Bakery chain Cake Box is seeing soaring numbers of hopeful first-time business owners applying to open a shop.
The egg-free cake maker, which has 140 stores nationwide – including more than 50 in London –is set to open another 47 franchises in the coming months.
Cake Box’s chief executive and co-founder Sukh Chamdal said that over the past six months the company has received a “record number of applications” for franchises.
Chamdal added: “We have seen such an upsurge in franchise applications because of the job situation… This has prompted people to take the redundancy money and go into business for themselves.”
He said due to difficulties on the high street there is a lot more property available. “Because we are a stable business… we find that the landlords are now coming to us.”
The business shut for the first six weeks of lockdown. Sales in the six months to September 30 decreased to £8.6 million from £8.8 million. But online sales surged during the period.
The boss had never previously planned home delivieries, but he said “Covid proved consumer habits were changing”.
Chamdal, who launched the company in the East End in 2008, said that he is now “very optimistic” about the future despite the “uncertain” start to 2020.
Analysts at Shore Capital said the update was “highly encouraging”, and that plans for larger numbers of stores “bodes well for medium to long term growth”.
As previously announced in September, the company declared a special dividend of 3.2p per share, which will be paid on October 23.
By NAOMI ACKERMAN
Source: Evening Standard