Little Dessert Shop: Open Your Franchise Store
Originally posted on 11/09/2018. Updated on 21/05/2019.
If you’ve always had a little bit of a sweet tooth, a Little Dessert Shop franchise could be the perfect business for you. Despite only having been around for a couple of years, the franchise has already developed a strong and loyal customer base and is expected to expand rapidly over the coming years.
About Little Dessert Shop
Little Dessert Shop serves beautifully made desserts in comfortable and stylish surroundings. It offers brownies, bakes, pastries, crêpes, waffles, gelato, sundaes and milkshakes, and deliberately fosters a sense of personal indulgence and luxury in its stores by incorporating glamorous and extravagant fittings and encouraging the notion that every visit to a Little Dessert Shop is an “experience”. The brand depends on public recognition of the fact that a dessert-only restaurant is extravagant and appeals to the modern, “treat-yourself” consumer mentality.
Franchisees can open one of three types of Little Dessert Shop location; a large restaurant-shop, a café-shop or an express store. While restaurants seat around 80 customers, cafés have room for around 30 and express stores prioritise a takeaway service, making them ideally suited to train stations, airports and shopping centres. Excellent presentation of the brand’s products is paramount, as they are the type of dishes that appeal to social media users and those that are likely to ‘Instagram’ their food. The success of the Little Dessert Shop brand will depend on individual franchisees’ abilities to encourage this social media use and adopt a social media marketing approach.
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Little Dessert Shop Franchise
Little Dessert Shop was an instant success when it was founded in 2014. A number of branches were opened in local towns and cities as the business expanded across the Midlands. Having established a presence in West Bromwich, Wolverhampton and Wednesfield, the business decided to adopt the franchising model and aim for much greater UK and international expansion.
In 2016, the company chose to take advantage of the obvious interest in its products and brand, and began actively searching for new franchisees to add to the team. The franchise has now opened 14 stores in total and there are a large number of stores in the pipeline in locations such as Birmingham, Glasgow, Manchester and Blackpool. While Little Dessert Shop has had a regional focus so far, the geographical diversity of these stores demonstrates the extent of its ambition.
One of the most appealing aspects of the Little Dessert Shop business model is its positioning in a relatively young industry. Dessert-only dining is a new concept that’s proven extremely popular in large cosmopolitan areas, where trendy dessert bars have received a lot of attention. However, this model is yet to be seen on a national scale. Therefore, Little Dessert Shop is ahead of the game and should be considered a market leader.
As a whole, the baked goods industry is worth approximately £4 billion and continues to grow year on year. Research has shown that approximately 1.5 billion sweet baked items are consumed every year in the UK. One of the most exciting trends in the baked goods industry is the move away from supermarket products towards specialist or artisan retailers. This switch from mass-produced supermarket items to high-quality products crafted by experts means that there’s a gap in the market for a franchise that delivers excellent sweet treats – under the right branding.
What level of investment is required?
In order to own a Little Dessert Shop franchise in the UK, you'll need to raise anywhere between £90,000 and £160,000, depending on the type of store you want to open. This includes the lease on a property, equipment, fittings and the franchise fees. The total franchise fee is set at £12,995 and franchisees are required to pay a monthly royalty of five percent of gross turnover and a marketing fee of one percent of gross turnover. These relatively low start-up costs make Little Dessert Shop one of the most affordable food franchises on the market and an enticing investment opportunity.
What do franchisees get in return for their investment?
In return for their investment, franchisees will be granted access to the brand’s tried and tested business model. Little Dessert Shop has spent a number of years refining and improving its franchise package. Franchisees can access guidance and support throughout the initial set-up period and during the business planning, shop fitting, training, marketing and launch stages.
All franchisees are granted the rights to an exclusive territory and, once signed, the franchise agreement establishes a contract term of five years. It can be renewed at the end of the period. Ongoing support is also provided by the central Little Dessert Shop franchising team, who will always be on hand to help franchisees with any difficulties they experience.
What kind of franchisee is Little Dessert Store looking for?
The franchise is looking for individuals who are highly motivated, organised and determined to succeed. Applicants must demonstrate an eye for detail and understand the company philosophy. All franchisees need to be good communicators and capable of managing a small team and interacting with customers. This means having the right attitude and conveying the right values, even during stressful or busy periods.
Running a Little Dessert Shop franchise can be tough at times. Franchisees should expect to work long hours, particularly during the first year of ownership. However, the business can be extremely personally fulfilling, as well as financially rewarding.
Little Dessert Shop has a lot going for it. As one of the market leaders in a growing sector, it is perfectly poised to expand rapidly on both a national and international scale. If you're looking to get involved in an exciting investment opportunity, this is your chance.
Alternative Franchise Opportunities
Little Dessert Shop isn’t the only dessert franchise in town. There is a myriad of high-performing franchises that sell tasty treats in the UK and across the globe. Let’s take a look at a couple of examples that you can sink your teeth into.
Cinnabon specialises in cinnamon rolls but offers a whole host of delicious pastries and beverages. Much of its selection is based on the iconic cinnamon roll, and customers can choose their favourite version of it, from the ‘Classic Roll’ to the ‘Caramel PecanBon’, mini ‘BonBites’ and ‘Cinnamon Stix’. Customers can also enjoy lemonades, hot and iced coffees, hot chocolates and blended, frozen ‘chillattas’. The business first opened in Washington in 1985, but has expanded to offer its products in 50 countries worldwide in the 30 years since its founding.
If you’d like to get on board, you’ll need an initial investment of £23,000 and a total investment of between £140,000 and £250,000. The franchise is particularly looking to appoint master franchisees who are willing to develop a number of branches during their contract period. Training and ongoing support will be provided in key business areas, including business operations, marketing and PR to ensure that every franchisee stays on the right track. What’s more, Cinnabon carries out regular visits and inspections, which help to maintain the brand’s high standards throughout its store network.
If crêpes are more your style, perhaps Crêpeaffaire is for you. Alongside its selection of – you guessed it – crêpes, this franchise boasts an extensive menu of waffles, pastries and muffins. Crêpeaffaire cares about its customers and, as a result, has curated a collection of sweet and savoury vegan crêpes. Customers can wash these down with a choice from the business’ drinks menu, which features decadent milkshakes topped with whipped cream and Oreos, healthier smoothies and freshly squeezed orange juice. Smoothie enthusiasts will love Crêpeaffaire’s smoothie selection, which boasts options like strawberry and banana; passionfruit, mango and pineapple; and strawberry, raspberry and blackberry, while health-conscious visitors could opt for the green smoothie, made with kale, spinach and mango.
Since being launched in 2004, Crêpeaffaire has opened 15 stores in the UK, in addition to its international outlets; there is one Crêpeaffaire branch in the Netherlands, four in Kuwait and one in Saudi Arabia (with three more to come). As dessert-only restaurants become increasingly popular, this business is set for commercial success. Furthermore, because it offers a ‘snacking’ product that can be consumed at any time of the day or night, there is no limit to the number of customers it can serve during working hours. With the help of franchisees, the business can expand to new territories and reach even more customers.
To get involved, you’ll need to be able to make a total investment of £200,000 and have the funds to pay franchise fees of £16,000. Opening a Crêpeaffaire branch has significant advantages when it comes to funding because it can operate on a small site, eliminating the need for an expensive kitchen fit-out. In return for your investment, you’ll receive training and guidance in site selection and design and marketing. You’ll also be enrolled onto the business’ support programme which aids new recruits on their franchising journey.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©
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