Q&A: Does Travelodge Franchise in the UK?

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Travelodge Franchise

If you’re interested in running your own business, an investment in the thriving hospitality industry is a solid choice. Travelodge, founded in 1985, is one of the leading names in the hospitality industry, the hotel sector, and the travel sector. But does Travelodge franchise in the UK?

Travelodge hotels provide a comfortable cross-country base for travellers of all kinds, from those on business trips to those on fun family getaways. The business is a recognised brand name in Britain, with a fantastic reputation for providing good value hotel rooms at reasonable prices. Franchising with Travelodge would be a large initial investment, but the return would be just as large, and the chances of success would be high.

Does Travelodge franchise?

Yes, Travelodge does franchise in the UK. Currently, however, the business is not accepting new franchisees. If what you discover today leaves you extremely interested in franchising with Travelodge, be sure to keep up to date with the brand so that you’ll be aware if this stance changes.

History of Travelodge

Travelodge was first conceptualised in 1985, and since its creation, the business has seen substantial growth. In 2012, Travelodge was purchased by GoldenTree Asset Management, Avenue Capital Group and Goldman Sachs, and the business is currently the second biggest in its sector.

The Travelodge brand leases, franchises, manages and owns over 560 hotels (or more than 40,000 rooms) across the UK, Spain and Ireland. Its largest market is still the UK, which represented 99% of its total revenue in 2016. Travelodge hotels can be found in a huge variety of buildings including:

  • Grade II listed buildings

  • Purpose-built hotels

  • Office conversions

  • Existing hotel acquisitions and renovations

  • Co-partnership spaces, shared with leading pub companies, supermarkets and retailers

The franchise is a low cost operator within the hotel sector, offering modern guest rooms at affordable prices in order to target a wide range of potential customers. Travelodge brand recognition rates are high, due to the company’s long-standing market presence and its history of successful marketing initiatives. Travelodge attracts 18 million customers per year, and in order to cater to its substantial customer base, the company employs over 11,000 people across their array of hotels and support offices. Even in 2021, while battling the aftermath of COVID-19, Travelodge hasn’t slowed down its expansion. In fact, the global franchising operation recently opened seven new UK properties.

These seven new properties not only extend our UK network to 578 hotels but also offer even more great value choice to business and leisure customers whilst playing a pivotal role in supporting local economies.
—Craig Bonnar, Travelodge

 With spacious, cleanly decorated rooms, a diverse selection of food, and the promise of a good night’s sleep on a luxurious pocket-spring mattress, it’s easy to see why Travelodge has become so popular. Recently, the company has pledged to be more mindful of the environment. The hotel chain recycles, saves energy wherever possible, and turns its leftovers into compost, bio-gas and bio-fertiliser. By the end of 2021, the award-winning business is expecting to open 17 more hotels in the following locations:

  • Avonmouth, Bristol

  • Boston, Lincolnshire

  • Elephant & Castle, London (This hotel will be a Travelodge Plus)

  • Emersons Green, Bristol

  • Farringdon, Oxfordshire

  • Kendal, Lake District

  • Leicester City Centre, Leicestershire

  • Manor House, London (This hotel will be a Travelodge Plus)

  • Mansfield, Nottinghamshire

  • Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire

  • Peckham, London

  • Poole, Dorset

  • Rochdale, Manchester

  • Sandwich, Dover

  • St Albans, London (This hotel will be a Travelodge Plus)

  • Walton-on-Thames, Surrey

  • Witney, Oxfordshire

Starting a Travelodge franchise

In 2018, the biggest growth areas in franchising were personal care and hotels and catering. 96% of hotel and catering franchises in this year were claiming profitability [British Franchise Association]. With such high rates of success, an investment in the sector is a solid financial move.

There are a lot of good reasons to become a franchise owner, particularly having the backing of a huge parent company, leadership training and technical support. It brings a lot of value to the table.
—Geraldine Guichardo, Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated

Becoming a Travelodge franchisee

As Travelodge isn’t currently accepting new franchisees, up-to-date information on the investment process isn’t readily available to the public. In general, though, many franchisees across different industries need similar transferable skills and traits, such as:

  • Business acumen and entrepreneurial spirit

  • Leadership skills

  • A willingness to work hard, learn quickly and follow a proven business model

  • Passion for the work

  • An ability to network and communicate effectively

  • Motivation and ambition

How much do you need to invest?

Again, specific up-to-date costs for franchising with Travelodge aren’t currently available. The average cost of establishing a new franchise in the UK, however, is £42,200 [British Franchise Association], though this figure can vary substantially depending on the franchise type, the franchise location and the franchise size. To give you an idea, here are the franchising investment costs of some other top UK hotel franchises...

  • Holiday Inn - Though the figures haven’t been officially published by Holiday Inn, expert estimates suggest that an initial investment would cost between £6.1-£19.3 million, with franchise fees amounting to £40,000 per year [Entrepreneur].

  • Marriott - As with any franchise, costs would vary depending on the kind of investment you were interested in making, but in general, the total investment you’ll need to make in order to become a Marriott franchisee will sit between £55-£87 million.

  • Best Western - This well-known hotel chain’s investment costs will vary, again, depending on the type of investment you’re looking to make, but generally speaking, investing with Best Western costs around £450,000. 

What do you get for your investment?

Unfortunately, this information is not readily available for the Travelodge brand. It’s standard practice, however, for hotel and motel franchises to provide all new franchisees with a comprehensive training programme and a high quality of ongoing expert support, and this is what you can expect from Travelodge, too. 

Interested in running a franchise in the hospitality sector?

Franchising in the hospitality sector could be a dynamic and exciting experience, with a high chance of success and profitability. To learn more about the roles and responsibilities of the franchisee as you consider potential investment opportunities, why not browse Point Franchise’s informative range of franchising-focused articles?

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