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From an alleged former franchisee: If Candy Bouquet International has been around since 1989, why don't they have a standardized POS (point of sale) system for their franchisees?
They claim to spend millions on building their brand - but did you know that the name "Candy Bouquet" can be used by anyone! The trademark office denied their claim to the name - not once but twice! The only trademarks they own are their logo and a few slogans! The millions they spend is on selling more franchises seeing how the average life of a franchise is only estimated at 2.5 years! The attrition rate is also estimated at 60-70%! So many of the franchisees listed on the candybouquet.com locator are homebased businesses for which they work a real job because the Candy Bouquets do NOT support themselves!
The franchisees of Candy Bouquet are so despondent with the franchisor that they set up an independent association through the AAFD early last year! (Congrats on the AAFD awards!)The franchisees I've talked to complained of carpal tunnel and numerous other physical issues from making the bouquets due to repetive motion. The equipment referred to in the offering circular does less than 2% of the work and the rest is manual labor - hence the issues previously mentioned.
The only franchisees surviving the failing trend are those who have so diversified their stores as to NOT be dependent on the actual candy bouquets they were led to believe would carry their stores! Speaking of stores, did you know that there is no fixed model for a candy bouquet store? Go into any store, none are the same - so much for branding!
Candy Bouquet collects a monthly association fee which is a guaranteed revenue stream. Since so many franchisees struggle, a royalty wouldn't be profitable, so they offer a fixed fee. And not such a low cost franchise, none of the stores I spoke with were ever able to operate within the expenses indicated on the site. In fact, most owners are unable to pay themselves a salary or are able to afford employees!
Oh lets not forget the noncompete clause - no candy stores, floral shops and gifts stores. The franchisees claim they were never taught ANYTHING as to how to operate a floral shop or gift store. As far as candy stores are concerned, you don't need to buy a franchise for that - you can do it on your own. As for Candy Bouquet, my advice? Buy a video!
From the CEO of the franchisor: Everything is Sweet about Candy Bouquet
Ms. Margaret McEntire, the chief executive officer of Candy Bouquet, Inc., contacted me and asked that I help her post a comment. It can be read in its entirety below. - Mr. Blue MauMau, moderator
I would like to thank all of you for your comments, negative and positive with regards to Candy Bouquet. The extraordinary thing about our country is that is that we do have freedom of speech. On the internet, though, it can go unmonitored and can get out of hand and there is no delete button for statements put in an incorrect light. Candy Bouquet’s independent franchisee association has a channel to mediate disputes with individuals and groups of franchisees and so does the International Franchise Association , which I am a board member.
I do think of the terrible example on youtube.com with the worker of a franchise company, that snorts some lettuce and then places it in the customer’s food. What a terrible thing that made the entire franchise company suffer because of the actions of a few.
I will promise to always try my best and have our employees do their best for you as well. We have fulfilled all of the list of things that were asked of us here at Candy Bouquet International. We have a good relationship with Bob Purvin and the AAFD. If any franchisee has a problem with CBI or any issues, I would hope that they would call CBI and also make the Advisory Council aware of them. We only work for you.
As a board member of the International Franchise Association, I have also learned from other franchisors that if there are ever any problems with the system, you embrace your franchisees and get them fixed as soon as possible.
I appreciate the opportunity to have this note put up. Thank you Mr. Blue Mau Mau!
[Founder of] Candy Bouquet International, Inc.