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ATL Challenges

Have you looked back to See if All Tune and Lube have changed their Business Model? Do you feel in 2014 they are developing a strong brand. What was it about the Model the made your company fail?


Ray did take down the Midas franchisor and ever franchisee who was ever associated with Midas Australia thanked him for it.

RE: add camp bowwow to this list

It would be interesting to hear more of your story (assuming you are a franchisee). Two things: Camp Bowwow was part of the CNBC news story a couple of years ago but no franchisees really came forward. The financing aspect of your system was coming into question so some details would be helpful. Also, I have one of these near me. It appears to be busy but the facility is huge so I don't know if they cover their costs. It would be good to hear from someone in the system about their experiences and if they know of the experiences of other franchisees.

add camp bow to this list

of franchises that make no money

RichardSolomon's picture

Embroid Me is a FranWhack. Their franchisees learnt this

after buying the frachises (instead of getting good due diligence help). They are now trying to accumulate horror stories in the hope that some mystical critical mass of horror stories would impress some assistance resource - a free assistance resource in all likelihood - like the gubmint. Fat chance. But, they are winging this on their own, or with low quality help that is the functional equivalent of being on their own.

Every time some EM FranWad posts on here, some hack from HQ comes along to say something stupid suggesting that it is the fault of the franchisees for not "following the system".

Among the many things that make Embroid Me a FranWhack is the fact that it is a business whose product is rarely needed by anyone. Anyone who wants large volumes of imprinted "stuff" goes on line to one of the large promo "stuff" resources and gets it cheaper than any Embroid Me FranWad could ever provide.

To be an Embroid Me FranWad, you have to be stupid enough to pay stiff fees for the privilige of using a stupid name to produce a very few items at non competitive prices and also carry the cost of the frachise relationship.

Think of Dagwood Sandwiches without the mayonaise.

I googled this domain name

I googled this domain name and it appears to be owned by United Franchise Group--- Owners of EmbroidMe. Why would they be soliciting failure horror stories from their own franchise owners? Just seems weird to me. If I'm wrong about this let me know.... I may have my friend submit his story, depending on what the purpose is.


Google Ray Borradale and Sean Buckley. Ray hangs out around here. (they allow anyone) he actually tried to take down Midas in Australia. He posts here under different characters and himself.

EmbroidMe Fail (?) not accurate.

This is clearly written by someone who did not adhere to the marketing and advertising necessary to support their EmbroidMe franchise. Although my wife and I are no longer in the business, our store was popular in our community because of our promotions efforts and most importantly, a profitable business to run. We saw individuals that we attended training school together with operate their store in a means not endorsed by the EmbroidMe training plan. They had reduced store hours. They remained a small two person operation instead of engaging employees to produce and they did not outwardly sell their products in their town. They relied on a steady but not substantial walk in business and referrals. We were satisfied franchise owners and would recommend this business to folks like us that were not afraid to work in building a good name based on customer service and quality.


i am a tech for lexus but i love busines i have been doing alot of reserch with goodyear, midas, firestone, so far midas is the only company that have responded back to me. I am looking into midas i hear good and bad things about there if someone has some concrete evidance on them not just i feel or i think or i heard please, please,please inform me i would love listen thank you

You sound very emotional

Perhaps you have had a bad personal experience of have an axe to grind. Pleas post some laws regarding the AED. Don't make a fool of yourself again if you can help it. You might not want to post the WI statute which you obviously couldn't interpret correctly.

Jorgensen the Village Idiot

Anyone should search you here. You have all fitness franchises because you lost your life's savings on a 123Fit in 9 months.

This franchise has a very low failure rate.

You talk with no facts or laws to back it up.

That is complete hogwash

You are that fitness industry hater over at the anytime thread.


There is not one single state in the U.S. which requires a staffer to be present. Members sign a waiver understanding the staffed vs non staffed hours. You made these same claims on the anytime thread and never could back them up and here you are with you BS.

You sound so confident and you posted part of the Wisconsin law which you obviously made a complete fool of yourself. Many hotels have unstaffed gyms. There is insurance for unstaffed gyms. You cannot post one law to back up gym operation; only tanning.

The UPS Store

Because it's never explained to you that UPS is your major competition! You're a 200k drop off box for UPS customers!

Comment moved

This comment is off topic and has been moved here. - Mr. Blue MauMau, moderator


If you're looking for an affordable franchise to purchase, has a complete directory full of franchises ready for purchase.

Looking for EmbroidMe horror stories

We are currently looking for EmbroidMe owners, or previous owners, and their horror stories with this company.

Please email your horror story to:

How long were you in business?
Were you the original owner?
Have you turned a profit after 3 - 5 years?
Was it as easy as they said it would be?

EmbroidMe FAIL

EmbroidMe should be somewhere at the top of this list. EmbroidMe franchises suffer a 40% - 60% failure rate. This includes stores that have shut down, resold or never turned a profit, even after 5 years in the business.

Buyer beware.

If you're considering buying one, call 100 EmbroidMe owners and ask them 2 questions:

1) How long have you been in business, and have you turned a profit?
2) Are you the original owner of your store?

Enough said.


CONSIDER THIS: You purchase a 24 hour franchise fitness club and the moment you open your doors, you are breaking the law! This could be the ALL TIME MOST WORST franchise opportunity ever offered! The 30 states below require a tanning operator while tanning is being used and other states require staffing for reasons listed below. There are also county and city laws within states with similar laws. Direct quote from IHRSA "Because of these laws, if a cardiac arrest occurs at a club that has an AED but no one is on duty that is trained to use it, the club could be found liable for negligence."

1. These states require a tanning operator at ALL TIMES tanning is being used:

California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massassachusettes, Michigan, MINNESOTA, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin.

2. Numerous states require an AED/CPR Certified employee at ALL TIMES.

3. Several states require an employee at ALL TIMES.

Check Snap Fitness or Anytime Fitness forum here on bluemaumau for more information. Peter Taunton and Chuck Runyon, love to hear your side of this besides "they don't enforce it". IT'S LAW!!!

15 worst UPSS

Why is the UPSS a worst franchise?

Where are they now

Cottman Transmisssion is no longer selling franchises, I believe, in part because SBA financing dried up based on non performing loan experience and their system shrunk from around 400 stores to around 100.  If you bite on any of the Cottman lead generating stuff out there you will be redirected to AAMCO.  The CEO at the helm of the explosive growth phase of Cottman through the implosive shrinking phase has moved on to a spa franchising business.

Ray Borradale's picture

Curious; where are they now?

Of the original list on this blog, was that failure rate an indication of worse things to come?  After 3 ½ years have any strengthened?

Obee’s Soup Salad, Lady of America, Country Clutter, Copy Club, All Tune and Lube, Pickerman’s, Philly Connection, Roly Poly Rolled Sandwiches, Cottman Transmissions, Hair Color Express, Lee Myles Automotive Transmissions, Godfather’s Pizza, Smoothie Factory, Blimpie, and Golf U.S.A.

Golf USA

Golf USA is an abysmal failure. They try to get people to open stores in small towns so owners have better margins on the product with less competition. Problem is there are fewer buyers in small towns. Margins are very thin in the golf business if sticking with pro-line equipment so they tell the owners to direct people to the off-label or proprietary brands. In a higher end area customers want pro-line clubs. As a previous owner I was buying golf balls (wholesale) for more than Walmart was selling them for (retail). The inventory turns were much less than the franchisor alluded to. All the store really did was trade dollars on merchandise but after overhead is factored in (rent, salaries, equipment payments, royalty payments, etc.) nothing but losses occurred. Unless an operation has vast size a thin margin retail store is doomed to fail. All Golf USA wants is your $40,000 franchise fee and then they’re done with you. Tough lesson.

Snap Fitness - Easily One of the WORST

The only reason Snap Fitness has not yet made the top 15 list is due to their youthfulness and zip-lip non-disclosure agreement required for all owners and management. The Snap Fitness Business Model heavily favors the franchiser and squeezes the franchisees to the point of failure. Their statistics for locations closed are bouyed by the last minute giveaway fire sales by worn out, stressed out and financially ruined owners.

I highly recommend anyone interested in Snap Fitness to perform a thorough due diligence, including researching state, county and city laws, codes or regulations for requiring staff at all open times, requiring a CPR/AED certified employee on duty at all open times and requiring a tanning operator at all times the tanning is being used. These "minor details" have been overlooked by lots of franchisees and should ultimately be the responsibility of the franchisor.

For more specific information about this "Easily One of the Worst Franchises", go to "Anytime Fitness or Snap Fitness" forum on Blue MauMau. Truly, this opportunity is a real stinker!!!

And there's more .....

Nice start but sure there are many others of us who could significantly expand this list.

can you tell me more about filta fry

Im interested in filta fry , can you tell me something if you know please


Good Point.Thanks for sharing.

I agree. The Filta Group's

I agree. The Filta Group's business practices are unethical. Issues with the machine and more importantly the filters are ongoing. If you are looking at this franchise do yourself a favor and contact all existing and previous franchisees during your due dillegence and ask the appropriate questions. There are enough threads on the internet that give great insight.

How many that signed with FiltaFry in 2002 are still on board?

How many that signed with FiltaFry in 2002 are still on board?

Genius that means the other 50% made it,wonder why that was!

Sounds like your one of the people that didnt have what it takes and your disgruntled. Its easy to blame others for ones failures. Even if the 50% faiure was true,THAT WOULD MEAN THAT 50% DIDNT FAIL GENIUS. That says that 50% worked hard and made it and 50% didnt put enough effort in.Not hard to figure which one you are,quit whining and try harder at something next time.

Q #1 On My List

You missed Quiznos - which is #1 on my list. It's too bad those jumping on the Smashburger bandwagon just can't see that what happened to Q and 123Fitness franchisees is going to happen to them.


FiltaFry should also be on this list.  They have more than a 50% failure rate!

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PMD Furniture Direct

This comment has been moved here.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

Just go to search and put Snap Fitness

Read some of the horror stories.  My opinion is based on people's writing.

You are a salesman.  Snap is a really sharp looking  gym.  I personally have looked inside a Snap.  In a progressive area I am sure the rent is higher.  Across the street is an Anytime Fitness.  There is competition right off the bat.  Snap requires no employees.  In my opinion there should be someone there to always encourage people.  That is why people join gyms because it helps to have someone evaluate their progress.  People can work out at home alone.   

Everytime I have looked into that Snap there is only a few people working out.  This is scary because  the cost of running a gym is unbelievable. 

I could not sell gyms because the first important thing is my prospects main interest.

It is the business side that is important.  Not if a gym looks fantastic.

To the zee wannabee:

Go to Caleasi and look at their FDD.  If you don't understand it take it to a killer franchise lawyer.  Once you understand the FDD maybe you will think twice.  The FDD is the most important thing to understand.  The consquences of failing is too stiff.  (

snap fitness

Barbara -

I have a client who is considering Snap Fitness. I am not familiar with them - why do you list them as number 16 on your lsit? Is it the concept or the franchisros?

Apprciate your feed-back

Darnelle White's picture

Anytime Is a Winner

Yes. Anytime Fitness comes up a winner in franchise owners being able to pay back their SBA loans. Surrounded by some fitness competitors that are big losers - and that's not a good thing, Anytime is obviously doing something right.

What is this company doing right?



Anytime Fitness has a fantastic record for SBA loans

Here is a recent article from the Wall Street Journal on the subject:

Anytime Fitness has had 1 failed loan out of 65.

can we put these up somewhere

It would be good to get a list of say 50 and we can all vote to get them in order....I guess it would reflect the franchise that has p**D off the most people, I vote for Contours

Blimpie's Is No Challenge - Why Not Quiznos?

You seem like a smart guy. I'd love to see you try and sell Quiznos as a viable franchise opportunity. I'll bet you can't.

Darnelle White's picture


Yes. You made a grammatical mistake in your headline. Now you have a spelling mistake.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

I made a mistake in grammer

So what. My list comes from studying here on BMM. Thanks for being my editor Darnelle.

Darnelle White's picture

More Gooder Franchises

"I can add 'more worst franchises'"??? That headline of Do Diligence's is a great lead to show how much thought she put into the writing of her list.

Barbara Jorgensen's picture

I can add more worst franchises

7. Krispy Kreme

8. Taco Del Mar- it seems they are doing things like Quznos

9. Tasti Delight - Good ole Amos and Heather Rose

10. Cuppy's- Although the new owners are trying to change things. Correct me if I am


11. Supper Thyme

12 Butterfly Fitness

13. Contours Express

14. Ladies of America

15. Slender lady

16. Snap Fitness

17. Blimpies

18. Curves- (Encroachment problems.)

19. Dagwood Sanwiches.

20. Anytime Fitness

21. Going Postal

22. Mail Box Etc.

23. Subway- Unless you can afford more than one unit..

24. Candy Bouquet- How can I forget this one?

25. Sona Spa- Amos and Heather again.

I am sure I can come up with more. This is just from memory. Anyone wish to add more? Than we can start a list of good zors. Unfortunately the best franchises are out of reach for the average person. Unless someone can tell us of affordable ones I would appreciate it. Feel free to correct me if you think I am wrong.. .

Mr. Blue MauMau's picture

Comparing Best and Worst

The effort to compare the best and worst is to be applauded. In our SBA loan list, the difference between the best and worst is an objective metric of what percentage of SBA outstanding loans are paid back. We think the highest failure rates of paying back the loans is a barometer of the worst franchise systems. Lenders use this list as well to decide whom to give loans out to.

There are several things you can do to get the ball rolling. You could write an article on observations you have made on why you came up with your list of worst. (You must be a logged in member to write articles though.) It would be helpful to give us some parameters of what to look at and compare so that apples and apples can be compared. If you aren't sure, then you should use the public forum area and bubble up ideas on what to compare.

9 Worst Franchises

I'd also like to see a comparable list of the worst franchises with the differences and similarities between the best and worst.

I can't come up with nine but based on the posts at this site I've already got several on my list:
1. Quiznos
2. Stone Cold Creamery
3. UPS Store
4. 123 Fitness
5. Smash Burgers
6. Dunkin Donuts

Anyone see a pattern? 3 on the list; Quiznos, 123 Fitness, and Smash Burgers, are owned and operated by the same group of misfits - to the detriment of anyone who invested their hard earned money. The others use the same tactics, and except for Dunkin Donuts, are devoid of any strong multi-unit franchisees.

Lady of America/ Ladies Workout Express/Workout Express

Oh my gosh! I totally agree with everything you posted. I am an ex LWE owner in California. At one time there were approx. 130 LWE's in California. At the present there is 29. What a shame. Bad, bad Franchisor. Roger sure had an agenda. Sell and then get out himself. Boy if that doesn't say it all. Watching daily as with all clubs dropping off, due to lack of support from franchisor. I can't believe Roger & Chuck can sleep at night knowing what they did to all of us that bought into their scam. They are totally band from selling any franchises in the state of California. There number of franchises are only dropping. They have not sold a single center in the past couple of years. Too bad, the screwed so many people.