Caremark franchise trials robots to tackle loneliness

January 22, 2021

A Gloucestershire home care provider is helping to alleviate isolation and loneliness during the pandemic by offering a robot which acts as a companion.

 
Caremark Gloucestershire is trialling ‘Genie’, a voice-activated robot designed to offer connectivity and support to older people.

Developed by Bristol-based care technology company Service Robotics, the GenieConnect service provides free video calling, welfare video monitoring with alerts, entertainment and access to online shopping and remote medical support.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

During the trial, Genie is being used to allow Caremark customers to speak to and see their friends and family.

Mike Folkes, managing director of Caremark Gloucestershire, said: “Since the first national lockdown in March, even though our carers were still able to support customers in their own homes, it was clear that people were struggling with the isolation.

“Friends and family were not permitted to visit and even though some people were able to do video calls with their loved ones, there were many more who did not have, or understand, the technology.

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

“We began looking for solutions and GenieConnect seemed perfect because it was created specifically with older people in mind.

“We are the only home care company in Gloucestershire taking part in the trial and we’re already delighted with how successful it has been.”

GenieConnect was the brainchild of Service Robotics founders Rob Parkes and Tim Morgan. They have elderly parents who found themselves living alone after losing their respective partners, so after seeing first-hand how quickly a full and happy life can become lonely, Rob and Tim decided to use their innovation, skills, and experience to create the service.

Related: Caremark Franchise

Whilst initially aimed at older adults, it is now also being used by a range of people experiencing feelings of isolation and loneliness.

Folkes added: “Ultimately, Genie will be able to do so much more and working in partnership with Service Robotics, we’re very excited about the long-term benefits of using this technology.”

Service Robotics CEO and co-founder Rob Parkes said: “One of the commonest fears of older adults is that something will happen, they’ll be incapacitated some-how, and nobody will know. By using Genie’s check-in facility, we can offer peace of mind.”

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Fireaway Pizza aims for 100 in 2021

January 20, 2021

Takeaway pizza concept Fireaway has launched its 50th site today, with a further 50 new sites to open over the next year.

 
Though franchising “wasn’t the plan” initially, following the opening of its first site in 2016, a franchise-heavy roll-out has allowed the business to expand at pace, and will comprise its growth strategy going forward, founder Mario Aleppo has told BigHospitality ​sister site MCA.

Fireaway opened eight stores during the pandemic, including its latest today in Manchester, and is set to open in Cumbernauld, Dartford, Tunbridge Wells, Northampton, Shrewsbury, and Coventry over the next six weeks.

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

“They’re all ready to go they’re just waiting to open,” Aleppo said. “We have another ten that are under construction, and the rest are secured locations, but the shops haven’t been found yet.”

Targeting a mix of high-street and residential locations, all but one of the upcoming openings will be via franchise partners, and will offer the brand’s ‘designer pizza’ menu for takeaway and delivery via the Fireaway website as well as on Just Eat, Deliveroo and Just Eat.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Based on “Subway-style” service, consumers can build their own pizzas from a choice of 25 different toppings for £10.99, with pizzas moving from prep to plate in just 180 seconds.

“We operate a fast, create your own for one price model,” said Aleppo. “It’s worked well, especially at the moment with consumers being slightly more careful with how they spend their money.

Related: Fireaway Franchise

“We also aim to offer a fresher, healthier pizza compared to our competitors in takeaway. Most of the products come from Italy, and we work with an Italian recipe. We keep it as authentic as possible.”

By Georgia Cronin

Source: Big Hospitality

In Home Care opens Chelmsford branch as part of UK expansion plans

January 19, 2021

Home care franchise, In Home Care, has formally opened its first new branch of the year in Chelmsford.

The branch is part of In Home Care’s vast expansion plans, which will see additional locations open in London, Hertfordshire, and in the Republic of Ireland.

 
In Home Care Chelmsford will provide hourly, overnight, and live-in care services for individuals with physical and learning difficulties from February. These services also include tailored dementia care and companionship, as well as elderly care.

Natasha Shillingford, director at In Home Care Chelmsford, said: “I am proud to be overseeing In Home Care’s new Chelmsford branch and excited to be aiding vulnerable people in our community. In Home Care is a company which really does have care at its heart – we believe that everyone is entitled to the best possible support and that includes the carers who come to work for us.

Related: Senior Care Franchise UK – Should You Buy UK Senior Care Franchises?

“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown just how vital home care is for people requiring a little extra support, and provides reassurance to their family members and friends who may not be able to visit during lockdown. Our carers can carry out tasks such as managing personal care and assisting with medication, through to companionship and even taking care of the home or pets.”

Related: Care Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

In Home Care co-founder Claire Simmons (pictured) added: “It has been a monumental 12 months for In Home Care and we’re proud to be bringing our support services to the communities in and around Chelmsford. We have a great team working with us across our network and are looking forward to welcoming our new customers and carers to the In Home Care family.”

Since being founded in 2011, In Home Care has grown significantly, with more than 180 staff and seven franchises in total already completed, spanning Hampshire, West Sussex, Surrey, and Hertfordshire.

By SARAH CLARKE

Source: Home Care Insight

Crepe Delicious Expands Into UK

January 18, 2021

Crepe Delicious has signed area master development with the well-respected Master Franchisee, Pheby Food Concepts Ltd. to open multiple locations in United Kingdom. The move into United Kingdom marks the 9th country outside of the U.S and Canada where Crepe Delicious will have presence.

 
The first Crepe Delicious is scheduled to open United Kingdom in Fall 2021 with a projected total of 28 locations by 2025.

“We have had great success word wide and seek to continue growth” said Elik Farin, COO of Crepe Delicious Holdings Inc. “International consumers really enjoy all that our brand has to offer, and we look forward to bringing the great concept and variety.”

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

Crepe Delicious currently has over 65 locations globally.

About Crepe Delicious:

Crepe Delicious is a rapidly growing creperie, offering sweet and savory crepes as well as hand crafted gelato made fresh at the premises, selection of panini sandwiches, salads and premium beverages. Crepe Delicious offers a comfortable relaxed environment which you can enjoy your time and your crepe. Whether for breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert, Crepe Delicious is a healthy meal option.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Founded in 2004, By Mr. Oded Yefet, Crepe Delicious is committed to healthy eating. The company uses only the finest and freshest ingredients to fill its signature crepes.

Crepe Delicious offers an outstanding opportunity for potential franchisees to run a turn-key operation receiving full training and support to establish, manage and grow the business.

Source: Franchising

Success is in-store for easyStorage’s new franchisees with help from d&t

January 14, 2021

Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou is best known for creating easyJet in 1995 when he was just 28 years old. He has since developed and retained ownership of the ‘easy’ brand which has now been extended and licensed to many other sectors – all dedicated to offering consumers more value for less.

 

easyStorage

easyStorage is a member of the ‘easy’ family of brands and was founded in 2018 by Tim Slesinger (CEO) and Nigel Dawson (franchise director), offering the no-frills, well priced approach to storage. Its success is based on the fact that this rapidly growing industry, in its current form, can be inefficient and therefore more costly than it needs to be.

Unlike traditional self-storage, easyStorage brings easyPods to customers’ doors. Items are loaded there and then, the easyPods are closed using security seals and taken to an easyStorage secure storage facility.

And, unlike walk-in self-storage, easyStorage takes advantage of storing high in its warehouses, using cubic meters that are often otherwise wasted. Each pod is priced sensibly and on an ‘as needed’ basis. As a result, storage plans provide a cost-effective alternative to renting lockups or other storage space. Customers can still visit and access their items by booking an access visit at their local facility.

In September 2019, chartered accountants and business advisory experts d&t, were asked to work with potential new franchisees interested in joining easyStorage to help them with their business plans. Since then, easyStorage has now appointed d&t as its head office accountancy practice as well as providing the QuickBooks license and support for the whole franchise network.

Karolina Jankos, head of operations at d&t explains: “One of the services d&t offers is assistance from our expert advisors for business planning for franchisees. Although the franchisee does the basic ‘information gathering’ including research on competitors, SWOT and risk analysis, we help with evaluation and number crunching to ensure franchisees have a viable and workable plan particularly when it comes to the finances.

“We look at the projections for the next three years, profit and loss, cashflow and balance sheet. If franchisees need to raise finance to buy the business, then we build in loan repayments into the forecasts. It is important to be able to check projections against reality so now easyStorage has franchisees that have been trading long enough, we can use this data to ensure plans are realistic.”

Related: Professional Services Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Discovery days

Louise Harris, QFP, head of strategic partnerships at easyStorage confirms: “I worked with d&t before I joined easyStorage on another project and liked their approach. d&t staff now attend our franchise discovery days where possible to gain a deeper understanding of our business which helps when it comes to planning. When candidates are ready to proceed, we introduce them to d&t for assistance with the business planning aspect of their franchise application.

“easyStorage has only been running for a few years but we already have franchises in place across the UK. We are currently recruiting for new franchisees in strategic locations, particularly the Midlands and the North and in Cornwall. For this reason, we don’t have long trading histories to help with forecasts. Therefore, we supply the background and work to date trading history figures which are updated regularly along with data from our pilot franchises.”

Harris added: “There are many aspects that need to be worked into the forecasts, it maybe that a potential franchisee already works in the sector or a neighbouring territory is already doing well and has done extensive marketing, this can all influence how quickly a new franchisee will get off the ground. d&t works with the potential franchisees to factor in these points and develop a realistic, workable business plan.

“d&t has experts in tax planning, accountancy and financial planning so I know franchisees are in safe hands when we introduce them to the team to develop viable business plans for the future.”

Phil Archer, asset finance manager at d&t confirms: “2020 was certainly a challenging year in every respect. However, we have worked with more than half a dozen new easyStorage franchisees in the past 12 months, who have either opened or are set to open shortly. The detailed financial plans we have supplied to ensure forecasts and cashflows are realistic, have been used to go on to secure borrowing such as vehicle finance or other bank loans essential to start the franchise.”

Karolina Jankos, head of operations at d&t concludes: “It has been a pleasure working with the new franchisees for easyStorage so far and we have more business plans in the pipeline with other candidates. We are looking forward to seeing how those plans evolve into real life as new franchisees continue to join easyStorage in the future.”

Source: Franchise World

Oggy Oggy pasty franchise expands with new Covid safe takeaway

January 13, 2021

The Oggy Oggy pasty empire continues to grow despite the Covid pandemic with a new outlet about to open in Plymouth – but as a takeaway only.

Lesley and Malkolm Park, who already operate two Oggy Oggy franchise stores in the city, have signed a six year lease on a former vegetable shop at Plymstock Broadway.

 
Work has now begun to convert the unit into a pasty takeaway as that is the only form of trading allowed during the current coronavirus lockdown.

Mrs Park, who already operates the Oggy Oggy outlets in the city centre’s Armada Way and in Plympton, said the new venture will be designed as a takeout only, unlike the other more cafe-based models.

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

She said that although it could be converted in future, the likelihood is that takeaway only is the way businesses will have to operate for the foreseeable future.

“Takeaway is the only way forward,” Mrs Park said. “We could maybe offer some tables eventually, but not at the moment.

“So takeaway seems the way to go, and there is a large footfall in the area of Plymstock. We will also be able to carry out our frozen pasty deliveries, and maybe throw in milk, bread and eggs to help people in this difficult period.

“We open in three to four weeks,” she added. “We are starting the fit out with the floors and then the electrician comes in.”

Mrs Park’s Oggy Oggy outlets, part of a franchised chain of nearly 20 around the South West, have already “pivoted” to cope with Covid restrictions.

The new unit will join them in 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.

Related: Food Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Mrs Park has even spread the supply of frozen goods nationally by using postal deliveries across mainland UK. Among a multitude of online offers are the pasty selection box, the vegan box, cake box, and even cream tea box.

“We have been smart and went online, doing the frozen pasty deliveries,” Mrs Park said. “We even ring people up, especially the elderly, and ask if we can get them anything.”

Mrs Park already employs 16 people and will add another five staff at the Plymstock Broadway venture.

“Just drop your CVs in through the letterbox,” Mrs Parks said to aspiring pasty workers.

By William Telford

Source: Business Live

EweMove takes over nearby franchise agency and lettings book

January 11, 2021

A EweMove branch has acquired a nearby Martin & Co operation, including its portfolio of 150 managed properties.

 
Both firms are owned by parent company The Property Franchise Group.

The deal sees two members of staff from Martin & Co in Salisbury join the EweMove operation based in Winchester.

Related: Property and Estate Agent Franchises UK – What Buying an Estate Agency Franchise Means for UK Franchisees

EweMove franchise holder Malcolm White says: “Having launched EweMove in 2016, the business has enjoyed lots of successes from a standing start and we’ve helped lots of local buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants. But to see the business grow in this way is hugely exciting – particularly as Martin & Co is an agency with such an established reputation in the area.”

Related: Property & Estate Agency – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

He continues: “Our EweMove business is very much based on a genuine passion for property and an absolute commitment to customer care. We’re hugely excited about the year ahead and look forward to helping more people locally with their property plans.”

The Property Franchise Group is currently in talks concerning a possible takeover of Hunters.

Related: EweMove Franchise

By Graham Norwood

Source: Letting Agent Today

A surge of 20 new TaxAssist Accountants shops open in the second half of 2020

January 8, 2021

Despite the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, TaxAssist continued to grow its presence opening 20 new shop-fronts across the UK between July and December.

 
A TaxAssist Accountants shop is a showcase, promoting the friendly, full service offering of accounting and tax services that are available to clients. Ever since the first fully branded shop opened in Norwich in 2002, walk-ins to shops have continually been one of the largest sources of client growth for the network, being conveniently located, offering a visible presence in the local community and effectively reinforcing local, national and online marketing initiatives.

There are now 237 shops open all around the UK and, with growing interest in joining the TaxAssist Accountants network and an increased demand for our services from clients, the indications are that the network is set for further substantial growth.

Related: Bookkeeping, Financial and Accounting Franchise UK – Wonderful Opportunities for Skilled Entrepreneurs and Franchisees

In September, Mark Gibbs unveiled his shop in Southend-on-Sea. Mark said: “It’s great to finally have the shop open and we’ve already had lots of people walk in and comment on how good the shop looks. One of the major reasons for joining TaxAssist Accountants was the modern, fresh look of the shops which can effectively showcase the services we offer and provides a convenient meeting place for clients.”

Confident of the shop model and keen to maintain her growth plans, Olivia Palios opened her fourth shop in Sandbach in November 2020. Olivia, the youngest female franchisee to join the TaxAssist Accountants network at 22, back in 2015, now looks after over 1,000 independent business clients across Cheshire and Staffordshire along with her team of seven accounting and tax professionals.

Olivia said: “2020 has been quite a year, but we’ve continued to sign up new clients, both over the phone and face-to-face, albeit socially distanced in the shop.

“I know that to continue to grow, I need to open more shops because they’re such a draw for clients. I’m looking forward to maximising the potential of the four shops and I can see many opportunities ahead.”

Related: Accountancy & Financial Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

James Mattam, Group Business Development Director, said: “It is fantastic that so many new shops have opened in the UK this year, further promoting the brand creating ever more locations to meet with a TaxAssist Accountant. Our recent client satisfaction survey showed that our clients are keen to meet with us and talk through their financial needs.

“We are witnessing an increase in demand from business owners who have not received the service they deserve this year, when they needed it the most. Our brand values have shone through and we’re proud to say we’ve gone above and beyond to ensure clients were supported and guided through the Government support schemes for grants and funding.

“With the combination of our prominent online brand positioning and high street visibility, we are well placed to service this increase in demand, just as we saw in the previous recession.”

Related: TaxAssist Accountants Franchise

Here is the list of all 20 TaxAssist Accountants shops that have opened in the past six months:

Ashford – Anthony Royle
Barnes – Abdallah Bello
Beaconsfield – Mike Melling
Bedminster – Keith Adams and Anna Baradad
Clacton-on-Sea – Stuart Burge
Clapham Junction – Martin Thomas & Sarah Kay
Coventry – Jay Gosal
Farringdon – Gary Bugdale
Glasgow Tradeston – Adnan Tahir
Hampton – Sunny Srai & Amarita Dosanjh
Huntingdon – Charlie Walker
Kingswinford – Lloyd Evans
Llangefni – Peter Sewell
Preston – Prakaash Manivannan
Prestatyn – Peter Sewell
Sandbach – Olivia Palios
Southend-on-Sea – Mark Gibbs
Stafford – Jugdev Dhillon
Uxbridge – Khaliq Ur Rahman, Owais & Sadia Saad
Walkden – Lee King & Louise Gravina

Oltco named to franchise top 100

January 7, 2021

Newquay-based resin bound driveway company Oltco has been named as one of the UK’s top franchise opportunities.

 
From hundreds of entries across every sector, the business has been ranked 91st overall in the Elite Franchise Top 100 (EF100).

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

Oltco’s co-director, Johnny Pearce, said: “As a Cornwall-based business, we are so proud to have been recognised as one of the top 100 franchises in the UK and to be surrounded by some amazing companies and businesses.

“This is the first time we have entered and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results.”

Related: Home Improvement Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Fellow co-director, Tom Stringer, added: “To be announced as one of the top 100 franchises in the UK is a huge achievement for us and one that tops off a difficult and trying year. As a business, we have learnt so much from the past year alone, we have had to adapt and change the way we work and ensure that all of our franchisees feel supported during these difficult times.

Related: Oltco Franchise

“Despite the difficult year, our franchise network has continued to keep growing, launching 16 new franchise areas since January 2020.”

Source: Business Cornwall

Somerset dog walking and pet care company named one of UK’s top franchise opportunities

January 4, 2021

A dog walking and pet care company has been recognised in the Elite Franchise top 100 list for 2021.

 
Friends For Pets has been chosen from hundreds of entries across every sector and the company has also been made a finalist of the pet care services of the year category in the Pet Industry Federation awards.

Related: Pet Franchises in the UK – Turn Your Passion into a Business

Brand director of Elite Franchise, Scott English, said: “We feel that Friends for Pets has well and truly earned their place in the Elite Franchise top 100 list.

“Each year, the ranking becomes more competitive and this year has been no exception for our panel of industry-leading judges.”

Related: Pet Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Friends for Pets founder, Becca Wilson, said to be included in the list this year is a ‘huge honour’.

She said: “All of our franchisees and pet carers have worked so hard, especially this year, and they deserve to be up there with the best brands in the UK.”

Related: Friends for Pets Franchise

By Lily Newton-Browne

Source: The Weston Mercury