Dunkin’ is the most litigious brand out there.
– Attorney Robert Zarco
Is Dunkin’ Donuts aggressively litigating its own franchisees for profit?
That’s the claim being made by franchisee attorney Robert Zarco, who states “By far and away, Dunkin’ is the most litigious brand out there.’’
Sound outrageous? What’s outrageous is that Dunkin’ Donuts franchisees are embroiled in more than 350 lawsuits with their franchisor. According to the Boston Globe, Dunkin Donuts franchisees ” are accusing the company of aggressively targeting shop owners in an effort to terminate store agreements and collect hefty penalties for alleged contract violations.”
In the Boston Globe story Franchisees say Dunkin’s brewing trouble states:
Miami lawyer Robert Zarco, speaking yesterday before about 100 franchisees at a meeting of the Dunkin’ Donuts Independent Franchise Owners in Worcester, warned that the Canton-based coffee chain has turned its loss prevention department into a “profit center’’ and gone after franchisees for infractions that include improper tax filings, unauthorized transfers of the business, and cracked floor tiles, among other claims, as a way to increase revenues during the economic slowdown.
Zarco, who is representing more than a dozen Dunkin’ shop owners, said the company, in the midst of a nationwide expansion, is sending letters to franchisees telling them they have been selected to participate in an audit of the business and requesting various financial documents.
“They will find something in 99 percent of the cases that is not accurate and they will send a letter of termination, saying some of the breaches are incurable and it is inconsistent with the good will of the brand,’’ said Zarco, who has represented franchisees in cases involving more than 300 companies. “By far and away, Dunkin’ is the most litigious brand out there.’’
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