At Amherst franchise Meat House, 'we're doing extremely well'
Ryan Orthmann weighs beef while working at the Meat House in Amherst on Wednesday. Owned by franchisee Allan Bald, the Amherst shop is the only one in New Hampshire still open. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Bridget Thompson stocks the shelves with spices while working at the Meat House in Amherst on Wednesday. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)
Since he opened in September 2012, business has been brisk. "We're doing extremely well," he said. "I exceeded the numbers forecasted for my first year."
Despite the confusion associated with problems at the corporate level, Bald said his location has seen a spike in sales since other locations in New Hampshire shut down.
Other franchise owners contacted by the Union Leader report that they are continuing in business, and unable to comment on anything happening at the corporate level.
The Amherst franchise owner said the business model for the stores is working well, as consumers cut back on dining out, but invest in a gourmet meal to make at home instead. "The corporate stores did very well in the beginning. They did extremely well," he said.
A difficult position
Kevin B. Murphy, an attorney and franchise expert at the Franchise Foundation in San Francisco, said franchisees like Bald can find themselves in a difficult position when turmoil arises at the corporate level.
The franchise contracts may be the best asset Meat House corporate owners have to offer during investor or bankruptcy negotiations, he said.
"Someone is likely to swoop in, and those contracts would be sold by a trustee to the highest bidder," he said.
"Typically, the corporate-owned locations tend to operate more profitably than franchisees because for one thing they don't have the expense of royalties and marketing fees," he said. "In theory, the franchisor knows best how to run the operation and should be able to run it better than the franchisees."
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