Hell Pizza sued for stalling sale

Hell Pizza director Mr Powell said the proposed buyer of the store, Kai Wen Enterprises Limited, and its nominated branch manager were rejected because they could not speak English, had no formal training and performed poorly under assessment.

The Dominion Post
March 13, 2010

Hell Pizza sued for stalling sale
William Mace

Hell Pizza is being sued for holding up the sale of a franchised store because it thinks the new manager does not speak English well enough.

Flame, the company which owns the licence to the Albany store, has filed papers in Auckland District Court claiming Hell's Wellington owners, Callum Davies, Stu McMullin and Warren Powell, were unfairly impeding the sale. Hell has launched a counter-suit saying Flame's management of the Albany branch has damaged its brand and insisting it is able to dictate who owns any franchise under its brand.

Hell Pizza director Mr Powell said the proposed buyer of the store, Kai Wen Enterprises Limited, and its nominated branch manager were rejected because they could not speak English, had no formal training and performed poorly under assessment.

"They said [the manager] was trained … when we interviewed the guy we asked him really simple questions, like how long does it take to cook pasta, and his reply was ‘three months’.

"We put him into another store: he couldn't make pizzas, he couldn't make dough.

"So, basically, [Flame] were trying to sign him off and push him through so that we'd have to take this [franchise] prospect on.

"When someone can't speak English and they have to communicate with English-speaking customers and an English-speaking franchisor, it's a bit of a hindrance."

Flame is owned by Americans Dennis Jones and Mark Backhaus, who until recently owned Burger King in New Zealand. Neither wanted to make any comment.

http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/3443352/Hell-Pizza-sued-for-stalling-sale


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