The 8 Best Fast Food Franchises in the UK

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Fast food franchise uk success

Us Brits have always loved a treat from the Chinese, chip shop, or pizza place. But, the rate at which we consume fast food has increased massively over the past decade. The number of fast food outlets grew by 34% between 2010 and 2018 and the average number of takeaways per 100,000 people rose from 47 to 61.[BBC] Sales were up too, with those coming from fast food and takeaways growing by 20.6% in 2018, compared to a growth of just 7.2% for full service restaurants, showing that our appetite for speedy snacks has never been greater[]

Raj Pattni, Head of Insights Platform at Barclays, explained why many fast food brands are doing so well.

Restaurant chains have faced more challenging trading in recent years, with property overheads up, business rates rising, and consumer spend weakening. At the same time, consumers are increasingly opting for the convenience and affordability of fast-food outlets and eating at home.

As the industry grows and grows, now seems like the ideal time to become a fast food franchisee, as you can get involved in the sometimes costly business of food for a much more affordable price. Here are some of the best opportunities out there right now, from the top performers to the plucky newcomers.

Top Fast Food Franchises

Some of the UKs top brands are fast food businesses. Though many are no longer welcoming franchisees in UK (having built up a strong network already), there may still be resale opportunities worth keeping your eye out for across the country. Here are some of the biggest and most iconic fast food brands operating in the UK.


The Kentucky Fried Chicken brand is recognised worldwide, with nearly 14,000 restaurants in 112 countries. The first store was opened in the UK in 1965 and now there are 850 locations across the country. Approximately 75 percent of KFC restaurants are owned and operated by franchisees, who sell 690 million pieces of the Colonels secret recipe chicken a year.

There are four types of restaurant that you can own as a KFC franchisee. Theres the standard restaurant in city centre locations; drive-thru for roadsides and retail parks; food courts for busy shopping centres; and express stores for residential areas. The sites have different requirements with varying investment costs.

However, the investment will be significant when you buy any KFC fast food franchise, so you must be certain that this brand is the right fit for you before you sign on the dotted line.


Dominos is the UKs leading pizza brand and started with a simple business idea to deliver hot, freshly made pizzas in as short a time as possible. From this humble goal, Dominos now has over 1,000 stores across the country serving nearly 90 million pizzas every year. The business has been able to grow at an extraordinary speed thanks the franchising model. Whats more, 90 percent of the franchises in the UK are owned by franchisees who were once employed by the business.

One of the main advantages of starting a pizza franchise is that not only will it be recession-proof, but it will grow in times of economic hardship. This is because when Brits need to tighten the purse strings, nights out are replaced by less expensive evenings in front of the TV with a takeaway pizza. And as one of the cheapest fast food franchise opportunities, Dominos is well worth a look.


The unique PERi-PERi sauce was developed when Portuguese explorers were introduced to the African Birds Eye Chilli. Nandos founders opened their first restaurant in South Africa in 1987 and brought the concept to the UK in 1992. Now with over 1,000 restaurants worldwide, this exciting brand serves the most-loved chicken dishes in the country.

According to recent Market Force research, Nandos tops the polls for speed of service, value for money and atmosphere. Unfortunately, Nandos dont have any plans to offer fast food franchise opportunities in the UK in the immediate future. However, if youve got your heart set on a chicken franchise, there are lots of other brands that you can consider.


If youre looking to make your fortune with arguably the most recognisable fast food brand in the world, youll need to be committed and patient. The application process alone takes three to six months, with any prospective franchisees needing to attend at least one Insight Day before beginning their application.

As the fast food giants business potential has been proven repeatedly in hundreds of countries, plenty of banks are willing to lend the necessary capital to get your business started. However, McDonalds is selective about those it welcomes into the brand, seeming to choose those with a strong history in management or corporate environments with the skills to oversee a busy restaurant of up to 70 people.

Run your Own Fast Food Franchise

If youre looking for a fast-food franchise to join, we have plenty of exciting franchises just waiting for new franchisees.

Papa Johns

The international pizza delivery franchise operates over 5,000 outlets in more than 40 markets across the globe. And, with its annual global sales surpassing $3 billion, people clearly cant get enough of its cheesy treats.

Founded in 1984, the chain promotes the slogan Better Ingredients, Better Pizza and, as global sales have demonstrated, this idea must be shared by hungry Brits who rely on Papa Johns to get their pizza fix.

With heaps of experience in the pizza industry and a good franchise model, the brand has laid a solid foundation for a lucrative future and plans for growth - with the UK leading the brands international expansion.

Since the opening of its first UK franchises in 2000, the feedback from customers has been so exceptional that Papa Johns (GB) Ltd has been named best UK pizza delivery operator six times by the Pizza, Pasta and Italian Food Association.

Papa Johns is keen to get its franchisees off to a flying start, supplying a free oven, a royalty reduction programme and targeted marketing support. Typically, investment is between £170,000 and £225,000, of which £100,000 should be in liquid funds. In addition, there is a franchise fee of £18,500.


If youre looking to offer a speedy lunch or dinner option thats nutritious as well as delicious, a WOLF restaurant franchise could be the ideal business option for you. The Italian street food business aims to serve all its customers within 10 minutes at peak times, lowering this to less than five minutes outside of the lunch and dinner rush and offers a take on the delicious, healthier take on the flavours of Italy.

The innovative franchise is on the lookout for franchise partners who are looking to take charge of a multi-unit operation to bring WOLF to their local area. However, the franchise also offers a passive investment managed franchise option to those who are looking to reap the financial benefits of WOLF without getting involved in the day-to-day running.

If you can afford the £100,000 minimum investment and think youve got what it takes to run multiple location of the franchise, WOLF wants to hear from you.


Speedy sandwich franchise Subway has grown into the worlds largest quick service brand, with more than 22,000 franchisees operating in over 112 countries. However, its quick and tasty offerings include plenty of low-fat and low calorie options for health conscious diners on the go. As the brand is so well established, there are plenty of funding partners that can cover up to 70% of the £100,000 investment cost, making it a more affordable opportunity for many.

Each new franchisee will be fully supported along their franchising journey, from a two-week training course to get them started on the right path, to ongoing e-courses throughout to ensure theyre up to date on best practice over the years.

One Delivery

If you want to get involved with the fast food business but dont want to be the one making the food, a One Delivery franchise could be the ideal business for you. The delivery franchise brings the biggest fast food brands, as well as independent eateries and local chains, to the doors of hungry diners all across the UK.

Whats more, youll only need to invest a minimum of £495 to get started, making it the ideal way to get in on the lucrative fast food world even if you dont have vast sums of money to invest. £30,000 plus income for the first year is easily achievable and the highly scalable franchise model can be run alongside other business venture or as the sole source of income.

Fast Food for All

As shown above, there are many businesses in the fast food world that you can make your fortune with. Whether youre looking to get behind the grill yourself or take a hands-off approach that still reaps the returns of the multi-billion pound fast food world, we have a wide range of options to suit all. Find your ideal fast food franchise with us, right here.

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