I opened a Fantasic Sams in Arizona in the late 90's and it was a financial disaster for me. Up front everything seemed fine but the business kept loosing money month after month. The regional owner would talk about owners behind thier backs, especially if they were struggleing financially to make it seem like they were just not doing what they were told, rebellious or something. I saw it happen to others and then myself. So then you are struggleing AND the other owners won't even give you the time of day and look down on you. But they all lost in the end, and they kept selling franchises.
They would tell everyone that the failure rate for the stores is extremely low when you asked about risk. But they knew that was a shamefull lie because the stores will be taken for free or a few K and the origional owner goes broke. Sure, who couldn't make money if you get the store from the poor sucker for free. Sure it stays open. But only THEY get stores for free. A guy off the street has to pay $25,000 just to sit at the table in franchise agreements. They will take EVERYTHING for a few grand when you are desparate, have a long term $2500 month lease around you neck and have no choice. They wait like vultures. And they'll probably figure out how you still owe them money if you fight to get a square deal at the end. I left quietly knowing it was a good as it gets. Sure I could spend a lot of money on lawyers trying to get what is fair. But the contracts aren't fair in the first place and I was stupid enough to believe thier words instead of what they write in the contract. Don't make that mistake. Read the contract with a lawyer and you will never want to sign it.
So you have to realize that franchises are a terrible deal. You've bought a really terrible job that yes you can still get fired from, and you can lose an increadible amount of money in. That lease you sign is a huge weight arund your neck. The franchise agreement when read pretty much says you have to do everything and pay them as well. There is really very little the company will do for you.
I don't care how nice the guy seems, all the excuses he has for disgruntled former owners. Don't buy it.