Freshly Chopped Opens New Stores In Leicester And Kildare

August 7, 2020

Freshly Chopped has today announced the opening of two new stores in Ireland and the UK.

The two new outlets will be located at Junction 14 in Monasterevin, Co Kildare, and HGS The Stage in Leicester in the UK, creating 10 jobs per outlet.

“When we founded Freshly Chopped in 2012, our mission was to make it as easy as possible for people to eat healthily and it’s encouraging that in spite of all that is happening we are continuing on this mission,” said Brian Lee, co-founder and managing director of Chopped.

“There’s no doubt it has been a challenging few months for everyone but these two new outlets represent a belief that in a post-Covid world, people will want fresh, healthy food on the go even more.

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

First UK Franchise

Freshly Chopped’s new outlet in HGS The Stage in Leicester will be the only food offering in a forecourt opened by Joe Hockenhall and his son Peter of Hockenhall Garages Ltd.

This is the first franchise outlet for Freshly Chopped in the UK and follows the successful opening of a company-owned Freshly Chopped in Manchester in 2019.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We believe there is still massive potential for growth in the UK. With thousands of motorists passing each day, our new outlet in Leicester will act as a shop window for more franchisees in the UK to get to know our offering better,” Lee addd.

The company said that Freshly Chopped’s new outlet in Co Kildare is the third franchise outlet taken by The Lidon Group.

Article by Donna Ahern

Source: Checkout

Franchise Brands looking for acquisitions as it emerges from lockdown

August 6, 2020

Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN) said revenues rose by 21% in the half-year to end-June, 2020, and all its businesses are now up and running again as coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic restrictions ease.

Turnover was boosted by the acquisition of Willow Pumps, which like its other B2B business, MetroRod, was classified an essential business during the lockdown.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

Franchise Brands’ consumer business were shut due to the restrictions and group like-for-like revenue dropped to £18mln from £20.1mln during the half-year. Underlying profits (adjusted EBITDA) increased by 13% to £2.8mln, though after charges related to COVID-19, statutory profits fell to £0.9mln from £1.8mln.

The interim dividend was maintained at 0.3p.

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

In the results statement, Stephen Hemsley, Franchise Brands’ executive chairman, said it had been a robust first half with a strong first quarter followed by a period of tight cost control during the lockdown period.

“This highlights the underlying resilience of our business model, underpinned by our network of 435 franchisees supporting a broad range of commercial and domestic customers.

Related: Metro Rod Franchise

“Following a successful [£13.6mln] Placing, our strengthened balance sheet will allow us to take advantage of both organic growth opportunities and earnings-enhancing acquisitions as the lockdown eases,” he added.

By Philip Whiterow

Source: Proactive Investors

Shuttercraft nominated for major franchising award

August 5, 2020

Shuttercraft has been shortlisted in the Business Transformation category at the bfa HSBC British Franchise Awards, to be held at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

Shuttercraft is a business that imports and sells products via the brand S:CRAFT to both trade partners and franchise partners across the UK. The products sold are Plantation Shutters and Blinds. The franchises across the UK provide a survey, supply and fit service and only sell S:CRAFT products to their customers. Shuttercraft generates the leads for its franchises centrally – supported by local advertising.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

“The team have worked so hard this last 18 months, pushing boundaries, stepping out of their comfort zones, and striving for change in order to provide the very best service to and for our network. Being shortlisted for the Business Transformation award, amongst such fantastic other entries, has been a massive recognition of the team’s dedication to the development of the franchise. We are genuinely rather overwhelmed to have reached this stage,” said Lisa Stead, Franchise Manager at Shuttercraft.

The awards evening is the flagship event in the franchising calendar and getting a nomination in itself is an achievement, proving the business works ethically and in the best interests of franchisees and staff, beating many other franchise systems who also entered.

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the British Franchising Association, congratulated the shutters and blinds company:

“The transformation of this business sits in its franchise type, with a clear shift from an operator van franchise to a managerial franchise model. Formerly, it was very difficult for franchisees to successfully scale up the business. Since the new model was launched, 12 new franchisees have joined the network and feedback shows that the change has transformed the business.”

Related: Shuttercraft Franchise

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchising, HSBC, said:

“In order to change the franchise structure, the entire model was overhauled. There is now more focus on bespoke technology, an increase in marketing, a larger head office and more opportunities to engage as a network. These are just some of the changes in the past two years.”

Shuttercraft will go head-to-head against two other franchise systems in November.

By Martin Stone

Source: BDaily

Greggs posts £62m loss but remains optimistic as sales begin to rebound

August 4, 2020

The chief executive of Greggs has hailed the firm’s resilience after latest figures showed it swung to a loss during the coronavirus crisis but saw sales return to almost three-quarters of normal levels.

The food-on-the-go group posted a £62.2m loss for the first six months of the year, compared to profit of £36.7m this time last year, and sales were also down 45% to £300.6m. The firm closed all 2,025 of its shops during lockdown, but has now reopened all but seven sites in the Leicester area, helping sales to last week reach 72% of where they were during the same week last year.

Chief executive Roger Whiteside said: “Following successive years of unbroken growth Greggs made a great start to 2020, coming into the year with momentum and clear strategic plans.

“The strength of our business model enabled us to secure the liquidity needed to support our business through the current crisis and then to adapt our operation and strategic investment plans in response to the new environment.

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

“I want to thank the amazing team of people in our business who have risen to the challenges created by this crisis both in supporting the wider community and working together to redesign our operation to work safely under these new conditions.

“Greggs is now well prepared to deal with the challenges of social distancing and operate through the conditions we are faced with. Greggs remains a much-loved brand with long-term growth opportunities and the business is better placed to adapt to new conditions than ever before.”

Looking ahead, Greggs said it will continue to open or relocate more stores.

In the first half of 2020 it opened 20 new shops (including seven franchised units) and closed 45 shops, giving a total estate of 2,025 shops, of which 307 are franchise units. Over the year as a whole it now expects to open around 60 shops and close about 50.

In an interview on the BBC’s Today programme, Mr Whiteside said the company had managed to bring back 75% of its 25,000 staff, with the rest on furlough.

He said Greggs planned to continue using the furlough scheme until October when it comes to an end, and was optimistic that more workers could be brought back as the economy improved and demand grew.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The sausage roll champion’s CEO said the latest sales figures were especially encouraging as so many people are continuing to work from home.

Mr Whiteside said: “We’ve been really quite encouraged with how they’ve started to trade, given how many people are working from home and how footfall figures show that there are very few people about, so we’re trading now already at 72% of 2019’s levels, which is encouraging and ticking along in the right direction.

“The vast majority of Greggs customers simply can’t work from home, office workers form a portion of our customer base but the vast majority, over 80%, simply can’t work from home or aren’t working at all – they are students or retired. So, there is some exposure to office working but not as complete as some might think so we’re more resilient than many other brands because of the raw appeal of the types of products we sell to all types of customer and the locations. Yes some are near offices but the vast majority are nowhere near offices.

“The ones that have been most affected are near public transport, where we are 65% down. People simply aren’t using those shops. And those in city centres and office based working are down 45% but the majority of our shops are in open towns and suburbs or in locations which are accessed by car, and car travel has picked up as a result of public transport going down. We’ve got compensating areas doing better to compensate for those areas that are office-bound.”

When asked about keeping staff on as furlough coming to an end Mr Whiteside said he was optimistic Greggs would be bringing all 25,000 workers back.

He said: “We want the rest to remain on furlough and we want that demand to keep moving up so that we create more work for more people to come back to work. I remain hopeful that we’ve got until the end of October for that trend to continue.

“Who knows, the thing about this whole environment is its uncertainty. Who knows how things will get better or indeed get worse? What we have shown is that we’re prepared to and able to react and adapt to whatever the conditions are that are thrown at us but I want to be optimistic about the possibility that the economy can continue to get back to normal, whatever that is, in the course of the next few months until the end of October.”

Greggs shares remained steady following the announcement, trading at 1465p, 0.8% up, at the time of writing.

By Coreena Ford

Source: Business Live

Tutor Doctor Nominated For Major Franchising Award

August 3, 2020

Tutor Doctor has been shortlisted in the Leadership & Culture category at the BFA HSBC British Franchise Awards, to be held at the Vox, Birmingham, on November 30.

The awards evening is the flagship event in the franchising calendar and getting a nomination in itself is an achievement, proving the business works ethically and in the best interests of franchisees and staff, beating many other franchise systems who also entered.

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Commenting on the nomination, Frank Milner, President of Tutor Doctor. said:

“For the past 10 years, we have strived to be the best there is and this shortlisting is great recognition of that. Over the course of the decade, the brand has changed in many ways, including a total rebrand, but there’s two things that have remained the same – our mission and values. Now, to be recognised for it in all its glory is a very proud moment indeed.”

Related: Education Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Pip Wilkins QFP, CEO of the British Franchising Association, congratulated the franchise:

“The mission is quite clear – help students’ lives, and in order to do this the company focuses on values of understanding, ingenuity, ownership, curiosity and grit. But it’s essential for the business that it’s not only students that learn, as the network’s CPD is a major focus at head office.”

Related: Tutor Doctor Franchise

Andrew Brattesani, head of franchising, HSBC, said:

“Monthly newsletters, quarterly reviews, a head office which is 100 percent open plan and an open door policy help make the company’s missions and values a reality as leadership and culture underpin everything the company does.”

Tutor Doctor will go head-to-head against three other franchise systems in November.

Source: Fe News

Ecocleen Cleaning Million Of Square Feet Of Schools A Day

August 3, 2020

Ecocleen, a commercial contract cleaning provider, has been servicing 10 million square feet of schools daily to aid the reopening of education facilities across the United Kingdom, according to a press release.

With specialist cleaning expertise and local account management, the company adapted its offering to meet individual school needs and expectations during this unprecedented period. This adaption ensures education facilities remain a safe and hygienic environment for students, teachers and parents.

Related: Cleaning Franchises in the UK – Here’s All You Need to Know

The return to school has been controversial and unpopular with many parents and staff, who are concerned about the safety and practicalities of children returning to the classroom. Ecocleen has helped to provide certainty and reassurance by ensuring schools are fully and properly prepared when children return. Since schools started reopening in the U.K. in June, Ecocleen has adjusted its cleaning specifications and introduced daily cleaning throughout school hours, focusing on main contact points to help limit the risk of cross contamination.

Related: Cleaning Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“The effects of COVID-19 have been paramount, and it’s had a huge impact on the education sector in particular. We’re proud to have helped students, teachers and parents return to some sense of normalcy by providing them with what they need to safeguard their school,” says Jean-Henri Beukes, managing director at Ecocleen. “Schools are not experts in cleaning — they are there to educate, as well as look after their teachers and students. We’re on hand to understand the unique needs of cleaning schools, colleges and nurseries, and help them feel safe as education facilities continue reopening.”

Related: Ecocleen Franchise

As a national service provider with regional franchise ownership, Ecocleen has provided schools with a local cleaning solution backed by nationwide standards, systems and support. This means the education community has benefited from shared specialist knowledge, advanced cleaning techniques and technological innovation. The team has also been available to provide advice and best practices to ensure schools and their staff completely understand infection control procedures and the importance of routine cleaning to reduce the spread of infection.

Source: Clean Link