The franchising industry is vast, and there are all kinds of different sectors to invest in and opportunities to seek out. If food is your passion, there are plenty of options available to you, from dessert bars to chicken shops. Here’s how to choose a chicken restaurant franchise that’s right for you.
In 2019, the chicken shop industry made £2.3 billion [Mintel]. Chicken makes an undeniably large contribution to the British economy, and chicken restaurants are a popular sub-sector of the many different food franchises thriving in the UK today.
But how do you know where to invest? What opportunity is right for you? That’s what this article is all about. Generally speaking, you have three options when it comes to opening a chicken franchise:
1. A fried chicken shop
Fried chicken is an extremely popular food in the UK, arriving en masse in the 60s with fast food franchise chains like KFC. In fact, in 2019, KFC sold 14 million pieces of chicken per week, totalling around 700 million pieces a year [The Big Issue], and in 2021, there are only three UK postcode districts without a chicken shop inside of them [Financial Times].
A fried chicken shop is a more specific cousin of option two - a fast food franchise. Though both offer chicken options, chicken shops make the chicken more central to the brand, and consider it to be more of a specialism.
Today, chicken shops have a special place in popular culture. The rappers Tinie Tempah and Stormzy have tipped them in their songs, while Nike has used fried chicken to promote its trainers and Channel 4 has aired a documentary on the subject.
—Alice Hancock, Financial Times
>> Read more:
Choosing the right fried chicken franchise
Choosing the right fried chicken franchise isn’t easy in such a saturated market, and you’ll need to do your research and think hard. Obviously, an investment in KFC can be extremely expensive, but it’s far from your only option. Rooster Shack is a smaller franchise operation changing the chicken shop game, and you can become a franchisee for a minimum initial investment of just £75,000.
Balance the benefits of a recognisable household name with the financial hit of a huge investment, likely in the millions. Cover every base and find out whether a fried chicken shop that you’re considering investing in is the right fit for you or not by asking the following questions:
- How popular is the franchise? Is there demand for these products?
- Are the products good? Are they something I’d be happy selling and recommending?
- What do current franchisees think of the chicken shop?
- Does the franchise use reputable suppliers?
- Is territory available in a place that I’m interested in living/happy to live?
2. A fast food restaurant
So, what about investing in a more general fast food restaurant, which sells chicken, but also offers customers a wider menu of offerings? It’s well-known that fast food is popular in the UK and across the world, and often, franchising is spoken about in wider culture in the context of QSRs, or quick service restaurants.
This should tell you exactly how successful franchising in fast food can be. The business model is there, and it’s working very well. The biggest advantages to investing in a fast food franchise are:
- The chance to capitalise on strong existing demand
- The chance to benefit from the in-built customer base of the recognised brand
- There’s financial help readily available when it’s needed
- You’ll have plenty of opportunities to expand
Choosing the right fast food franchise
Choosing the right fast food franchise can be difficult, as there’s plenty of choice. But if you break things down in terms of your preferences, skills and finances, you’ll get there soon enough. Investing with a household name, well-recognised fast food brand like McDonalds will require you to make a large minimum initial investment of between £350,000 and £1.85 million. Burger King comes in at a slightly lower price, with a minimum initial investment of £250,000.
Low-cost fast food investment options are, of course, available too. It’s all about finding the path that suits you. For example, some fast food franchises only offer franchisees multi-unit deals, so if you’re not ready to jump into managing multiple units at once, you can cross those companies off your list right away.
Other fast food companies will, as touched upon with chicken shops, only need franchisees in certain open territories. Put it this way: If you live in Devon and the only available territory is up in Grimsby, is that something you can reasonably commit to? Or would you be better off investing in something a little closer to home?
>> Read more:
3. A more formal, sit-down restaurant
If fast food and QSR aren’t your kind of sectors, but you’re passionate about all things chicken, you might well find your groove with a more formal, sit-down restaurant franchise like Moninna’s Ristorante & Pizzeria. With the UK reopening post-COVID and many heading out to eat, it’s a great time to jump into the restaurant sector, and with 5.4 million people visiting restaurants two to three times a month [Statista], the demand is clearly there.
Choosing the right restaurant franchise
As with chicken shops and fast food chains, the spectrum of restaurant investment options is broad. Moninna’s, mentioned above, would only set you back a minimum investment of £25,000, whereas choosing to become a Bella Italia franchisee would see you covering total investment costs of £700,000. Either way, the choice is yours, and the choice is out there in a sector that supplies for high demand. You just need to:
- Do your research
- Determine your priorities
- Pay close attention to your finances
- Have your franchise agreement looked over by a legal professional before signing it
Unlike other investing opportunities, purchasing a franchise restaurant will give you the opportunity to make back what you put into it and then some, as well as give you room to grow.
Start a chicken restaurant franchise and join the food service industry today
If you love hard work, chicken and profit, starting a chicken restaurant franchise of one type or another might be the perfect way for you to enter the world of food franchising and find your path to success. Browse a huge range of food franchise opportunities on Point Franchise to find the one that’s right for you, chicken or no chicken.
Lily Sweeney, Point Franchise ©