I just came across the following headline concerning Chick fil A franchisee profit:
“This $10,000 Chick-fil-A Franchise is Making Millions and You Can Too“
That blog post headline is misleading at best and dishonest and unethical at worst.
Let me show you why the profit numbers are false. But first, there’s a quick backstory you need to have.
A Questionable Franchising News Website
This isn’t the first time the owner of the franchising “news” website where the misleading article about Chick fil A franchise owner profit resides has engaged in questionable marketing practices.
In once case, it took years (along with a few franchise industry professionals) to force the owner of the website to add FTC required advertising disclosures to his website. In this case, for articles that were paid for by franchise companies.
From the Federal Trade Commission (FTC):
“The financial arrangements between some bloggers and advertisers may be apparent to industry insiders, but not to everyone else who reads a particular blog. Under the law, an act or practice is deceptive if it misleads “a significant minority” of consumers. Even if some readers are aware of these deals, many readers aren’t. That’s why disclosure is important.”
At first, when he was called on the carpet for not telling his readers that a lot of articles on the site were actually paid ads, he did nothing.
Then a few months-maybe a year later-I can’t remember, he added a super-hard-to-find disclosure near his paid articles. It was weak at best, as website owners are supposed to clearly display income and advertising disclosures. Not hide them with tiny buttons and even tinier print. Do you see my disclosure at the top?
The good news is although it took way too long (years) for him to do the right thing, he’s finally disclosing his paid franchise articles correctly. One more thing.
The guy is also the owner of a franchise PR agency. You’d think he would be aware of best practices in PR and marketing. And the legalities that go along with it.
Well, my friend Rhonda Sanderson, a REAL PR professional, knows his game, and she’s called him out publicly in the past. My point? Two actually.
First off, if you’re looking to hire a PR agency to help you grow your franchise business, you need to use your favorite search engine to learn about who you’re thinking of hiring. In addition, you need to talk to others in your industry.
Secondly, if you’re interested in buying a franchise someday, don’t believe everything you read.
Take a moment to see who’s writing the franchise article. Are they legit franchise industry professionals, or are they paid writers with absolutely no background in the industry? Writers who just scrape websites like the one you are on now for information. Heck, anyone can do that.
A New Breed Of “Experts” Discussing Chick fil A Franchise Profit
Speaking of articles (and videos), there’s a new breed of franchise “experts” appearing on the scene.
In some cases, for reasons I can only guess at, they’re anonymous. They don’t give their names. That makes it tough for folks who may be about to spend $200,000 or more on a franchise to get background information. Wait.
You’re going to take advice from a franchise “expert” who won’t put his name on his website or anywhere else? Why would you do that?
The other “experts” I’m seeing have no real background in franchising.
Instead, they’re learning as they’re doing. Kind of like the people who are learning all they can about the franchise business before they buy one. You?
Now to the subject of this post.
Chick fil A Franchisee Profit: Can You Make Millions Of Dollars?
In a word, no. But they can easily do millions of dollars in revenue.
People! There’s a huge difference between revenue and profit.
And interestingly enough, there’s no mention of a Chick fil A franchisee “making millions” in the article. Not one. But there are plenty of other figures thrown around.
Note #1: I once wrote a post about the Chick fil A franchise business that read, “Owning This Chicken Restaurant Franchise Practically Guarantees You A 1400% Annual Return On Your Money.”
That’s waaaaay different than telling someone they’ll “make millions” as a Chick fil A franchise owner. And I said “practically,” which implies maybe you won’t.
Then there’s the “you can too!” phrase that’s used in the article headline. It’s a problem.
Because the way I read it is “If I buy a Chick fil A franchise I can make millions of dollars a year as a franchisee.” Am I missing something?
Note #2: I’m not going to link to the website where the article sits. I have confidence you’ll be able to find it.
Just type the following into the Google search bar:
This $10,000 Chick-fil-A Franchise is Making Millions and You Can Too
Note: By the time you see this, the owner may have changed the title of the blog post and/or some of the wording in the body.
Franchise Professionals Need To Be Professional
Wrapping up, no one in franchising should mislead aspiring franchise owners with headlines promising you’ll make millions if you own a certain franchise.
As a matter of fact, no one should ever make franchisee earnings claims that can’t be backed with proof. Not estimates. Income and revenue proof. In writing. Extracted from the FDD. Otherwise it hurts the franchise industry.
And potential franchise business owners who could lose their money investing in a “highly profitable” franchise they found online via an article they read.
Hey…nobody’s perfect. Sometimes things are omitted by accident.
If so, as long as they’re quickly corrected, some slack should be given.
It’s the intentional non-disclosures I have a problem with.
And you should too.