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This seems like a great franchise. However I've heard whispers of bad things about them, but nothing specific. Anyone got any info, good or bad, to share about this franchise. I'm going down to Orlando in two weeks for discovery day and would appreciate any info.
Editor's Note (Nov 5, 2009): Below is an official response to comments made in this public forum about FiltaFry from Jason Sayers, President of FiltaFry. Mr. Sayers, who has registered on Blue MauMau and posts under his real name, contacted me by phone to introduce himself and emailed me the posting below from a Filta domain name. I have decided to re-post his remark here in the forum description area. - Don Sniegowski
Having watched this blog from the sidelines, we thought it was time to post. We don’t normally post in such forums, we have a business to run, but we felt it right to do so in this case.
Believe it or not, we are actually fans of Bluemaumau. The fact that people can post and give their views is a good thing. However, a few people who are intent on discrediting Filta have corrupted what is a good idea for a forum.
We have been in business for 15 years and operate in 26 countries around the world, either via franchised or company owned operations. The FiltaFry service was launched in the USA 7 years ago and has been received extremely well from Franchise Owners and Customers alike.
The FiltaFry service is provided to over 5,000 restaurants every week, week in, week out. We have literally hundreds of endorsement letters from current customers, both independent and large corporate names, who love the service… and no we don’t pay customers for them.
Yes we have Franchise Owners who have failed. Many that do leave the system which many see as failures are unfortunately through life circumstances such as illness, divorce, spouse moving job etc. We are not immune to everyday life occurrences. The general perception that any franchise is the ticket to success is incorrect. In business, the owner has to have the right idea, work hard and have the drive and commitment (especially in the early years) to succeed. Franchising provides the right idea for people and a proven framework and systems to help them succeed. What it cannot do is turn somebody into a success. It can only help.
We put the train firmly on the tracks and show initially and on-going all our franchisees how to be a successful driver. Unfortunately in reality, the responsibility and dedication needed to be a driver every day is too much for some and they slip back to sitting in the carriage as a passenger and the train has no driver – it is going to crash.
Speak with any franchisor and you will hear the 25/50/25 rule (or a derivative of it).
- That is 25% of the network are stars. These Franchisees expand their business, bring new ideas to the table and generally help the whole brand move forward.
- There are 25% of the network that are unhappy, cannot see how to achieve success, do not want to be in business, and will do anything to show that it isn’t their fault.
- The remaining 50%, in the middle, are the Franchises who earn a good living, listen to advice, try and improve their businesses and should improve their skills along the way to become good business people.
Yes, we take some of the responsibility for the poorer performing Franchisees. We should have screened them harder to begin with and not accepted them into the system. During the height of the economic boom it was easy to pick up business everywhere. Even those Franchisees without any drive couldn’t help but fall over business. In this bubble of success we, like many franchisors, dropped our guard and took people we shouldn’t have.
However, this doesn’t mean that the business doesn’t work or that most of our Franchisees aren’t driving ahead, expanding, purchasing more territories, adding vans, taking on staff and generally performing profitably.
Bear in mind that every Filta franchisee attends the same four week training program, has the same initial and on-going support and has a good territory full of potential customers. And yes, it is hard work. Why then do some not grow while others take-off? Every franchisee has the same training and support, the same everything. There is only one common denominator for failure in our business - the individual.
In the last month alone, we have had 4 Franchise Owners renew their Franchise Agreements for additonal 5 years terms. That surely demonstrates the success of this business.
Many franchisors get blasted on blogs such as this. Unfortunately that’s life. The good Franchise Owners get on with building their businesses’ and don’t have time to visit these sites (I don’t suggest they divert their attentions), while the unsuccessful ones sit and home and spend time blogging and blaming instead of putting the time into building theirs.
I will answer some of the questions and comments posted on this site.
Yes we have had staff changes. What business hasn’t? Every business employs people and at some stage lets them go for one reason or another. Do all our Franchisees keep all the same employees for ever? We have a number of staff who have been with us in the USA for over 5 years and we have let staff go after only a year or two. That is business.
As with any organization, some ex-staff members remain bitter and feel wronged particularly when the unemployment levels are so high. Everyone is entitled to his opinion but postings on this site, from one person in particular, are simply aimed at smearing our business. This has been pretty obvious given the postings that refer to us giving him money and he’ll stop posting.
Some of the shareholders from The Filta Group invested into, and helped run, a biodiesel business called Xenerga in 2007. Crude Oil prices had been fairly stable but rose from $60 to $96 per barrel during 2007 leading to greater interest in alternative fuels. By July 2008 the price of crude oil had rocketed to $145 per barrel. The business took off with several plants producing and selling quality fuel.
However in just five short months, in late 2008, oil took its biggest drop in history to $37 per barrel. This, coupled with the financial crisis taking firm hold, left the vast majority of the biodiesel plants in the USA facing closure. There are thousands of press articles showing this. Unfortunately, in 2009, Xenerga was a casualty of this, when two of its three plants closed due to the market conditions.
There still appears to be little light at the end of the tunnel for biodiesel but we hope that market conditions improve one day for the many people who shared our vision and remain in the industry today.
In the 15 years of operating the FiltaFry business, the company has only ever had 3 law suits brought by Franchisees. Yes, that’s 3 in 15 years. Not bad for any franchise organization, especially in this highly litigious country. All of these have been in the USA and all during the current recession. I recently read an article that legal cases in general had quadrupled since the recession began, people trying to get money from anywhere.
In the US system, any party can bring a civil case another party claiming anything at all. Until it is resolved, the claim remains.
One of these is a countersuit from a franchise owner who, after not being allowed to renew his Franchise Agreement, continued to trade, affecting neighboring franchisees and the brand. It is Filta’s responsibility to protect its existing Franchisees. Therefore in 2008 Filta filed suit so stop the ex-franchisee trading. The Filta Group won the legal case for the return of the equipment. He continued to trade. The judge ordered the ex-franchisee to return the additonal machine he possessed. Still he continues to trade. If this ex-franchisee, who posts as sledman, thinks the business is so bad, then why continue to trade? You will always get these people.
Another was only in business for a few weeks before he quit. Not exactly demonstrating the commitment mentioned above.
We are happy to discuss any outstanding legal matters directly with people. We will not discuss them on an open forum.
Yes, we have had two versions of the machine in the USA in the last 6 years. This is called ‘improvement’. All of those Franchisees who follow the operations manual do not have any issues with the machine. Do things go wrong with it? yes… it’s a machine. Purchase a BMW or Mercedes and it will go wrong one day. However, we have technical support on hand to assist any problems there may be.
Claims on this site about hole sizes and pressures are utter nonsense and are designed to simply smear. Our machines work fine.
We have used the same filter design for the past 15 years. The filters are made from paper and, as a natural product, paper quality can vary. We had a couple of bad batches last year from our manufacturer. Even then, the failure rate was only 20% and all defective filters were replaced to the Franchisees free of charge.
We have overcome any performance issues that arose and now have 3 different suppliers for our filters.
The supplier of our machines in the UK, Cardev, did declare bankruptcy in 2009. Like most manufacturing companies, it struggled in the recession. A new UK company, with the same owners and still trading under the Cardev brand, purchased all the assets of the business (including the FiltaFry equipment), and continues to provide excellent service to The Filta Group. In fact, 30 new machines and currently en-route to the USA as I write. The UK supplier continues to be one of the three cartridge suppliers to The Filta Group.
In addition we always ensure that we have a fall back stock situation for any short term eventuality.
It has been suggested on this site that FiltaFry doesn’t work and that FiltaCool was introduced to prop it up. Somebody then suggested the FiltaCool doesn’t work. Neither could be further from the truth.
Not many companies are with a customer once a week for a good period of time. FiltaFry franchisees have a massively unique strong relationship with their customers. This is called a Customer Base. Customer Bases are very valuable. It was always our aim to maximize our relationship with these customers and provide other environmentally friendly products and services.
FiltaCool is a product that fits this niche perfectly. It solves a problem that kitchens have with their walk-in coolers, it saves the customers money and it takes just 5 minutes to service once every 3 months. The markup for the Franchisee on this product is 400%. This is a winning product.
There is a rival franchise out there that sells franchises to sell this product. That franchise alone costs $70,000. We offer this as part of our Filta franchise.
We have several more products and services that are due to be introduced through our Franchise network in 2010. This again is improving the business for Franchisees. Customer Base is valuable.
As a company, we are an easy target for anybody to post garbage. The only people who have actually posted their names on this site are existing Franchise Owners who post in defense of the slanderous remarks posted by Guest or Guest 2.
I notice that not one of our detractors on this site actually post in their real names. If you have truthful information to post, then you have nothing to fear from posting in your real names. Have the guts to post in your real names or simply do not post at all. The information you currently give is factually incorrect, simply designed to smear, and oftentimes slanderous.
Viewers of this blog should not take anything written seriously unless there is a real name given. If they claim to be a current or ex-franchisee, and don’t appear in the FDD, then they are not.
It is our policy not to comment on postings that do not have a real name behind them.
I see an outdated copy of a link to an FDD on this site. If anyone is interested in this business, they should speak directly with us, attend a discovery day, receive an up-to-date FDD, and call the network for validation.
I would like to finish this posting with a saying that we have written on the wall in our offices “Do the right thing”. We will never always get decisions right. However, all of our staff try to “do the right thing” when making decisions every day.
President, The Filta Group, Inc.