Newest AAFD Chapter Organizing to Protect Franchisee Investments and Redress Serious Grievances
SAN DIEGO, January 2020 – The American Association of Franchisees and Dealers (AAFD) announced the formation of the Independent Association of BurgerIM® Franchisees (IABIMF).
In the wake of bombshell revelations (reported on January 20th in Restaurant Business Online, “The BurgerIM Disaster”) of hundreds of franchisees not receiving promised services and support, and serious allegations of fraud, mismanagement, and misappropriation of franchisee funds, scores of BurgerIM franchisees have launched the BurgerIM Franchisees Chapter of the AAFD. The association has quickly established a steering committee, a membership committee, and a bylaws committee. It is preparing to elect a board of directors and is rapidly increasing its membership.
“The goal of IABIMF is to unite and unify BurgerIM franchisees, engage common legal counsel and aggregate franchisee resources to take immediate steps to protect and preserve franchisee investment.” said Joey McCullough, Interim Chairman of the chapter steering committee.
“Our BurgerIM franchisee members are very motivated and have quickly initiated strides to build a strong association,” said Robert Purvin, Chairman of the AAFD. “With the help of the AAFD, I believe this chapter will be able to create and enforce real and meaningful efforts to protect franchisee investments and address serious challenges to their brand. The AAFD is excited to support this effort.”
The new chapter was formed by concerned franchise operators after multiple reports of misappropriation of funds, a large number of sold franchises that are not being developed, lack of franchisee support, large vendor kickbacks to the franchisor, and reports of company vendors and employees not being paid. The franchisees intend to unite their common resources to address the serious challenges to their brand, and to protect their franchisee investments.
The AAFD acts as a catalyst in the franchisee chapter formation process by providing coaching, offering a vehicle for organization, helping franchisees build a leadership structure, and providing tools to support an effective franchisee association. The AAFD further helps chapters build effective leadership, define goals and objectives, build a compelling membership purpose, and open a constructive dialogue with their franchisor management team.
BurgerIM is a gourmet quick service restaurant concept that features a variety of burger combinations of ground beef, ground lamb, salmon, vegetarian and more. The popular eateries have apparently grown faster than the company can support its franchise network and has led to serious financial and construction challenges. Reports estimate more than 1000 units sold, with nearly 300 restaurants that have opened and reports that over 100 have already closed. Franchisee owners have a strong confidence in the brand and its products and are intent on achieving strong goals for the brand and themselves.
The AAFD is the oldest, largest, and most respected direct member franchisee trade association in the United States. The nonprofit organization has formed exclusive chapters for over 80 franchise systems and seeks to foster its vision of Total Quality Franchising—a collaborative franchise culture that respects the legitimate business interests of franchisors and franchisees.