A court has heard how senior Hungry Jack’s executives failed to support former Wangaratta franchisee Toni Collins because she was a “single woman”, according to a report in The Age.
Ms Collins, 29, ran the franchise in Victoria for only seven months before she was evicted by the company. The burger chain is suing Ms Collins for $721,000 over her failed franchise, while she counter sued in return for “unconscionable and unfair conduct”, seeking over $350,000.
The County Court heard on Monday that Hungry Jack’s founder Jack Cowin sent an email in 2009 criticising fellow executives for their choice of franchisee.
“What on earth are we doing giving a franchise to a 29-year-old single woman?” Mr Cowin reportedly wrote in a series of emails presented to the court.
Ms Collins’ lawyer, Dan Christie, accused Hungry Jack’s of failing to provide Ms Collins with the required support and training.
“She couldn’t do it and they knew it,” Mr Christie told the court, before revealing that franchise director Warren Honkey had referred to Ms Collins as “Toni ‘Legs’ Collins” in emails.
Mr Christie said that Ms Collins received only three weeks of Hungry Jack’s mandatory six months training and was led on for months by the company prior to her hiring.
According to The Border Mail, Ms Collins was offered the job at a January 2009 meeting in Sydney, forced to decide “then and there” whether she wanted the position without consulting her lawyer or family.
The court is yet to hear Hungry Jack’s version of events.