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The top 15 best restaurant and fast food franchises in the UK

The top 15 best restaurant and fast food franchises in the UK

Us Brits have always loved a tasty treat from our favourite restaurants and takeaway shops. The fast-food and restaurant industry is booming in the UK, and if you’ve ever considered entering the rewarding industry, now may be the time.

By investing in a food franchise, you can get involved in the sometimes-expensive business of food at a much lower rate. If you’ve ever dreamt of running a food franchise and taking control of a restaurant, it’s time to get inspired.

Here are some of the top 15 restaurant and fast-food restaurants in the UK – just try your best not to drool too much.

1. Wagamama
Love noodles? It seems a lot of the UK does too.

Wagamama is a British-headquartered restaurant chain dishing up mouth-watering pan-Asian cuisine in the style of a contemporary Japanese ramen bar.

Established by Alan Yau in 1992, the brand has been franchising since 1997. There are now 190 franchise units in total.

2. Wok to Walk
Originating from the Netherlands, Wok to Walk is an on-the-go fast-food takeaway restaurant chain. The brand focuses on wok stir-fried Asian cuisine, and hungry customers can customize their noodle dishes to their liking.

Wok to Walk started in Amsterdam following a trip around Asia. It was established to fill a gap in the market for delicious but quick meals to grab on the go. They’re the perfect pickup lunches or dinners for young, active people who lead a busy lifestyle.

3. Dominos
Domino’s is the UK’s most popular pizza delivery brand. Yet the business started from humble beginnings, first established to deliver hot, yummy, and freshly made pizzas to homes with speed.

Dominos now boasts over 1,000 stores in the UK and is growing at a consistent speed. This is mainly thanks to the company’s successful franchising model.

If you decide to invest in Dominos, you’ll take part in a four-week franchise development programme which teaches you how to run the store efficiently and confidently.

4. McDonald’s
Fancy investing in the world’s most famous fast-food franchise? McDonald’s is arguably the planet’s most recognizable fast-food brand. The restaurant is known for its mascot, Ronald McDonald clown, the stomach-satisfying cheeseburgers, and the lip-licking McFlurrys.

But if you’re hoping to make a fortune with a McDonald’s franchise, you’ll need to have some commitment and patience. The application process takes between three to six months alone, and any potential franchises must attend at least one ‘insight day’ before starting an application.

Plus, McDonald’s is super selective about those it welcomes into the brand. If you have a strong background in management or corporate environments with the right skills to run a jam-packed restaurant of up to 70 people, then your chances of nabbing a franchise with McDonald’s is a whole lot higher.

5. KFC
From one fast-food giant to another. Like McDonald’s, the KFC brand is globally recognized with nearly 14,000 restaurants located in 112 countries. The brand is known for its fried chicken made from Colonel’s secret recipe.

In the UK, the first KFC restaurant opened its doors in 1965 and now there are 850 locations scattered across the country.

There are four types of KFC restaurant that you can own as a franchise. These are the typical restaurant found in city centres, the drive-through restaurant located at roadsides and in retail parks, food courts in shopping centres, and express stores found in residential areas.

While KFC isn’t currently seeking new franchises, keep checking back in case the opportunity to run one of the world’s most famous fast-food restaurants reopens.

6. Papa Johns
Papa John’s is another of the UK’s leading pizza delivery chains, offering thick crust pizzas, doughy snacks, scrummy desserts, and drinks.

Established in the US in the 1980s, Papa Johns expanded to the UK in 2000 and now there are more than 5,000 shops across 45 countries in the world.

If you’re looking for a slice of the action, if you have solid communication skills and business background, consider getting in touch with the brand.

7. Subway
Another of the UK’s top food franchises is Subway, the go-to takeaway sandwich store. Not just popular in the UK, there are over a whopping 43,000 Subway stores in more than 110 countries worldwide.

Subway is seeking savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for delivering delicious hot sandwiches to customers. To have a chance at franchising with Subway, you should have experience in the market and should show good time management and communication skills.

Short on investment cash? It’s possible to gain help from one of Subway’s financial partners. So, if you possess a good credit rate, you can get bank loans that can help with up to 70 per cent of the cost.

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8. Wolf
Wolf offers healthy, Italian street food crafted from delicious locally sourced ingredients. Established in 2015, the brand prides itself on its high-quality food.

For example, all meat used is purchased from local farms that adhere to high-quality animal welfare standards. It’s also lovingly marinated for at least 24 hours for a better taste.

If you care about delivering high-quality and delectable on-the-go Italian food to customers, consider franchising with Wolf.

9. Harry Ramsden
Harry Ramsden is a fast-food restaurant chain from the UK that focuses on selling the country’s most famous fare – fish and chips, of course.

The hot dish is a British favourite and consists of fried fish cooked in batter and served with chunky chips doused in salt and vinegar (if that’s how you like it). It’s perhaps one of the most popular takeaway foods in the country, and for good reason why – it’s comfort food at its best.

There are 40 franchise units in the UK and if you fancy the idea of selling stomach-warming fish and chips to hungry Brits and visitors, consider franchising with the brand.

10. Nandos
Nandos is an international restaurant first established in South Africa. Opened in 1987, there are now over 1,000 restaurants in 35 countries.

Famous for its finger-licking peri peri chicken, the brand is very successful in the UK indeed. There are over 400 restaurants scattered across the country: more outlets than in any other country in the world.

11. Zizzi’s
Zizzi’s is another popular restaurant chain in the UK. The brand dishes up food inspired by Italian cuisine, and there are more than 140 restaurants open across the UK.

The restaurant’s signature Rustica pizzas are hand-stretched, resulting in a big, thin, and crispy base which is perfect for loading delicious toppings.

12. Frankie & Benny’s
Frankie & Benny’s is a chain of Italian-American restaurants dotted across the United Kingdom.

The first restaurant opened its doors in 1995 in the city of Leicester, and now the brand boasts 250 outlets across the UK.

If you’re a fancy of hearty Italian-American style cuisine and scrumptious desserts, a franchise with Frankie & Benny’s may be a great shout for you.

13. Five Guys
Serving up gourmet hot dogs, mouth-watering hamburgers and addictive French fries, Five Guys is a fast-food outlet focusing on tasty fast-casual food.

The brand showcases that the American style fare isn’t just the State’s favourite cuisine but is also popular worldwide.

Typically, Five Guys restaurants in the UK are found in retail shopping centres and other urban spots.

14. Pizza Hut
Pizza Hut is world-famous for its Italian-American menu that focuses on hearty pizzas and pasta, as well as yummy side dishes and desserts. Incredibly, the brand is the largest user of cheese in the world.

Sadly, franchising opportunities aren’t open right now but be sure to keep checking for reopenings if you want the chance to own a store by the biggest pizza brand in the world.

15. Burger King
After McDonald’s, Burger King is the second biggest hamburger chain in the world. The fast-food brand is famous for its flame-broiled hamburgers and tasty fries.

In the UK, Burger King looks for investors that can open several units, so successful applicants should be able to show that they have plenty of cash to do so.

Ready to open a food franchise?

As you can see, there are plenty of huge businesses in the fast-food and restaurant world that you can build your fortune with.

Whether you’re hoping to immerse yourself into the kitchen or take a hands-off approach, look forward to an exciting future with a food franchise like one of the brands listed above.

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