Shocking franchisors into good behavior

cattleprod

People tend to behave better when the costs of misbehaving are increased.

As reported at Blue MauMau on December 28th, Bakers Delight is planning to sell more stores in the face of massive controversy (Bakers Delight Plans 150 New Franchises).

To wit:

Entangled in 2008 with government hearings over unfair franchise practices, franchise owner litigation, rumors of financial problems and the recent failure of its attempt to enter the U.S. market, Baker’s Delight remains undaunted. The Australia-based firm announced today that it plans to sell 150 new franchises in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. The statement did not specify when it plans to achieve this.

A well-known Australian franchise windmill tilter, Ray Borradale adds to the posting:

This would explain why the anti-Bakers Delight franchising website [www.bakersdelightlies.com] was purchased from the ex-franchisee who assisted to expose the reality of franchisor behavior and franchisee failures and did enormous damage to the brand.

Mr. Borradale goes on to make an offer that most unsettled former franchisees might want to consider:

I would suggest Roger Gillespie [BD’s CEO] doesn’t appreciate that the removal of that web site will do little to find him all his new franchisees; rather, it will increase efforts to ensure he continues to have major obsticles to contend with.  Roger is kidding himself.

He should learn from Midas; it don’t go on for ever baby. How many web sites does he want to buy?  Perhaps ex-BD franchisees can get their money back from Roger through a new entrepreneurial effort setting up sites and selling them back to him at $200k a pop?

Any BD people can contact me if they want some assistance.  It takes a huge effort for 24 hours and then a lot of money; less than $200 will get you started. [my emphasis]

An interesting idea: a few (dozens?) of websites and blogs, each watching, collecting documents and recording a specific franchisor’s every move. Providing and sharing information based on the [almost] no cost of the internet.

Using the network effect of the internet to short-circuit opportunism via former franchisees who are out to make a buck.

  • Private law ordering or digital vigilantism [depends on your viewpoint].
  • Hundreds of copy-cat anti-this trademark system, anti-that trademark systems?
  • Standardized indexing of a www web of national trademark nodes?
  • Organizing to defuse a type of organized crime [but on an electrical platform unlike the law which is strictly lead type].

Reflecting franchising’s unique strength (duplicatabiliy) onto a technology that can condition franchisors into good behavior [operant conditioning: voluntary fair dealings at the end of a cattle prod]. Interesting.

  • But, my God, where will it end? With just one AUS franchisor?

Maybe yes. Maybe no. The new year promises to be very interesting.

PS: This is a secret so don’t tell anyone. Homework: Start collecting everyone’s home email for future bulk emails.

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