Franchise owner worried over burger chain's possible bankruptcy

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- When Humberto Martinez received his franchise license to open his own BurgerIM restaurant, he had no idea what he'd be facing today.

"I just thought I could live the American dream, you know, open up a restaurant where we serve good food, have excellent customer service, and the support from corporate that we desperately need isn't there, unfortunately," he said.

Martinez claims the company promised a grand opening, but instead, he said it has failed to deliver on its promises.

"I became a contractor, I became an architect, I became an engineer, all that I had to learn on my own," he said.

On top of that, Martinez has learned the company could be filing for bankruptcy.

The California Department of Business Oversight is investigating more than a dozen formal complaints against the company. It prompted Sen. Diane Feinstein to ask the Federal Trade Commission to review the complaints for "for making untrue material statements or omitting necessary material facts to prospective franchisees" and to see if the chain has violated any laws.

Martinez has this warning for others considering doing business with the company:

"If I had any advice, I would tell them to hold off just for now," he said. "I wouldn't wish this upon anybody."

The company has more than 200 locations in the U.S.

ABC13 reached out to BurgerIM requesting a comment but has not received a response.
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