Ray Russell’s ‘Fresh Slice’ and its Potential Impact on Franchisees

Imagine you had just invested your life savings into a Fresh Slice Pizza Franchise location when you read the headline in your local rag “FreshSlice Pizza owner had affair with employee before she was fired, judge rules”.  Chances are you won’t be feeling a lot better than Ray or his family.

Some people might argue that those kind of stories are not important and that they don’t affect the business.

Those people are wrong.

The first question I’d ask is ‘Did Mr. Russell have a prenuptual in place?”  If not, the ownership structure of their chain might quickly change.

The second question I’d ask is ‘If this is how Mr. Russell conducts himself in his personal moral life, might he also compromise on business ethics issues –  like how he deals with looking out for his Franchisees’ best interests.”

Everything just became very shaky, and a gambling man might make a wager that the FreshSlice stock, if traded on the exchange, just lost a few percentage points.

 

 

Blenz Coffee Franchise Poster Child Example of Need for BC Franchise Legislation

BIV_BLENZ

In this most recent Business in Vancouver article on the topic of the need for franchise legislation in BC, Wayne Taylor briefly describes his personal experience dealing with Blenz Coffee (Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company Ltd) and just some of the claims he and two other former Franchisees have against the Vancouver franchise and its directors Sarah Kate Moen, Geoffrey Hair and Brian Noble.

Blenz Coffee and many other local Franchisors have essentially been able to do whatever they like while they hide behind their weighty franchise agreements and the shield of their pricey lawyers.

Until now.

Franchisees around BC have had enough and have figured out that the scales have not only been unbalanced but completely lop-sided in their Franchisor’s favour.

Typically what will occur is the Franchisee will enter into a binding legal agreement with the Franchisor and by the time he or she figures out that their investment is built on sand (or worse) they have no money left to fight the imbalance in court because government has been conveniently avoiding getting involved.

The result? Ruined marriages, unnecessary bankruptcies, lost homes, and serious cases of depression around our beautiful cities.

For some Franchisees there may be time to recover their financial house before retirement but for many others the clock has run out by the time the battle begins.

The government of BC needs to at least make a way for the small guy to have a fighting chance against companies that display sociopath and bully-like, in the same way that they have in other provinces.

It’s time to level the playing field.

 

Is McDonald’s Franchise Business Model Starting to Lose?

It’s daily business to hear of smaller Vancouver franchises milking their Franchisees’ profits and doing funny business, but it has been rare if not non-existent to hear negative stories like this one about McDonald’s from a business perspective.

We are often asked, at the VCSFA, “Are there any good franchises out there?” to which we always reply “Yes, there are a few good ones out there and not all hope is lost.  The model remains a win-win model, in theory providing there is a leadership who cares.”

But sometimes leadership doesn’t care.

It seems that more often than not, the Franchisor views their Franchisees as slaves in their revenue-stream producing retirement plan.  Any noisy ones are quickly silenced by their pricy lawyers and no media seems to exist to expose the wickedness of their ways.

Until now.

The wide webs of the world have made it possible for the little guy to raise his or her voice.

Obviously things are not well at McDonald’s these days and we hope that the Franchisees will continue to stay noisy about it which will help prevent new stores from opening so fast and force leadership to start caring about the financial well-being of their number one partner – their Franchisees.

George Moen Vancouver’s Serial Entrepreneur: Part 1 in an Investigative Series

“Yes, we’re in the beverage retail business,” he says, “but really what we are is a franchise development company that just so happens to use coffee as a vehicle.”
 – George Moen, 2010

There is no question that George Moen has been working hard over his lifetime to maintain his self assigned title of “Serial Entrepreneur”.  Anyone involved in social media at all, would drop their jaw in awe at the number of followers he has on Twitter (currently 134,000+ at the time of this article).  Articles like this one, describing the power of his endurance to achieve success have been published regularly over the years and likely someone is in the middle of publishing one right now.  Mentioned in many of these articles are things like:

  • Serial entrepreneur
  • Sandwich Tree
  • Blenz Coffee President/CEO
  • Rapid Time Networks http://rapidtimenetworks.com/
  • Inca One Resources
  • Coaches Planner software
  • High Output Business Networking

But there is much more to the George Moen story than meets the eye.  There are many things about his ‘success’ that are no described in these articles and online profile that make up an important part of who he is.  Questions like:

  • Where is Sandwich Tree today?
  • Who is this “Tonyc” listed on the Sandwich Tree website and what is his relationship to George Moen, Steamrollers and Blenz Coffee?
  • What was the experience of Franchisees under George Moen as their Franchisor?
  • Is there a relationship between Inca One resources and is there a Blenz connection?
  • What is Rapid Times network and how does it work? And does it work?
  • Is there a connection between Blenz Coffee and Steamrollers?
  • Who are the vendors that Blenz and Steamrollers have chosen in the past and did this relationship benefit the Franchisees?
  • What is Black Tusk Tea and who owns it?
  • Is there a connection between the ever-respected Van City Buzz and George Moen who both have countless tens of thousands of follwers and Blenz the Canadian Coffee Company?
  • Are there any law suits that involve George Moen or any of the corporations with which he is involved?
  • What are the similarities between Sandwich Tree, Steamrollers, Blenz Coffee and their business model?
  • Which law firm represents Blenz Coffee and why is this interesting?
  • and more

Stay tuned as we explore these and other interesting connections as they pertain to George Moen, Vancouer’s ‘Serial Entrepreneur”

 

Vera’s Burgershack – Port Moody Franchise Sells for Staggering Loss

“What? Me worry?” – This could have been the caption on Gerald Tritt’s recent Instagram upload that portrays him living it up with a smile that would put Alfred E Neumann of Mad Magazine to shame.  Mr.Tritt appears not to have a care in the world as he tools about in a loaner Ferrari for the weekend, living the dream as he weekends in Chicago and hangs out with the Boss Man himself, Bruce Springsteen – champagne dreams and caviar fairy tales indeed!
Alas, it is a lifestyle that many Vera’s Burger Shack Franchisees can only aspire to after investing in the Gerald Tritt Franchise system.

In September 2014, the original Port Moody Franchisee managed to escape The System after having his store on the market for over a year.  That particular Franchisee purchased a brand new location on Newport Drive and opened in or about September 2012 at a cost rumoured to be in the range of $375,000.00 to $400,000.00.   Initially, the location recorded robust sales as it consistently ranked among the top of Vera’s locations in monthly sales and $2,000 daily sales were often recorded.  However, the good times were not to last as the Port Moody location began a descent down the sales rankings by location.  By June 2013 a scant nine months after opening, the Franchisee had had enough and listed the location for $379,000.00, but, like the Broadway location, the Franchisee could not find any takers.  The location remained on the market as sales continued to decline pushing it ever downward on the Vera’s sales rankings by location.  In September 2014, the news broke that the location had sold but at a price far far below the Franchisee’s investment.  Reports suggested the location, less than two years old, had sold for a price between $215,000 – $200,000.00 representing a loss in excess of $150,000.00 to the Franchisee who had bought into the Vera’s Burger Shack brand.

It was the second location within three months that had sold at a loss in excess of $100,000.00 to its selling Franchisee.  Unfortunately, it appears that unlike Gerald Tritt, neither the Port Moody nor the Broadway Franchisees will be driving Ferraris anytime soon.