Today, Great White North Franchisee Association (GWNFA) announced the formation of a U.S.-based association to represent Tim Hortons franchisees south of the border. Called the Great White North Franchisee Association USA (GWNFA USA), the alliance was launched to provide a united voice for Tim Hortons franchisees in the U.S. who are concerned about the increasing mismanagement of Tim Hortons franchise operations by The TDL Group Corp. (TDL) and its parent company, Restaurant Brands International (RBI) (NYSE: QSR, TSE: QSR). The association is represented by Robert Zarco and Robert M. Einhorn of Zarco Einhorn Salkowski & Brito P.A. (ZESB) and both GWNFA and GWNFA USA are being advised by Terrence Connoy.
The GWNFA USA formation follows the March 2017 launch of GWNFA in Canada. Since launching, GWNFA has been pursuing numerous issues on behalf of its Canadian members, and was behind a class action suit filed on June 19, 2017 against RBI, TDL and company executives for breaching their obligations to Tim Hortons store owners in Canada.
The Canadian and U.S. associations will work together to help address many common concerns about RBI’s management, including its:
- Abuse of procurement powers to expropriate franchisee profits
- Imposition of performance metrics designed to enable expropriation without compensation
- Intimidation of franchisees
- Ability to sell franchises at fair market value
- Use of monies from the franchisees’ ad fund
These issues and others have severely weakened franchisees’ operations in both countries, with many stores in the U.S. operating at a loss.
“The long-term success of franchise systems like Tim Hortons depends on trust in the franchisor and a fair and equitable distribution of profits,” said Robert Einhorn of ZESB. “Since taking ownership, trust in RBI has disintegrated and it has aggressively imposed changes to the system without consultation and with contempt for the financial well-being of franchisees in the front line.”
“As demonstrated by the progress of fellow owners north of the border, Tim Hortons franchisees need to stand firm and hold RBI to account. The association looks forward to bringing our collective strength to bear.”
At time of launch, membership of the comprises almost half of all US-based franchisees, including in Tim Hortons’ three primary U.S. markets; Ohio, Michigan and New York.
Membership to the GWNFA USA is open to all Tim Hortons franchisees that own or operate Tim Hortons franchises in the U.S., except for those franchises that are owned or operated by, or affiliated with, TDL Group Corp. or Restaurant Brands International or its owners.
Franchisees who are interested in joining the Association or learning more can visit www.gwnfa.ca or 1-905-822-2200.