Tony Macaroni franchise ready to expand restaurants into England and Wales

June 29, 2021

Tony Macaroni, the award-winning Italian casual dining brand, is ready to expand its restaurants into England and Wales. The Glasgow-based chain is part of the Viva Italia Group which also includes Mozza, Nardini and The Wine House 1821.

Tony Macaroni currently has 19 restaurants across Scotland and Northern Ireland with five more scheduled to open by the end of the year.

Sep Marini, managing director of Tony Macaroni, said that he is looking to bring the brand to towns and cities down south, fulfilling a long-held ambition to have a Tony Macaroni restaurant on every high street throughout the UK.

Marini commented: “While 2020 has proved to be challenging for many brands, we have continued to enjoy success. We’ll be standing at 24 Tony Macaroni restaurants in Scotland and Northern Ireland by the end of the year, and we are now ready for the next chapter.

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

“We want to partner with the best operators in the country to help them bring the Tony Macaroni brand to people all over England and Wales. Our brand is much-loved throughout Scotland, because we follow a formula that works. I firmly believe we can emulate this success the length and breadth of the UK with experienced franchisees who can build themselves a fantastic business.”

Tony Macaroni opened its first restaurant in 2007 and now employs around 500 people across Scotland and Northern Ireland. The company says that its restaurants offer authentic Italian food at affordable prices, with everything cooked to order under the direction of a head chef.

Last year, during the Covid-19 pandemic, the company said it saw a 400 per cent increase in takeaway sales and was recognised in the Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Industry Awards by winning the title of Restaurant Chain Award 2020. The award category was for chains with over 10 sites and looked at how the business ‘weathered the storms of Covid-19’.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Marini continued: “Our menu was redesigned, inspired and crafted by the amazing Italian celebrity chef Fabio Campoli and his team three years ago. This brings standardisation to all our procedures, from prep to service, and ensures consistent quality throughout the group as we expand – perfect for franchising and a real selling point.

“When you combine our incredible food with the fact Tony Macaroni is a great affordable choice for every kind of occasion, you can see why our turnover is so steady. I think ambitious operators are going to be excited by the potential to open a sizeable number of Tony Macaroni’s in their chosen territory.

“This is an exciting time for the industry, full of opportunity and there are some great deals to be done on desirable sites. The smartest operators are already taking full advantage of the current situation in the marketplace – including less competition, cheaper rents and landlord incentives.”

Source: Franchise World

Itsu eyes growth after signing Bridgepoint deal

June 23, 2021

Growth is on the menu at Asian-inspired food brand itsu after the business signed a deal with international alternative asset group Bridgepoint. The agreement, which involves Bridgepoint taking a minority stake in the company, is expected to create thousands of jobs within the UK.

The new partnership between itsu and Bridgepoint secures growth for the restaurant group, including 100 new outlets, creating 2,000 jobs in the UK within the next five years.

itsu‘s founder Julian Metcalfe said: “We are thrilled to be teaming up with Bridgepoint again after our success together at Pret a Manger during the dynamic 2008-2018 era.

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

“We’ve spent months in lockdown working with them to ensure itsu will be well-funded for long-term growth. Never before has enjoying healthy, nutritious food been so uppermost in customer’s minds. This is what itsu does beautifully for about £7 per head.”

The new sites are in addition to the deal itsu has recently signed with Pizza Hut and other major franchise operators in the UK, France, and Belgium.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Benoit Alteirac, partner at Bridgepoint, said: “We see a global opportunity for itsu. Their standout offer is an exciting and contemporary attitude to healthy and nutritious food with nearly 40 per cent of it being plant-based.

“Itsu combines affordable, convenient, and fresh food with an outstanding operational model coupled with deep-rooted brand values. We recognise their time is now and their ambition, goals and purpose are so relevant in this post pandemic era.”

By Adam Beech

Source: Insider Media

Wingstop Announces Minority Investment in Wingstop UK Franchisee

June 11, 2021

Wingstop (NASDAQ: WING) the award-winning wing concept with more than 1,500 locations worldwide, today announced a minority investment in the UK business, which is operated by its UK franchisee, Lemon Pepper Holdings Ltd. (LPH). This investment follows strong performance in the UK and underscores the brand’s confidence in the market as a key growth lever for global expansion.

“We are thrilled to partner with the Lemon Pepper team as they grow their brand presence in the UK, a market with tremendous long-term potential,” said Wingstop CFO Michael Skipworth. “We believe this strategic use of our capital will strengthen the development pipeline in that market and I am excited to join the Lemon Pepper Holdings Board of Directors and play a role in helping achieve the potential for the Wingstop brand in the UK.”

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

Wingstop entered into a 100-restaurant agreement with LPH in 2017 as the sole franchisee for the UK market. LPH successfully opened Wingstop’s first restaurant in the heart of central London and its portfolio now has a mix of high street, shopping mall and ghost kitchen locations. LPH was founded by Saul Lewin, Tom Grogan, Herman Sahota and Paddy Bamford.

The UK saw its highest sales growth in 2020 and continued to open seven new locations despite successive national lockdowns. This investment follows the opening of a new Wingstop restaurant in Reading last month – the first outside of London and one of several planned new openings this year, which will include Manchester, Kingston-upon-Thames, Birmingham Bullring and Bristol.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“Since launching in the UK market in 2017, Wingstop has brought its flavoursome chicken wings to thousands of hungry guests across several high-profile locations,” said Grogan, director of LPH. “We’ve been delighted by the overwhelming response from guests and look forward to bringing our brand to more regions of the UK in coming years.”

In pursuit of becoming a Top 10 Global Restaurant Brand, Wingstop continues exploring expansion opportunities in Europe as well as in key markets around the world including China and Canada, where its first restaurant is planned to open by 2022.

Dow Schofield Watts and Baker McKenzie served as advisors to Wingstop for this transaction.

Source: PR Newswire

Itsu plans up to 150 additional UK sites

June 10, 2021

Itsu has the potential to add a further 150 sites to its UK estate, chief executive Ganan Kanagathurai has said.

Speaking to MCA, BigHospitality​’s sister site, Kanagathurai announced that the Asian-inspired chain is to open its first UK franchise site later this year, as well as its first in Europe, as the business looks to expand its footprint in this country and internationally.

Itsu will open its first UK franchise units in Leicester and Reading, and its first shop in Europe within Brussels Airport – the latter in partnership with HMS Host, with more to ‘hopefully’ come next year.

Kanagathruai said that while Itsu had been focusing more of its time on opening stores outside London over the past three or four years, this thinking had been accelerated during the pandemic.

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

“It would take a brave person to invest in zone one at the moment,” he said. “But that doesn’t mean there aren’t lots of growth opportunities outside London.”

He said Itsu was looking at opening in market towns and town and cities outside the capital where the propensity to consume Asian food, and make more adventurous food choices, was highest.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Market mapping carried out by the operator, alongside third parties, has suggested the brand has the potential to add a further 150 sites to its estate in the UK, explained Kanagathruai. In terms of new openings, he said that these would be a mix of franchise and company-owned and operated stores in the UK, but franchise-only sites internationally.

He said the business had been working on a franchise model for several years and had been very selective about who it works with “in term of finding the right individuals and organisations that see the world like us, have the same cultural views, and care for their people like we do”.

By Georgi Gyton

Source: Big Hospitality

Domino’s to hire 5,000 staff in UK as demand ramps up

June 7, 2021

Domino’s Pizza Group said on Tuesday, June 1, it would hire 5,000 pizza chefs and delivery drivers to bolster its 1,100 UK stores as customer demand heats up.

The move comes as British pubs and restaurants that reopened after months of lockdown face a potential staffing crunch as they serve more hungry and thirsty customers over the warmer summer months.

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

“We were able to play a part by offering people the opportunity to continue working and earning when times were tough. But as people start to reunite, customer demand is showing no signs of slowing,” operations director Nicola Frampton said.

The company, a franchise of US-based Domino’s Pizza Incorporated, in April reported an 18.7% jump in first-quarter sales as repeated coronavirus-led lockdowns pushed up pizza delivery orders.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

All through 2020, the virus outbreak sparked greater demand for takeaways and comfort food, as people spent more time at home.

The UK started easing restrictions for outdoor dining only in April and allowed full operations at cafes and restaurants by mid-May – all as a part of an ongoing phased-exit plan.

Source: Rappler

Related: Domino’s Pizza Franchise

Wendy’s Opens Its Doors in the United Kingdom

June 3, 2021

Wendy’s® , the iconic American hamburger brand, has arrived in the United Kingdom. After much anticipation, Wendy’s opens its doors today in Reading, offering signature US menu items that fans know and love, including the Baconator® , Dave’s Single™, the Spicy Chicken Sandwich and of course the Frosty® dessert. These favourites will be joined by an exclusive range of items only available in the UK, including the Veggie Stack, Veggie Bites, and Avocado Veggie Salad.

Wendy’s selected Reading as it is a great community with a strong employee base and is near a major transportation hub, offering the right amount of foot traffic across dayparts. The Company will continue to make its mark on British soil by opening four additional restaurants in the second half of the year, in areas such as Stratford in East London and Oxford.

Abigail Pringle, President, International and Chief Development Officer for The Wendy’s Company comments, “Our vision is to become the world’s most thriving and beloved restaurant brand, and we’re well on our way. Our restaurant opening in Reading is very exciting for Wendy’s as it marks the official launch of the brand in the UK and across Europe.”

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

Pringle also stated, “Our team is working on opening additional restaurants across the country, starting in the southeast, and establishing new franchisee partnerships to help us quickly scale and expand our brand presence, investing in the local economy and bringing more jobs to the area.”

The Reading restaurant has been designed with the Wendy’s customer in mind. You can’t miss the three-foot tall, bronze statue of the Wendy’s signature Frosty dessert that sits above the entrance of the building. The interior offers a fun, welcoming atmosphere with custom design finishes that embrace Wendy’s brand heritage.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Like all Wendy’s restaurants, customers can expect quality at every touchpoint – exceptional hospitality, friendly customer service and delicious food made with high-quality ingredients.

Liz Geraghty, Chief Marketing Officer, International for The Wendy’s Company shared, “We know British consumers are craving great tasting food at an affordable price and that’s what we’re here to give them. We’re very proud to serve hamburgers using fresh, British beef patties topped with fresh British produce. We use locally sourced ingredients wherever possible and all menu items are made to order and can be customised. Our salads are prepared fresh daily and our sandwiches are served hot off the grill – something different to the competition.”

Source: Franchising

Oggy Oggy franchise continues expansion as appetite for pasties grows

May 19, 2021

For Plymouth Oggy Oggy franchisee Lesley Park pasties are coming home – she’s opening a new outlet close to the Barbican spot where she was born.

The appetite for the snacks shows no sign of being satisfied, with Lesley, and her co-franchisee husband Malkolm, now controlling a fourth Plymouth outlet and eyeing further expansion.

The couple have signed a six-year lease on a commercial unit in Southside Street, on the Barbican. The property was formerly a Subway takeaway and more latterly the Barbican Cocoa Rooms, but it has been empty since that business closed in 2020.

Now Mr and Mrs Park are opening it up just four months after they launched their third pasty emporium, in a former vegetable shop at Plymstock Broadway.

And the couple, who already operate the Oggy Oggy outlets in the city centre’s Armada Way and in Plympton, are already making plans to create a branch in Ivybridge.

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

But first the paint has to dry at the new Barbican outlet, which like Plymstock will be takeaway only, and Mrs Park said: “It’s a great location, and I was also born near there. I have family roots in the area and I’m really excited to be back to them. You could say pasties are coming home.”

She said the venture will sell the popular range of Oggy Oggy pasties, of course, but with more on offer too.

“We are doing breakfasts, cakes, paninis, jacket potatoes, baguettes, salads and hot drinks,” Mrs Park said. “We will open from 8am to 5pm but also in the evening when there are events on the Barbican.”

Mr and Mrs Park’s Oggy Oggy outlets, part of a franchised chain of about 20 around the South West, “pivoted” in 2020 to cope with Covid restrictions.

They have been working with Deliveroo, Just Eats and Uber Eats, and supply phone orders and carry out deliveries of frozen pasties, sausage rolls and cakes to people at their homes.

But the bricks-and-mortar stores are important and Mrs Park said she has been scouting locations in Ivybridge for a potential fifth outlet.

And she is creating jobs, with three full-time and four part-time staff needed at the Barbican unit and brining the total across the four outlet to about 35 workers.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We would like to get to the stage where we have five shops,” Mrs Park said. “Then we could employ an area manager and semi-retire, leaving someone to look after them.”

The multi-national fast-food Subway brand shut its Barbican franchise in 2018 because of “diminished trade and traffic”, as the Southside Street outlet failed to fit in with an area changing from pub-led to food oriented.

Mum-of-two Beccy Elwell then opened the Barbican Cocoa Rooms in the unit in October 2019. But when she launched the independent cake and confectionery business she had little reason to suspect prolonged roadworks, a stormy winter and then the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic would mean the business was hardly able to generate any income.

The venture suffered its first setback when the Barbican was subject to major roadworks, including a six-week closure, as part of a £2million revamp ahead of planned Mayflower 400 events, which then had to be postponed.

The business had only just weathered that disruption when the city was battered by a series of storms – including Ellen, Dennis and Jorge – in early 2020.

That caused footfall to melt away on the Barbican and in March Prime Minister Boris Johnson put the nation into lockdown. Despite bravely soldiering on, Ms Elwell had to call a meeting of creditors and appointed liquidators in August 2020.

By William Telford

Source: Business Live

Wendy’s retuning to UK QSR market creating 12,000 new hospitality jobs

May 12, 2021

Wendy’s burger chain has announced a return to the UK with new restaurants creating thousands of new hospitality jobs.

The return will see circa 400 new restaurant openings, with 30 to 50 employees per restaurant creating 12,000 jobs.

Wendy’s exited the UK QSR market 21 years ago citing high property costs as an operational barrier. Now, it will use the UK launch as a springboard for further expansion in Europe, starting with company-owned stores before adding a franchise model.

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

The first opening is in Reading next month, with their UK market entry focusing on plant based options.

Uber Eats have been selected as their delivery partner.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Wendy’s was founded in the US in 1969, operates more than 6,800 restaurants, with a market valuation of circa $5bn (£3.6bn).

Source: Hospitality and Catering News

Papa John’s to expand franchise in the north west of England

May 11, 2021

Pizza chain Papa John’s is to open nine further restaurants under franchise in the north west of England with plans for an additional 20 in future.

The company, which has more than 450 sites in the UK, said the new openings will create more than 150 jobs with the first restaurant set to open in Middleton in Manchester.

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

Papa John’s has signed a development deal with franchisees Richard McElroy, a former national operations director for Whitbread’s restaurant division, and Chris Makin, an entrepreneur with a background in manufacturing.

McElroy said: “We have huge confidence in the Papa John’s leadership team to support us as we grow. The constant pipeline of new and innovative menu choices is a is a recipe for success

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We are recruiting locally, and our goal is to build an infrastructure of a size and scale which provides employment opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds in roles in HR, operations, customer service, plus our all-important delivery drivers.”

Papa John’s announced in January that it was seeking franchise partners to expand the brand into ‘non-traditional’ locations such as holiday parks, stadia and leisure centres.

Related: Papa John’s Franchise

The company was founded in the United States in 1984 and now trades from more than 5,000 restaurants in more than 40 international markets.

By Sophie Witts

Source: The Caterer

Island Poké announces first two U.K. franchise partners

May 7, 2021

Island Poké has signed up its first two U.K. franchise partners, which are set to bring a total of 23 locations to the country over the next five years; trebling the brand’s current U.K. footprint.

This European development comes alongside Island Poké’s 42 planned sites for France and Benelux, which are set to open across the same five-year period.

Back in March of this year, Island Poké announced that it had secured investment from Hero Brands – the parent company of concepts such as German Doner Kebab – to propel its international growth.

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

“We’re so excited to be announcing our first two franchise partners for Island Poké,” said founder James Gould-Porter. “We are just beginning to ease out the pandemic which has been a hugely challenging period for the hospitality sector and these latest partnerships show amazing confidence in our brand.

“Hero Brands has given us key investment and expertise in growing our franchise model and it is also extremely pleasing to secure our first two partners so quickly after they have come on board with us.”

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Development plans for the U.K. will initially focus on London, with the first site set to open in Camden Market on May 17. Discussions are already underway to bolster the brand’s Blighty footprint, with the potential for 50 further stores down the line.

“Hero Brands is responding to emerging consumer trends and focused on growing the brands of the future,” said Hero Brands’ chairman, Athif Sarwar. “Island Poké fits with our DNA and we are working with James and the team to bring our expertise and embark on our ambitions to create a truly global brand.”

Source: Global Franchise Magazine