Top 9 Dessert Franchises in the UK

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Top 5 dessert franchises uk

As Brits, we’re famous for our love of cake – especially when it’s washed down with a nice cup of tea. But the ‘dessert’ sector is so vast now that we have plenty of options when it comes to satisfying a sugar craving. So, we’ve compiled our top nine dessert franchises to help you capitalise on the huge demand.


According to Statista, we consume around 150g of cakes, buns and pastries each every week – that’s the equivalent of three croissants or one and a half slices of cake. And Brits love ice cream just as much; as a nation, we consumed an average of 5.8 million servings a week in 2018.

But the sale of sweet treats is still on the rise. While ice cream is rising by 1.5 percent year-on-year, the popularity of milkshakes is growing at a faster pace, at 8.1 percent annually. One of the fastest growing dessert options is cheesecake, with a year-on-year increase of 13.7 percent. So, investing in a dessert franchise could be the key to a profitable future – particularly if you opt to focus on one of these three sectors.

If you’re interested in starting one of the most popular types of franchises around, take a look at our top nine dessert franchises below.

Top 9 dessert franchises

1. Baskin Robbins

Founded in 1945 by Burt Baskin and Irv Robbins, this business has over 7,300 stores across almost 50 countries. Baskin Robbins serves milkshakes, smoothies and fruit creams alongside a huge selection of ice creams. The ice cream giant is known for its innovative approach. It sells hand-packed, mousse-textured ice creams and pioneered the use of traditional dessert ingredients like apple pie and cheesecake.

  • Becoming a Baskin Robbins franchisee: When you join this franchise, you’ll be able to tempt customers with Baskin Robbins’ sundaes. Those with a sweet tooth are often excited to choose their own ice cream and add toppings such as hot fudge, marshmallows, roasted almonds, chocolate truffles or fruit. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: Franchisees looking for a piece of the action should be willing to make a total investment of £500,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Investors will get help finding suitable site locations, as well as guidance in operational support, management systems, food safety and health and safety. What’s more, quarterly franchisee meetings provide an opportunity to network with and learn from other franchisees on a regular basis.

2. Cinnabon

First and foremost baked goods franchise, Cinnabon offers a delicious pastry selection but also has an extensive drinks menu offering lemonades, hot and iced coffees, hot chocolates and frozen ‘chillattas’. It started its journey in 1985 in SeaTac Mall, Seattle, but can now be found in 50 countries worldwide.

  • Becoming a Cinnabon franchisee: Cinnabon is looking for both standard and master franchisees, so consider getting in touch with the brand if you’re interested in opening a number of franchise units. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: Those interested in franchising with this brand will need to make an initial investment of £23,000 and a total investment of between £140,000 and £250,000.
  • What you get for your investment: Anyone who joins this bakery franchise will receive training and guidance in operations, marketing and PR, as well as ongoing support. Franchisees will be visited on a regular basis, and inspections will help identify the individual franchise’s weakest points so that improvements can be made.

3. Crêpeaffaire

This crêpe franchise sells a range of milkshakes and smoothies alongside its sweet and savoury crêpe selection. Customers can enjoy everything from freshly squeezed orange juice to decadent milkshakes topped with cream and Oreos. Smoothie connoisseurs will also appreciate Crêpeaffaire’s green smoothie made with kale, spinach and mango.

Crêpeaffaire was launched in 2004 and now has 15 stores in the UK, as well as one in the Netherlands, one in Saudi Arabia (with three more to come), and three in Kuwait.

  • Becoming a Crêpeaffaire franchisee: Franchisees can operate on small sites and avoid an expensive kitchen installation. Also, by tapping into the large, day-long customer base looking for ‘snacking’ products, you should see a regular flow of hungry shoppers throughout the day. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: For a total investment of £200,000, including franchise fees of £16,000, you can become a Crêpeaffaire franchisee.
  • What you get for your investment: Investors gain access to Crepeaffaire’s support programme, which includes guidance with site selection and design, as well as marketing. Ongoing support will ensure the success of the franchisee’s new store.

4. Dunkin’ Donuts

You may not have bought a coffee from this US-based doughnut franchise, but you’ll have almost definitely heard of it. If you want to open a kiosk-style coffee shop, perhaps with small amounts of seating, this could be the perfect opportunity for you.

There are over 11,000 Dunkin’ Donuts locations spread across 31 countries, serving more than five million customers every single day. In fact, the franchise sells an average of over 30 cups of coffee every second. It’s also accumulated almost 70 years of experience in the food and drink industry, and is famous among coffee – and doughnut – lovers worldwide.

  • Becoming a Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee: This doughnut franchise is looking for entrepreneurs who are prepared to open at least 20 outlets within a given period. If you think you’re the person for the job, why not get in touch? To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: This is a big brand, so you’ll need to have at least £3 million to invest.
  • What you get for your investment: It goes without saying that you’ll benefit from high brand recognition and a ready-made customer base. It’s likely that, wherever you set up shop, you’ll find plenty of hungry customers eager to dunk their doughnuts. This franchise also provides its franchisees with world-class tools and resources to make sure all franchise units are profitable.

5. Heavenly Desserts

This food franchise was founded in 2008 and serves a range of delicious desserts across its 21 UK stores. Heavenly Desserts makes sure it caters to the widest possible share of consumers by selling vegan and gluten-free options alongside its main offering.

  • Becoming a Heavenly Desserts franchisee: Heavenly Desserts is looking out for entrepreneurs with a can-do attitude and a focus on customer service. It goes without saying that you’ll also need drive and a desire to succeed. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a total investment of £190,000 if you’re to become a Heavenly Desserts franchisee. This figure includes franchise fees of £17,500.
  • What you get for your investment: All franchisees get access to a comprehensive three or four-week training programme, established supply chain solutions, operations manuals and a turnkey shop-fit solution. Heavenly Desserts also offers support in funding, recruitment, site selection, menu development and marketing.

6. The Incredible Ice Cream Company

This franchise sets up mobile ice cream bars in high footfall areas and caters for private, public and corporate events across the UK. Its colourful stall is eye-catching, drawing customers in to craft their own delicious ice cream creation. That means you can be a food vendor without the hassle of renting business premises.

  • Becoming an Incredible Ice Cream Company franchisee: You’ll benefit from the ice cream sector’s high demand and the 83 percent of people who eat ice cream during autumn and winter as well as spring and summer. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: For just £9,500 + vat, you can become a very Mobile Agent Franchisee. You will be given a brand-new Incredible Ice Cream Bar including a three variety soft serve ice cream machine and enough consumables to achieve your first £1,000 of income.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees in this ice cream franchise can expect to be enrolled onto a comprehensive training scheme and make between £50,000 and £100,000 per year once their business is up and running.

7. Quick Crêpes

If you fancy yourself as a crêpe connoisseur, here’s another pancake franchise opportunity for you. Set up as a family business in 1988, it has grown to become Europe’s largest crêpe company, with outlets as far out as the Middle East. Its menu includes 24 savoury crêpes and 26 sweet crêpes, including ones with ice cream fillings.

  • Becoming a Quick Crêpes franchisee: By joining this impressive franchise, you’ll benefit not only from in-store crêpe purchases, but from the sale of Quick Crêpes’ very own crêpe mix from Harrods, Selfridges and Fortnum & Mason’s. To learn more and sign up, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: You’ll need to make a minimum investment of £95,000 and a total investment of £135,000, including franchise fees of up £14,950.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees can benefit from Quick Crêpes’ tried and tested products and equipment as well as a comprehensive training course. With help from the franchise team, you should be making professional-standard crêpes with an hour!

8. Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt

Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt was founded in California in 2008. Today, it operates 800 stores in 48 countries, which makes it a worldwide leader in the sector. What’s more, the franchise is proud to be the largest self-service frozen yogurt retailer in the world.

  • Becoming a Tutti Frutti Frozen Yoghurt franchisee: This innovative franchise is looking for new recruits. Click here to register your interest.
  • How much you need to invest: In order to invest, you will need a minimum of £80,000 and a total of £100,000.
  • What you get for your investment: You can expect to be trained in preparing the yoghurt, operating and maintaining the dispensing machines and recruiting staff. You’ll also get the necessary operations manuals and be supported in site selection and negotiation, store set-up and marketing.

9. Wafflemeister

Wafflemeister was launched in 1999 and the waffle mix it uses can trace its origins back 50 years to the founder’s secret family recipe. Since 2000, the business has focused on bringing its famous Belgian waffles to customers around the world, with a particular emphasis on European and UK markets.

  • Becoming a Wafflemeister franchisee: Wafflemeister is looking for fresh new recruits to help take the business to new territories. To find out more about the opportunity, click here.
  • How much you need to invest: To become a Wafflemeister franchisee, you’ll need to raise between £100,000 and £150,000. Wafflemeister offers franchisees the opportunity to open either a kiosk or in-line store, with the cost varying depending on the size and style of the store. The franchise charges a five percent management service fee, as well as 1.5 percent marketing fee.
  • What you get for your investment: Franchisees will take part in a four-week bootcamp training programme that ensures all areas of the operation are understood. You’ll also receive assistance with shop construction and fitting, recruitment and marketing. To top it all off, franchisees will be trained to meet the standards expected by the central franchisor and have access to a dedicated franchise liaison executive.

Sign up today

There are plenty of dessert franchises to choose from if you want to join this lucrative sector. Browse all the options here.

>> Read more articles on the Dessert sector

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