It’s a difficult time to be in the food outlet industry at the moment, especially if you are an independent. However, what if you could maintain your uniqueness, yet have the backing of a well-known national brand?
London-based Eat17 is known for its blended business model, combining convenience shopping with eating out, stocking and sharing space with local producers and suppliers. It has four stores in Hammersmith, Hackney, Walthamstow and Bishops Stortford with plans to open more through its franchise model.
Each store has been created with its local customer in mind. In Hackney, Eat17 has its production kitchen where butchers and chefs make ready meals and own-label products that are sold in all stores. Walthamstow combines convenience shopping with Eat17’s popular restaurant next door and the Hammersmith the store has the biggest refill station in the group filling an entire wall. Bishops Stortford has an in-store bakery and is where Eat17 makes its own handmade chocolate.
Franchising is a new strategy the business is engaging with in a bid to help local businesses recover from the COVID-19 pandemic and thrive. James Brundle, Eat17 co-founder said: “Our offering gives individual franchisees the opportunity to access the wealth of knowledge we have after working in the industry for 14 years. Our concept has worked well for us. We started with only one store and we now have four stores and a restaurant. We want to give other retailers the chance to join the team and enjoy the journey we’ve followed.
“It’s a difficult time to be in the food outlet industry at the moment, so we want to give as many struggling businesses as possible a lifeline.”
These are Eat17’s top five benefits of joining a franchise:
1. Proven record
By joining a franchise, it means that you are entering into years of expertise. The brands know what works and what doesn’t, but they’re still willing to take risks and make changes as new branches open. Having a proven record also means that customers know the name, meaning there is some level of brand awareness and loyalty before you even open the doors.
A brand with a well-known name can help you go a long way. Eat17 proved this by partnering with AF Blakemore, owner of 300 Spar stores. An independently managed business with a well-known national brand can help boost longevity and loyalty from customers.
It can be a struggle running an independent business, even more so this year. By joining a franchise, you are joining a group of likeminded business owners. You can share the highs and the lows, get support when you need and even see some of your great ideas rolled out across stores throughout the country where appropriate.
A franchise doesn’t have to be a one size fits all offering. For example, the beauty of Eat17’s business model is that its focus is on local businesses and retailers. No two Eat17 stores are the same, because no two local areas are the same.
5. Environmentally friendly
Being environmentally friendly is something that Eat17 strives to be. Refillable products are widely available, with wine, cereals, nuts and fruit all able to be bought without the need for cardboard and single-use plastic. Food miles are also cut down due to the focus on selling local produce.