Every business has seen its fair share of struggle in the UK since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, but as 2021 comes to a close, it’s time to check in with this popular sub-genre of the restaurant and food service industry for a closer look. How is the dessert sector bouncing back? Which dessert trends are dominating consumer conversation? And most importantly: Is now a good time to enter the dessert sector as a franchisee?
Franchising is a lower-risk alternative to going it alone and starting a dessert bar or a bakery cafe from scratch. It means benefitting from an existing customer base and business plan, as well as receiving a ton of support and training. In this article, you’ll discover the challenges and opportunities of starting your own dessert franchise in the here and now, and you’ll be able to determine whether it’s the right professional move for you or not.
The dessert industry in 2021
In early 2021, as you can imagine, the dessert industry was impacted by the UK’s second lockdown. This was particularly true of dessert businesses with more rigid in-store and indoor business models, who suddenly had to adapt to a delivery-only model of doing business for a period of months! Some managed better than others, but all dessert franchises felt the pinch, and this is reflected in a lot of the data you’ll see about the year in industry.
As you do your research and attempt to find the right dessert franchise for you, it’s important to bear in mind a few different factors. For one, how the franchisor you might invest with adapted to the pandemic (Were they proactive? Or were they stuck in their ways?). For two, how flexible the actual business model is to future COVID-style situations. A brand like Chock Shop, for instance, works outdoors, meaning that its franchisees were able to do business largely as normal earlier than other dessert franchises could.
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The post-pandemic outlook for those running a dessert business
Looking forward to a more prosperous 2021, there’s a lot of positivity for the dessert industry. In terms of UK consumer desires, desserts and sweet treats will always enjoy core demand. A 2019 survey revealed 93% of consumers had eaten a dessert in the past week [Datassential], which certainly bodes well for the year ahead.
If you’re looking to enter this industry and the outlook you’ve discovered has only encouraged you, here’s one of Point Franchise’s best tips for running a dessert franchise that keeps up with the competition and enjoys long-term success: Know your customers. Know what they like now, and know what they’re going to like in the future. Track dessert sector trends and consumer demand surges. Stay ahead of your competitors, and offer up the next best thing before anyone else in your area can.
Even passing fancies can benefit a business by providing consumers with something fresh and exciting, so don’t be afraid to explore emerging trends as well as those that are currently in full swing.
- Pastry Arts Magazine
The biggest advantages of running a franchise in the dessert sector
If you choose to become a franchisee in the dessert sector, you’ll enter an in-demand, steadily recovering industry. You’ll also evidently benefit from all the pros inherent to the franchise business model. Beyond this, there are even more advantages to running a dessert franchise, such as:
- The chance to invest in (and run) a restaurant-style business at a lower cost
- The huge amount of room to be creative and seek out the perfect niche
- The room to keep growing and expanding down the line
- The ease of changing a menu/switching things up in response to shifting customer demands/preferences
Dessert franchise opportunities
There’s a lot to explore and discover in the world of desserts. Niches hide within niches, and though it can be hard to sift through all your options, you’re almost certain of finding a role you love if you keep on looking. Here are just a couple of the best dessert franchise opportunities available to you in the vast industry right now...
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Bubblewrap was founded by Tony Fang in 2017, and its well-loved and unique bubble waffle concept quickly became a viral sensation, bringing the company to the UK (and to the world of franchising) in 2020.
- Becoming a Bubblewrap franchisee: You don’t need industry experience, but you should have business acumen, a positive growth mindset and strong people skills/customer service skills in your arsenal.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £36,000, with franchise fees of £15,000, a total investment cost of £100,000 and advertising and royalty fees charged at 3% and 6% respectively.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be set up, settled in AND fully supported on an ongoing basis by Bubblewrap. Regular visits will keep your business on track, and you’ll be able to track your progress by working against targeted KPIs.
2. La Donuteria
La Donuteria is one of the fastest growing donut franchises in the world. Founded in 2015, the company started franchising in 2019 and now has over 50 global locations, bringing the sweet, sugary taste of delicious donuts to a full spectrum of customers.
- Becoming a La Donuteria franchisee: You don’t need prior food and beverage experience, but you do need a love of donuts, a passion for the work and a willingness to work hard and chase your donut-based dreams.
- How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum initial investment of £35,000, with franchise fees of £10,000 and advertising and royalty fees charged at 2% and 6% respectively.
- What you get for your investment: You’ll be fully trained and supported with design, site selection, equipment and more. Post-launch, you’ll receive the dedicated assistance of a Business Development Manager and plenty of marketing support.
Start running your own business in the dessert sector today
If you’re now more ready than ever to start your own business in the dessert industry, and franchising seems the ideal way to do that, continue your research on Point Franchise. Find out four tips for marketing your dessert franchise, and discover four tips for building a successful business plan for a dessert franchise.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©