2021: The State of Franchising in the Restaurant Sector

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If you were thinking that now is the wrong time to invest in the restaurant sector, you’d be wrong! Restaurants, coffee shops and pubs are all looking forward to a massive rebound in business, so now could be the perfect time to become a franchisee. Read on the learn more about the state of the sector in 2021


The restaurant sector certainly suffered when the first lockdown hit. Establishments were forced to close, either temporarily or permanently, and the shockwaves were felt across multiple sectors. But today, these industries are on track to bounce back to pre-Covid levels.

Many of the businesses that have been able to stay open have been franchises, and with only 1% of franchise closures citing commercial failure, this business model has been efficient at helping businesses stay open.

The restaurant industry in 2021

As restrictions have begun lifting across the United Kingdom, many sectors have been looking forward to getting back to some kind of normality. Having been operating primarily through remote services, subscription boxes and deliveries, many are now hoping that they will be able to recoup the losses they have suffered.

According to some market surveys, the restaurant and food sector lost around 11% of its total revenue, making it one of the worst hit industries of the pandemic. Now, many of the businesses that have survived are looking to take what they’ve learned and make up some of the losses they’ve incurred in clever ways.

And, in the eyes of market experts, there is every reason to believe that they will. Although the sector suffered dearly, recent studies have shown that the industry will be able to turn healthy revenues between now and the end of the year, and can hopefully look forward to growing again as normal in 2022 and beyond [Ibis]. 

However, it’s also true that it won’t be the same industry going forward. Businesses have been forced to innovate and operate in ways they weren’t expecting, and although this hasn’t been easy for many, there have also been some valuable lessons learnt. Many businesses have been able to integrate a number of tech trends emerging in the sector and we can expect these to stay around long into the future. 

In short, this is an industry that is looking forward to better times. While many franchises have been able to stay open for delivery, loyal customers are hungry to return to eating in.

Essentially, consumers miss dining out and they’ll return. But their behaviors have changed and they’re not changing back. That means restaurants are going to have to master the art of balance now more than ever.
— Alicia Kelso, Forbes.


Restaurant sector business outlook

But it hasn’t all been doom and gloom. Some restaurant franchises have been able to buck the trend of bad news and some have even been able to grow and reach new customers. 

One such business is Camile Thai. This home-delivery focused restaurant has been providing healthy, sustainable Thai food to customers throughout the pandemic, and has developed a reputation for incorporating a number of exciting tech trends into its business. Coming out of the pandemic, the business has been opening new stores recently, as well as announcing a new range of ghost kitchens.

Centenary Lounge is another restaurant business that is ready for a post-pandemic boom. Bringing glamorous, 1930s-style restaurants to locations across the country, the franchise now offers three different franchising options, so potential franchisees can pick and choose between the different options available to them.

Advantages of running a restaurant franchise

As touched on earlier, many franchises have been able to survive the worst of the pandemic. As a franchisee, you’ll be able to count on additional support, economies-of-scale and a stronger, more trusted business brand. All of these mean that as part of a bigger, national franchise, you’ll be able to operate from a much stronger position.

You’ll also:

  • Have industry-leading training: As part of a franchise, you’ll receive training that has been tried-and-tested, potentially over many years. You’ll be given additional training long after you’ve opened to help keep your skills fresh and even gain new ones.

  • Have a network of colleagues and mentors: Depending on what franchise you choose to work with, you’ll have a number of mentors and coaches that will be experts in their field. You’ll be able to call on them for support and advice. Not only that, you’ll have a network of franchisees around the country who you can count on as well.

  • Have a competitive advantage: From supply chains to decoration and furniture, your restaurant business will have a number of significant advantages over smaller and independent businesses in terms of business pricing. 

  • Have the opportunity to diversify: The restaurant and food industries are changing all the time. Demand for vegan, gluten-free and halal food has skyrocketed in recent months, meaning that you’ll always be adding new and exciting recipes to your menus.

Franchise opportunities in the restaurant sector

This has been only a short overview of the sector, but with the economy looking to reset and restrictions lifted, you can absolutely expect the restaurant sector to bounce back quickly. 

If you’re looking to run your own business as a franchisee, you can see some of the exciting opportunities in the restaurant sector by exploring Point Franchise. Or, if you’d like to see a full range of franchising opportunities across all sectors, you can search for the right opportunity for you in our UK franchise directory

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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