Questions about Young Chef’s Academy Franchises

My friend, Julie is considering buying a franchise of Young Chef’s Academy www.youngchefsacademy.com. When we were talking on the phone about it this afternoon I asked her a lot of questions that she doesn’t have answers to yet. She told me to email her with my questions, but I am going to just post it here, because maybe others will benefit.

Does the franchise require that you are owner-operator?

What does their monthly royalty fee include (theirs is $395 a month)?

What kind of initial and on-going training do they provide?

Do they require that you send them an overage check (percent of sales) if you exceed a certain amount in revenues?

What non-compete clauses are you required to sign (for example, if you do a Color Me Mine franchise you are not allowed to do another arts/crafts store)?

What does their suggested store build-out cost? Length of lease required? How much square footage do they require?

Does your franchise fee include build-out?

Are you allowed to create your own products to support theirs and sell in your space?

Required hours of operation? Are you required to be there when there are no classes in session (for example, to answer questions to a walk-in client)?

** Any other questions for Julie to consider?? Let’s help a Start Up Princess! Please leave a comment/question for Julie.

As of October 9, 2007 this post will no longer allow comments. Watch for interview by YCA Owners at Startup Princess.com later this month.

Make a Wish, Make it Happen,
Kelly

Advertisements

  1. R. Waxley

    If you’ll view the Young Chefs Academy website and obtain the contact number for franchise info or request via email for someone to contact you, a representative with YCA will be able to answer the questions you have.

  2. Thank you, are you with YCA?

    What a great company! We’re excited to see a franchise in person and have our questions answered.

  3. becka

    Hi,

    Did Julie ever get her answers? I saw this too and thought it an interesting idea.

    Becka

  4. Julie looked into it and she decided it wasn’t for her…it was very expensive for start up fees and on-going support, however, they offer a lot of flexibility and great curriculum. Good luck!

  5. becka

    Thanks so much for the reply. I’ve been looking at starting one, just started looking at what potential one of these might be actually. I am a “babe in the woods” and trying to educate myself.

    thanks again
    becka

  6. csprega

    what do you think the benefit of owning a franchise vs starting a business on your own? it sounds like a franchise can be restricting and costly. i am interested in the idea of starting my own business and not sure where to start…any suggestions?

  7. Thanks for your comment and visit!

    I think that there’s some great benefits to both models:

    Franchises are national (or are trying to get there) so there’s national name, marketing, strategy, etc. They are often very supportive of their franchise owners and want them to succeed…however, they cost a lot to run, you keep paying them a percentage monhtly, strict requirements, however, they have a proven method that often runs itself and you can hire a manager at the start and attend to other things whereas…

    Start ups are hard, you’re poor, bootstrapping, trying to get to profitability, etc….unless you have loads of money to keep cash flowing, you can sink a lot of money into figuring out the systems that run them and then you try to franchise it…? You have creative freedom, see your ideas executed, your dreams fulfilled…your dreams fail. Ouch…but if you stick to it, your dreams succeed!

    I think it all really depends on what you want to create! Think about the LIFESTYLE first, then you’ll know what is best. How many hours do you want to put in? Do you want something that runs itself? Do you have an original idea? Could you do it with a partner? When will it be profitable? Hmmm….lots to consider. Good luck figuring it all out!

    Make a Wish, Make it Happen,
    Kelly

  8. Sonya

    This franchise is actually a lot more expensive to start-up and operate than stated. I know someone that started one and the cost were much higher than what was disclosed by the franchisor.

  9. Thanks Sonya for your comment and for telling us the scoop. I love the concept of YCA, and also hope that people investigate all the details before they commit.

    Make a Wish, Make it Happen,
    Kelly

  10. Hello
    We purchased a Young Chefs Academy a year ago in Pittsburgh and opened last MAY. IT IS GOING GREAT!! What guilt I have , my husband thinks we work so hard!! Shoo… dont tell him! Its all fun! The price was right in line with what I was quoted. My only regret is that I did not buy two.

  11. Awesome, glad to hear some positive feedback and good experiences. πŸ˜‰ Thanks for your comment and best wishes with the kids in the kitchen! Fun combo!

  12. SuzieQ

    This is a wonderful chat room. I am considering starting my own business, probably franchising. Young Chef Academy or Batter Up Kids who has just started franchising this year. Any comment or feedback on these 2 franchises? Batter Up Kids seems to cost a lot more. Cindy, if I may ask, are you making any profit? Is the franchisor helpful and assist in finding a location, lease agreement and so forth?

  13. Anyone interested in Young Chefs Academy details, please call Findley Group 1-877-757-1445, then you will be directed to the right person. I just got a call from them and they said that franchise owners have been asked not to answer questions from prospective buyers for various legal reasons. Thanks!

  14. Lexi Moore

    Hello,
    I am realy considering opening a YCA. I have talked to the Findley group about a year ago about opening a Facelogic, but due to the high cost I have decided not to go with that idea. My major concerns are the start up costs and the ongoing support.

  15. Sandy

    You are right to be concerned. My best friends purchased one and they said the ongoing support is basically non-existent. They are very disappointed in that part of it because there seem to be a lot of questions from owners, and no direction is being given. Apparently, many times they don’t even respond to questions if you can believe that. If I were you, I would just start calling a few of the locations myself to get a real picture of what is going on.

    Anyway, I still think it is a very cute idea. My friends said they may sell it if nothing changes, but I hope not. My kids love it! There is nothing else like it in our area and my kids have learned a lot. They do actually cook and they have lots of fun.

  16. keyroses

    We too are looking into opening a YCA. Unfortunately, we have contacted the Findley group several times over the past few weeks and have yet to hear back from them. My husband and I are pretty bummed about that because of all the franchise opportunities we have been exploring, it definitely is our #1 pick.

  17. I hope you will be contacted soon! πŸ™‚

  18. George

    My daughter is considering this Franchise opportunity. Has anyone out there received information on gross sales/unit? I realize that they have not been open very long and that numbers vary by location, but I would still like to get a sense of what the highs and lows are as it relates to gross sales. I assume the company does not quote those figures in their UFOC? Has anyone spoken to current franchisee’s regarding their numbers?

  19. chef lady

    I purchased a Young Chefs Academy franchise & will be open soon! Our estimates for profit are extremely promising! Start-up costs are estimated based on the cost of living in the company’s home city-Waco, TX. It has cost us more to open our location than it would have in Waco, TX, but we are still optimistic that our investment will pay off! We have had lots of interest so far & we’ve booked lots of reservations even though we’re still in the build-out process.
    It is certainly what I would call a flexible franchise. I like the fact that the curriculum is established yet we have some room to still be creative as owners.
    I feel that my suggestions have been heard & implemented at the franchisor level.
    Also, territories are selling quickly, and several other owners I’ve spoken with wished they would have made the commitment earlier (so as to lock-in the territory of their choice).
    I can post again in a few months when we’re up & running.
    Also, fyi, the company that franchised Young Chefs is owned by Gary Findley. You may recognize that name because he was the original franchisor of Curves for Women.
    Anyway, I encourage you to contact the sales guys & get the info from them. Then apply that info to your area-rent, utilities, city regulations, build-out costs, etc. to see if it works for you. I devised a “calculator” of sorts which I used to determine profit/loss & determined that my store needs to be aroung 33% full to break-even. Other locations in our area are full or nearly full within one year of opening.
    Hope this info helps!

  20. Kidz Cook

    I too am a Young Chefs Academy owner, but I am already open. My experience does not match that of the previous poster. There is also some incorrect info in that post.

    The Findley Group and the expertise of Gary Findely is a major reason why many have bought into this franchise. However, he is no longer associated with YCA. If you are interested in pursuing a franchise, you must contact the YCI corp.

    There are major operational issues which directly affect finances. You are right to ask about numbers and I would perform due diligence before making any investment.

    Our initial investments were also very promising, as well as initial interest. The reality has been much different than what we were sold.

    I will not go into details, but leave it to say that if I had to do it over again, I would not have purchased it.

    Sorry I don’t have better news to give.

  21. Nicky K

    I first saw this franchise about a month ago and was interested in starting one myself in another city/state. To date, my request for further info has gone ignored. Not even an email saying they are getting to it. Not a good sign when you don’t reply to people who want to pay you money!

    I’m not sure you could count on this company for support if you needed it.

  22. Sandy

    Oh well, my friends have decided to sell [*sigh*]. They say that things have just gone from bad to worse lately, and the company just does not seem to care. From what they say, a lot of franchisees are fighting mad and also trying to sell because the company is doing next to nothing to support them. This is all just a shame, because my kids have enjoyed these classes.

    I was even thinking about buying my friends Young Chefs, but I searched today on the Internet and a lot of these schools are up for sale in a number of states. That is kind of scary since this business is so new. Kind of changed my mind.

  23. Me too

    I am a young chefs owner and I too have decided to sell. Anybody know a good franchise broker who can help with selling this?

  24. Kerry

    May I ask what has been the biggest disappointment considering this is such a new franchise? Support? Fees? Cost? Seems like a great concept

  25. advice

    If anyone knows of any young chefs franchisees that feel that young chefs academy breached its franchise agreement in connection with the sale of its franchises should call einbinder and dunn. They specialize in representing franchisee rights and have an excellent reputation for such representation.

  26. Roger

    Hi,
    I am looking to open a YCA. I have read previous emails. It’s been quite mixed response. What are the real issues with this franchise? Bad support, not enough revenue, high cost…? Any information would be helpful.
    Thanks
    Roger

  27. Richard

    Dear Kelly,

    My name is Richard Nettles and I am the husband of one of the founders of Young Chefs Academy. I also work for the founders in their merchandise company, which supports the Young Chefs Academies that are currently operating.

    Young Chefs Academy was the subject of one of your blog posts from August 9, 2006. Your post generated quite a lot of interest in the concept and even resulted in some folks licensing a franchise. After your post, comments started appearing that indicated there was trouble with the company…and there was.

    My wife, Suzy Nettles and her business partner, Julie Burleson started the company with the idea that children and young people can benefit from a culinary education that compliments the academic skills taught in schools, taps into the creative energy of children and shows kids that cooking is, most of all, fun! These aspects of Young Chefs Academy have not changed.

    What has changed with the company is what I believe is the making of a terrific interview for you to post on your blog. In January of this year, Julie and Suzy almost lost their company. During the long months leading up to May, 2007 they fought to keep control of Young Chefs Academy. Their hard work, tenacity and faithfulness to their vision has resulted in a company of which they are sole owners; a company that has a growing national brand recognition with a proven operating system; a company which has 100 operating academies; and a company that recently completed a co-promotion with Disney-Pixar for the animated film “Ratatouille”. There are several other partnerships in development as I type this.

    I hope you can see why, as a husband, I am so proud of my wife, Suzy and her best and closest friend, Julie. I believe they have a compelling story and a wealth of information that your readers may find useful as they achieve their own entrepreneurial dreams. If you would like to contact Julie and Suzy directly, their e-mail address is or they can be reached at 254-751-1040.

    Sincerely,
    Richard Nettles

  28. Thank you Richard for representing YCA, we’ve been having this discussion for a year…so it’s great to see you here. Glad to hear that things are looking up! Congrats. I’ll be in touch and yes, I would like to interview your wife and her friend.

  29. Angelia

    Great!! I just received a magazine out of our local newspaper and have to comment on Young Chefs Academy’s behalf- American Profile has put them on the COVER page!! A great article also!! Look FUN and something I am peronally looking for!!

  30. Julie's answers

    I don’t believe that Julie’s questions have been answered here. I am considering purchasing a territory, but the comments above worry me. I know the answers to some of these.

    Does the franchise require that you are owner-operator? This I don’t know, but I will tell you that from what I see teaching yourself may be the only way to make any money. Payroll is a huge expense.

    What does their monthly royalty fee include (theirs is $395 a month)? It includes curriculum. Oh and by the way- there’s a monthly web fee (the owner’s son own’s the design firm) which gives you essentially a link to their site and a flat template to use for your own pages.

    What kind of initial and on-going training do they provide? There is an initial training, and an annual convention.

    Do they require that you send them an overage check (percent of sales) if you exceed a certain amount in revenues? Don’t know this

    What non-compete clauses are you required to sign (for example, if you do a Color Me Mine franchise you are not allowed to do another arts/crafts store)?
    Teachers are required to sign a non-compete agreement. They are not allowed to teach cooking anywhere but YCA. All ‘products’ you want to sell and ‘classes’ you want to teach on your own (outside of their curriculum) must be approved. It takes at least 2 weeks to get approval.

    What does their suggested store build-out cost? Length of lease required? How much square footage do they require?

    Does your franchise fee include build-out? NO and one reply above says they base the estimates on Waco, TX costs. I don’t believe that’s representative of most of the rest of the country. Be careful and research on your own.

    Are you allowed to create your own products to support theirs and sell in your space? Again, there must be approval of any products sold inside the store.

    Required hours of operation? Are you required to be there when there are no classes in session (for example, to answer questions to a walk-in client)? I don’t know if they require it, but if you’re in a high traffic area you would want to be there.

  31. Good afternoon to all! We would welcome the opportunity to speak to any of you that have questions about Young Chefs Academy as a franchise possibility. As many of the comments made here are false, it would be best to call us directly at 1-877-341-1041, or email us and allow us to address these questions.

    Keep on Cooking!
    Julie Burleson and Suzy Nettles
    Co-Founders
    Young Chefs International

  32. Lisa

    Before you buy a franchise, any franchise, read The Franchise Fraud by Robert Purvin. I seriously regret buying a franchise, not YCA, but another that seems to be in a simmilar situation! I say, if you really believe you want own a business, start it yourself. If you think a franchise will be easier, you are fooling yourself and will be sadly mistaken. Also, do an informal poll of 100 people and if less than 50% can’t say anything good about the concept you are considering, walk away–the only thing you are buying when you buy a franchise is name recognition and if it isn’t there, walk away! Just my opinion, but one I wish someone had given me three years ago, Lisa

  33. Common $ense

    Beyond the warm & fuzzies and sales pitches, you would be smart to ask questions. This is afterall a business decision and not a pen pal program.

    There do seem to be a lot of these for sale on the Internet as one poster stated. Postings for the business on different franchise sites place the total investment as between $89,350 – $208,000. But a number of these existing locations for sale are going for much cheaper. That may not be a good thing.

    Everyone claims to have a ‘proven’ program. Look for evidence of this. Have any franchisees gone bankrupt? Have any gone out of business? How has the franchise been growing? Are they growing too fast? Too slowly?

    How in tune with franchisees is the franchisor? Do they conduct on-site visits? Do they communicate regularly? Have them quantify the type of ‘support’ provided (when you are opening and afterwards) so you know what you are getting into.

    Speak to existing franchisees – and not just the ones they give you. Call around and ask questions. Their current situations will give you a perspective into what the franchisor may not divulge. Ask the hard questions like how they view the franchise and franchisor relationship. How do they rate the support and the program? How long have they been open? Is their program growing? Knowing what they know now, would they invest again if they could do it over?

    Most importantly, take your time and do not rush into a decision. Do your homework. Ask questions.

  34. Too late for me

    I really wish this info had been available before I bought this franchise. Someone asked what the problems are, there are many. A lot of them listed here. Everyone says this is a wonderful concept, in many aspects that is all it is.

    A major part of the problem is listed above in the statement that there “were” problems in the past but not anymore. Most anyone who owns one (and not someone just trying to sale more franchises) would find that laughable.

    A growing number are going out of business and just losing everything. To answer one question above, I would definitely NOT have purchased this again if I knew what I know now. I would sale mine too but many of those for sale haven’t found buyers after months of trying. Really a bad situation overall.

  35. Hello to all,
    I just got off the phone with Suzy and Julie the owners of YCA and will be preparing “their side of the story” interview and feature on our new site, http://www.StartUpPrincess.com very soon…just to calm the storm a bit, my questions were answered and I can say that those of you who are owners are definitely in good hands! Be of good cheer and know that YCA has a bright future ahead, they are aware of the concerns and are working toward solutions. More on this soon.

    Kelly King Anderson
    Founder of StartUp Princess

  36. renaissancedame

    Well, this has been some very interesting reading! As a former owner of two franchises and now a YCA owner, I feel that I have some experience in the above-mentioned areas and will be happy to share my opinion.

    First, I have owned a Young Chefs now for a little over 1 1/2 years. There is probably no person out there who has started a franchise with as little start-up capital as I had when I bought my YCA. Young Chefs is a “new concept” and takes a while to establish in any new area. This means hard work and perseverance! I have gone to visit schools, given community demonstrations, participated in marketing events, put out fliers, press releases, and given countless items for donations. All this in an effort to get the YCA name out in the community. The result…my business is growing! It may be slower than I had hoped, but I will have my loans paid off within the first three years of business. I think this is a great testament to the business.

    Some other issues…
    A flat monthly royalty fee of $395 is extremely low. Most other franchisors take a percentage of the gross amount. I’m thrilled with $395!

    The curriculum staff at YCA cannot be beat! I was a teacher for over twenty years. A person who would like to start their own cooking school can, in no way, create the support materials and tested recipes that YCA has provided for its franchisees. Daily, this staff is coming up with new ideas and events for us.

    I’m actually not sure what the franchise fee is at this point, but if it’s under $30,000, it’s low. Also, build-out costs do vary according to your area, but my build-out ran true to my expectations. Did I want to pull my hair out during some of the build-out experiences? Sure, working through the codes and local ordinances was exhausting, but everything finally worked out for me.

    There is a non-compete form that is signed by everyone which truly protects the franchisee as much as anyone. It keeps teachers from teaching for me, gathering my materials and beginning their own business.

    Finally, to something mentioned above, one founder has a young son and the other has two sons under the age of 13 (I think). None of these guys run the website. The website is run by someone related to the family who is extremely capable and has exceeded my expectations as a franchisee.

    As all new businesses do, YCA has had growing pains, but the changes being made in this company are for the best. There are successful and happy franchisees out there. I guess, life is what you make of it, huh?

  37. As for “Too late for me”, it sounds like you ate too many of the lemons that were meant for the cookies. And kudos to “Lisa”, for the franchisee does not “own” the site. If you want to “own” your business, you must start it from scratch, like grandma’s wonderful chocolate cake. A franchise is more like a box cake where the cook takes the provided ingredients and makes something delicious. Even box cakes can be ruined if not used as directed. I am a YCA partner and have had a great time laughing, cooking, and earning. Yes, earning. The corporate office does a great job of providing curriculum, business tools, and the opportunity to succeed whereever you are. I know Julie and Suzy at the corporate office are focused on one thing, the success of the franchisee. However, the success of the site is up to the franchisee, not the corporate office. I am very happy with YCA and my experience has been life changing for me, as well as for the children I teach. I’ll keep cooking!!!

  38. YCAOwner

    Been a YCA owner for 2 years now. Recipes? Originally from the Internet mostly, but much much better now. Real improvement and good variety.

    True, many are losing lots of money each month, but it is new. It takes time to establish and work out the kinks. A number are going out of business, but those who hang in will probably see things turn around.

    Agree fees are very low. You kind of get what you pay for. This is the beginning of the opportunity. You are getting in on the ground floor. If corporate had more answers about how to make this work and be successful, it would probably cost a lot more. They are learning as we are, both about the business and franchising. In the end, it should payoff because this is such a great concept.

    Surprised no one mentioned it takes a lot of work. Not the business for someone who wants to be part-time, hands-off, or has small children, which is how it was originally sold. I don’t think they are selling that way anymore. But anyone should know that if thinking of buying. This change in selling is another positive for what Julie & Suzy have done.

    So if you call around to franchisees you probably will find those who are not happy. That comment about sour lemon cookies was funny, but I am sure you know about what that poster was talking about too. There have also been some valid points here about the support problems and such, but I think things will get better. That is why I stick around.

    Also really agree that this is fun. Everyone enjoys it and I enjoy owning it. No, I personally am not making any money and don’t know of more than 2 or 3 who are. Most seem to be struggling financially, but it really does take time. Time to build relationships, time to tweak your program and pricing, time to find out what sells in your area. This corporate cannot do for you.

    There are things corporate should be doing to better support us and responsiveness can be pretty crummy, but again give it time. Let them get their feet wet and see what they can do.

    Basically, in spite of the poor financials, this is the best ‘job’ I have ever had. I cannot wait to keep cooking and see this thing turn around.

  39. Too late for me

    Well, many of us cannot afford to wait around while losing thousands each month. Things will turn around? When? The people who head up corporate are the same people who have managed operations of this franchise for well over the past year. Yeah, they now do the sales part too, but they have always been responsible for operations. How long does it take to do what you are supposed to? Even you acknowledge that people are losing lots of money and they don’t even respond half the time.

    Of course corporate will try to spin it. They need to sale more franchises. You know what? If prospective buyers call around to existing owners like one poster said, then they will know. Whether my comments (and others here) are true or not, they will find out for themselves. I\’ll leave it at that.

  40. Too late for me too

    We also were attracted to the business because of Gary Findley and his actual proven franchise success. As I am sure with any franchise in the beginning they shower potential franchisees
    with attention and approach every conversation with enthusiasm about how wonderful everything is. And as long as you are making money,not questioning anything they do or ask for any help then they stay that way. If not, look out! How do I know? I owned one and after nearly a year I had to close it. When I asked for help because I was losing my business they said they would get back to me but never did. They weren’t interested
    in me beacuse I was struggling. Another
    franchisee I spoke with who also closed said she begged for help and never got any. Shouldn’t there be something in place to help those who are hanging on for dear life? Isn’t that part of franchise support? When it got to the point that I knew I was closing and I loooked into it a little bit I realized I wasn’t the only one. There are quite a few who have closed, are for sale, or who are seriously struggling. I’m not saying there aren’t people out there making money because there are, it just seems that they are a select few. Someone stated that there are many for sale and that’s true, but are they selling? I know of many that have been for sale for quite some time.

    As far as Suzy saying there are false comments on this board, I have not seen any. Everything I have read here were similar to my experience.
    Nobody wants to hear negative things about their company, but you have to address problems and not sweep them under the rug because they make you uncomfortable. I think this franchise can be successful if you can afford to hang on for 3 to 5 years. I hope that for the sake of the friends I have made through this venture that it is,
    but with the current leadership I’m not sure it will.
    All in all what I learned from this experience is along what the lines of what ‘Lisa’ stated in her post, stay away from a franchise. Save the money you would spend paying a franchise fee to help market your business to get it off the ground. There are quite a few cooking schools
    for kids out there that seem to be doing very well and they aren’t restricted with what they can offer. Most importantly do your research, call around to talk to franchisees other than the ones they tell you to call. Then you will know what is really going on.

  41. Michelle Steckley

    Make sure all of the i’s are dotted and t’s are crossed. Leave no stone unturned if considering a Young Chefs franchise. It is a Great concept but NOT what it is cracked up to be. There is nothing for the fees. If you can get questions answered, you are lucky. There are also additional fees for advertising, wesite usage, credit card usage, etc.
    I have recently had to close my academy and with a huge debt in tow.
    BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  42. Wow Am I Amazed

    Holy cow do I wish I had found this board before I bought into this franchise. Everyday I wish that I had simply taken my $30,000 franchise fee and put it into starting my own business. The only thing worth any money here is that they provide you with recipes to use, and that just saves me some time, its nothing I couldn’t just do myself. Other than that it’s pretty much nothing but restriction after restriction and they’re super anal about having approval over everything. Understandable but still annoying.

    Then I read about the partners of YCI, and I can’t believe it. Their merchandising company is the founders husband? And the website company (horrible company) is another relative? That really makes me sick to my stomach. The website company is absolutely horrible and rakes in $85.00 a month from every franchise while accomplishing nothing. I happen to know for a fact that a website 10X’s better could be built for 1/10th of the price, but they obviously won’t look for a better priced web company thanks to the nepotism. (Note 150 franchises x $85.00 = $12,750 a month salary to build a website… ridiculous)

    And the merchandising company… some stuff is reasonable, but there are many things that are vastly overpriced. If I had known about the nepotism, I never would have gotten into this. There’s no way these “founders” are making objective business decisions when it might hurt their family.

    I just spoke to a business broker about selling and the price he said I may be able to get barely covered the franchise fee. Therefore I will stick it out, and I will make this profitable because I know I can do it. But if I had it to do over again, I would have simply done it myself and saved 30G’s and $700 a month. (Which is what the nickel and dime fees end up being.)

    I will make this work, but when I do, it will be in spite of the road blocks from their nepotism, not because they did their best to make sure costs were low.

  43. Hello to all…this post has become quite the conversation about YCA. I have decided to not allow any anonymous comments on my blog so if you would like to comment, you must put your name (not “mickey mouse” or “YCA Owner”) and if it’s not a legitimate name, I won’t post your comment. If you have something to say, say it and be responsible for what you say and show respect. Thank you.

    Make a Wish, Make it Happen,
    Kelly

  44. Anonymous

    Just my two cents, but anonymous whistle blowers are the key to saving people from getting involved in a personal dispute that could hurt their business, when it’s obvious they are already being hurt enough. Without anonymous whistle blowers you’d have no whistle blowers. Hopefully you reconsider your commenting decision.

  45. Young Academy

    On one hand I’m glad this information is posted here. On the other hand, as someone trying to sell their store I wish it were not!!!

  46. Melanie

    When will the interview with Julie and Suzy on “thier side of the story” be available? See entry from August 30. Is it on the website? I can’t find it.

  47. Young Academy

    Give Julie and Suzy have to ‘prepare’ their side of the story makes me very suspicious.

    I can already almost tell you what the response will be. Something along the lines of, “YCA is all about bringing kids and parents into the kitchen. While we realize there are some issues that need to be addressed we at YCI have taken many steps to improve upon our offering including hiring a franchise consultant, slowing down franchise sales by bringing that aspect of the business in house, adding more curriculum offerings and establishing a franchise advisory council.”

    Lip service.

  48. Hi there,
    Julie and Suzy didn’t “prepare” anything for our interview, the only delay has been on my part in publishing it. We had a great conversation and I have 6 pages of notes I need to spend some time pulling together to feature soon..after Oct 12th because I have a conference I’m producing for Startup Princess.

    Remember, no more anonymous comments. thanks.

  49. Melanie

    OK. The most positive post from an owner was on January 29, 2007 (Cindy Bartman). “My only regret is that I did not buy two.”

    Well, 7 months later, Cindy is selling her YCA with an asking price of only $75,000. Google her store in Pittsburgh and it indicates sale pending.

    What is going on???

  50. patty

    I also saw her store up for sale. Actually there are quite a few for sale. They are also some of the store YCA is touting as their most successful.
    I also own a YCA and I am doing fairly well, but I know of alot of franchisees who are not doing well.
    Corporate is trying to support us better, but not in the way we need. Too many franchisees went into this with no experience with children or with business and they need help. The franchise allowed them to spend way…… tooo much money opening up. They thought the money would come pouring in. It is a great concept and I love it, but the reality is we are not going to be millionaires.

  51. Comments are now closed on this post. Look for upcoming interview with YCA Owners at Startup Princess.com’s NEW SITE late October. Good luck to everyone who has purchased a franchise or is considering one…






%d bloggers like this: