Quizno's Conversations

Guys and gals,

There is a time and place for everything. Comments under the news of Mr. Baber's demise should probably be focused on him and his family. So, I've started a thread discussing the Quizno's franchise concept in our forum area.

We are getting a high decibel level of vitriol from some disgruntled Quizno's owners. Arguments like, "Your quoted closure rates are incorrect, and you simply... are incorrect" do not hold much water. I'd like to think that we like to hear the facts and the whole picture here.

"If you go in for argument, take care of your temper. Your logic, if you have any, will take care of itself."  - Joseph Farrell 

Let me get the discussion rolling. We are franchise owners. We sometimes like to gripe about our franchisers (it's kind of healing) but...

1. We understand that failure and risk are part of every business, not just Quizno's. There ain't no such thing as a sure thing. How much risk? Well, there's a study in Blue MauMau's franchipedia (franchise encyclopedia) that collects failure rates of independent versus franchise businesses from various studies.

"Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm."  - Sir Winston Churchill

2. A case has not been persuasively made about why Quizno's sticks out in not having a viable franchise model. Let me give the Quizno's owners some help in their argument. TSFA has their own list of unprofitable Quizno's franchise rates that frankly, does not seem statistically robust to me. Here it is from an article that ran earlier...

Let's Upgrade the Conversation

Let's agree to challenge ideas without killing the messenger.  I am concerned with the deterioration of the conversation on this forum and the character assassination when thought leaders are in disagreement.  I am not immune, I took a cheap shot at Les Stewart last week.  Fot that I am sorry.

Les, I apologize.

Joe Mathews

Franchise Performance GroupCo-author Street Smart Franchising

on January 25th, 2007

Why, Mr. Blue Mau Mau, the Court Records

I don't understand!   Yesterday,  you announced the Court Records of a contributing member to this site would be removed -----and you explained your  reasons for removing them.

And, today,  there still appear under the Quiznos "What's Wrong with This Concept ---Quizno's.

And, additionally, you have announced that yesterday's comments were lost. 

What is going on??? 

on January 25th, 2007

Worker Kept Quiznos Running After Franchisees Abandoned Store

Found this fascinating story about a young worker trying to save a Quiznos store when the owners abandon the shop:

"With all this guff about Quizno's, I thought I'd point you to an old episode of the public radio program This American Life, called 'Backed Into A Corner.' One of the segments [Act One, begins 8 min. into streaming audio] describes the tale of a Seattle Quizno's line worker who gamely tried to run the place herself when the owners (franchisees of course) mysteriously abandoned the place."

on August 13th, 2007

Question

I am looking at purchasing a possible exsisting Quizno's location in S. CA. I still don't get it? Can some one tell me why the fell pretty much out of franchise 500 list? 06 they were #2 and in 07 I couldn't even find the name,,,,,,,,,What is wrong with them that I am missing? It might explain why so many stores listed for sale.

By the way, as far as I know for now, the owner says he is absentee and business is pretty profitable. But some thing is wrong, I feel it?

on February 28th, 2007

Not $1 For Quiznos' Schadens

Ditto.

on April 6th, 2008

Business Week Article

Here is an interesting article: http://www.businessweek.com/smallbiz/content/jan2007/sb20070129_887153.htm?chan=search

Michael Webster PhD LLB

Misleading Advertising Law

Posted by michael webster on February 28th, 2007

For Anyone Looking At Quiznos

Guest,

My suggestion is that you research this site below before signing an agreement to buy a Quiznos.  From what I'm told from franchise owners the problems documented on the site are real and have put franchisees in a real bind. 

As for not being in the Franchise 500 list, if you had the filed lawsuits and franchisee unrest that Quiznos apparently has you wouldn't want to provide required documentation either.

http://www.toastedsubs.info/

Posted by therocket on February 28th, 2007

President of Toasted Subs settles with Quiznos

AP advises that Chris Bray, the former President of Toasted Subs Franchisee Association, entered into a confidential agreement with Quiznos to settle their differences.

Associated Press did not mention Bob Baber by name but did make reference to his suicide and to the lawsuits arising from the efforts of Quiznos to terminate members of the Toasted Sub who they said posted information on the associations's Web site that talked about the suicide, and which had a link to a memorial fund for Bob Baber and his family, and which damaged the Quiznos name.

We know that Chris Bray is happy to be leaving Quiznos and know that he will always remember Bob Baber who worked so hard for justice for himself and failed but inadvertently won justice for others in his tragic suicide.

on August 14th, 2007

NY Times, Quiznos, Baber & Brenneman

Nearly 3 Months after it was first reported here at Bluemaumau, the New York Times picks up the story of Bob Baber and the plight of the Quiznos franchisee.  The story was first reported here on Bluemamau by Susan P. Kezios, president of the American Franchisee Association, who is quoted several times in the Times piece.

The news of Mr. Brenneman coming to the helm to correct the Quiznos ship was also reported here on Bluemaumau along with much discussion about what he would or could do.  The NY Times reported that, “Since he joined the company, Mr. Brenneman has delivered systemwide voice mails every Friday to Quiznos franchisees providing updates of his goals, which so far include reducing food costs enough so that profits for an average Quiznos should climb by at least $10,000 a year.”

The NY Times also reported that, “From 2003 to 2005, Quiznos collected about $7 million in fees from the 350 franchising licenses that it sold but never found locations for, the New Jersey lawsuit contends.”  Franchisors who assume much of the responsibility for locating and securing locations, and is unable to do so to the tune of 350 in one state, should realize there is a problem. They should refund fees to anyone wishing to receive a refund, if that franchisee has not declined reasonably acceptable locations. A franchisor should also, curtail sales in that geographic region and focus on areas in which it can secure locations.  It would be interesting to see the history of each of these 350 and see how many declined locations, how many are now open, how many are still not yet open, etc….

Profitability or the lack thereof seems to be the number 1 complaint of the Quiznos’ Franchisee.  Mr. Brenneman, indicates that he is committed to reducing franchisee cost, and helping franchisees to increase unit profitability, and seems to be sincere in his efforts.  Quiznos requires its franchisees to use certain professional services, which I’m not in disagreement with.  However, I believe that those services should be to enhance the franchisees bottom line.  So I shall now do what I’ve done here at Bluemaumau before, which is…. 

Mr. Brenneman, my company provides an innovative bundle of business services to franchisees.  Our package includes Payroll, Accounting, Bookkeeping, Legal Services, Contact Management, Employee Benefits, Workers Compensation, IT Services, Financing, Merchant Account Services, and much more…..All inclusive for just $189 per month!  A compelling value proposition!  Designed to do one thing, help franchisees to succeed in franchising!  They don’t just receive STUFF, they receive ongoing coaching, training and support in how to use these tools to BUILD & GROW their franchise!  If you’re serious about helping your franchisees, I’d like to suggest that your office contact my company to learn more about our Franchise Service Package and how it can Synergize Your Franchise System.  YES, we can even help find and secure real estate!  NO, we do not provide rebates to Franchisors we pass the savings on to the franchisee and help them to Thrive – Grow & Prosper --- in the end, you’ll receive far more in royalties and franchisee satisfaction than you’d ever receive in ‘rebates’.  This Friday, in your voice mail broadcast, tell your franchisees they are FREE to Sign Up with FranSynergy!

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

P.S.  As for the NY Times Article Itself.

WHEN DISILLUSION SETS INNEW YORK TIMES:Published: February 24, 2007 By JULIE CRESWELL

On Nov. 27, Bhupinder Baber walked into a Quiznos restaurant on the outskirts of Los Angeles. He spoke briefly with the manager before stepping into the restroom and shooting himself three times in the chest.

Mr. Baber died that evening. In a note he left behind, Mr. Baber, who had owned two Quiznos franchises in Long Beach before he became embroiled in a legal dispute with the corporation, blamed the sandwich chain for destroying his life.

“Someone must do something about what Quiznos is doing to the trapped franchisees,” he wrote. “I deeply regret getting into Quiznos. I wish I had never heard of them.”

While extreme, the story of Mr. Baber and his death has been cited by a number of other owners of Quiznos franchises. They say it illustrates their growing sense of desperation and frustration toward the corporation.

A spokesman for Quiznos, based in Denver, says it is “deeply saddened” by Mr. Baber’s death and that it would be inappropriate to comment further.

Selling sandwiches piled high with meat, dripping with cheese on toasted sandwich rolls, Quiznos has become one of the fastest-growing food chains. It has grown to 5,000 stores from just 100 a decade ago.

READ ENTIRE ARTICLE

 

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

It's Franchisee Money

Where does Q get its money? From hardworking franchisees that pay the royalties and ad fees; as well as watch Q take its cut of food, equipment and other purchases they make. Then Q takes that money and squanders it on lawsuits and settlements, lawyer fees, crummy ad campaigns, crummy ads, and a bloated headquarters. It's a renegade franchisor run by shyster lawyers that has legally siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from franchisees and bankrupted thousands of people. Despite protestations by the new regime led by Greg Brennenman encroachment continues, food prices remain the highest among major QSR's, and a system touted as one of the fastest growing in the US has virtually the same number of stores in operation today as it did at the beginning of the year.

For those of you still considering Quiznos - there's little significant change in the Quiznos system no matter what they try and tell you. It was a bad investment five years ago and it's an even worse investment now. There are plenty of investments that will give you the satisfaction of owning your own business. Q isn't one of them.

on August 18th, 2007

Honest Arrogance Trumps Hypocritical Humility

FranSynergy: "at a very early age I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility.  I chose honest arrogance, and have found no reason to change."

I really enjoyed reading that phrase. Well put! And you back it up by offering EAP free of charge to those franchisees who need it. Talk about someone putting their money where their mouth is. (I'm on my knees as I write this, reciting, "I'm not worthy".)

There's a lot of raw emotion, anger and accusations with some Quizno franchise owner postings. There's a lot of hearsay, assumptions and antedoctal (single story) evidence sited as the gospel truth that the franchise system is unworkable.

Frankman

on December 10th, 2006

Buy You Own Quiznos BOB

Hey Bob,Quiznos is a great investment opportunity.  Go to any Quiznos and I guarantee you be able to get a great steal from the owner.  It's usually the third or fourth owner that can make a profit on a Quiznos.  It's not the initial owner that invested $250k that can make it work.  It's usually the guy who bought it out of bankruptcy for $15k. 

on December 11th, 2006

Quizno's failure rates / business model

First, kudos to Bob for moving this to a more productive plane. Let's leave the family to grieve in peace.Second, a demerit to Bob for speaking of failure rates of "independent versus franchise" businesses. Even the definition of what constitutes "failure" is a matter of debate.Each opportunity should be evaluated on its own merits, and contrary to what the IFA will tell you, all franchisors are NOT created equal: some are good and some are horrible.Third, within the sandwich QSR segment, there has long been talk that the Quizno's model was problematic for franchisees. Remember that in December 2003, Quizno's attorneys stated that "Forty percent of Quiznos' units are not breaking even..." (This was in the court pleadings and reported in the Rocky Mountain News on Dec 16, 2005; reporter was David Milstead)There was a long thread on the www.franchisepundit.com discussion board about this. Suffice it to say that there is only so much that people will pay for a sandwich, and you really need to work backwards from your retail price to see if your cost of production will enable you to sell at a profit. Here in New York, there is a restaurant that sells a $45 hamburger--- but not many people will pay that price, even if it is made with Kobe beef. Quizno's may be the "kobe beef" of sandwich QSRs, but it remains a sandwich QSR.As I understand, the business model concerns primarily relate to whether there are enough consumers at the price point which a Quizno's franchisee must target in order to be profitable. From what I have seen, a Quizno's which grosses volume similar to a Blimpie or Subway will not attain profitability as easily as those competitors. Now, it is true that one can command a premium based on percieved quality differentiation: a Bently sells for more than a Chevy, though both are essentially four wheels and an engine to get you from point A to point B.  The problem is that customers don't seem willing to pay a significant premium for one sandwich brand over the competition, although Quizno's has tried mightily to convince them to do so.Fourth: A more easily-fixed problem is perceptual: Quizno's franchisees hate the corporate parent (and it's leader in particular) with great vehemence. I was a Subway franchisee in the bad ole' days (when as one lawyer famously put it, we would "rather fight than make sandwiches"), and we Subway franchisees were singing Kumbaya by comparison to the current Quizno's situation.I'm no Dr. Phil, but the franchisor might do itself a lot of good by at least appearing to care. Some of their "beef" is not valid, but I do believe they have some valid complaints. This seems to be one of those cases where the well is so poisoned that even if the franchisor had the best of intentions they would be regarded with suspicion. This has resulted in a real dollar cost to the corporate owners.I applaud Bob's efforts to analyze the empirical data, although the large number of news articles, disgruntled franchisees, and stores up for sale lead me to think that Bob is going to be disappointed if he ever gets the Answer.But we also must be mindful that even if Bob could objectively prove that this franchise was the greatest thing since sliced bread, my guess is that his empirical data would fall on deaf ears until such time as the franchisor reaches out to heal the rift (justified or not) between the zor and the zees.--Paul Steinberg, pwsteinberg@msn.com

on December 11th, 2006

Quizno's Ranked At Top

Did you see Entrepreneur's Franchise 500 for 2006? Quizno's is ranked #2 of all top 500 franchise chains. Here's the top 1%:

  1. Subway
  2. Quiznos Sub
  3. Curves
  4. UPS Store, The/Mail Boxes Etc.
  5. Jackson Hewitt Tax Service

In regards to how Entrepreneur Magazine ranks franchise systems, Entrepreneur states:

Only franchise companies that submit full Uniform Franchise Offering Circulars (UFOCs) or Canadian disclosure documents and whose information is verified by Entrepreneur are considered for the Franchise 500® rankings... The most important factors include financial strength and stability, growth rate and size of the system. We also consider the number of years in business and length of time franchising, startup costs, litigation, percentage of terminations and whether the company provides financing. Financial data is audited by an independent CPA....The objective factors are plugged into our exclusive Franchise 500® formula, with each eligible company receiving a cumulative score. The 500 franchises with the highest cumulative scores become the Franchise 500®.

Sounds pretty competitive to get to the top and impressive.

Posted by SuzieQ on December 12th, 2006

Quizno's Costs In Chicago

"An average Quiznos in Chicago has $7600 fixed monthly expense i.e., $3400 rent, $2000 loan repayment and $2200 for operating expeneses like utilities, insurance equipment rentals Payroll taxes,and accounting etc. After taking off  33% food and paper cost, 20% labor, 8 % discounts and 11% royalty the owner is left with 28% sales to meet these fixed expenses. He/She needs $6300 sales per week just to breakeven."

I think I see. Making more sense.  If fixed costs are high, then it is a hungry beast to feed. Once it is filled though, a large contribution margin is likely to experience substantial profit increases as sales increase.

11% royalty?

Frankman

on December 12th, 2006

Quiznos & Video Proof!

Some Have Said that Quiznos is Going to the DOGS!  Others Have Said that Quiznos is ran by a bunch of WOLVES!   I don't know about any of that, but I do know that the COYOTES have showed up, at least at one downtown Chicago location!

He must have have heard about the Double Stack Pastrami or Perhaps the New Prime Rib on Garlic Bread!

Coyote caught at downtown QuiznosBy Paul Meincke - ABC 7-TV Chicago

April 3, 2007 - A sandwich shop got an unusual customer Tuesday afternoon: a coyote stopped in at a Quiznos in the Loop.

People were stunned to see a coyote inside a local Quiznos, located at 37 E. Adams, downtown. The wily animal was taken away by Animal Control officers. The animal, who ran inside an open door, was in the cooler for about 40 minutes. Everyone else in the restaurant ran outside.

Dozens of people looking in took pictures and perhaps were wondering if this might be a promotional event. The manager insists this was not a stunt. The coyote, she says, just walked in the front door.

"The coyote just came in and tried to jump over the cooler," said Bina Patel, restaurant manager.

The coyote was not aggressive and had apparently suffered an earlier leg wound.

READ MORE & SEE VIDEO

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising!

Posted by FranSynergy on April 3rd, 2007

Forced Vendors

"Quiznos corporation forces owners to use only designated  providers for even simple things like accounting, payroll processing, insurance, towels and knifes service." - Quizno's Franchise Owner in Chicago

Sounds like Quizno's is a stickler for consistency and in wanting to fully bring to bear their large franchise system's purchasing power and economies of scale to benefit their franchisees. 

Frankman

on December 12th, 2006

Quiznos, Coupons and 2%

Quiznos considers the last major TV campaign and free sub coupon giveaway a major success for franchisees.  What kind of success?  Franchisees got a 2% increases in earnings - after the cost of the discounts are taken into account.  Of course, when the discount rate is 11% the added labor, food, and paper costs eat up that 2% and a whole lot more.  So franchisees end up subsidizing another food giveaway.

On the other hand, for Quiznos royalties were up 2% compared to a year ago and the rebates to Q for food and paper were up as well.  So the campaign was a success, for corporate Q, but a real loser for franchisees.  For those of you looking for a franchise to buy, pick your partner well or you will face the same situation.   

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on April 5th, 2007

Quiznos

I own a Quiznos and we are not doing very well at all. We are in a small market and it is just not enough to pay the bills. Can anyone tell me if there is someone with advice on closing a franchise? I just want to be ready when I have to do it.

on March 31st, 2008

Fransynergy or Franmassmarketer?

As a Q franchisee from way back, I wish you would stop it with all the PMA crap.  There have been numerous posts about why the Q business model doesn't work, yet your consistent reply is to try and sell your own product/service.  Quit preying on people who are hurting and take your show somewhere else.  If you are not willing to delve into the details surrounding the Q corp and how they treat their franchisees, then shut up already and quit chasing ambulances!

on December 15th, 2006

UNBELIEVABLE AND SAD SITUATION!!!!

What is so sad, is how all sides are handling this situation, and believe me before Bob Baber's tragic event, there was a situation.  I knew Bob Baber, and can honestly say he was one of the nicest, honest, intelligent, people I have met.  I have read a few posts on TSFA and have considered joining, but as someone who sold their store 2 years ago, I would rather have not got involved.  I agree with the concept of the TSFA, I truly believe they are trying to make FAIR changes to the system.  I truly believe, that they are trying to help more franchisees succeed.  I dont know I always thought that Q Corporate should at least listen and give them a shot, my experience with Q corporate, is I didnt feel respected as a human being or a franchisee SO I GOT OUT, but I understand how with some others, that might not be possible, but to me, cutting my losses and walking is better than feeling the way I did daily when I was a part of the organization, I had my life, my intelligence, my family, my friends, and I didnt wish to continue that life, I had a choice and I took it.  However, Im not ignorant enough to judge people who CANT WALK!!.  Hell, to me I would think that tons of happy franchisees would make for a happy franchisor!!  Hell, but what do I know.  Im glad that I am out of the system, it is embarassing what is going down now, and I only wish that Q corporate would have finally extended an olive branch to the TSFA,  and its franchisees, and someone FINALLY BE THE BIGGER PERSON!!  I will pray for all involved that someday, there can be harmoney in Q land, and by harmony I dont mean removing anyone who is trying to make things fair!     

on December 15th, 2006

Guest

Sad, definately.  I would say that the posting of the suicide note, and the termination letters, is indicitive of the relationship Quiznos has with its franchisees.  My friend is a franchisee and I feel sorry for him.  He has no life, is going broke, and cant sell his store.  As a business man myself, I would think that Quiznos acting in this matter, instead of doing some serious PR internally and externally would be damaging the brand, not a few franchisees that are pissed that their fellow franchisee shot himself and had a note regarding how bad Quiznos treated him.  Give me a break! 

on December 15th, 2006

Previous comment

I find it hard to believe that any fellow franchisee would actually say the TSFA has too many "rabid dogs" for their taste.  Hello corporate!  GROW UP! 

on December 15th, 2006

Fransynergy

Fransynergy is a legend in his own mind with too much time on his hand.  He is the SPAM of forums and blogs who only tries to sell his services by continuing his confrontational posts. Hey, spend more time on your jumbled and poorly designed website and then come back. 

on December 15th, 2006

Destroying Your Own Asset

Quizno's Franchise Worker: we have come up with our own little explanation of what the acronym Quiznos means....have a chuckle on me:

Q  QUIT KIDDING YOURSELFU  U GOTTA BE KIDDING MEI   INVESTIGATE THESE CROOKSZ  ZERO RETURN ON YOUR INVESTMENTN  NOT A CHANCE IN HELL OF EVER TURNING A PROFITO  ONLY A DAMN FOOL WOULD BUY THIS FRANCHISES  SUCKERS....THERE'S ONE BORN EVERY MINUTE

There have been quite a few comments like this, not from workers such as yourself, but from Quiznos franchisees. I am all for engaging the network so that my franchise store can make money. I am all for pursuing truth. But I struggle with posts like the one above in persuading people not to buy a store. Some owners are telling the rest of the world not to buy a Quiznos franchise because it makes zero money and that only fools would invest in it, then complaining that they cannot sell their store.

It reminds me of Mr. Blue MauMau's podcast on Moby Dick. It describes Captain Ahab, who is so blinded in his desire to conquer the White Whale that he loses site of his own crew's welfare or the risk of sinking his own ship.

Are you actually a Subway worker trying to destroy the Quiznos competition? Or are you one of the crew following Ahab in his quest to conquer the white Quiznos whale?

". . . from hell's heart I stab at thee; for hate's sake I spit my last breath at thee." - Ahab to Moby Dick

Frankman

on December 17th, 2006

Coupons and Q

I guess no-one bothered to read the Q-pons.  Participating locations only.  I'm not sure how some of you take that but I take it to mean a franchisee has the choice of whether to take it or not.  So, apparently, do some of the franchisees. 

As for knowing successful franchisees - there are always successes no matter how poor the business model or the relationship.  However, when one pays a big chunk of revenue for royalties and advertisement in any franchise one should expect that the money would be spent on ad campaigns designed to make the franchisee money, not shell out additional money for the benefit of customers, suppliers, and the franchisor.

It doesn't matter how much you sell, it's how much you make. 

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on April 6th, 2007

No I don't work for Subway

To Mr. Frankman...I AM a Quiznos employee, and that comment you selected of mine was meant as a JOKE!It was a parody of Quiznos Q is for Quality motto.

I wasn't trying to discourage prospective buyers....but any potential Quiznos owner should proceed with eyes wide open.

on December 19th, 2006

Another Class Action Suit against Quiznos

http://www.pr-inside.com:80/illinois-franchisees-file-class-action-r99056.htm

and the beat goes on...

on April 20th, 2007

Retort on "Loose lips sink ships"

Translation from Russian: "Loose Lips Sink Ships"

There's something not quite right with FranSynergy's view. It's as if ideology has replaced pragmatism in the marketplace.

"Believe and succeed", we are told at the end of FranSynergy's postings, as if a failing franchise owner in a bad location with a bad cost structure just needs to believe in himself and what the corporate head office tells him to do in order to succeed. Have belief and your system will succeed. One wonders how many franchise owners have gone hopelessly bankrupt with such a vision.

"Loose lips sink ships", FranSynergy starts out with in referring to how a franchisee needs to just suck problems in and take it or at best to secretly whisper it to the corporate heirarchy. "Loose lips sink ships" was a WWII poster used in the Soviet Union to remind a public already used to keeping secrets to remain that way. (Love the look of disdain on this lady's face.)

In the States, our concern was for military men to not tell of new military movement in their letters home. Military movement could be used by enemy generals to spoil the best laid out plans. Our GIs could ridicule military life and management all they wanted - and often they did.

"Don't bite the hand that feeds you". Some franchisors might be tempted to think that an army of submissive franchise owner clones is what it takes to implement the system correctly and be wildly successful. They might advise franchisees, "Don't bite the hand that feeds you", thinking that the franchisor is the hand that feeds the franchisee.

But the strength of the Republic, and arguably of a franchise system, is the quality of the feedback from its franchisees, including public comments. Management must be able to respond to vocal owners, no matter how much management may secretly desire an army of drones. After all, some of franchising's best innovations and inventions have come from franchisees who speak their mind.

As for the best town in America that eventually closed down because of the rumors of a dam, one wonders how long the "best" town could have lasted in modern America if its residents didn't know how to read fact from fiction. 

--

dw 

on April 8th, 2007

Entrepreneur and Quiznos

I took a look at the Entrepreneur issue listing the Top 500 and Quiznos IS mentioned in a short article describing franchisee discontent with several big name franchisors.  However, it was only a couple of lines and didn't go into any detail about the discontent.  How much discontent?  So far the lawsuit count is at four - the Canadian franchisee lawsuit, the Wisconsin franchisee lawsuit, the NJ franchisee lawsuit, and the mess that Quiznos caused when it tried to cancel the franchise agreement with those franchisees running a website that talked about a former franchisee's suicide.  So Quiznos is in the magazine, it's just not listed in the Top 500.  Quiznos didn't fall off the radar, it was removed from the list.  And like the poster before me said - Entrepreneur Magazine needs to share the information that got Quiznos removed or lose a lot of credibility.

Posted by therocket on January 1st, 2007

Value of Not Being Seen

Speaking of Monty Python, here's to the value of franchisees not being seen in criticizing franchisors... (video - 2:24 min)

on January 3rd, 2007

Stay Away!

Great food yes, great concept yes, but stay away as a franchisee! This company is following right down the path of Quizno's and is at some point going to end up in a major law suit as well. There is NO respect towards franchisee's, they are considered the "workers who own nothing, they work for us"! There is NO support what so ever! The corporate office is run by family members or friends of the owners and there is NO professionalism, and NO respect towards the franchisee's. Money that is alloctated to marketing is misused, and costs are so high from kickbacks that the franchisee's are going broke!
The only thing that will save this company is if the two brothers that started it sell it! They are taking this company on a ride down the drain and taking those that have invested so much into it with them!
STAY AWAY!!!!!!

on September 11th, 2007

Write Entrepreneur

Dear anonymous "Guest" in the back who is egging the crowd on,

I broke down and wrote Entrepreneur at franchise.feedback@entrepreneur.com as per your suggestion. I asked why they dropped the listing of Quizno's without a comment. If you hear from them, please let us know what they say. I'll do the same.

Frankman

on January 4th, 2007

Rocket - Thanks for

Rocket - Thanks for capturing and reporting the Entrepreneur response, they must have read my post, because their response was exactly as I suspected.

Now another and equally interesting questions is WHY did they (Quiznos) or their designated agent drop the ball.  If they dropped the ball, how much did dropping the ball cost them?  Cost the franchisees?

Believe & Succeed,FranSynergySynergizing Franchising 1 Franchisee at a time!www.fransynergy.com

Posted by FranSynergy on January 5th, 2007

The Dog Ate My Paperwork

So Quiznos didn't provide the paperwork to Entrepreneur Magazine?  Why would a company that was ranked #2 in the 2006 top franchisee list and in the top five for the last few years not provide the same information for 2007 that was eagerly provided in every other year?  It could be incompetence, like was suggested in an earlier post. 

Or maybe it was deliberate.  How far would Quiznos fall if those making the list saw a document outlining at least four separate lawsuits by different franchisee groups, an unimpressive growth rate, and flat same store sales.  Maybe out of the Top 500?  What if the writers, curious about a less than stellar UFOC, went to a franchisee website and read posts that painted the company as a cross between the robber barons of the late 19th century and the Chinese communists?  Would Entrepreneur Magazine be ready to rank a company that is purportedly in the restaurant business, yet if you go to the website you'd swear it was a franchise company selling restaurant locations instead of a restaurant company interested in building its food business? 

Maybe, just maybe, the big enchiladas at the Q decided that mother was right, and silence really is golden.

Posted by therocket on January 5th, 2007

Franchisee Beware

The business model that has evolved among many franchisors is one that no longer relies exclusively on royalties from franchisees.  In fact, a case can now be made that many companies are more reliant on the food and supplies sold to franchisees and new franchises sold to new owner/operators.  The result is what is good for the company in more case than not is NOT good for franchisees.

Suppliers rebate a certain percentage of the price of goods sold to the company that buys them based on bulk.  Some franchisors pass the savings directly to the franchisees.  In other cases the money is diverted into the franchisor's bank account.  Quiznos CEO Greg Brenneman he sees no problem with the latter.

The problem with that kind of model is that unscrupulous execs can milk franchisees for big money if safeguards aren't in place.  An example that comes to mind is the flood of predatory coupons that Quiznos released in the spring.  Franchisees were forced to eat thousands of dollars in added food costs while the company took in millions in additional revenue.  Those franchisees that refused to take the coupons were seen as greedy by customers.  The company says that they won't do that again, but what safeguards are in place to make sure that it doesn't?

Franchisees can also pay outrageously high prices for common items.  Many routinely complain of paying more for product from suppliers than what they can pay at Sam's or Costco's for the exact same item. 

The franchisor can also recommend product pricing that is artificially low.  That increases sales of a product but leaves franchisees with little or no profit on the sale.  Q came out with a line of products and put out a recommended price that left the food cost at 50%.  Since many franchisees will blindly follow the corporate recommendation those who don't see reduced sales and are seen as greedy by the public.  The company laughs all the way to the bank.

Many franchisees have formed strong associations to serve as a counter balance to the company interests.  Unfortunately the Q franchisees are discouraged by the company - both verbally and by legal actions taken by Q against those who try.  The company refuses to even consider a partnership with a franchisee group.  Instead, the company has setup a sham committee that has no weight and is routinely ignored by the decision makers.

Finally, some companies try to sell their franchise as a way to own multiple stores - like McDonalds or Burger King.  But do the numbers add up?  To run a McDonalds it takes a manager, assistant managers, and supervisors.  Does the business model give the average owner the kind of return that is necessary to pay people the market rate and provide a fair return?  For most, including Q, the answer is a resounding NO.

 

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on May 28th, 2007

Anything good about Quiznos except that customers love it???

I am new to this forum.  I am getting a lot of good information about how bad the Quiznos franchise system is.  At the same time, I am not used to seeing such a one-sided argument.  Are there any non-disgruntled zees out there?  Do the non-disgruntled not justify there extra time posting or is there no such thing?  If anybody has anything good to say about Quiznos, I'd like to hear it.  It sure would make for a more interesting conversation if two sides (franchisees v. franchisees, I am not interested in zor rhetoric) were involved instead of the constant Q sucks bandwagon that I am finding.

Posted by chromie on September 11th, 2007

Quiznos new CEO

Greg Brenneman has been named the new CEO/President of Quiznos.  He supposedly led Burger King's turnaround.  Having been a Quiznos franchisee for many years...I need to see it to believe it.  He's going to focus on restaurant profitability.  Again...we need to see it to believe it.

 All the Quiznos Franchise oweners received some "propaganda" about the move.  What disturbs me and other franchise owners that I've spoken to is that Quiznos states..."Quiznos is a strong company that just finished up a strong year, meeting and beating financial expectations".  Didn't a fellow Franchise owner commit suicide and blamed his ordeal on Quiznos?  Isnt there a class action suit in Wisconsin with more to follow?  Didn't they try and terminate the franchise agreements of the TSFA board members because they had the nerve to try and raise some money to help Mrs Baber?  Didn't the person in Ohio somewhere that was given a Quiznos restaurant on the Ellen Degeneras Show almost go bankrupt and Quoznos has to step in and buy that person out?  Is it me?  Am I the crazy one?  Anyone?  I think the air is way too thin for those corporate big wigs in Denver.

 Hopefully, Mr Brenneman will make the Quiznos Franchise owners across the country feel like a "partner" rather then Quizno's best customers.

on January 9th, 2007

Schaden's still the Chairman?

As an owner of a few Q stores (one makes a slight profit, one loses a little, and one loses a lot....and I pay myself nothing, but my wife has a great job) I'm thrilled to see a new CEO. 

The first order of business should be to reach out to the FO's, start with the Canadian Franchisee Org and the TSFA.  This chain has a lot of problems, but even more potential.  Schaden did everything he could to run it into the ground and squeeze every last penny out of it over the past few years, but it looks like the new CEO is actually a restaurant guy, not a Franchise Sales Rep.

Every person that works in the field for Quiznos Corporate and every FO know what is wrong with the system....just start by listening (PLEASE!).  The FO and Quiznos field employees have the impression that the corporate team believes we are all idiots, and if we aren't profitable we aren't following the program.  Well, we do follow the program...and we aren't profitable. 

This can all be fixed, and it won't take long....JUST LISTEN AND LEARN from the people that live it everyday.  (and it wouldn't hurt if they actually owned and operated a few stores either).

on January 9th, 2007

Quiznos Not A Restaurant Company

A company that is owned by a lawyer, run by lawyers, Wall Street and MBA types, and has no corporate stores can't be expected to do what's in the best interest of the restaurants.  Hence, Q and UPS are more similar than would appear at first glance.  Q policies, like UPS, are designed to maximize profit at the corporate level at the expense of the units themselves.  High food costs, predatory coupons financed totally by franchisees, and heavy handed tactics toward franchisees who object bear that out. 

True, UPS won't crash and burn if the UPS stores disappear, unlike the Q.  However, the business landscape is littered with corporate failures traced to management that lost focus on its core business.  Q went from being a restaurant company that franchises to a franchise company that sells restaurants.  UPS is a franchisor that sells shipping stores.  Same concept, same failed results for investors (franchisees).  

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on April 11th, 2007

What does Quizno's sell?

Rocket makes a good point. I remember the ScroederWertheim analyst who said that the old Boston Market was not in the restaurant business but the finance business, and that's why he rated the stock a "Sell". He was correct.Quiznos does have competitors whose corporate culture is that of a QSR which distributes via a franchise model. That is quite different from a company which sees itself primarily in the franchise industry, secondarily in the food distribution industry, and QSR as a tertiary concern. I don't like Fred DeLuca personally, but he does inspection tours where he gets behind the counter and makes customer sandwiches; my guess is that after a few weeks Brenneman can make a better sandwich than Schaden. Other zors such as Ray Kroc and Dave Thomas are other examples of leaders whose first passion was for the food and not some abstract business model.I share the growing concern about companies that see themselves in the business of selling franchises rather than companies selling a product which they wish to distribute via franchised outlets. My advice: find franchisors who are fanatical about their product and then narrow down your choices by screening for franchise management skills.

on April 11th, 2007

What's Wrong With This Concept Fransynergy?

Answer........... Well, just about everything

on January 12th, 2007

Quiznos Not Owned By Shareholders

Not to dismiss all of Fransynergy's comments but Q is owned by the Schadens and investment bankers - it's not a publicly held company so the shareholder argument is disingenuous.  Whoever owns 51% runs the show and cares only of their interests.  None are restauranteurs, none own any stores in the system, and none give a damn about franchisees - and it shows.

A franchisor should be concerned about all of their investors - and a franchisee is an investor.  As much of an investor as any wall street hot shot or turn-around artist and their interests need to be considered in every decision that is made. 

Ray Kroc was into systems - he was also into franchisee success because the happier and richer franchisees were, the richer he got.  Dave Thomas was into the Wendy's system - and he understood the same thing.

The similarities between Q and UPS are based on how they do business - drain franchisee wealth through predatory and heavy-handed tactics.  The landscape is littered with thousands of franchisees from both companies that were broken financially and emotionally after investing in them.

Food costs are significantly higher at Quiznos than at other fast food restaurants - and if your best clients are Quiznos franchisees than you know that already.  And the food costs they advertise to prospective franchisees is based on sales before discounts are figured in.  Deceptive to say the least.

No one should be forced to watch money walk out the door every time a coupon is presented.  Only a company that owns no stores and benefits through vendor kickbacks and higher royalties would even consider issuing such coupons.

Again to you folks looking to invest in a franchise - the bottom line is all that matters.  Neither franchise will give you the kind of return you should expect from your investment.  Find something safer, like a mattress.

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on April 11th, 2007

Territorial Exclusivity

Yet another way to judge opportunity is to look at how the company deals with exclusive territories.  Does the franchisee purchase come with the exclusive right to develop other units in the same area or an agreement in writing that limits where other frachisees can locate their stores?

Consider this - some franchisors will try to tell you that this is something you don't need to worry about.  The company would never place stores too close together because it's not in its own interests to do so.  Well, as many Q owners already know two stores doing $7,000 a week is much more profitable for Q than one store doing $12,000.  More food sales and more royalties.  The franchisees are stuck with stores that are at break-even or worse.  The company says it no longer does that, however:

1.  Where are they saying that in writing? 

2.  What is to guarantee a franchisee that the next CEO will continue that policy?

3.  What happens to the franchisees already in that predictament?  Remember, how current franchisees are treated is a good indication of how you will be treated after the money is paid. 

 

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on May 30th, 2007

A Food Cost Riddle

Riddle Me This:  What QSR would have the audacity to recommend pricing a product line so food costs would range anywhere from 45% to 50% and use a "penny profits" argument to justify the pricing scheme? 

And just what IS a "penny profit"?

when lucy met therocket she never knew the reason why

Posted by therocket on April 25th, 2007

REGARDING PAUL STEINBERG

The following seems to pertain to our  illustrious Paul Steinberg. Can someone please confirm?

 

JUDGMENT - Civil Case # 200604202803

Defendent: STEINBERG, PAUL W

Plaintiff: NORTH SHORE UNIVERSITY HOSPITAL

Filing Type: JUDGMENT/STATE LIEN

Amount Liability: $1,760

 

 

JUDGMENT

Date Filed: Nov. 2, 2006

Civil Case # 2006570631

Defendant: STEINBERG, PAUL W

Filing Type: SUITS - INITITAL FILINGS INDEX

Plaintiff: (name withheld)

 

JUDGMENT

Date Filed: Oct. 19, 2006

FEDERAL TAX LEIN (individual)

Defendant: STEINBERG, PAUL

Plaintiff: IRS

Amount Liability: $29,654

 

JUDGEMENT

Civil Case # 462926028

Date Filed: Oct 19, 2006

Defendant: STEINBERG, PAUL

Plaintiff: IRS

Filing Type: FEDERAL TAX LIEN

Amount Liability: $29,654

Action Type: FEDERAL LIEN

JUDGMENT

Civil Case # E024175702

Date Filed: Apr 18, 2005

Defendant: STEINBERG, PAUL W

Plaintiff: NY STATE DEP'T OF TAXATION AND FINANCE

Filing Type: JUDGMENT/STATE LIEN

Amount Liability: $30,131

Action Type: NY STATE TAX WARRANT

 

JUDGMENT

Date Filed: Apr 24, 1995

Defendant: PAUL STEINBERG ENTERP INC

Plaintiff: NYC DEPARTMENT OF FINANCE

Filing Type: JUDGMENT/STATE LIEN

Amount Liability: $2,564

Action Type: NY CITY TAX WARRANT

 

JUDGEMENT - Civil Case # S1389D09378

August 9, 2001

Defendant: STEINBERG, PAUL

Plaintiff: NJ DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

 

JUDGMENT

Civil Case # DC-009342-2000

Date Filed: August 30, 2003

Defendant: PAUL STEINBERG ASSOCINC

Plaintiff: F P R EXPRESS INC

Amount Liability: $8,009

 

t...and there's more

 

 

on January 24th, 2007

Quizno's New Jersey newspaper article

Article from New Jersey paper dated 13 March 2007 discussing Quiznos, click here .

on March 14th, 2007

Thank you Joe!

Thank you Joe....

I accept your challenge!  I agree wholeheatedly that as professionals, we should act like professionals.  I've shot and been shot at, and this activity is counterproductive to any of our efforts, beliefs, morals, values, intents, or growth.

A few of my favorite quotes: "Loose Lips Sink Ships" "We can disagree without being disagreeable"."It's easy to be friendly with those who agree with your opinions". 

Believe & Succeed,FranSynergySynergizing Franchising 1 Franchisee at a time!www.fransynergy.com

Posted by FranSynergy on January 25th, 2007

An Example of High Quality Service

Joe,Accepted, without reservation.For my part, please excuse any offense while my skills improve. If my message appears at times to be a little on the dark side, that is only a function of me dealing with the remains of the worst of the worst industry outcomes.Perhaps, working together, there'll be no need for a television franchise [a Canadian original, I might add] which might be named CSI: Franchising!QualityI believe defining, measuring, and accurately reporting quality of service providers will be my focus. Let's work on a mechanism to separate the wheat from the chafe.By managing information well:

  • high quality individuals and stakeholders will be rewarded [reputation, capital],
  • medium will have to rise or exit, and
  • low quality providers will wither away and exit.

I have great hope that we can help move that agenda along. Trust will play a large part in that very new, and at times, awkward process.Everyone recognizes and appreciates working with people of high character. And that's the real power of the Blue MauMau community.Les Stewart, MBAIndustry Investment Analyst Pathologist/ResearcherFranchiseFool.com :: the wise learn to say Nocafo.net :: apprenticeship

Posted by Les Stewart on January 25th, 2007

Court Records and Community Going Down

The court records post was submitted here on Tuesday so that is why it is restored. The Blue MauMau site lost all posts published on Wednesday from 6am onwards. Paul Steinberg wrote a blog on Wednesday asking that the court record post be put back on Blue Maumau. If memory serves correct, I believe there is another Paul Steinberg with some court records out there.We understand how frustrating it is to lose the tail end of a discussion thread. My sincere apologies for our technical problems Wednesday night and this morning. At this point, we are not sure what is making our site go down. Something is overloading our server's CPU. Checking...Mr. Blue MauMau

on January 25th, 2007