SureSlim says: We are not a cult & +80% of our operators did not tank in 2008


They must have just been unlucky in choosing their franchisees, then?

However, running a New Zealand SureSlim franchise seems to be a one-way ticket to losing your life savings and your home

A great article from New Zealand’s Sunday Star Times and Garry Sheeran called Big losers in SureSlim row head to court:

Failed SureSlim franchise owners are lining up to take legal action against the franchisor in New Zealand after 17 of the 21 SureSlim diet clinics here closed their doors last year.

SureSlim NZ says those businesses failed because people had cut discretionary spending on attempts to slim as the recession began to bite.

But franchisee business owners, themselves under fire from clients who paid money for diet regimes and now feel left in the lurch, say the SureSlim franchise model is the cause of their woes.

Here are some classic death rattles (sounds made just before death) of a failing franchise system:

  1. lost homes for franchisees but profits to lenders (lending due diligence?),
  2. churning: rapid re-sale of franchises (Fee1 gift to franchisor, sells to F2, etc.)
  3. can’t afford legal action to get money back or prove fraud,
  4. the business model is broken; sales free-fall (ie. 80% sales drop in 2008),
  5. 29% royalty and ad fund cost (unusual in that it is out-in-the-open; most charges are buried in mandatory products from the franchisor and their suppliers) ,
  6. franchisor slashes co-op advertising to during recession,
  7. independent accounting points toward “hugely questionable” franchisor actions,
  8. new president spewing excuses du jour RE: blaming the franchisees (bad lot with +80% tanking in one year: fire the s.o.b.s that accepted their applications!), and
  9. tip-of-the-iceberg litigation history in an older market (at least Oz has a toothless franchise law to plead).

The only bright spot is the honesty of a Sydney, Australia lawyer named Mark McDonald. He hits the nail-on-the-head for thousands of franchisees caught in franchising’s Trap for the Trusting:

“Most poor bastards caught in the SureSlim net can’t anyway because they have totally done their arse. And we discourage people from throwing good money after bad.”

Throwing good money after bad. An apt description of taking legal action against any franchisor in many countries.

  • I wonder how SureSlim is doing in other countries?

5 Responses to SureSlim says: We are not a cult & +80% of our operators did not tank in 2008

  1. Heather says:

    Les, I have been following and investigating the SureSlim story for 18 months, and lived and breathed it every day as a multiple franchise owner. There is a story here to tell, with bundles of failed franchises in the uk, australia and of course nz. People want to share their stories, and “churning” is very real in the SureSlim World.The majority of people lose their homes, their life savings, and their souls. The day of reckoning has come!!


  2. Les Stewart says:


    Thanks for responding. With some work, the word can get out.

    I see that my friends at New Zealand’s and Do Diligence over at the influential U.S. community Blue MauMau, picked up on the story.

    The more the merrier.



  3. SureSlies says:

    Dear Heather,

    Unfortunately, many SureSlim franchisees internationally have suffered under the banner of SureSlim. The logo should be:

    “Become a SureSlim franchisee and lose your money”

    The irony of it all is that the founder of SureSlim is overweight!!
    Please visit SureSlies for more information on SureSlim:



  4. Les Stewart says:


    Thanks for commenting.

    The single most important thing anyone can do is to establish a platform for confidential, franchisee communication. I have found a weblog VERY helpful in all cases of sharing internet information. I would encourage all affected investors to at least contact each other, no matter the geography. Franchising decisions do not respect international borders.

    Congratulations again and keep us informed!


    PS: I think it’s


  5. SureSlies says:

    Dear Les,

    A major point of concern in need of ACCC scrutinising is ‘False and Misleading Medical Claims’ made by Franchisors to potential franchisees and the general public.

    ‘SureSlim published Medical Claims’ article outlines but a few. Read story at:

    Keep us posted Les.

    SureSlies Group
    (Ex-SureSlim franchisees)


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