The UK hospitality industry is a vast category encompassing everything from lodging to event planning and food and drink services. Hotel brands make one of the most profitable types of franchise business, and they can offer great security for investors. Here, we ask: Does Best Western franchise?
Experts believe the hospitality sector is worth between £100 billion and £130 billion (UKHospitality). In recent years, budget-conscious holidaymakers have boosted the ‘staycation’ market, while £39 billion of UK spending comes from business-related travel expenses, thanks to demand for short-stay accommodation across Great Britain. Combined, these factors can only mean good things for the UK hospitality industry.
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Although operating under a hotel franchise usually involves a substantial initial investment, those who take the plunge can look forward to impressive revenue potential. If you’ve got the backing of a trusted brand and benefit from an existing customer pool, you could be making healthy profits in a short space of time.
So, are there any Best Western franchise opportunities for savvy investors who’d like to run their own hotel?
Does Best Western franchise?
Yes, all Best Western hotels are independently owned and operated. Best Western believes hoteliers who join forces to promote their properties are likely to be more profitable than ones who don’t. The brand has never been bought out and it attributes this success to its well-structured business model.
Franchising is a popular choice for the owners of big hotel brands, as it means they don’t have to shell out for each location’s maintenance and overhead costs. As a Best Western franchise partner, you’ll set up your own hotel business, but run it according to the famous chain’s operational strategies.
The company is eager to develop properties with personality so it can offer customers a different experience from many other hotel brands. Best Western encourages franchisees to make sure their hotels maintain an independent identity and, as part of this approach, individual owners can use their own name in their business.
As a Best Western hotel owner, I like that I have a voice in shaping the direction of the brand.
– Bill Garlow, Best Western franchisee
History of Best Western
The business was born as Best Western Motels in 1946. It introduced a referral system so hotels could recommend other accommodation options to travellers. This system of advertising hotels was novel at the time and, by 1962, Best Western was the only business to have a reservation platform covering the whole of the US. The following year, the company had just under 700 properties in its network, making it the biggest motel chain in the industry.
In 1974, Best Western had a shake-up; it no longer called itself a motel chain, instead positioning itself to compete with full-service accommodation brands. A year later, it expanded into Australia and New Zealand, before coming to the UK in 1978.
Throughout the 1980s, Best Western started operating in countries across Europe. The 1990s and early 2000s saw the brand launch in South America, Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Russia. By 2005, the hotel company was taking a daily average of $1 million in online bookings.
Flying the Best Western flag means affiliating with one of the world's most well-known brands, and being supported by a corporate team whose mission is to drive superior revenue and enhance your asset value.
– David Kong, Best Western President & CEO
In 2012, Best Western set a new standard for hygiene in its North America properties. It was the first hotel company to introduce UV wands, black lights and clean remotes into its housekeeping regimes.
2015 saw the reveal of Best Western’s new brand image, before the chain celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016. And in 2019, it acquired WorldHotels and its network of around 300 high-end resorts. This move gave Best Western the chance to expand into the luxury hotel sector.
Today, Best Western International covers more than 80 countries across the globe, with over 4,000 hotels, all of which are independently owned and managed. The UK arm of the franchise, Best Western GB, has more than 250 properties in its network.
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Starting a Best Western franchise unit
If you’re passionate about launching a successful business in the hospitality industry and have the drive to make it happen, Best Western wants to hear from you. You’ll need to make a considerable initial investment, but if you have the funding, you could be on track to develop a lucrative business. Here’s what you need to know as a prospective franchisee:
- Becoming a Best Western franchisee: As a Best Western franchisee, you’ll get stability, security and consistency - three valuable attributes of a great franchise opportunity.
- How much you need to invest: There’s an initial cost of £47,098, a total royalty cost of £421,319 and a total reservation cost of £225,453.
- What you get for your investment: Hotel owners who join the Best Western brand can keep their individuality and competitive edge while benefitting from the franchisor’s support. You’ll be able to rely on the expertise of a powerful global brand with mass buying power and global online booking channels - among other perks. Best Western also offers global, national and regional marketing services to make sure you’re always busy.
The onboarding process was excellent, and having so many Best Western professionals at our disposal was amazing. Everyone was either answering their phones immediately or getting back to us within hours. - Ron Miller, Best Western General Manager
Join the hospitality industry
There are several big hotel brands looking for driven investors. If you think you’ve got what it takes, you can find out more about the biggest opportunities in the franchise hospitality sector at the moment. Alternatively, browse our current travel and leisure franchises.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©