Apache Pizza to create 400 new jobs at 20 new stores in north

March 31, 2022

IRELAND’S largest pizza chain Apache confirmed that it is creating 400 jobs in the north by opening 20 new pizzerias over the next year.

Fuelled by a 32 per cent increase in sales during lockdown, the Dublin-headquartered business says the new stores will be opened by new and existing franchisees, and Apache is actively seeking entrepreneurs to become new franchisees.

Locations it has identified for now include Carryduff, Moira, Dundonald, Strangford, Saintfield, Hillsborough, Comber, Crumlin, Whitehead, Dunmurry, Ormeau Road, Carnlough, Newtownabbey and Portstewart.

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Apache, which currently operates 19 stores in Northern Ireland, says the 400 new jobs include permanent, full-time and part-time positions for general managers, supervisors, team members and delivery drivers.

The chain was founded in Dublin in 1996 before expanding into Northern Ireland in 2016, and it currently operates 181 stores and employs 2,750 people across the island of Ireland.

“Our rapid expansion plan for Northern Ireland provides people with an immediate opportunity to secure local employment and to develop their careers locally,” Apache Pizza chief executive Martin Lyons said.

“We also have fantastic opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to run their own business and join us in being part of Ireland’s most recognisable and popular pizza chain.”

He added: “We’re delighted to expand our presence in Northern Ireland and to create these job and franchise opportunities.

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“Being local is what is driving our growth and rapid expansion plan, and our plan is to open a number of new stores every month.”

Apache Pizza has already commenced a recruitment drive and says it is seeking vibrant, self-motivated people with consumer-focused experience for all positions.

Those interested in becoming franchisees, who do not require previous business management experience, can also apply online at www.apachepizza.co.uk/franchise-opportunities.

Apache Pizza was founded by Robert Pendleton and his wife Emily Gore Grimes, who no longer manage the business.

It is now owned by Food Delivery Brands, the largest and most geographically diversified pizza delivery master franchiser in the world by store numbers and by OKR Group, Ireland’s leading QSR franchise operator.

By Gary McDonald

Source: The Irish News

Apollo Blinds celebrates its 50th anniversary

March 29, 2022

Apollo Blinds has kicked off a year of celebrations to mark its 50th birthday with a get-together of its franchisees in Glasgow.

The company – which is Britain’s biggest window blinds franchise – used its annual conference to formally mark its golden anniversary and unveiled plans to celebrate for the rest of the year. Apollo Blinds was founded in 1972 in Scotland, our founders started recruiting a network of distributors to sell the blinds they were manufacturing. Apollo Blinds moved to Glasgow, which coincided with a massive surge in the popularity of Venetian blinds.

And the business has not looked back since, according to Apollo Blinds’ Business Development Director Matt Thomas, who said that the franchise network has changed beyond recognition over the years – as the company celebrated at its first in-person conference since 2019.

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“Because of the restrictions around the Covid pandemic, this has been the first time we have been able to get everyone in the same place, and the opportunity to celebrate our 50th birthday has made it extra special,” said Matt.

“50 years is a big achievement for any business, and we’re proud that Apollo Blinds has stood the test of time, delivering great, high-quality made-to-measure window coverings that are installed by experts.

“A lot has changed over the last 50 years, but it’s reassuring to know that Apollo Blinds remains a brand that consumers trust and is also an attractive investment opportunity for people who want to run their own businesses as part of our network.”

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Matt noted that many franchises remain family affairs, with businesses being passed from one generation to another. Other established businesses have been sold on to new owners because they are profitable territories with a strong trading history.

He added that the business – which was one of the original members of the British Franchise Association (bfa) when it was formed in 1977 – has evolved over the years in two main ways. The first is that the range of products has expanded massively – the Apollo Blinds network now offers the widest collection of blinds, shutters, awnings and curtains in the UK. The second has been the growth of van-based franchises offering a free home consultation experience, which is proving as popular as ever with consumers who appreciate a local expert guiding them through the options.

Related: Apollo Blinds Franchise

“We’ve come a long way in 50 years, but our success is rooted in our principle of striving to be a retailer of superior-quality made-to-measure window coverings, which goes hand in hand with our installation service and is backed up a focus on excellent customer service,” Matt added.

“It was incredible to get all the franchisees back together again, and there is no better way to celebrate our 50th birthday than reflecting on all the reasons that have got us to this point – and also looking to the future of having brilliant franchisees who embody everything that’s good about Apollo Blinds.”

By Kirsty Hunt

Source: BDaily

Slim Chickens franchisee hatches 18th UK-based location

March 23, 2022

Faytetteville, Arkansas-based Slim Chickens has opened a store in Guilford, England at 22 Friary St., marking Boparan Restaurant Groups’ 18th location, according to a company press release.

The better-chicken brand has over 160 locations in the United States and the United Kingdom with over 800 in development.

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“As we continue to expand across the globe, we are grateful for having great franchise partners like Boparan Restaurant Group guiding our growth,” Jackie Lobdell, vice president of franchise development at Slim Chickens, said in the release. “Their passion for the Slim Chickens brand and dedication to bringing our amazing flavors and southern comfort environment to communities across the UK is admirable.”

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Source: Fast Casual

TaxAssist Accountants in Poole welcomes new owner

March 21, 2022

Martin and Liz Tapley have sold their franchise to new franchisee David Pearce.

In December 2021, after 14 highly successful years as TaxAssist Accountants, Martin and Liz Tapley realised their investment following a franchise resale to new franchisee David Pearce.

Martin looks back with pride when he considers how their practice developed over the years.

“A lot has happened and a lot has changed since we started out as TaxAssist franchisees in 2007,” he explains. “Our boys were seven and five years old and Liz, who had had a career break of nearly eight years, had never encountered a mouse – at least not the type of mouse required when working on a laptop – so the training proved to be beneficial from day one!

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“Within six months we proudly opened our first shopfront, (the franchise’s 50th at the time) and set about building our client base.

“Nearly 15 years later, and 1.9 miles from our original location, we are now happy to hand over the reins to David and his wife Adele who will be working with a fabulous team, who have helped us build a 400+ client base – and a brand that has become trusted, well-established and well known around the Poole area.

“We will remain life-long fans of the partnership we discovered, the team we worked with and the model we invested in – TaxAssist Accountants, so a big thank you to everyone involved in our journey. For us this was, without doubt, the most rewarding time in our careers.”

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Experienced accountant David is quick to praise Martin, Liz and their team for the business they have built up: “When I was carrying out my research and due diligence, this opportunity really stood out. The shop looks great and is brilliantly located, the practice has happy and engaged staff and was run very efficiently, with a solid client base and great reputation. This has ultimately meant that the transfer of ownership has been smooth, with minimal disruption to staff or clients.

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 “My wife and I are very excited to have joined the franchise and are looking forward to what the future holds for us as TaxAssist Accountants franchisees.”

 If you are interested in purchasing an established TaxAssist Accountants practice, we have a variety of franchises currently for sale all around the UK.

Award Win For Franchise Theatre School Community Champions

March 18, 2022

A theatre school franchise network has been rewarded for going above and beyond in their local communities during the exceptionally difficult days of the pandemic. Razzamataz Theatre Schools entered their Cumbrian schools for the Community Award in the FSB Awards and were delighted to be announced as winner.

The FSB is a non-profit organisation and the UK’s leading business campaigner. They have been helping small businesses and the self-employed achieve their ambitions for more than 45 years.

Razzamataz entered schools based in Carlisle, West Cumbria, and South Lakes for their dedicated work in the community. The judges were looking for evidence of businesses who get involved in initiatives that support their community and make a positive impact.

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The judges said: “The Razzamataz entry left the judges in no doubt that this is a business which goes above and beyond in its quest to make a real difference to the lives of all those people which it meets, and further than that to offer support to community activities and causes which will have a positive impact on young people and their families. We wish them every success in the UK Final and in their future endeavours.”

When schools closed during the first lockdown, the first response was for the wellbeing of the students, teachers, staff, and franchisees. Razzamataz knew that it was crucial to still provide a much-needed service for customers and maintain the businesses for franchisees. Razzamataz provided numerous Online Workshops/Masterclasses for students in addition to their weekly sessions. This was on top of many other activities such as bedtime stories, kitchen discos, Senior’s nights in and regularly checking in with students and families for a wellbeing chat.

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The impact of the work in the community has created a positive effect for the lives of families within the area, not just students who attend the schools. This has included several initiatives including:

  • Sponsoring a Football Sports Kit for Yanwath Primary School.
  • Holding a Baby Bundles Collection collecting hundreds of baby items to donate to Baby Bundles who distribute these to mothers and babies in need, within the local community.
  • Sponsoring The Reading Bus at Beaconside Primary School.
  • Supporting CFM Radio Cash for Kids appeal by donating toys to their mission Christmas campaign.
  • Delivered exciting Tots and Tiny Tots Sessions free of charge to many local playgroups as they reopened their doors after the pandemic.
  • Hosting a ‘Strictly Come Razzing’ event which brought together the Razzamataz families to raise over £8000 for local charities.
  • Raising money for CFM Cash for Kids, The Great North Air Ambulance and Razzamataz Future Fund.

Related: Razzamataz Franchise

“The pandemic was difficult for so many, and it hit our industry particularly badly,” says Denise Huton-Gosney, MD and Founder of Razzamataz. “I’m so proud of the franchisees across the network who went over and above for our customers and communities and used the performing arts to bring people together and achieve amazing results. Razzamataz allows for people’s passion and purpose to collide. Franchisees not only mentor their students, but also their teams of teachers which in turn have a positive impact on their communities. The discipline and self-belief we instill in children build their confidence and allow them to go on and achieve their dreams, whatever they may be.”

Competition for the entry was tough but the Cumbrian Razzamataz franchisees impressed the judges with their commitment on several levels. They will now be entered into the prestigious UK final on Thursday 19th May in Glasgow, with a chance to be crowned the UK Small Business of the Year.

The FSB Award win topped off an exciting week for the network. Earlier on, some of the Razzamataz Head Office team and franchisees celebrated at the Elite Franchise Top 100 (EF100) event after being named as one of the UK’s top franchise opportunities from hundreds of entries across every sector.

Established in 2017 in association with HSBC, it recognises the sector’s brightest businesses and ranks them according to a broad range of criteria; from the financial performance and heritage, to their contribution to the community and the way they embrace innovation.

Source: Franchising

German Doner Kebab Appoints New Managing Director For UK

March 16, 2022

German Doner Kebab has appointed Sofia Dimen as its new Managing Director for UK.

Sofia is the Founder of Basepoint Consulting and former Senior Commercial Consultant at OXYGY Ltd, a Bird & Bird International Law Firm, where she has worked with a range of top brands across the food and beverage sector including Greggs, Pret A Manger, Halo Burger, Daimon Brewery, Wagamama, amongst others.

Sofia has worked with many of the major high street brands to improve the understanding of the franchisee and franchisor relationship through behaviours and processes as well as auditing departments and boosting profitability from multinational PLCs to private equity and founder start-ups.

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Sofia replaces Daniel Bunce who was recently promoted to GDK International Global COO role to spearhead the brand’s international growth plans.

The past year saw the brand deliver a significant rise in UK total sales, up 75 per cent from the previous 12 months, with same-store sales for 2021 also up 27 per cent on 2020.

German Doner Kebab is revolutionising the kebab in the UK, bringing a fresh, high-quality taste sensation that has made it the number one spot to enjoy a kebab.

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Freshly prepared in front of customers, the game-changing kebabs are made using premium, lean, succulent meats and fresh local vegetables, served in handmade toasted breads with unique signature sauces.

Now employing over 3500 people in its restaurants throughout the country.

“I am excited to be joining German Doner Kebab and stepping into the role of MD,” said Sofia Dimen.

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Imran Sayeed, Group CEO said: “Sofia brings new expertise and talent to our leadership team and we are thrilled to welcome her into the GDK family as we build our brand awareness and bring an offering that is truly connecting with the Gen Z and Millennial audience.

Source: Franchising

Popular travelling taverna to open first permanent Greek restaurant

March 15, 2022

A popular mobile taverna restaurant has announced it plans to open its first permanent restaurant. And the new venue will be in East Staffordshire.

The Travelling Taverna has announced it has secured its first unit from where it will run a franchise operation. This means a permanent restaurant is set to be opening in Uttoxeter.

The company has said that it will be providing the same food, with dine-in and takeaway options as it does through its mobile operation. There will also be Greek desserts and drinks on offer. The travelling business has become such a success it has been franchised nationally, with the potential Uttoxeter venue being the first to be dine-in.

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The exact location of the new restaurant is yet to be confirmed with a spokesperson from the firm saying: “Stay tuned for updates.” The pop-up grill operation moves around the country, offering a wide range of Greek food, including marinated chicken skewers on freshly prepared flatbreads as well as vegetarian options such as feta salads and grilled halloumi.

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The travelling restaurant was started in 2020 during the covid lockdown by Konstantinos ‘Connie’ Eleftheriou of the Bubble Inn gastro pubs group, which includes one in Tutbury, East Staffordshire. Mr Eleftheriou had been in the food industry for 12 years before setting up the franchise, which has run its pop-up taverna at pubs in Burton and Swadlincote.

By George Bunn

Source: Staffordshire Live

Ted Baker signs new UK franchise deal with Aldrich Group

March 14, 2022

Ted Baker has signed a new licence franchise agreement with the Aldrich Group that will see the retailer potentially open several new stores.

The deal also hopes to deliver on the brand’s strategic objectives and continue expanding on Ted Baker’s in-store experiences.

In a statement on the franchisee’s website, the company’s CEO said: “This is a significant opportunity for Ted Baker to increase its bricks and mortar presence across the UK without the capital expenditure and allowing them to focus on their product and growth.”

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The statement continued: “The addition of Ted Baker will be a complement to our existing portfolio of premium franchise and own brand stores. Our stores create unique and exquisite experiences for a brand’s customer in a completely ‘on brand’ environment. Our attention to detail is unrivalled.”

The duo plans to open a minimum of 30 UK-based stores over the next 10 years as it looks to make a seamless transition from its own brand and franchise stores.

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By Rachel Douglass

Source: Fashion United

Harpenden musical mum on 30-year-old idea that spawned Monkey Music

March 9, 2022

Thirty years ago, a Harpenden mum had an idea on how to introduce her baby daughter to music which has since expanded into Monkey Music; a celebrated programme for young children…

When Angie Coates came up with a plan to introduce her baby to the joys of music, little did she know it would form the basis of an award-winning UK business that has gone from strength to strength over the past 30 years.

Graduating from London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama, classically trained musician Angie took to the road, touring and performing and embracing her passion for music as a pianist and oboist. ‘I loved it,’ she says, ‘but I fell pregnant at the relatively young age of 26 and felt life on the road as a musician no longer worked for me.’

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Keen to share her love of music with her daughter, Millie, Angie searched for baby music classes, but failed to find anything suitable. ‘At the time, there was nothing where I lived in London to take my baby along to for music,’ she explains.

‘Any music classes were very formal, but I wanted something fun to learn to. I decided to write my own curriculum, for my own use and for friends and family, and it’s ended up being what it is today – Monkey Music.’

Founded by Angie in 1992, Monkey Music offers a progressive curriculum split into four stages – Rock ‘n’ Roll from three months, Heigh Ho for toddlers, Jiggety Jig for two and three years and Ding Dong for three and four year olds.

‘I actually wrote the second stage first, as my own baby was coming up to one,’ says Angie, who grew up in Harpenden and raised her children there, after a spell living in London. ‘I had five children over a 15-year period, so Monkey Music has grown with my own children.’

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The focus is on making music fun, while being educational.

‘I trained as a classical musician on oboe and piano, which is good training to have, but it can be restricting, so I had my eye on making music less formal and more fun for my own children.’

Angie’s passion is also driven by a clear childhood memory. ‘In your life, you have key moments that make you who you are. When I was very young, I was naturally very musical, but I hated playing the recorder. I was about seven and my mum said I had to carry on with it because I’d only given up Brownies the week before.

‘I went on to learn the clarinet. If I had given up the recorder then, I probably wouldn’t be in music now. It was sheer luck I carried on, and I’ve had the most wonderful life in music. I don’t want anyone else to risk giving it up, and I think that is my motivation for making music fun.’

To celebrate Monkey Music’s 30th anniversary, Angie is keen to organise a reunion of those who took part in her first ever class, saying, ‘I can remember them all very clearly. When I started out, I was teaching with cassette tapes and then the internet came along, and now we have downloads, so teaching is very much more agile.

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‘There came a time when I had 500 customers a week I was teaching, and my brother said I needed to franchise it as a business. I was a musician and didn’t know what it meant.

‘He left his career as a lawyer to be Monkey Music’s director and, between us, we were able to make it accessible to parents and children, and to people wanting to run their own business. It enabled me to grow and extend the reach of the business.’

Monkey Music now has 50 franchises and 150 teachers across the UK, with 700 hours of classes taught each week.

‘To start with we grew organically, because I was testing it out, and our teachers became franchisees,’ explains Angie. ‘We grew slowly, which was good because it gave a sound understanding of what we were trying to achieve.

‘We have a very long, thorough recruitment process because it’s really important to recruit the right people, and we insist on high levels of training. I always interview everybody, and I’m involved in the training. I’m a stickler for quality and not quantity. I don’t think you can rush growing a really sound reputation.

‘We take people from all walks of life because the curriculum is written so it can be taught by non-musicians, but they need a love of music and to understand it’s importance in child development.’

So what is music’s importance to a child’s development?
‘Linguistically, singing is important for children, and there are so many different things we do to support those early stages of speech development. Even with tiny babies, it’s about physical, social and emotional development. It’s at the heart of what we do together as a group.’

Monkey Music classes are jam-packed with musical and sensory activities, using props, instruments, bubbles and more. ‘We don’t place any demands on the children,’ says Angie, ‘and one of the things people often say to us is that they can enjoy the company of their own child without feeling they have to make conversation.

‘It’s a privilege to be in a relationship with our customers at a very special time in their lives, and we respect that. I wouldn’t enjoy running a business that didn’t have that genuine heart.’

Angie is celebrating her brainchild being named the number one children’s music franchise in the UK and making it into this year’s Elite Franchise Top 100, competing against household brands such as Subway and Vodafone to take 39th place.

The prestigious franchising list ranks businesses in the sector according to a broad range of criteria, including financial performance, heritage, innovation and contribution to the community.

‘We’re incredibly proud, and we have finished in the top 50 every year since the Elite Franchise Top 100 began in 2017.’

Angie says that Monkey Music is all about sharing precious time together and while the pandemic has ‘taken its toll on many of our Monkey Music families across the UK’ music has helped promote a general sense of wellbeing.

‘We are constantly raising the standards within the children’s music sector and believe this ranking will set us apart once again. It is a welcome boost for the year ahead.’

Looking to the future, she adds: ‘The driving force has always been to extend the reach of what we do, so the aim is to continue to expand and grow.’

By Richard Young

Source: GBL

Papa John’s multi-unit franchisee smashes target for store openings

March 8, 2022

A new Papa John’s multi-unit franchisee team in the North West has smashed its target of opening six stores in its first year – and vowed to take on more projects following its early success with the brand.

Richard McElroy and Chris Makin recently opened a site in Leigh, Manchester, taking the number of new jobs they have created to 150.

The latest launch comes after a site they opened in Ormskirk last year became the 500th unit that Papa John’s operates in the UK.

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Mr McElrory said the duo are keen to expand: “Growing a business is exciting and, as part of that, being able to create more jobs in Manchester, in the communities we know and live, is an honour.

“For us, our people are the key ingredient in our recipe for success. We now look forward to welcoming many more recruits of all ages and backgrounds to our team as we develop our management structure and continue to add more stores in the region.”

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Amit Pancholi, UK director of business development at Papa John’s UK, said the company has experienced high growth in the past year.

“As an organisation we’ve opened double-digit stores across the UK, growing our brand presence both on the high street and also in non-traditional locations such as holiday resorts, leisure venues and more.

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“Richard and Chris have fully bought into our ethos and values, and we are proud to support them as they also continue to grow their portfolio of stores, bringing Papa John’s to even more customers wherever and whenever they want to enjoy their favourite pizza treat with family and friends.”

Papa John’s was founded in the USA in 1984 and boasts more than 5,000 stores in 40 international markets.


Source: Food Service Equipment Journal