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  • Posted on 23rd Sep, 2022 06:31 AM
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Franchise - Test Drive - Entrepreneur.com

This story appears in the July 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Officially, it's called the "180-Day Termination andRefund Program," but The Southland Corp., franchisor of7-Eleven , likes to call it a "testdrive." Since 1981, in every state but havebeen able to take the helm of a fully equipped store with theoption of terminating the franchise agreement any time during thefirst 180 days--all that's required is 10 days advance notice.The franchisee then receives a refund of his or her currentinvestment and fees, less any training expenses incurred bySouthland.

It may sound like a temptingly easy way out, but the successrate of the program is a testament to its effectiveness. Of the 300to 400 7-Eleven stores franchised each year, less than 5 percenttake the termination option. The program is good for both thefranchisor and franchisee, according to Margaret Chabris ofSouthland. "The purpose is to take some of the risk out of thefranchise process," she explains. "And it helps thecompany ensure that people who decide to franchise a 7-Eleven storewant to stay for the long term."

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