The fast food sector is an undeniably large one, but even with so much supply on offer the demand shows no sign of decreasing. If you’re looking to make a solid investment, fast food might be the right move.
Running a restaurant is an exciting, demanding job, and as the owner of a fast food franchise, you’ll enter the world of quick service restaurants (QSRs). In the fast food sector, delicious food delivered efficiently is the name of the game. Initial investment costs can be high, especially for well-established brands, but there are plenty of advantages too. Here are the five biggest pros in running a fast food franchise.
What are the five advantages of running a fast food business?
1. Fast food franchises are easy to market.
In a world that’s always in motion, running a fast food franchise will allow you to offer customers what they need: Delicious food, on the go, and a wide variety of choices including healthy options. In a fast food restaurant, there’s something for everyone, and marketing is easy for fast food franchises, as there’s always an angle to focus on. You can target customers who are:
- Looking for a bargain
- Looking to eat at an unconventional time (when other restaurants aren’t open)
- Looking to get their food delivered to their front door
- Looking for vegan options (especially during high-demand times like ‘Veganuary’)
- Looking for a quick service option (many people in the UK are time poor, working 36 hours a week on average [Clockify])
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2. The industry has undeniably widespread appeal.
Even as dietary requirements evolve and change with time, there’s still a clear place in the market for the fast food industry. With 600,000 vegans currently living and eating in the UK, there’s a strong demand for fast food franchises which cater to all [Ipsos Mori], and if your fast food franchise can do this, you’ll be golden. Just think about the level of hype that was seen over Greggs’ vegan sausage roll.
As customers’ desires have changed, fast food restaurants are evolving to keep up. The days of heavily processed, cookie-cutter dishes are over and fast food restaurants are exploring fresher ways to keep the customers coming back. The fast food world is definitely not passé.
3. The fast food market is STILL growing.
The takeaway and fast food sector has the largest market size of any accommodation and food service activities industry in the UK [IBIS World]. Paired with the growing popularity of food delivery businesses like Just Eat and Deliveroo, this paints a great picture for the quick service sector. The name of the game is tasty food which you can enjoy from the comfort of your own home with minimal effort.
Many restaurants welcome the new platforms because they provide an alternative revenue stream. The delivery companies offer a readymade infrastructure, a reliable service and extensive marketing. In theory, the restaurants only have to install the tech, pay the fees and cook the food; then the orders come rolling in. Deliveroo claims that the restaurants it works with see their revenue increase by up to 30%.
4. You’ll be able to join the sustainability movement currently happening in the fast food industry.
Fast food restaurants have recently begun to battle back against their bad reputation for sustainability (or the lack thereof) by investing in more environmentally friendly practices. And if you invested in the industry today, you’d be able to join that movement and keep momentum up.
The fast food sector is making changes to benefit the environment that are both big and small. Paper straws are just the beginning. In Dubai, receipts in some restaurants are printed onto napkins to reduce waste, and Burger King US has committed to cooking burgers from cows which cause less pollution, while McDonald’s US is phasing out plastic coffee lids [Unreserved]. On a larger scale, fast food franchises are reimagining their restaurants in more sustainable ways.
5. Fast food franchises are affordable to run.
Initial investment costs can be particularly high in the quick service sector, especially if you’re looking to franchise with an established and well-recognised brand. However, once you’re over that initial hurdle, you’ll find that running costs are usually affordable.
Ingredients are cheap to source, and there are plenty of options available to you, so you’ll be able to find the best possible ratio of price to quality. The nature of a fast food restaurant is drop-in, and as there’s no requirement for table service, you’ll also be able to greatly reduce the amount of staff you need to employ, lowering operational costs.
Although the industry is large and many different restaurants are operating, necessitating you to sell your food at competitive prices, demand is equally large, and you’ll bring in profit based on sheer volume of customers, regardless of the low prices on offer in your restaurant.
The current state of the food service industry
Fast food is an extremely popular option for many people, and this doesn’t seem set to change. Even accounting for the negative impact of the global pandemic, the market is performing well in 2021 compared to the economy overall [IBIS World].
Fast food restaurants [...] are a lucrative segment of the food service industry. [...] The UK fast food market was worth almost £15 billion in 2018. It competed with pubs and bars, which are now the most popular dining out option for Brits, more so than traditional service-led restaurants. Branded fast food restaurants made up an 8.9 percent share of eating out market value in 2017 compared to 25 percent for pubs and bars.
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Interested in opening a quick service restaurant franchise?
If you’re interested in opening a quick service restaurant franchise, now that you’ve discovered the top five advantages of doing so, there’s never been a better moment to take that step. If you’d like to franchise with a business, but you’re not sure fast food is the right sector for you, browse Point Franchise’s UK franchise directory to discover the vast range of investment options available to you.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©