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Richard's view is correct, however

Large franchisees who aren't struggling have entered the fray as they look at the feces now smeared on the pages of what franchisors are calling renewal "agreements"

They are refusing to sign them without modifications, and refusing to invest in new concepts. Franchisors are indeed getting what the franchisor attorneys are advising them to have: a failing industry full of marginal, struggling operators that will kill their brands.

Well done. They should give up the pretense and simply call the ABA Forum on Franchising a Franchising Funeral. It's already full of stiffs.

RichardSolomon's picture

Does anyone see the comon thread of this in terms of the

implications for franchisor versus franchisee dispute management? I don't think so. Wanna know why?

This article shows that the franchor attorneys group see the contract as the ultimate battleground upon which dispute resolution must turn. To them, therefore, what is necessary is that the contract be constantly reinforced to the max. The franchisors and their lawyers believe that they are impregnable. Case law shows that that is always true because franchisees and their lawyers see all battles played out in court or in other frormal, franchisor biased venues, using tactice that are circumscribed to favor sheer strength espressed in teerms of the written rules - the franchise agreement and the legal maxims that customarily apply to them.

The history of franchise case law confirms the correctness of that view. The more franchisor attorneys strengthen the language of the contracts, and the more FranPac and its pals keep the "rules" of that game from becoming diluted and less favorable to franchisors, the fewer victories franchisees can achieve. The franchisee victories are fewer every year because the fights are fought on franchisor terms. When you watch the trend of the results it is easy to see how stupid that approach by franchisees really is.

Insanity is expecting differrent reesults when you keep doing the same thing!

Franchisees, if they are to improve their lot versus oppressive franchisors, must play a different game that operates under different rules, fewer rules. If you do not identify franchisor weaknesses and attack those weaknesses rather than attacking only at the strong points, you will not change the tilt of battle.

With few exceptions today, franchisees are in crisis mode. They are kept marginal by the prerogatives of their franchise agreements. They cannot/will not stand up and do anything that is open and adequately funded. Being marginal they have to group fund any effort and come out from under their rocks. When they have done that, they have to spend the resources effectively, not in some formal joust using franchisor rules of conflict.

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