Motivating a Dependence on the Franchise

The pressures of the franchise alienate and distance me from my family making me more dependent on the franchise itself. I feel I need to work harder at the franchise and rationalize that this will lead to a better family relationship but while I do that I distance myself even further from my family and the cycle continues. Regrettably this is a personal experience. Why is this culture created? Who wins? Does anyone? This is why the NBN is needed.
September 9, 2009

Motivating a Dependence on the Franchise
Jeff Lefler

I’m curious to know how many Franchisees can relate to this set of circumstances.

Month after month of working my franchise has taken a toll on me. It’s the seven day grind waking up every day to work the business, thinking constantly about managing the franchise, and dealing with the constant demands and pressures from CBCL and my accounts. I find myself getting more and more frustrated and argumentative with CBCL employees. I am more annoyed on dock and easily angered and annoyed by my fellow Franchisees or CBCL. The constant setbacks within the business costing me time and energy have at times made me lash out by throwing a tray of product, yelling and swearing at someone, or have just put me in a constant bad mood.

The ever-demanding environment that I am working in has turned me into a hostile and frustrated person.

The thing that worries me the most is that when I get home I am still frustrated and argumentative. Except now I’m arguing with my wife. I’m annoyed with my daughter over trivial actions. I am angered easily just like at the depot and in my relationship with CBCL. The difference is that I am alienating my family from me.

This is a sad thing, but the relationship with my family is more of an optional relationship. Once you sign the Franchise Agreement the relationship with CBCL and the franchise is more compulsory.

I do not have an ability to discuss issues and negotiate a compromise with my franchise. If a fight occurs I cannot spend time away from my franchise to unwind and calm down. I am forced to face that problem again that day or the next day without any resolution. The partner in the franchise is a dominating, controlling, and self-interested partner. I feel that there is no willingness to make the relationship equally rewarding and enjoyable.

The pressures of the franchise alienate and distance me from my family making me more dependent on the franchise itself. I feel I need to work harder at the franchise and rationalize that this will lead to a better family relationship but while I do that I distance myself even further from my family and the cycle continues.

Regrettably this is a personal experience.

Why is this culture created? Who wins? Does anyone? This is why the NBN is needed.

I do not ask for much from everyone but I am making one request to every Franchisee.

* Please have your family read this.

That is all I ask.


1. Anonymous Says:
September 9, 2009 at 10:19 am


It sounds like you are living my life. I am going through the same issues. For over 5 years I have consistently been a Role Model franchisee and take great pride in my business but I will not continue if it puts my health, family or sanity at risk.

I am presently looking at new opportunities as I am tired of being unappreciated by CBCL and taken advantage of. Speaking to guys on dock I may not be the only one.

My understanding is CBCL has a list of candidates ready to take over. I assume they will run there franchise as a Role Models also.

2. Spouse of Franchisee Says:
September 10, 2009 at 1:25 pm

Hi Jeff,
My husband did invite me to read your latest entry. It sounds very much like our lives. In the past 8 years we’ve rarely had a two day weekend. We do manage to get a winter vacation, but we haven’t had time off in the summer together in years. Our schedules are conflicting.

I realize how difficult my husband’s life is. He hasn’t had so much as a sick day in 8 years. It’s an incredibly demanding job and frankly, the income it provides is not enough to cover any relief for vacation time, a sick day or even the odd day off. It seems almost inhuman to me. I often feel hopeless as I realize the business is the priority. Just venting!

3. John Gefucia Says:
September 10, 2009 at 4:07 pm

I’m in my 20th year as a Canada Bread Franchisee. I’m fortunate that I’m now in the postion of being able to have hired an operator to lighten the load. However your description was my life as a CB Franchisee for the first sixteen years that I did this. Fortunately I have a very cooperative wife.

The sixty to seventy hours a week, often going on three or four hours of sleep was not exactly a healthy life style. Yes, even Franchisees have family obligations etc. and sometimes sleep had to be sacrificed. Actually the second preoccupation other than running my Franchise, was “when do I sleep?” Even now the younger Dealers get a chuckle when I get back to the depot and catch a power nap sitting behind the wheel. I’ve perfected the style! Friends and relatives who know what this lifestyle was like could not believe that anyone would work and live like this. However I made the decision to got into this and have tried to make the best of it. Having said all this, I will say that I still enjoy the business. Many of my customers have become friends. We sell good products and CBCL is basically a good company.

However, without going through all the issues that have been discussed on the blog, I believe that many at CBCL don’t appreciate what we do and how we do it. The compensation issues have been discussed. But what irks me almost as much are the direct comments or inferences that I’ve heard over the years. “Over paid truck drivers!’ “Lack of post secondary education’. The inference was ” be thankful for what you get”!

‘If you don’t like it, don’t sign the agreement” after being told that if you don’t sign the agreement. you forfeit your franchise!!

Finally, what I find ironic after being told how good we’ve got it so often, is that in all the time I’ve been around only one CBCL employee that I know of has bought a franchise. I know of another who seriously considered it, until his wife forbid it. No way she was living that lifestyle.

Ditto on thanks for the vent.

4. Michael Says:
September 10, 2009 at 5:33 pm

Jeff man you live my life. I’m up at 1am to be in the depot for 2, getting back home at 4 or 5pm after merching after I unload at the depot. I get home and eat and try to spend some time with my family. I put my two kids to bed and then have quaility time with my wife. Crash between 10-11 and back up again to do it all over. I can’t sleep on my nites off and I’m up at 3 or 4 and head out to merch. I get home after my kids are gone to school and try to sleep all day. Never get to have breakfast with my family. I get in trouble because I can’t take my kids to their soccer or hockey. My wife is always mad because I don’t spend time with the family on the weekend and I’m always falling asleep on a Sat nite. I’ve been a franchisee for 4 years and each year is worse. I cannot aford to pay for merching help and I’m forced to merch every after noon.

5. Frank Tilban Says:
September 10, 2009 at 7:41 pm

John, don’t forget us middle age dealers who get a chuckle too. Ross trained you very well. I also can relate to what Jeff has posted about being argumentative with the family and CBCL employees. Is it because of the increasing demands over the years that are placed on the franchisee or is it not getting enough down time from this 24/7 business. Even when I’m away from the business ( 2 days this year) my mine was still engaged with the business. A senior management person at one of the AC meeting said to me, “I don’t know how you guys can do this job because I sure couldn’t”. He was very sincere when he said it. Another person who left the business in the 90’s told me he couldn’t handle it (being a CB franchisee) when I asked him why he left. This was before all this Sunday demands for the business because at that time the stores used to be closed and the franchise network had Sundays off so there was time for the family. I would hope that these two individuals would speak up when these others say that we are only over paid truck drivers.

Maybe they do. My wife has stood by me with this business over these 20 years and so has some of my customers that Ive had sense day one. I still enjoy the business but it’s the little comments by CBCL that John stated in his response that seems to get to me. The newest one is calling some of us hot heads. Thats not being very professonial coming from CB management.

6. Forgotten wife Says:
September 10, 2009 at 8:21 pm

We have a similar story. My husband has been a franchisee for 4 years and he worked shiftwork in a factory before buying this. I can say with certainty that working shift work was difficult on our family and a strain on our relationship but being a franchisee is much worse. We rarely ever spend any time together as a family. I attend birthday parties and social events with our children and he stays home to catch up on sleep. I honestly would not want him there anyway because of his brooding. Like Michael said we too have not had one breakfast together in as long as I can remember. Every day of every week his first priority is getting up to go into work.

He has missed countless family events including his Mother’s birthday party because of needing to work. I have to bring our children to the bus, the doctor, dentist, sitter, sports, dance, and on and on. He is either working or too tired to spend needed quality time with us.

When he was working shiftwork he did not work this many hours and did not work as crazy a schedule. He even made more money than now especially over the winter. Mornings or nights or afternoons, I never know when he needs to run to a store to fix it up and once I have even had to sit in the car with our children while he fixed up a store.

My husband has changed because of this franchise. We are trapped and our family is forced to suffer through this. I blame Canada Bread.

I could go on forever and like everyone else I thank you Jeff for the chance to vent. You are doing an excellent job and please keep pressing this issue to Canada Bread.

7. Naanman Says:
September 11, 2009 at 8:52 am

All these stories are great but sooner or later you’ll be divorced. My ex left because of this lifestyle. She told me if I wasn’t a franchisee we’d still be together. This business doesn’t strain relationships it rips them apart and shreads them to pieces. All you got left is the franchise. I’m sure every employee doesn’t have a peach of a life but no way in hell does any of them have the remotest clue as to what we go through. Had a hard time getting your kid to sleep did ya? Had to wake up in the night to take a piss? Gee boys and girls are you sure you don’t want to call in sick today? Get too drunk the night before and show up late at the office. Did anyone even notice?

Ya tough I know. I’m here if you need a shoulder to cry on.

Sad thing is that most make more money than we do.

8. Jackie Chiles Says:
September 11, 2009 at 4:22 pm


Heaven forbid, however if something happens to a franchisees ie: breakdown or worse, could CBCL be in for a severe lawsuit because of the unreasonable service obligations put on franchisees?

9. A husbands worse nightmare Says:
September 11, 2009 at 8:27 pm

We have had our franchise for the past 3 years, our TM changes more often than not. We knew going into this that we were going to have to make some life style changes. Had we’d known that they would be this severe we never would have taken this road in our lives. We have 2 children the youngest being 9 months and the oldest 5 years. We have no family life, and no personal life. But most of all we have lots of arguements, lots of threatening for divorce, an unhappy 5 year old that never sees his dad, a burnt out husband, a failing marriage for the most part and a CBCL that keeps demanding more.

What’s really funny is that our TM’s get holidays and days off and during this time their phones are shut off and can never be reached. After all it’s our business we are told.

I recently had surgery and my husband was to be with me and the kids the day after (his “day off”) and well we had our TM telling us to go and speak with Safeway managers ASAP. If he wouldn’t have gone we would have been told that maybe this isn’t for us.

They(CBCL) expects so much from all of us and yet gives nothing in return. Commissions are crap and the only thing they care about is if their region is in first place.

If they paid half decent then we would be able to hire a merchandiser but like that would ever happen.

My husband is fortunate enough to have me build his load on dock for him and the moral of the other franchisees that i see everynight is not a pretty sight. Things have to change and fast. Maybe all of us wives should ban together and demand we want our husbands back.

10. Liz Moreira Says:
September 11, 2009 at 9:35 pm

I’ve been by my husband’s side for the entire 20 years he’s been a franchisee. I have raised both our children on my own, and managed the household without Bert’s help. There were many times when our relationship was stretched to the max because of the demands put on “us” by Canada Bread. I say “us” because every time Canada Bread asks more of my husband, they might as well ask it of me and my daughters.

I realize that franchisees have to make sacrifices, but should I have to go in to help my husband ’cause he broke his arm? Or how many nights have I stayed awake because my husband got little or no sleep. Or he’s running a fever, or the flu!

Don’t get me wrong, it hasn’t all been bad, otherwise I would no longer be in the picture. For the most part we’ve had a good run with Canada Bread.

When is Canada Bread going stop taking for granted the value of our dedication and reliability.

ps: Jeff, thank you for allowing the “better-halves” to vent.

11. Frustrated Wife! Says:
September 12, 2009 at 9:38 pm

You know so many people don’t understand that when the head of the household is under tremendous stress and an unusual workload the whole family unit suffers. I am sure that any CBCL employee would have the opportunity to be with his wife when his child is born no questions asked. When I went into labour with our 3rd child all my husband could think about was who was doing his route and would it be okay!

We have had major issues with Canada bread over the last year to the point of almost losing our business. As the only source of income in our house this was the most stressful time we have ever encountered in our marriage. I developed stomach ulcers from all of the stress.

Managers and executives at CB do not think about the fall out of their actions when they go on the “attack”. My family was falling apart at the seams. I am sure if some of these people had their families at the centre of these conditions, things would change.

Perhaps all of the upper management particularly in the Franchise department should be forced to actually run a route for a month and then come talk to us about how great the money we are making is…

12. Anonymous Says:
September 12, 2009 at 10:18 pm


13. wife response to blog Says:
September 13, 2009 at 8:08 am

Where do I begin…I guess I could describe my husband as “a miserable roommate that everyone in the household tries to avoid”. The family dog spends more time on his side of the bed than he does. And sadly, our daughters only knows the word “daddy” to be defined as “the grumpy man that lives in our house and rarely spends time with us”. And when he is around, he is complaining about the business, on the phone related to business, or just too damn tired to even notice we are there. There should be special wedding vows for the wives of CB franchisees “In bad times or worse, through stress and lack of sleep, from this day forward until the franchise do us part.” It is so frustrating to see him devote all his time and energy working to make money for and promote a company that has absolutely no respect or appreciation for what he is doing. You would figure they would want to treat their franchisees a lot better as they ARE the ones that work their butts off to get that product on the shelves in just the right quantities and varieties to make Canada Bread the successful company that it is. If it weren’t for their hard work and dedication to their franchise, their customers, a LOT more people would be eating WONDER BREAD! I guess I sound a little bitter….we’ll that’s because I’m sick and tired of worrying about my family’s future and my husband’s health. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that constant stress from the business and sleep deprivation from all those daytime phone calls from store managers and such that need more bread or want to change their order, ALL during the time when my husband is suppose to be getting his sleep, will sooner than later result in serious health issues. I do realize that he takes pride in the business that he has invested so much time and energy in…but at what cost? and Will it be worth it?

14. Nora gefucia Says:
September 13, 2009 at 2:24 pm


Thank you for finally giving the spouses a forum to comment on what it’s like to have him be Canada Bread Franchisee.

Over the years John has tried to separate his business life from his home life as much as possible. ( as if this is possible!!). He has shared his concerns / frustrations – huge work load, lack of sleep, lack of time away from business, no family or social life. He never had to share as I was always painfully aware of the situation. As some of the other bloggers so accurately described, the entire family lives and suffers in the lifestyle that is imposed by this franchise. Concerned family and friends would comment that they had never seen anyone have to work and live like this.

During the early years we told ourselves that these were just growing pains that would be solved as time went on. Wrong! Finally, after sixteen years, he was finally able to hire enough help to live what anyone (including Canada Bread employees) would call a normal lifestyle. He still works hard at trying to improve on a successful franchise. More importantly he is getting his sleep. we have started to enjoy a family and social life. He is almost a pleasure to be around at times!

My question is, “why did it have to take sixteen years to reach this point?” Of course we realized that going into this business we would have ot dedicate a lot of time and hard work and make lifestyle changes But what we went through was ridiculous. John still thinks that in “the big picture” there was more good than bad. I don’t agree. With hindsight being what it is, I certainly wouldn’t be around to do it again. I still worry about his possible long term health problems after what he’s put himself through.

Finally, if my daughter ever brought home a Canada Bread Franchisee, he’d be out of here so fast his head would spin!

15. Patricia Tilban Says:
September 13, 2009 at 3:35 pm

Where do I begin, the wife (widow) of a Dempsters Franchisee holder. When you buy a franchise you know it is going to be a lot of work to get your business up and running, getting to know your customers, store managers etc., but 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. I say widow because for years now with 2 kids, it has been the 3 of us going away for the day or small trips, going to family functions. (Where is Frank, Oh he had to put bread up in one of his accounts, or he is sleeping or trying to sleep.) We used to get phone calls 11pm Sunday night from a Variety Store saying he is out of bread and I repeatedly told him to please call earlier. Sitting by myself night after night because Frank was sleeping. Don’t get me wrong, over the years Dempsters has been good to us, but Frank worked very hard for the money. I shop in all the stores that Frank delivers to and also help shelf the bread, but a funny thing has occured to me time and time again I NEVER see the milk man and his family putting up the milk or the coke man and his family putting up the pop. I always see the store personel doing it. Something is not right with this picture. What happen to equal rights. I am so sick of never being able to take a holiday because of lack of holiday relief, and the few times we had taken holidays the complaints were ridiculous. I love the Breadman Frank, I hate what the bread company is doing to him. We got new plates on one of our vehicles BCNF. (My first thoughts was Bread Company Not Fair.) Thanks Jeff, I really appreciate and support you in what you are doing.

16. The Unalienable Right to Shop: Does everyone have the Right to buy a franchise? « FranchiseFool Says:
September 13, 2009 at 3:43 pm

[…] For perhaps the best effects on the family (ie. estrangement, stress, divorce and other tip-of-the-iceberg nasties), see a little noticed but powerful comment section on this weblog. […]

17. Murray Allen Says:
September 13, 2009 at 8:16 pm

Wow…very powerful but all so true horror stories!!! My wife was a widow for many years as well. But the times were much much better. It was a time in the west when they actually gave 2 hoots about the business and OUR viability!! In the west we were told that we had to do 7 days a week as we were the supplier of doughnuts for OFG. However, we lost the doughnuts and still are required to be out 7 days a week. We were really hood winked on this one!! Many franchisee’s cannot afford time off and when they do the price that is paid upon returning is tantamount to being robbed blind. CBCL cannot admit the fact that many of the franchisee’s are losing their shirts but chalk it up to their buzzwords as you have not utilized the order management template or you are not using fair share. Many of the franchisee’s will be turning their franchises back in when their aggreement is close to expiration. Most all of the routes are not worth what they paid for them years ago and could not be resold for what they would have to pay back. Oh, but their is a list of pre-qualified buyers. Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny are the top two!!

18. D. Byard Says:
September 13, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I agree completely to all of these posts and I would add more to the subject except for the fact I find it painful even discussing it. I will continue on as a franchisee trying not let the company get on my nerves knowing full well my health suffers as a result of pressures, and the seven day a week (including stat holidays) constant grind. At least this pays me fairly for what I do ……… what a joke!

19. Christeen Lefler (Jeff's BETTER HALF) Says:
September 13, 2009 at 10:34 pm

Jeff asked me if I could share my thoughts on how his franchises and work schedule has affected our family. I promised him I wouldn’t say he’s a miserable roommate (but) he’s sleeping right now so tough luck.

We’ve been married for 7 years and I did marry into the Canada Bread life (although when we first started dating he did say to me that he was going to be a doctor). I knew that Jeff was committing a lot of effort into this business and we both hoped that it would better our life. This business does pay the bills and puts food on our table but I feel at times there is an unequal price to pay.

When our daughter was born I remember that he slept in a cot beside me and left us every night to deliver, coming back in the morning to stay the day at the hospital (if that doesn’t say “I love you franchise” I don’t know what does). I remember having to tie his shoes for over a month before going to work because he broke both arms (rollerblading with our dog down a “big” hill). He still went into work and I don’t think he missed one night (he couldn’t tie his shoes but he managed to drive himself to work every night, go figure!). I can’t count the number of times he’s slept less than a few sporadic hours per day. Just like everyone else here it created a husband who is tired and distant. The deliveries, merchandising, and phone calls come first and we try to fit time in when we can.

Last year we finally had one holiday where he did not bring his phone with him. One week in over 7 years where I didn’t have to hear it ring. Every time we tried to get away he still spent time taking care of the franchises (I make him change his ring tone every so often because I get tired of hearing the same tune).

Our relationship has its ups and downs and I’ve been very angry at him and resentful toward Canada Bread at times but we are fortunate that he was able to buy more franchises and now he has employees helping him. It has made a huge difference in our quality of life and has helped mend our relationship but we still have scars from the “lost” years (and we are now dealing with countless hours of NBN responsibilities. Just when I thought I was getting my husband back he goes and lands himself more work!).

After all the hard times this has given us he still loves the business (why? I don’t know) and even gets excited when Canada Bread commercials come on TV (I can only watch a grown man’s face light up so many times when a flying slice of bread with a cape comes on TV). When we’re in another town and getting groceries he just has to go check out the bakery section (I’ll watch him fix up the shelves because he just hates it when the ponytail sticks out – whatever that means!). Even on the way out of town for holidays he has to stop at one last store or just drop by the depot for something (meanwhile I must entertain our daughter and our dog while he does what he “needs” to do). In my mind he takes this way too seriously but that’s who I married.

I understand that he bought a franchise and it comes with certain obligations and responsibilities and I expect our family to be sidelined once in awhile so he can take care of them. The one thing that irritates me the most is that this business has him on high alert at all times and everything must drop no matter what when business calls. I cannot think of any one specific time window throughout any given week where the franchises have not “interrupted” our family (even a doctor isn’t on call 24/7 365 days a year).

We’ve often talked at great lengths about what direction we should take our lives. Should he sell his franchises and move on or should he stay and do what he’s doing now!?! I feel that no amount of money is worth the stress this type of lifestyle creates but his (stubborn) pride for his franchises keeps him hooked and motivated to attempt to make things better (now adding to his plate that was starting to look a little lighter, as he takes on this new role that consumes a bit more time than I would like).

Although none of this should come as a surprise to you, my dear husband, I hope seeing it in print makes you realize just how lucky you are to (still) have me by your side. LOL!

20. Lost Family Says:
September 14, 2009 at 7:43 pm

My husband has been a franchisee for 9 years and I’ve been wishing he would sell for 8 1/2 years. This life has created a void in our family that we will never recover from. This is a ridiculous lifestyle and I would never in a million years ever wish this on my worst enemy. This has slowly eaten away at our family and created a wedge in our relationship.

Canada Bread now has offered some assistance program for counselling so doesn’t that say something? It doesn’t matter how many counselling sessions we went to because the next day he still has to work those god awful hours again.

All of us are watching our husbands dig early graves for themselves and to help out Canada Bread throws them a shovel.

21. Shana Says:
September 14, 2009 at 8:51 pm

My husband bought a CBCL franchise in January…after six months of pure hell he sold it in July. His last day of work was a major celebration for our family. I cannot imagine how anyone does this job day in and day out for years.

We have two daughters – 11 months and 3 years – and this job was not worth them losing their father…because that is what would have happened if he had stayed with this company. We would have seperated and divorced and in the end I am not so sure his health would have made it possible for him to be in their lives. Jeff your post says it all…he was angry, argumentative, irritable…and the list goes on.

The demands this company puts on their franchisee’s are inhumane. And, the certainly do not tell you the whole picture until you are so far in financially that you have to sign the dotted line.

We may be years getting ourselves out of the financial mess leaving the job so early created BUT those years will be spent together as a family, instead of sharing our children as they live out of suitcases!

22. Loyal Customer Says:
September 15, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Dear Mr. McCain,

I see you as a caring man and a man of compassion as you proved during the difficult Listeria outbreak. I am shocked and appalled by what I have read. For the sake of these men their wives and most importantly their children, will you please show them the same compassion and somehow fix this horrendous situation?

23. anonymous Says:
September 15, 2009 at 8:28 pm

I dont think Michael McCain has any idea of what goes on because of the snow job Im assuming he and his people get fromCBCL to make themselves look good. worried about your job ehhh?

24. Life lessons from BC Says:
September 15, 2009 at 8:55 pm

We work 7 days a week and bring more value to CB than any employee who thinks they are high and mighty. No employee has any clue how to run the business and CB could of trimmed the fat by cutting back on employees rather than cut us back. I haven’t seen any CB employee in our depot at night because all of them are sleeping with their families. We are stuck delivering every day and never get anything in return. Our family life suffers so CB employees can reap the benefits and take all the credit and place all the blame on us when something goes wrong. They demand that we spend every day of our life delivering bread! I expect them to say we are working Christmas this year. Why not! It’s not like we need 1 day a year to spend with our own family!!!!

25. Impact statement Says:
September 15, 2009 at 9:54 pm

Dear Canada Bread,

How is it that you see fit to keep us on the borderline of poverty. I work more than 65 hours a week and I’m making $6.50/hr. I’m glad I paid $90,000 to make less than min. wage. I work my butt off to try and make ends meet and I’m still expected to either get my returns lower or order more bread for some ad. My family has suffered throught this ordeal as much as I have.

If you pressure us to bend over backwards you affect our family too. If you expect us to give our heart and soul for the Canada Bread family than you need to make sure we don’t lose what’s more important to us. Our family!

26. anonymous Says:
September 15, 2009 at 10:43 pm

I think the owners of CBCL should take a lesson from our competition. Franchise fees.Huh? Trim the fat.

27. Life lesson from ON Says:
September 16, 2009 at 5:44 am

BC, we do not have to deliver seven days a week (yet) but we are required to merch seven days a week and Walmart is manditory to merch every afternoon. We are forced to overservice our calls for no reason other than to make CBCL look good. They pat themselves on the back and take all the credit that their team is ranked number one in a promotion. On our manditory PFM we are told the same thing that our returns are too high or we ran out at a store or anything negative. It doesn’t matter what they say because they have no clue how to do our job. CBCL should trim the fat inside their walls befure picking our pockets. We are the ones that get the job done for everyone to get paid.

28. Mark Highfield Says:
September 16, 2009 at 10:42 am

i have been a franchisee for 10 years now, this is also the reason why i come home to an empty house. my girlfriend of 6 years has had enough of being a single parent with me not being able to be around cause of the 14 to 16 hour days the route required. she decided when our son was 3 that she needed better than to have a life with no support system. my son is now 7 and askes why he can`t sleep at dad`s house 2 nights in a row or why he can`t come live with me. so the choice is to sell the business or have my family, i`v had one of my routes for sale for a year now with only so much as 2 interests in it. so here i am trying my hardest to make the best of the mess that i am in. trying to help bulid a better system but jeff and myself along with some others can`t do this alone.

please eveyone that reads this blog post your stories of how good or bad being a CBCL franchisee has affected your family the more stories we get the more we can push to open some eyes on what its like to walk a life time in the boots of a franchisee

29. Scott Booth Says:
September 16, 2009 at 12:01 pm

I have been in this business for over 20 years, 11 as a franchissee. I can’t count how many sleepless nights I have had worrying about my franchise, if I have ordered enough, or if I had ordered to much. Will I get in trouble from the customers or my TM. “Keep your returns down”. “Order more, I dont want to have to give your space to your competetor”. Im sure we have all been through this. My wife has been very supportive. We have had some rough patches but over all she is great! My 3 kids have grown up and I wonder when that happend. I tried to be apart of their lives but because of my business, I have had to commit most of my time to it. I come home tired, try to get a few hours sleep, if any, and then its off to work again. On my days off, I spend time doing paperwork organizing the invoices and such. So it really isnt much of a day off. I am very greatfull that this year that me and the guys in my area found a relief driver. So I was able to take some time off in the summer and take the family on a road trip. But I found myself always wondering if my business was ok. The money from the business is ok, but I wonder at what price I (we) are paying for it?

30. Cy McKenna Says:
September 16, 2009 at 12:23 pm

As most of you know I’ve been around a long time.This is nothing new to me,In part I blame some of the dealers for the mess we are in.Why would you guys sign an aggrement to service an acct.twice a day seven days a week??? could it be greed? There used to be a unwritten code in this bussiness.If it’s an unfair proposition being made by CBCL.example Taking a call from one guy for no reason,other than someone in the CBCL staff dosen’t like the dealer,every other dealer would refuse to service the acct.What I’m getting at is we at one time looked out for each other.This sure as hell isn’t the case today.What is needed at this time is solidarity. Can it be achieved?It’s up to every dealer across the network to stand up and say Iv’e had enough.At the next roundtable the first issue should be Dealer comp.It’s unfair as you all know.If they ignore the issue.Meeting adjourned.Stand up and walk out.This will get their many of you have the balls to do it?? We are going to find out.

31. At my wits end Says:
September 16, 2009 at 4:15 pm

I have a husband who has barely seen his children grow up. We have two children; a 13 year old daughter and 9 year old son and he bought his franchise when our daughter was 3. He was never around when we needed him to be. I was the one that stayed up all night while our children were sick and crying and I would watch him leave to go into work. He can never take one night off and even when our son had a horrible cold and high fever he had to go into work while I was at the hospital with our two children all night. I have hundreds of stories like this and each time it ends with the 3 of us watching Daddy either walk out the door or sleep on the couch.

It is a franchise and I realize that he has obligations he must fill but when there is an absolute zero tolerance policy for personal time it becomes unreasonable. When his obligation is the franchise first at the expense of our family there is no value to it and no amount of money could fix it. From the outside we have a comfortable lifestyle. We have a nice home and car, we have been able to take time off and have had nice vacations as a family. On the inside we are at our wits end. We rarely see each other and our family tries to fit in some time together so our children remember what their Daddy looks like. We have no schedule or routine where we can plan an outing as a family. Each week is different and it depends on how much sleep he has been able to get in the week. More Saturday nights than not he sleeps on the couch while we have our family time.

On a scale of 1-10 on how him being a franchisee affects our family; I give it an 11.

32. Kris Hoy Says:
September 16, 2009 at 5:49 pm

my life eh …… well it is domiated by a never ending stream of phone calls, special deliveries to customers that MUST have product now, and a never ending desire to fall asleep sitting up. My friends all said to me that I was going to be rich when i started this business, now they ( the ones that i still see) can’t believe that i keep doing what i’m doing. Laura and i have put off having kids because we both know that this isn’t the lifestyle needed to raise a family properly. I don’t know how the other guys have done it but i must commend their wives on how patient and strong they must be. I love this business and i still wakeup every night with a smile on my face ready to go to work but there comes a time when too much is being asked from our businesses. Service is our major weapon in the war against other DSD’s but it might be asking to much of our system to work 24 / 7 / 365. Every franchisee works his or her butt off to max out sales but is the cost worth the rewards. “We all make great money” is the catch phrase that i always hear but do we really? I’m only 32 but my body feels like it’s 45. I never sleep more than 4 hours straight, i’m stressed out all the time, and i can’t remember what it feels like to wakeup beside my girlfriend. Our lifestyles have been proven to shorten our lives yet we continue to slave away …. if that isn’t dedication to CBCL than i don’t know what else can be done to prove ourselves. I see the bitterness towards the company and i wonder what it must take to create such harsh feelings. It doesn’t take long to understand when you look a the long trail of dispare that has befallen the families of many franchisees. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to go to work while your wife or daughter is laying in a hospital bed. How hard it must be not to be able to send your child off to school on their first day. How many hockey practices have been unwatched because the franchisee is too tired to go? How do we deal with the death of a parent when u have to get your orders in? These are the types of questions that face a franchisee every day. It’s very sad that inorder for us as franchisees to be successful with our companies that we must become our business and sacrifice the simple things that others enjoy. Maybe the personal toll should be made into a measurable statistic so that it can be added into the expenses on our balance sheets. Would that effect how we r viewed or our how we r compensated ……..?

33. Bert Moreira Says:
September 16, 2009 at 9:47 pm


We’ve all been suffering in silence for far too long. I honestly did not realize that this lifestyle was the norm (instead of the exception). And I doubt that CBCL was aware of the extent of this problem.

This is the real impact of owning a CBCL franchise. We sqawk about returns, shipping, quality, earnings and such, and meanwhile our lives are totally derailling at home.

This should be our number one topic at every “Roundtable” or”Passbook” or “Avisory Council” meeting. Unfortunately CBCL will avoid this issue, because the only solutions involve increased comp. and/or decrease in service expectations.

The solution is simple….”KEEP PUSHING THESE ISSUES”

Now that we’re aware that every other franchisee and their families are suffering in the same way, we should now discuss this openly with other franchisees and CBCL.

They certainly cannot use the line,”Maybe you’re not cut out for this.” Because whoever they bring in to replace you will be dealing with the exact same issues.

I wonder what kind of advise “Dr. Phil” would give to a franchisee’s family?

34. Carol Cross Says:
September 16, 2009 at 11:31 pm

Jeff: You are doing excellent work, and giving a voice to the innermost thoughts of the mates of franchisees, who work too long and hard in their franchised businesses, is an excellent idea. The outlet you are providing for the emotional stress and strain in itself will be healing and beneficial to the CBCL franchisees.

If only franchising was a cooperative effort and the business model itself weren’t so exploitive and destructive to family life, but, of course, it is the cheap labor and cheap venture capital of franchisees that enables the franchisors to maximize their profits on the backs of their franchisees. Unfortunately, franchisees generally cannot pay themselves overtime and sick pay and vacation pay —that the franchisors generally provide for their employees because of their contracts that allow them to take their profits right off of your top revenue and not off of your profits.

American franchisors claim that Benjamin Franklin started franchising but I’m sure he wasn’t so greedy in terms of demanding royalties off of top line revenue instead of net profits.

It WOULD be interesting to hear what kind of advice “Dr. Phil” would give to a franchisee’s family. Have there been suicides in Canada because of franchising as there have been here in the United States?

I’m going to start reading your blog and if I think I have something to add, as an American cousin, I will join right in, if this is okay with you.

The Old Babe in the Woods who is now Out of the Woods and out on the Internet — and my men are out of franchising for good!


35. Leslie Says:
September 17, 2009 at 12:28 am

My husband has been with Canada Bread now for over 13 years as a franchisee. In my opinion it was the best move he ever made. Yes he has worked hard and built a very viable business, that has provided us with many opportunities that a regular 9-5 job would not have provided. I don’t get all the moaning wives. From the very first day that he started the business, he has always sat down to eat dinner with his 2 children and myself. When I was still working full time, he always kept the kids home from daycare on Wednesday, and spent quality time with them. I would always come home to dinner on the table. Sorry but what wife does not enjoy that. After 3 years of hard work the business was debt free, and I quit my job. Since that time we have never wanted for anything and that is thanks to his hard work and Canada Bread. He now has 1 full time employee and 2 part timers. He is in his mid 40’s and semi retired with a stay at home wife and 2 teenage children. Yes I will say that there have been times when we have not seen eye to eye with respect to the business, but it has never come between us. I also agree with Cy, many of you are your own worst enimies. Why would you sign a contract that wants 7 day a week service and 2 visits per day??? The biggest problem in my opinion is that many of the newer dealers, bitch behind the bigshots backs. But whenever they have the opportunity to speak up the are all a bunch of quiet little mice. Do you people not realize that there is strength in numbers, and without you the dealer Canada Bread has a bit of a problem. Sorry I’m going off topic here, but things with CB are in a downward trend at the moment, but they will turn around again. I have lived thru this cycle before. The bottom line here is to both the wives and the dealers. This businees takes hard work and dedication, and if you can’t make the short term sacrafice for the long term gain. Then you are in the wrong business!

36. Chris Says:
September 17, 2009 at 5:03 am

Welcome to the brave new world of franchising — the same the world over it appears (written from Australia).

37. westcoast bridgejumper Says:
September 17, 2009 at 2:06 pm

That is great Leslie for you and your family. I guess you have a Walmart Super Center or a Costco!! This is THE ONLY business that Canada Bread is interested in driving because the remainder of it has gone into the toilet!! Under the current route structure not many of the franchises are worth even remotely close to what they were paid for. The AC at their meetings keep driving home the same issues from years past but nothing ever of any significance ever is accomplished. This business is getting tougher by the day but Canada Bread refuses to acknowledge the growing concewrns and pains of it’s mvp’s. So sad!!

38. Ray & Cheryl Says:
September 17, 2009 at 3:02 pm

To me this is not so much about the 2 years of conflict and all the dirty tricks that were endured when all the attempts to resolve, confront and seek help achieved nothing.

To me it is about the final 2 months and then the final 2 weeks that led to the final 2 days until you had nothing. That was the period when the pressure was really applied and the hail of legal threats came knocking at your door and drowned out any ability to think clearly and left you shocked and shattered.

It was the time we realised that the 35 years of effort that had built our life, our home and our business were actually going to be stolen from us. It was the time we desperately fought daily battles to pay for basics and we could not sleep and my wife cried.

It was the time when my wife and I feared what would happen to us in the final stages of our life as paupers. It is about what we had been for our children and our grand-children and what we would never be again. It is about the 2am terrible thoughts I would never share with anyone. It is about the first night sleeping on our daughter’s lounge exhausted and devastated.

It is about the government that had looked the other way and then offered enough money to either rent or eat or each receive a little more if we separated.

I don’t believe anyone ever really comes to terms with knowing the franchisor is allowed to get away with the brutal and blatant theft of our lives and then simply does the same thing over and over again to others.

39. Ray Borradale Says:
September 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm

When someone is in the hands of a franchisor determined to churn franchises those franchisors do rely on not only the financial stress caused to franchisees; they also rely on the emotional stress.

Marital problems are designed to be the final straw.

In that world, franchisees have to be aware that they will get through it if they understand that someone else is attempting to break them down. This is the world that relies on anti-depressant medication, counciling and when affordable; lawyers. Some give in and some are determined to retain control.

Most people in those situations believe someone is at fault and he/she is standing beside them. They pick on the wrong person.

40. John Gefucia Says:
September 17, 2009 at 7:22 pm

Leslie and Cy stated that Dealers are partly to blame for the excessive service commitments in some accounts. It may be easy for older more established Dealers to hold this opinion, but for younger and newer dealers or those with smaller routes, this business may be essential.

This is one of many issues that shows why we need a strong well supported Association that can engage CBCL to create solutions that are fair and equitable for all parties

41. Joanne Says:
September 18, 2009 at 6:54 am

Leslie does make a good point and I agree that there is a short term sacrifice for this business that everyone makes when they buy the route. What I see is most of the time the sacrifice comes when everyone’s family is young. We went through the same thing when our family was growing and we had the same issues as others. Our sons have grown and we were able to get through the tough times.

My husband has a good route and has a full time helper and we are now enjoying our lives a lot more. He does have a Wal-Mart supercenter but he’s only had that for the last 2 years. We still have our issues with Canada Bread and they are unreasonable at the best of times. My husband has worked really hard to get this far and our family has put in our dues but that doesn’t mean this franchise is always good. A lot of support is needed and Canada Bread is happy to take from franchisees without care of the concequences.

Both my husband and I fully support what you are doing Jeff and we think it is long overdue for franchisees to band together to support each other.

42. Cy McKenna Says:
September 18, 2009 at 4:58 pm

Iv’e been asked to put this true story up for all to see. 2 months ago I had a serious infection that put me in the hospital.I was put on IV and spent 6hrs in ER.I was sent home with the doctors instuction to rest and keep my foot up.[thats where the infection started] I called my TM and told him I won’t be able to run the rte for a couple of days. He assured me he would take care of everthing.2hrs later he called me back,and told me he could get no one to run it,He said he would help merchadise the rte with the help of my wife.He also said he didn’t know how to break down the load,or didn’t know how to drive the truck.Ican now state he could not merch either.Guess who shiped the load,drove the truck,helped my wife merch,etc.Me. With an IV needle still in my arm.After I fiished the rte I spent 8hrs back in the ER.This went on for 5 days.Do the bread rte,go to the ER and be hooked up to an IV for 4 hrs. One of my

43. Cy McKenna Says:
September 18, 2009 at 5:07 pm

Sorry I hit the wrong key before I finished.One of my customers called the labour board while I was doing the rte.And told them what was going on with me working with an IV needle in my arm.They told him to have me call and complain,and they would look into it.I didn’t bother. Hell After 42 yrs I’ve got hundreds of storries. By the way the TM was with me 1 day.I could write a book on the advetures of running a Dempsters Franchise.

44. Cy McKenna Says:
September 18, 2009 at 9:16 pm

John In response to your last post,Would you buy a franchise that needed an acct.that you would have to service twice a day 7 days a week just to make ends meet.

45. Lynne Merrill Says:
September 18, 2009 at 9:27 pm

My husband bought a dempster’s route 12 yrs ago. If I wouldn’t have known what I know now, I would have told him to look into something else. In twelve years, we have never went on holidays together. We got married 7 years ago and never went on our honeymoon. We are at the stores 7 days a week. I started merchandising for him 5 years ago. I was at the bank before with paid holidays, sick days, personal days, benefits ( dentist, drug….) Now, we have nothing. We live in the country, our big outings is to go in town and do the back calls, so we can have an easier day. We have no life what so ever. It’s really taken a lot on our relationship. He gets up at midnight, gets home at 12:30- 2:30 depending on the days, he has a quick lunch, goes to bed, gets up at 4:30, does paper work and is back in bed at 9:00. The kids can’t make noise in the day time because he’s sleeping.

I’ve really seen a huge change in his personality. He use to be a fun guy to be around and now, not so much. He is very bitter, doesn’t have patience and can’t take a joke. He takes everything serious. He too has been through a few TM’s.

I can’t understand when it’s a long weekend and all the big bosses, office are closed, we have to work on Wednesday because we had Monday off. It’s our day off (even tho we go do our back calls). The office, bosses are all sitting up at there cottages drinking beer and sitting on their docks. It’s truly bullshit!!!

I’ve been telling him for years to sell his route and do something else because by the time he is ready to retire, he will not be healthy. Nobody can go without holidays for that long, it’s not human.

I can go on and on but I will stop now. Jeff you are doing an awesome job and I can see that you really care. I wish you all the luck in the world!!!

46. Anonymous Says:
September 19, 2009 at 10:21 am

I talked with Jeff about this and he asked if I would share it up here so bear with me.

I had a nervous breakdown 3 yrs ago in August. A lot of things led up to it and for a couple of months things just kept building until I couldnt hold on. I had a bunch of personal battles at that time and was trying to juggle to many things at once. The things that go on at Canada Bread did not help me through this time in my life. I did my route every day no matter what. I had to there was no one there to help. I was sitting in my truck at the back of my major having panic attacks. I delivered and drove the truck on 0 sleep for days on end. I was a zombie for a long time. Even during my darkest days that stupid truck was filled with bread and everyone got delivered.

Every person has terrible things happen in their lifetimes it doesnt matter if your a Canada Bread employee or a franchisee. There are times that a person needs to put everything else on the side and focus on themselves or their family and get through a tough time. If your a franchisee who can God bless you. I couldnt and I had to deal with every little piece of this business when I went trough my darkest hour.

Yes Im angry with Canada Bread for having to go through hell. But this hasnt been all bad being a franchisee. Ive made a honest living and I enjoy my customers. I know that Canada Bread has no idea what we do or how valuable we really are to them. When I read the comments here I believe all of us have gone beyond a normal comitment for this business. Guys if you push yourself to hard youll get burnt out to the point where you become so lost that nothing matters.

Mr. Mccain I have a word of advice for you from a old grumpy burnt out franchisee. If you want a real idea of how valuable franchisees are to Canada Bread please DO NOT listen to any of your kiss ass employees who will say anything to look good. Please talk to us.

47. Bread Boy Says:
September 19, 2009 at 11:02 am

This is taken directly from the Maple Leaf Foods Inc. web site.

Our Values

Maple Leaf Leaders will always:

Do what’s right
Acting with integrity
treating people with respect

Michael H. McCain
President and
Chief Executive Officer

Does this sound like a company that is living up to this part of their mission statement?

48. Fair dealings? Says:
September 19, 2009 at 1:34 pm

It’s true that all of us are glued, screwed, and bolted to our franchises so tight that if we fart the wrong way we’ll throw our back out!

Why is it that a CBCL employee can take a week or more off for having a baby (and I mean their partner having a baby.) and we can’t even find a way to get a day off for our own child’s birth or on the other side of that coin a death in the family!.

HA! If all franchises were owned by women CBCL would make each of them be back on the truck the next day after delivering or make em deliver on the truck I’m sure.

I can’t see Mr. G and the boyz up in CBCL HQ telling their wives to wait and hold that baby back cuz they gotta get that last customer delivered to and no one will help me out.

Trivial Pursuit for everyone.

Name one CBCL employee that if they were unable to show up to work today a customer would even know?

Please post your answer up here.

49. Cy McKenna Says:
September 19, 2009 at 4:38 pm

All the postings without a name mean nothing.Put your name on the posting or stay off the website.come on guys and girls grow some balls.

50. Narelle Says:
September 19, 2009 at 8:53 pm

My husband & I lost everything and more that we spent purchasing our franchise. It was clear to both of us after the first week that we were on our own, sink or swim. Well we almost sank. Not long after we purchased the business, that was run down before we started, we started receiving anonymous correspondence warning franchisees about the corruption of the franchisee and the system it operated. Franchisees started talking to each other, and as a result were threatened by the franchisor and told to get back in your place or you’ll regret it. (Not in those words of course). Anyway to cut a very long, painfull story short, we were fortunate enough that, after 3 years, the franchisor breached the agreement and we were out, but it wasn’t over, in 7 months. It took another 2 years to be rid of them.

My husband and I are grateful to the author of the anonymous correspondence and advice we received, if it wasn’t for them I’m positive we would not have our family in tact which is the most important thing.

The Australian Government did nothing, and still do nothing to alleviate the continuous ripoff of families by the franchisors whose sole agenda is to ‘churn’ the businesses over and spit out broken families. The only thing these parasites don’t do, is discriminate. They don’t care who you are, in fact, they don’t want to know.

Thanks to the resolve and the determination of the anonymous author of correspondence, the franchisor is, we have been led to believe, in the same position as the majority of franchisees who crossed his path. ‘It was a beautiful thing to watch’.

51. Rob Says:
September 20, 2009 at 10:45 am

Good job to all. I have been reading all the submitions. They all sound like we have the same problem’s. I have been around for over 20 years and have watched the franchisee get raped time and time again.

The key word here is WATCHED. We have to stand up for our selves and we have to support our selves. We have to relay to Canada Bread that we are one voice and that they are not the Goverment and we are not the Tax Payers that they beleive us to be. Every time they need more revenue they come to us. However years ago in the store we where a draw for buisness. They account wanted us in there to bring in the consumer. Canada Bread has changed things around so bad in the last 10 years that now the account wants 30 point of profit to be in there store. Where is that money coming from—-US.

Thing have to change and they have to change now!!!!

We do also have to be carefull as to how we represent our selves on the Blog as there coulod be potental buyers and I beleive this would scare the hell out of them…..

52. Bread Boy Says:
September 20, 2009 at 11:21 am

Fair Dealings,

How about Smart Man?

53. John Gefucia Says:
September 20, 2009 at 2:49 pm

No Cye, I wouldn’t buy a route where the service committment was seven days a week, twice a day. It is too excessive and obviously I would know that was the deal from the start. However, if I was in the stiuation where I already had a small route that wasn’t cutting it and/or if I was new to the business and carrying a lot of debt from the purchase of the route and possibly combining that with raising a young family, I would take the account to better my financial position even somewhat. That’s just economic reality. No it doesn’t make it fairer or any less exploitive. It’s just doing what some may have to do.

In the bigger picture this is the major issue in the compensation area of issues that we have with CBCL. Either less service obligations or more compensation to cover merchandisors

54. Vince Attisano Says:
September 20, 2009 at 4:10 pm

I agree with you John.

It is difficult not to take on a walmart when it is opening in your area and it is going to seriously affect other business. Franchisees are backed into a corner. Either accept the service requirements or lose the account and suffer the lost revenue from your other business. The bigger issue is that if we are expected to service 14/7 then we should be compensated properly.

CBCL must take into consideration that the service agreements that they negotiate do not affect the bottom line of CBCL negatively, but surely affect franchisees bottom line negatively as well as health and family life.

It is easy to agree to these service requirements when you are not required to do the work or pay the costs.

55. Frank Tilban Says:
September 20, 2009 at 4:13 pm

Just watching the football game on the couch, dosing in and out. This allows seems to happen to me on Sundays. This time I woke up with the Apple computers commerical on. At the end of this commerical the Apple guy says to the microsoft guy, Isn’t innovation suppose to make lives easier. Think about it with all the product innovation we’ve had lately, the added labour expense in building displays (off shelf), what do you really sell because at the end of the day if you don’t sell thru the till, not the invoice how do you cover that expense. Lot of this efforts end up in returns which does not pay the bills. You see pictures in depots of all this hard work. Don’t get me wrong, we do need product innovation and you need to get it in the consumers face but at what cost. Is this innovation making your life easier.

56. Frank Tilban Says:
September 20, 2009 at 5:31 pm

Isn’t there enough shelf space to accommodate the daily business for the account that the above posts are talking about. Say the account sells 150 222’s in a day shouldn’t the shelf space hold say 200 222’s to cover the daily business. If we don’t have the space for the volume that the account requires then maybe someone (TM or Account Rep) should be talking to the store with the data that shows that we need that space. And also show what kind of money that section is making.

57. Debbie Says:
September 20, 2009 at 9:55 pm

My husband just showed me your blog Jeff and I am so mad that he didn’t tell me about it sooner. It is wonderful to see that someone is trying to help all of us. It is amazing how many people have commented here and I want to share our story also.

My husband has been a Canada bread franchisee for almost 5 yrs. He’s worked really hard and we almost have our loan paid off but the last 5 yrs have been more difficult than I ever would of imagined. We had our struggles to make ends meet and we are excited to be “hopefully” making more money out of this franchise soon. We have no children and yet we have also struggled over the years. The countless fights, odd hours, neverending phone calls, text messages, and frustrations that we go through are intolerable at the worst of it. My heart goes out to the franchisees who have families as I can imagine the impact this life has on your children.

We thought we understood what we were getting ourselves into but nothing prepared us for how much this changed our relationship and both of us. The best way I can describe it is that this franchise and Canada bread has consumed our life. No matter what we do or where we are this franchise is part of every one of our decisions. If we want to get away for a day or go to our parent’s places we have to work anything around this franchise and how can we because he is stuck working at all hours of every day.

I work in the hospitality industry and it is catered to other peoples lifestyles. My husband and I know that the bread needs to be delivered at night and that’s part of the job. But what affects us the most is that everyone expects him to be available AFTER he is done his part for Canada bread. His TM calls or texts him while he’s sleeping or his customers wants to talk to him. His days off are not days off and he’s stuck doing what Canada bread wants. I’ve asked him if anyone else but franchisees are stuck with the bread 7 days a week. No store managers or employees work 7 days a week and no Canada bread employees work 7 days a week just franchisees. Why is that fair for us and every franchisee’s family?

We should all be sharing our stories up here for Canada bread to see. Let them know that their choices are affecting our families.

Please please keep up the fight Jeff!! Your doing an amazing job!

58. Debbie Says:
September 20, 2009 at 9:57 pm

PS. Thank you for the vent :)

59. gravely concerned Says:
September 20, 2009 at 11:45 pm

I attended a workshop the other day(and no it was not a Canada Bread workshop though Lord knows everyone of the managerial buffoons could use one) on solving workplace issues/concerns. This is from one of my three jobs that I have now due to mt deteriating franchise. I had the floor for a minute and told them of the working dynamics at Canada Bread. I tiod them of how when it is brought to Canada Bread’s attention that my business is down they tell me, or better yet yell at me, to turn in my keys. When it is brought to their attention that we due not have to serice the customers 7 days a week they tell me that I can leave anytime. Does Canada Bread not get it that leaving is not that easy and if most of us could we would. At the end of this workshop the faciliator of the workshop said to me that she did not realize that copmpanies today still managed that way and was very intersested in knowing that if franchisee concerns got addressed all the way to the top. She also said that it sounds like they police themselves!!! I was so impressed at how astute she was after telling her of a bad situation for about 7 minutes!! The funny thing about her comment about wondering if the concerns ever made it to the top is something that we as franchisee’s have been wondering ourselves.

60. Carol Cross Says:
September 21, 2009 at 5:50 pm

We see that the “franchise model of business” is much more beneficial for the franchisor than the “distribution model” and the “franchise model” and the “distribution model” are differentiated legally in terms of the “control” the franchisor has over the franchisees. Obviously, if large corporations can more cheaply distribute their products by using the cheap labor and cheap venture capital of good faith franchisees whom they control, this is what they prefer to do.

The franchising model has been growing in world economies as large corporations discover the advantages of distributing their product or selling their services through “franchising” over the old distribution model.

The control surrendered to the franchisor in the franchise model gives the franchisor almost the same control he would have if he were the actual employer and owner of the physical business, instead of the franchisor. In return for the control you give him, as a franchisor, he lets you operate under his brand name and he offers training on how to operate a “business of your own.” The franchisor is then a partner in your business because of the terms of the “take it or leave it” contract you sign. —But the franchisee is legally neither partner, nor employee, and the franchisor has no fiduciary duty to the franchisee is this hybrid legal relationship that is protected by the courts –who necessarily protect those at the top who do have a fiduciary duty to their shareholders.

A franchisee is an “independent contractor” who has turned over the control of his “own” business to the franchisor and who can only use the hard assets of his business in the service of the franchisor until death do they part — or the termination of the contract agreement.

Maybe Les Stewart of Franchise Fool would elaborate on this. Those at the top of corporate pyramids don’t want to hear anything except how sales and profits are growing and don’t care on whose backs these profits are growing, or whose backs are breaking.

I am the wife and mother of failed The UPS Store franchisees (who, after a few years of research) believes the franchise model enables large corporate entities to appropriate the savings of middle class persons who buy these franchises in good faith from “bad faith” franchisors who use the “rule of law” and inadequate regulatory policy to indenture franchisees in long-term contracts to benefit franchisors and the corporate owners of the franchisors at the top of the financial pyramids.

Of course, franchisors would hope that ALL of their franchisees would survive and enjoy profits but if they don’t, this doesn’t necessarily impact on their bottom lines as long as all of the franchisees keep trying to break even and make profits for themselves and their franchisor, who takes the first profits, of course. There is always the next franchisee who can take over the territory of the failed or sick franchisee or the franchisee who moves on and sells at a “wash” and churning becomes less visible over the years.

The concept of freedom of contract has always been used to legally enslave the masses in industrial societies. Times change, but not much! Franchising depends upon eliminating ANY collective bargaining once the contract is signed and is a step backward in the premise that Capitalism and Democracy are equal partners and companions.

Give us this day our daily bread and forgive………….those who trespass against us through the use of legally binding unilateral and unbargained contracts that intentionally do not disclose to the prospective buyers the risk and pain of being a franchisee.

61. kwiklock twister Says:
September 23, 2009 at 8:52 pm

while we franchisees’ worry how dreadful our sales are for this year’s back to school program ,our entire CBCL Ontario team is spending Wednesday and Thursday of this week at Hockley Valley. This includes all top sales staff, TMs, office workers,head order takers franchisee dept employees and plant staff. As they pat themselves on the back on what great work they are all doing and as they quote” what a great place we at Canada Bread for that 2 or 3 or 4 percent increase that we are tracking at YTD”.How they can pay for all these accommodations but keep telling us how CBCL can’t afford to give us more for private label, category A or they are still paying for flat bread infrastructure and English muffins. As Dealers tomorrow morning looking at our unbelievable shrinking loads on Thurs. and wondering how we are going to pay for all our expense for the month of Sept. Our TMs will be back Fri. morning to tell us how exciting our next big launch will be and how important the next new private label will be for us and our customers.

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