Offbeat Donut has secretly franchised in Prague – and is plotting more Irish stores

March 19, 2019

OFFBEAT DONUT CO quietly opened its first overseas location in Prague at the end of last year and is planning more new outlets in the Czech city – as well as Ireland.

Speaking to Fora, Offbeat founder Brian O’Casey said that the central European outlet is not only the chain’s first store outside is home country, it is also its first franchised outlet.

The doughnut company opened up in 2016 and is owned by O’Casey and his wife. Offbeat now employs some 100 people across seven directly owned stores and three kiosks around Dublin. Last year it recorded a turnover of €5 million.

Franchising was always of Offbeat’s overarching plan, but O’Casey said he and his wife wanted to wait until the core business got off the ground.

“We’ve had a lot of enquiries about (franchising), but we declined them all, primarily because we didn’t think we knew enough,” O’Casey said.

“When you open a new outlet, if it’s full production, it’s going to cost about €250,000 or €300,000 (to set up), and if it’s a kiosk it’d be €100,000, so it’s a lot of investment for us over the last three years,” he said.

“If you’re going to franchise, you need to really understand your business model, how people are going to make money and support the offer locally, and how you’re going to support the offer internationally.”

O’Casey said it has taken two years to get the brand to a stage where it was “good enough” to be licensed to other business owners.

“People have a very good idea of what a traditional doughnut is, and we work very hard to change that perception – it’s not just a doughnut, it’s really a treat and it’s going to surprise you.”

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

Why Prague?

The move to Prague was on the back of a request from a property investor friend of O’Casey’s, who asked “a good few times” if he could bring the concept to the Czech Republic.

“He felt he could bring locations and we would bring the business model,” said O’Casey.

“For us it’s a big decision as well, we need to make sure that we’re happy that it would work there and the brand will work there”.

The Czech location opened up in December and since then has been performing well, but “it’s more of a premium product (there) than it is in Ireland – because of the difference in wages and pay scale”, O’Casey noted

“People would buy in smaller quantities in Prague than they would in the Irish market,” he said, adding that he’d “like a bit more volume” in terms of sales.

Even so, trade has been growing strong enough for O’Casey to start scouting for more locations in the city, “probably some in shopping malls and shopping centres”.

“We do a lot of deliveries with corporate and larger companies, and I think there are opportunities there. I think that’s something that would be new in Prague,” he said.

“We’re trying to grow with social media. We’ve only really started the social media in the last month or so in Prague, but it’s been very effective for us in Ireland.”


Brian O’Casey

Source: Offbeat

Other countries and counties

There are also plans afoot to expand further in Ireland, and while Offbeat may open one or two more stores in Dublin, the chain is heavily focused on breaking away from the capital.

“Really, we have to get outside of Dublin … We concentrated on Dublin because we were aware that Krispy Kreme were coming onto the marketplace, and it was important to secure good sites and build up a brand presence,” said O’Casey.

“At this stage we’ve a very strong presence in Dublin, and we’ll be more focused on opening up outlets outside of the Dublin area,” he said, but as the locations are still in discussion, it’s not known yet where exactly.

Right now, Offbeat isn’t actively pursuing other markets for franchise opportunities, “but it is something that we will be in the future”. High on the list are the Middle East, the US, the UK and Asia.

“The Americans have been very complimentary of the offer, so we’d like to go to America, but the UK is nearby, so we’d like to go to the UK first,” said O’Casey.

“I think franchising is quite well-developed in countries like America and many other countries. There hasn’t been a huge number of them that are from Ireland.”


Source: Fora

Car And Automotive Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Car Franchises?

March 19, 2019

Automotive Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running  successful UK Automotive Franchises.

Car and automotive franchises UK have thrived upon a solid foundation of a franchising-ready template for decades. Should you, however, buy a car and automotive franchise UK in the present economy?

There are few franchise sectors out there that can rival the robustness and straightforward revenue models adopted by the car and automotive franchises UK. For years, would-be franchisees have preferred buying an automotive franchise UK over other top contenders like retail and food franchises, simply for the reason that it’s much easier to translate the demand into sales for automotive franchises.

At face value, this might look like a twisted pattern, but it really isn’t when you dig a little deeper and analyse the numbers in this regard.

All things said and done, buying a car and automotive franchises UK means you invest in an opportunity that targets the widest and largest chunk of the overall adult consumer demographic. On top of that, most car franchises UK provide services that are of the ‘necessity’ nature, and not the ‘luxury’ nature.

A combination of these factors means that UK automotive franchises have a head start over most other franchise sectors. The question, however, remains – should you really buy a car and automotive franchises UK, especially in the present state of the economy?

Let’s try to figure these things out.

Why Car And Automotive Franchises UK Have Been Successful

There’s little need to go wandering looking for answers when the answer has been staring us in the face all along.

  • In terms of car ownership, the UK is one of the leading countries not just in Europe – but in the world.
  • On average, in the last five years, 3-3.5 million new cars are licenced in the UK each year.
  • Close to 40 million cars are presently licenced.
  • The number of UK households that own at least one car has been on the rise throughout the last decade.
  • At the same time, the number of UK households that own 2 or more cars has also been steadily rising.
  • There was a brief slump in 2017 in the number of new cars licenced in the UK – but that seems to be nothing more than an aberration, when looked at from a wider perspective.
  • The latest trends in car manufacturing and buying look all set to revolutionise the automotive industry around the world, and the UK is no exception. The number of new ultra-low emission cars being licenced shows clear signs of disruption.

Sources: Statista 1, Statista 2, The Office For National Statistics

The only reason for us to furnish these stats is to paint a clear picture of the immense diversity and room that still exists in the auto sector for even a new car and automotive franchise UK to make their mark. Of course, the size of the industry – on its own – isn’t of much significance until we assess the nature of the demand. We’ll come back to that point when we discuss the types of UK car and automotive franchises.

Are Automotive And Car Franchises UK Following A Dated Business Model?

If you’re looking to invest in a car franchise UK, this is an extremely interesting point to follow.

In the business statistics we looked at in the earlier point, we – quite on purpose – decided to withhold an important bit – the urban youth’s waning desires to ‘own’ cars.

It’s a phenomenon that’s native to almost every developed economy in the world – the millennials just aren’t as interested in buying new cars as their counterparts in previous generations were.

Here’s an interesting perspective (borrowed from the Financial Times): the car service industry (in which every car and automotive franchise UK falls) needs to revamp their offerings to match the ‘green’ and ‘clean’ requirements of the new generation(s).

In that sense, it would be safe to say that UK automotive franchises are a touch behind the curve. From a totally different point of view, this also means that we expect there to arise quite a few interesting sub-niches for car franchise UK owners to explore.

Recommended: Here’s Why B2B Franchises Have Been Doing So Great In The UK.

What Does A Typical Car And Automotive Franchise UK Do?

Almost every car franchise UK can be treated as a service provider of some sort – with many doubling up as product selling businesses.

The focus, for such franchises, is always on attracting, acquiring and closing their choice of demographic in close tandem with the franchisor’s expertise – a proven template for many franchise operations across industries and sectors.

This point becomes much clearer when consider the types of car franchises UK.

Types of UK Car Franchises

While it’s not possible to list all the types here, here are the most popular ones:

Car Dealership Franchises UK

A car dealership franchise is probably the best representation of how and why UK car franchises have been performing so predictably (a good thing).

Car dealership franchises are closer to other ‘commission’ based franchise sectors like estate agency franchises than product based franchises. While these usually come with a steep price tag, it’s easy to see why franchisees are willing to put money into car dealerships. By running a car dealership franchise unit, a franchisee can ride the brand value of the cars that are on sale AND the franchisor business – a great deal!

Moreover, buying and selling used cars generally guarantees a steady stream of revenue for most car dealers.

Car Rental And Leasing Franchises

The car rental industry in the UK is well-established and fairly deep-rooted (with annual revenues exceeding £700mn for 2018).

From the car and automotive franchise UK perspective, this sector can be divided into two broad categories:

  1. Consumer Facing Car Rentals

Thanks to many popular start-ups and ride sharing apps, the consumer-facing, retail car rental sector has been rendered extremely difficult for franchises to breach. As a franchisee looking to invest in a car franchise UK, you’re likely to find no more than a handful opportunities in the retail rental sector.

  1. B2B Car Leasing

This, on the other hand, is a great prospect in terms of franchising. The B2B car leasing market isn’t likely to be disrupted anytime soon. Local businesses prefer to lease cars from other local businesses that can give them a fair deal – something a car leasing franchise UK can certainly capitalise on.

Garage And Car Repair Franchises

Garage and car repair franchises are extremely popular at local levels because, for a modest investment, they guarantee a revenue stream that can be easily secured at the consumer end. In addition, if the franchisor business has exclusive repair authorisations to popular car makes, you can hope to build your franchise unit up to a handsome level of profitability quickly.

Most franchisors, however, require their franchisees to have at least some prior experience in running/operating car repair businesses. If you’re confused about where to begin your franchising journey, here’s how to know if franchising is for you or not.

Recommended: Don’t Know How To Raise Money For Your Franchise Business? We Have You Covered.

Car Wash Franchises

If there’s one thing car wash franchises UK have built their rise on, it’s the clearly defined service model. Car wash businesses – even though they sell ancillary products – are predominantly service providers, nothing more and definitely nothing less.

As a carwash franchise UK, you’ll most likely be competing against local car wash businesses that you (hopefully) have an edge over in terms of marketing, brand value and expertise.

Running a car wash franchise UK also means that you need to carefully consider and follow the local council rules regarding the use and disposal of water and chemicals – a huge costing factor in urban areas.

Product Based Car Franchises

Unlike other service based car franchises UK, product based franchises operate like any other retail franchise would. The profit margins are defined exclusively by the products, not the expertise. What this also means is that there’s very little room for the franchisee to grow the franchise unless they can trust their franchisor to bring on board excellent products (bespoke or licenced).

The most common variety of such franchises are tyre dealerships – a combination of product and service based business models. All the biggest tyre companies have exclusive territories already assigned to distributors and retailers. So, working with a franchisor who holds these rights becomes the key.

How Much Does A Car Franchise UK Cost?

A typical car and automotive franchise UK can be bought for a combination of fees – the one-off franchise fee and additional investments for marketing, inventory, location, territory rights and know-how (training and support).

A quick look at some of the most popular UK car franchises tells us that a medium-sized car franchise UK costs anywhere between £20,000 and £75,000.

If you have been following our blog (you should, if you aren’t!), you’d know that this investment range falls in the zone in which most service-based franchises operate.

Buying a car and automotive franchise UK means that you also get unique benefits and perks from the franchisor. These usually include marketing support, IT help, business assistance, franchise finance and more. We’ve talked at length about how these factors franchise-buying decisions in our free how to choose a franchise guide.

Should You Buy A Car And Automotive Franchise UK?

Car franchises UK make for an ideal fit for you if you have prior experience in the industry.

That doesn’t, however, mean that you can’t ‘make it’ if you haven’t worked in the industry. With the right kind of people working for you, it’s definitely possible to make a car franchise UK work, provided that you’ve chosen your franchisor based on meticulous franchise market research.

For would-be franchisees, we have prepared a handy franchise checklist – you can download it here for free.

Top Car Franchises UK

Car and automotive franchises UK occupy a significant cross section of the UK franchising world. Naturally, there are dozens of franchise opportunities available in this sector – and with these numbers comes confusion. To give our readers a fair idea of what a typical car and automotive franchise brings on board, we have compiled a short list of some of the most popular UK car franchises.

Please note that all the numbers and details mentioned below are subject to change. It’s best to contact the franchisor business for more information.

1. Revive!

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £14,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Van-based smart car repair business
  • Exclusive territories with high scalability
  • 6-8 vans per territory
  • Full training
  • Business support
  • Marketing support
  • Exit support
  • Full BFA Member

2. Hometyre

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £5,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Van-based tyre business
  • 16 years in business
  • No industry experience required
  • No need to stock inventory – orders fulfilled by the franchisor
  • Marketing support
  • Full training on offer

3. Motor Republic

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £18,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Car rental and leasing services for businesses
  • 6-8 vans per territory
  • Home-based franchise opportunity
  • Ideal for franchisees with sales/B2B background
  • Marketing support
  • Exit support

4. Optic-Kleer

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £15,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Windscreen repair business
  • 25+ years in operation
  • Over 50 active franchise units
  • Full training
  • Marketing support
  • Associate BFA Member

The Wheel Specialist

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £44,997 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Wheel repair, refurbishment and customisation services
  • Finance assistance may be available
  • Full training provided
  • Business support
  • Marketing support
  • Associate BFA Member

Car And Automotive Franchises UK – The Takeaways

  • Industry experience isn’t as important as your ability to raise finance and run daily operations smoothly.
  • Car franchises UK are for you if you can manage a group of employees well.
  • As ever, the franchise market research is important.
  • Keep an eye of market trends – especially related to emission regulations, electric cars and self-driving cars.

If you run a car franchise UK, we want to hear from you. Drop us a line to share your experiences in this industry with thousands of our readers. For regular updates, do consider subscribing to our blog. Do take a moment to check out the franchise news section on our website to receive daily updates about the UK franchising world.

Photography Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Photography Franchises

March 18, 2019

Photography Franchise UK – the TOP 10 MUST KNOWS about finding and running successful UK Photography Franchises.

The photography business has managed to withstand technological challenges. Is it, however, a good idea to buy a photography franchise UK?

A common (and fair) question to ask whenever you’re considering a business or investment opportunity is this: What will this look like down the road?

At franchise4u, we regularly discuss how various franchise sectors answer this question.

When, however, we sit down to dissect everything that is good and bad about UK photography franchises, things get more complicated than we like.

There’s a simple reason for these complications – photography businesses touch multiple other industries that have little in common in terms of being future-proof. Art, lifestyle, technology and services, just to name a few.

Regardless, it’s safe to say that photography franchises UK have managed to not just survive – but thrive, whenever faced with challenges.

In this article, we’ll take a look at how a typical photography franchise UK makes money, what the downsides to your investments are and how to make the most of opportunities afforded by the UK market.

Understanding The Market Situation For A Photography Franchise UK

A UK photography franchise works within a very niche market – there simply isn’t the advantage of scale to be had here, unlike, let’s say, fast food franchises or financial franchises UK.

  • The overall photographic industry in the UK generates close to £1.7 bn per year. It should be clear, if you follow our blog regularly, that this isn’t exactly a huge canvas for new businesses to operate on. This, however, is rarely the decisive factor – market size merely indicates the total spread of utility, not the prospect value. (In other words, large markets aren’t necessarily easy to breach – the retail sector is a great example of this).
  • Over 8,000 distinct businesses operate within the UK photographic industry. This includes all UK photography franchises. Again, not exactly a promising number – but that’s fine.
  • UK photography businesses have grown at a rate of 2% per annum over the past four years (2014-2018). This number is well above the average growth of the UK economy.
  • Close to 18,000 people are directly employed by UK photography businesses. For an industry as small as this, this is definitely an impressive number.
  • The majority of photography businesses in the UK are run as sole trading businesses (freelance activities). Here’s our take on what various business structures mean for UK franchises.
  • From the point of view of a photography franchise UK, the focus sub-niche will always be events and wedding photography – the biggest contributor to the overall turnover of UK photography businesses.

Sources: Ibis World, The British Photographic Council

Recommended: The Pros And Cons Of Running A Franchise Business

The Simplest Question Every Photography Franchise UK Has To Answer: “Is This Still A Thing?”

We started this review of UK photography franchises with a simple argument.

That naturally leads to would-be franchisees having to grapple with another question – are photography businesses STILL needed in 2019?

We all have state of the art cameras in our smartphones – and we love using them all the time. Even the elderly demographic is often seen fiddling with not just their smartphone cameras, but with elaborate filters too.

Talk to any pro photographer and they will tell you – everyone is now a photographer, but not every picture is a photograph.

So, in other words, the smartphones may well dictate the future of photography, but it won’t necessarily be a bad thing for a photography franchise UK. Professional photographers are still in hot demand for events (think conferences, parties and, of course, weddings) and other B2B requirements (think construction photography, travel photography, sports photography, product photography, locational photography and so forth).

What Do UK Photography Franchises Do?

Photography franchises are a curious blend of product and service businesses – you’ll struggle to find a business sector just like this one in the franchising world.

So, what exactly does a photography franchise UK do?

The short answer is – they provide photography and videography services on demand.

The long answer is, however, what we are after.

If you have ever run a franchise business, you know that the ultimate bottom line is almost always proportional to the demand forces that are in your favour AND the brand value/expertise you get directly from the franchisor. If you are new to franchising, here’s our guide to running your first franchise.

Therefore, what UK photography franchises really do is a unique mix of selling services that aren’t always going to attract repeat customers. To bring down the obviously high customer acquisition costs, a photography franchise UK has to subsidise their marketing through word of mouth.

Walking on this tightrope means that typical UK photography franchises don’t just provide services – they create demand through serving their customers.

How Much Does A Photography Franchise UK Cost?

Even though photography franchises UK form a tight niche sector, the initial investments vary wildly from one type to another.

As we have noted repeatedly in many of our posts, the minimum initial investment for every franchise depends on the market goodwill the franchisor brings to the table.

As far as UK photography franchises go, this factor is largely a non-starter – because there are very few independent franchisors out there that can claim to bring customers in based solely on their market reputation.

So, it all eventually boils down to the type of services on offer and the kind of expertise you receive from the franchisor – not just their brand name. An average photography franchise UK can be bought and run for a minimum initial investment that ranges from as low as £5,000 to as high as £100,000.

Franchisees, in most cases, receive the licencing rights to the brand name (and proprietary techniques, if any), training, marketing support, ongoing business assistance, exclusive territory and varying levels of equipment for the initial investment. To know more about some of the top photography franchises UK, read on.

Recommended: The Only Franchising Checklist You’ll Ever Need – Free, Instant Download!

Photography Franchises UK – How Do They Make Money?

Our research shows that photography franchises UK usually break even within 12-18 months of trading – provided that there are no abnormal market forces holding them back (and, of course, the services provided are top notch). Here’s more about why meticulous market research is necessary before you buy a franchise business.

Most photography franchises in the UK generate revenues from two major streams:

  1. Regular clients (applies for B2B variants within the industry)
  2. One-off assignments (applies for B2C variants, primarily operating in the lifestyle segment of the industry)

The incomings are derived from service fees and rental fees (applies for studio rental businesses), along with creative fees (applies for art/publication/modelling variants).

The outgoings are predictably consistent with all service businesses:

These include:

  • Office/studio rental
  • Equipment purchase, rental and maintenance
  • Staff salaries
  • Utilities
  • Other inventory
  • Marketing
  • Insurance
  • Taxes
  • Franchisor fees/royalties/commissions

Here’s Why Micro-Niches Matter For Photography Franchises UK

It may seem counter productive to divide an already small market into micro-niches – but that seems to be the best way forward, when people are willing to pay a premium for highly specialised (and localised) services.

From that sense, a UK photography franchise has the best chance of succeeding when they offer highly specific, preferably B2B services.

“UK photography franchises are a great endorsement for the ‘go niche’ argument – you can generate the same business by doing one thing really well than by doing an array of generic things at an okay level.”

A good case in point are construction photography businesses.

It would seem that there won’t be many takers for such a thing, but that simply isn’t true. Developers and builders now know that the best way to make them look good on their advertising materials (and social media) is to have premium, top-quality pictures speak for their expertise.

Take a look at this drone shot (courtesy: Drone Photography Services UK):

Photography Franchise UK

A well-funded developer will be more than happy to commission the services of a specialist company to create such stunning shots that make their sites and projects look great!

How To Market A Photography Franchise UK Without Breaking Your Bank

Every photography business has one advantage over other service businesses – their good work is there to see, quite literally.

Marketing Costs Add Up!

As is the case with every ‘local’ business out there, the marketing costs do add up really fast for photography franchises UK. To avoid having to deal in the ‘negative’ cashflow territory forever, you’ll need to employ smart marketing techniques that generate leads and sales fast, at cheap prices and on a consistent basis.

Here are a few ideas:


We talked at length about the important of networking for franchise businesses while discussing property and estate agency franchises UK.

The same tenets apply for photography franchises.

It doesn’t matter which micro-niche you operate in, it’s always beneficial to establish reliable industry contacts that keep putting your name ‘out there’, giving you a passive marketing edge over competitors.

A Website That Works For You

While you will only be able to ‘close’ customers when you meet with them in person and let them see your work, the first impression is almost always going to be created via your website.

So, make sure your website is designed well, presents your portfolio well and is optimised for search (SEO).

Social Media – A Gamechanger For Photography Businesses

Many talented photographers have successfully harnessed the reach and recognition that social media can grant.

If it fits your budget, do consider hiring a specialist digital marketing and social media management agency to automate all your tasks and keep generating leads for you. A good agency should be able to return your investments 2-5x, if not more.

Here’s a good lowdown on some creative marketing tactics for photography businesses.

Recommended: Here’s How UK Franchise Businesses Are Taxed

Is It Possible To Run A Photography Franchise From Home?

It is!

If the business niche you want to operate doesn’t require maintaining a dedicated office space or a studio, it’s definitely possible to turn a photography franchise into a full-scale home-based franchise business.

This applies particularly for businesses that require you to travel to the customer’s location.

Top UK Photography Franchises

Here’s our shortlist of some of the most popular and innovative photography franchise businesses in the UK:

1. Venture Studios

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £70,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Renowned portrait photographers
  • Exclusive territories
  • Bespoke techniques and equipment
  • Marketing support
  • Full training
  • Ongoing business support
  • Full BFA Member

2. Photography For Little People

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £15,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Portrait photography services for children
  • Home based franchise opportunity
  • Mobile photography franchise
  • Finance support (whenever possible)
  • Full training
  • Ongoing business support

3. Multivista

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £147,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: World-leaders in construction site photography, videography and monitoring solutions
  • Thorough business knowledge and expertise sharing
  • End to end software and technology support
  • Proven business model
  • 15+ years in operation

4. SkyCam

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £4,900 (plus VAT)
  • USP: Drone photography for B2C and B2B customers
  • The initial investment gets you a state of the art drone, accessories and Unmanned Aircraft Pilots Licence Course
  • Full training on offer
  • Dedicated account manager
  • Marketing support
  • Social media support

5. POP! Studios

  • Minimum Initial Investment: £100,000 (plus VAT)
  • USP: High-end editing services and professional photography
  • You don’t need to work as a photographer
  • Unique and successful business model
  • Full training
  • Business insurance
  • Full training
  • Furnishing support
  • Finance support
  • Equipment and IT package

UK Photography Franchises – The Takeaways

  • Choose your niche carefully.
  • You don’t necessarily have to be a creative genius – just get the numbers right.
  • Focus on efficient marketing methods.
  • Networking is the key.
  • People skills matter in this line.
  • Photography franchises are tough to scale – invest accordingly.

If you run a photography franchise UK, we want to know what your experience has been like. Write to us here to stand a chance to feature on our hugely popular franchising success stories page!

Caremark Sutton expands award-winning service into Epsom

March 18, 2019

Caremark UK – People who live in Epsom, Reigate and Banstead are now able to access the services of an award-winning health and social care company from Sutton.

Caremark provides home care, live-in care, as well as support for people with learning disabilities, mental health issues, as well as those with complex care needs.

Now it’s pushing for an expansion into three new areas as it opens its doors to residents in Epsom, Banstead and Reigate.

It’s headed up by mum-of-two Hannah Drury who, by 27, had scooped four national awards for her business skills and desire to transform care which is delivered in people’s own homes.

“This is a dream come true,” she said. “Through building a service on integrity, compassion and strong family values, we have a fantastic reputation in the local area.

Related: Biggest Group of New Recruits Ever Join the Caremark Network

“For the past year we’ve been inundated with clients living in and around Epsom and Reigate, and it’s heartbreaking having to turn people away.

“Now with the new service we won’t have to.”

Hannah was named “Young Woman in Franchising of the Year”, “Young Franchisee of the Year” and “Franchisee of the Year” at the British Franchisee Association Awards.

She also won the top prize for “Franchise of the Year” for Caremark at the 2017 Startups Awards after the service was founded in 2013.

Source: Surrey Comet

Greggs rolls out hot self-serve cabinets to boost afternoon sales

March 18, 2019

Greggs is beginning the roll-out of hot self-serve cabinets as it increases the range of hot food options for customers throughout the day.

The high street chain, which now numbers almost 2,000 stores UK-wide, describes hot food as a “key area of development” for the business.

The investment in new catering equipment reflects the fact that hot food could become particularly profitable for it during times of the day when customers don’t fancy cakes or breads.

It revealed it is seeing increasing demand for “quick meal solutions” later in the day when demand for sweet bakery items and cold sandwiches has passed its peak.

Hot sandwiches are available in all its shops and the roll-out of hot self-serve cabinets will support the expansion of new product ranges, including fresh porridge, soups, potato wedges and chicken goujons.

Greggs’ ability to expand beyond traditional bakery items is central to its growth plans as it seeks to build on the £1 billion revenue that it has just reported for 2018.

The company has endeavoured to differentiate itself by freshly preparing food each day in its shops and by offering “outstanding” value for great tasting food-on-the-go.

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

In its preliminary annual results announcement, CEO Roger Whiteside said: “Over the years we have developed a market-leading reputation in long-established traditional bakery categories adapted to food-on-the-go. Whilst these products remain best sellers, we continue to build a reputation in new areas that create more reasons to visit Greggs, meeting food-on-the-go needs at all times of the day.”

Another area that is proving lucrative for Greggs is breakfast-on-the-go. It is currently the fastest-growing part of its trading day.

It now offers a wide range of breakfast menu options to cater for regular customers seeking variety each day, and awareness is growing as it adds lines such as fruit and yoghurt to its breakfast meal deal.

New products such as fresh porridge and breakfast boxes are also showing good potential as they become available in more shops, Greggs said.

Overall its range of options for customers is widening, with gluten-free and vegan-friendly products added to the Balanced Choice range that offers fewer than 400 calories.

Its range of gluten-free soups, vegan-friendly Mexican bean wrap and vegan-friendly sausage roll have all performed well since their launch.

Greggs has a strong pipeline of new shop openings for 2019 and expects to add at least 100 net new shops in the year, including around 50 with franchise partners. Its target is to reach at ;east 2,500 stores.

By Andrew Seymour

Source: Foodservice Equipment Journal

New drive-thru Starbucks to replace Ramsbottom Esso garage site

March 18, 2019

An Esso garage site in a local market town is about to be replaced by an international coffeehouse chain. Starbucks is set to throw open the doors to its first franchise in Ramsbottom.

Locals will be able to grab coffee inside or via the brand new drive-thru which will be located at 40 Stubbins Lane.

Plans to demolish the existing petrol station, car wash and industrial building and replace it with the drive-thru coffee shop have been approved by planning officers at Bury Council.

A new petrol filling station, convenience store and associated car parking will also be erected.

Euro Garages Ltd are behind the project and now operate in excess of 67 safe hands drive-to and drive-thru coffee shops and restaurants, almost 200 fast food restaurants and 100 bakeries across the UK.

Two new ATM points will also be provided and there will be a night service desk.

Starbucks will be located where the car wash currently is situated, spanning 190 square metres.

An access road for the drive-thru and associated customer parking will be constructed.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Customers will place their order at the pick up point and then pay and collect their order from the ‘Pickup’ service point at the back of the building, before exiting through the petrol filling station forecourt.

A total of 20 parking spaces, including two disabled bays, will be located at the front of the Starbucks.

The plans state: “Although the proposals will increase the amount of development on the site, the new buildings will be single storey and sited in the same location within the site as the existing convenience store and drive-thru car wash.

“The proposals will not alter the character of the use at the site and will improve the visual appearance of the service station as a whole, with upgraded modern and high quality replacement buildings which will provide enhanced facilities for the local population and passing motorists.”

The proposals have been approved with a list of set conditions including that no trees shall be demolished between the March, 1 and August, 31 in any year unless a detailed bird nest survey is conducted to ensure no active bird nests are present.

By Olivia Baron Trainee Live News Reporter

Lancs Live

Co-op joins forces with Kent University

March 16, 2019

Co-op has joined forces with the students’ union at The University of Kent to transform its stores – known as the SU Shop & SU Shop Park Wood.

The agreement with Kent Union is the Co-op’s first franchise store on campus in the South of England and its second franchise on a university campus UK-wide.

The new stores, which are expected to open by September, will offer Co-op’s full range of fresh, healthy foods, extended vegan and free-from products, Fairtrade produce, food-to-go, in-store bakery, and essentials.

Martin Rogers, Co-op’s head of new channels, said: “This is an important development for Co-op. Franchise stores provide an exciting opportunity to grow our brand and generate mutual value with our partners. At the heart of the Co-op it is about connecting communities, bringing people together and making a difference.

Related: UK Retailer The Co-op Announces Franchise Recruitment Programme

“We have a long-standing partnership with NUS and so this relationship with Kent Union is a natural progression. An exciting opportunity to grow our brand together, and make more of our products available in the community. The new Canterbury campus store will have the range, choice, ease and convenience tailored to serve campus needs – we look forward to working closely with Kent Union and serving the needs of the campus community.”

The Co-op gives TOTUM cardholders 10% discount off groceries, and brings funding boosts for local causes through its membership scheme – members receive a 5% reward on purchases of own-brand products, with the Co-op donating a further 1% to local causes.

Aaron Thompson, union president and chair of the board of trustees, said: “One of the biggest pieces of feedback we get every year from students is that the prices in the shop are too high and i’m so happy we can finally address this issue. I believe that this partnership will offer Kent students better value for money, bigger product range and even bigger discounts. The board of trustees were happy to approve the change as the Co-op’s values align with Kent Union’s on being a sustainable organisation, passionate about the environment, and improving our links with the community on and off campus.”

Andrew Duffield, head of retail – who has managed the SU Shop for the last two years, added: “This is a really exciting partnership, and I am privileged to be involved in the project. Our new Co-op store will see an even larger product range offered in store which will complement the great discount opportunities for students. The store will be completely transformed and given a well needed face-lift, really improving the shopping experience for our customers. As part of the refurbishment we will be introducing at least 15 self-scan tills reducing the queuing times. This partnership also allows us to benefit from greater operational efficiencies, which will support stronger product availability, and a larger focus on customer service.”

By Liz Wells

Source: Talking Retail

Domino’s Grabs Slice Of Irish Franchise

March 16, 2019

Domino’s Pizza Group, the operator of the Domino’s chain in UK and Ireland, is reported to have agreed a €12.5m deal to acquire a 15% stake in Shorecal, its biggest Irish franchisee.

According to The Irish Times, the Caldwell family will retain majority control of Shorecal, which operates nearly 30 Domino’s outlets in Ireland. It recently sold about a third of the business to the Bronfman family from the US, whose wealth was originally derived from the Seagram whiskey company.

Domino’s has stated that it wants to increase the number of franchised outlets in the Irish market from 50 to about 75 in coming years. Shorecal is planning open about 10 new Irish stores (of which six will be in the Republic) over the next four years.

Commenting on the deal, Domino’s Chief Executive David Wild said: “Shorecal came to us last year and told us they had been approached by a family office [Bronfman] to invest.

“The opportunity was for us to co-invest with the family office. We can see the benefits of this type of patient capital as a form of funding. We may want to do more of this in the UK.”

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

Domino’s yesterday revealed mixed annual results with “growing pains” internationally hampering its overall financial results.

The group said its performance in international markets was worse than it had anticipated with its Swiss, Norwegian and Swedish businesses continuing to make losses. Performance was stronger in its main Domino’s UK and Ireland units.

“2018 was a mixed year. In the UK and Ireland, which account for around 90% of the business, we extended our excellent track record of growth and cash generation, responding well to the very challenging environment for the casual dining market,” said Wild.

Domino’s system sales climbed 9% to £1.3bn in the year to 31 December 2018. Like-for-like sales in its UK operation rose 4.6%, whilst Ireland saw a 4% rise.

Pre-tax profits dropped 24% to £61.9m. However, underlying profits, which exclude charges of £31.5m relating mainly to international impairments, UK supply chain transformation and integration costs, edged down only 1.1% to £93.4m.

The group said internationally it hopes to break even during 2019, while UK growth is expected to continue. Domino’s opened 81 stores across the group, of which 58 were in the UK. It stated that its UK “store pipeline” is similar to 2018 at the same time last year “although actual openings are likely to be lower than 2018 given ongoing franchisee discussions”.

Source: KamCity

Franchise Brands on the prowl for acquisitions

March 15, 2019

“2018 has been a period of significant change for the team at Franchise Brands as we have integrated Metro Rod and further developed our shared support services of IT, finance, marketing and franchisee recruitment,” said executive chairman, Stephen Hemsley.

The multi-brand franchisor, Franchise Brands PLC (LON:FRAN), is looking forward to the year with confidence after making a strong start to the year.

The company behind franchise brands ChipsAway and Metro Rod said it was looking for more acquisition opportunities now that the integration of Metro Rod is complete.

2019 has started encouragingly, with a good trading performance across the networks in the first two months of the year and order intake at Metro Rod ahead of 2018. The level of franchise enquiries at ChipsAway, Ovenclean and Barking Mad is also significantly ahead of last year, the group revealed.

Franchise Brands reported a 43% increase in revenue to £35.5mln in 2018 from £24.9mln in 2017.

Fee income increased by 41% to £17.9mln from £12.7mln the year before.

Related: Franchise Brands lays the foundations for another 10 years

Adjusted profit before tax, which strips out what the company considers to be exceptional items, surged 36% to £2.9mln from £2.1mln the year before, while statutory profit before tax turned positive at £2.3mln versus a loss in 2017 of £0.1mln.

Cash generated from operations shot up to £2.9mln from £0.7mln in 2017. Net debt at the end of the year had narrowed to £5.0mln from £6.3mln at the end of 2017.

Dividend rises

Shareholders have been rewarded with a 34% increase in the total dividend for the year (0.67p, up from 0.5p the year before) after the final dividend was whacked up to 0.46p from 0.33p the previous year.

“The investment we have made in Metro Rod to support our Vision 2023 strategy is beginning to deliver tangible benefits which I expect to become increasingly more visible in the current year and beyond as we continue to unlock the clear potential for the business,” said Stephen Hemsley, the executive chairman.

“We will consider the selective acquisition of reasonably valued and earnings enhancing franchise businesses that can leverage our core functions, and complementary drainage and plumbing businesses which expand our scope of works,” he added.

Shares in Franchise Brands opened 6.6% higher at 72.5p.

Source: Proactive Investors

Neighborly Acquires the U.K.’s Dream Doors, Its 22nd Service Brand

March 15, 2019

Neighborly, formerly Dwyer Group, has been on a buying spree since being acquired in mid-2018 by Harvest Partners, a New York-based private equity firm.

The latest acquisition is Dream Doors, which has 91 locally owned and operated franchise showrooms in the U.K. Dream Doors specializes in fully fitted kitchen makeovers, bedroom wardrobes, replacement doors and countertops, and installing new appliances.

The acquisition brings Neighborly’s brands to a total of 8 brands and four campuses based in Europe. Globally, the deal increases the number of Neighborly’s brands to 22, with $2 billion in annual system-wide revenue and nearly 3,700 franchisees.

Related: The Ultimate Guide to Home Improvement Franchises in the UK

“Dream Doors has delivered on its promise of ‘new life for old kitchens and bedrooms’ for the past 20 years, making the brand a perfect complement to Neighborly Brands’ community of premium home services,” said Mike Bidwell, president and CEO of Neighborly in a press release.

Based in Portsmouth in the south of England, Dream Doors was founded to provide kitchen makeovers, and expanded to offer custom wardrobes in bedrooms. Following the acquisition, founder and Chairman Troy Tappenden will be stepping down and departing the company. Dream Doors will continue to be overseen by Managing Director Philip Carr, who has been instrumental in implementing the brand’s long-term expansion strategy since 2017.

By: Eddy Goldberg

Source: Franchising