Hurricane Grill & Wings Franchisees file lawsuit against franchisor for deceptive practices and earnings claims

Dear fellow Hurricane Grill & Wings Franchisees,

Have you been mislead by Hurricane Grill & Wings? When you first met with Hurricane Grill & Wings were you given earnings claims like I was? (I will go into detail further) Did they make you believe that you would make money and that your restaurant would be doing more in sales? Did they tell you that you could build your restaurant for less than $400K all in? Did you? Did you ever ask yourself why we all were taken to the one and only validator in the brand? (Jeff Arrogoni) What numbers did Jeff quote you?

Now that you are in the brand you know them not to be true.

Did they talk to you about all the systems they were supposed to have in place to help you be successful? Did they disclose to you the financial problems ($2 million in debt and unpaid bills to vendors, that they can't pay?) Did they tell you they were going to open 30+ stores this year? (I only know of 5) Have you asked yourself what has happened to all the staff?

The past two Presidents leave the company (both being the only bright spots in this very dishonest group). What happened to this new President? He just didn't show back up after 3 days of being the new boss.

Did they tell you that 3 of the affiliate stores don't contribute 3% to the Marketing Fund or pay the 6% royalty as stated in our UFOC? Have you asked for an accounting of the Marketing Fund? Did you know they pay payroll out of your 3% Marketing Fund? Have you ever tried to reach anybody at the corporate office to get answers? Have you seen Chris Russo in your store? Has Russo as our CEO offered anybody and olive branch as we all lose money? (Reduction or waiver in royalties, ad fund, refund additional franchise fees, ect.) Do you have to work your store everyday to reduce your losses?

My losses average about $12,000 a month if I don't work every shift in my store, even then I still am short $7000 a month.

What about food costs? Is your food cost 36% or higher? Were you told like me that it would be 33% or less? Did they tell you that they accept gifts from our food vendor Sysco? (Cruise given by Chris Russo to one of the corporate staff from sysco) Did you read that line in the UFOC that they do not do these types of things?

Have any of you heard or know who the group is that is buying Texas? I would like them to talk with us prior to making their purchase. I think it would only be fair to prevent them from making the same mistake all of us did.

If any of the following happened to you my attorney would like to talk with you. All meetings will be held over the next two weeks as we will be filing suit shortly thereafter.

  • Were you ever given an earnings claim during your sales process? (any claim to the likely hood of success, volume, profitability, shown P&L's from existing stores, etc.)
  • Were you told that you could build your store for less than $400K
  • Were you sold by Mike Matakaetis or Steve Schwan
  • Were you promised systems and tools to help you be successful
  • Did they take you to Jeff Arrogoni for validation
  • Were you told that they would be opening 30+ stores in the year that you signed
  • Do you know for fact that you were mislead


Nations Restaurant News and Franchise Times have committed to print our story.

Please email me if you are interested in joining our Lawsuit. My attorney will first verify your identity and then set up an appointment to discuss the case with you. We have 4 franchise owners committed to date.

Seeking Fellow Hurricane Grill & Wings Defendants

Dear Hurricane Franchisee,

You are losing money and are upset. Sounds like some pretty bad stuff. How long have you had your restaurant?

As I understand it from our legal eagles here, any earnings claims must reasonably match what is written in the UFOC.

on May 23rd, 2008

Re: Seeking Fellow Hurricane Grill & Wings Defendants

"As I understand it from our legal eagles here, any earnings claims must reasonably match what is written in the UFOC."

Bob an earnings claim must match what is in the UFOC/FDD.

Posted by Truth in Franchising on May 23rd, 2008

Re: Re: Seeking Fellow Hurricane Grill & Wings Defendants

What other lawsuits does SR have going?

Posted by Guest on April 21st, 2009

how to contavt you

was considering this brand would like to contact you by phone

on May 31st, 2008

Hurricane Grill & Wings Grows

My name is Dean and I am part of the new (since mid dec 08) franchisor group for Hurricane Grill & Wings.  What a road this brand has travelled down...We corrected the big issues and morale is as strong as ever.  There are some that are mad an rightfully so...but that anger has nothing to do with me and my team.  We are in it, to win it and we are already seeing the our sales being up in late July while restaurants are closing all around us.  If you would like to meet our team, I invite you to reach out to us you will not be disappointed.  [email protected]

Posted by FAIR n BALANCED on July 31st, 2009

not good

Good Luck, I'm hoping to get paid myself.

on June 17th, 2008

Hurricane Grill

As a previous manager for a concept in the Vegas market the franchisee can attribute a lot of his failures to the simple fact that he did not have any idea what he was doing from the start! His five stores lasted as long as many felt they would because he was absolutely clueless less than a year and the last three opening for less than 4 to 6 months.......

on September 26th, 2008

I want more info on the stores in Las Vegas

I saw your posting that you worked for the Vegas franchisee. Are all 6 stores closed now? Do you know how I could contact the franchisee. I am a commercial Realtor in Las Vegas with a client interested in some of these locations. Any help I can get would be appreciated. Please email me at [email protected] or call me at 702-349-9656. Thanks so much,
Dianne Simmons
EXIT Unlimited Commercial

Posted by Guest on December 17th, 2008

Hurricane Grill and Wings

I was also considering the franchise and have met with several members of the "team". The concept is still very appealing, however, I sensed internal issues causing me to drag my feet. Thank you for posting this; I would be interested in an update from you!

on November 11th, 2008

New owners new outlook

My name is Dean and I am part of the new (since mid dec 08) franchisor group for Hurricane Grill & Wings.  What a road this brand has travelled down...We corrected the big issues and morale is as strong as ever.  There are some that are mad an rightfully so...but that anger has nothing to do with me and my team.  We are in it, to win it and we are already seeing the our sales being up in late July while restaurants are closing all around us.  If you would like to meet our team, I invite you to reach out to us you will not be disappointed.  [email protected]

Posted by FAIR n BALANCED on July 31st, 2009

Former Employee

As a former Sr. Team member, I too was sold a "bill of goods" by the Executive Team. the dishonesty and collusion that existed between Michael Matakaetis and Spriro Laskaris (even Chris Russo) was beyond belief.

They all deserve what is coming to them!!!

on November 18th, 2008

Hurricane Grill and Wings New Ownership...

Hurricane Grill and Wings New Ownership...

I was looking into this brand and found this post however almost every existing franchisee has only good things to say about this concept and new ownership. Does anyone else have any information on the new owners? From what the existing franchisees are saying it is a very good thing for the brand.

Thank you,


Posted by jarroddavis on January 28th, 2009

Don't Invest

The five new restaurants opened in Las Vegas between November 2007 and April 2008 all closed within months. I was hired as the Director of Operations by Peter Economys and was given the same empty promises by him and Hurricane Grill and Wings Corporate. I was inindated with collection calls for months from Vendors.

Posted by Guest on February 25th, 2009

Re: Don't Invest

I was at your restaurants in Las Vegas and you were not even running a Hurricane Grill & Wings. Almost everything in your store was non-spec product and you were running it like a GIRLS eat and drink free kind of place. That's not the concept!!!

Thanks for your info...

Posted by Guest on March 5th, 2009

Would you like to make this an open debate on Bluemaumau?

You obviously belong to the ZOR. Would anyone in your system like to put your operational knowledge against Peter E.? I PROMISE YOU that you would lose!!!!

The reasons the groups outside of Florida couldn't operate with spec products was due to the fact they COULD NOT GET THEM!!! Please review the lawsuit filled and won by the group in Las Vegas.

The Las Vegas group contributed many of the systems that now run the operations side of Hurricane. They were the main reason that I signed my agreement. These were GREAT operators in a system filled with dishonesty, false claims and no consistency in distribution whatsoever. Besides the Vegas Group losing MILLIONS, what about the ZEE in Atlanta that quit his job after 26 years with DD to become a VP of the company and also a ZEE...the last I heard he lost over $550K!!! His ENTIRE retirement. He couldn't get approved products, sauces, wings, ect...and when he did he had to pay a premium for the product to have it delivered. He was told that he was to have the area directorship for Atlanta? What happened with that? Then they fire him and don't pay over $15K in expenses. Shall I keep going??

If you would like to keep this volley going...

Posted by Guest on March 8th, 2009


I hope that everyone does there homework.....BEFORE
it happens to any other person.

Posted by guest THAT SEEN IT ALLVisitor on August 30th, 2013

im one of the owners


My name is Dean.  I just joined this site.  It is very useful.  Me and my two partners, John Metz and Gail Asarch are the owners of Hurricane AMT, LLC which is the new franchisor for Hurricane Grill & Wings.  We have 30 stores in Florida and opening this fall in Arizona with other nationwide expansion.  Great things are happening and all the negative stuff is a faded memory.  Our partnership stepped in mid December while your were looking we were in rescue mode.  Just in time too...costs are down, sales are up along with morale...we have our next generation of stores coming soon and we are growing.

Feel free to reach me if you like for a comfort level. Hope to connect.  [email protected]

Posted by FAIR n BALANCED on July 31st, 2009

sore losers

I own a hurricane in Central florida! I am doing great... Food is great costs are on line and guests love it. if you know how to manage a restaurant and your not an absentee owner you can make plenty of money. If you think you can sit at the bar and drink it will never happen.Hard work smart planning proper training and working with your community is what it takes with great consistent food you cant go wrong.

Posted by Guest on February 24th, 2009


Thanks for the info. It seems like the majority of postings on this site are from angry and bitter people so it's good to hear from franchisees like yourself and get real feedback.

-Thanks again

Posted by jarrod davis on March 3rd, 2009

You are too obvious...

If you are trying to come across as a potential franchisee at least put some effort into it.

The franchisee that posted the positive comment above would be successful in ANY system. He is a standout operator that DOES NOT follow the Hurricane specs due to the fact that he knows that he could not make money if he did. This system is not within 3% of hitting acceptable food cost numbers.

If you are trying to get people to purchase a franchise, try posing as a potential franchisee to a system that actually isn't filled with Lawsuits and Litigation.

Shameful attempt...but, the scam continues!

Posted by Guest on March 8th, 2009


Why don't you tell everybody reading this about the 2 existing lawsuits against the ZOR and the 2 past lawsuits that the ZOR swept under the table. How about the new ownership group (Fred Meltzer and the Hoffman's Group) selling the company 4 months after buying it and then suing the ZOR for fraud and other accusations? Tell them about the 7 franchizees about to file suit in South Florida. Tell them about the former President of the company suing them for reasons unknown.

People close this brand have lost MILLIONS!!! They have lost their life savings their Parent Companies that funded their growth with Hurricane have lost Millions and that is UNEXCEPTABLE!!!

Don't try to put a positive spin on this brand. It has hurt it's franchisees, area directors and it's employees.


Posted by Guest on March 8th, 2009

Hurricane Grill & Wings Franchisees file lawsuit against

Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you're using?
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Many thanks, I appreciate it!

Posted by Coconu on September 11th, 2013

Hurricane from the beginning....

Was a Francorp client. Enough said.

Posted by Guest on March 9th, 2009

Hurricane Wings

I am a former vendor to Hurricane Wings. Thew owe me a considerable amount of money. I filed a collections law suit at the beginning of 2009. I suppose it was right around the time that the company was sold by Fred Meltzer. Are there any other vendors out there that have updates about there own collection law suits or other efforts to get paid?

Posted by Guest on April 3rd, 2009


Dear Guest,

I am one of the current owners.  Sadly for the first few months that we controlled the brand vendors came out of the wood work with bills.  Unfortunately these debts are with the old company and not with ours.  Hurricane AMT pays it's bills.  What services do you offer?  it is possible that perhaps you would have a level of satisfaction working with us.  email me at [email protected]

Posted by FAIR n BALANCED on July 31st, 2009

Current Ownership

While I can not speak first hand to any fraud...whenever you see good people who are upset, there must be something to the allegations.  The old saying, "where there's smoke, there's usually fire".


My name is Dean Tendrich and like the people who are so passionate about this blog and it's topic, I too am invested in what I think is wonderful brand and concept.  The current ownership (since Dec 08) has done nothing inappropriate.  Hurricane AMT has stopped the bleeding of patient that was very critical.  


I can understand the harsh feelings of those who may have been misled...the wise thing for anyone interested in joining the fun is to chat with all of the franchisees...we are still small enough to do that.  If you speak to EVERYONE, you will know the wheat from the chaff.

As owner and CMO I invite any of you  to reach out to me.    

Dean Tendrich


Posted by FAIR n BALANCED on July 30th, 2009

Why it's right for you ...

Here are a couple of additional points  worth mentioning!

Hurricane Grill & Wings offers its franchisees ...

  • An Innovative brand in a booming industry
  • Fast-growing, forward-thinking company
  • Simple operation, small  footprint
  • Comprehensive training and ongoing support
  • Fun, relaxing atmosphere

Click here to learn more:




Posted by Guest on August 13th, 2009

It is hard to make money in a

It is hard to make money in a little restaurant. Watch out as the price of chicken wings continues to increase. Won't be long before you can't turn a profit on wings. Then what?

Posted by Guest on October 13th, 2009

Vendors BEWARE

Don't waste your time chasing them.  Promises of store volume, purchases, and payment have all been lies - the only consistent thing through the rollercoaster of ownership.  Even corporate issued PO's go unpaid.  They have no control over the franchisees purchasing whatever they want from the vendor of their choice not from programs established by “corporate”.  This company is a mess – stay away!

Posted by Guest on August 20th, 2009

Hurricane Grill & Wings

My name is Dean Tendrich...I am one of the current owners (unrelated to the post by Hurricane Franchisee) of Hurricane Grill & Wings location, my partners and I are the franchisor and I work for the franchisee's at the Hurricane Support Center (561-932-1075). Under our ownership the Hurricane community is growing together and growing closer. We are partners with our franchisee's, we shook hands on it. If anyone is interested in our brand, talk to our franchisee's now...


Dean Tendrich
CMO Hurricane Grill & Wings

Posted by Guest on June 15th, 2010



Posted by Guest on April 4th, 2011

Michael Matakaitis

Does anybody knows who is Michael Matakaitis?
Can somebody give me some background on this person?

Posted by Guest on March 19th, 2012

Several new lawsuits

Several new lawsuits

Posted by Guest on January 5th, 2013

hurricane grill and wings

can hurricane grill and wings can open their own restaurant in less that 4 miles from your ?
answer is yes

Posted by Visitor on April 16th, 2013

closed coconut creek location

what happens to coconut creek is incredible hurricane has removed the franchise agrement...and decide hell-bent like an animal on its prey

Posted by Visitor on September 5th, 2013



You seem to be acting like five years is the equivalent of taking over last year. I am not affilitated with the brand - Not a Z, Zor or vendor, and would love some facts... You state July numbers, but nothing else... Can you just add briefly to the conversation for us that do not have a opinion:
* How many stores did the concept have when you took over?
* Average Unit volume when you took over?
* Stores that have closed since 2008?
* Stores that have opened since 2008?
* Store count today?
* AUV today?
* Does the franchisor distribute food, keep rebates or mandate proprietary products that the Zor profits from?

Posted by Visitor on September 8th, 2013

Numbers for Hurricane

I am the original President of the brand...

So, to answer your questions...we had 37 units sold in 2008 and to the best of my memory we had 12 operating units. Avg. unit volume was around $800K and some change. I can't comment on stores open or closed as I was not involved.

I can tell you however I still speak to a majority of the ZEE's in the system and they as a whole are very unhappy with the system. I believe the intent was good but, as is the case most times in a young system the ZOR was way above its pay grade trying to develop the brand. The ownership understood the ZEE side of the equation but, had no experience growing a brand. They have tried to cover their lack of understanding with lots of PR and spin but, the net result is still no real traction with the brand.

My opinion...stay away for a couple of years let them or their predecessor get some time in pocket understanding the franchise business and the appropriate structure for the model and then take another look.

Posted by Visitor on September 28th, 2013