Sean Kelly over at FranchisePick has a great article (Low Eggspectations: How NOT to Handle a Franchise Dispute) about the Montreal, Canada Eggspectation franchisee that had his store dumped out onto the street last week.
They are very relevant to all franchisors and investors at all levels in North America:
Publicly dumping the franchise restaurant contents on the sidewalk for the city’s garbage cops to deal with was the ONLY option CEO [Enzo] Renda could come up with? [Sean’s emphasis]
Navigating a franchise dispute is extraordinarily difficult and requires leadership skills that this franchisor clearly does not possess. A franchisor CEO must be able to justify to other franchise owners, stakeholders, employees and sometimes customers that the harsh action they must sometimes take is necessary in order to protect the brand image that is their greatest asset.
In this case, Renda likely caused more embarrassment to the chain and damage to the Eggspectation brand than his errant franchisee ever could have.
Not eggsactly eggstraordinary brand strategy for a company that hopes to open 70 units in the U.S.
I agree. It takes skill, patience and maturity to operate a stable, let alone grow a franchise system internationally.
The comments are interesting. They include a Montreal Eggspectation franchisee named Paul Plaitias coming to the franchisor’s defense. How unusual.
When there is a CANCER [presumably the exiting franchisee] in your system your only goal is to remove it as quikly (sic)as possible before it spreads.
This was the only way that the Franchisor was able to protect all of his Franchisees.
I THANK YOU ENZO RENDA and
JIMMY SKINDILIAS!! [franchisors]
From Paul Plaitis
For Eggspectation Complex Desjarsdin
I have differentiated between House Slave and Field Slave in a previous post called House Slaves in Franchising and put it into cultural norms within Silencing Dissent via Humiliation. Time will tell if Mr. Plaitis is playing the role of House negro while the exiting franchisee is a little bit more of the field variety.
- Carol Cross’s view is more than warranted when viewing franchising.
However, two other media outlets weighed in (so far):
1. The Montreal Gazette :: Bailiff gets cracking, shuts Eggspectation by Jan Ravensbergen. The exiting franchisee’s name is Newton Bastiampillai and it appears Joseph Ionata is his lawyer. Billy Katelanos (Gowling?) seems to be the franchisor’s lawyer.
2. The Toronto Star (Canada’s largest daily newspaper) :: Eatery spills out into Montreal street
Contents of failed diner tossed onto sidewalk; booze, other items taken before police arrive
Thanks for the graphic Sean.