After seeing a Quiznos franchise recruitment infomercial to recruit franchisees, you are tempted to apply to open your own Quiznos sub shop. However, your research on the company turns up some disturbing information. Many current franchisees are unhappy with the company’s management and practices, among them excessive food costs, lack of promised support, and selling new franchise locations that are too close to existing stores. A group of New Jersey franchisees sued Quiznos for selling them franchises but not providing locations 18 months after taking their franchise fees. Some franchise owners question Quiznos’s purchasing tactics, choosing food and beverage suppliers based on the referral fees it receives instead of the lowest-cost provider. Other franchisees have suffered major financial losses.
Quiznos, which owned or operated more than 5,000 sub shops at one time and now has less than 1,500 locations worldwide with less than 900 in the United States, disputes the various claims. The president of the company points out that in a franchise operation, there will always be unhappy franchisees and those who can’t make a success of their units. Besides, Quiznos’s franchise offering materials clearly state that the company may open stores in any locations it selects.
Using a web search tool, locate articles about this topic, and then write responses to the following questions. Be sure to support your arguments and cite your sources.
Ethical Dilemma: What are Quiznos’s obligations to its franchisees? Is it ethical for the company to open new franchises very close to existing units and to choose vendors based on fees to the parent company rather than the cost to franchisees?
Sources: The Franchise King, “What Happened to Quiznos?” https://www.thefranchiseking.com, accessed September 14, 2017; Karsten Strauss, “Is Quiznos Toast?” Forbes, https://www.forbes.com, June 17, 2015; Venessa Wong, “Can Quiznos Be Saved?” BuzzFeed News, https://www.buzzfeed.com, December 8, 2015; Kristi Arellano, “Quiznos’ Success Not without Problems,” Denver Post, June 19, 2005, p. K1; Dina Berta, “Quiznos Denies Franchisees’ Charges of Cost Gouging, Encroachment Problems,” Nation’s Restaurant News, June 20, 2005, P. 1+; “Quiznos Denies Fraud Suit Charges by 17 Franchisees,” Nation’s Restaurant News, May 16, 2005, p. 102.