Although the down economy has forced many operators to focus on the nitty gritty of business details and ignore the outside-the-store activities, customers still expect brands to stand for a good cause. According to the 2010 Cone Cause Evolution Study, which analyzes consumers’ expectations and behaviors toward companies’ support of causes, 82 percent of Americans believe it’s important for the food and beverage industry to support social or environmental causes.
Whether it’s started by the internationally renowned franchisor or the ma-and-pa franchisee, litigation stands an unwelcome event in a relationship desperately needing trust, respect, and the singular, shared aim of bottom-line success. Over the last decade, however, a litany of franchisor-franchisee disputes have made their way into the courtroom, proving to be a time- and cost-consuming process littered with stress and frustration for both sides.
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Madison, Wisconsin, TCBY franchisee Saad Khalifa is on a first-name basis with his customers, especially those who visit his frozen yogurt shop regularly.
When Steve drives an hour and 35 minutes to the Madison TCBY, Khalifa is ready with the customer’s consistent order of two pies and about 10-12 quarts of ice cream. “And that’s just like clockwork every week,” Khalifa says. “He’ll call in two days ahead and we’ll get everything ready for him.”