RFG fights back

The Retail Food Group has rigorously denied claims that its system is setting up franchisees for failure.

In a statement issued today, the franchisor insists ongoing media coverage is not an accurate representation of the company’s “strong platform for growth” and turns to its disclosures of financial performance, business operations, prospects and trading conditions as evidence of the true nature of franchise operations.

Recent allegations by Fairfax Media have suggested franchisees are being squeezed by the franchisor.

The statement highlights the recent first half 2018 trading update, franchisee support programs and employee entitlement compliance.

In reference to franchisee support, the Queensland-based franchisor reiterates confidence in its franchise model but has noted “numerous times” in recent disclosures “the challenging and evolving retail market in which its franchisees operate, particularly within shopping centres”.

Rejecting claims of lack of support, RFG points out the support network includes a dedicated sales and performance team, a franchisee care centre, a retail performance optimisation team and a learning and development team.

In the statement RFG also stresses the broader investment made in helping franchisees achieve “positive outcomes”.

“RFG’s franchise operations are and remain an important aspect of the company’s increasingly diversified business model,” the statement reads. “RFG remains a passionate proponent of the strength and vibrancy of the full format franchising model, and considers the benefits provided by an established brand, proven systems and ongoing support enhances the opportunity for small business owners to achieve success.”

The franchisor has also rejected suggestions there is systemic non-compliance within its network and reiterated it has a “disciplined approach” with a focus on education and preventative action.