Shisha Bar Businesses: Are There Franchises?

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shisha bar

Shisha smoking originates from the Middle East and Asia and is a way of smoking tobacco, which is generally mixed with different flavours. Despite the health risks, there has been a rise in the number of shisha bars in towns and cities across the UK.

What are the health risks of smoking shisha?

Traditionally shisha contains cigarette tobacco so just like cigarettes it contains nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, and heavy metals. This means that shisha smokers are putting themselves at risk of heart disease, cancer and respiratory disease.

Being able to visit a shisha bar is viewed as a social way to smoke. However, as the average shisha session lasts for around an hour, the British Heart Foundation has shown that during this time people can inhale the same amount of smoke that they would from 100 cigarettes.

So, why do people visit shisha bars?

Shisha smoking has been enjoyed as a relaxing pastime for centuries, and in todays fast-paced world, it can be even more appealing. Flavoured shishas not only taste better than a traditional cigarette but as they release a pleasant aroma as theyre smoked, shisha bars are an excellent place for smokers and non-smokers to socialise together.

A shisha bar also provides an opportunity to experience and celebrate Middle Eastern culture. Shisha has been a part of Middle Eastern and Arab cultures for many generations, and along with the traditional music played and food served, bars can be a great introduction to a new and exciting culture.

Thinking of opening a shisha bar?

There is a lot to think about if youre considering opening a shisha bar. Because smoking is the main activity of your business, youll want to provide a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere for your customers to enjoy. However, this goes against the Health Act 2006, which makes it illegal to smoke in enclosed spaces.

The Act applies to the smoking of tobacco or anything, which contains tobacco, including shisha. Your shisha bar would be prohibited from allowing customers to smoke in an area that has a roof or ceiling or which can be classed as enclosed, which is used as a place of work for more than one person and is open to the public.

As well as the difficulties of complying with the Health Act, the list of things to consider when opening a shisha bar is extensive, including:

Building regulations
Statutory nuisances, for example, noise and smells
Fire Safety
Licensing Act 2003 for the provision of regulated entertainment and late night refreshment
Health and Safety
Revenue and Customs for duty liable on tobacco products.

As a shisha bar involves more hazards than a traditional bar or restaurant, you must take responsibility to assess and control the risks. If you employ more than five people, you should complete regular risk assessments, and staff should be trained to manage the risks and respond to incidents.

Are there any shisha bar franchises?

Due to the perceived risks and plethora of regulations that need to be adhered to, operating a shisha bar is a relatively unappealing proposition for prospective franchisees. However, due to the rise in popularity of shisha, particularly amongst youngsters, its a franchise opportunity worth considering.

Choosing to invest in a shisha bar franchise reduces much of the difficulties involved in getting the business up and running. As the franchisor will have experience of opening other shisha bars, theyll have all the necessary knowledge to ensure that your business fully complies with the rules and regulations.


If youre interested in investing in a shisha bar franchise, then ShishaShake offers a complete turnkey opportunity for franchisees. The franchise covers everything from location selection, planning, design, staff recruitment and training.

Sound good? Well, ShishaShake is currently seeking motivated individuals to become franchisees. Your chances of being accepted as a ShishaShake franchisee will be significantly improved if you have previous business experience, have personal financial qualifications, are motivated and have a proven track record of success.

From an investment perspective, the initial franchise fee is £10,000, but the minimum cost of setting up your business will be more in the region of £50,000. Youll be expected to pay an ongoing royalty fee once youre up and running, calculated as 20% of gross sales and a 2% marketing fee. Youll also be required to buy all the associated consumables and your branding material from an approved ShishaShake supplier.

In return for your investment, youll attend a comprehensive bespoke training programme. Youll spend a minimum of four weeks in an existing ShishaShake lounge combining one to one training and hands-on experience in all aspects of the business. When you open your own bar, and experienced member of staff will join you to provide support and help to train your new team.

The Canopy

The Canopy is another popular shisha bar, which is looking for franchisees to join the business. The brand has been operating since 2006 and prides itself on the service and atmosphere provided within their restaurants.

If you decide to become a franchisee with Canopy, youll need to make a one-off franchise fee of £20,000 plus VAT. The great news is that there are no ongoing costs and expenses to pay to the franchisor, so you get to keep all the profit you make.

As part of the franchise package, youll receive four weeks of training alongside your manager and staff. Youll also get help to choose the perfect location for your new business with the support of a legal team that will assist you in any lease or purchase negotiations.

Whats more, the territory youll be granted will be exclusive meaning that you can run your franchise safe in the knowledge that no other Canopy franchisees will be able to open a bar in your town or city. If youre looking for a challenge with the support of an experienced franchisor, then Canopy could be just the opportunity for you.

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