Mandy takes over the F45 Training business

December 2, 2019

Matt Goodall and Andy Preston have taken over F45 Training on Albert Street in Harrogate.

Matt said:

F45 Harrogate was previously owned for 18-months buy two London businessmen and managed buy a Harrogate physio.

When F45 first opened its doors in April 2018 myself and Andy Preston, two Harrogate boys working in the fitness industry for over 8 years, first crossed paths walking into the studio together to have their interview.

Within a matter of days, Andy and myself were stood in front of over 27 new and eager clients waiting to see what all the fuss was about!

This was the birth of “MANDY’, a double act of Matt and Andy, the new faces of F45 Harrogate.

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About Andy

Andy has worked in the fitness industry for over 8 years. Having a Military background Andy then moved onto another well known gym. From there he specialized in CrossFit and had a large role in a cross fit gym in Leeds. Over the years he has built a successful career in Ladies coaching and an online fitness software with over 30 private clients. Shortly after this, he began work for F45 Training and was soon to become the Harrogate manager.

About Matt

Matt started working in a Harrogate gym after having a Personal training session bought for his 16th birthday, knowing at that point, that was what he wanted to do as a career. Working weekends he eventually became full time once completing school and quickly grew his love for the fitness industry. While working for 8 years at this one local gym he decided to specialise in working with diabetics and helping the clients and so building a successful personal training career. He also had been running multiple fitness classes and working in schools to help teach health and fitness whilst giving talks to other fellow diabetics. Once starting F45 his time quickly got taken up by becoming the head coach at the studio and like Andy, his passion for F45 grew stronger by the day.

F45 is the fastest growing fitness franchise in the world. The workouts deliver the energy and the motivation of group training with the progress and results of one to one personal training. F45 Harrogate is one of the largest F45 studios in the UK.

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They use pre-selected workouts to give challenging exercises, to push your body and mind to their full, But the coaches will regress the exercise, if needed, to ensure you can still get a good workout and be pushed to your own personal limits.Age ranges from 16 years to 68.

Matt speaking about why they have now taken on the business:

We love it!

After committing all our time to F45 and building a community that no other gym has, as soon as we heard rumours of a possible buyout, neither of us could resist.

Something so special and important in our lives and the chance to own our own studio, one of the biggest growing franchises in the world, who would be silly enough to pass on the opportunity.

As with all new business ventures, there has and continue to be challenges. Matt commented:

Our main challenge that we had to take on was a biggie, rent and rates!

After many meetings with the landlords (4Urban) we were able to agree on a deal that meant the studio had a fighting chance, a big thank you to the flexibility and understands from the team at 4Urban.

Other challenges are things such as the publicity of what F45 is about, the fact that F45 is not just a gym, it is not just a fitness based class, its so much more; it’s team training, its life changing! (punch line).

It’s a community of people, all from different walks of life, coming together for some of the best group personal training in Harrogate and for people that want to do something to improve their life.

Whether its losing weight, gaining muscle, something different, general fitness or even just for the amazing parties we throw, you really need to try it!

Paul Lancaster at 4Urban said:

4Urban are delighted to have been able to work with Matt and Andy so that F45 can continue to thrive in Harrogate providing an excellent service to their existing client base and a platform for future growth.

Talking about the future, Matt said:

Being one of the biggest and fasting fitness franchises in the world, we want to be a big part of their expansions.

We want the harrogate studio to be a flagship model for studios opening up in the north of England.

Harrogate, is the first northern studio and the only F45 studio north of Birmingham.

It’s going to be the coolest, most trendy gym with major results like no other gym!

Once Harrogate is fully established, what’s not to say we won’t be having other studios in other northern towns and cities, leeds maybe, how about manchester or even newcastle… never say never.


Source: Harrogate News

Wingstop to partner with Xbox for third UK opening

December 2, 2019

US chicken wing chain Wingstop is to partner with Xbox to launch a restaurant at Bluewater Kent that features a “stay and play” gaming zone.

Set to open early next year, the restaurant will have a dedicated area with six ‘gaming pods’ where guests will be able to access a library of more than 100 gaming titles.

It will offer Wingstop’s 10 ‘classic’ flavours of wings including spicy Atomic, Hickory Smoked BBQ, Hawaiian and Lemon Pepper, alongside sides and fries.

This will be the third Wingstop site to open in the UK, and according to the company marks the beginning of a ‘rapid expansion plan’ for the brand’s UK business.

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In 2017 the company signed a franchise deal with London-based Lemon Pepper Holdings, with plans to grow to 100 sites in the UK over a 12-year period.

It made its UK debut a year later in London’s Cambridge Circus, and opened a second site last month in Dalston.

“At Wingstop UK, we strive to constantly evolve our approach to grow in the UK market,” says Tom Grogan, director of Lemon Pepper Holdings.

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“In order to not only thrive, but survive in the casual dining space, brands need to collaborate with culturally relevant partners, and offer their customers unique experiences that they can’t get anywhere else.”

Wingstop launched in Texas in 1994 and was named the fastest growing chicken chain in the US in 2016, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

To date the company runs more than 1,300 aviation-themed restaurants internationally, including 25 owned by US rapper Rick Ross.

By James McAllister

Source: Big Hospitality

Clip ‘n Climb looking to launch first ever franchise centres

December 2, 2019

Clip ‘n Climb UK, the market leader in fun climbing, is rolling out its successful model by launching franchise centres and concessions nationwide and is looking to launch a centre in Manchester.

Clip ‘n Climb, which has operated in the UK since 2011 is part of Entre-Prises UK Ltd – a subsidiary of the ABEO group. The brand presently has over 80 centres across the UK and achieves approximately £25 million cumulative turnover per annum.

Clip ‘n Climb plans to open 100 new franchise centres nationwide and will license its brand to independents and budding entrepreneurs as part of its progressive expansion program.

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A Clip ‘n Climb franchise incorporates a complete turn key leisure business model including design and installation for more than 40 indoor and outdoor climbing challenges designed to appeal to all age groups. The proposition for those who share Clip ‘n Climb’s values and principles is a comprehensive franchise training and support programme covering business planning, finance and safety. In addition they will receive exclusive discounts on equipment, maintenance checks, further training, early access to upgrades, new climbing wall releases, marketing support and additional booking system features.

For customers, the franchise centres will offer the same access to quality climbing challenges fit for the whole family with it’s unique auto belay devices. They will also have a branded cafe, party rooms and additional soft play areas.

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Vicky Coupe, Clip ‘n Climb franchise manager, commented: “Clip ‘n Climb has revolutionised indoor climbing. The theme park meets climbing wall concept offers a thrill and challenge to people of four years of age all the way up to 80+.

“We’ve seen leisure climbing grow in popularity since we installed the first Clip ‘n Climb centre in the UK and industry insights report a 40-50 per cent increase of indoor climbers in the last two years alone. With the news that sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at the games in Japan 2020 its popularity is set to soar and so it’s the perfect time to look for the right people in the right locations to share in our success.”

“Launching the franchise model marks a major milestone and cements our ambition to give even more people in the UK, especially in Manchester access to fun, safe, indoor climbing.”

By Nigel Barlow

Source: About Manchester

Bluebird Care franchise goes ‘above and beyond’ to achieve Outstanding rating

December 2, 2019

A Bluebird Care franchise in Somerset has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) following a recent inspection.

Bluebird Care Mendip, based in Frome, received the top rating for being responsive and well-led.

This is a significant achievement for the service, with only 3% of home care providers across England receiving the rating.

In their report, CQC inspectors praised the business for going “over and above what was expected of a community care provider.”

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They commented on how the provider had looked at ways of reducing social isolation for people without it having a financial impact on them.

For example, they had arranged trips out, parties, musical entertainment and a book club.

The CQC also highlighted that people are supported fully in every step of their care, with care professionals “supporting people to express their views and be involved in making decisions about their care” and carrying out regular reviews of care plans.

Relatives and loved ones are also included in the decision-making process, which inspectors found particularly pertinent. One service user told inspectors, “I have full control over everything, my life is my own and [the service] support me to do what I want.”

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Masen Naidoo, director of Bluebird Care Mendip, said: “We are thrilled to have received an ‘Outstanding’ rating from the CQC, with a report that is testament to the hard work and dedication shown by our care team every single day. We look forward to maintaining our passion for providing high-quality care that improves people’s lives as we move forward.”

The service was applauded by inspectors for tailoring services to meet the needs of individuals and ensure flexibility, choice and continuity of care.

Bluebird Care Mendip’s care professionals were also singled out for praise, with inspectors finding that all staff “were passionate about providing a high standard of person-centred care which promoted people’s independence.”

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When it came to the leadership, inspectors said managers “promoted an open, fair culture” that is “inclusive and empowering.”

In one example, Bluebird Care’s leaders were commended for staying up to date with emerging trends and adopting innovative ideas, such as electronic systems for people living at home.

Yvonne Hignell, managing director of Bluebird Care, said: “I would like to congratulate everyone at Bluebird Care Mendip for what is such a fantastic achievement. The service is demonstrative of the high standards we promote at Bluebird Care and we are excited to see what lies in store for Bluebird Care Mendip as it goes from strength to strength.”


Source: Home Care Insight

Geek Retreat to open in Nottingham’s Flying Horse Walk

November 30, 2019

Geek Retreat, the UK’s leading geek hangout chain, is opening an outlet within Flying Horse Walk in Nottingham city centre.

Described as a comic book store, cafe and events hub rolled into one, there are already nine Geek Retreat stores in the UK in Glasgow, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Milton Keynes, Wirral, Bradford, Edinburgh and Motherwell, making Nottingham the tenth one.

The stores stock “geek culture” merchandise such as comics, posters, clothing, figures, collectables and memorabilia as well as games and gaming accessories.

They also host events with geek culture at their heart including comic book signings, games tournaments and quizzes. Specialising in trading card games, they cater for kids and beginners with their learn-to-play sessions to tournaments for more experienced players for popular games, including Magic: The Gathering, Pokémon, and Yu-Gi-Oh!

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They also stock an extensive selection of free-to-read graphic novels and free-to-play board games and games consoles – perfect for families.

It’s not all games though, Geek Retreat specialise in American milkshakes including Chocolate Thunder: A decadent ice-cream milkshake containing Nutella, Maltesers, Oreos and chocolate sauce, Rainbow Dash: A skittles and strawberry shake and Jaffa the Hutt: A smooth blend of ice-cream and Jaffa Cakes.

If a milkshake doesn’t take your fancy, choose from their selection of hot and cold drinks, American candy, burgers, hotdogs, Panini and nachos, keeping you fuelled up while you play.

The Geek Retreat will be opening in Nottingham at the end of November in the former Berketex Brides unit situated at the lower entrance to the shopping arcade on St Peter’s Gate.

Nottingham franchise owner Graham Palk along with fellow directors Owen Hilyard-Todd and Ross T Price said: “We’ve wanted to open a business of this nature for some time and when we came across this franchise opportunity, we thought it was perfect. We were looking for suitable premises and when we came across the unit in Flying Horse Walk, with its size and location, in the heart of the city, it seemed just perfect. We can’t wait to open our doors to the people of Nottingham.”

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“We are delighted that we are getting a Geek Retreat outlet in Flying Horse Walk,” said Rob Spencer, director of FHP Property Consultants, the managing agents of Flying Horse Walk. “It offers something different and unique for Nottingham and will complement the other businesses in the arcade. We wish Graham and his colleagues all the best.”

The store is hosting a Grand Opening event at 10am on Saturday 30 November, with free milkshakes for the first ten customers and Mike Quinn, actor for beloved alien Nien Nunb in Star Wars, puppeteer from The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Muppets and more will be making a special appearance, bringing with him some signed prizes for the open day.

Source: West Bridgford Wire

Slim Chickens Continues International Expansion with Sixth Restaurant in the United Kingdom

November 30, 2019

Slim Chickens, a leading fast casual franchise which features dine-in and drive-through in the “better chicken” segment, announced today that it is set to open a new location in Bristol, its sixth location in the United Kingdom, this winter.

The better-chicken brand has nearly 100 locations across the United States, the United Kingdom and Kuwait, and is known for its passionate group of followers in the markets that it has locations in. With more than 350 units in development, the fast-growing brand is well on its way to reaching its goal of 600 restaurants.

“When looking to bring a better-chicken brand across the pond, Slim Chickens was in a league of its own,” said Tom Crowley, CEO of Boparan Restaurant Group (BRG), the franchise partner of Slim Chickens in the United Kingdom and a multi-unit, multi-concept group. “From its high-quality product to the passionate executive team, we knew it was the right fit and would resonate with British diners.”

Highly regarded in the restaurant industry, BRG operates more than 60 restaurants within four brands across the United Kingdom. In addition to the five open Slim Chickens locations in the United Kingdom and the Bristol location in development, BRG is set to open five to eight additional locations in 2020 to complete their multi-unit franchise agreement.

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“BRG is exactly the type of experienced multi-concept franchisees that we’re looking for as we expand into new territories, both globally and domestically in the United States,“ said Jackie Lobdell, executive director of franchise development at Slim Chickens. “Tom and his team’s passion for the brand and deep operational experience reflect the qualities we look for in franchise partners.”

The brand prides itself on its cooked-to-order fresh food and strong devoted fanbase, also known as “Slimthusiasts.” Slim Chickens has distinguished itself in the “better chicken” segment by offering high-quality food and 17 house-made dipping sauces, allowing customers to enjoy a different flavor profile with each visit. Its menu is broader than many in the segment, offering chicken tenders, fresh salads, sandwiches, chicken and waffles, chicken wings and unique side items. Fans also resonate with the southern contemporary look and feel and open and inviting layout of Slim Chickens restaurants, which speak to the hospitality mindset that anchors the brand.

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In July, Slim Chickens attracted an equity investment from 10 Point Capital, the private equity firm behind segment leader Tropical Smoothie Café.

The Slim Chickens franchise opportunity differentiates itself with prime markets available for multi-unit development, a passionate leadership team and world-class franchisee support system. As Slim Chickens expands, it is awarding franchise opportunities to qualified, experienced and passionate multi-unit groups looking to add a dynamic segment to their portfolio.

Source: Franchising

Ali Redwood celebrates 10 years of success with TaxAssist Accountants

November 29, 2019

Clifton and Portishead-based Ali Redwood reflects on her decade of business building

For Ali Redwood, it was her desire to leave corporate life that inspired her to join TaxAssist Accountants.

With a background in banking and finance and experience of running a family business, self-employment held no fear for Ali, who relished the opportunity to establish her own practice.

“The experience of running my family business equipped me with a sound knowledge of accounting and the finance skills required to run a small business,” explained Ali. “It also gave me a real passion and joy.

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“As I grew tired of corporate life, I started to look at my options and owning a TaxAssist Accountants franchise appealed to me as I valued the on-going support and readymade systems which would fast track my business.

“I didn’t want to be ‘just an accountant’. I recognised that with TaxAssist, I would be building a team, allowing me to be the principal of the business, meeting new and existing clients, managing staff, supervising work, networking and managing the customer experience.

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“The support from the franchisor and fellow franchisees over the last 10 years has been fantastic. My neighbouring franchisees are not in competition with each other, due to our exclusive territories, and it gives us a real opportunity to work together and support each other. You have your own business but you are not on your own. My staff get great training from the courses provided and I get the benefit of on-going great marketing and operational support.

“The business has grown well, and I now have an exceptionally good team in place. I opened a shop in Clifton in Bristol in 2011 and an office in Portishead in 2016 and I am hoping to open a third premises within the next three years.

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“I feel that I am now building an asset for a comfortable retirement, which I would not be in a position to do, had I remained in employment. If you asked me if I would do it all again – the answer is definitely yes!”

Radfield Home Care overhauls retention and wellbeing strategy

November 29, 2019

Radfield Home Care has announced a “complete overhaul” of its employee retention and wellbeing strategy.

The Caring for Carers Pledge, which sets out how the business values its carers and provides a rewarding working environment, has been redeveloped around a new CARE acronym; Culture, Appreciation, Reward and Empower.

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Radfield said the acronym reflects the journey that all of its employees experience – from a welcoming and supportive culture; to the ongoing appreciation and reward for their efforts and achievements; to the “continued empowerment” Radfield provides its employees to progress in both their career and personal goals.

Franchisor Dr Hannah MacKechnie said: “The care sector has a terrible history of under-paying, under-appreciating and under-supporting its workforce. Not only does this generate high staff turnover rates and deter new employees entering the sector, it also has a knock on effect on the quality of care provided to clients. As a result, focusing on looking after our employees, as well as clients, is critical.

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“The Caring for Carers Pledge has been a staple part of Radfield’s recruitment and retention for a number of years, but we have given it a complete overhaul, with the introduction of our new CARE approach at the centre of this. To roll this out nationally, we are working with our franchise partners individually to develop localised strategies to develop their culture, appreciation, reward and empowerment pledge.”

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Radfield said it has been able to keep its staff turnover rates low by investing in quality training, listening to and supporting carers and recognising hard-working carers with ample rates of pay – the majority of Radfield Home Care franchise partners are Living Wage accredited.


Source: Home Care Insight

Warrens factory and shops under threat in restructure

November 29, 2019

Warrens Bakery is set to shut one of its factories and several loss-making shops.

The Cornish business, which employs 500 staff and operates around 70 managed and franchised stores, said the uncertainty of Brexit was affecting consumer confidence and forcing it to restructure.

It warned the streamlining could lead to a significant job losses throughout the West Country.

News of the restructure comes just months after the business made more than 60 staff in production and distribution roles redundant.

Warrens has proposed the closure of its manufacturing site in St Just, which it has operated since the 1970s, saying its configuration and remote location meant it was no longer economically viable.

The company stated it remained committed to profitable manufacturing and would retain its factory at Callington.

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It was also consulting on the closure of several loss-making shops, which it said was required to safeguard the future of the wider business.

The shops under threat are managed by Warrens, which has expanded rapidly in recent years through franchising.

A consultation with staff due to be impacted by the changes is under way, but Warrens would not state how many jobs were at risk.

Following the restructure, the business plans to ramp up its focus on hospitals, travel hubs, and strategically selected high street and destination sites. It recently partnered with travel site operator SSP to open a 300 sq metre store in Gatwick Airport.

While insisting the Cornish pasty would remain core to its business, it added that it would also look to further develop its range to meet consumer demand for a variety of products and price points.

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“With sadness and a heavy heart, we are consulting with staff and examining streamlining options, which could lead to a significant loss of jobs throughout the West Country,” said Warrens in a statement.

“We would like to thank our loyal staff and customers wholeheartedly for their continued support.  We have been part of the West Country community for 160 years and, by implementing these proposed changes, we aim to serve the local economy for many years to come.”

In its latest accounts filed at Companies House, for the year ended 30 June 2018, the business made a loss of £915,000 compared to a £31,000 loss the previous year.

Warrens won the Craft Bakery Business Award in the 2018 Baking Industry Awards.

Source: Bakery Info

London home care business rated Outstanding for ‘exceptional’ community work

November 28, 2019

A South London home care service praised for its “exceptional” community engagement initiatives has been rated ‘Outstanding’ by the CQC.

Home Instead Senior Care Wandsworth, Lambeth and Dulwich achieved the top rating for being caring and well led, after previously been rated ‘Good’ overall during its previous inspection two years ago.

Alison Murray, Head of Inspection for Adult Social Care in London, said this level of improvement is a “tribute to the hard work of management and staff”.

Speaking of the achievement, franchise owner Tony O’Flaherty (pictured right) said: “We are so pleased to have received an outstanding rating from the CQC.

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“The feedback from families of how respectful our caregivers are and how they go above and beyond to continue to enable people to remain independent in their own homes is wonderful.”

Throughout the report, inspectors shared examples of how staff went the extra mile for their clients.

They noted that one client had resisted attempts by her family to go out of the house and socialise, but with the encouragement of the caregiver had regained the confidence and independence to start going to a dementia café.

A relative said, “Having my mother attend the Home Instead Wellbeing Café, a community initiative run and funded by Tony, earlier this year was probably the best thing she did.

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“She interacted with other people who, like herself, find life very isolated and lonely. Although she didn’t want to go at first, once her barriers came down she started chatting to people, telling them all about her past life, dancing and needlework.”

The CQC report highlighted how the Home Instead branch worked to promote independence with a number of community initiatives, including the Lambeth Dementia Action Alliance, to improve the health and social care of people living with dementia and their carers.

“CQC found the service was exceptional at promoting people’s independence so they could continue to enjoy their lives,” the report said.

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The provider was praised as a strong advocate for people and supporting them to access external services that would be of benefit to them.

For example, the service had registered with Thames Water so people using the service would get priority support in the case of a loss of service.

“The director was passionate about community engagement and was a major advocate in promoting and raising awareness about dementia in the community,” inspectors said.


Source: Home Care Insight