On Saturday morning at the Mercure Hotel at Sydney Airport, about 45 Midas car care franchisees will meet to discuss the future of the troubled franchise system.
The Midas franchise chain has been mired in controversy for several years with several franchisees and former franchisees making allegations of unconscionable and misleading and deceptive conduct against the franchisor, Philip Bonney. ACCC investigations, at the behest of disgruntled franchisees, have not resulted in any legal action against the company, which has always denied the allegations.
The meeting this weekend, at which nearly 70% of the chain’s franchisees and every state will be represented, has been described by the organiser (who has asked not to be named) as a “solutions” meeting.
He says that the Midas franchise business has changed significantly – what was once a business selling high gross profit products now sells low gross profit products, but the franchise model has not changed. The franchises are no longer as profitable and the franchisees are struggling to pay royalties to the franchisor Midas Australia.
“I believe that Midas don’t listen to us individually, but I would like to go [to them] as a group because they would have to listen.”
SmartCompany believes that the group of disgruntled franchisees has been in contact with the International Midas Dealer Association, which represents 1100 Midas franchisees in North America.
The IMDA, which is believed to have a fighting fund of $13 million and has taken on its local franchisor and won three times, is apparently interested in the Australian franchisees’ plight.
Philip Bonney, Midas Australia’s franchisor, is apparently aware of the meeting – but he has not been invited.