Middle eastern cuisine is known around the world for its fresh taste and delicious, delicate flavours. Wherever you go in the UK, you’re likely to find an excellent Middle Eastern food franchise where you can sit down to enjoy beautifully cooked crispy falafel, creamy hummus and juicy halloumi. Today, we consider five things for you to remember before opening your own Middle Eastern food franchise. Then, we take a closer look at the best franchise opportunities in the UK.
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Middle Eastern cuisine includes authentic cooking from Greece, Turkey, Cyprus Israel, Armenia, Iran, Iraq, Syria and numerous other countries in the Middle East. Common ingredients include pitas, honey, olives, olive oil, dates, chickpeas and rice, and popular dishes include falafel, kebabs, dolma and shawarma.
The cuisine is widely considered to be drastically increasing in popularity both in the UK and overseas. The hummus industry alone is predicted to be worth £1.1 billion by 2027 (Reuters). And figures have also shown that diners are favouring Middle Eastern, Caribbean and Vegetarian cuisine over the classic choices of Italian, Indian and Chinese. As is demonstrated by the fact that the number of Middle Eastern and Turkish restaurants has grown by an incredible 60 percent (The Guardian).
So, with more restaurants opening to meet customer demand, why not consider starting your own Middle Eastern food franchise?
Five things to think about before opening your own Middle Eastern food franchise
Before starting your own Middle Eastern restaurant, it's necessary to consider five essential factors that will go a long way in determining whether your business venture succeeds or not.
1. Location, location, location
- Every astute businessperson knows the importance of location. If you get it wrong, not only will you fail to attract the right crowd, but also you could find yourself paying extortionate rent on a property that’s just not profitable.
- Location is even more critical when it comes to the restaurant and franchising sectors. Passing trade will make up for a considerable portion of your Middle Eastern restaurant’s business – so it needs to be situated in the perfect spot. Likewise, franchisors need to think carefully about where you want your first locations to open and how you’re going to expand over time.
- The restaurant industry is exceptionally competitive, and there are a substantial number of independent Middle Eastern restaurants already in operation. This means that any new business needs to research its competitors to understand what makes them successful and what they offer customers. Without this knowledge, there’s no way of ensuring your Middle Eastern restaurant business will fill a gap in the market and outperform the competition by providing something truly unique.
- Therefore, in order for your Middle Eastern food franchise to succeed, you need to offer a truly authentic experience to customers. One of the reasons why this type of cuisine is increasing in popularity is because customers are becoming more adventurous with the foods they try. So, focus on offering cuisine and a restaurant setting as traditional as possible, that mimics what they would actually experience in Turkey, Cyprus, Iran etc.
- Also, you can talk to competitors outside the area you’re operating in to learn some tricks of the trade. While your local direct competition might be hesitant to speak to you as they see you as a threat, Middle Eastern food franchise owners a bit further afield might be more likely to engage with you. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t get results straight away, as you might have to be prepared to ring round a few.
3. What makes your business scalable?
- Successful franchises have business plans and models that are scalable. In other words, these business plans and models can be replicated again and again in different locations and different markets, ensuring the franchise grows and becomes increasingly profitable. For your franchise to succeed, you’ll need to create an easy-to-replicate business plan.
- This means that all of your processes, from menu choices to marketing output, must be designed so that a franchisee in a different location has no problems implementing them in the same way.
- Despite needing to make your menu items easily replicable across franchise locations, you’ll still want to ensure that they all use the freshest Middle Eastern ingredients and the finest recipes. This is an incredibly diverse cuisine, so you might be best off focusing on one regional variety. To make sure you always supply delicious food that keeps customers coming back for more, you should form relationships with suppliers and maintain consistency.
4. How are you going to finance your franchise?
- Financing your Middle Eastern restaurant business can be a complicated and convoluted process that requires entrepreneurs to perform thorough due diligence and to make all the necessary financial calculations. While some fortunate business owners will be able to raise the required capital from friends and family, the vast majority will have to go to a traditional lender. This means presenting them with evidence that your business has a reasonable chance of success and only borrowing within your means. So, you’ll need to form a detailed Middle Eastern food franchise business plan.
- If you don’t dedicate enough time to drawing up a business plan, you risk leaving crucial information out. This isn’t going to be looked upon fondly by lenders.
5. Who is going to advise you along the way?
- Finally, it’s essential that you open your ears and seek out good advice on how to launch your Middle Eastern restaurant business. While all would-be franchisors should hire legal and financial advisors to assist them, it’s also useful having a management mentor with experience of the restaurant industry.
- They might advise you to take an active role in the community and take part in local events.
Top Middle Eastern food franchise opportunities in the UK
By now, you should feel more confident and know what to expect when starting your own Middle Eastern restaurant business. If you’d prefer to buy into an established franchise brand with an existing customer base, we now consider some of the UK’s best Middle Eastern food franchise opportunities.
This franchise is currently looking to expand its UK franchise network through our platform and specialises in the Middle Eastern classic, hummus – as well as pita, falafel, salads, juices and ‘HUMPTEA’.
Impressively, it’s earned the title of the only 100 percent plant-based food franchise in the UK. As we discussed at the start, healthy and vegetarian cuisines are consistently rising in popularity, and this therefore puts Humpit Hummus at a great advantage.
As well as being a great choice for hummus-hungry customers on the go, it also proudly caters for corporate groups and private events.
If you’re eager to play a part in this ambitious brand’s expansion mission, Humpit Hummus encourages candidates with experience in the food or hospitality sectors to apply. In return for an investment of around £70,000, you’ll get support with site selection and fit-out, as well as marketing.
To find out more and request information, click here.
Kalamaki Street Greek
This Middle Eastern food franchise specialises in Greek cuisine. It strives to recreate the authentic souvlaki joints you would find in Greece but modernised enough to suit customers’ requirements. It provides a range of high-quality, traditional cuisine but at a fair price.
Franchisees interested in this opportunity need to pay a franchisee fee of £15,000 and have at least £120,000 in capital. In return, franchisees will have access to an extensive training programme that gets you to grips with everything from promotion to store selection and design.
Elfalafel is a Middle Eastern restaurant that specialises in - you guessed it - tasty falafel! It has established a sterling reputation over the five years it’s been in operation. It classes itself as a young and vibrant company that is keen to innovate its restaurant concept – as is demonstrated by the fact that it’s the first falafel company in the UK to introduce chilli falafel and spinach falafel.
Franchisees can look forward to receiving initial training and ongoing support. This includes regular visits from a member of the franchising team, and being provided with helpful training manuals. All marketing material, including the website, menu and brochures have already been designed and produced, so this is one less thing for you to worry about in the early stages.
To receive a breakdown of the investment costs, head to its website to request further details.
It’s healthy, it’s tasty, but is a Middle Eastern food franchise for me?
We’ve established that Middle Eastern cuisine is increasing in popularity and, therefore, there is a heightened demand for restaurants providing such food. If you were impressed by the statistics and want to try running your own business, remember to think about the five essential factors discussed earlier. There aren’t currently lots of Middle Eastern food franchises in the UK, but we have discussed what’s involved in starting three of our favourites.
If you’re eager to enter the restaurant industry but with a different cuisine, read another one of our articles about the best Italian food and drink franchises here.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©