Thursday 23 May, 2019

Franchises holding on despite forex challenges

Some franchise holders are remaining mum on whether foreign exchange issues are affecting their businesses as two franchises this week blamed forex shortages for their closure.

Denny’s and Pollo Tropical blamed high franchise fees and other costs which had to be paid in US dollars among the factors for their closure.

Pollo Tropical, in media interviews, also blamed labour problems.

Loop reached out to other franchise holders to find out if they, too, are experiencing similar issues.

Dane Darbasie, holder of the Wendy’s franchise declined to comment as did Restaurant Holdings, owners of Little Caesar’s, Burger King and Popeye’s.  

Prestige Holdings, which owns KFC, Starbucks, TGI, Pizza Hut and Subway, admitted to being challenged by the forex shortage

"We continue to be severely challenged by the shortage of foreign exchange in the country. The Group's combined strength of our relationship across all local banks and the support from all of our international vendors has helped,” said Charles Pashley, CEO of Prestige Holdings.

“Our longevity in the marketplace and our solid track record built up over the last 40 plus years of prompt debt service has helped manage our relationships with suppliers and creditors where possible. It continues to be a daily challenge and we are managing the best way we can across the Group,” he added.

Derek Chin, owner of the Ruby Tuesday and Texas de Brazil franchises, said they have been able to meet their commitments.
Chin told Loop the major problem is labour and they have been in constant training to ensure their staff gives quality service to customers.

He said to date they have not let any staff go and recently celebrated the opening of the fifth Ruby Tuesday at his new C3 mall in San Fernando along with a branch of his local restaurant Rizzoni’s.

On Friday, the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA) debunked claims that forex issues were to blame for the closure of restaurants.

In a statement, DOMA said poor service delivery was likely the cause for the closures.

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