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Rob Branca's picture

Franchisee Associations are critical

The franchise industry owes Bob Purvin a debt of gratitude for his years and years of advocacy on behalf of franchisees, and in particular, his work in establishing responsible franchisee associations that drive brand strength.  These associations are vital to protecting the equity that all stakeholders have invested in their brands, both franchisees and franchisors.

Arbitration clauses are the real problem

My franchise system has had several owner's groups that have come and gone. The first was highly confrontational, the second less so but went to court, now the third is not confrontational with franchisor and we are getting heard more. One of the reasons we may be getting more heard is what I read about Obama's Executive Orders on labor and the NLRB holding the joint employee axe over the franchisors' heads in order for them to play nice with franchisees. Now that Trump is in and is trying to get Puzder in there that will surely change for the worse.

The single item that keeps getting in the way of a more even, fairer relationship between franchisees and franchisors is that damn Arbitration clause in all Franchise Agreements that allows them to basically do whatever they want and if we object, well go to arbitration in our town, at your expense and single file. There was a movement in 2009 on a federal level to make it illegal for one to sign away their right to a trial, but it was squashed very quickly by lobbyist for the IFA.

The president of our franchisor has stated several times when we bring up mandates that we disagree with by pointing out that we signed FA's that says they can do these things. That's when I have to leave before I punch him in the mouth.

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