“Behind the Counter: The Untold Story of Franchising,” reported by CNBC’s Emmy Award winning reporter Darren Rovell, premiered last night. The CNBC Original gives viewers an all-access look at the good, bad and unexpected side of franchising.
CNBC looks at well-known franchises like Five Guys, Dunkin’ Donuts, Cold Stone Creamery, and why Procter & Gamble–the world’s largest consumer-products company–is dipping its toes into the franchising waters of two competitive service industries–dry cleaning and car washes–putting the well-respected reputation of Tide and Mr. Clean on the line.
The documentary also examines the dark side of the franchising business showing how the American Dream can very quickly become a nightmare. Rovell tells the cautionary tale of Camp Bow Wow, a franchise built around America’s love affair with its pets and reveals some of the potential pit falls of the franchising industry. Rovell also uncovers how a well-known franchise like Cold Stone Creamery may not be what it seems. With little protection or support from the Federal Trade Commission along with hidden expenses, steep nonrefundable franchise fees and more, even some of the most successful franchisees can’t get out of the red. Rovell speaks with Don Sniegowski of Blue MauMau, the foremost franchise journalist in the country, who says that many franchise buyers don’t realize that when they buy into the business they can lose more than their initial investment.