couldn't get for a lot less, buying a machine on the open market and a van and doing it on my own?
Like the other commentor said, filtration, is nothing new and many restaurants already have in line filtration. Even though their filtration is only down to the 40 micron level vs. filta's 3 micron, when you start to pitch filtration, they turn a deaf ear. So selling is harder than you think.
Also, competition is already out there and there is a U.K. based company call www.purifry.com that does the exact same thing Filta does, franchises are cheaper, and they are planning to come to the U.S. very soon. Purifry also offers puri cool, the next product after filta fry being sold to customers (filta cool is a refrigeration moisture drying product).
Anyway, because of all these things that I've mentioned in this thread, I concluded that I really didn't want to commit to anything at this time, so Filta and I parted ways as friends hopefully.
I'd be happy to discuss Filta Fry with anyone interested. click on my handle (highlighted in blue) and then click on "send private message" with your contact info and we will talk.
Best of Luck to You.
Congratulations, because I believe that you came to the correct conclusion about this franchise, after approaching the opportunity with both an open but skeptical mind.
Michael Webster, a franchisee attorney in Toronto, Ontario, publishes a website on business opportunities and franchises called "The BizOp News"
FILTA FRY - Buy a Job
I also went to FLA to visit the Filta Group...right now they are scrambling to bring on franchisees...they will tell you anything to sell franchises...they have also launched a concept called filta - cool, a service you must purchase or they can put another filta franchisee in your territory...which is just how they operate.
Do not confuse savvy salesmen ship when it comes to the PREMIER concept, a multi territory deal that if you do the math will never pay for itself! They are just trying to get more money out of you up front. and they boast about having the "only" machine to do this filtering and charge about 12,000 for it and you can get the same machine for less than 3,000.
If that is not enough BS than here is one more thin to consider...they have national accounts that you have to take and FIlta sets the amount you will have to pay Filta to do business with, nationally... this means that you will have to do business with the national accounts or they will stick another franchisee in your territory..pretty fair ha...well i am still trying to get my deposit back as I have in writing that they would refund it...and lets just say I have been working on getting it back and just like everything else they have sold me is BS.
To move forward, make sure of 2 things:
1. Call as many of the franchisees as possible and ask how they like the business and ask how has the support been. Also ask them if they had to do it all over again, would they?
2. A big decision like this deserves having an attorney look it over and see if there is anything in the agreement that limits your recourse should the franchisor default by breach or negligence. Do not sign away any legal rights you have, this can never be good.
Keep in mind, the franchisor will paint a rosey picture because THEY WANT YOUR MONEY, it is up to you to do due diligence.
From what I have heard, Filta fry leaves you out to dry once you are in the field. Call the franchisees that have been terminated or "repurchased by franchisor" and see what they say. There is a page in the FDD that lists all of these. Franchisors should not be in the business of rebuying territories, that is a sign of a poor business model.
Filta Follow Up
After careful review of the FDD with my attorney and calling up 10 existing franchisees, I will not be moving forward. Out of the 10 franchisees I called, 9 of them said they would NOT do the business again if they had the chance. Not very promising eh? Then i called the Ex Franchisees and they all said to turn around and run. The BDM they send out to you after traing is a 1 step away from being a timeshare sales person, they get you many accounts and after they leave you, many will fall of because the service is not what they expected!
FiltaFry's FDD is very one sided and leaves you very vulnerable. Not a position I like to be in. The chats with exisiting franchisees were enough to not want to move forward. My opinion is that they are eager scam artists who are pushing a business opportunity that really isn't that new or great, and can very well in the future go out of business due to advancing technology and competition. Most franchisees also said that their clients were cutting them because they weren't showing a savings. Search the franchise sites, there are better opportunities for less and you will get a 10 year term. Filta's 5 year term is a joke and allows them a shorter interval to add more things to squeaze the franchisee as time goes on and what are you going to do at that point? Not sign? After you have so much money invested?
Re: Filta Follow Up
Sad but very true. The idea and service is very good but the corporate squeeze on the franchisee and their inability to keep their side of the contract will be Filta frys downfall. This is from an owner that is soon to hit the 5 year mark with them.
Re: Filta Fry.
May I suggest If you want to buy a Filtafry Franchise, that you Apprenceship your self for free for a month.
Offer one of the Franchises out of you area, that you will work for free to learn the ropes .
Do not work for the one Filtafry recommends or on the list of ones to call.
How do you find one?
Go to google.com and search craigslist filtafry or craigslist filta fry use both words in your search, do not just go to craigslist
use the google.com search.
Just take a few weeks or months you may find one in your state.
Take a look at some of the links the one for winnipeg look at the hours
You may want to go to work for Filtafry Corporate Office for a year or two
here is a job opening in the Filtafry Orlando Corporate Office.
If you work for Filtafry thay may give you a deal on a Franchise.
Re: Filta Fry.
FiltaFry is one step away from a pyramid scheme. You spend a lot of money and time trying to build your business for nothing. Most of the customers they claim to have are long since gone. They ACH your bank account for royalties ($450), advertising ($110), FiltaNet ($20), and 20 filters ($388). They don't advertise for you, you don't need 20 filters per month, and now they are requiring everyone to buy Quickbooks and electonically link all personal financial information to their server. The server is out-sourced to a company based in Puerto Rico.
The life extension of the oil that they claim isn't accurate. The service sounds too good to be true because it is. The longer their customers use the service, the more realize that the service is a liability and not an asset. The folks at FiltaFry corporate drive expensive luxury cars because they are really good salespeople. Their jobs is to sellout territories not build businesses or support their franchisees.
If you have a ton of locations in your territory who throw oil away more than twice a week, you have a chance. However, most locations only throw their oil away once a week maybe twice. Finally, most locations are corporate owned and will have nothing to do with you...DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Comment about Filtafry
Are you a franchise owner? Or did you own a franchise that was not sucessfull? I have talked to local franchise owners in my part of the country. Their biggest complaints about Filtafry was the BDM and the lack of support from corporate. I am considering buying a franchise but after reading comments on this site I am not sure what to do. I have been in the restaurant business for many years and can see Filtafry being a great service to restaurants. I think if you go into a business whether it is on your own or a franchise you need to do all the work. You can't rely upon corporate people who work Monday thru Friday sitting behind a desk. You need to get out there and do everything for yourself. If you believe in the product that are providing then take any thing that you can out of so called corporate's hands. I would appreciate any further comments or suggestions about buying a Filtafry franchise. Thank you
It's not only a matter of hard work...I'll run circles around anyone when it comes to blood, sweat, and tears hard work. Building any business is hard, but it is virtually impossible when you have one or both hands tied behind your back. Let's just say all the rumors I heard last year have come around to bite me in the rear.
Ignore these threads and invest into a FiltaFry territory...Save these and re-read them. Only then will your hindsite be 20-20.
Working Hard vs. Working Smart
Any business, especially a start up, requires hard work. About 90% of people will tell you they work harder than the average person. Of course, that's a statistical impossibility. Regardless, it's not working hard, it's working smart, that will lead to success in this business. The franchisees who've been successful have been analytical and developed a project plan, along with their BDM. This included not being limited to restaurants and bars. Often hospitals, schools, hotels, and large office buildings have multiple fryers. Being able to service several fryers without travel time between saves money. Daily schedules arranged to minimize travel time between jobs allows more customers per day. It sounds cliche, but thinking outside the box works for many Filtafry franchisees. That's how they've been successful and even added additional vans.
It's not for everyone. The 'man in a van' mind set doesn't work. You should ask about the experience level of your BDM and ask for one with a proven track record. They should be more than willing to comply.