Don Sniegowski writes at BlueMauMau that experts say well organized franchisees can make profound changes in a franchisor’s behavior. Some have even been able to fire wayward CEOs, replace a franchisor’s board of directors, and spearhead a new strategy that lifts store profits and the brand.
Yet, for some, paying dues to have an independent franchisee association in order to advise a franchisor on fairer franchising practices is not enough. After all, most independent franchisee associations are not even recognized by the franchisor. And the few that are do not seem to have much authority to do anything. So what is the point in participating?
Plenty, say experts.
Franchisee attorney Andrew Selden of Briggs and Morgan, P.A. emphasizes that if franchisees group together they can accomplish much. “Any group can influence decision-making by another, by creating a big enough fuss,” he says.
Franchisee attorney Robert Salkowski of Miami-based Zarco, Einhorn, Salkowski, & Brito P.A. agrees.
Salkowski observes that the efforts of an independent franchisee association can also change senior management in a private franchising firm. “Just look at the Dunkin Donuts Independent Franchise Owners and Steve Horn.” Salkowski is referring to the resignation of the chief legal officer and board member after the association alleged that the hundreds of lawsuits that he and his department spearheaded made Dunkin’ Brands the most litigious system in franchising. “I am convinced that DDIFO and its members, with the help of this [law] firm, was responsible in large part for him leaving, as a result of all of the negative publicity.”
Franchisees tend to think that they have their hands tied by their franchise agreement. Store owners are typically not Wall Street movers and shakers. When franchisees have disagreements that they cannot resolve, they go to court.
“Or, they ignore the problem,” states Michael Webster, chairman of the International Association of Franchisees and Dealers, a newly created federation of independent franchisee associations.
Sometimes franchisees have to go beyond just creating a fuss or using attorneys to spearhead class action lawsuits. Skilled and well-organized franchisees can change a CEO, board and the direction of the franchising firm. The list below are some companies that are examples of this — from the takeover of small private small chains, to hostile takeovers of publicly-traded chains.
Read more at BlueMauMau