Blue MauMau reports: Tim Hortons Franchisees Get Bum’s Rush at Annual Meeting

June 15, 2017

Annual meetings are supposed to be an opportunity for shareholders to communicate to management.

Exterior of the Tim Hortons coffee shop at the corner of Scott St. and Wellington St. East is photographed on March 3, 2017. (Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail)

It appears 3G Capital executives feel themselves above Ontario corporate law.

To wit… In the June 5th Globe and Mail article by Marina Strauss: Franchisees shunned at Tim Hortons parent company annual meeting

“Tim Hortons franchisees who traveled to Tim Hortons’ parent company Restaurant Brands International (RBI) annual shareholders meeting in Oakville, Ontario, Canada yesterday were in for a shock. CEO Daniel Schwartz, in an apparently highly unusual move at RBI or any other publicly held company, did an end run around them and ended the meeting without entertaining questions from anyone in the audience.

“I’m astounded,” John James (J.J.) Hoey, a franchisee in Mississauga and an organizer of the Great White North Franchisee Association, said later. The association was formed in March to speak for Tim Hortons restaurant owners and raise concerns about the effects of RBI’s cost-cutting.

…In an interview later, Mr. Schwartz said the company is in “constant dialogue with our restaurant owners. We’re always willing to speak with them.” — Marina Strauss, The Globe and Mail

But apparently not publicly at the shareholders meeting, for one.

RBI, controlled by Brazilian private equity firm 3G Capital, is quick to adopt its cost-cutting strategies at its acquired targets, a proven 3G strategy to rapidly boost profits.

…Peter Sklar, retail analyst at BMO Nesbitt Burns, said he was surprised RBI didn’t take questions from shareholders. “It’s unusual for investors not to have the opportunity to question management during the annual meeting,” he said. “I’ve never seen that before.” — Strauss, The Globe and Mail

RBI also owns Burger King and Popeyes.

Full article”

Blue MauMau.org is the premiere franchisee-focused news source.


Vigorous provincial government relations are invaluable in influencing Tim Hortons Brazilian-based vulture capitalists.

June 8, 2017

Franchisees need to speak out to their local MPPs (member of provincial parliament).

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Queen’s Park, Toronto, Canada

The independent franchisee association should make a legislative “wishlist” a priority.

Nothing, nothing makes a franchisor and his allies (Canadian Franchise Association, CFA et al) stand up and take notice.

Anyone who says talking to politicians is a waste of time, is working full-time for 3G, the CFA, its 1,199 other franchisors and their supporters: banks, legal service providers.

Start by suggesting the Ontario government reverse the onus on good faith in the Arthur Wishart Act.

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Est. 1998

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Mike Colle, MPP Eglinton Lawrence, Susan Kezios, President, American Franchisee Assocation, AFA and Les Stewart, Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators, CAFO, Wishart Act hearings, 2000.

Les’s expert witness testimony.

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John Sotos, Sotos LLP and Susan Kezios, AFA, Wishart Act hearings, 2000

John’s expert witness testimony. Susan’s expert witness testimony.

Tony Martin MPP Sault Ste. Marie and Dr. Gillian K. Hadfield, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 2000.

Dr. Hadfield’s expert witness testimony.

Three MPPs get together to try to make franchise fraud a criminal offence, Second Reading, 2010.

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Les Stewart, ON Premier Kathleen Wynne and Don Morgan, 2015.

Q: Why should any public official help your family when (it appears) you don’t give two hoots about the other +70,000 franchisee families?


Tim Hortons operators might listen to Bob Purvin’s sage advice about franchisee associations

April 28, 2017

Legal advice is necessary but it should not lead ANY franchisee group. Do not allow any lawyer to capture control.

AAFD chairman and founder Bob Purvin

In a conversation with BlueMauMau.org, AAFD Chairman Purvin: Power of Franchisees in Bargaining and Cooperatives in Reducing Costs:

SNIEGOWSKI: Some franchisee associations, frankly, seem banded together merely as an excuse for a class-action lawsuit against the franchisor to resolve a grievance, or at least the threat to the franchisor of one.

PURVIN: Sadly, that is too often the case.

If a lawsuit is the only reason for a franchisee association to exist, it will disappear five years after its startup or until the next round of franchise contract negotiations. The successful associations do more.

The Griswold Healthcare Franchise Association [GHFA] is an example. Franchisees created a fabulous task force on best practices that worked with the company to put on seminars each month. They have great turnouts for their seminars, which are done by webinar. They are now getting involved in lobbying, especially around the issue of caregiver wages. Their legal fund is dedicated to working with various state and local agencies over the rights of caregiver business owners.

Griswold created a products committee, where the franchisee association is now getting involved in the supplier side in a collaborative way. It is not just the franchisor that is cutting a deal with this supplier [getting kickbacks] and mandating that franchisees use that product to enrich the franchisor.

Associations can be more about the supply side than about renegotiating the franchise agreement.

Let me repeatAssociations can be more about the supply side than about renegotiating the franchise agreement.

American Association of Franchisees and Dealers

Rule of Thumb: add together what you’re paying for royalties and ad fund (ie. 4 and 3 = 7%). As a franchisee that does not have a franchisee-led and -owned buying co-operative, you’re putting an additional 7 per cent of hidden cash into your franchisor’s pocket via product and equipment costs.

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Who is best to consult to a few Tim Hortons franchisees in their relationship with 3G Capital?

January 18, 2016

I did the franchising industry forensic accounting (diminishing gross margins) for the National Bread Network.

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A membership program was developed and executed. The initial ROI leverage was impressive to 100% of the Canada Bread franchisees. See one of three direct mail pieces.

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In the end, the few elite investors made much, much more.


3G Capital poises for accelerated growth in U.S. Tim Hortons by closing stores?

November 23, 2015

Number of closed stores and terminated Canadian franchisees is both unknown and unknowable because of lapdog disclosure rules.

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Tim Hortons confirmed that stores across Maine and New York closed on Friday. RENE JOHNSTON / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO

An interesting article in Canada’s largest daily newspaper, Tim Hortons closes locations in New York, Maine, (subheadline:
Coffee chain refuses to say if it has closed any Canadian outlets. It has reportedly closed more than 20 stores in the U.S.):

Tim Hortons has closed down many locations across New York and Maine, only a few weeks after reporting a profit of $49.6 million (U.S.).

The coffee chain would not confirm if any Canadian outlets had been closed or how many U.S. stores shut.

And also in a press release:

“As we build the foundation for accelerated growth in the U.S., we have decided to close some restaurants in New York and Maine.

Comment on article by reader “Relax”: Apparently, Tim Hortons has figured it out. The best way to “accelerate growth” in the US is to start by closing stores.

Canadian Franchise Industry Much More Secretive: Franchisors in the United States are required to report the number of stores and franchisees closed, terminated, etc. each year. There is even public access to their Franchise Disclosure Documents (see California’s search template: Tim Hortons USA Inc). In Canada, provincial ministries do not require franchisors to publish this data. So sad for investors or journalists or the captured franchisees’ billions of investment $.

Additional coverage:

Franchisors have traditionally sent signals to their franchisees on how they would be treated if they’re not seen to be “on the team”. Normally, the most vocal are out first.

Word from Canada is that the franchisees has it that their stores have never been more profitable.

The real prize is on the (surviving but fewer) CDN franchisees’ income statements.

 


Minister Moore: Please recognize within federal insolvency law the interests of franchisees, their staff, and families.

February 12, 2015

Since 1970, United States federal and state regulations have recognized the distinctive vulnerabilities within the franchisor:franchisee relationship.

James Moore MP

The 1,140,000 employees, 76,000 franchisees, and $15.2-billion invested within franchised outlets in Canada deserve to be as protected just as well as our friends to the south.

Source

The Target and potential for Tim Hortons are good examples of the Harper government’s commitment (via immediate Ministerial discretionary powers) in proving the Canadian entrepreneurial class is not useful only as cannon fodder.

Some of the laws that may need updating.


How long will CDN organized labour & the NDP fiddle while 96,000 Tim Hortons franchisees’ staff and management burn?

January 31, 2015

Makes a citizen democrat want to burn up his orange card.

ndp card

How about the nearly 1,100,000 other Canadian employees/families that work in franchised outlets?

Don’t the union and NDP brainiacs understand that 3G Capital will be forcing the franchisees to do their dirty work by laying off tens of thousands of their hourly and managers, many of them personal friends? Hello: jacking up franchisees cost of goods to +32%, driving their “equity” into the red, makes layoffs inevitable.

Franchisees dislike unions true. But the fear and loathing for the vulture capitalists is profound, notwithstanding the company-man, shill franchisees.

Smart, silent current franchisees know the sewer they’re being sent into: Country Style, Second Cup, Coffee Time, Bakers’ Dozen, etc.

Franchise Industry Statistics, 1998

  • Number of Employees: Ontario 400,000 to 600,000 (Canada 760,000 – 1,140,000)
  • Annual Retail Sales: Ontario $45 to 50 billion (Canada $90 billion)
  • Number of Franchisees: Ontario 40,000 (Canada 76,000)
  • Total Investments: Ontario $2 to 8 billion (Canada $3.8 – 15.2 billion)
  • Number of Franchisors: Ontario 500 (Canada 1,300)
  • Franchised Retail Sales (% of Total Retail): 40
  • Number of new lawsuits per year in the Ontario Franchise Industry: 5,000 Ontario Government

I’d like to know:

  1. How many NDP executive positions in joint provincial/federal ridings (Simcoe Grey and Barrie-Springwater-Oro-Medonte) do I have to volunteer/toy with to get an audience from the ON NDP? Monthly payer?
  2. Maybe Ms. Nash MP should ask Charlie Angus ($15 per hour minimum wage?) about the work that Tony Martin former MPP and MP and I did,
  3. Or maybe Mr. Singh and Ms. Horwath need to check their egos and start bragging about what the entire Hampton caucus did to get Ontario’s 1st franchise law and the de facto Canada-wide statute after 30 years of all-party broken promises?
  4. Maybe check with the Fightfor15.org people to find out why they are very, very interested in knowing more about franchising?
  5. btw: McDonald’s (franchisor and franchisees) has just been fined by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board because they judge McDonald’s as a “joint employer” (see here, here).

Full Disclosure: I was a franchisee (twice), studied poli sci, a member of the Teamsters’ union, and continue to be viewed as a “union organizer” by franchisors and their toadies.

Based on the theory that your enemy’s enemy, is your friend, you’d think it’d be Palm Sunday for Mr. Stewart and the Canadian Alliance of Franchise Operators rather than a type of amateur hour.

Kathleen Wynne Les Stewart

With friends like this, it almost makes a guy see red.

Dale Carnegie moment: Of course, saying you care about the lost jobs is a lot easier than having to co-operate with people that have, like, technical knowledge of the most sophisticated form of international commerce: business format franchising.


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