If you have a sweet tooth, opening a chocolate business might be a tempting career change. So, today we find out whether you can start your own Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise in the UK.
Leonidas specialises in producing high-quality Belgian chocolates and confectionary for customers across the globe. It currently sells its delicious treats from 1,400 shops in 50 countries. Although the business is famous for its praline chocolates, its product range is diverse, and includes ice cream, marshmallows, candied fruit, marzipan, spreads and hot drinks. Every Leonidas store is designed to reflect the business’s artisan approach to chocolate production, and its brand identity centres around a sense of luxury and indulgence. Let’s find out if you can start your own Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise.
- Dessert Restaurants: What Franchises Are There in the UK?
- Top 5 Dessert Franchises
- Open a Dessert Franchise: A Mouth-Watering Opportunity
- The Top Coffee Shop Franchises in the UK
Does Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise in the UK?
Yes! As one of the most recognisable confectionary brands in Europe, with over 100 varieties of chocolate, Leonidas is an enticing franchise opportunity. Franchisees will benefit from the iconic Leonidas logo, which indicates the expertise and experience of the Leonidas chocolatiers, who use only premium ingredients. This ensures that franchisees benefit from selling some of the most sought-after chocolate products in the world.
History of Leonidas Belgian Chocolate
The Leonidas brand can trace its roots back to 1882 – and it’s quite a story!
It all started when an adventurous young Greek named Leonidas George Kestekides entered into an apprenticeship with a US chocolatier.
Three decades later, Leonidas presented his confectionary at the 1910 World Fair in Brussels, where he won an award for his chocolate. During his time in the country, he fell in love with his future wife and vowed never to leave Belgium. Then, three years later, he won the gold medal at the Ghent World Fair and his reputation as a world-class chocolatier was cemented.
Over the next century, the Leonidas business grew rapidly, becoming one of Belgium's most recognisable brands and spreading to other countries in Europe. In 1966, the first shop outside of Belgium was established in Lille. Then came stores in Luxembourg, Germany, Holland, Athens and London, the latter of which is located inside Harrods.
Starting a Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise unit
We now break down the franchise opportunity in depth, so you can work out whether it’s the right fit for you.
Becoming a Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchisee
Leonidas Belgian Chocolate is looking for individuals who have worked in the retail sector or run a business. Beyond this, there are a number of characteristics that could make you a suitable candidate. For instance, Leonidas franchisees need to have strong communication skills, be able to manage a small team and have a firm grasp of basic accounting practices.
Franchisees also need to be able to demonstrate the desire to succeed, as well as the determination necessary to build a business and develop it over a number of years.
Finally, franchisees must be committed to the Leonidas brand and be willing to maintain its incredibly high standards.
You can fill out an application form on its website.
How much you need to invest
In order to become a Leonidas franchisee, you'll need to make a total investment of between £50,000 and £250,000. The final investment amount will depend on the location, size and type of store you're hoping to open. Large, elaborate stores in capital cities are likely to cost considerably more than smaller, regional shops.
Because Leonidas is an established brand with a proven business model and a long history, major lenders are likely to be willing to help you finance this investment. Anywhere up to 70 percent of the total amount required can be borrowed, but the remainder will have to come from your personal assets.
The franchisor will help you put together a strong business plan to help you secure funding and provide a clear path for future growth. This support is incredibly valuable, particularly to those who have little experience of applying for finance.
What you get for your investment
In return, you will be granted the right to trade under the Leonidas brand name and utilise its business model. You can make the most of extensive support and will be guided through the process of setting up a franchise unit by an experienced franchising team.
This means that, from finding the right property and fitting it out to marketing the business in preparation for its launch, the franchisor will be by your side every step of the way.
The franchise also provides all franchisees with a significant amount of training, so you will be enrolled onto an introductory, one-week course before your business’s launch. This should cover recruitment, advertising, day-to-day business management and growth strategies.
If you're looking to build a franchise empire that consists of more than one store, Leonidas is able to offer you plenty of advice as to how to expand. In fact, the franchise is specifically looking for area developers who want to take on the responsibility of more than one franchise unit and grow the network in a large territory.
Start a Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise unit today
If you want to join a sector that generates an annual revenue of around £4 billion, why not start a Leonidas Belgian Chocolate franchise? It’s an excellent opportunity to break into the chocolate and confectionary industry with the help of one of the world’s most respected brands. It will take hard work and dedication, but the financial and personal rewards for running this popular food franchise more than compensate for this.
This article is part of our larger ‘Q&A’ article series. If you’ve enjoyed this and want to find out if any more of your favourite brands offer franchising opportunites, take your pick from below:
- Q&A: Does Hard Rock Café franchise in the UK?
- Q&A: Does Sainsbury’s franchise in the UK?
- Q&A: Does Amazon franchise in the UK?
You can also check out the full list of chocolate franchise opportunites on Point Franchise.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©