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An appetite for success with a franchise

Thursday 05th September 2019

UK consumers are still choosing to spend on leisure and experiences rather than material goods, with a 3% increase in net spending on coffee and sandwich shops alone in Q2 of this year1, indicating a tendency to seek out affordable treats when out.

Aspiring entrepreneurs looking to tap into the food and beverage sector can hit the ground running with a franchise. Whether it’s a premises-based business or out and about with a van, a franchise offers a tried-and-tested blueprint for launch and operation, as well as the backing and benefits of an established brand. The perfect place to discover leading franchise brands is at The National Franchise Exhibition on 4 and 5 October at Birmingham's NEC.

Franchising in the Food & Drink sector

Consumers have been enjoying the value-for-money dining experiences presented by quick service restaurants (QSRs) for decades now. Global giant McDonald’s opened its doors in the UK in 1974, rolling out the franchise model in the late 1980s. Today around 82% of their 1,370 restaurants in UK & Ireland are licensed to franchisees.2

But opportunities to own a food or drink franchise reach well beyond the fast food outlets we’ve come to know and love. Franchises now extend into dessert parlours, bakeries, confectionery suppliers, wine merchants and – of course – coffee shops.

The UK’s passion for coffee is alive and strong, with recent research reporting industry revenue growth of 4.7% for the period 2015-203. This trend seems set to continue, in part thanks to the evolution of new ways to get coffee to the consumer.

Hi-tech mobile coffee vans deliver a barista coffee service direct to people at their place of work, and several franchises offer the chance to enter the coffee market in this cost-effective way.

Matt Hunt was seeking a better work-life balance when he opened his franchise with mobile coffee brand Cafe2U in November 2016.

Matt comments: “I had no experience in the retail coffee industry, but I’ve been proven right in my choice of partnership with Cafe2U. I’ve received valuable support from head office and the network of existing franchise partners every step of the way, and I still benefit from pro-active and effective input from Cafe2U’s business development manager to grow my income.

“I’ve got a business which allows me to answer to myself and my family in terms of workload, and I thoroughly enjoy making customers happy with great coffee and friendly service. I harnessed the advantages offered by going into business via a franchise and have achieved the change in life I was looking for.”

Also becoming a more familiar concept is that of coffee vending machines, with the likes of easyCoffee offering not just great value coffee shops but also sophisticated coffee-to-go vending machines.

Other innovations in how we consume food and drink can be found with niche eateries like Little Dessert Shop and Delightful Desserts, which offer the chance to pop out for a sweet treat at any time, or Auntie Anne’s, which focuses on freshly baked soft pretzels.

Another way to tap into the potential of the food and drink sector is with a franchise that services other businesses in it, such as with Filta Fry and Clear Brew.

There’s also the chance to help the UK’s growing ageing population, with a franchise with Wiltshire Farm Foods, delivering nutritious ready-cooked meals to homes across the country.

Become a franchisee in the growing food and beverage sector

If your appetite for a food and drink franchise with been whetted, then come along to The National Franchise Exhibition this autumn where you can meet a whole host of brands looking to meet their next franchise partners. The dedicated Food & Beverage Showcase within the exhibition brings together a wide-variety of food and drink brands, allowing you to focus on franchise opportunities with brands like Dallas Chicken & Ribs, Little Dessert Shop, Warrens Bakery, Auntie Anne’s and Cavavin as well as mobile coffee franchises including Cafe2U, Coffee Blue and Really Awesome Coffee.

If you would like to find out more about what it takes to become a franchisee of arguably the world’s best-known food brand, then register for the exclusive McDonald’s Insight Sessions at the exhibition, where senior members of the McDonald’s family will reveal the demands and rewards of their world-class franchise programme.

At the exhibition there is also the opportunity to discover 100+ other franchises in telecoms, fitness, domiciliary care, business-to-business services, home maintenance and education. You’ll also find a goldmine of free professional franchising advice and insights across the event.

Every brand exhibiting at The National Franchise Exhibition has been assessed and accredited by the UK’s sole independent regulatory body for the industry, the British Franchise Association (bfa). Find out more and book your free tickets to this unmissable event at Birmingham’s NEC on 4 and 5 October using promo code SYF1.

1 Source: Deloitte: Passion for leisure – A view of the UK leisure consumer Q2 2019.
2 Source:
3 Source: IBISWorld: Cafes & Coffee Shops - UK Market Research Report