DUNKIN DONUTS Franchisees Band Together

In Wednesday’s post on Dunkin’ Donuts litigation (DUNKIN DONUTS: Time to Sue the Franchisees!), I stated that the donut and coffee franchisees are allegedly embroiled in more than 350 lawsuits with their franchisor.  Franchisee attorney Robert Zarco recently stated that “By far and away, Dunkin’ is the most litigious brand out there.’’

Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees, who claim they are under fire from their own franchisor, are circling their wagons and banding together.

This week Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchisee Association (DDIFO), led by president Jim Coen, completed its twentieth conference.  At the conference, DDIFO officials announced that membership recently grew with the addition swelled of large group of Chicago and MidWest franchisees.  In addition to growing membership, the association reported healthy revenues, and ambitious plans to protect the rights, interests and livelihoods of Dunkin’ Donuts franchise owners.

Founder of the franchise news portal BlueMauMau, DonSniegowski, attended the conference.

In his post on the DDIFO Conference, Don writes:

Many Dunkin’ franchisees are not pleased with their franchisor. Franchisee pain stems from years of franchisor abuse through lawsuits—most recently, 350 plus. That makes it the most litigious franchise chain in the world of franchising. The displeasure also stems from the many stories of the firm spying on franchisees and their employees, prying into franchise owners’ private lives, to intimidate and entrap the owners. Robert Zarco, a leading franchise lawyer and an afternoon speaker at the conference, thinks that Dunkin Brands’ in-house attorneys have found a continuous source of revenue and employment. Their efforts in their “Loss Prevention Department” have created tremendous ill will.

Dunkin’ franchisees have quietly longed for a collaborative relationship with their franchisor, but there are several roadblocks.

“As long as Steve Horn (Dunkin’s Chief Legal Officer) is with the company, and as long as Loss Prevention [Dunkin’s legal department] extorts money from its franchisees through connived and frequent lawsuits, we will have no trust in Corporate,” whispers one franchise owner. “There’s just too much baggage from years of abuse.”

The franchisee whispers and asks that I do not report his name or take his photo because he fears that if the franchisor hears such grumbling, it would immediately terminate his franchises. That would leave him with millions in debt and no way to pay it off.


Post from: Franchise Pick