Do Franchises Know What They’re Doing?

I don’t know if you would call it a trend but there does seem to be a lot more vocalization about franchises and how they treat owners these days. Now are these comments from just a small group of disgruntled owners or are they simply the ones who wish to speak up?

Are people losing faith in franchises or are people now beginning to realize it takes a lot more effort than they realized to be part of one?

There are some interesting comments and some similar trends. Owners feel they are doing the brunt of the work, spending far too much of their own money on advertising and aren’t getting the support they need from the corporate office. Even when a store hits #1 they claim they need to break out of the mold and upgrade their product to be a success.

Are franchises forgetting about the owners? Are they taking them for granted? Are franchises striking while the iron is hot and expanding too fast? Or is it a case of owners having expectations that are too high and they just don’t understand what it means to do big business? Do they not really understand what the franchise is there for and what their role is? Are the owners naïve and they aren’t ready for the hard business tactics?

It certainly seems owners are expecting more from franchises than just a menu and a way to order products. Owners want a more fair and balanced relationship where both sides win and make money. And obviously owners are feeling their areas are being oversold and their markets are dwindling as more stores under the same brand open all around them.

It seems we have several examples of owners buying into the franchise idea but then get a severe case of buyer’s remorse. The problems of the meal assembly industry seem to be shared by plenty of other industries as well. Are we poised to see some changes in the industry as owners and franchises try to work out their differences or is this the start of a downward trend for franchises? We’ve seen plenty of missteps from franchises and their quest for expansion and market penetration. Are we going to see people turning away from the idea of franchises altogether?

I can only speak for myself but these stories only re-enforce my opinion of new franchises and to a certain extent franchising in general.

  • They are too eager to expand with no real strategy
  • They lack marketing vision
  • They lack respect for their owners
  • They lack a plan for building name and brand recognition
  • There is very little support for each franchisee
  • Mistakes are blamed on owners
  • True financial investment from the owner is not stated accurately

I sympathize with these owners and quite honestly, I don’t think they’re in the minority. Time will tell, but I think we will be hearing a lot more stories like these as we go on – especially from this industry.

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