First and foremost, franchising is a business relationship. Simply put, the franchisor owns the underlying system and the franchisee purchases / rents a license to operate that system. The relationship between the two is primarily governed by the franchise agreement. That agreement outlines the rights and responsibilities and obligations of both parties.
As with any relationship there is often tension between franchors and franchisees related to fulfilling those responsibilities and obligations. This is only natural as both parties are looking to maximize their profits. Moreover, it is almost always in the best interest of both parties to see the other party succeed. So, this natural tension, as long as it remains in check, can be viewed as healthy for the relationship more so than unhealthy.
However, the Coronavirus pandemic has changed the dynamics a bit, placing an inordinate strain on the franchise business relationship. As the pandemic has gone on the relationship between franchisor and franchisee has become more and more frayed; with disputes arising over brand protection issues, strained and lagging supply chains, payment shortfalls, and even the reevaluation of the franchise agreement itself.
Franchisors and franchisees will need to thoughtfully work through these issues so that they can both weather this storm as-well-as put themselves in the position to thrive when the pandemic ends and our lives return to some semblance of normalcy.