Amazing Ways UK Franchises Are Supporting Charities During the COVID-19 Pandemic and Economic Crisis

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At a time when switching on the news can always feel disheartening, we thought we’d share some of the uplifting ways UK franchises are supporting charities.

While the COVID-19 crisis has presented us with tremendous difficulties, it is heart-warming to see so many businesses doing their best to help the local community. After all, we are all in this together. One small act of kindness really has the power to transform someone’s day and, in the case of keyworkers, remind them how grateful we are for their hard work and dedication to keeping us safe. We now shine a spotlight on the amazing ways UK franchises are supporting charities during these unprecedented times.

1. McDonald’s

It’s safe to say that McDonald’s is one of the most iconic and recognisable fast foods brands across the globe. Much to the despair of many hamburger-loving Brits, it had to temporarily close its doors for over 100 days. But following government guidelines, it’s now back in business – just be prepared for the long queues! According to the McDonald’s UK and Ireland CEO, Paul Pomroy:

"We’ve donated over 500 tonnes of food to charities and food banks, distributed 100,000 litres of milk and supplies to keyworkers through charity partnerships with Food Drop and FareShare, and in the last 40 days, we have reopened over 1,260 restaurants with tens of thousands of our employees returning to work.”

This is an excellent example of a powerful business using its resources to help support the local community.

  • Becoming a McDonald’s franchisee: The application process takes three to six months, with any prospective franchisees needing to attend at least one ‘Insight Day’ before beginning their application.
  • How much you need to invest: You need to make an upfront investment of £100,000.
  • What you get for your investment: As well as being able to operate under an established brand with a huge customer base, you can make the most of its highly successful training and marketing opportunities.

2. Subway

Subway is another food franchise that has been donating food, giving over 250,000 Subs, salads and wraps to hardworking frontline workers. The American brand is the UK’s biggest sandwich retailer in terms of sales and has more than 44,500 outlets across 112 countries.

  • Becoming a Subway franchisee: Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. You should have expertise in the market and display good time management and communication skills.
  • How much you need to invest: In order to be accepted as a franchisee, interested entrepreneurs will need to make a minimum investment of £85,570.
  • What you get for your investment: In order for you to be able to run your own Subway franchise confidently, the brand provides a two-week training course that is carried out in one of its many training centres across the globe.

3. Coffee Blue

Coffee Blue has been helping keyworkers get their caffeine fix. The Bristol-based franchisee, Gareth Rosser, wanted to treat those that have dedicated so much of their time to keeping us safe and healthy. So, he supplied the local police constabulary with a complimentary daily supply of fresh coffee.

Jon from Coffee Blue Aberdare decided to help out vulnerable local residents and supermarket staff:

I thought: ‘I’ve got a temperature-controlled van sitting on the drive, I have access to essential grocery products that I can buy at cost from booker’, which enabled me to deliver to the vulnerable and those self-isolating without applying a premium or even a delivery charge!

If you’re thinking about opening a coffee franchise, why not go mobile, with a fully equipped van? Coffee Blue is the UK’s leading mobile coffee van franchise, selling “barista-quality hot drinks” and delicious food, which it takes to workplaces, events and festivals across the country.

  • Becoming a Coffee Blue franchisee: You’ll operate out of a Ford Transit Custom that has been converted into a sparkling coffee station. Franchisees benefit from higher reliability and lower ongoing costs than any other mobile coffee business.
  • How much you need to invest: Coffee Blue asks for a minimum investment of £8,000.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll get master barista training and ongoing support, as well as £7,500 worth of stock, NCASS membership, access to the EPOS till system and help with marketing and social media.

4. Recognition Express

But it’s not just food and beverage brands that are doing their bit to support charities. Recognition Express is a B2B franchise on the Point Franchise network that has been selling personalised teddy bears to raise money for the NHS heroes selflessly putting themselves at risk to care for us.

The cuddly bear has the rainbow and NHS logo on it and can be personalised with up to 15 letters.

Operations Director Chris Masters said:

“Our franchisees have been active members of their local communities for many years and we want to play our part in fundraising for the amazing NHS. Every penny of profit will go to local NHS charities. There’s nothing in it for us apart from the pleasure of knowing that the recipient of the bear will get a lovely surprise and that we’re helping to raise much-needed money for charity.”

  • Becoming a Recognition Express franchisee: If you’d class yourself as people-person, ambitious and highly organised, this could be the opportunity for you.
  • How much you need to invest: A minimum investment of £9,000 is required.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees will benefit from 40 years of experience producing high-quality B2B personalised and promotional products, as well as take part in a comprehensive training programme and get all the equipment they need to start making a profit.

5. Signs Express

Signs Express is another UK franchise that has been busy finding new ways it can support charities. It created a colourful sticker that people can put in their windows to show their support of the NHS workers. Signs Express asked that people donated to the Stars Appeal Charity in return for the sticker. Originally, lots of donations were made by visitors passing through Salisbury District Hospital, so when these numbers dropped, the owner of the Signs Express franchise in Amesbury, Rod Clark, wanted to do something about it.

This franchise has been in the business for around 30 years and, in that time, it has earned itself the title of the largest and leading signs franchise in the UK. There are currently over 65 centres providing everything from digital signage to window graphics to outdoor business signs.

  • Becoming a Signs Express franchise: Signs Express will train you in all areas of the business and the dedicated support team will be there every step of the way, so you don’t need any previous experience. If you have any queries, help is only a phone call away.
  • How much you need to invest: The total investment required is £115,000. The franchisee capital requirement is between £40,000 and £45,000, and the typical bank loan is £60,000-£70,000.
  • What you get for your investment: A recent survey found that a Signs Express franchise achieves a 47 percent higher turnover than the industry standard – what’s not to like?

If you’re considering a career change, you can browse the A-Z of franchise opportunites in our UK franchise directory.

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