Red Herring Games franchise

Min investment


Red Herring Games franchise

There's something fishy going on

The UK’s No1 Murder Mystery FranchiseJoin us in helping clients to solve some of the greatest murders of our time!

Minimum investment

Funding support
Third Party

Total investment

Franchise fees

Business type

Expected revenue after 2 years

Minimum investment

  • Operating fee:
  • Advertising fee:
  • Royalty fee:
  • Average floor space:

About Red Herring Games

The Market

Crime remains the biggest selling genre in books and TV, and there has always been a strong appetite for murder mystery events within the hotel event industry, private and corporate world. A large proportion of Red Herring Games’s business is within the corporate and team building sectors and irrespective of whether that is to engage staff over Zoom or in person Red Herring Games is a company that many well known names have trusted. In every county there are a significant number of companies that are potential clients. So too in the hotel industry where Red Herring Games franchise owners have the option either to run their own public ticketed events or work with the hotels to run events on their behalf.

The franchise industry has outperformed the UK economy consistently every year since 1990. It’s no wonder that Red Herring and it’s franchisees are extremely well placed to capitalise on a very buoyant environment.

How your Franchise works

Like all the best businesses Red Herring Games has always had a very attractive offer for its customers backed up by exceptional customer service at Head Office. As a Franchise owner you’ll be an integral part of that process acting as the local face of Red Herring Events. Working from a home base within a protected territory, you’ll benefit from an ultra low cost business and our aim is to teach you how to become the “go to” person for corporate and private events in your area. We’ve got the product, the systems and the support and you’ll provide the local personality and the self motivation to make it happen. Your customers are all around you, on every street, in every house and working in every business and organisation and you’ll be taught how to put yourself forwards to gain their trust and their business.

Your Income Potential

Corporate and team building events are big business. Companies of all sizes and in all sectors are keen to enhance their employees roles with fun and memorable get-togethers or at conferences and seasonal events particularly at Christmas time. The digital side of our business has grown significantly since lockdown and now forms a genuine additional revenue stream.

During your evaluation period of the franchise, we will arrange to meet each other online at first and then face to face. We’ll show you real life examples of different customer events and the profit margins created, so that we can demonstrate the profit potential. We’ll also talk through the total investment and cash requirement, and we’ll genuinely tell you if we feel that your funding or income aspirations are unrealistic. We would expect that, once established, your franchise should be delivering a full time income from flexible hours and days all whilst working from a low overhead home office. It is also a characteristic of our business that our clients will often become repeat clients.

Each franchise license costs £8,495 including all inventory and training and in most cases this can be funded through the Government startup loans scheme and our consultants Lime Licensing Group can organise this for you. On an ongoing basis a low royalty and advertising cost means every event should be a profitable exercise for you. In addition to the core events business each franchisee will also earn commissions on product sales they

Owner operator or management franchise

Red Herring Games is a very flexible business format. You can be actively involved in each event or bring in self employed actors to join you, or even completely replace you. This means that you can run multiple events to scale your franchise into a larger concern than a purely owner operated franchise, and be flexible enough to deliver multiple events at the same time in peak season to maximise your profit.

Be in Business For Yourself But Not By Yourself

It should be emphasised that any successful business requires application and hard work. A Red Herring franchise is no exception but we have an enviable track record and the credibility of being hired by many well known firms and hotels. You’ll be welcomed into our company and our fascinating business. We know everything that you need to do to create a fun and rewarding business in your own area and we’ll do our level best to provide all the assistance you need to get established.

A Red Herring franchise is a valuable asset

A Red Herring franchise is designed to be run from home. A laptop and mobile phone are the tools of your trade and you don’t technically need a car although it will obviously be useful if you have one! There is no limit to the number of clients you could have. Once established a Red Herring franchise is a valuable business and subject to our approval of the buyer, you can sell your Franchise to someone else as you would any other business.

Red Herring franchises can be run as limited companies, sole traders, or partnerships and are suitable for men and women of all ages and backgrounds; from CEO’s through to shop floor workers. The key attributes are plenty of energy and determination and the ability to get on with all types of people. You will also need sufficient capital to acquire the franchise at the outset. Previous event management and / or acting experience is not required.

Training and support provided

Training and Support

More than most franchises, you’ll find Red Herring Games places great emphasis on training and supporting its staff and its franchisee network. You’ll be trained by Red Herring Games staff who have extensive skill and experience in running a business exactly the same as your franchise. You’ll have the full attention of a highly competent team who are there to assist you. It’s worth remembering that although this is a new business for you we have been doing this since 2007.

Brilliant training at the outset arms you with the knowledge and skills to get your business launched quickly and on an ongoing basis our tailored support and field visits provide bespoke solutions to you depending on your competence and how fast you want to grow.
Your success is a critical factor in our own success, because unlike many franchisors we only make money when our franchisees do so we are very much in this together.

Your Marketing

Red Herring Games are prolific marketers who will be pushing the brand profile online and offline to enhance your efforts at a local level. Our marketing plan aims to follow a similar path to what has already been proven to work for us in the current area that we cover from Head Office. A strong online and offline campaign includes direct outreach, social media, PR, telemarketing, ultra local SEO, web listings and referrals from personal and business connections. Red Herring Games has a retained marketing agency who oversee everything along with an experienced team at Head Office. When you join Red Herring Games there’s a great team of experienced marketers, search engine professionals, graphic designers and branding experts behind you.

When you begin trading we’ll provide you with a launch assist package that gets your name out there, and announces that you are open for business! On an ongoing basis your local prospective clients will be directed to your own web page, optimised for your area, and you’ll be able to leave high quality marketing materials and brochures with everyone that you meet. With an existing client base of over 30,000 individuals, and some key accounts already in place we will work with you to secure bookings in your area.

Red Herring Games' history

A reputation for excellence.

Red Herring Games was launched in 2007 by Jo Smedley who had been writing murder mystery games for friends and selling them via another platform for several years. Today the firm is an international success story with thousands of people each year playing “whodunit games”, solving murders or mystery only games at work, at home and at events across the UK and overseas.

Red Herring Games are the market leader in the murder mystery field offering a variety of event formats and themes unparalleled in the industry. With a vast array of “off the peg” scripts and the ability to customise and write in-house – they have netted major clients, brand activation events and corporate bookings in all corners of the globe.

Once Covid-19 jolted the UK economy some businesses struggled. Red herring Games however continued to thrive moving events on-line overnight. The digital version of their events has been even more popular with 400% more bookings since lockdown. Franchising had been on Jo’s mind for some time and with the business booming both before, during and after lockdown the decision to franchise the business was taken. Jo appointed renowned franchise consulting firm the Lime Licensing Group to help her to create the franchise system in the summer of 2020.

From rubbing shoulders with ministers in Downing Street, and BBC Dragon Theo Paphitis, not to mention numerous awards such as Small Business 100, Small Awards and Ann Summers founder Jacqueline Gold CBE #WOW, it has been a remarkable decade in business. Red Herring Games has been headhunted to provide scripts to the Agatha Christie Foundation’s 125th Celebratory Year and CrimeCon Festival in the USA, and already works in tandem with a number of accommodation suppliers across the UK providing events for VIP clients.

The franchise format has been carefully road tested over many years with Jo and her team working in a remarkably similar fashion to a franchisee. The franchise format has been designed with this in mind and the result is an all inclusive franchise blueprint designed by leading events and franchising professionals. The franchise is also underpinned by a substantial inventory of games and scripts, props, existing clients and actors ready to work for and with you. Put simply, if you’re in the market for a high performing franchise in a fast growing market place then this is the opportunity that you have been waiting for.