SureSlim: Run red flag boy, Run

I admit it: I’ve put on 25 pound over the winter. I don’t like it at all but the LAST thing I’m going to do is to buy a franchise if it helps me lose weight.


But surprisingly, many people choose to tie their life savings (past, current and future) to the slimmest of get-poor quick schemes.

How well the SureSlim weight-loss system will do in Canada depends on many factors.

I had covered some unsettling news out of New Zealand in March (see SureSlim says: We are not a cult & +80% of our operators did not tank in 2008).

One of the recurring themes that I have noticed over 10 years of watching the franchise industry is the deliberate targeting of immigrant investors. Selling into ignorance of the complexity of British common law is a full-time profession and frequently a very red flag.

In the May edition of The Canadian Immigrant magazine, franchisor Mr. Gerald Raath goes on to explain how SureSlim is different:

Unlike many other weight-loss programs in North America, SureSlim takes a very scientific, medical approach, which claims it will correct your body metabolism and balance hormone levels. Each client begins the program with a blood test, which is analysed by a physician.

And Mr. Raath’s health care, biology or science credentials or background in his native South Africa? His academic or professional preparation of balancing “insulin, human growth hormone and serotonin” in a healthy way?

…Raath was co-owner of a discount department store…”We sold everything from furniture to electronics, and employed more than 70 people,” he says.

Okay. And who else speaks highly of SureSlim? Another warning indication is the use of a shill franchisee.

A shill is:

n. 1 an accomplice, esp. one posing as an enthusiastic or successful customer to encourage or entice potential buyers, gamblers, etc.  2 an adherent of a party or point of view etc. posing as a disinterested advocate Canadian Oxford Dictionary

Whenever I hear a franchisee speak in favour of a franchisor system, I think of  a confidence game or snake oil sales pitch. I also think of finger puppetry.

Time will tell of course if SureSlim will survive let alone prosper .

But with only 15 (14 maybe? What happened to Calgary Sundridge?) opened since 2002, how Mr. Raath “…expects to open 40 more locations across Canada within the next few years” is  a very open question.

See all three SureSlim articles appear in, the most powerful social media resource. Bringing reputation and investor memories to franchising…finally.

Want to write your own story? Just ask and we will show you how to memorialize your franchise experiences on

Hope springs eternal in the happy face world of Canadian franchising with all of the risks on the franchisees’ shoulders.

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