Latest Franchisee Survey Finds Major Concerns in All Areas of Our Businesses

7-Eleven franchisees have been facing unprecedented challenges during the last 18 months—not only because of the pandemic, but also because the onerous terms of the 2019 Franchise Agreement have been felt by so many in that time. So, it comes as little surprise that the results of our most recent survey indicate how many franchisees are unhappy and feeling harm to their personal well-being. The survey tallied results from 598 coalition members representing 1,118 stores across the country.

“The results of this survey are alarming,” said Jay Singh, chairman of the National Coalition of Associations of 7-Eleven Franchisees (NCASEF), the elected, independent body representing the interests of more than 7,400 7-Eleven franchised locations in the U.S. “The overall sentiment is that franchisees are unhappy. The company is making money selling gasoline, but franchisees are telling us they are not making a reasonable profit because of the nature of our contract.”

We issued a press release detailing some areas of particular concern to you, highlighting such points as:

  • Sixty-eight percent of the franchisees who responded to the survey indicated they signed the 2019 Franchise Agreement, yet only 17% said they are in a better financial position now than they were under the previous contract.
  • More than 90% of franchisees said they would not enter the system again.
  • Another 90% said your job is more difficult today than it was five years ago.

We also asked franchisees if they agree with the statement, “The effect of running my 7-Eleven business has negatively impacted my physical health, mental health, and/or family well-being.” 

An overwhelming 80% of you agreed with that statement. We want SEI’s executives to understand the personal harm many of you are feeling from being a franchisee, as well as the fact that 83% of you disagreed with the statement: “Headquarters in Dallas responds appropriately to the needs of 7-Eleven franchisees.”

The lack of trust between franchisees and SEI is a startling concern for all of us:

  • Only 10 percent agreed with the statement, “7-Eleven trusts its franchisees.”
  • Only 25 percent said, “I trust 7-Eleven.”
  • Only 5% said, “I trust the accuracy of 7-Eleven’s retail accounting system.”

When asked if you think 7-Eleven executives are honest and ethical, 74% of you disagreed. For comparison, when we asked you that same question in 2018, 64% disagreed. That indicates the lack of trust has grown in three years.

“Trust is a real issue in part because SEI accepts money from its vendor partners while telling us we won’t receive the lowest cost of goods from the supply chain they control,” said NCASEF Executive Vice Chairman Michael Jorgensen, a Tampa-area franchisee. “When we raised this issue with FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra at our recent convention, he said the commission was aware of the practice.”

Since 2006, SEI has spent $28.3 billion in 39 separate acquisitions, yet only 40% of you said your store has received a physical plant upgrade totaling more than $10,000 in that same time frame.

When asked if it were possible to sell your store and salvage your initial investment, 70% of you indicated you would sell. At the same time, 80% of you said the equity in your store and its value are lower today than they were two years ago.

The National Coalition is sharing the results of our 2021 survey with FTC to support Chopra’s efforts to “safeguard operators of franchised businesses from abusive practices by franchisors.”

You can click HERE to view the entire 36-question survey.