(Mike Mozart)

Burger King Franchisees Tired Of Inexperienced Corporate Field Coaches

During the last few years and under new ownership, Burger King has changed its business model slightly. The company once owned some restaurants as well as franchising its brand, but now has mostly left the restaurant-running business. Instead, they extract franchise royalties and send “field coaches” to look over the literal and metaphorical shoulders of their franchisees. [More]

(Kerry Lannert)

Why Doesn’t Chipotle Franchise? It Has Enough Money, Promises Organic Meat

Franchising is the business model behind the massive homogenization of the American foodscape. A local entrepreneur licenses a larger brand, often buying supplies and other necessities for running a restaurant as well. This has worked very well for many fast food and quick-serve chains, so why isn’t popular burrito eatery Chipotle interested in opening franchises? [More]


Failed Quiznos, Cold Stone Franchises Left Taxpayers On Hook For $72.5M In Last Decade

When that Quiznos sandwich shop you always drove by but never visited closed, you probably didn’t even notice. Or maybe you were a little bit disappointed during your last trip to the mall when you found out the Cold Stone Creamery had shuttered. But what you probably didn’t know is that those failed franchises have left taxpayers on the hook for $72.5 million over the last decade. [More]

A Guide To Subway’s Delicious Regional Topping Variations

Want carrots on your Subway sandwich? How about parmesan oregano bread, sliced avocados, or blue cheese sauce? Not all Subway topping offerings are mandatory, and some offerings vary by region or even from franchisee to franchisee. Over at Brand Eating, here’s a guide to breads and toppings that you just might find at your local Subway. Or might not. [Brand Eating]


McDonald’s Wants To Fix Service That Customers Find ‘Chaotic’

No one expects four-star service at a fast-food joint, but at the same time you expect service to be, well, fast. And somewhat competent. McDonald’s currently faces falling sales, and 20% of the complaints they receive are about customer service. Customers complain about “chaotic” service and “unprofessional” employees. Logical conclusion: time to work on their customer service. The chain is overhauling their ordering system in an attempt to make fewer mistakes and speed things along. Will it work? Maybe. [More]


What It’s Like To Work At A Subway Franchise, Get Blamed For Everything Customers Don’t Like

Reader M. is currently (under-) employed at a Subway franchise. M. has a college degree, and is bright enough to be able to see the economic indicators that show they’ll still be working at Subway for a while yet. Fortunately, we like to give employees a soapbox to educate the public about the things we might not understand about their jobs. That way, Consumerist readers are less likely to act like entitled jerks, treat front-line employees better, and the world is a happier place. In theory. [More]

No Coupons, No Games At Our Super Sad Neighborhood Burger King

No Coupons, No Games At Our Super Sad Neighborhood Burger King

Fast-food restaurant promotions exist to get customers in the door and to keep them coming back. When Steve and his wife showed up at their regular Burger King for a tasty dinner of Whoppers, they brought along a coupon they had printed from Burger King’s website. It turned out that their local franchise couldn’t accept that coupon. Okay. They could deal with that. It was when the cashier talked up a different promotion, then explained that the restaurant was actually out of game pieces for that promotion, that Steve became annoyed enough to write to Burger King corporate. [More]

Quiznos Risks Defaulting

Quiznos Risks Defaulting

“Torpedoing.” “Toasted.” The food that Quiznos is having trouble selling is full of metaphors for how its business is going. Crunched by the recession, its own policies towards franchise owners, competitors adding toasters, and an “everyday value” strategy that ran counter to its position as a purveyor of premium sandwiches, Quiznos is on the edge of violating its loan terms and could go into default. [More]

Soup Nazi Back In Business, But Not Actually Around To Yell At You

Soup Nazi Back In Business, But Not Actually Around To Yell At You

Al Yeganeh, the man who inspired Seinfeld’s Soup Nazi character, closed up shop six years ago, but this week he re-opened his business at the same location on 55th Street in NYC under the name “The Original Soup Man.” The company is now a franchise with locations in nine states and Washington, D.C., and unfortunately (for us, but probably not for him) Yeganeh doesn’t actually do any counterwork–he’s just the brand at this point. [More]

Burger King Restaurants Angry Over $1 Burger Promo, File Lawsuit

Burger King Restaurants Angry Over $1 Burger Promo, File Lawsuit

I’ve been wondering how some fast food chains can sell $1 cheeseburgers and still make a profit. Apparently they can’t, which is why a group that represents about 80% of the restaurant’s franchisees have sued the company over the promotion.

Not All Camaro Owners Got Free Pizza From Papa John's

Not All Camaro Owners Got Free Pizza From Papa John's

Like Quizno’s and KFC before them, Papa John’s went and set up a cute promotion without making sure that all of their franchisees have signed on. Papa John’s founder John Schnatter was reunited with his long-lost 1971 Camaro, and to celebrate, promised free pizza to anyone who drove up to a Papa John’s restaurant in a Camaro. Except, you guessed it, not at all Papa John’s locations.

The Cutting Edge of Balloon Delivery

The Cutting Edge of Balloon Delivery

In my new personal version of hell, I’m the owner of a Beautiful Balloon franchise teaching my employees to develop artificial balloon delivery personas, with only this instructional video as my guide.

Memphis Burger Kings: Global Warming Is Baloney

Memphis Burger Kings: Global Warming Is Baloney

At least three Burger Kings in Memphis have recently displayed “GLOBAL WARMING IS BALONEY” on their letter boards, according to the Memphis Flyer and a reader.

Fast Food Restaurants: Stop With The "Free" Promotions Already

Fast Food Restaurants: Stop With The "Free" Promotions Already

Dear Quiznos, KFC, Arby’s, and any other food chain that wants to offer freebies without first securing full buy-in from your franchisees: please stop it. Either the coupons are honored or they’re not; there is no try.

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Forced Arbitration: You Lose, Now Pay For Our Lunch

Mandatory binding arbitration, which corporations use to dodge accountability for their discrimination, negligence, or harassment, is a caricature of justice that offers no protection to consumers or employees. It’s also terrible for small business owners, as one couple found out.

People Who Complained About Quiznos Million Sub Giveaway Imbroglio Get $5 Gift Cards

People Who Complained About Quiznos Million Sub Giveaway Imbroglio Get $5 Gift Cards

Readers who had problems with the Quiznos million free sub campaign and wrote in to the email address the sandwichery supplied to Consumerist report they’re receiving $5 gift card in the mail along with a letter of apology from the marketing director. One reader reports that on the back of the card it says that a $1 service charge gets applied to it each month you don’t use it. To see what some franchisees are saying are the *real* reasons for the problems, check out the comments section on this post at UnhappyFranchisee. Quiznos’ letter is posted inside.

Why The Quiznos Free Sandwich Promo Burnt Some Customers

Why The Quiznos Free Sandwich Promo Burnt Some Customers

According to tipster Rich Piotrowski, a former Quiznos franchise owner who won a counter-suit against the company, the big reason why some Quiznos were being jerks about taking the free sandwich coupon is that at first corporate was making the franchises pay for all the sandwiches. (Quiznos mandates franchises buy all their ingredients from HQ, often at above-market rates…). Then it looks like they decided to reimburse up to 400 coupons, then bumped that up to 700 to meet the demand, and now they’re going to reimburse all coupons. Don’t give away free stuff in these times unless you’re ready for an onslaught of interest, at the outset. Corporate seems to have realized this and contacted us to say that if you have any problems redeeming coupons you can email millionsubs@quiznos.com. Tipster’s comment, and an internal Quiznos memo, inside…

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Isn't Just Bad For Consumers, It's Bad For Small Businesses

Mandatory Binding Arbitration Isn't Just Bad For Consumers, It's Bad For Small Businesses

Mother Jones has an excellent writeup of Deborah Williams and Richard Welshans, the Maryland couple whose horrific experience with franchising a Coffee Beanery we’ve covered before. Inside, MoJo breaks down the arbitration award to show just how much more expensive arbitration is than litigation.