The Singapore owners of the Wendy’s Supa Sundae QSR brand are embroiled in a multi million dollar court battle over Australian franchise rights.
The dispute relates to the sale of Wendy’s branded hot dogs, ice creams and beverages at 27 On The Run convenience stores in South Australia.
According to a report in the Adelaide Advertiser newspaper in Australia, the Shahin family entered into a contract with then-Adelaide-based Wendy’s Supa Sundaes in 2013 to open 25 Wendy’s franchises inside On The Run stores by 2016 and 50 by 2020. But Wendy’s Supa Sundaes was bought by Singapore-based Global Food Retail Group in September 2014 and is now part of the Global Yellow Pages business.
At issue are conflicting accounts over the ongoing rights to use the brand through the convenience stores after the sale was settled. Global is now suing the Shahins in the Australian courts, claiming several million dollars in damages, demanding Wendy’s signage is taken down, products removed and alleging the family is “engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct, or conduct likely to mislead or deceive in breach of Australian Consumer Law,” according to court documents obtained by the Adelaide Advertiser.
“(Global seeks) an order that Shahin deliver up… all documentation and other materials in its possession, custody or control, including signage, stationery, brochures, and pamphlets which bare or incorporate any one of the registered trade marks or any mark identical to, substantially or deceptively similar to the registered trademark,” documents state.
But the Shahins have lodged a counterclaim against Global and some of its executives, including Stanley Tan, Global’s CEO, alleging a conspiracy to break the franchise agreement.
On The Run COO Michaela Webster appeared to try to play down the significance of the court battle, describing it as “simply a contractual dispute”.
A fuller, more detailed report of the dispute can be read online.