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Recently, companies with multiple branches across the country are putting strong pressure on franchise owners to keep their business hours. They say they will impose a fine if the store opens even a little late, but store owners are considering reporting it to the Fair Trade Commission.



Reporter Lim Tae-woo covered the story.



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This local chicken franchise must be open 12 hours a day, from noon to midnight, according to its contract with the franchise headquarters.



Because it is an apartment complex commercial area, the reason the store is open in the middle of the day even though there are no customers is because of the head office's disadvantageous policy.



If the opening time is late even once, you can be admitted to training, if you are late twice, food material supply can be cut off for a week, and if you are late twice, your contract renewal can be denied.



There are exceptions if you negotiate with the head office in advance, but it is not that difficult.



[Chicken franchise owner: My condition is so bad and it hurts so much that I don't have time to go to the hospital, but I think it would be better to take a break today and start tomorrow instead. No. [There must be a diagnosis] history.]



This laundry franchise store must open at 9:30 a.m. on weekdays and operate until 8 p.m.



Recently, the head office announced that if a violation of store opening and closing hours is reported or detected, a fine of 2% of the laundry service fee will be imposed.



Even in the franchise industry, imposing fines for violating business hours is unusual.



[Laundry franchise owner: You have to earn money during this time to survive the summer and the off-season, but if you ask them to take this (lateness fine)... . I am self-employed to live well with my family, not to be too tied down.]



Franchise headquarters are in the position that unified business hours are necessary for the brand image.



[Franchise Headquarters: The opening times for each branch also vary, and from a customer's perspective, I went once or twice and thought, 'It's not open?' If you do this, you may realize that this is a place that is not open, right?]



Basically, as the franchise sales increase, the commission taken by the franchisor also increases, so there is a tendency to force such long hours of operation.



This trend is especially noticeable in franchises acquired by private equity funds whose goal is to increase corporate value in a short period of time and sell them.



Some franchise owners believe that forced business hours and disadvantages are too severe and are preparing to report to the Fair Trade Commission.



(Video coverage: Dong-guk Lim, Video editing: Yun-seong Kim, VJ: Young-rae Kim)