I don’t know Joe.
What I do know is this:
Someone named “Joe” left a comment on a post I wrote concerning the Quiznos lawsuit and the huge settlement amount the parties agreed to.
(It was a class-action lawsuit) It was back when Rick Schaden was at the helm.
I have no idea if Joe was a genuine former Quiznos franchisee or not.
Fact: Joe wasn’t the only person who submitted comments under that post. Several other people added their comments; some of them claimed to be Quiznos franchisees. You’re welcome to read them and decide for yourself if you think they’re real Quiznos franchisees or not.
The website you’re now on has been redesigned several times.
Not only has it been redesigned, I moved it from Typepad to WordPress a few years ago.
Because of that (I think) the comment I’m sharing below isn’t live on the blog post I wrote about Quiznos a few years ago. I did include it my hardcover franchise book, though. So, I had it at one point. Really.
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There really was a “Joe” and he really did write the comment below.
You’ll just have to trust me, I guess.
Here is Joe’s comment about his experience as a Quiznos franchisee.
“I was a guy with a net worth in 2006 of over $500k, perfect credit, a good job in the medical field, a good passive income from some rental property. I lived on my 80+ acres farm in my own home. I was also engaged to get married. I was taken in by (sandwich franchise) Quiznos’ lies about the wonders of being your own boss and how much success I could have. How stupid I feel now. This settlement is just a drop in the bucket to me. I understand that I will get a check in the mail for seventeen hundred dollars…. and it will be delivered to my mom’s house, because that is where I now live. My home, farm, rental property, credit rating and fiancé are all gone after my bankruptcy last year. Fortunately I was able to go back to my job and I’m getting back on my feet and doing well at repairing the damage, but it will take a long time.”
“I know how they got me. I was a dreamer with no business experience and I played right into the hands of these liars. Some of my fellow owners in my area were experienced at business and they fell for it too, so Quiznos was really slick. I hope one day they put these people under the jail.”
Quiznos: What Happened To Joe The Franchisee?
Joe was not a happy guy when he wrote that comment. I don’t blame him. It sounds like Joe really lost everything*.
*Again, I can’t verify that Joe was even a franchisee of Quiznos.
I don’t know much (personally) about Joe’s circumstances. I don’t know how he went about buying his franchise. I don’t know what franchise research questions he asked.
I also don’t know if Joe had any experience in the food service industry. I wonder if he put together a formal business plan-like the one that can be easily done using this online tool.
- Did Joe know how to deal with employees?
- Was Joe a guy who had failed in business before?
- Did he really have to declare bankruptcy?
- Did he really own a farm?
- Was he really engaged?
Call me skeptical, but, I just don’t know the answers to those questions above. I don’t have any way of knowing whether or not Joe was in fact, a Quiznos franchisee, or just someone who was really angry at the folks at Quiznos headquarters in Denver for some other reason. It’s just how things roll when it comes to blog comments.
There is one more thing I wonder about. I wonder if Joe’s expectations concerning franchise ownership were realistic.
Expectations: How To Avoid Being Joe
There are several ways for today’s prospective franchise owners to avoid the things that happened (supposedly) to Joe.
Investing in a franchise is not a sure thing. Just because there is a business system in place, support, and even other franchisees to get help from, it doesn’t mean that the franchise opportunity you choose is infallible. Far too many people launch franchise businesses of their own with extremely unrealistic expectations. It’s partially the franchise industry’s fault. (I’m trying to change that.)
Some of the prospective franchise owners I’ve worked with over the years have false impressions about how things work in the franchise industry.
- If I ever have a problem, all I have to do is pick up the phone, and it will be fixed
- Since the franchisor has a marketing/advertising plan in place, I won’t have to go out and find clients/customers
- I am lowering my risk a lot by investing in a franchise business, as opposed to a pure start-up
- I’ll be able to make my investment back quickly
- Because I’m buying a business in a box
- Getting a small business loan won’t be difficult, because a franchise business is a proven successful business model
Are those some of the reasons why you’re considering franchise ownership?
Do These 10 Things
The best way to avoid being Joe-to avoid a franchise business ownership disaster, is to:
1. Tamp down your expectations a bit
2. Choose your franchise business opportunity wisely
3. Involve your family early
4. Do amazing research
5. Work with a franchise professional
6. Draw up a formal business plan
8. Stash more money than you’ll think you’ll need
9. Stash a little more money
10. Follow the system
The Quiznos franchise system has been a big, fat mess for years. I’m not the first one to report on the internal problems in Denver.
If you’re thinking of buy a Quiznos franchise-or any franchise that’s seen it’s share of negative publicity, like Cold Stone Creamery, ActionCoach, Coffee Beanery, or others, do more research than you had originally planned. Talk to 20…30 current franchisees. Find franchisees that failed. Ask the franchise development teams tough questions.
I’m not saying you’ll fail if you buy a franchise that’s having problems or has had problems.
Just be a good detective. Or, hire one.
And, read those 10 things above again.