Q&A: Does Arby's Franchise in the UK?

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arbys franchise

If a delicious sandwich from Arby’s is your top pick when holidaying in the States and you’ve always wondered if you can start an Arby’s franchise in the UK, this is the article for you.

Arby’s is a popular fast-casual dining chain based in the US that serves high-quality sandwiches without the long wait to hungry customers. It’s a household name across America thanks to its signature roasted meats and is the country’s second largest sandwich chain.

The fast food sandwich brand has opened more than 3,472 locations spanning more than five countries across the globe, including Canada and the United Arab Emirates. Its ‘fast-crafted’ quality food is served quickly and at an affordable price, making its tasty sandwiches a delicious treat that can be enjoyed as often as you’d like. The franchise also serves plenty of tempting sides, including curly fries and its famous Jamocha shake. But can you start an Arby’s franchise in the UK?

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Does Arby’s franchise in the UK?

Technically, yes. But it is not accepting applications for single unit operators or small market development opportunites.

History of Arby’s

The classic American sandwich shop was founded in 1964 by Forrest and Leroy Raffel in Ohio. The pair noticed a gap in the market for fast food that focused on a dish other than hamburgers. In the 1970s, Arby’s expanded at a rate of 50 stores each year.

After seeing that there was plenty of demand for their mouth-watering beef sandwiches, the pair began franchising the following year and had soon taken on hundreds of franchisees all across the US.

Starting an Arby’s franchise unit

  • Becoming an Arby’s franchisee: The franchising opportunity in the UK is suited to those who already have experience in running their own multi-unit restaurant business and are seeking a new challenge for the next stage of their career. You need to be able to commit to opening 50 to 100+ restaurants. As Arby’s states on its website:

We are focused on international markets where we can secure large, multi-unit agreements with high-performing operators.

What you get for your investment: You will be supported with restaurant development planning, operations training, marketing and more.

The sandwich market in the UK

In the UK, we purchase four billion sandwiches every year – as so many of us can’t get enough of the accessibility and versatility that they offer. The lucrative industry employs more than 300,000, want to join them?

Similar franchise opportunities in the UK

We appreciate that lots of our readers might not want to commit to opening such a large number of restaurants, so we have also suggested three other sandwich franchise opportunities that might be more reachable.

1. Subway

Subway is the UK’s biggest sandwich retailer in terms of sales and one of the most recognisable brands in the world.

  • 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. You also need to abide by its procedures and follow the training and site selection processes.
  • 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. However, you can get help with funding from one of Subway’s financial partners, so if you have good credit standing, you could get bank loans that cover up to 70 percent of the cost.
  • 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. Even after your business gets off the ground, Subway continues to provide support in the form of e-courses and communicates through newsletters. There is help with finding the perfect location, but bear in mind that setting up a store could take anything from two months to a year. Don’t fret though – Subway will be there for you every step of the way.

2. Baguette Express

If you're looking for a more affordable sandwich shop franchise but still want to compete with big names, Baguette Express may be the perfect choice. It has steadily grown since 1999 and now operates 50 outlets in the UK. It has also seen success internationally, having opened four branches in Dubai.

  • Becoming a Baguette Express franchisee: Franchisees can opt to open a kiosk, quick-service takeaway or large restaurant with capacity to seat over 100 customers. You can learn more and sign up on its client page.
  • How much you need to invest: This franchise requires a total investment of £60,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Baguette Express will provide a template for your business plan and support franchisees with site selection, store fit-out and procuring equipment and stock.
    Start a sandwich shop today

3. Bagel Corner

Next, we come to something completely different - the bagel. Beginning life in 2010, Bagel Corner aimed to make the most of a sudden explosion in demand for alternative fast food providers. The sandwich shop franchise was founded in France and has expanded quickly to encompass 30 stores across the country.

  • Becoming a Bagel Corner franchisee: With the aim of establishing 100 stores worldwide by 2020, the franchise has started searching for potential master franchisees in several countries, including the UK. Its focus on quick service makes it ideally suited to the UK market, where more and more people are taking their lunch ‘on the go’ or squeezing it into a busy work schedule.
  • How much you need to invest: Bagel Corner franchise units require a minimum of £500,000 to set up, which includes franchise fees of £15,000.
  • What you get for your investment: After you’ve invested, you’ll be enrolled onto a 10-day training programme and have access to ongoing franchisor support to make sure you’re always operating at maximum efficiency.

Start a fast food franchise today

As the Arby’s franchise primarily offers its comforting meaty sandwiches, we’ve discussed the top sandwich franchise opportunities on our books. But if you’re keen to enter the fast food market and would be happy to offer a different cuisine, we have lots of helpful content for you, including what it takes to run your own fast food franchise and the top seven fast food franchises.

>> Read more articles on the Fast Food sector

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