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Best fast food franchises to open in the UK

The food and drink industry in the UK is booming, with £230bn spent on food and drink each year, and the industry employs over 450,000 in the sector across 10,000 businesses. Those figures are staggering and represent a very profitable and thriving market that can be tapped into with the help of an established, tried-and-tested brand. Below, you will find exciting franchise investment opportunities, as well as some information about the industry and how you can run your own restaurant, cafe, bar, street food truck or any other food and drink-related business

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  • Author: Andrew Sansom, Content Writer for What Franchise
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Best Food Franchises in October

Food & Beverage Franchise

Smoky Boys

It's all about great meat and big flavours
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Potential ROI within 18 months with an average net profit of 21%
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
It's all about great meat and big flavours
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
ROI within 18 months with an average net profit of 25%
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Scotland’s fastest-growing Peri Peri brand
Pizza Franchise

ON Pizza

Delicious pizza available to order online as a takeaway or in restaurant
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£12,000 weekly revenue, 25% net profit
Funding Support
Third Party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Delicious pizza available to order online as a takeaway or in restaurant
Fast Food Franchise

I Am Döner

Serves delicious kebabs as a classic döner, or on a lettuce or rice base
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£10,000+VAT turnover per week, 20% EBITDA profit
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Serves delicious kebabs as a classic döner, or on a lettuce or rice base
Fast Food Franchise

Morley’s Chicken

A superior-tasting chicken brand that has perfected a formula of successfully delivering prime quality and freshness of product for over 35...
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£15,000 weekly revenue
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A superior-tasting chicken brand that has perfected a formula of successfully delivering prime quality and freshness of product for over 35...
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Best Dessert Franchises

Retail Franchise

Mr Simms Olde Sweet Shoppe

Provides an evocative experience that caters for sweet lovers of all ages
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Provides an evocative experience that caters for sweet lovers of all ages
Food & Beverage Franchise

Scooperb

Family operated ice cream and desserts lounge born in London and spreading joy to its customers ever since
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Available upon request
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Family operated ice cream and desserts lounge born in London and spreading joy to its customers ever since
Food & Beverage Franchise

Love Churros

Offers a wide variety of handmade churros and speciality coffee, milkshakes, mini pancakes, ice cream, hot drinks and soft drinks
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Potential ROI within 12 months, with average profits of 34% in the first year
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Offers a wide variety of handmade churros and speciality coffee, milkshakes, mini pancakes, ice cream, hot drinks and soft drinks
Fast Food Franchise

Kaspa’s Desserts

Delicious desserts in a fun and exciting environment
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Delicious desserts in a fun and exciting environment
Food & Beverage Franchise

Yolé

A new way of making and eating a better, healthier dessert without compromising on the taste for the calories
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Expected ROI within two years
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A new way of making and eating a better, healthier dessert without compromising on the taste for the calories
Food & Beverage Franchise

Rassam’s Creamery

A popular ice cream and desserts parlour offering an extensive menu of delicious items
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£500,000-£1m, bottom line 20%+
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A popular ice cream and desserts parlour offering an extensive menu of delicious items
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Fast Food

WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Fast Food Franchise

Wendy’s

Best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef and freshly-prepared salads
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Best known for its made-to-order square hamburgers, using fresh, never frozen beef and freshly-prepared salads
Food & Beverage Franchise

Street Greek

Pays homage to ancient Greek values while combining a modern taste
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£22,000 - £25,000 per week
Funding Support
High street banks
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Pays homage to ancient Greek values while combining a modern taste
Food & Beverage Franchise

The Spitting Pig Co

Become part of the UK’s leading hog roast brand
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
40% net profit on a turnover of £110,000
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Become part of the UK’s leading hog roast brand
Fast Food Franchise

Auntie Anne’s

A global brand that makes pretzels, drinks and related products, both in- store and at private events
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Personal ROI to be within 24
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A global brand that makes pretzels, drinks and related products, both in- store and at private events
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Halal

Fast Food Franchise

Favorite Fried Chicken Limited

Favorite Fried Chicken is a QSR franchise offering chicken-based foods and other products
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Favorite Fried Chicken is a QSR franchise offering chicken-based foods and other products
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Emerging

Food & Beverage Franchise

Slim Chickens

Slim Chickens is a crave-able and cool fast-casual restaurant brand operating in the 'better chicken' category
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Slim Chickens is a crave-able and cool fast-casual restaurant brand operating in the 'better chicken' category
Fast Food Franchise

German Doner Kebab

German Doner Kebab (GDK) is the fast food brand that has taken Europe and the Middle East by storm with its...
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
German Doner Kebab (GDK) is the fast food brand that has taken Europe and the Middle East by storm with its...
Fast Food Franchise

Fireaway Pizza

Authentic Italian pizza with a choice of 25 toppings, cooked in a stone bake oven in 180 seconds
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Authentic Italian pizza with a choice of 25 toppings, cooked in a stone bake oven in 180 seconds
Fast Food Franchise

THE BUTCHER

A classy yet casual burger bar with international charisma
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A classy yet casual burger bar with international charisma
Fast Food Franchise

Pieminister

Makes delicious pies that have revolutionised the industry
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Yes, via high street banks
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Makes delicious pies that have revolutionised the industry
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Low Investment

Food & Beverage Franchise

Snack Aid

Charity franchise that supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK through the sale of sweets, flapjacks and cakes
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Charity franchise that supports the Make-A-Wish Foundation UK through the sale of sweets, flapjacks and cakes
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Food & Beverage Franchise

Corner Store

Sells fresh doughnuts and coffee, plus a range of juices, paninis and sandwiches
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
14-18% net profit
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Sells fresh doughnuts and coffee, plus a range of juices, paninis and sandwiches
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Vending

Food & Beverage Franchise

Tubz Vending

Vending machine manufacturer supplying confectionery, toys and novelties from well-known brands
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Third party
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Vending machine manufacturer supplying confectionery, toys and novelties from well-known brands
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Vending Franchise

Sweets and Treats Vending

Sweets and Treats Vending is a confectionery distribution franchise company
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Sweets and Treats Vending is a confectionery distribution franchise company
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Mobile

Coffee Franchise

Coffee-Bike

Serves organically certified coffee, plus teas, orange juice and snacks, on the move
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
Fixed sites can earn up to £16,000 per month with profit margins of 65%
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Serves organically certified coffee, plus teas, orange juice and snacks, on the move
Coffee Franchise

Coffee Blue

Coffee Blue is a van-based, mobile coffee supplier that delivers hot drinks on-the-go.
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Coffee Blue is a van-based, mobile coffee supplier that delivers hot drinks on-the-go.
Fast Food Franchise

Chapati Man

Mobile catering business selling a range of filled spicy Indian wraps from branded trailers
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Mobile catering business selling a range of filled spicy Indian wraps from branded trailers
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Healthy

Fast Food Franchise

The Avocado Show

The Avocado Show offers sit down restaurants, take-away, or delivery of healthy, beautiful-looking avocado-based dishes.
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
N/A
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
The Avocado Show offers sit down restaurants, take-away, or delivery of healthy, beautiful-looking avocado-based dishes.
Fast Food Franchise

Dr Noodles

A healthy alternative to traditional fast food
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£233,000
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
A healthy alternative to traditional fast food
Fast Food Franchise

Basilico

Offers a range of premium pizza brands that opens a world of choice for customers and more revenue for you
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
£400,000 - £500,000 revenue with £40,000 - £65,000 profit
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Offers a range of premium pizza brands that opens a world of choice for customers and more revenue for you
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Cafe

Coffee Franchise

Cafe2U

Cafe2U is the largest coffee van franchise business in the world and the UK's first mobile coffee franchise
WHY CHOOSE THIS FRANCHISE?
Expected Revenue After 2 Years
N/A
Funding Support
Yes
Outlets Available
Outlets available across the UK
Cafe2U is the largest coffee van franchise business in the world and the UK's first mobile coffee franchise
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Fast food franchise opportunity: what you need to know

Why choose a fast food franchise?

Eating out is big business in the UK, with consumer spending in restaurants and cafés reaching almost £90bn in 2018. From cafés and food trucks to fast food and sit-down dining, the range of food options available to customers widens year on year, with more international cuisines and food trends being represented on every high street. The food and drink industry has something for everyone’s taste buds - and everyone has to eat!

The food and beverage sector is generally seen as resilient in times of uncertainty, and most businesses offer consistent income throughout the year. However, following years of increasing revenues, recent reports suggest that the restaurant industry overall is set to contract by over 3 per cent in the coming years. The exception to this trend is expected to be branded restaurants, which will achieve continued growth and increasing gross sales. This spending shift is obviously bad news for independent restaurants and cafes but proves that fast food franchises provide a relatively safe and reliable business opportunity.

Ideal for anyone with some business experience who enjoys a customer-facing role, entering the food and drink industry is a great way to turn a passion for good food into a rewarding and lucrative venture. 

Big names and familiar dishes

Any roundup of the largest and most popular franchises will be dominated by the food sector, with instantly recognisable global brand names notable within almost every top 10 list. Fast food franchises make up a large percentage of all franchise operations and are one of the most popular business models as they have a strong and well-established record of success.

Consumers seek out branded fast food chains because of the consistency of experience they provide. Instead of taking a risk and trying an unknown café or restaurant, customers are attracted to more familiar options as they feel they can trust the quality of the food and service before they even walk through the door. They are also influenced by already knowing the menu, prices, opening hours, and in many cases, even the restaurant franchise layout they can expect from a particular brand.

Read more about the biggest fast food franchise in the world

This also makes fast food franchises a popular option with franchisees, as they come with proven demand. Establishing the reputation and building the customer base of a newly opened independent restaurant can take years, with many failing to ever get off the ground. In contrast, despite a new franchised restaurant being untested, it will be recognised and trusted by an already established customer base from day one, based on the brand’s familiarity and reputation.

Similar models, different tastes

Potential franchisees entering the food and beverage sector have a huge variety of business options to choose from. Food franchising is a diverse sector - from coffee shops, juice bars, and ice cream kiosks to fast food outlets, fine dining establishments and quick-service restaurants that include burger and pizza places, the industry offers a wide range of opportunities to choose from.

5 lesser-known fast food franchises that you should know about

The high street snack and restaurant options available are becoming increasingly diverse and international, with both healthy and indulgent offerings from every corner of the world. Whilst fast food has been extremely popular for many years, the recent trend for healthier options has inspired a new influx of smoothie and juice bars and natural, organic and vegan restaurants.

The latest trends in the franchised food and drink sector

From big brand fast food restaurants to more niche wholefood cafés, the franchise models offered will be similar, usually comprising a turnkey package. From selecting the right location (which is crucial to the success of food outlets) to designing the site and assisting with planning the grand opening, franchisees are given the keys to their new restaurant and step-by-step instructions to ensure the success of their new business following a tried-and-tested methodology that is known to succeed.

Food businesses operate within a heavily regulated industry, which can be disconcerting for first-time restaurant owners. While the health and safety requirements can seem confusing and off-putting, opening a franchise means you have expert advice from experienced restaurateurs to ensure compliance, all included as part of your franchise package.

Comprehensive training and support

While operating a successful fast food franchise requires business skills, staff management and practical aptitude, franchisees receive significant support from franchisors in establishing and running their business.

Food industry franchisors offer comprehensive operating systems and manuals covering every aspect of running the business from making the food to hiring the staff, and they also offer in-depth training. This training can last anywhere from days to months, and usually includes hands-on training in another franchise pre-launch, which is a great way for franchisees to really learn the business and be ready to hit the ground running in their own store. For anyone new to the industry, the real-world experience available can also provide peace of mind that entering the food sector is the right choice before launching their own business.

Other aspects of training covered include marketing, advertising and promoting the business effectively – all key skills for anyone entering the food and drink industry for the first time. The support provided does not disappear when the new business opens. Franchisors are available for intensive ongoing support during the first few months of business and continue to offer tools and resources to help with any issues or problems further down the line. Each franchise operation’s success is the franchisor’s success, so it’s in their interest to make sure the new business flourishes.

High investment, high returns

While the initial costs of opening a food franchise can seem relatively high, the rewards make them worthwhile.

Restaurants, fast food outlets and cafés tend to demand a high initial investment due to the equipment and real estate required to start the business. In the case of franchises, the bigger the franchisor’s brand, the higher that investment is likely to be, but that cost is offset by the strong reputation and instant customer base that comes with the name, meaning the business starts earning from the very first day of trading.

While the investment level or franchise fee may be high, franchisees have full knowledge of these costs upfront, which prevents any nasty surprises and allows them to be budgeted for correctly. Margins in the food industry can be relatively low, but franchisees also benefit from the improved buying power that being part of a larger brand can offer, reducing the cost of food and equipment purchases. With the costs and potential revenue clearly presented by the franchisor, food franchisees usually find it relatively easy to secure financing to launch their business, as the franchising model is familiar to lenders and comparative costs and revenue projections can be offered from similar franchise outlets within the brand group.

Food franchising also offers a scalable business opportunity. Many franchisees grow from a single-unit to multi-unit business relatively quickly, shifting from hands-on operation of a single outlet to a pure management role covering several stores. This lucrative growth could theoretically be limited by the availability of additional territories, but most franchisors encourage multi-unit ownership and will actively assist in finding alternative locations to add to the franchisee’s business portfolio.

Is food franchising right for you?

There is no doubt that launching and managing a food franchise can be a rewarding business that delivers consistent, reliable revenue to the owner within an easily scalable business model to suit the more ambitious entrepreneur. However, food franchising almost always involves a great deal of hands-on management to get up and running, with long hours and complete commitment required to ensure a successful outcome.

Best fast food franchises to own

High initial investment and high overheads can be off-putting to some potential franchisees, though those who fully commit usually receive equally high returns. The increasing popularity of food franchises over the years means that the current franchise models available are tried and trusted, and the franchise owner can weight up the costs and potential returns relatively accurately.

Franchisors offer turnkey packages making the fast food restaurant launch simple and straightforward, and the bigger the brand, the wider the instant customer base provided as soon as the doors open.

If you have a passion for good food, enjoy interacting with both the general public and staff and have experience in running a business, a food franchise could be the right choice for you. With so many franchise opportunities available within the food and beverage sector, you are sure to find the perfect match for your skills, resources and tastes.

 

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