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September 28, 2020, 05:51:37 pm
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Author Topic: "Camille's empire copes with setbacks" and TW gets spanked  (Read 22541 times)
DTowner
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« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2013, 04:03:40 pm »


Looks like someone is desperate as the walls come closing in.
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Conan71
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« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2013, 04:15:09 pm »

Sounds like he may have some time to party with Bill Bartmann pretty soon.
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DolfanBob
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« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2013, 04:17:34 pm »

Sounds like he may have went to the School of Bartmann Business.

Dang you Conan. Great minds my friend.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2013, 04:19:44 pm by DolfanBob » Logged

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« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2013, 07:59:03 am »

He's getting slapped around pretty good.....!!!
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DTowner
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« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2013, 04:09:30 pm »

Sounds like he may have some time to party with Bill Bartmann pretty soon.

Of course, the Tulsa World never lost its faith in Bartmann.
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Teatownclown
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« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2013, 04:27:25 pm »

It's the recession's fault this house is caving in eh Rutty?....good businessmen fess up about their track records. They do not blame recession because part of their job is positioning themselves to allow for slow downs so their long term prospects remain.

It's been obvious for years that this was a deception.

The guy must have busy attorneys.


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davideinstein
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« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2013, 04:00:32 pm »

It's the recession's fault this house is caving in eh Rutty?....good businessmen fess up about their track records. They do not blame recession because part of their job is positioning themselves to allow for slow downs so their long term prospects remain.

It's been obvious for years that this was a deception.

The guy must have busy attorneys.




Recession is when you can get the customers in and keep them during booms.
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Gaspar
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« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2013, 09:10:37 am »

Interesting update article from Unhappy Franchisee.

How Franchisors Should – And Shouldn’t – Respond to Internet Criticism
May 10, 2013
How Franchisors Should – And Shouldn’t – Respond to Internet Criticism by Sean Kelly, UnhappyFranchisee.Com

 
No company offering franchise opportunities enjoys having to publicly defend the image that they’ve carefully crafted through their marketing and public relations efforts.
No franchise company wants to air or discuss its dirty laundry in plain sight of customers, employees, shareholders, franchisees and prospective franchisees.
But now, thanks to the Internet, blogs like UnhappyFranchisee.Com and BlueMauMau.com, and social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, public discussion and scrutiny of franchise opportunities is a fact of life… and it’s not going away.

Here’s the story of two franchisors of fast-casual cafes that reacted very differently to similar complaints against them.
The first company reacted with anger, threats and legal action.

The second company reacted by taking the complaints seriously, by publicly addressing factual errors, and by acknowledging and taking steps to correct its shortcomings.
In the end, the way the franchisors chose to react to criticism will have a greater impact on their public images and ability to grow than either the original criticism or their well-crafted marketing/PR personas.

In July, 2012 UnhappyFranchisee.Com posted that, according to a Small Business Administration report, Beautiful Brands International (BBI)’s Camille’s Sidewalk Café had a 58% SBA franchise loan default rate.

In the post CAMILLE’S SIDEWALK CAFE Franchise Complaints, we also published that, according to the company’s own disclosure document, the Camille’s U.S. franchise network has shrunk 60% since 2008.

The post attracted an outpouring of comments from a number of former Camille’s franchisees, who claimed that Camille’s and BBI CEO David Rutkauskas had misrepresented the opportunity, had failed to provide the necessary franchisee support, and was indifferent to whether they succeeded or failed once the initial check cleared.

Camille’s franchisees reported having lost as much as a million dollars, and many recounted the personal financial struggles, including bankruptcy, they endured as a result of investing in the Camille’s franchise.

UnhappyFranchisee.Com contacted David Rutkauskas, CEO of Beautiful Brands International, and offered to publish his response, clarification, or rebuttal to the allegations.  We told Mr. Rutkauskas that if there were merit to some of criticism, that we would be happy to report what steps he and Beautiful Brands have taken or were taking to address and correct these problems.

Instead of responding to numerous offers to join the conversation, David Rutkauskas had his attorney send threatening letters to the former franchisees who had shared their experiences and posted comments under their real names.

UnhappyFranchisee.Com did not take down the comments.  We once again offered Mr. Rutkauskas a chance to address the criticism.
Beautiful Brands then filed a lawsuit against me (then later dismissed it) for expressing my opinion on another website.

In subsequent interviews, David Rutkauskas tried to maintain the success-story façade he had created for his chain, and, when confronted with the unavoidable facts, he blamed the franchisees themselves, he blamed the economy, he blamed partners for backing out of deals, he blamed misrepresentations on writers printing “off-the-record” comments, and he blamed UnhappyFranchisee.Com for focusing on the 70+ Camille’s franchisees that failed instead of the 28 or so that have survived.

In frustration at not being able to control the story, David Rutkauskas posted dozens of fiery personal Twitter attacks on me that included vulgarities, profanity, threats, homophobic (though I’m not gay) and anti-semitic (though I’m not Jewish) insults and invitations to come to Tulsa to fight him (“settle this like men”).

Instead of expressing concern for the plight of the franchisees who failed, instead of taking some responsibility or at least addressing the concerns that were raised, Beautiful Brands and David Rutkauskas’ responded in such a way that reinforced the franchisees’ claims that BBI is indifferent to their struggles, and will use bullying, threats and intimidation to hide their shortcomings.


Since this article was published, Mr. Rutkauskas has deleted his Twitter account.  Probably a good thing, because he had some pretty strange tweets flying around out there.
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Conan71
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« Reply #23 on: May 21, 2013, 10:56:18 am »

B...b...but aren't David's millions of Twitter followers going to miss him?
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Gaspar
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« Reply #24 on: May 31, 2013, 08:41:16 am »

Can't believe I missed this article in Franchise Times.  I can't see him being in business after this.

http://www.franchisetimes.com/April-2013/Reality-Check/
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« Reply #25 on: May 31, 2013, 09:10:57 am »

I think Top That! made a wise decision in exiting when it became apparent that the BB relationship was not mutually advantageous.


Had they consulted the forum, they could've saved themselves entering it to begin with.

I believe that BB "intended to" or "wanted to" open all those locations, but without serious capital, or a lot of partners with capital, it just isn't realistic and they found that out the hard way. Anyone who has owned a business that later went franchise can tell you that it's not sunshine and roses. It takes a lot of work, a lot of resources, and strains your existing business as well.
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Conan71
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« Reply #26 on: May 31, 2013, 02:17:16 pm »

I was going to invoke the name of Charles Ponzi except no one ever seems to make a return on a BBI scheme.  I'm still trying to get how David ever thought he was a sharp franchisor.  By all accounts of people I know previously associated with them,  BBI has been a major clusterfark since day one.  I'm honestly surprised they've been in business as long as they have so I thought I'd pull an OSCN just to see if the lawsuits are starting to pile up:

http://www.oscn.net/applications/oscn/casesearch.asp?query=true&srch=0&web=true&db=all&number=&iLAST=rutkauskas&iFIRST=&iMIDDLE=&iID=&iDOBL=&iDOBH=&SearchType=0&iDCPT=&iapcasetype=All&idccasetype=All&iDATEL=&iDATEH=&iCLOSEDL=&iCLOSEDH=&iDCType=0&iYear=&iNumber=&icitation=

Pull up the McCoy Group lawsuit at the bottom, it's for over $500,000 in unpaid rent on the Cherry Street location, the petition which is on-line shows a very convoluted corporate and financial structure.  Very troubling to say the least.

/edit add: I didn't think about Camille's Franchise System as "CFS" until I saw that in the suit named above.  Something about Tulsa and the acronym CFS just doesn't seem to work out.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2013, 02:19:42 pm by Conan71 » Logged

"It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first” -Ronald Reagan
DolfanBob
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« Reply #27 on: May 31, 2013, 03:29:03 pm »

I love seeing dirtbags like him and Bartmann exposed for what they truly are. Problem is, criminal charges are never brought against people such as him and the Al Johnsons (Leisure World) in this town. So they just find loop holes around their bad credit. And stick it to the next sucker or Bank that will fall for the song and dance.

My Brother is such a person and is being shut down to the tune of a 2 Million Dollar loan and has a total of close to 500 Thousand in assets. And get this, He just opened another business with a new Wife and I am sure she will be on the hook for the credit when this adventure goes South on him.
Put it this way.....We're not close.
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Conan71
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« Reply #28 on: May 31, 2013, 04:24:12 pm »

I love seeing dirtbags like him and Bartmann exposed for what they truly are. Problem is, criminal charges are never brought against people such as him and the Al Johnsons (Leisure World) in this town. So they just find loop holes around their bad credit. And stick it to the next sucker or Bank that will fall for the song and dance.

My Brother is such a person and is being shut down to the tune of a 2 Million Dollar loan and has a total of close to 500 Thousand in assets. And get this, He just opened another business with a new Wife and I am sure she will be on the hook for the credit when this adventure goes South on him.
Put it this way.....We're not close.

Maybe your brother and DR can be special cell-mates some day.  Wink  The ones who are really good at defrauding people and don't ever face criminal prosecution seem to create such a confusing web of corporate entities and finances they manage to insulate themselves from going to the pokey.
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« Reply #29 on: June 14, 2013, 02:01:06 pm »

BOOM GOES THE DYNAMITE!

http://thislandpress.com/roundups/new-tulsa-world-publisher-faces-troubles-in-first-week/

Sean Kelly, an independent journalist who covers the business of franchising in his blog UnhappyFranchisee.com, has accused Tulsa World Enterprise Editor Ziva Branstetter of launching an investigation into his private affairs and then releasing that information outside of the World to David Rutkauskas, owner of franchising company Beautiful Brands International [BBI], who then used it to publicly hurt and humiliate Kelly. BBI develops several popular franchises, among them Camille’s Sidewalk Cafe and CherryBerry self-serve yogurt bars.

OHH. . .and here's a bit of preamble. Caution, strong language.
http://www.unhappyfranchisee.com/david-rutkauskas-robert-sartin-sue-themselves/
At least Rutkauskas capitalized the word "Jew" when using it in the derogatory.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 02:19:19 pm by Gaspar » Logged

When attacked by a mob of clowns, always go for the juggler.
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