Franchise agreement: restaurant, cafe or other food retail

This is a franchise agreement for a restaurant, cafe or other food retail business. It is comprehensive enough to be used by the largest multinational restaurant franchises. Smaller businesses will also find it an ideal template from which to craft an agreement that not only protects the rights of the franchisor, but also impresses prospective franchisees. Both the franchisor and the franchisee can be based in the New Zealand or any other country.

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About this franchise agreement

This is a franchise agreement for a restaurant, cafe or other food retail business. It covers an enormous number of issues.It is comprehensive enough to be used by the largest multinational restaurant franchises. For smaller businesses, it should be an ideal basis from which to craft an agreement that not only protects the rights of the franchisor, but also impresses prospective franchisees.

We would expect this agreement to be used by a solicitor or other franchise advisor. However, because the key to drawing a good franchise agreement relies on knowing the nuts and bolts of how the business works (rather than knowing complicated law), a business owner could also use it with ease. Use of plain English makes every sentence clear.

Should you be buying an agreement from an on-line retailer?

The advice from the largest association of franchisors in New Zealand, the Franchise Association of New Zealand (the FANZ), is that you shouldn’t use an advisor who isn’t a paid subscriber to their association. That advice extends to franchise agreements bought from online retailers. This isn’t impartial advice. The trade association is comprised of experienced and knowledgeable people, but it is a private company, commercially operated to promote and to protect the financial interests of its subscribers.

There is no additional qualification required to practice franchise law, just as there isn’t to being able to draw a lease. Commercial experience is the important quality to seek.

When it comes to selecting a franchise agreement from an online retailer, we suggest that you buy several templates from different suppliers in order to evaluate which one is most comprehensive and suits you best. A short agreement,regardless of where it is bought, is unlikely to protect your business sufficiently,not because the law relating to franchising is overwhelmingly complex, but rather because the practical considerations of how the franchise will work require more than a few pages to record them.

Net Lawman, along with all our reputable competitors,will refund you the purchase price if you are not satisfied allowing you to evaluate agreements from different sources.

The law in this franchise agreement

There are no specific laws or regulation for franchising. Your franchise agreement is governed by common law. That gives you great freedom in structuring the arrangement in the best way for you and your franchisees. You can set the rules as you like. However, your prospective franchisees and their advisors will look carefully at your proposed agreement.

That means that the agreement becomes very important in recording the rights and obligations of the franchisor and the franchisee. It should reflect accurately and in detail the terms agreed. The more comprehensive the franchise agreement is, the less likely there are to be misunderstandings and disputes later on.

The Franchise Association of New Zealand promotes ethical franchising. We agree with this, not as a matter of philosophy but because a successful franchisor is one who helps his franchisees to create profitable businesses while he expands his own. Your franchise agreement has to form the basis of a sound and profitable deal for both sides.

When to use this franchise agreement

This franchise agreement has been drawn for businesses in the restaurant and food retail industry. Whether the food is hot or cold, and whether it is consumed on-site or taken-away does not matter to this agreement. Your business might be:

  • A restaurant and cafe chain;
  • Take away or fast food outlets such as fish and chip shops, pizzerias;
  • Mobile food outlets;
  • Market stalls.

The agreement is comprehensive enough to be used by a business of any size, but we assume that the business will be small or medium sized, perhaps with several established locations already. The franchisor may be new to franchising, or may be looking to extend into New Zealand.

The franchise territory can be of any size, from part of a town to a continent. Generally, it is more advantageous to the franchisor to keep the area small and grant licenses to operate in additional areas to the same franchisee later. This agreement can be used to grant territory outside New Zealand.

The agreement does not cover ownership and lease of property (premises) by the franchisor. The agreement assumes that the franchisee will own or let the premises outside of this agreement either from the franchisor or someone else.

Agreement features and benefits

We have given the buyer of this document a large degree of control over what the franchisor will give and what the franchisee will do in return. We have included the usual provisions such as:

  • Use of trademarks and intellectual property;
  • Provision of marketing and marketing materials;
  • Development of public relations and promotional campaigns;
  • Training and support;
  • Sourcing ingredients.

Protection of his investment is likely to be very important to a franchisee. The agreement covers this in detail, from franchise renewal rights, transfer with pre-emption to intellectual property that the franchisee might create. These should provide fair terms that incentivise the franchisee and allow him to benefit from having built up his franchise without the franchisor relinquishing too many rights.

This is an incredibly comprehensive agreement, but we appreciate that it is hard to compare it to those of our competitors without having it in your hands. We therefore would encourage you to buy it, in the knowledge that if it is not what you need, we will happily give an immediate and full refund to you. We also extend our guarantee period from our standard 30 days to 90 with this document.

Agreement contents

This is one of the longest Net Lawman documents with 35 pages (excluding guidance). The contents include the following paragraphs:

  • Warranties that the franchisee is able to take on the franchise;
  • Grant of franchise;
  • Obligations of the franchisor to the franchisee: both initially and on-going;
  • Fees and payment terms;
  • Rights to renewal;
  • Data Protection law compliance;
  • Franchisee’s undertakings;
  • Transfer terms: including pre-emption rights for the franchisor to acquire the business;
  • Terms relating to the corporate structure of the franchisee;
  • Termination;
  • Insurance;
  • Risk and retention of title;
  • Use of subcontractors;
  • Intellectual property rights;
  • Confidentiality;
  • Cooling off period;
  • Limitation of liability;
  • Publicity;
  • Indemnity;
  • Dispute resolution;
  • Other paragraphs to protect your interests.
Draftsman

This document was written by a solicitor for Net Lawman. It complies with current New Zealand law.

NZ-MADfrn03 - Franchise agreement: restaurant, cafe or other food retail

 
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