If you’re passionate about food and interested in becoming your own boss (without the high risks associated with starting a business from scratch!), why not start your own restaurant franchise? It’s a fantastic opportunity in an in-demand sector, giving you flexibility, responsibility and a high chance of achieving profitability. Interested? Find out how to start a restaurant business via the franchise business model right here.
Despite COVID-19 closures, restrictions and general disruptions over the past couple of years, the food service industry has managed to remain unbowed. The restaurant sector’s turnover rose to £6.9 billion in May 2021 [Office for National Statistics], and if this might be where your professional passions lie, there’s never been a better time to work towards becoming a restaurant manager.
What does a restaurant business do?
Before you jump in at the deep end with an investment and commit to running a restaurant franchise for a multi-year term, it’s important that you develop a strong understanding of what the role will actually entail. What does a day in the life as a restaurant franchise owner actually look like, and is it something that truly appeals to you? Though the specifics of the tasks you undertake will differ depending on the kind of restaurant you choose to invest with, you’ll generally speaking be doing the following as a franchisee in this industry:
- Sourcing, hiring, managing and retaining a team of employees
- Testing, setting and updating recipes and menus
- Marketing and advertising your franchise
- Cultivating and/or maintaining strong supplier relationships
- Cultivating and/or maintaining strong customer relationships
- Maintaining high standards (from the kitchen to the dining area to the bathrooms)
>> Read more:
- 12 Things to Consider When Identifying the Right Location for Your Restaurant Franchise
- 3 Ways to Get Funding For Your Restaurant Franchise
- Regulations and Licences Required to Open a Restaurant
- 14 Tips for Defining and Reaching Your Restaurant's Target Customers
- Hiring Employees for Your Restaurant
- Choosing a Concept for Your Restaurant
Why consider running a restaurant franchise?
Whether you’re cooking up a Thai food storm with Camile Thai or selling award-winning pies via your branch of Pieminister, you’ll enjoy plenty of consumer demand and interest in your products. You’ll also benefit from all the advantages inherent to franchising, like access to an existing customer base and proven business model, extensive franchisor training and ongoing franchisor support. Beyond this, you’ll enjoy the many and various other advantages of running a restaurant franchise, such as:
- The dynamic, exciting working life
- The ability to adapt easily to changing customer demands/wants/needs
- The ability to diversify your income streams by offering delivery AND eat-in options
- The chance to become a staple and a household name within a local community
- The opportunity to build a strong team of trusted and fun-to-work-with employees
- The endless room for growth and expansion over your business’s lifetime
I’ve worked in premium Thai restaurants before, so I was familiar with the cuisine, but what attracted me to Camile was the health-focused, community-oriented, dynamic nature of the franchise. I could see a huge opportunity with a lot of space to grow and experiment.
- Rakesh Gopalakrishnan, Camile Thai
How to start a restaurant franchise
Preparation and knowledge are both key when entering into a franchise investment. The more information you have, the more likely you are to thrive, growing a well-suited and well-positioned business that can attain long-term success. Follow the three steps below and ensure a seamless transition as you make a career change with a restaurant franchise...
1. Consider your strengths and find the right franchise fit
The restaurant industry is a vast sector of food service, and with an investment in this industry comes the opportunity to specialise in many different cuisines/restaurant types. Before you go any further, weigh your skills against the skills required of different investments, and find out what feels interesting to you and what seems well-suited to you.
What you need to do running a noodle bar with Shoryu Ramen, for instance, might be worlds apart from what you need to do for an Italian restaurant chain like Bella Italia. Regardless of the type of investment, however, the following transferable skills (which you should determine whether or not you possess, first and foremost) will set you up for success as a restaurant owner:
- Customer service
- People management
- Time management
- Business management
- Completing tasks effectively under pressure
- Passion for the food service industry
>> Read more:
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 1)
- Franchising 101: The Official Franchise Start Up Checklist (Part 2)
- New Year, New Career: No Better Time Than Now to Start a Franchise Today
- Franchising 101: 8 Signs You're Ready to Start a Franchise
- Starting a New Business Doesn't Always Lead to Immediate Success: Here Are 5 Ways to Change That
- It's Never Too Late to Start a New Business
2. Research the restaurant industry/the sub-sector you’re about to enter
Having determined that you’re a good fit for the industry and then uncovered your potential sub-sector, it’s time to do your research, best equipping yourself for post-investment success before you ever sign on that dotted line. Research is a must for any investment, but is particularly crucial for an investment as money-heavy and time-heavy as franchising.
Ask market research questions like: Is there a need for this franchise in the local community? Who are my target audience with this franchise, and how will I appeal to them? Who are my competitors in this space, and how will I keep up with/get ahead of them? Then, dive into restaurant trends currently dominating the conversation in the industry, especially emerging tech trends. Look into things like:
- Rising plant-based demand
- Increasing prominence of flexible operations that are prepared for any eventuality
- More heavily utilised delivery services
- Pop-up restaurants
- Online booking platforms
- Automated inventory management technology
3. Do your due diligence prior to investment
Doing your due diligence prior to investing means getting what you think you’re paying for. It means fully investigating and assessing a franchise opportunity before you commit to a contract that could tie you in for years and have a massive financial impact. Do your due diligence by completing each of the following actions, as outlined in Point Franchise’s definitive due diligence checklist:
- Find out your expected turnover/the time it’ll take for you to recoup your investment
- Analyse the opportunity in full
- Ensure the franchise’s financial situation is fully disclosed
- Speak to the franchisor, getting answers to all your questions
- Meet and speak to other franchisees, getting an impression of their experiences
- Seek legal advice on the contents of the franchise agreement before signing
Buying a franchise [requires] you to carefully consider the commercial and legal risks which are unique to the franchise opportunity. The due diligence you conduct should therefore involve speaking with a variety of people to better understand the risks and rewards.
- Ling Hsu, LegalVision
Why not become a franchisee in the thriving food service industry today?
If reading this article has only increased your interest in starting your own restaurant franchise, keep up the research. Discover six tips for running a restaurant franchise now that you know how to get to the point of investment, and then dive into Point Franchise’s wide range of available restaurant franchise investment opportunities.
Cara Squires, Point Franchise ©