Tasti D-Lite Licensees Need HELP to Protect us from JIM AMOS

I am a Tasti licensee and I am new to this website. I received an anonymous email from a licensee who did some research on JIM AMOS and how it will effect Tasti licensees and potential Franchisees. The email says the following (I'm sorry it's long):

"Dear Fellow Tasti owners, I have been a part of the Tasti "family" for a long time and I am writing to everyone because everything we know and love about Tasti is about to change. While it was owned by Celeste, we knew we could trust her since she treated Tasti like her baby. This is no longer the case. I was very excited when I heard Celeste was selling to new owners that will bring Tasti and all of us to the next level. My excitement continued through our meetings with Jim Amos, Peter Holt and the rest of the new team. However, before Monday's meeting, I decided to do a little research on the people that we will be placing our faith and trust in for our futureand our ability to financially support our families.

Tasti was purchased by a man and is being run by people who cannot and should not be trusted blindly. His only interest is to make money off of Tasti licensees and prospective franchisees, NOT to help us make money. He will use any means necessary. Jim Amos "wraps himself in God and Country and then soaks you for all you are worth". "If you take a long look at Jim Amos' history you will see fraud, failures and lawsuits. You will also see that his "team" follows him. Jim and his associates have a long history of being sued. It happened at his last three franchises. When Jim Amos and Peter Holt were at I Can't Believe It's Yogurt(owned by Brice Foods) they were "cited by a Texas 4th Court judge for a conspiracy against franchisees, but Amos settled out of court before trial. He was given a stern warning by the judge in his minutes. Here's a snippet from the minutes..."

"The jury found, inter alia, that Scott, Amos, and Holt were involved in a conspiracy. Amos and Holt had settled before trial, and, after the verdict, Scott settled by way of a non-dischargeable agreed judgment in his bankruptcy case for $1,500,000."

See also court document attached (pdf). While acting as CEO of Sona MedSpa, "an arbitrator has issued a guilty verdict of "negligent misrepresentation" against franchisor Sona MedSpa, and its high-profile executives James H. Amos and daughter Heather Rose" The franchisee was awarded $400,000.00 in damages. See franchisee's attorneys comments. Jim preaches to us about the benefits of us owning a business of our own and how we are going to do great things together and yet he always retained attorneys to write bullet proof franchise agreements, that get poor ratings from American Assoc. of Franchisees and Dealers, that enables the franchisor(Amos & Co.), in reality, to own and control your business in both success and failure in the interests of the franchisor's survival and the franchisor's profits, NOT YOURS. It could even allow him to sue you if you for damages if your business doesn't succeed or fails as he might have done to a franchisee at I Can't Believe It's Yogurt. I'm sure his attorneys have drawn up a "killer contract", as they always do, that will provide for liquidated damages against the franchisees(us) in the event we are failing. He is already thinking how to profit from our failure, NOT TO HELP US SUCCEED. We should all be questioning his past and each of us should have the right to be dealt with, fairly, honestly and openly. However, we all know that if we ask to many intelligent questions, we know that Amos & Co. would not like it and we fear that we will be retaliated against and they will not want work with us or with our individual business that we invested so much money in and worked so hard to build up. We are being warned by all his previous victims to hire an attorney and protect ourselves and ask the questions that he doesn't want to answer. Amos & Co. want blind mice and "yes men and woman" who will blindly, stupidly and foolishly follow him. Individually, we would be to afraid to stand up for what is right and fair out of fear, but collectively, if we join together as licensees, form a licensees association, and stand united, we can hire an attorney to represent all of us in order to protect our right to a fair and equitable francishe agreement that would assure that we profit together, not Amos & Co. profiting at our expense. This would be the only intelligent and logical thing to do by all of us when dealing with someone who leaves a path of destruction and shattered hopes and dreams behind him. If you would like to see a Franchisee's Bill of Rights and what is fair and equitable and would be a win-win situation for both the franchisor and franchisee go to www.aafd.org Please give this serious attention and feel free to write back and futher explore the horror stories about Jim Amos on the internet and more specifically at www.bluemaumau.org Our time is limited to protect ourselves. I'm sure either at the group meeting or at the one-on-one meetings we will hear the sales pitch and feel the pressure to sign and get on board. I'm sure the last thing he wants is for any attorneys to get involved and interfere with his "master plan". You should know that anything he has told us or anything that anyone from Tasti has told us about how great it will be, how they will help us and what they will do for us will be totally meaningless once you sign the agreement. If you read the links you will see that his agreements will always say that the franchisor is not required to do anything that is not specifically included in the written agreement and he will NEVER include any of these promises in his agreements. All oral promises and assurances he made and will make are nothing more than a sales pitch and he has no obligation to live up to it, either morally or legally. Remember, he needs us to sell his franchises. If they original licensees don't convert to and become franchisees, how will he explain to any prospective franchisees why the licensees did not convert? This should give us baragining power as a group as long as we stick together and are properly represented by a top franchise attorney. It may be possible to have an experienced Franchise attorney meet with us on short notice to address us as a group after the meeting and discuss how we can protect ourselves. Please tell me if you would agree to such a meeting. Thank you and I look forward to hearing from you. A Concerned Tasti Owner"

--

Does anyone have anything futher to add, any comments, info on other lawsuits, etc.?

Can anyone help us and can anyone recommend an attorney who could represent the Licensees before they become Franchisors and help protect our rights?

Are there any Franchisee attorneys who are in Bluemaumau who can help?

Will anyone come forward and help us stand up to him? I don't want to give up my business and walk away from Tasti just because AMOS purchased the company!

PLEASE HELP!!

Tasti D-Lite Franchise

One of the licensees was trying to organize a meeting for the licensees with an attorney who would explain the proposed franchise agreement to licensees.

Tasti response was to send a threatening letter to the person not to interfere in their relationship with their licensees. Her are some excerpts from the letter:
and stating that they will "protect"

"In response to your email...to our licensees, I
offer the following thoughts. Tasti D-Lite LLC wants to be clear to you that
it is ill-conceived, inappropriate and not in the best interest of licensee
community...Further, it should be noted that we will defend with vigor our
licensees."

"It has been stated multiple times, it is the right of each licensee to
make his or her decision about whether they accept the offer to become a
member of the Tasti D-Lite franchise family. Each licensee's situation is
unique (e.g. some do not have licensing agreements or if they do, there are
various versions) and merit individual attention. This is why we are meeting
with every licensee to discuss their specific situation. It should be
reiterated, that if any licensee does not want to accept the franchise
offer, then they have that choice and we will honor their current
licensing arrangement and/or will work with that licensee to exit the Tasti
D-Lite system."

"Tasti D-Lite LLC does not condone, approve or support the meeting with
your legal counsel that you have scheduled to take place...
We are not soliciting, nor do we want your assistance or interference
between the Tasti D-Lite license community and Tasti-D-Lite LLC. We will not
negotiate on a collective basis. We encourage each licensee to obtain
professional advice. It is important that each party clearly understand
the terms and conditions of the franchise agreement and make an informed
decision."

Sincerely,

Peter

In response to their vague threat of law suit, the meeting was cancelled and everyone is back on their own.

Tasti does not want the licensees "obtain professional advice" or to make an "informed decision". If they did, they would have had no objection to the licensees collectively receiving professional advice so they can make an informed decision. Instead, they are counting on the individual licensees not getting the proper professional advice or not obtaining any advice at all. They don't wan't the licensee to make an informed decision. They want a decision out of fear what will happen to them without Tasti, not what will happen to them if they sign the one sided and unfair agreement.

How can licensees or franchisees every get shake?

on March 14th, 2008

Understand Sona MedSpa Situation

Do not sign any new agreement which waives your rights to go against Jim Amos et al as the new franchisor leadership. In February 2006 at the "Sona Franchisee Family Meeting" in Tennessee many of the franchisees did the same. Also use Dady and Garner of Minneapolis, MN as your attorneys. They understand and indeed wrote much of the franchise laws which protect franchisees. Get together as franchisees to protect yourselves. Cooperate with each other and share your legal expenses. There is power in numbers. Also read the article "The Rest of the Story" on Blue Mau Mau under Sona MedSpa. It tells the story of what happened at Sona.

Finally, "Hold on to your wallets, you are in for a ride with Amos et al!!" All franchises they have touched ended up terribly hurting the franchisees.

on March 31st, 2008

I'm confused?

What is the difference between you being a licensee and you converting to becoming a franchisee?

My understanding is a franchise is a franchise by definition irrespective of intention.

Johnny Come Lately

on February 22nd, 2008

The license is really a franchise,

but it was sold to you improperly. That means you may have a way out of the relationship. If you sign a franchise agreement, you are probably screwed. Make your stand before you sign the franchise agreement.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 23rd, 2008

DON'T LET JIM AMOS RUIN TASTI D-LITE

I am also a Tasti store owner. Can someone help us?
Mr. Solomon said we we have a way out of the relatioship. I assume he means don't sign the franchise agreement. He said we should make our stand before the agreement but if individual licensess make a stand he would just let us walk away. I noticed your an attorney, can you help us?

on February 23rd, 2008

You STILL have the power. Do

You STILL have the power.
Do NOT sign ANYTHING!
NOTHING--NADA--ZIPPO.

They will use high pressure tactics and bring out the koolaid
drinkers that will tell you how wonderful it will be if you sign.

DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

on February 23rd, 2008

Re: Tasti D-Lite Licensees Need HELP to Protect us from JIM AMOS

Why not go to the attorney that Jim Amos is all too aware of.
Michael Hankes has had many dealings with Jim Amos and his schemes.
Little to NO education would be needed.

on February 23rd, 2008

Tasti D Lite licensees "we must stick together" ...

I Agree ..... With all of this... I agree...

Remember, he needs us to sell his franchises. If they original licensees don't convert to and become franchisees, how will he explain to any prospective franchisees why the licensees did not convert? This should give us baragining power as a group as long as we stick together and are properly represented by a top franchise attorney.

It may be possible to have an experienced Franchise attorney meet with us on short notice to address us as a group after the meeting and discuss how we can protect ourselves. Please tell me if you would agree to such a meeting.

on February 23rd, 2008

TASTI'S UFOC PUBLIC-CAN AAFD SCORE IT?

Does the AAFD voluntary score the agreements if they are public or do you have to submit it and is their a fee? Also, is there score beneficial and can they be trusted to help protect franchisees? I read on BMM that they appeared to have some conflicts concerning Meineke.

Since the agreement is public, has anyone reviewed it and do they have specific comments, warnings, analysis, etc.?

on February 23rd, 2008

Your next step!

Concerned Tasti Owner - Do NOT wait..... call Michael Hankes, Richard Solomon or any of the legal minds recommended here.
This is NOT a drill....you need competent legal help before signing anything! Don't do anything before protecting yourself and your business...legally. You have just got the some of the best recommendations available. It undoubtly is the best free advice you will ever receive - act on it to protect yourself asap. I wish this site was available back when.

on February 23rd, 2008

W. Michael Garner for Tasti Licensees to go Against Amos

What about W. Michael Garner. He went against hims in Sona MedSpa. I don't know if he only does litigation or if he would represent licensees in negotiating the franchise agreement. Maybe he will respond? He contributes here.

on February 23rd, 2008

Why pay lawyers?

All of this discussion about paying high priced lawyers to negotiate with Jim Amos is nonsense. No matter what you "negotiate" this man has a track record in franchising and it is not good.

Tasti is no longer a tasty investment. Sell out now while you can, and let Jim Amos be your buyer's headache.

on February 24th, 2008

Tasti Licensees-GET AN ATTORNEY FOR ALL TO GO AGAINST AMOS

Don't do anything until all or you are represented by a highly respected Franchisee attorney like the ones mentioned in this post.

The longer you put if off, the more pressure you feel!

No one is safe from him. It doesn't matter if you have one store or several stores that you own, if you sign his agreement without an expert franchisee attorney respresenting you and all the other licensees, you will be bleeding money.

DON'T FALL FOR HIS TELEVISION EVANGELIST NONSENSE OR YOU WILL BE VICTIMIZED AND DESTROYED JUST LIKE THE REST OF US AT HIS PAST FRANCHISES!

Do a search on him on this website and read everything he has done to everybody and then read it again, and again and again until your hands are shaking so hard that you could not possibly sign anything without an attorney, not your own personal attorney, who may be a good attorney, but a top franchisee attorney who is an expert in dealing with him and people like him.

on February 24th, 2008

JIM AMOS-BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID

I agree with all posts. Do not sign anything without an attorney.

Don't let this vulture pick you apart.

How come no one and no authorities have come forward to stop him? Has he been brought up on criminal charges anywhere? Wasn't found guily of a conspiracy to defraud investors and franchises? How come he is still being allowed to conduct business and how come he is not in jail?

on February 24th, 2008

How do you separate from AMOS from Tasti D-Lite?

In New York, Tasti customers are very loyal. How do the licensees separate from Amos and still keep Tasti?

on February 24th, 2008

BE AFRAID OF JIM AMOS

I meant the licensees should BE AFRAID, BE VERY AFRAID!!!

I am sorry for the misunterstanding. I know he is not afraid because he's been done this looking enough that he knows he will find suckers.

on February 24th, 2008

Here's the Problem with Tasti Licensees

Tasti customers are not loyal to the store, they are loyal to the product. In New York City, the customers go to the store that they are closest to them because it sells Tasti. It is totally irrelevant what the store looks like, who works there, etc. unless they get spoiled product. Alot of the customers, know the nearest to store to wherever they will be in the city that day.

While there may be other good soft serves, if you change the product in the store, they will not go.

I'm sure AMOS will prey on the fears of the licensees that without Tasti they will never survive the city with an unknown product and be able to pay the ever increasing rents and expenses with owning what essentially be a "Mom and Pop" store or stores.

However, anywhere else in the country a prospective Franchisee will probably have alot easier time opening a great soft serve store with a different product and will have a much easier time decided whether they should sell their soul.

With that said, is there is any other option without walking away?

on February 24th, 2008

What would happen if all Licensees Refused to Sign with Amos?

Michael,
I know its not necessarily realistic but what would happen if they already refused to sign?

According to the conversion document posted at CALEASI, if they convert the franchise fee for each store would be waived ($20-30K per store), the opening logistics, training and software management fee for each store would be waived ($15k per store), the grand opening expense required for each store ($5k) would be waived, the the 5% royalty for each store is waived until 10/1/08 and the convertees would receive a $5k credit towards converting stores design. Sounds great, right, but wait, that's not all, they will even give a computer system for each store you convert for free, that's right free. You will receive all this if you convert by March 31, 2008.

A lot of the licensees may find this hard to resist because it looks like they are saving 40-50K per store.

But let's say hypothetically they all don't convdert or at least a substantial majority don't? What would happen next? What would he do? Wouldn't it make it extremely difficult for him to get new franchisees? How would it all play out?

on February 24th, 2008

SPG Partners and Steelpoint Capital and Tasti D-Lite

What good would it do to contact majority stakeholder SPG since AMOS is operating partner there. They probaly are very familiar with his slimey tactics since they are "in bed" with him as

"SPG Partners Acquires Majority Stake in Tasti D-Lite.

SPG Partners LLC, a New York-based private equity firm, announced it has acquired the New York-based Tasti D-Lite brand through a newly formed entity called Tasti D-Lite LLC. SPG Partners and co-investors have capitalized Tasti D-Lite to acquire the Tasti D-Lite assets and to provide capital for future growth.

SPG also announced today that James H. Amos, one of the firm's operating partners, will serve as Chief Executive Officer of Tasti D-Lite.

Co-investors will include Steelpoint Capital Partners, Mr. Thomas H. Lee, and related parties. SPG was introduced to the former owner by Mr. Lee."

Won't the SPG Partners be "partners in crime" with Amos.

SPG Partners was founded by Ian Snow and Ogden Phipps. The firm also features seven operating partners, including Jim Amos (former CEO of Mail Boxes Etc.), Paul Chellgren (former CEO of Ashland Inc.), Andrew Megibow (former COO of Ellen Tracy), Halsey Minor (former CEO of CNET Networks), Joy Schafer (former CEO of WFS Financial), Leif Soderberg (former CSO of Motorola) and Jay Twombly (former president of SPX’s Edwards Systems Tech division).

Do you think Steelpoint Capital is aware of AMOS and by investing an Amos run franchise aren't they smearing their name and reputation?

Steelpoint Capital Partners Executives are:
Louis Crasto [Chief Financial Officer]
Adam Dell [Managing Director]
James Sullivan [Managing Director]
Roy Thiele-Sardina [Managing Director]
James Caccavo [Founder and Managing Partner]

Are all these people aware of what is going on? Do they care?

What about the investors in SPG's equity fund? Do they know or care?

Which of these people should be contactd?

on February 25th, 2008

Threats

Gee, I thought that New Yorkers were tough and bloody minded.

Would have thought the easiest way to organize in New York was for someone to tell you that cannot do it. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on March 14th, 2008

You Gotta Serve Somebody

Everybody's had to fight to be free. What makes you think you are any different than anyone else?

Only you can surrender your dignity, my dear friend.

Manage your fear or die a coward's death; a 1,001 times at the hands of scoundrels you have volunteered to abuse you.

You do not need permission to resist tyranny. Indeed, not to resist means you (not they) enable it to grow stronger.

There are no bystanders.

Les Stewart MBA Understanding Franchising

Posted by Les Stewart on March 14th, 2008

and if you go to sue them

and if you go to sue them down the road, the first thing they will

tell you is that you were always free to contact counsel.

It is not their business if it is done in a group or individually.

 

You are doomed. I can't believe you disbanded over THIS!

Come on and get in line behind the rest of the Amos failures 

Posted by H20Man on March 14th, 2008

Bye Bye Tasti

You all fell right into Amos' trap when you cancelled the meeting. Amos refused to meet with any franchise group that wasn't sponsored by him/MBE and that he could control at MBE. You should have never cancelled the meeting, you have been thrown to the wolves and Tasti as you know it is done with.

on March 15th, 2008

TASTI D-LITE WAS WARNED OF AMOS & CO

AND BASED ON THE ABOVE LETTER...THE FRANCHISEE SCREWING HAS BEGUN...AMOS DIDNT WASTE ANY TIME ON THIS ONE...ALL TASTI D-LITE FRANCHISSEE'S SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER ASAP...BUT SINCE YOU ARE DEALING WITH GOD FEARING SOLDIER BOY AMOS THE ONLY THING I CAN SAY IS BASED ON THE "AMOS"TRACK RECORD...DASTI D-LITE IS HIS-TOR-REE...BYE BYE TASTI D-LITE..COULD IT BE AMOS'S FAVORITE SONG IS QUEEN'S "ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST"??

on March 15th, 2008

Hold the meeting!

Otherwise, you are playing into the divide and conquer strategy that Amos has played over and over.

It is time that he really had to negotiate on a level playing field, and he is scared to death of the consequences. This is why his underling "Peter" sent the threating letter.

Once you sign the agreement, and see what the motive was, it will be too late. And then they will tell you that you did not do your "due diligence", the very diligence they are trying to scare you out of doing.

If they were acting in your best interests, they would welcome your getting counsel as a group and would work with you as a group, rather than try to pick you off one by one.

One that has been there!

on March 31st, 2008

Licensee vs. Franchisee

The simple answer is that licensees have a license agreement and franchisees have a franchise agreement and they are covered by different laws and I believe the franchisors have alot more control in over franchisees than if it was based on a license agreement.  AMOS wants to convert all the licensees to franchises to excercise control, collect franchise fees, advertising fees, royalty fees, etc.

Posted by tasti NYC licensee on February 22nd, 2008

Licensee v. Franchisee? "De Nile..."

No practical difference, notwithstanding the investors' use of psychological defense mechanisms.

For a basic discussion of how humans tend to "re-arrange reality", please see the Categorization of Defense Mechanisms at Classses of pathology, Levels 1 to 4.

For example:

1: Denial, Distortion & Delusional Projection

2: Fantasy, Projection, Acting Out, Passive Aggression

3. Intellectualization, Displacement, Disassociation

4. Humour, Suppression, Altruism

Please note: When I discuss how perception may be distorted, this does not carry any value judgment. If others wish to assign blame/credit to scientifically-proven, universally-experienced human characteristics, that is their own choice.

We all see the world through many filters.

Most people at most times, accept that reality for themselves and allow that reality for others. At most times is a significant condition.

Advertising"Promoting Fantastic Thinking" is the definition of an applied academic discipline called marketing communications (eg. advertising). In the franchising commercial setting, certain "encouragements" are more profitable than others.

Advertising can best be described as the science of arresting the human intelligence long enough to get money from it.

Stephen Leacock, Economist and writer

Ads seem to work on the very advanced principle that a small pellet or pattern in a noisy, redundant barrage of repetition will gradually assert itself. Ads push the principle of noise all the way to the plateau of persuasion. They are quite in accord with the procedures of brain-washing. This depth principle of onslaught on the unconscious may be the reason why.

Marshall McLuhan, Oracle of the Electric Age

Les Stewart MBA

Posted by Les Stewart on February 23rd, 2008

Of course I can help you.

Just give me a call and lets set up a meeting. You can share the expense of my service and end up with a good resolution for a reasonable cost. I am at 281 584 0519  This is what I do.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 23rd, 2008

TO FIGHT AMOS & COMPANY YOU SHOULD CALL....

L. MICHAEL HANKES Esq. 1-617-723-1144. He's DONE BATTLE AGAINST AMOS IN COURT BEFORE..HANKE'S IS DOING AN EXCELLENT JOB RIGHT NOW AGAINST AMOS/UPS/MBE AS WE TYPE.HE KNOWS AMOS & THE GANG VERY WELL.

on February 23rd, 2008

The Difference between Licensee and Franchisee

The difference between the  Licensee and Franchisee is clearly spelled out in the Tasti D-Lite UFOC or FDD.

Here is what is going to happen.  There are approximately 45 licensees in Manhattan.

None of these licensees are listed in the FFD, under item 20.  Counsel for Tasti D-Lite convinced the regulators that it was not necessary to list these licensees as franchisors.

Tasti D-lite plans on opening 44 "new" stores in New York.  That means they plan on converting all of the Manhattan stores.

That is going to be the pitch: You might as well sign the franchise agreement, get $5,000 towards the cost of your renovation because if you don't we will just put a franchise right next to you.  (Oh, and by the way -the poor franchisee schmuck's territory allows this.)

You are going to be given a short period - roughly a month to make this decision to convert or not.

You will not be given adequate costing figures about the cost of conversion - you will be told about all the wonderful advertising that is now coming your way.

You will not be told exactly how much of a mark up there is on supplies, other than a 5% kickback on paper supplies.

You will be rushed to make a decision.  Join us or fight us as competition.

You will immediately lose 7% of your gross; which will pale in comparison to you new supply costs - which will kick in a year from now.  

You will immediately lose the ability to offer other goods -this lack of choice will only become apparent in 1-2 years, once all the suppliers have been locked up by the franchisor.

Many of you will be encouraged to finance the conversion upgrade with promissory notes.  To make things "easy" for you.

10% of you will unconditionally hate conversion, and will be derided.

10% of you will unconditionally love conversion, for you have the heart of a shill.

The rest will look around to see how the others are leaning.  The shills will win converts, and then silently sell their stores at the peak of frenzy to get in on the latest New York craze.

Most of you will convert because a) you will be rushed to make a decision, and b) you will come to believe that "you might as well do it now" to avoid head on competition.  And you will be wrong, so very wrong. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on February 23rd, 2008

Sticking Together

I would point out that your ex-franchisor got $22 million for the sale of the network.

Something to think about.

Oh, and do read the ufoc in its entirety on the Caleasi website. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on February 23rd, 2008

Get your ducks in a row.

I'm quite certain you'll be asked for them so if you do not already have your license agreements scanned in PDF, you should get them scanned and ready to email to the attorneys - much more efficient than copying and overnighting them.

Good news for you: It looks like the Tasti UFOC/FA is on CALEASI...

http://134.186.208.228/caleasi/search.asp?TASKNAME=xshowDocs&PackageID=272403

I don't know if there are rules governing license agreements but UFOC's change annually (and supposedly when there is a material change at the Zor) so you may need to develop a timeline of when Tasti people signed and ask them to contribute their agreements.

If there is limited uniformity in these agreements, it might get hairy but you need to get started somewhere and getting the attorneys something to review is the first step.

Good luck.

 

Posted by Dan Maizner on February 23rd, 2008

Re: TASTI'S UFOC PUBLIC-CAN AAFD SCORE IT?

It takes several months and YES money to score them.
You are looking for the easy way out.

The Tasti D-Lites now have all of the information right here that they need.

Be naive and sign, or be smart and walk away.

That is all that anyone can tell you at this point.

Good luck with your meeting

on February 23rd, 2008

There is none better than Garner's law firm, Dady & Garner.

Hiring D&G would be a very smart move--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 23rd, 2008

Re: Your next step!

Michael Hankes is just a little busy with The UPS Store franchisees.

on February 23rd, 2008

Negotiating with Amos about contract terms isn't

the issue. The issue is to sort out what has to be done by reason of the fact that he bought the rights to your present system and you want to disaffiliate from any company of which he is an executive.

How to go about telling him NO and dealing with what must then be done and how that is to be done is most probably the name of the game here.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 24th, 2008

That's too glib to be a real consideration.

They are loyal to the store and to the product. Anyone can sell a really good soft serve product under any local name they like. Put a sign in the window saying same management - different name.

You don't let those considerations become stumbling blocks that lead you to get yourself fleeced by dealing with the wrong folks.

The real likelihood is that no deal you could survive can be negotiated with any scoundrel. They didn't invest in this franchise except that they expect to clean out every single franchisee. That's the profit goal of people like that.

The probable best case is to sever ties with his company and do your own thing. If there is some short term disruption, that's chump change compared to getting close to snakes.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 24th, 2008

Afraid of What?

Jim Amos is not going to be afraid. Get real.

There's been no criminal convictions. Where? Amos hires smart lawyers who understand when he should settle out of court. He is allowed to conduct business because he has all the rights that the rest of us have.

He knows where to spend his money as a franchise builder to help him push his name to the right people and match investors to concepts that he thinks provide opportunity. He is smart enough to de-emphasize Brice and Sona, and take credit for building the goliath MBE.

He also knows that if there is a little tarnish to his reputation, then hire well-respected people to work under him.

He will find buyers. He knows where to go and what to say to attract them. And some of us will buy.

I bet when he reads this he will think that whenever one builds great things, there will be disgruntled wind bags. Such wind bags are a sign of success.

No. Amos is not afraid. Angry, maybe. But not afraid.

on February 24th, 2008

Buy a license and not a franchise

This is good advice from Michael Webster. Whatever you do don't buy a franchise. Thank you Michael.

on February 24th, 2008

Options

Guest writes: "I'm sure AMOS will prey on the fears of the licensees that without Tasti they will never survive the city with an unknown product and be able to pay the ever increasing rents and expenses with owning what essentially be a "Mom and Pop" store or stores."

That will be the fear tactic: sign up by March 31st, 2008 or ...

But you have license agreement, with a term and possibly a renewal.

You are in the greatest bargaining position: Jim Amos and his crew are going to advertise your product and if you remain a licensee, that advertising will be free.  Advertising which could cost the new franchisees 7% of gross!

Someone is giving you a gift of free advertising, and all you have to do is remain a licensee and not sign the conversion document. 

But in the next month, you are going to see a magic show in which the conversion document becomes your only hope of salvation.

Disregard that man behind the curtain, and have the conversion document and franchise agreement very carefully reviewed - at your own convenience.

Time can be your friend. 

But do get complete and informed legal counsel for your group.   Besides the attorneys that post here, the AAFD has a webpage of franchisee lawyers.

You could look it up

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on February 24th, 2008

Tasti Licenses

Again, I think that it would be unfair to the licensees to speculate further in public about what their collective strategy ought to be.

However, there is no "saving" in the Amos offer. 

Michael Webster PhD LLBFranchise News

Posted by michael webster on February 24th, 2008

It's time for you licensees to quiet down; get your lawyer; and

act effectively in a coordinated manner. The time for public discussion about this is over. --

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 25th, 2008

Heather Rose Tasti D lite

Beware, the next step will for him to bring his daughter Heather on the team. You can read multiple posting's for her on any Sona blog. History will repeat itself here. He will set her up in a key position, he will then ease out of the day to day operations. In my view she has some real character flaws in her personal and professional life. She has never held a postion that Amos did not secure for her, Sona, MBE and Brice I think. She will lure you in with her Christian values, high moral standards and charming presence. This is all bulshit. Ask them how many UPS store owners or Sona franchisee's are interested in doing business with them. The dollar is the only thing that is important to these people. The team they have put together is the same team that put together the UPS store deal. Ask any UPS store owner how satisfied they are. Enlist the help of a noted franchise attorney. See through the fluff, eagles and all the bio bullshit they will try to influence you with. One hand on the bible and the other on your money. My humble op.

on March 13th, 2008

Something isn't adding up with this Tasti thing

I agree with every opinion posted so far in this thread regarding the Tasti group folding like a lawn chair after the first volley from Amos and crew.

If the communication written to the organizing licensee is real, it is a blatant attempt to intimidate, divide and conquer.

First off, whoever this lawyer is - if the advice was to cancel the meeting - IMHO you should find new counsel.  There have been plenty of names bantered around already and I highly doubt any of them would have given this advice to your group.

Second, any attorney representative of the licensee group who worth his/her salt would have responded directly to the letter writer much like Dady recently did for the hotel IndFA. Again, get someone who knows what they are doing.

I know I might have some detractors on this but I think you all should be doing everything possible to get noticed. You need to bring Amos and the pack of cockroaches into the spotlight instead of letting them hide in the cracks and methodically tear you down. Several suggestions for how to accomplish this have already been made. Falling silent will be the start of your rapid demise.

The attorneys who know what they are doing cannot ethically contact you. Someone from this licensee group needs to be brave enough to reach out to a capable attorney who knows that your only hope in your circumstance is to organize and publicize.  Know this: You WANT Amos and his crew to go nuts and threaten to cut off supplies, etc. in return for being the public organizer. When push comes to shove, your supplies will not be cut off and you will still be breathing. This isn't China and Tibet. You have the law and multiple protection precedents on your side - and they do not have any nuclear weapons.  They are the definition of a paper tiger.

A quick Google search finds no organized web site or footprint of an IndFA on IndLA for Tasti. As stated previously, you need to recapture the leverage before it is too late. Don't blow this.

If the response communication posted is real then they are NOT your friends and they definitely have something to hide. The enemy (the people who have a track record of ruining many small businesses and your family) are counting on you remaining divided and inefficient.  The enemy wants you to avoid meeting together and organizing. Your enemy would rather have you continue with the seemingly endless thirty minute individual bitch-session phone calls that are absent of real action. The enemy does not want you to use technology to communicate and share. Your enemy truly fears the expansion of knowledge, the leveling of economic strength and shifting of the "winning the hearts and minds" from them to you.

Which is why this veiled threat letter was generated.  You've hit a pressure point and this paper tiger has "roared.” Now is the time to squeeze even harder!

I will be happy to provide you with some FREE advice and help with getting your group organized. Since I am not an attorney I have no problem with inviting you to contact me. You can PM me on this board. The username is Dan Maizner.

Sorry for many of us coming across as frustrated with the Tasti crew and a bit "emotional" but for many on BMM, it is like witnessing an impending car crash in slow motion...at the same intersection that we all had our own avoidable car crash. 

Just do something.

Posted by Dan Maizner on March 15th, 2008

Licensing vs. Franchising tasti NYC licensee

Can anyone explain the essential difference between the two methods of doing business? Licensing preceded franchising and franchising emerged out of licensing -- but in franchising, the franchisor gets royalties on your gross sales, and it doesn't matter if you are operating at a loss, at breakeven, or a profit. And, often the franchisor gets your business, both your tangible and intangible assets, if you fail at any time during the LONG term of the contract.

Is there no special law for licensees? But, there is a special law for franchisees under which they will operate; i.e. the Rule and the UFOC of the State. If these liucensees become franchisees and operate under the usual Jim Amos contract, God Help Them.

I believe that the tasti NYC likcensees will be very smart to consult with Richard Solomon, Franchise Remedies, and/or Paul Steinberg (another Blue Mau Mau attorney) who contributes to Blue Mau Mau, and who wrote Beguiling Heresy, Regulating the Franchise Relationshiup, The Dckinson School of Law, Penn State University, Vol. 109, 2004. Paul Steinberg is licensed to practice law in New York City. Richard Solomon is the author of many essays on franchising that appear on the Internet and he is a straight shooting, no BS attorney, with many years of experience in franchising.

As a failed franchisee of one of the Amos franchises, I recommend both of these highly qulified attorneys and good men without reservation.

Believe me! You do need help NOW before you sign any agreements. Ir ia GRATIFYING to know that Blue Mau Mau is helping to warn those who are entering franchising. We failed franchisees who post want to WARN others before it is too late. Please read the SonaMedSpas postings on Blue Mau Mau for more insight into franchising and the franchisor.

Let the Buyer Beware and A Word to the Wise is Sufficient.

Been Had!

on February 23rd, 2008

Wrong Solomon is correct

The license is really a franchise,
Submitted by RichardSolomon on Sat, 2008/02/23 - 03:55.
but it was sold to you improperly. That means you may have a way out of the relationship. If you sign a franchise agreement, you are probably screwed. Make your stand before you sign the franchise agreement.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com, has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

»

on February 23rd, 2008

Be sure to speak with multiple attorneys

I understand your time is limited and your group is under the gun but you need to efficiently invest your time and discuss your situation with a few of the suggested attorneys before reaching a decision.

Design a list of questions and handle the discussions with prospective attorneys like an interview. Any truly capable attorney will welcome your approach and approaching the process this way will help ensure a cohesive team.

If your attorney/representative does not mesh well with the group leadership and culture, you are in for trouble. I've seen it happen and it isn't pretty...and the franchisor loves it since they do not have to deal with group dynamics on their side.

That said, based on where most of you are located and who you are dealing with, I’d add either Justin Klein or Jerry Marks from Marks and Klein to your short list. Spend 5 minutes on these boards and read the top 2007 cases to find more franchisee advocates.

Your time is limited so don’t get mired in “analysis paralysis.” I’d give Richard a call this weekend and begin the process. Good luck!

Posted by Dan Maizner on February 23rd, 2008

Calling Mike Hankes first is probably good advice

I am assuming that the Hankes recommendation post probably came from a client of his who is happy with the result Hankes got for him and his fellow franchisees.

You should definitely call Hankes first. He has experience with the Amos people. If he doesn't fit your pistol, then you can call me if you like.--

Richard Solomon, FranchiseRemedies.com,  has over 45 years experience with franchise litigation and crisis management. He is a graduate of The Citadel and The University of Michigan Law School

Posted by RichardSolomon on February 23rd, 2008

I'm no CPA but...

Michael is right on...a quick glance at Tasti's auditor's report seems to show that the sellers received nearly $17 million in cash, have a $4 million interest bearing note payable by 2011, and will share in 20% of Tasti's EBITDA over $1MM for the next two years.

Now, we're not privy to any outstanding debt service the founder/sellers had, etc. but it seems like they certainly got theirs. They are likely now on the beach earning 15% annual on tax-free munis.

You all should recognize that the $16 million in "Goodwill" paid is YOU, your license agreements, and the indirect fees derived from from you paying for supplies. Whatever future stream there is represents over 90% of their assets. Moreover, their investment leverage likely relies on selling franchise territories and operations to support increased supply sales demand.

As far as the makeup of new ownership, you might do yourselves a favor and pay the $10 or $30 to see the LLC member detail.  The Delaware SOS shows that these two entities were formed on the same day and have the same resident agent…

4259201 TASTI D-LITE LLC 4260003 TASTI INVESTOR LLC

These new owners didn't buy this enterprise and pay this price for goodwill thinking they weren't going to get their pound of flesh.  This is a high-stakes poker game you are all in now.

Posted by Dan Maizner on February 23rd, 2008

ALL TASTI D LITE PEOPLE

Print and read Michael Webster's post a hundred times before you

meet with Amos and crew.

 

Posted by H20Man on February 23rd, 2008