Wok&Grow! How an Asian noodle bar franchise continues to grow in a difficult economy

November 10, 2020

Lime Licensing Group fast-tracks Wok&Go’s expansion across the UK with 100 stores set to open over the next five years.

Despite the state of the economy, franchising is still holding up well, as is demonstrated by Asian noodle bar concept Wok&Go which is set to open 100 stores in the next five years thanks to its recent collaboration with award-winning Lime Licensing Group.

Lime Licensing Group regional director Richard Pakey says that, although this is not the ideal time for anyone in the hospitality industry, he noticed that the owner of Wok&Go was uniquely poised for growth due to its ability to create a unique offering in the franchise market.

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Lime Licensing Group is proud to have supported the franchising industry for 27 consecutive years, and now has no fewer than four regional offices across the UK, along with a new office in Canada (launched during lockdown!)

Lime Licensing Group is committed to rolling out elite franchising blueprints and then assisting those brands to find new franchisees. It has also seen huge expansion in the marketplace in recent months and is well positioned for the future.

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“Working with Wok&Go has been a real pleasure so far,” explained Richard. “As consultants we look for the ‘best fit’ in a franchisee and the Wok&Go staff are such a great bunch that we just know that when we put the best people in front of them, they will be extremely keen to proceed. Our role simply becomes so much easier when you have relationships like this; the future is looking extremely positive for both of our companies.”

Related: Wok&Go Franchise

Lime Licensing Group will also be announcing more official sign-ups of franchisees officially over the coming weeks, and is pleased to report that Wok&Go is the fastest-growing noodle bar concept in the UK.

Source: Journalism

Self-storage company easyStorage launches franchise in Dorset

November 9, 2020

A SELF-storage company that brings “pods” to customers’ doors has welcomed its first franchisees based in Dorset.

Family and business partners Spencer Bowley, Anita Bowley and Connor Budny will run easyStorage, covering the county and its neighbours Hampshire, Wiltshire and Somerset.

easyStorage, part of a family of brands founded by Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou, promises affordable self-storage to individuals and businesses.

It brings ‘easyPods’ to customers’ doors and takes them away to a storage facility, where they can be stacked high and deep for maximum efficiency.

The company says the method saves space in depots and it can pass on the savings to customers.

Spencer and Anita Bowley have run other businesses in the area, while Spencer’s son Connor is a marketing graduate setting out on his first business venture.

Their storage facility is in Bournemouth but they plan to have other locations across their territory.

Nigel Dawson, franchise director and co-founder at easyStorage, said: “We are thrilled to welcome Spencer, Anita and Connor to our franchise offering in the UK and welcome them to the easyStorage team.

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“They will be providing their customers in the south of England with affordable mobile storage from their base in Dorset and their ambition and drive is well-suited to the easyStorage brand.

“Our comprehensive training and investment in smart technology means they can really hit the ground running and we look forward to the launch of their business franchise.”

Mr Bowley said: “As multi-business owners we are really excited to start this new venture with a product, brand and USP (unique selling proposition) we really believe in.

“We heard about the opportunity through a business network we regularly meet with and it was too good not to pursue. It will be the first time my son, Connor, is part of the business and he has hit the ground running. We are a strong family business with the attention to detail and drive needed to make everything we do as successful as we can, and our new easyStorage venture will be no exception.”

By Darren Slade

Source: Bournemouth Echo

Snap Fitness takes back UK and Ireland franchising rights from master developer

November 4, 2020

Snap Fitness has ended its agreement with its master franchisee for the UK and Ireland markets, by ‘reacquiring’ the territory.

Snap had signed a master development agreement with fitness startup TwentyTwoYards in 2014, with the aim of opening 200 locations in four years.

That was followed by the signing of a development plan with MSG Life in 2016, which included plans to open 30 new clubs.

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However, progress has been slower than expected and according to the Snap Fitness UK website, there are currently only 74 gyms across the UK and Ireland.

TwentyTwoYards was set up in 2014 by Australian businessmen and fitness enthusiasts, Matt Quinn and Scott Jones.

Snap told HCM it will “continue to invest internally within the quickly growing UK market”, with the investments including infrastructure development, club growth, franchise support and “innovative product and technology offerings”.

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As part of the move, Jon Cottam, previously MD Europe of Snap’s parent company, Lift Brands, has been named as CEO for the EMEA market.

“We have some incredible growth opportunities across our newly reacquired market,” said Alison McElroy, president, international and chief legal officer at Lift Brands.

“I know Jon will continue to excel in this new leadership role, managing the charge for both brands as we build business across EMEA.”

Related: Snap Fitness Franchise

Ty Menzies, global CEO of Lift Brands, added: “We will continue to look for additional opportunities to invest in operations, connecting our people – both locally and globally – as we help our Snap Fitness community weather the storm of COVID-19 together.”

Launched in 2003, Snap Fitness reached 100 clubs in Europe this year and is due to open its first site in Japan in November.

It currently has 2,000 clubs scheduled for development or already open across 20 countries.

Parent company Lift Brands also owns the YogaFit Studios franchise and Fitness On Demand service and is a minority partner in franchise operator 9Round.

By Tom Walker

Source: Leisure Opportunities

Co-op opens first franchise store in Scotland

November 3, 2020

Community retailer, Co-op, opened its first franchise store in Scotland at Stirling University on Thursday 22 October, with a Nisa partner.

The store, which will be managed and run by the Nisa partner, will deliver Co-op quality products and good prices conveniently to students and the community.

With a successful track record and the proven ability to deliver franchising at scale, Stirling University is the 14th Co-op franchise store. The retailer has demonstrated the flexibility of its model by offering a number of routes to market and through a mix of partners including university unions, independent retailers and its latest partnership with catering provider Gather & Gather.

Martin Rogers, Head of New Channels at Co-op said: “At the Co-op we are always looking for ways to reach new customers and members, and this a hugely exciting opportunity to grow our brand north of the border. Our franchise stores operate in exactly the same way as a company owned store and all of our partners have access to a full service model, receiving support, tools and training to enable them to grow their business with Co-op.

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“Our Co-op purpose is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference and we are looking to generate mutual value with likeminded partners and succeed together.”

As part of its strategy to get closer to communities and to what its customers want, need and, care about, franchising extends the reach of the brand and allows Co-op to reach new markets. The model provides a unique proposition for independent retailers who share the Co-op values and principles to become part of the Co-op community.

Located in the Andrew Miller building on the university’s campus, the store will be open to serve customers between 7am and midnight daily and it will also run on 100% renewable electricity. With an ATM and Seattle coffee point, Stirling University Co-op will focus on fresh heathy produce, award-winning wines, ready meals and pizzas, free-from and vegan products, Fairtrade, food-to-go and everyday essentials.

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Students who are Young Scot cardholders can pocket a 10% discount off groceries and contactless card payment limits up to £45 will be accepted, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

With safety of paramount importance Co-op has introduced strict measures since the outbreak of Covid-19 including rigorous cleanliness, social distancing, limiting the number of customers in store, protective screens at check-outs, and the wearing of visors and face-coverings. In addition, contactless card payment limits are increased to £45, making it easier, quicker and safer to shop.

By Fiona Briggs

Source: Retail Times

National award for Wirral home care owner Catharine Chalton

November 3, 2020

A WIRRAL home care company owner has picked up a national business award for leadership, mentorship, and business acumen.

Catharine Chalton, who owns Home Instead Senior Care Wirral, has been named Woman Franchisee of the Year 2020 in the Encouraging Women into Franchising (EWIF) awards.

EWIF is a not-for-profit organisation, providing advice and guidance to women looking for a route into the franchise industry. Their mission is to educate, inspire and empower women considering or involved in franchising through a network of Ambassadors.

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Catharine’s Wirral business is part of the Home Instead national franchise network which has 224 offices across the UK.

Catharine opened her home care company in 2007 with husband Mike and was recognised by the organisation for excelling in her role as both a franchisee and a representative for franchising.

Catharine has served on the board of the British Franchise Association since 2013. She is also highly active in her local community, with her office running their own charitable arm “The Wirral Care Foundation”, which supports small, local initiatives who may otherwise struggle to get

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Last year her Home Instead office achieved its highest ever turnover, with a team of 180 staff. The year also saw them deliver their millionth hour of care.

The award was presented to her by Amy Thomas, from McDonald’s Franchise Recruitment and Reputation, during a virtual ceremony.

Her office was awarded an ‘outstanding’ rating in 2019 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC), the regulator of care providers in England.

Chief executive of Home Instead, Martin Jones said: “Catharine is certainly a deserving winner for EWIF’s Woman Franchisee of the Year.

“I am very proud of her achievements and outstanding contribution to the Home Instead network, and the broader franchising sector.

Related: Home Instead Senior Care Franchise

“Congratulations to Catharine!”

Catharine commented: “I am overwhelmed and thrilled to have won this award.

“It means so much that I’ve been recognised, not only as a business owner, but as a woman who has had an influential effect on the British franchising industry.

“I’m proud to be a franchisee of Home Instead and to represent them through this prestigious award.”

By Craig Manning

Source: Wirral Globe

Oswestry-based swim teacher Kim up for national awards

November 2, 2020

AN OSWESTRY-BASED swim teacher is celebrated after being named as one of the best franchisees by her parent company.

Kim Pinnington, who has a team of coaches delivering lessons at Oswestry School, among other areas, was named the Puddle Ducks Franchisee of the Year 2020, and has also been listed as a finalist in two prestigious national awards: the NatWest EWIF (Encouraging Women into Franchising) Awards 2020 and a BFA (British Franchise Association) Awards 2020.

She is the owner of Puddle Ducks North West Midlands, south Cheshire and Wrexham, part of a nationwide swim school which provides innovative swimming classes for babies, toddlers and pre-schoolers aged newborn to four, as well as Swim Academy from four to 10 years.

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Managing director of Puddle Ducks, Jo Stone, said: “Kim is an inspirational woman and deserving finalist for these awards.

“I am very proud of her achievements and outstanding contribution to the Puddle Ducks franchising network.

“I wish Kim the very best for the awards.”

In February 2020, Kim was named as the Puddle Ducks Franchisee of the Year for 2020, recognising her monumental efforts in growing the business alongside providing the high-quality swimming lessons associated with the Puddle Ducks name. She is the newest Puddle Ducks franchisee to ever win this award!

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She has been described by colleagues as ‘working tirelessly’ to ensure not only the success of her business but also for securing the best opportunities and support for her team of teachers, office workers and poolside assistants.

The last year in particular has been difficult, not only for Kim but for the entire team. A key teaching pool that also housed one of Kim’s offices burnt down last July, but Kim tackled this setback calmly. She managed to turn this negative experience into a huge positive with new pools, new team members and new class recruits.

By Barrie White

Source: Border Counties Advertizer