Q&A: Does Carl's Jr. Franchise in the UK?

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carls jr uk

Today, we find out whether the much-loved American fast food chain, Carl’s Jr. franchises in the UK.

Carl’s Jr. is a household name in the US. However, in the UK, few consumers are familiar with the name. But this is an incredibly popular and successful franchise that has successfully expanded into other international markets, so we wondered whether Carl’s Jr. is ever likely to make the jump to the UK. Therefore, today we answer: ‘Does Carl’s Jr. franchise in the UK?’

The American fast food restaurant chain specialises in burgers and other similar food items. It boasts approximately 1,490 locations around the globe. Owned and operated by parent company CKE, it’s famous for its burgers, unique advertising campaigns and many high-calorie menu options. As well as large-scale operations in the US, Carl's Jr. also boasts a substantial presence in Canada, Mexico, Australia and New Zealand.

History of Carl’s Jr.

Established in 1945, Carl’s Jr. began life as a single hot dog cart. It quickly grew into an entire fleet of hotdog carts, and then made the jump to a full-service restaurant.

By the 1960s, the business had experienced a period of such dramatic growth that it had gone from operating four restaurants to running 24 restaurants in a matter of years. Throughout the 1960s, the menu was kept relatively simple to improve the Carl’s Jr. franchise’s speed of service.

The first franchised restaurant opened in 1984 and numerous additions to the menu and service were made during this decade in an attempt to keep up with the variety offered by competitors.

Did you know? Carl’s Jr. boasts approximately 1,490 locations around the globe.

Since the 2000s, the Carl’s Jr. franchise has focused on international expansion and, faced with something of a backlash against unhealthy fast foods, sought to freshen up its menu with more wholesome selections. To a large degree, this has worked and, over the last few years, it has repeatedly been voted one of the US’s most successful franchises.

Does Carl’s Jr. franchise in the UK?

While Carl’s Jr. has offered franchising opportunities since 1984, it isn’t possible to start your own in the UK. If you don’t mind relocating to the US and launching a Carl’s Jr. franchise there, you can find more information on the burger restaurant’s website here. You’ll need to have a net worth of $1,000,000 and liquid assets of approximately $300,000.

The fast food market in the UK

43 percent of us eat out at least once a week in the UK, and the number of fast food outlets rose by 34 percent between 2010 and 2018. Despite there being a nationwide shift to eat healthier food products and think about what we put into our bodies, we clearly still can’t get enough of the affordability and convenience that fast food restaurants offer.

According to Consumer Insight Director for Out of Home at Kantar Worldpanel, Tolga Necar,

The UK spent a massive £2.6 billion on burgers in locations outside the home last year [2017], growing 7.7 percent on the previous year. We ate 690 million burgers last year – that’s a rate of 1.9 million a day, or 22 every second!

So, combing these statistics with the public’s total spending of around £49 billion on eating and drinking out per year, why not consider starting a burger restaurant or fast food business to capitalise on demand?

Top 3 fast food restaurant franchises

The fast food sector is what most people associate with franchising. Let’s take a look at three of the best opportunities on our books.

1. Rocket’s

Our top burger franchise opportunity, Rocket’s, is a fast-casual burger brand that was developed by one of Ireland’s main restaurant groups.

All of Rocket’s burgers are made with premium Irish meat that is never frozen. What’s more, meals are made to order and served within six minutes of ordering. Therefore, Rocket’s has developed a business model that balances high quality with convenience. There are currently 49 restaurants across Ireland, Northern Ireland and Spain.

  • Becoming a Rocket’s franchisee: Having previous experience in the industry is looked on fondly but isn’t essential. It’s more important that you believe in the brand and are business minded.
  • How much you need to invest: An initial investment of €200,000 – €600,000 is required.
  • What you get for your investment: Rocket’s will be on hand to help when you find your perfect premises.

2. Subway

Subway is a very well-known brand in the UK and you see them everywhere. But you might not have known that there are over 43,000 stores in over 110 countries!

The sandwich franchise is the largest quick service food outlet in the world and it’s using the franchise model to take its global coverage even further.

  • Becoming a Subway franchisee: Subway is looking for savvy entrepreneurs with a passion for the brand. You'll need expertise in the fast food market, as well as good time management and communication skills.
  • How much you need to invest: A total investment of £85,570 is needed.
  • What you get for your investment: You’ll take part in a two-week training course prior to launch day so you can get to grips with all aspects of the business. You can also benefit from the University of Subway (an online training programme), experienced Business Development Agents and an established supply chain.

3. Papa John’s

Pizza is a go-to choice for many of us when we fancy fast food. With over 5,000 stores across the globe, Papa John’s is one of the leading pizza delivery franchises. In the UK, there are more than 400 locations serving up fresh, doughy goodness. Want to open the next?

Since its UK launch in 2000, pizza lovers haven’t been able to get enough of Papa John’s; so much so that it’s been named the UK Pizza Delivery Operator six times by the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association.

  • Becoming a Papa John’s franchisee: The UK is spearheading the ambitious brand’s international expansion. As it isn’t necessary to have previous experience in the fast food sector, Papa John’s is looking for individuals who are entrepreneurial and are confident communicators.
  • How much you need to invest: Costs can vary, but normally the investment will fall between £170,000 and £225,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Amongst the tried and tested training and support packages, you’ll get a free oven, targeted marketing support and a royalty reduction programme.

Start a fast food franchise

You can browse our full list of fast food franchise opportunities here. Or, see another one of our articles that discusses the top eight in the UK.

>> Read more articles on the Restaurant sector

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