I disagree. If the owner is smart, and hires competent people to help him run the stores, and then holds them accountable to the standards he has set, then the restaurants will be successful. It all trickles down from the ownership and what procedures he/she has put in place. I work for a company that has franchisees. Franchises are best for people who want to open a restaurant but do not understand the intricate nature of the costs and methodology that must be followed to make a restaurant successful. They will give the training and support, and usually have some form of cost savings from national or regional buying power that helps to offset any royalty fees. I have been a chef/restaurant owner operator for 20 years, and I have seen many people try restaurants and fail on their own because they had no clue.
On the other side, for anyone that does have a clue franchises limit your creativity and do have additional costs involved, if I opened a new restaurant tomorrow I would not be a franchisee. That all being said how this company is treating individuals is deplorable.