Some recent BlueMauMau pundits have gone so far as to theorize that our motives have to do with a takeover of the company. This is pure balderdash. It is clear that Quiznos’ plans are to take the company public and launch an IPO. Those who will benefit most include the 50 or so companies that hold stock in the current privately-held Quiznos Corporation, and private equity firms, such as Mr. Brenneman’s. The TSFA has no financial stake in this future chain of events.
There are no hidden agendas by the TSFA, although in order to divert attention from the facts, we have been accused by Quiznos of possessing them.
The TSFA board is not self-serving. We are all volunteer franchisees, working without compensation, much to Quiznos’ chagrin. Our goal has always been to secure the rights of all the franchisees in the system and to make sure that the franchisees are making a decent profit based on our individual investments, plain and simple. We also expect to have a voice in the current and future direction of this chain, since without franchisees, this chain is nothing but a concept (the corporation only owns approximately 2 stores out of nearly 5000). Our TSFA President and his wife alone have combined over two decades worth of experience with Quiznos. Mr. Brenneman has a few scant months.
Unfortunately, a professional relationship was impossible to establish with the previous management team, despite our best efforts. Instead, our complaints were met with legal responses in what appeared to be an effort to silence us. We have yet to establish a professional relationship with the current management team.
It is always difficult to reason with unreasonable people, and this was the case in the past. Before the TSFA publicized the problems in this chain, we attempted to communicate with corporate via numerous letters and emails over the years, to create a dialogue to resolve issues. All of these attempts were ignored. The TSFA sent a letter to JPMorgan as well, once they purchased a major share of the chain. Quiznos responded with numerous lawsuits against several TSFA Board Members and TSFA members. The response to speaking out in the past was to get slapped with a lawsuit, regardless of the validity of your claims. Legal action on our part, by its very nature and expense, was a last-resort-effort to fix the problems in the chain and to give restitution to franchisees that were casualties of the previous management team.
We believe that Mr. Brenneman has made some limited progress in making the obvious changes that the TSFA has been advocating for years. Unfortunately, so far, it is much too little, and for many facing bankruptcy, much too late. Mr. Brenneman has also improved communications with franchisees in small ways; something the previous management team had failed to do at all. However, the corporation still fails to recognize the TSFA as the only independent U.S. franchisee representation, despite the significant number of franchisees we represent and the fact that we continue to grow.
Communications are still ad hoc across the Quiznos system. We encounter franchisees almost daily with issues for which they can’t get a response from Quiznos. There is no permanent and reliable communications system in place. Many franchisees fear that the short-term changes, just represent “putting lipstick on a pig”, for the benefit of an eventual IPO.