Use This Checklist to Avoid Buying a 'Zombie' Franchise

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“Zombie franchises” are out there. What is a zombie franchise? It’s one that has stalled out but still markets its franchise opportunity as if nothing is wrong. The brand is typically shrinking in both relevance and the number of open units. Previously loyal customers are being siphoned away by more innovative concepts. Underlying demographics may have shifted. Market trends may be working against the brand, but management hasn’t created a new path. Unit-level economics are weakening. Management inertia or denial may compound the brand’s problems.

Zombie franchise systems are usually filled with franchisees who would gladly exit if only they

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