“We are currently in second place out of 82 franchises for cash growth,” says franchisee Morag Speak
WF: How long have you been franchising?
MS: Wiltshire Farm Foods was our first venture into franchising, which was six years ago.
WF: How many people do you employ?
MS: 15 staff, including directors.
WF: How many customers do you have?
MS: Approximately 3,000.
WF: How has your franchise grown since you started working with Wiltshire Farm Foods?
MS: Our sales have grown by 40 per cent in six years. We are currently in second place out of 82 franchises for cash growth and are very proud of this position.
WF: Why did you decide to go into franchising and why this brand?
MS: We had heard wonderful things about the brand and felt the demographic was increasing with people living longer.
WF: How has your life changed since franchising with Wiltshire Farm Foods?
MS: Life is very busy. The business is all-encompassing, especially in the first few years.
WF: Wiltshire Farm Foods is known for its social values. What do you do in your local community that makes a difference?
MS: We support local charities. Perhaps more importantly, however, we have an ethos of outstanding customer service and genuinely care about our customers. Our drivers go above and beyond to support customers. They feed back to our office team, who also go to enormous lengths to give our customers a customised experience.
We also have excellent relationships with community health care and social work services and liaise closely with them.
WF: Do you have a customer who you’ve made a real difference to?
MS: We have a customer who struggles with illness and disability. Perhaps as a result, he also suffers from mental illness, including OCD, and can be suspicious of everyone.
We have worked hard over the past three years to gain his trust by calling him exactly at the same time every week to obtain his order, by ensuring the driver follows the exact same processes with him weekly and by listening to his stories of daily struggles and frustrations.
He is originally from the US, so at Halloween we bake him pumpkin pie, which he loves. He tells us he feels supported and no longer isolated. We have become his friends, which he tells us all the time. This is one story out of literally hundreds.
WF: What’s it like working with Wiltshire Farm Foods?
MS: We have felt supported by Wiltshire Farm Foods and apetito since the moment we purchased the franchise. If we have any concerns, we address them and receive a response or solution. We work very hard for the business, but we believe in it. There can be frustrations from time to time, but the forum is open for discussion.
WF: What advice would you give to anyone considering a franchise?
MS: Be sure you’re able to dedicate hours to learn every department in the first few years to know the business inside and out. Also, be sure to hire excellent staff and learn how to delegate effectively, with clear job descriptions and expectations for the whole team.
WF: What are your plans for the future?
MS: To try to maintain the growth we have experienced over the past years, plus keep training and our staff motivated.
At a glance
Number of franchised outlets: 84
Location of units: UK
Investment range: For an average-sized franchise, you would typically need £150,000 in personal funds, plus a business loan to purchase the business and all necessary assets
Contact: 01225 617403