Meet the Dartford Coffee Blue barista delivering to workers on the Covid-19 frontline

March 31, 2020

Coffee Blue Franchise UK – Coffee chains may now be shut but one barista is still busy refuelling the nation’s army of key workers.

Christine Kelly, 55, is delivering food and drinks to frontline staff operating from the Acorn and White Oak business parks in Dartford and Swanley.

Working as part of the mobile franchise Coffee Blue she distributes everything from baked goods to cappuccinos.

Following the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement on Monday she anticipated business would soon grind to a halt completely.

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

Instead she says she has been inundated with calls from those companies still operating with key workers to see if she is able to visit.

She said: “I got a call to see whether I was still coming around. I didn’t intend to go in until they said they were still working.

“There is a whole army behind people. I was surprised to see how many people were there.”

The majority are utility workers needed to keep gas, electricity and water operations running.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

But she says others support the work of doctors and nurses operating on the frontline, providing clinical support and other services.

The franchise had been carrying out “doorstop drops” for people in self-isolation but will now primarily be focusing on food delivery services to NHS staff and other key workers.

Christine says she will continue to work while a revenue source is available or until asked not to.

“I have to have a reason,” she adds, “I don’t want to be stopped by the police.”

The business said extra precautions were now being taken to minimise contact and maximise the health and safety of staff and customers.

Related: Coffee Blue Franchise

Franchise Manager, Martin Jones, said: “We understand the great strain our NHS workers are under. They are the ones on the front line fighting this disease.

“With long shifts and little opportunity to leave the workplace, nurses, doctors and GPs will find little time in their days to eat meals and take care of themselves.

“Whether it’s hospitals, local GP clinics or anyone under the NHS umbrella, we’d like to extend this invitation to those who need it.”

By Sean Delaney

Source: Kent Online

TaxAssist Accountants ramps up support and creates Coronavirus Hub

March 30, 2020

TaxAssist Accountants has rolled out a series of new initiatives to its network and created a dedicated Coronavirus Hub on its client website containing the latest support available for businesses affected by the pandemic.

In a week of unprecedented turmoil and change caused by the global COVID-19 outbreak, staff at the TaxAssist Accountants Support Centre pulled out all the stops to ensure its network of accountants and their 76,000 clients are kept up to date with the very latest developments.

Related: Bookkeeping, Financial and Accounting Franchise UK – Wonderful Opportunities for Skilled Entrepreneurs and Franchisees

Karl Sandall, Group Chief Executive, said: “I cannot praise the team highly enough for the work that has been put in over the last week. From the technical team who have digested and created content for the hub, to the business development team who worked tirelessly to communicate to clients on behalf of franchisees, centrally sending around 250,000 emails in total.

“We have ensured the 60 members of staff at the Support Centre, who are all now working from home, have access to all the equipment they need to maintain our usual high levels of service and support to our network of accountants. They can then in turn, confidently advise and guide their clients with the very latest information to help them and their business. We also have assurance from all major key partners that they can also work remotely and maintain services.

Related: Accountancy & Financial Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“All franchisees continue to have access to Employmentor, a service that provides guidance and help with all employment related law issues, which is provided free of charge by us.”

The TaxAssist Coronavirus Hub will be continually updated, and the Support Centre team has been delivering the following for the network:

  • Video tutorials and guides for franchisees on how to have client meetings using video technology to maintain service to new and existing clients.
  • Video messaging from the Chief Executive and other Directors to provide guidance and support.
  • Advice and tips on how to network on the online networking communities.
  • Daily social media content covering further announcements from the Government.
  • A dedicated section within the Franchisee Support Site to collate and access all COVID-19 related content.
  • Daily COVID-19 update bulletin emailed to franchisees issued from the Support Centre, which contains a detailed summary of announcements from the Government, practice advice and support, client communications, new marketing materials and using technology.
  • Live webinars delivered to franchisees outlining the latest changes and practical guidance around planning points.
  • Advice on how to support clients with short-term cashflow planning and the tools we have available to assist with this.
  • SMS texting to communicate with prospects and clients to keep them informed of working arrangements.

Related: TaxAssist Accountants Franchise

To view the TaxAssist Accountants Coronavirus hub click here.

If you are interested in joining the TaxAssist Accountants network, we intend to hold Discovery Days via video over the coming weeks. If you’d like to book onto a Discovery Day, we will require your CV and a completed application form which can be found on the website.

KFC donates food to 2,000 NHS workers in Essex

March 29, 2020

HARD-working NHS staff were boosted thanks to a free meal as KFC restaurants made huge donations.

Restaurants across Essex donated more than 2,000 meals to NHS staff across Basildon, Southend and Broomfield hospitals.

The 18 chicken shops in the county, managed by Kefco Sales, have closed in the past week following government guidance to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

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

However, the franchise did not want to let the chicken go to waste, so had the teams cook and deliver stock to 1,000 people in Southend Hospital, 500 in Basildon Hospital and 750 at Broomfield Hospital.

In total, the teams sent out 7,701 pieces of chicken to a variety of organisations including hospital staff, care homes, fire services, teachers, the food bank and a homeless shelter.

Warren Miller, people capability coach at Kefco Sales, said: “Throughout the evening and early hours of the morning I was looking through Facebook community groups.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“I managed to get a list of names and locations that we could safely drop off large quantities of chicken.

“By 8amTuesday when our restaurant teams arrived, we had a plan on where we were going to deliver, and how much was needed.

“We had nine restaurants involved in the cooking and delivery. The teams were smaller than usual as we were only planning on cleaning the restaurant for closing initially, but luckily other team members jumped on board, and this became a joint team effort to help.

Related: KFC Franchise

“The team have been so supportive of our efforts helping the community. We couldn’t have got anywhere near making deliveries to everyone we did without their enthusiasm for making this work.

“Closing in situations like this is difficult, so it was amazing to give back to our community before we did.”

By Ellis Whitehouse

Source: Echo News

Pre-school ballet classes for Bexley, Dartford and Bromley go online

March 28, 2020

Babyballet UK – It may all be about social distancing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t pull on your ballet togs and dance along from home.

Jessie Lilley, the owner of babyballet in Dartford, Bexley, and Bromley, said: “I have had to pause my physical classes for pre-school children for now, due to coronavirus.

“But along with my fellow babyballet teachers, I have taken my classes online so my babyballet stars can still participate at home.”

She added: “It’s a worrying time as the UK deals with the outbreak of the coronavirus but we are remaining very positive. As more and more families self-isolate and limit the amount of social contact that they have, our primary focus is to ensure children and families in and around can still enjoy babyballet, even if they can’t physically come to classes.

Related: Buying and Running A UK Children’s Franchises – What Does It Take?

“Our babyballet pupils are aged from six months to five years old and most have no idea about the coronavirus and the effect it’s having in the world around them. It’s our responsibility to keep the babyballet world as normal as possible for them.

“We will be delivering our online classes with as much passion and energy as ever, it’s just that instead of being in a dance studio, we’ll be on a screen in children’s living rooms.”

Founder and CEO of the franchise company, Claire O’Connor, explained: “There are going to be a lot of families trying to keep their children entertained over the coming weeks. We hope that by providing babyballet online children can still enjoy the fun and laughter of classes and continue to keep active.

Related: Children Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“As a company, we have had to adapt quickly to ensure business continuity and have worked closely with our entire network who have all been fantastically supportive to help take babyballet online.

“The response we’ve had from parents and carers has also been really positive; they’re pleased that the children can keep attending classes and they can continue to support our small businesses.”

Client parents can get log-in information for the online platform from the school, and new pupils can also join in.

By Chris Murphy

Source: Bexley Times

Dumbarton gym goers offer to continuing paying fees to keep business going

March 27, 2020

Dozens of fitness fanatics have voluntarily vowed to continue paying their monthly fees at a Dumbarton gym to help keep the business alive during the coronavirus crisis.

Energie Fitness – which is a family-run independent franchise – was forced to close its doors on Friday after the government announced a lockdown on all gyms and leisure facilities.

This was a major blow to management at the High Street gym because they have worked tirelessly to build their business since opening just over a year ago.

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

They vowed to stick by their members by offering a freeze on fees for the duration of the shutdown, but also made a special request that customers choose to continue paying their direct debits to help pay staff and keep the business alive.

A message was posted on the gym’s Facebook page on Saturday and an email was circulated to all members.

It reads: “Following guidance from central government and Public Health England in relation to Covid-19, our club will be temporarily closed until further notice.

“At this stage we don’t know how long we’ll be closed. We’ll only re-open again when it’s safe to do so.

“We respect that in this situation you will not have access to our club and for this reason you are able to freeze your membership free of charge for the period of closure. There is no need to cancel your membership.

Related: Fitness Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“Before you take this action, however, we want to offer you another option. Our business relies on your support as members and during this unprecedented crisis we are going to be under real pressure to sustain our livelihoods and those of our staff.

“It is for this reason that we are appealing to you to choose not to freeze or cancel your membership. We really want to ensure that when this is all over, we/you still have a gym to come back to.”

Management then requested that people who can afford it continue paying their currently monthly fees, with the promise of being entered into a prize draw, a free personal trainer session, and two free drinks from the juice bar for their loyalty.

The statement added: “We know is a lot to ask, but if you can and you are willing to continue to commit to your fees as normal then we will give you a lot more on top both on your return and in the future.”

Members quickly responded positively online, with almost 60 people promising to continue voluntarily paying their gym membership fees, which range between £20 and £28 per month.

Related: énergie Fitness Franchise

Even more people have been emailing gym management promising to continue paying.

On Facebook, David McGroarty wrote: “Happy to keep my membership running and hope you’re back open soon. Good luck to all the staff during this difficult time.”

Laura Graham asked if customers continued paying would Energie Fitness ensure their staff were paid. When management said yes, she replied: “It’s a yes then.”

Laura Mountain-Bamling commented: “I would have to pay the fee as normal if I only went once in a month and wouldn’t grumble, so not gonna worry.

“More important support you staying open when all this blows over.”

The other gyms in the area are at the Meadow Centre and Marinecraft Gym in Dumbarton, and Vale of Leven Swimming Pool, which are all council facilities, while Gym One in Vale of Leven Industrial Estate is privately run.

The Gym One team have also welcomed some members offering to continue pay direct debits, and posted a message on their Facebook page on Saturday, saying: “We as a business at this moment in time do not want to make any profit, our only goal is for the gym to remain place for when we re-open.

“We have always cared about our members, so if there’s anything we can do to support or help people please don’t hesitate to message.

“We understand the gym is a good escape for people, we will keep communicating with everyone as much as possible with regular updates.”

By Lennox Herald

Source: Daily Record

Cake Box Financially “Strong” As Covid-19 Forces Stores To Close

March 27, 2020

Cake Box Holdings PLC said on Tuesday it has a strong balance sheet as all of its franchised stores close.

Cake Box, which sells fresh cream cakes, has instructed all franchisees they should be closing down their stores until UK government advice on Covid-19 changes.

The company said it is impossible to tell how long stores may be closed for, meaning no guidance can be given on the impact of Covid-19. As well as lost revenue, the company will also have to delay new store openings.

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

Cake Box confirmed trading in the year-to-date has met expectations, with its financial year ending on Tuesday next week.

“Cake Box has a strong balance sheet with a current cash balance of approximately GBP4 million. The group’s only debt is mortgage debt of GBP1.6 million secured by its freehold properties in Enfield and Coventry,” said Cake Box.

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“The group operates a franchise model and therefore has relatively low levels of fixed costs and will take all appropriate measures to conserve its cash during this period. The group notes and appreciates the various actions taken by the UK government to support businesses and employees during these challenging times and will assess how best to utilise these while the group’s stores remain closed,” said Cake Box.

Shares were 6.8% lower on Tuesday at midday in London at a price of 99.22 pence each.

By George Collard

Source: Morningstar

Just Cuts Plea for immediate government action

March 26, 2020

Just Cuts Founder and CEO Denis McFadden is pleading with Government to follow the UK and NZ precedent and close hairdressing salons to protect the health of stylists and clients until COVID-19 is under control.

The Government must also move to ensure a rent freeze on corporate leases and wage subsidies.

There are 2500 fully qualified stylists in the Just Cuts Australian network, predominantly in shopping centres, and 3500 globally. Just Cuts has 190 salons across all states and territories of Australia, 28 salons in NZ and 6 in the UK. The UK Government moved on 22 March to close salons with NZ following on 23 March. The Australian Government overnight excluded hairdressing from the list of non-essential services that needed to close and which included beauty salons.

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

Quotes attributable to Just Cuts Founder and CEO Denis McFadden

The health of Just Cuts’ Teams and Clients is and has always been at the core of everything we do. In fact, we have set the standard for salon hygiene practices throughout our 30 years of operation. But the reality is that the nature of hairdressing means that our stylists have to work in close proximity with their clients and are constantly touching them.

Hairdressing is not an essential service and the Government’s refusal to include hairdressing on its COVID-19 shut down list puts our stylists and clients in the firing line and their businesses more exposed than they need to be. At the moment, our franchise owners who are primarily Mums and Dads, are hamstrung. Without hairdressing being on the shut-down list, it is incredibly difficult for our franchise owners to take the heartbreaking but necessary steps to stand down workers or call for breathing space on leases.

Related: Health & Beauty Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Given the steps taken in the UK and NZ to close salons along with other non-essential businesses and given everything the medical experts are saying, we simply cannot justify the health or financial risk to our franchise owners, stylists and clients.

Australian National and State Governments, we are pleading with you. We understand that you’re trying to juggle protecting livelihoods and saving lives but this decision puts both at risk for our people and clients. Please act now.

Source: Business Franchise Australia

Creams ice cream parlour in Gravesend to open food bank to NHS and key workers

March 25, 2020

He has only been in the job three weeks but one worker at a popular ice cream parlour is doing his bit to help the community. Jamie Champion, 18, pitched the idea of turning the downstairs of Creams Cafe in Gravesend into a food bank after seeing the impact of panic buying in supermarkets.

His plan was swiftly given the backing of the Gravesend franchise owner, Shill Mathu who pledged £500 to the cause.

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

He said: “Creams food bank is a unique opportunity for our small local business to give back to our community.

“We are able to provide a safe place within our Creams facilities access basic food and essentials to those most in need.

“We fully understand and appreciate, that due to the current situation, these essentials are near impossible to buy with ease due to the panic shopping many people are experiencing.”

The food bank will serve pensioners, those with younger children, emergency services crews and NHS staff who struggle to access basic goods at the shops.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Jamie, whose mum works as a nurse at Darent Valley Hospital, has rallied his co-workers to get behind the idea and “enhance the sense of community in and around Gravesend”.

He said: “Our amazing NHS Staff work day and night, ridiculous shifts on horrid pay, now with this pandemic everyone is panic buying leaving those who help us with very limited to no selection on goods.

“We will be open to provide goods and everyday essentials to these brave and dedicated workers of the NHS and emergency service staff.”

Related: Creams Cafe Franchise

The team ask NHS workers to provide some form of ID in order to access the facility.

Staff who live locally will also deliver food parcels to anyone self isolating, who is vulnerable or requires assistance.

People are encouraged to donate food items and essential items directly to the facility when able or arrange for them to be picked up by staff.

By Sean Delaney

Source: Kent Online

Subway to close all stores from 5pm today to help contain outbreak

March 23, 2020

Subway is the latest chain to announce it will be shutting up shop today, with stores closing from 5pm in an effort to tackle the coronavirus outbreak.

Subway is temporarily closing all of its stores in the UK and Ireland from 5pm today.

In a message to customers, the sandwich chain said it wished there was another way, but added that it was taking the decision to try and keep people healthier for longer.

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

Franchise owners said they would still be donating food to frontline workers over the next few days.

It added that it would be back as soon as it could.

It is the latest food and drink firm to close today as the coronavirus outbreak intensifies, following similar announcements by from McDonalds, Nando’s and Costa Coffee.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We want to do everything in our power to protect our loyal guests, dedicated franchise owners and amazing sandwich artists,” the chain said.

“So, for that reason, we have authorised all our franchise owners to close their stores in the United Kingdom and Ireland from 5pm today (23rd March 2020), until further notice.

“We believe this is the best things to help support social distancing and keep everyone as healthy as possible for as long as possible.

Related: Subway Franchise

“However, many franchise owners are continuing to support the nation’s frontline workers in their amazing efforts, by donating food responsibly, over the next few days.

“We’ll be back with you as soon as we can.”

By James Andrews

Source: Mirror

Minuteman Press Expands Conversion Program Helping Independent Print Shops Sell a Printing Business

March 22, 2020

Minuteman Press International, the world’s leading design, marketing, and printing franchise, has continued to see high interest from independent print shop owners who are looking to sell a printing business. As a result, Minuteman Press is expanding its conversion program that helps independent printers sell their printing business and secure an exit strategy. Over the past 36 months, Minuteman Press has assisted over 150 independent print center owners sell their business.


How the Minuteman Press Program Works

With over 45 years of experience in the printing industry, Minuteman Press International has the unique ability to sell independent print shops to a wider pool of qualified buyers. The Minuteman Press team will market independent print centers, qualify potential prospects by educating them on both the industry and the business, assist in obtaining financing, and provide training and continued onsite support to the new owner. Qualifying independent print shops will not be charged a fee or commission on the sale.

Minuteman Press International remains at the forefront of the modern printing industry and the franchisor offers the proper business model that successfully addresses the above key points. “At Minuteman Press, our goal is to help our franchisees thrive as business owners by helping them leverage our knowledge (through comprehensive training and ongoing support) as well as our business model, branding, mass purchasing power, software, and research and development capabilities,” says Bob Titus, Minuteman Press International CEO.

Related: Printing Franchise UK – Should You Invest In UK Printing Franchises?

Win-Win Market for Business Buyers and Sellers

Domenic Tassielli was looking for help in selling his independent printing business Digital Print Services in Kent, Washington. Domenic took advantage of Minuteman Press International’s conversion program and was able to sell his business to Dawn and Jeff Brown, who now own their full-service Minuteman Press design, marketing, and printing franchise in Kent.

Domenic says, “I met with Regional Vice President Chris Jutt after answering a letter Minuteman Press had sent me. Approximately 12 months later, they helped me successfully sell my store at a fair market price. I would recommend Minuteman Press to anyone who might be considering selling their printing business to meet with them to see what they might be able to do for you.”

Related: Print & Sign Franchise Opportunities

For the buyers Dawn and Jeff Brown, buying their Minuteman Press franchise in Kent simply made sense. Dawn says, “We chose Minuteman Press International for a few reasons. The first was that their core values aligned with our own. Minuteman is still a family-owned franchise business and that appealed to us. It had that small-town feel, but with the resources of an international company. We also liked how as franchisees we had a full support system behind us as owners.”

Chris Jutt is Minuteman Press International Regional Vice President for the Pacific Northwest. Chris and the team at Minuteman Press were instrumental in finding a qualified buyer for Domenic and then helping Dawn and Jeff transition to business ownership. This created a win-win situation for both the seller and buyer.

Chris says, “At Minuteman, our focus is to help put aspiring entrepreneurs like Dawn and Jeff Brown into business and provide them with full training and ongoing support. With our conversion program, we are able to assist independent printers like Domenic who are looking to sell a printing business find qualified buyers like Dawn and Jeff.”

Related: Minuteman Press Franchise

Minuteman is a Viable Option for Print Shop Owners Who Want to Secure an Exit Strategy

For qualifying independent print shop owners, Minuteman Press will:

1) Attract potential buyers through local and national marketing campaigns

2) Qualify prospects and assist in obtaining financing

3) Assist in coordinating the sale and transition to a new owner

4) Provide training to the new owner and support them in business

5) Ensure the legacy of your business by continuing a high level of quality and service all for 0% commission

Mutually Beneficial Transition

Jack Panzer, Regional Vice President in Arizona, is pleased to be part of a mutually beneficial transition that allows the independent print shop owner and the new franchisee to meet their respective goals. Jack says, “It is personally satisfying to have helped numerous independent printers sell a printing business over the years and convert those businesses to Minuteman Press franchises after the sale. This can be tremendously beneficial to the outgoing owner because we have seen that most independent printers don’t have an exit strategy as they approach retirement age or are simply looking for the best way to sell and enter that next stage of their lives. They haven’t thought about how they will find a qualified buyer, what it will cost them to find the buyer, and how they will train the buyer. That is where we come in because Minuteman Press International can do all of this for the seller while also helping the buyer make a smooth transition to business ownership regardless of their level of experience.”

Source: Business Wire