Manic Meineke and Midas Musings

Manic stories of owning a Meineke and Midas franchise (two unrelated auto repair franchises - other than they start with the letter "M"), and rebuffs to those horror stories.

Manic Meineke and Midas Musings

Meineke , Midas and others are all part of a trend over the past few years that is closing or selling off unprofitable shops to franchisees. - Tinker

Sources please. Facts please. 

SATIRE - Since we are speaking of rumors, I heard it said that Meineke and Midas corporate are all part of a trend over the past few years of closing down or selling off generic modules of General Motors. And that M & M are to blame for the global shortage of manic mechanics.

A warming world too.

on February 28th, 2007

Tinker gets a little legislative help on two fronts.

1.  Tennessee senate has enacted the "Tennessee Franchise Disclosure Act of 2007" with no changes to the bill. Hopefuly the House will do the same on their side and it becomes law July 1, 2007.  Although it isn't something that will help our case because it happened before the legislation was even introduced, it is something that gives this former franchisee a lot of satisfaction.  A little more accountability and enforcement capabilities here at the state level to help franchisees in the future. 

2.  As I've mentioned before, one of the many bizarre things Meineke has done during this mess is to sell another franchise in an area where 30% of our revenue is derrived.  To make matters worse, the owner of this franchise was a convicted sex offender (rape) and Meineke knew about it the entire time.  Their 'reasoning' was that because he wasn't required to be on the "public" sex offender registry, it wasn't a problem.  Well now legislation here in Tennessee has just passed unanimously that requires there be only ONE sex offender registry and it WILL be public. 

       *Fortunately for us we were able to obtain an injunction preventing this man from opening his shop but this new leglislation will provide the public one more layer of protection from unscrupulous businesses that wanted to hide behind this technicality. 

Posted by Tinker on March 2nd, 2007

What happens at Meineke when a Zee acts in bad faith?

You ask us to take a face value that you acted in good faith and Meineke acted in bad faith. What happened when other zees acted in bad faith at Meineke?

on August 27th, 2007

Perhaps you can go back and READ

And who knows.................you might actually see the link in the very same post you cite that takes you to the Yahoo Finance article where Midas themselves report they have closed down 6 'unprofitable shops' and have taken a 1.9 million dollar charge off.  So there's your FACT and there's your SOURCE.  It was there all along so I'm at a loss where your sarcasm is coming from.  Should you like to look into the Meineke shop numbers a simple request for the UFOC will provide you the information.  It is broken down under their "list of outlets".  

Posted by Tinker on February 28th, 2007

I haven't asked anything of YOU.

HELL, I don't even know who YOU are?  However if you have some information on franchisees acting in bad faith with poor, mistreated Meineke, by all means................share your info with us.  However, if it is just wishful thinking on your part, share that too.

 

Lisha

Rhino Super Center

Posted by Tinker on August 27th, 2007

6-Units - $1.9 Mil. What's the point?

Tinker - Perhaps I'm missing something....but when did it become NEW or 'A TREND' for business to close unprofitable stores.  For nearly as long as there has been economic trade...unprofItable businesses units have been closed.

As for the 'charge-off' that is an accounting function of running a business.  Do you not in you're own life report earnings and deduct expendiures and losses to the fullest extent of the law?  What's the point?

Oh -- It was that not even the franchisor could make a go of these units.  We don't know how the franchisor came buy the units, why they were unprofitable or anything else about them and without that KEY INFORMATION....you know what it means?  It means they closed 6 unprofitable shops...and took a 1.9 million dollar charge off.  That's called good business!

Believe & Succeed,Dale NaborsFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising 1 Franchisee at a time!

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

Are you suggesting every Meineke zee is a good citizen?

You must be joking?

on August 27th, 2007

I see the EXCUSE mill is running at full steam.

If your 'experience' with businesses is so limited as to not see the point I was making, I doubt I can do much to educate you on a message board.  However, my 20+ years in corporate accounting (CFO) gives me enough hands on experience to see the implications.  As a franchise owner, I can also see the irony as well as bad faith of a company selling a product that they themselves can't create appropriately. 

And to put it even more in prospective..................those 6 shops represent 10% of the company owned shops.

on February 28th, 2007

1.9 $M write off

If these 'units' had been owned by franchisees, NONE of those owners would be able to take it as a write-off, because the value of their investment in opening and running the store get devalued daily.  Nowhere else does one buy a business with the expectation that after years of building the business, it's re-sale value would not IMPROVE.  Only in franchising!  Now, I suspect that each store's actual value was  much less tha $317k, if valued under the same principles that franchise owners are subject to ( reality, not the IRS).

 Although unintended, I'm sure, you have hit upon the biggest problem with UPS's involvement in franchising.  Franchisees cannot make cost/benefit decisions; they are dictated to buy equipment, accept unprofitable programs, etc.  If you are "out of compliance, they can TAKE-not buy your franchise from you.  Remember UPS tried and failed to develop its own retails stores.  They could not make them profitable.  (for facts look at a recent closing of a UPS owned shipping outlet- the UPS employees posted a sign on the door announcing that  the store closure was due to lack of profitability, circa 2006, I believe)  UPS is NOT a retailer. They are using the UPS Store network as a  testing ground for programs that profit only them, at the expense of franchisees.  They pay not rent, labor, etc, but control profit margins, force unprofitable programs onto  franchisees and use threats and intimidation to get what they want. 

If you bought a muffler or oil change franchise with a national name, and the franchisor them told you you would have to look at providing services other than oil/muffler changes ( services which require substantial capital investment) wouldn't ypu object?

Mr. Nabors; you earn your living getting people to buy franchises.  Your support of franchisors rights at the expense of franchisees is certainly suspect.  Sorry.

apologies for any misspelling.

Posted by mom on February 28th, 2007

Those are YOUR words, not mine.

However, kudos for the nice diversion tactic.  Fortunately, your attempt is so obvious and transparent, your agenda will most likely lose a couple points there. 

Now if you're finished trying to make this post into what you WANT it to be, perhaps we can get back to the issue I actually posted.................the need for actual expertise and experience in the very unique Franchising field.

 

Lisha

Rhino Super Center

Posted by Tinker on August 27th, 2007

the l.9mil write off comment should be threaded UPS

Please, Mr. Blue Mau Mau! In the interests of informing the public, the comment by MOM should be posted on The UPS Store, Tales of Gore.

on February 28th, 2007

Tinker - Tinker - Tinker

Tinker - Tinker - Tinker:

There is no need for sarcasiam, the ever popular 'Red Herring' or more excuses!  I also have 20+ years experience in working with both small and large organizations in an executive capacity.  However, my 20 years or yours means very little until we determine if we have 20 years of experience or 1year of experience duplicated 20 times.

Regardless - the points were:

A) Without knowing the history of those 6 stores it means nothing!B) A 90% Success Rate as you point out is pretty good - I don't care who you are!C) There is no evidence based on (6-corporate store closings) that a company is operating in bad faith or that they can't create or haven't created a viable system.

TINKER:  Don't disrespect me, my opinions, or experience, or that of others here at Bluemaumau AND I will not disrespect you, your opinions or your experience.  Intellectual discussion from various positions CREATES IMPROVEMENT....being rude, nasty, ugly, condesending, or sarcastic only makes it more difficult to understand were you're coming from.  I look forward to articulate, and Intellectually honest discussions in the future!  Until then... 

Believe & Succeed,

Dale NaborsFranSynergySynergizing Franchising 1 Franchisee at a time!www.fransynergy.com

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

MOM...Welcome to BlueMaumau!

MOM….Your politeness and sincerity radiate and are appreciated.  So upfront – I believe we can agree to be agreeable – even when we disagree.  Agreed?

The references to date have referred to a 1.9 million dollar ‘CHARGE OFF’; you are referring to a ‘WRITE-OFF’.  These are 2 different accounting terms…one relates to ‘bad debt’ the other to a depreciated asset.  However, being that I’m not an accountant I’ll leave that distinction for others to elaborate upon.

MOM WROTE:  If you bought a muffler or oil change franchise with a national name, and the franchisor them told you would have to look at providing services other than oil/muffler changes ( services which require substantial capital investment) wouldn't you object?

Like it or not this is part of franchising.  If you operate MOM’s Muffler Repair you can decide to add Window Tenting, Stereo Installations or Glass Repair as added profit centers.  If you operate Franchisor’s Muffler Repair, they have the right to add additional ‘profit centers’ and most likely you’ve contractually agreed to add such additional products and services if and when introduced.

Mom Wrote:  Mr. Nabors; you earn your living getting people to buy franchises.  Your support of franchisors rights at the expense of franchisees is certainly suspect.  Sorry.

I DO NOT EARN MY LIVING by helping people to buy franchises.  I earn my living by helping people who have already become franchisees to reduce their operating costs and liabilities, increase their gross sales and their BOTTOM LINES!  I earn my living by helping franchisees build franchise units which do not JUST SURVIVE --- but THRIVE – GROW & PROSPER!  And in earning my living, I see a lot of mistakes made by franchisors and I try to be a facilitator of improvement.  I see a lot of mistakes made by franchisees who simply lack the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate a successful franchise, but who have desire, passion, commitment, persistence and DEW (Desire to Grow, Eagerness to Learn, and a Willingness to be taught).   They don’t have time to rock-the-boat….because they’re to busy rowing it toward their desired destination!

Mom…Welcome to Bluemaumau…and please call me Dale!

Believe & Succeed,DaleFranSynergy, Inc.Synergizing Franchising 1 Franchisee at a time!www.fransynergy.com

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

Comments from MOM about UPS Store & franchising

MOM says about UPS Stores "if you are out of compliance, they can TAKE, not buy your store" and he tells another truth, i.e. remember that UPS tried to develop its own retail stores but they closed them because they were unprofitable.
You can read his comments on Meineke thread 2/28/2007, under subject l.9 $M write off, many of which tell the truth about the UPS Store situation, although this was a Meineke thread.

on August 27th, 2007

Okay don't answer my fair question...

It is important for prospective franchisees during due diligence to discover how well the franchisor manages non-compliant or bad citizens in the franchise community. Bad franchisees are a risk to the other franchisees' investments!

So get off your high horse before you fall off!

on August 27th, 2007

I suggest you practice what you preach

Your original post was both sarcastic and condescending and you know it.  In addition, you feigning ignorance and then becoming indignant when someone calls you on it is a bit much.  Your entire business is dependent on the rosy perception of the franchise industry and you and others will do just about anything to counter the harsh realities that creep into it.  So make all the excuses you want, but take a step back and try that 'honest discussion'  you are so quick to suggest to others.  Also, disrespect goes both ways.

As far as your 'excuse' for the subject at hand.  Nice try.  However, it was a failure of 10% in ONE quarter so you attempt to minimize the number is ridiculous.  In addition, there is a difference between a business tightening their belt to run lean and more profitable, and a company closing shops and the SAME time they are beating the promotional drum about the 'perfect time' to open a new Midas shop.  Sure...........................pay us money to show you how to do something WE can't even do.  That's not good business, that's bad faith. It's bad enough that companies would do something so unethical but that so many others would put their own self-centered agendas ahead of common decency and continue to make excuses for them.

Posted by Tinker on February 28th, 2007

Ya'll do what for a living?

Fransynergy wrote:

I see a lot of mistakes made by franchisees who simply lack the knowledge, skills and abilities to operate a successful franchise,

My reply:

"Huh - he exclaims"?  I must not understand what you posted.  My interpretation of what you have said is: 

"I am doing the franchiser's job for them".

Is not the franchiser supposed to have a proven format, provide training, an operations manual and train the franchisee?  I can understand an ambitious franchisee wanting to go to an outside advisor to learn how to finance and leverage the single unit skills they acquired from the franchiser but I am puzzled why a franchisee should have to go outside the franchise to learn how to operate a franchise?

Do you deal with franchisees who have been raked over the coals by inept franchisers?

What am I failing to understand in what you posted? 

Baffled...

FuwaFuwaUsagi

 

on February 28th, 2007

And are Registered Sex Offender's ALSO a risk

...................to other franchisees' investment?  There are many who think so; and of course that isn't even considering the customers who would be outraged. 

It would be great if you actually knew what you were talking about, but until then just continue with your same silly game of throwing stones out of your glass house. 

Lisha

 

Posted by Tinker on August 27th, 2007

Okay - Tinker!

Tinker:

Okay - I see you've decided to take the low road....for which I forgive you!  People who are hurting often say and do hurtful things. 

However, Successful people seperate themselves from Negative People, Places and Things --- Therefore, I'll allow you to continue acting RUDE & DISRESPECTFUL...and I'll go and chat with those who are more intersted in being a part of the SOLUTION and less interested in being the PROBLEM!  Good Luck to you in your law suit and future endeavors!

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

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

FUWA: We Synergize Franchising!

Fuwa: 

As I’m sure you recognize there is disparity from franchisor to franchisor in what is and is not included in the franchise agreement, and as I’ve said before “if it isn’t in the franchise agreement, IT ISN’T (in the franchise).  The systems and support which are provided within a franchise concept and then delivered via initial training and then by ongoing coaching, training and support vary dramatically.  Some organizations do a much better job than others, and VERY few truly offer a “Turn-Key” solution.

Franchisors should and can be expected to provide use of intellectual property along with a Business Method, or Format (brand Identification).   They’ll typically provide systems and procedures for maintaining quality control, and uniformity over the products and or services which are offered by their franchisees.   Franchisors will also typically provide assistance in other areas such as buying arrangements, site selection and cooperative advertising.  By the legal definition of a franchise there is little more which a franchisor must provide, although most do provide many other value added services.

At this stage the franchisor has provided the new franchisee a business vehicle and hopefully taught the new franchisee how to own and operate that particular vehicle.  Additionally however, and what is often lost, over promised and under-delivered by some overzealous franchise sales people and franchisors is the fact that the franchisee in addition to becoming a franchisee is also becoming a business owner.  It is this business entity which then must successfully implement, manage, operate, orchestrate and oversee the franchise agreement, and related processes and procedures.

As a new franchisee you now have the right to use a name and a logo.  You’ve been provided with a look and a feel.  You’ve been taught the proprietary way of doing business under the brand.  However, as a business owner you also must have access to Payroll Services, Tax Services, Legal Services, Accounting Services, Finance Services, Human Resources, IT Services, Office Supplies, Employee Benefits, Employee Retention tools, and much much more! 

So, for the most part….the Franchisor provided ‘THE FRONT OFFICE’ and most do a pretty good job of this.  It’s part of that ‘WOW’ factor that wets the appetite of the franchisee.  However, the Franchisee remains responsible for ‘THE BACK OFFICE’, which is often overlooked and/or neglected for a variety of reasons.  AH HA!  The FranSynergy Niche’ is that gap between what is provided by the franchisor and that which the business owner remains responsible.  We provide ALL of those back office tools along with ongoing coaching and support in the successful implementation of those services.  Our integrated approach covering all back office aspects of operating ‘the business’ allows us to help the franchisee look at, understand, control, manage and improve their ‘Gross Sales’, ‘Gross Profit’, ‘Net Profit’ Employee Retention etc….etc…etc…  Basically we become an added layer of support for the franchisee, which directly benefits the franchisee, and indirectly benefits the franchisor.  Our package provides the franchise with $30,000 + per year in products and services for a FLAT MONTHLY FEE of $189 or less!

I don’t know if this clarifies the confusion of what we do and how we do it.  I hope so, if not please visit our new corporate website, which has not yet been released publicly at: www.fransynergyinc.com.

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

Posted by FranSynergy on February 28th, 2007

Au contraire mon ami...

Not the issue! However you don't have to answer my query it's okay, no worries at all since you are incapable of being objective. Tinker you have a manifest righteousness that cannot be assailed; peace be to you and may the truth never interfere with your closely held view of the world let alone franchising!

May God bless you.

on August 27th, 2007

Good Riddence

And I see you have no problems with those that prostitute  themselves selling products with misinformation and skewed data to the extent you will even defend them.  How sad for you and the franchise industry because it is exactly that mentality that continues to plague it.  "Anything for a buck".  I'm afraid those traits are something that already exists on the 'low road'.  Maybe it's just those of us that can multi-task but I've become quite adept at fighting this war AND continuing our business in a successful and profitable manner.  It was that exact ability of creating a unique and successful venture tht brought the Meineke vultures swooping down trying to take something that wasn't theirs.

Posted by Tinker on February 28th, 2007

Wow...

Fransynergy writes:

However, as a business owner you also must have access to Payroll Services, Tax Services, Legal Services, Accounting Services, Finance Services, Human Resources, IT Services, Office Supplies, Employee Benefits,

My reply:

Wow - well butter my rump and call me a biscuit...I just assumed that was all part of the package, I know it was in the table of contents of the training course of the very few franchises I actually took the time to look at. But I have never been a franchisee so I do not know.  I rather figured this to be part of the package you bought.  I am kind of surprised in an industry that is proud of repeating the mantra "in business for yourself but not by yourself" that this type of information and guidance is not provided.  

 Sheesh...so what are all these people buying?  Don’t' answer; that was a rhetorical comment.  

Have to admit I am surprised.   What with all the you must buy this register and let us electronically transfer money form your bank accounts and access your computer system...I just assumed they delivered a complete package.

Well...wow...speeechless...thanks for the info. 

FuwaFuwaUsagi

 

on February 28th, 2007

LOL.........YOU are the one who brought up the issue

of 'other franchisee's risk'.  Are you now backing down because the real-world risk I have mentioned doesn't fit into your own little "closely held view".  That's what we here in the real world call HYPOCRISY. 

BTW.....never claimed to be objective.  I speak from MY own experience.  You are the otherhand, won't even divulge your identity much less your experience in franchising.  However, one hardly has to be a mindreader to see your own manifest righteousness.  Hypocrisy once again rears it's ugly head.  TSK.....TSK......

And finally, I'm not one to insult someone and then throw a 'God bless you' into the mix, so you'll forgive me if I don't reciprocate your blessing. I try not to use my religous beliefs so lightly, and am always weary of those that do.

Lisha

Rhino Super Center

Posted by Tinker on August 27th, 2007

question to Tinker

Tinker: Is the Meineke platform generally profitable based on your experience?  I investigated 5 good sized "me toos" in this arena, and determined not a single one of them was viable from an investment perspective.  However your post above leaves open the possibility that the overall franchise concept is more fiscally sound than my analysis indicated.  Curious, FuwaFuwaUsagi

on February 28th, 2007

But you so absolutely need a blessing!

If you sneezed I would have said God Bless you!

on August 27th, 2007

Fuwa

Being from a financial background, I'd run more projections than I care to remember before committing to the Meineke.  I ran more detailed analysis of the demographics for our area and from the beginning realized our location would play a big role in our success.  By positioning ourselves on the busiest road and near the county line between the two most populated cities we felt we were in a good position.  We also purchased quite a bit of our larger equipment from a closed penske shop and therefore saved quite a bit on our initial start up costs, yet another positive point for our business.  We opened in 2002 and although our sales were in line with projections, the costs/overhead was more than those 'averages' in the UFOC.  Well, that's just part of it and we didn't point fingers or blame anyone, we just put our attention to trying to come up with a solution that would help off-set the overhead.  We came up with the concept of adding a Rhino Linings dealership with the idea, that we could better utilize our personnel, local marketing, insurance etc.  The best part was that the Rhino Linings brought NEW customers into our shop, giving us a chance to develop a relationship with them and thus created additional brake, shock and exhaust work for our Meineke shop.  It was a win-win.......maybe too much so.  We were the first Meineke that did this, but after a couple years, several others followed our lead.  Long story, but Meineke smelled a dollar and bought a company to bring some new spray-in bedliner in (Aero-Colours).  However, there weren't takers for this new one when for the same money, they could bring in a RhinoLinings dealership that already had customer recognition and reputation.  Thus the campaign to get rid of us began. 

After fighting with Meineke for over a year and after their attempt to terminate us by holding royalty and advertising checks, we decided to stop putting our time and money building a business with the Meineke name. We approached Rhino Linings and they were absolutely wonderful. They trademarked our new name for us and have been very supportive during the transition. The federal court was also very helpful by refusing Meineke's attempt at stopping us from doing brakes, exhaust & shocks.  Our 'concept' continues under the name "Rhino Super Center".  Although this fight has cost us so much, we strongly believe in our business and know without a doubt it will continue to be successful.  As I've said before, we have been successful 'in spite of' the Meineke franchise, NOT because of them. 

In this day and time with the ever increasing costs of running a business, we feel confident that this concept is something that others will find both profitable and worthy of the investment of time and money necessary.

Thanks for asking.

Posted by Tinker on February 28th, 2007

Thanks for the reply.

Thanks for the reply.FuwaFuwaUsagi

on February 28th, 2007

meineke

buying a meineke franchise..is it a good idea ? and does anyone know what would be the average gross profit/net profit ??
i heard net profit is about2% is that true

Posted by eyad on January 20th, 2011

Hey Tinker and other's ?Midas? Meineke ? Are they both related

Midas ? and meineke ?? Are they both related somehow by the corporate office? Are the franchise owner's obligated to sign a waiver that if they own a meineke that they can not also buy a midas franchise? Curious and I will tell you why soon. So now how much does a midas franchise cost? How much funds would you need to start a new franchise or take on someone else's and buy it from someone ??? If you are an employee of meineke and you get an offer to work for midas or buy the franchise of midas , do they have the right to do so? Or can they switch store's as far as employment? Meaning I know someone who worked for meineke and he was there for 10 years about maybe 7 oops. Anyhow, recently I have caught wind that he has left the company and has been gone several weeks. Now I also heard there is a store in silverton (midas) that was in need of people to start on 4-15-13 and so how would I go abouts finding out if he just switched company's did his boss buy a midas, did he buy a midas. or does he honestly just not have a job at all. Please help me to get some insight. As you can tell myself and this person are not on speaking terms. Any answers you can gladly give me would be much appreciated. Thank you Tinker and you are one bright lady I read most of your postings. I am in cincinnati What about yourself? Thanks again.

Posted by kris lynn on April 12th, 2013

blah blah bla blah...

Kris sez: "...Meaning I know someone who worked for meineke and he was there for 10 years about maybe 7 oops. Anyhow, recently I have caught wind that he has left the company and has been gone several weeks. Now I also heard there is a store in silverton (midas) that was in need of people to start on 4-15-13 and so how would I go abouts finding out if he just switched company's did his boss buy a midas, did he buy a midas. or does he honestly just not have a job at all..."

Not getting your child support?

on April 18th, 2013