Only through organization can franchisees access new-found justice

The Canadian judiciary is rapidly creating a franchisee-sensitive justice environment.

Franchisees need to help themselves, too.

In 1998, we published a mission statement for the first Canadian national franchisee association: Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO. A place where leaders for each franchise system could be developed (an association of associations).

It was going to:

improve the equity within the franchise industry, be recognized as the definitive franchisee voice in Canada, and promote responsible and enforceable government regulations.

It would be done through education, a Franchise Industry Registry, advocacy, research, legislation, membership services and the Canadian Centre for Franchise Excellence.

Ted Dixon at the INFO Franchise Newsletter published our objectives and has an archived copy here.

2 Responses to Only through organization can franchisees access new-found justice

  1. Ray Borradale says:

    Les, how closely does the Australian situation resemble the Canadian situation? The majority of Australia’s franchise systems do not have an association and of those that do exist most seem to have a franchisor reliance mentality.

    One would expect that brand franchisee associations would be created to represent the interests of the franchisees but they too often end up as vehicles for the franchisor. One would have to assume that the franchisors often or usually utilize various available methods to achieve such a state of dulled nothingness in terms of effectiveness of those associations.

    Creating brand franchisee independent associations to work with the franchisor to achieve balance in growing mutual profit initiatives, evolving brand and ultimately lifting investment return values would seem to be a no-brainer.

    The problem does not appear to be with the franchisors as much as it seems to be in the apathy of franchisee networks to either get behind the formation of independent franchisee associations or the apathy to select the loudest no-brain to head an association when one is created.

    I don’t usually come across it but I have where a franchisee association appears to be performing well in a beneficial relationship with the franchisor. Which is another problem of apathy where they have no interest in the industry or any realization that ‘life is jolly’ can be over in the twinkling of an eye and especially in today’s market where we are seeing big growth in brand ownership shift and very often to private equity investors.

    I suspect that the role of a national franchisee association alliance would initially be a fragile one of pacifying franchisees and justifying to networks that much early day effort would involve the difficult task of reaching and educating other brand franchisees without representation and franchisor dominated existing franchisee associations and all without a budget.

    That would be a long road but to achieve a national association is probably the ultimate and only way to achieving protection for every individual existing and future franchisee. But our franchisees are dull and self-interested in the minute so pushing shit uphill seems to be a stage 1 goal.

    I imagine that when a franchisor is having a bad day they often think of this and realize it isn’t that bad at all.


  2. Les Stewart says:


    The law has traditionally ONLY assumed autonomous rational, individuals acting and reacting as if they lived in a vacuum. Microeconomics assumes the same. These are a very, very dangerous assumptions that are used for a certain aim.

    I reject the 100% reliance on these assumptions: The place or environment of decision making is important too.

    The longer I’m at this the more I believe that the situation that people find themselves in accounts for the VAST majority of their behavior. I ascribe at least as much credence to social as individual psychology.

    People do things in groups (under stress) that they would NEVER do as individuals (when rested, alert and “happy”). People do what they do and then invent a theory to explain away their behavior, in hindsight.

    There’s a thousand reasons not to do something and one reason to do it: ’cause it’s fight in the long-term,

    Oz and Canada are the same, right now. Franchisor-led advisory councils are the norm, franchisee- (no attorney) -led are very, very rare.

    I started CAFO as an idea and closed it down in 2005 when it its credibility was being abused. You have to start with a worthy idea and then everyone has something to argue for or against. Building a house starts with plans and those are imaginary and kept invisible by creative types.

    Education is the key and the only real learning is self-taught. Every student needs a leader/teacher and, Ray, you’re that in spades. I copied many of the ideas from the American Franchisee Association and feel free to do the same.

    Everything begins with an idea that is put on paper in a “sketchy” way. CAFO never made any money from 1998 but it was the heritage that used 12 years later to bring me back to the Second Reading of the revision to the Wishart Act in Sept of this year.

    You never know how things turn out and ideas based on defending fundamental human rights have a tendency to endure. All empires in the end commit suicide and I have that on very good authority.

    Rebellion without a credible alternate model often degrades into civil war that just substitutes the 2nd emperor for the 1st. In civil war, the most vulnerable suffer the most.

    The uber-predator is the outlier and will be dealt with by his peers, not you. All just wars are defending your people not attacking an aggressor.

    uber-Predators would rather tear everything down rather than share 1%. Don’t fall into that trap: give the tyrant his rope and you will see him do self-annihilate.

    He has no choice Ray. He cannot create, he can only destroy. eros/thanalos



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