Bolton Sweaty Mama coach talks exercising and post-natal depression

January 31, 2019

Sweaty Mama Franchise UK. BONDING with your baby can be one of the great joys of maternity leave but for some it can be a struggle.

Around one in 10 mothers may suffer from post-natal depression, which can lead to difficulty bonding with their baby.

A NEW mum in Bolton has found her mums and baby exercise class can help boost moods and improve the bonding between a mother and her child.

Rianna Lucas, aged 32, is mother to 14-month-old Freddie.

During her maternity leave she decided returning to the life of an estate agent was not for her and instead set her sights on a career as an exercise instructor.

Mrs Lucas found out about Sweaty Mama through Facebook and applied to gain the franchise for Bolton. She launched in July 2018.

Now she offers four mum and baby classes a week as well as a women’s-only bootcamp session.

Mrs Lucas said: “We are with babies, bonding with them, by holding them, carrying them and being close to them.

“I know from some of the mums that it has helped them with post-natal depression.

“They have said they have suffered with it and it’s helped them feel better.

“Sometimes just knowing they are booked on to a class they’ve paid for on a morning they don’t want to do anything can help.”

She added: “For the new mums its not just a fitness class, it’s a community. The fitness side of it is so important for post-natal depression.”

Like other forms of depression, exercise can help manage post-natal depression and the NHS says excising regularly can “help boost mood in people with mild depression”.

In 2017 a study by the University of Birmingham, published in the British Journal of General Practice found exercise, whether alone or in a group, is effective at reducing post-natal depression symptoms.

The researchers noted in their study that mothers can be reluctant to take antidepressants, while exercise is a low-cost (or even free) alternative.

Mrs Lucas said: “It’s really, really important to be able to build that bond it’s lovely to make nice and happy memories while on maternity leave.”

Exercising just after giving birth might seem like a distant dream but Mrs Lucas says mums with children as young as six weeks come to her classes.

She said: “We don’t say any earlier and we might advise a mum to wait longer if there’s something not straight forward.”

Mums attending a Sweaty Mama class can take part in a range of activities might do push ups, kissing their baby with each downward drop or carry their baby in a sling while taking part in a cardio work out.

Related: Fitness Franchises – Should You Buy a UK Fitness Franchise?

Babies do not have to be involved though said Mrs Lucas, some mums will choose to leave sleeping babies in their prams while toddlers might play at the side of the class.

There is also a focus on core strength and pelvic floor muscles to help new mums recover from birth.

Before launching the Bolton franchise Mrs Lucas, who has always been keen on fitness classes, completed training and passed exams in pre- and post-natal exercise to be able to safely guide new mums through exercise that it suitable for them.

Mrs Lucas said: “Bootcamp is a little bit more intense but we still provide options of low intensity if they prefer.

“It’s still suitable for new mums though but you don’t have to be a mum to attend that class.

“It’s a female-only, child-free class, if someone wants to come with their mum, sister or aunt we encourage that as well.”

Sweaty Mama classes can be booked in six week blocks for a cost of £35. They take place at Bolton Arena, Queens Park, Sharples, Horwich and Westhoughton.

Each class is 45 minutes long but mums are advised to allow about an hour to give the children time to settle before class.

Source: The Bolton News

PJ’s Coffee – Coffee Café brews up expansion

January 31, 2019

PJ’s Coffee has passed an important milestone.

The New Orleans-based coffeehouse surpassed 100 locations by the end of 2018. It plans to open an additional 30 stores by the end of this year.

PJs Coffee awarded 22 franchises representing 37 licenses 2018. It opened 17 new stores, one of which marked PJ’s Coffee’s presence in Maryland and the northeast. The company looks to broaden its scope domestically with continued expansion in Maryland, while also bolstering its stance in the southeast with sights set on development in Texas and Florida. Internationally, PJ’s continued to expand its footprint in both the Vietnam and Kuwait markets.

“2018 was a momentous year for PJ’s Coffee as it marked our 40th anniversary and the opening of the 100th location,” said David Mesa, executive VP and chief development officer of PJ’s Coffee. “With the coffee industry continually growing and changing, PJ’s Coffee is committed to offering its guests the highest quality coffee and customer service and this begins with our strategic partnerships with coffee farmers across the globe.”

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Named one of Franchise Business Review’s Top 200 franchises of 2019, PJ’s coffee continues to create excitement and drive business with its proven system that leads to year-over-year sales growth. In 2018 alone, franchisee sales grew by 66%, a number that is projected to continue to rise.

PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans was founded in 1978 by Phyllis Jordan, a pioneer in the coffee industry. It acquired by Ballard Brands in 2008.

Source: RLI

Green Motion seeks franchisees as part of expansion programme

January 30, 2019

Low emission vehicle rental firm Green Motion is looking for further franchisees as it accelerates its expansion in 2019.

The company, which launched 12 years ago, currently has 20 UK branches including at all of the UK’s major airports as well as other sites including London, Manchester and Edinburgh. It also launched a new city centre programme late last summer and is looking to expand into areas including Sheffield, Nottingham, Oxford, Reading, Plymouth and Croydon. The plan is to expand to around 25 branches in the UK this year as part of its global network of 400+ branches.

Related: Green Motion UK Reinstated on Holiday Autos

Vehicles run vary from branch to branch but have a focus on low-emission cars and vans, from efficient petrols and diesels to plug-in hybrids and electric cars; Green Motion Vehicle Rental has Nissan Leaf electric vehicles available for hire in selected branches.

As part of the programme, Green Motion offers a full support package for franchisees with guidance on running a successful branch. Comprehensive training includes marketing, customer service, sales, business development and prior to opening, franchisees train with an existing location to gain practical experience.

Interested parties can visit Green Motion’s stand at London’s upcoming British and International Franchise Exhibition on 1-2 February or complete an application form at

Related: Car And Automotive Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Car Franchises?

Green Motion franchisee development manager Will Wynter said: “We have experienced strong growth with new franchised locations opening up in key territories over the past 12 months. We aim to continue this growth over the next 12 months, the goal being to have 25 franchised locations across the UK. This growth is due in no small part to our franchisees targeting SMEs to work with, we find these businesses enjoy working directly with a franchisee who they see as a fellow local business in the area to support.”

Source: Fleet World

Mortgage Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Mortgage Franchises?

January 30, 2019

Mortgage Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running  successful UK Mortgage Franchises.

After a period of chaos, the housing sector in the UK is finally finding its feet again. Find out how you can make the most of some great business opportunities with a Mortgage Franchise UK.

UK Mortgage Franchises have been a talking point of late.

For well over a decade, the housing sector – not only in the UK, but around the world – was put through a hard, turbulent paradigm shift. While millions of people suffered huge losses, there seems to finally be something of a proverbial silver lining to these years.

Many experts believe that this involuntary ‘purge’ was exactly what the global markets needed to bring the focus back on transparency, credibility and accountability. Since the world of finance is so precariously set on what the customers, investors and stakeholders think, it’s easy to understand why the housing market in the UK is on the brink of a definitive change.

What this means is that the entire eco-system of businesses that find themselves surrounding the huge housing market have, at long last, something to cheer about. The Brexit will have its impact in whatever way it comes down to, but one thing – for now, at any rate – can be held certain – there will come around new opportunities in this sector.

The lending industry, being the backbone of the housing market, can look forward to the next few years with great optimism. As a franchisee, you can explore ways of getting on board these changes through mortgage franchises UK. In this article, we’ll see what UK mortgage franchises are, how much they cost and what franchisees need to be aware of before signing the franchise agreement.

Mortgage Franchise UK – Where From Here?

To make sense of any opportunity, you must first start right at the roots.

And thus, understanding the potential of Mortgage Franchises is a process that we should ideally begin by understanding the housing market itself.

Asking yourself a few questions can, surprisingly, reveal a lot about this market. Here are a few examples:

  1. Do you own a residential property?
  2. If yes, how did you finance its purchase?
  3. How easy was it to get the mortgage? Were you happy with the interest rates offered?
  4. Have you been thinking of investing in residential properties in the present economic climate?
  5. What sort of returns do you think you should expect if you invest in residential properties today?

A simple market tenet states this: Sell unto others what you’d buy yourself. If you think the housing market has a lot to offer in terms of opportunities, go ahead with the market research to validate your opinions.

Moving on from instincts, let’s see what the actual numbers look like.

  • First the negative points: the number of residential property transactions have been on a downward slope for quite some time. 2018 was one of the ‘slowest’ year in this regard. The ONS reported that the number of residential property transactions in 2018 showed a 3.2% decrease from 2017.
  • Flats and maisonettes have been the poorest performers in this context.
  • The housing price index published by the ONS reveals some interesting insights. Since June 2016, the index has been in a constant 12-month fall. November 2018, for example, showed a 12-month change in the housing price index of 2.8%. This is the stat that is a damning proof of the fact that institutional investors and private homeowners have been apprehensive about investing in residential properties.
  • Now on to some good bits: The optimism we talked about earlier has pretty much everything to do with the cyclical nature of markets. Periods of slump are almost always followed by great booms. Statista estimates that the 2018-22 period could see the residential property prices go up by over 12%. While this is too small a number to indicate a boom, the signs of positive market sentiment are often found to be correlated to property purchase decisions.
  • The UK mortgage market is valued at over £1.2 trillion, making it the largest of its kind in all of Europe.
  • There are currently over 11 million active mortgages in the UK.
  • An average UK mortgage amounts (approximately) to £125,000.
  • Each year, more than 300,000 first-time buyers enter the residential property market, signifying the importance of a strong, robust mortgage sector.

How Successful Are UK Mortgage Franchises?

In almost every credit-oriented economy, it’s the lending businesses that are among the successful ones. Again, this isn’t to say that lending businesses are immune to failures (we have many instances of this to learn from).

The across-the-board success of quite a few mortgage and loan franchises UK has one underlying element: the ability to service the unserviced. Even in a top-tier economy like the UK, thousands – if not millions – regularly find themselves beyond the conventional credit bracket. Not being able to secure credit from banks, their obvious next move is to seek help from P2P lenders and mortgage providers.

Private high-street lenders made a windfall from these opportunities even before the internet came about. Today, thanks to the power of brokers and mediators, a borrower can easily know – often within hours – where their next round of funding is going to come from.

UK mortgage franchises combine this business model with the aggressive expansion model made affordable by franchising.

Recommended: How to Raise Money for Your Franchise Business?  

The Lending Market Is Difficult to Break Into for Individuals

Lending and borrowing money are pivotal concepts that our modern economy is built on.

Borrowing money makes individuals and businesses fuel their purchases, while helping lenders get higher-than-average returns on their capital. This is one of the reasons why the lending market is extremely difficult – nearly impossible – for an individual with some money to spare to get into.

For starters, there are dozens of regulatory checks to pass. If you manage that, it’ll still take you years to establish a decent level of market credibility and reputation. Combine all these factors and you begin to see what UK mortgage franchises really bring to the mix.

By buying a franchise unit of an established mortgage lender, you can instantly associate yourself with the brand value, trust and reputation of the franchisor, making it far easier to engage and close clients than it otherwise would be.

How Do Loan and A Mortgage Franchise UK Work?

Throughout our blog, we have seen some unique ways in which UK franchises make money. The business model of franchising may be the common denominator for all these sectors, but each brings on board special strategies.

Loan and mortgage franchises UK are no different. The basic building blocks of franchising are all there – the franchise agreement, the commissions, the support and the marketing. But on top of those, UK mortgage franchises offer their franchisees something unique – performance-based rewards that literally eliminate the upper cap to your earning potential.

In simpler words, when you buy a mortgage franchise UK, a large share of what you make for the franchisor will go directly to you. The performance metrics will vary from one franchisor to another. Some franchisors expect franchisees to only generate leads for them, while others prefer to share a part of revenue generated as an incentive.

Regardless of the model, it’s safe to say that loan and mortgage franchises UK can potentially offer some of the best rewards in the world of franchising, in terms of every pound invested.

What Will Your Role Be As A UK Mortgage Franchise Owner?

As a mortgage franchise UK owner, your role will – in most cases – be to oversee the local operations, be the face of the business in your territory, expand your network of clients and onboard customers on a weekly/monthly basis. Essentially, you’ll act as a local unit soliciting business on behalf of the franchisor’s mortgage broker/lending company.

It’s important to know here that there are no easy wins in this industry. The competition is usually fierce and it may take weeks or months of pursuing for each successful acquisition.

How Much Do UK Mortgage Broker Franchises Cost?

The cost of a loan and mortgage franchise in the UK depends largely upon the business model chosen by the franchisor. If the franchisor just wants to expand in new territories, their franchise units often don’t cost much.

On the other hand, if we’re talking about franchisors that want to aggressively build new customer relationships across the UK, you’ll be looking at a minimum initial investment to the tune of £20,000 to £30,000.

Types of UK Mortgage Franchise

It’s important here to note that when we talk about mortgage franchises, we also talk about other similarly built finance franchises.

Based on this, UK mortgage franchises can be categorised as below:

Residential Property Mortgage Franchises

These are the most common types of mortgage franchises UK.

A residential property mortgage franchise unit allows you to facilitate the private lending transactions in your given territory. There exist multiple sub-specialities in this sector. These aim to serve various financing needs of homeowners and would-be homeowners, ranging from re-mortgaging existing mortgages into cheaper deals to offering short-term conversion finance.

Commercial Property Mortgage Franchises

The commercial finance sector in the UK offers a variety of diverse financing tools, and these UK mortgage franchises reflect this diversity.

A commercial property mortgage franchise typically deals with commercial property owners and developers. As a franchisee, you would most likely be tasked with networking in your given territory, spotting opportunities, negotiating the terms of contract with your prospects and helping your franchisor sell their financing products.

Some of these include HMO finance franchises, buy-to-let finance franchises and development finance franchises.

Recommended: The Only Franchising Checklist You’ll Ever Need: Free Download  

Mortgage Broker Franchises

Not all mortgage franchises UK lend money directly. Many mortgage broker companies now offer franchising opportunities to skilled and experienced franchisees.

UK Mortgage Franchises: Who Are They Best Suited To?

Running a successful franchise business means handling multiple business fronts at once.

Mortgage franchises UK are best suited to those who have some prior experience in the industry. Even if you’re planning on hiring staff to do all the ground-work, you’ll still be required to steer the business in the right direction and negotiate with important customers.

To be able to achieve this, you need to not only be a people person, but also have networking skills. As we have mentioned multiple times while discussing various finance franchises, most of the business you generate will be coming from referrals. So, it’s essential that you maintain a valuable local network of colleagues and influencers.

Top Loan and Mortgage Franchise UK

Here is a short list of some of the most popular UK mortgage and loan franchises.

1. Commercial Finance Network

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £16,495 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Whole of market commercial finance broker with UK-wide operations
  • Exclusive territories
  • 2-day residential training
  • Full marketing, admin and IT support
  • Chance to break even within months
  • High volume, recurring business with high commissions
  • Diversity through working with both Property Based clients as well as SMEs

2. Brokerplan

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £4,995 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Commercial finance brokers
  • Full training provided
  • Business development support
  • Wide range of commercial and residential finance and mortgage products
  • Large lender portfolio

3. Your Mortgage Plus

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £19,995
  • USP: Mortgage and finance advisors
  • Dedicated territory
  • Online lead generation solutions
  • Marketing support
  • Can be home-based

Loan, Mortgage and Broker Franchises UK – The Takeaways

  • Make sure you have the necessary soft skills to deal with a variety of people on a daily basis.
  • An average mortgage franchise breaks even within 1=2 years of inception. So, ensure that you have enough capital to run the business before you’re profitable.
  • Choose a franchisor that has good market standing and high acceptance rates.
  • Prepare your business plan carefully.
  • Study the terms of contract with the franchisor well. Consult with qualified business advisors if you aren’t sure about how you’ll get paid or how the commissions will be split.

Related: Mortgage Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

At franchise4u, our efforts are to educate franchisees through in-depth guides and information. If you have any experience of running a mortgage franchise, do feel free to share it with us by getting in touch with us. Selective entries will be prominently displayed on our popular franchising success stories page.

Domino’s sells more than 500,000 pizzas in record UK trading day

January 29, 2019

Domino’s sold more than 535,000 pizzas in the UK on the Friday before Christmas – equivalent to 12 a second over a 12-hour trading day – but a weaker international performance has forced the company to slice its profit guidance.

The strong run-up to Christmas helped group sales to rise by 5.5% year on year to £339.5m in the 13 weeks to 30 December, it said in a trading update published on Tuesday. Sales growth was driven by its Republic of Ireland operations, where like-for-like sales rose by 7.5%.

Domino’s particularly benefited from days when Britons had reason for a big night in. It credited the final of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing on Saturday 15 December for a new online record, with sales up by a quarter compared to the same day the year before.

The overall sales record came on the Friday before Christmas, 21 December, the day traditionally known as “Mad Friday” or “Black Eye Friday” for revellers getting into the festive party spirit. Though the record Domino’s sales that day suggests people may be staying home more now.

However, the FTSE 250-listed company’s efforts to expand to new markets after fast UK growth stumbled during the quarter. International sales fell by 2% year on year to £26.6m.

David Wild, the Domino’s Pizza Group chief executive officer, said the international operation had experienced growing pains this year.

The company suffered “business integration challenges” in Norway in particular, he said. Sales also fell in Switzerland and Iceland.

The weaker international performance prompted Domino’s to guide that its full-year underlying profit before tax will be at the lower end of analysts’ expectations of between £93.9m and £98.2m. The company also said that investment in central functions would dent short-term profitability.

Shares in Domino’s fell by almost 7% on Tuesday to 255p. The company’s shares were worth more than 380p as recently as June, before the international struggles dented summer profits.

Domino’s, originally an American brand, opened its first UK outlet in 1985, before the British and Irish franchise was bought out in 1993.

The company sold almost 90m pizzas last year in the UK, but its addition of 59 stores during the year to the more than 1,200 it already ran was significantly below its plans at the start of the year.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

On Tuesday Domino’s reaffirmed its long-term target of 1,600 stores in the UK, but did not give guidance on how many it expects to add in the coming year, prompting some concerns among City analysts.

Domino’s also continues to face pressure from franchisees for an increased share of profits, which some investors believe could weigh on future growth in the UK.

Competition is increasing rapidly in food delivery, with Domino’s facing pressure from companies such as Just Eat, Deliveroo and Uber Eats, all of which enable rival pizza restaurants to offer home delivery. However, Domino’s is betting that its brand and record of profitability will enable it to fend off some of its newer competitors, many of which are still loss-making.

Wild said: “The UK delivered food market is vibrant and we estimate that it will grow at a compound rate of 8% a year to 2022. We aim to maintain our share of this market.”

Source: The Guardian

Sorbet flops in the UK, blames ‘work ethic’ and poorly trained therapists

January 29, 2019
  • Sorbet UK is closing down after three years.
  • Sorbet founder Ian Fuhr has blamed a tough trading environment, a “different” work ethic and inferior beauty therapist training.
  • The closure won’t affect the South Africa operations, as Sorbet UK is a different entity.

The Sorbet beauty salon concept, which proved hugely successful in South Africa, has failed in the UK.

In an interview on 702’s The Money Show on Monday evening, Sorbet founder Ian Fuhr told Bruce Whitfield that the five stores in London will close their doors after he decided to pull the plug.

The closure won’t affect the South African operations, which is owned by Long4Life. Long4Life, which is run by former Bidvest founder Brian Joffe, bought the SA Sorbet group from Fuhr in 2017. Fuhr and a group of other shareholders owned the UK business.

Fuhr blamed the closure on the “very, very difficult” trading environment in the UK. UK retail sales fell 1.3% in December, which was the biggest drop since May 2017. Local consumer sentiment is under pressure amid Brexit concerns.

Fuhr added that the UK “work ethic is a little different to ours, we struggled with the culture”.

“The education of beauty therapists is also inferior to that in South Africa, which is quite interesting,” he told Whitfield.

He acknowledged that he could also have been more proactive in addressing problems at the UK stores. The stores had 8,000 clients on their books, but in the end the monthly cost of funding the business in pounds became prohibitive, Fuhr said.

An express manicure at a Sorbet store in London cost £14 (R250), which is in line with other salons. (In South Africa, the same offering is almost half the price, at R130.)

When the London stores were launched three years ago, Fuhr hoped to replicate the South African strategy by building a strong brand in a fragmented beauty industry.

Related: All You Need to Know About Running a Spa, Beauty & Hair Salon Franchise UK (Health & Beauty Franchises UK)

Asked if he lost a lot of money in his personal capacity, Fuhr responded: “Very much so.”

Meanwhile, the South African Sorbet business did “extremely well” last year, Fuhr says. He is still involved in the local operations and says 2018 was the best year yet in Sorbet’s history. The chain saw a “fantastic bump” in Christmas sales and franchise demand remains strong.

There are 207 Sorbet stores in South Africa, from only four in 2005, when the company was launched. In its interim results released last year, Long4Life said growth in stores was limited by suitable site availability and that franchise interest remained strong. The total cash requirement of franchisees to set up a new store is R1.6 million.

Source: Business Insider

New noodle bar set for Nottingham

January 28, 2019

Chopstix has doubled its presence in Nottingham with a new opening.

The noodle bar will open a site in the city’s Intu Victoria Centre. The group, which currently operates nearly 40 company-owned sites across the UK, plus a number of franchise units, already operates a store on Clumber Street.

The opening at the Intu Victoria Centre is part of the company’s ongoing expansion across the UK over the next 12 months. Last year, Chopstix secured a new £2m bank facility from Metro Bank to support its expansion plans.

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

Chopstix managing director Jon Lake said: “Thanks to the great support of the people of Nottingham in Clumber St, we are delighted to be opening our second site in the city and we look forward to welcoming new and existing customers to Chopstix either to eat-in, take-away or enjoy at home via our delivery partners Just Eat and Deliveroo. It is obvious that the people of Nottingham know their noodles.”

Source: The Business Desk

McDonald’s adds bacon to the Big Mac for first time in UK history

January 28, 2019

McDonald’s will add bacon to its famous Big Mac burger recipe for the first time ever in the UK.

Until now, the brand’s star sandwich has consisted of two beef patties, Big Mac sauce, lettuce, a slice of cheese, pickles and onions.

This is the first time since the Big Mac was launched in the UK in 1968 that the fast food chain has changed its statement recipe.

Thanks to popular demand, the fast food giant is also bringing back two more burgers – the Grand Big Mac and the Mac Junior – with added bacon.

The Big Mac variants were originally released as part of a limited-edition offer by the fast food chain when it celebrated the Big Mac’s 50th birthday last year.

So, how much will these bacon-filled burgers set you back?

The Big Mac with bacon costs £3.09 and will include two slices of streaky bacon (the original Big Mac without bacon is still available).

As you might have guessed, the Grand Big Mac is a bigger version of the Big Mac.

It consists of sesame topped buns, two beef patties, two slices of cheese, lettuce, onions, Big Mac sauce and bacon and costs £4.08.

Meanwhile, the Mac Junior is a small version of the Big Mac and is made up of just one beef patty, a slice of cheese, lettuce, onion, pickles and Big Mac sauce, sandwiched together in a sesame topped bun. It is priced at £2.29.

The bacon-filled Big Mac, Grand Mac and the Mac Junior will only be available in restaurants nationwide until 19 March, so you’ll want to get your greasy mitts on the limited-edition burgers pronto.

Michelle Graham-Clare, head of marketing at McDonald’s UK & Ireland, said: “The customer reaction to our Grand Big Mac and Mac Jr last year was phenomenal, the love for the iconic Big Mac surpassed all expectations.

“Which is why I am delighted to introduce bacon to the Big Mac range, a twist on a classic.”

Related: Fast Food Franchises in the UK – 10 Things Every Would-Be Franchisee Must Know

On 29 January, participating McDonald’s restaurants in US will also offer customers free bacon in a launch dubbed “Bacon Hour”.

Diners will be able to add bacon, without charge, on the side with any menu item for one full hour from 4-5pm, local time.

The Big Mac was created by Jim Delligatti, a Pennsylvania McDonald’s franchise owner, who wanted to create a hamburger big enough to feed hungry steel workers who arrived at his restaurant after work.

Delligatti came up with the burger – that included two beef patties – and served it for the first time in his Uniontown, Pennsylvania, McDonald’s in 1967.

In 1968, the new burger was introduced to McDonald’s throughout the United States and went on to be known as the Big Mac.

News of McDonald’s adding bacon to its Big Macs comes a week after the good chain offered its customers free cheeseburgers for Blue Monday.

Source: Independent

UFC GYM to open in Surrey and Nottingham as world famous brand expands to UK

January 27, 2019

If you’ve not heard of UFC GYM before, no doubt you soon will.

Famous across the world in countries including the United States, Australia, Canada, and United Arab Emirates, the concept is now on its way to England. In fact, the first two UK locations confirmed are Woking and Nottingham.

Expected to open at both sites this April, UFC GYM is a brand extension of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship).

The new fitness facilities enter the UK and Republic of Ireland as part of an exclusive 10-year partnership with TD Lifestyle plc which has committed to opening more than 100 locations.

The gym is a brand extension of UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship 

Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping said: “UFC GYMs are an amazing way for individuals and families to work out and get in shape together.

“We have a lot of different training programs suitable for all ages and we’re excited to finally bring our unique brand of fitness to the UK and Ireland.”

Since debuting in 2009, the gym has opened more than 150 locations across the world.

Related: Fitness Franchises – Should You Buy a UK Fitness Franchise?

UFC GYM says its programming has been developed through exclusive access to the training regimens of internationally-acclaimed UFC athletes, providing members with everything they need for the entire family to move, to get fit and to live a healthy life.

The Woking location will be a CLASS UFC GYM, which the company says focuses on a result-based and class centric format.

Joe Long, TD lifestyle director, said: “We are passionate about opening our new boutique fitness franchise model in the UK.


“We are excited to open the first international CLASS UFC GYM, following on from the successful launch in the US.

“It’s an honour to help bring UFC GYM’s revolutionary style of fitness to new regions and to continually grow our Train Different philosophy.”

The Woking gym will offer H.I.I.T and boxing classes, with state-of-the-art fitness equipment and high-spec recovery area, including cryotherapy units and physiotherapy facilities.

Source: Get Surrey

Grocery franchises & fascias: what do they have to offer and how much do they cost?

January 27, 2019

Grocery franchises UK. There’s been huge change across the convenience sector in the past two years, and with that might come a temptation for retailers to see if the grass is greener on the other side. But switching is a major decision. From their customer service, to the costs involved, the range they carry and even the ethos behind the banner, it’s important to have all the facts. Which is why we asked 14 of the leading fascias what they had to offer to retailers considering a switch. Here’s what they told us.

Bargain Booze

Owner: Bestway Retail

Store numbers: 700 corporate and 350 franchise stores under BB, Select, Central and Wine Rack fascias

Membership costs: Is looking to recruit retailers with sales of over £15kpw plus a broad variety of services, and in 2018 introduced a new reward model

T&Cs: “Three-year franchise agreement and minimum length of contract dependent on investment”

Benefits: Will invest in EPoS, fascia and branding, possible contribution to capital costs. Marketing launch package for all new stores

Future plans: Extension of convenience categories and range

Best One


Owner: Bestway Wholesale

Store numbers: 2,100

Membership costs: Minimum wholesale spend of £18k per month

T&Cs: Must meet in-store standards, support monthly promotions and take minimum two deliveries of chilled and frozen foods per week

Benefits: “Competitive wholesale pricing, enhanced promotion pricing, monthly business development meetings, store design and My Rewards rebate of 5%”

Future plans: Increased chilled and own label ranges and delivery of a food-to-go proposition to drive in-store footfall and make stores convenient for consumers



Owner: Booker

Store numbers: 252

Membership costs: No membership/weekly fees

T&Cs: 75% of range purchased from Booker, with minimum spend of £10k per week

Benefits: “Our straightforward business model has no membership or weekly fees and an industry-leading discount scheme. Market-leading fresh and chilled ranges, alongside our supply chain with delivered availability of over 97%”

Future plans: “New food-to-go ranges in response to market trends for ever-more ‘out of home’ eating and broadening tastes for ‘meal for tonight’ options, new food-to-go ranges”



Owner: Costcutter

Store numbers: 1,776

Membership costs: Free

Benefits: “Our unique combination of retail expertise, standout brands and shopper insight allows us to work with our retailers to identify and deliver sales growth for their individual stores”.

Future plans: “After the launch of our Shopper First programme, in 2019 we will be providing our retailers with actionable insight, detailed analysis of shopper behaviour, and blueprints of how to create a truly local offer which responds to key shopper missions and drives footfall and basket spend”

Family Shopper

Family Shopper

Owner: Booker

Store numbers: 81

Membership costs: None

T&Cs: £5,000 per week

Benefits: “Free EPoS, free delivery cash and carry prices, up to 5% spend and save, free fascia, free membership, weekly promotions, simple format to operate”

Future plans: “To continue to work with our customers, developing choice price and service for all retailers, and to continue to offer the consumer a bargain every day”

Go Local

Go Local

Owner: AG Parfett & Sons

Store numbers: 400

Membership cost: There are no joining fees

T&Cs: Every retailer is taken on their own merit. There is no minimum term or minimum spend

Benefits: Through the Go Local retail club, retailers can enjoy exclusive promotions 17 times a year with supporting PoS, free consumer leaflets and access to category advice. Further, Parfetts offers a loyalty scheme

Future plans: “Growth continues to be at pace and we see no reason why the Go Local retail fascia cannot be rolled out across the country”

Lifestyle Express

Lifestyle Express

Owner: Unitas Wholesale

Store numbers: 760

Membership cost: Free

T&Cs: Adopting and implementing disciplines, promotional compliance, variable minimum spend

Benefits: “Retailers benefit from an average 30% increase in retail sales and regular cash back via the Cash Back Club. We also provide an award-winning quality own brand, a choice of fascias and a full package of retail support and advice”

Future plans: “We will continue to drive excellence across the estate with fantastic, contemporary stores providing all the products customers are looking for, offering great value every single day”

Londis Grocery franchises


Owner: Booker

Store numbers: 1,968

Membership costs: N/A

T&Cs: Three-year contract, minimum spend £5k per week (including tobacco)

Benefits: Free membership, competitive cost of goods, loyalty discounts of up to 4%, award-winning fresh range and own brand ranges

Future plans: “Continue the rollout of new-format stores focusing on the areas of growth that deliver increased sales and profit opportunities. Drive choice, price and service, making big events bigger and helping retailers ‘make more and save more’”

Nisa Grocery franchises


Owner: Co-op Group

Store numbers: 870+

Membership costs: £860 + VAT annual subscription for Nisa’s paperless option

T&Cs: Existing business with “acceptable balance sheet or a startup and a sound business plan”. Minimum delivery of 100 cases of chill/freeze per week plus 300 ambient

Benefits: “Nisa’s flexible model provides retailers with an unbeatable breadth of range comprising over 13,000 SKUs, to ensure they can provide a single destination shop for all their customers’ needs”

Future plans: “Will continue to invest in support, range, price, own label range, store developments and more”

One Stop Grocery franchises

One Stop

Owner: Tesco/Booker

Store numbers: 180

Membership costs: Maximum £92 per week; option to pay for all up-front

T&Cs: “A five-year agreement, to purchasing 95% of stock through One Stop, delivering promotional and range compliance, brand consistency and payment on time and in full”

Benefits: Refit investment up to £50,000, margins of 18-25%, plus opportunity to earn quarterly rebate of up to 1%

Future plans: Build on success of own label, by extending the range to ensure franchisees have the right products, to meet customers needs

Premier Grocery franchises


Owner: Premier

Store numbers: 3,349

Membership costs: Nil

T&Cs: £5,000 per week

Benefits: Free EPoS, free delivery at cash & carry prices, earn up to 4% spend and save discount, enhanced fresh range, free fascia and window imagery, free membership, free PoS and personalised leaflets

Future plans: “We will continue to work with our customers to drive their footfall and cash profit by improving our choice, price and service”

Simply Fresh Grocery franchises

Related: Costcutter founder Colin Graves to advise Co-op on wholesale and franchising

Simply Fresh/Local

Owner: Simply Fresh/Costcutter

Store numbers: 90

Membership costs: No membership fees

T&Cs: Minimum 14 days’ credit. Minimum drop per delivery of 30 cases chill and freeze and 80 cases ambient. Three-year contract for SimplyFresh with an 80% wholesale contract commitment

Benefits: “Futureproof your business, increase turnover, increase margin through fresh, food to go and Co-op own-label participation”

Future plans: “We are at the forefront of consumer experience within the convenience channel, aligning the interests of consumers, suppliers and retailers within a cutting-edge digital framework

Spar Grocery franchises


Owner: Spar UK

Store numbers: 2,600

Membership costs: No startup costs, membership is free for a year

T&Cs: A willingness to bring their store to the Spar standard and to place their purchasing power with a Spar wholesaler

Benefits: “Unique guild system monitors and understands developments, trends and learnings in competitors and consumers and recommends their application within Spar”

Future plans: Launching a number of new-look store formats in 2019, to demonstrate design innovation and how Spar can increase sales and profitability for retailers

Today's Grocery franchises


Owner: Unitas Wholesale

Store Numbers: 500

Membership costs: Free

T&C’s: Meet fixture and fittings spec, range and promotional compliance, minimum spend

Benefits: Dedicated BDM and support team, 17×3 weekly exclusive promotional programme including free leaflets and in-store POS, store re-merchandised to latest category planograms

Future plans: “To work closely and support our independent retailers in what will be another challenging trading environment. Our aim is to grow their sales, reduce their costs and improve their profits to ensure they have a sustainable business for the future”

Source: The Grocer