Running a restaurant franchise isn’t easy, but for a successful franchisee the rewards can be spectacular. So what exactly does an average day as a restaurant franchisee look like?
It’s no secret the restaurant industry has been hit hard by the pandemic. But as vaccines are rolled out across the world and with cautiously optimistic forecasts for the economy, running a successful restaurant franchise can still be a profitable and rewarding experience.
With one 2017 study finding that UK restaurants saw a total spend of over £54 billion, now could well be an ideal time to set up your own restaurant franchise. As we all get back to things we love, the restaurant sector may prove to be one of the fastest growing sectors in the country. If you’re considering opening your restaurant franchise, but aren’t sure what running a successful business looks like, here’s what a typical day will look like.
A day in the restaurant industry
As a restaurant franchisee, you could find yourself doing any number of tasks relating to the running of your business, including marketing, processing takeaway sales, or even taking a more hands-on role and working in the kitchen yourself. Each franchise will have its own unique way of working, but typically you'll find your days are full of tasks like:
1. Marketing your franchise
One of the biggest advantages of opening your own restaurant franchise is that you won’t need to go looking for customers. Knowing the restaurant’s name, customers will already be looking for you. So you won’t have to invest large sums of money marketing your restaurant in an already competitive sector.
Instead, you’ll be able to take part in regional and national marketing campaigns, as part of a much bigger business. Your marketing will change according to the tried-and-tested strategies produced by your franchisor. Many other new franchisees will have been in your situation and many will be again, so there’s no doubt in the early stages of your business, your franchisor will be ready to let local customers know you’ve arrived.
As part of a broader network, you’ll also be able to ask for help and advice, additional training, and maybe even be able to feed back your own experience and suggestions to the franchisor. After all, it isn’t just a one-way relationship!
2. Testing new recipes and menus
You can’t run a restaurant without a menu, and although your customers will already love your franchise’s food, there’s always room for new ideas.
In response to the changing demands of their customers, restaurants are increasingly on the lookout for ingredients and recipes that are compatible with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free diets. Many restaurants are even changing menus in order to reduce the amount of food waste they produce. This means some recipes will need to be made with different ingredients.
You know your customers, and it will be your job to test new menus and to know what your local customers are looking for. You’ll be asked to trial, review and feed back to your franchisor about new products, so if you like trialling new dishes, you’ll enjoy owning a restaurant franchise.
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- 3 Ways to Get Funding For Your Restaurant Franchise
- Regulations and Licences Required to Open a Restaurant
- 14 Tips for Defining and Reaching Your Restaurant's Target Customers
- Hiring Employees for Your Restaurant
- Choosing a Concept for Your Restaurant
3. Using industry-leading products
Your franchisor wants you to be providing the best quality food you can, meaning no expense will be spared on kitting out your business with the best industry-grade equipment there is.
State-of-the-art ovens, cookers, utensils, tables, decor, you name it. Once you’ve signed your franchise agreement, you won’t need to fund any new additions to your kitchen. And, even if your equipment does need fixing or maintenance, your franchisor will already have agreements with maintenance companies across the country. You won’t need to worry about a thing.
4. Maintaining relationships
Restaurants have been one of the hardest hit sectors of the pandemic, and it's no secret many have been forced to close permanently. As a franchisee, you’ll be a part of the makeup of your local area, whether you be in a city or a more rural location - and nobody wants you to fail.
Customers who know your franchise and are already familiar with your food will visit your business and will spend money to help keep you up and running. Even those who are unfamiliar will become returning customers for the right business, so it's important you value your customers and make every effort to maintain positive relationships with them.
And it’s not just customers you need to keep an eye out for. Many other tradespeople have lost business over the last year and they will be eager to welcome you and your franchise back. Maintaining positive relationships with new and returning customers, on top of tradespeople who have also been hard hit, is a lesser-talked about, but vitally important part of running any successful franchise.
5. Keeping high standards
As an owner of a franchise, you’ll be the one responsible for ensuring your staff are as well-trained and up-to-date as they can be. You’ll also need to be familiar with fire safety, hygiene standards, and any changing rules that could affect the way you do business.
While this all may seem obvious, running a successful franchise is dependent on ensuring even the small things are accounted for. If your standards drop, staff aren’t properly trained, or you fail to follow changing ways of working, you could be in breach of your franchise agreement.
>> Read more:
Advantages of running a restaurant franchise
- You’re in high demand: The UK restaurant sector was a profitable and fast-growing sector before the pandemic. And, as we look forward to getting back to visiting restaurants again, the sector will almost certainly begin to grow quickly again.
- You’ll gain loads of experience: Whether you choose to open an Italian food franchise such as Bella Italia, a French restaurant like Cafe Rouge, or a South American diner like Las Iguanas, you’ll be given an insight into different cuisines, ways of serving and producing food, and different methods of working.
Disadvantages of running a restaurant franchise
- Long hours: Depending on your location and size, you may be serving well into the night. Hours can be tough in this sector so it’s important to be fully aware of what your franchisor expects from you. However, your capable staff will be able to take the strain and, as owner of the location, you can fit your schedule around your life.
So what restaurant franchises are available?
If you’re looking to get set up as a restaurant franchise, there are a number of exciting opportunities in the sector.
1. Camille Thai
Camille Thai is a healthy and sustainable home delivery-focused restaurant that has been in high demand during the Coronavirus crisis. To open a Camille Thai restaurant, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of £100,000. Many banks are willing to offer loans of up to 70 percent of the start-up costs.
In return for your investment, you’ll be given substantial training covering everything from marketing to sales to customer service. The franchise will cover restaurant upgrades, and will give you regular visits, training days and conferences.
Wolf is designed to bring true Italian Street Food to the ever-growing ‘fast casual’ food market. Focusing on great ingredients, healthy Italian food and speed of service. To open a Wolf franchisee, you’ll need to make a minimum investment of £100,000 + VAT. Funding support is available.
To help you get started, you’ll have an intensive four week training programme, with support ongoing even after you’ve opened. You’ll also be assisted by an operations director with 25 years’ experience, who will help you put together a business plan.
3. Centenary Lounge
Centenary Lounge is an award-winning, unique collection of destination venues. Serving amazing menus and cocktail elegance inspired by the original 1930s Art Deco period. The minimum investment for this franchise is £75,000.
You’ll receive support on your marketing, project funding, training and mentoring, site search and operations. All as part of your franchise agreement.
Other Franchise opportunities
There are a number of reasons why running a restaurant franchise could be for you. This article has only given you a taste of the available opportunities open to you. If franchising sounds like the right opportunity, but you don’t want to work in the restaurant sector, you can see a full list of opportunities on our UK franchise directory.
Elliott Fudge, Point Franchise ©