As I was reading this amazing article I found linked to the BC Federation of Labour mailout I thought for sure this must be a story from another land. I found myself completely stuck to my screen (I wish I was reading it in a real newspaper with an americano, though) and I realized that much of this adventure happened right here in BC! All the more exciting.
So what does this have to do with coffee shop franchises?
Sometimes Franchisees find themselves like the employees in this story:
- working 10, 12, 16, 20 hours a day with no break.
- fierce resistence to reducing store hours, even though sales don’t warrant being open
- being forced into bankruptcy because of well-crafted legal documents (akin to the blacklists in this story)
- fear of losing one’s livlihood if they don’t comply with every demand of the Franchisor
- watching their Franchisor profit while they suffer
- and more
The VCSFA believes that it is possible for a meaningful dialogue to occur between the Franchisees and the Franchisor. A democratically created and sincere Franchisee Advisory Council whereall the voices of thewhole chain are encouraged to bring their opinions, and where the Franchisor takes a humble look in the mirror and accepts that they need the help of their Franchisees is the key to a successful coffee shop franchise. If this organization does not exist at all, or if the FAC was not created democratically, or if the Franchisor just pretends to listen to the issues yet takes no swift action, one should use extreme caution when entering into any business relationship whether as a Franchisee or as a vendor.
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