The British High Street is failing, crows the British media. Long-established stores are closing every day. Businesses are closing their doors and shuttering their windows. Really? asks Elizabeth Anderson, In the U.K.‘s The Telegraph, the franchises seem to be doing well enough. In fact, they are thriving. Some of the biggest names on the high street use the franchise model, including KFC, McDonald’s, Costa Coffee and Starbucks.
The success of fast food giants doesn’t just lie in attractively-priced comfort food, Anderson writes, but with hundreds of restaurant entrepreneurs, many of whom often run mini-empires of outlets on a franchise basis. Franchising allows companies to offload the set-up costs to store owners. In turn, franchisees, who are self-employed, benefit from a well-established name and access to ongoing support.
Four in five new franchises are profitable within two years, according to industry body the British Franchise Association (BFA). There are now more than 8,000 franchisee-owned outlets in the UK, a rise of 20pc since the recession.
The success of fast food giants doesn’t just lie in attractively priced comfort food, but with hundreds of restaurant entrepreneurs, many of whom often run mini-empires of outlets on a franchise basis. The biggest franchise operation in the UK is Subway, which has more than 2,000 units run on this basis. Dairy Crest is number two, with 1,500 milk delivery businesses across the UK, followed by pub group Scottish & Newcastle at number three with 1,150 franchised units.
There have also been a number of high-end newcomers, including Pan Chai, a fine dining pan-Asian brand that made its name in Harrods Food Hall.
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