Franchise advisory council
A franchise advisory council (FAC) is typically a franchisee association organized by the franchisor, in which the franchisor may actively participate. Representatives of the franchisee community—often elected by other franchisees, with provision for regional representation—comprise the FAC (only franchisees in good standing are usually allowed to participate). Unlike franchisee associations, the franchisor may provide financial support and convene the meetings for an FAC.
These groups are intended to offer franchisees a formal channel through which to address ongoing issues and concerns with their franchisor. It can also serve as a way for franchisors to test or introduce new ideas or strategies, giving franchisees the chance to offer feedback.
FACs might even be formed by a franchisor as a pre-emptive approach to avoid the formation of an independent or antagonistic franchisee association. They can also be effective for franchisees, assuming the group is recognized by the franchise community as legitimate and not simply a ‘puppet’ of the franchisor.
Is franchising free enough for you?
Whether you have enough freedom as a franchisee probably depends on your context and expectations. If you are looking for the ability to fully shape your business to your own needs, franchising probably isn’t for you. However, every prospective franchisee must weigh the benefits of complete freedom with the value a franchise system provides. With channels such as FACs available to air concerns, and a proven brand on your side, following the system may be your best chance at success.
Darrell Jarvis practises business law, with a focus on franchising and leasing, in Fasken Martineau’s Toronto offices. He can be reached via e-mail at email@example.com.