Multi-Unit Franchise Conference | Friday 6 October 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham

The Multi-unit Franchise Conference & Networking lunch is taking place on Friday 6 October 2023 at the NEC, Birmingham. For existing franchisees considering expanding their portfolios, or ambitious entrepreneurs looking to invest in multiple units from the outset, this is a truly unmissable event.

–  Hear from established franchisees as they discuss the dos and don’ts of multi-unit and multi-brand expansion

– After refuelling at the network lunch, delegates will have the opportunity to explore The National Franchise Exhibition and discover their next franchise venture

– Once the exhibition ends at 4pm, delegates are invited to the VIP Lounge for a drinks reception

Delegate places are extremely limited, register now!

Topics include:

The topics discussed at the Multi-unit Franchise Conference & Networking Lunch include:

  • Delivering optimal performance across a multi-site multi-brand portfolio
  • Achieving your long-term business goals
  • Successfully expanding your portfolio

Delegate places are extremely limited, register now!

Have a look at highlights from last year’s event: 


View Master, Regional Master, Multi-unit and Area Developer opportunities in the UK >

Thinking of taking your franchise to the US? Legal advice you need to know…

Exemption based franchising in the USA

Many UK brands are initially put off considering the US when expanding their operations because of the level of bureaucracy and cost of complying with US franchising laws.

Various US franchising laws need to be considered to determine whether they apply in the context of exploratory talks with prospective US investors or multi-unit franchisees.

But every transaction will be subject to such extensive requirements due to the possibility that there may be one or more exemptions that can apply. This can enable UK brands to investigate the potential or get an initial toe hold in the US market with less bureaucracy and at a lower initial cost.

Why Freeths

Freeths LLP is a leading UK law firm, and we have franchise experts in a number of our offices. We have extensive experience in structuring, negotiating and documenting franchise transactions in the UK and internationally, including multinational master franchise, area and regional developer and area representative arrangements, joint ventures and other distribution and brand licensing relationships.

We can provide high level advice to UK brands considering seeking potential investors or market opportunities in the US about the availability of exemption-based franchising.

US laws, and in particular individual state laws, need to be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine whether it may be possible to undertake exemption-based franchising. To do that, Freeths has teamed up with a highly regarded boutique franchise law firm in the US to give UK brands specific advice on whether an exemption-based franchise approach may work for them, without having to develop a full-scale franchise disclosure document.


Franchise Registration States

“The team is very able at managing simple issues with care and attention, and very complex and fluid cases in a sophisticated and commercial manner.”

– Chambers & Partners, 2023

Franchising in the USA

The popularity of franchising and vast market opportunity in the US makes it a very attractive prospect for a UK brand looking to expand its operations. There are various laws applicable to franchising in the US which need to be considered to determine whether they apply in the context of exploratory talks with prospective US investors or multi-unit franchisees.

Many UK brands are initially put off considering the US because of the level of bureaucracy and cost of complying with US franchising laws.

However, not every transaction will be subject to all these requirements due to the possibility that there may be one or more exemptions that can apply. This can enable UK brands to investigate the potential or get an initial toe hold in the US market without the level of bureaucracy and cost of complying with the various US franchise laws.

Introducing exemptions

For a UK brand considering entry to the United States for the purpose of “testing the waters,” the possibility of an exemption may make the market-testing exercise and initial entry into the US considerably more efficient, more cost effective and less burdensome.

Exemptions are highly fact dependent and vary from state to state.

A careful factual review is therefore necessary before concluding that a UK brand can initially offer to sell a franchise in the US without having to comply with applicable regulatory requirements.


Bringing your brand to the United States

By Steven B. Feirman
Nixon Peabody LLP
Washington, DC

We are frequently asked – “Can I promote my brand to potential franchisees in the United States,
before I have completed a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD)?

Yes. UK and European franchisors can advertise and market their franchises on websites, social media, franchise directories, business publications, and wherever interested franchise buyers may be located!

However, such advertisements and marketing generally may not include information about past or projected sales or profits of the franchised businesses, until that information is included in an FDD.

Ultimately, an FDD will be required in order to sell any franchises in the US. And, in certain states, an FDD is necessary in order to enter into discussions or negotiations with prospective franchisees.

Franchising internationally can present many opportunities for growth and expansion. The United States, in particular, is a tempting market for European franchisors because of the size of the United States economy and the affection of consumers for European brands. There are about 2,500 franchise systems in the United States, and they operate over 800,000 franchised establishments in 300 different industries. The annual sales of the goods and services provided by franchised establishments in the Unites States are $1.2 trillion, and the franchise sector is growing more quickly than the rest of the Unites States economy.

A decision to begin franchising in the United States should not be taken lightly. Such a decision should be strategic, as it will require a significant commitment of resources by the franchisor. This paper discusses some of the business and legal considerations that must be analysed before a European franchisor decides to take the plunge into the United States market.

1. Establish the Franchise System at Home

It is important for a franchisor to become established in its home country before launching an international franchise program. This will ensure that the franchisor has experience in the business of being a franchisor, as opposed only to being an experienced operator of restaurants, fitness clubs, or whatever the underlying line of business might be. Franchisors must become adept at the dual functions of franchise development and franchise operations, and there is no better place to refine those skills than in the franchisor’s home market. While there are examples of franchisors that go international sooner rather than later, franchisors who are more patient tend to have greater success when they begin an international franchise program.

In addition, it is advisable for franchisors to begin expanding internationally by taking baby steps; they should first export their franchise to a nearby country, or to a country that is familiar to the franchisor. For example, many United States franchisors test the waters of international franchising by first expanding into Canada.

Once a franchisor has overcome the obstacles and costs of expanding its system to a neighbouring or familiar market, it can then consider its expansion strategy for the United States.

2. Conduct A Cost/Benefit Analysis

The potential rewards of entering the United States market are substantial, but so are the costs. A franchisor should understand its likely costs so that it can determine whether expanding its franchise operations to the Unites States is likely to be a profitable endeavour. While a franchisor may be able to shift some of the additional costs to its franchisees, the franchisor must be careful to ensure that the franchise costs are not so high that its franchisees are not profitable. The added costs arise in a number of areas.

A. Legal Expenses
There will be significant legal expenses associated with entering the United States market. The franchisor will have to register and protect its trademarks in the United States, and conform its franchise agreement as necessary to account for local laws, language, and currency. There is also a requirement under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Franchise Rule to provide pre-contractual disclosures to a prospective franchisee by providing a Franchise Disclosure Document (FDD). A franchisor also should seek tax advice to determine whether any special taxes will affect the financial terms of the franchise relationship. Such advice may require specialized expertise and additional expense. If a franchisor is entering into a multi-unit agreement or master franchise arrangement, the other party is likely to be a sophisticated purchaser, and the terms of the final franchise agreement may be highly negotiated. Any such negotiations may increase the legal expenses associated with franchising in a new country.

B. Travel Expenses
Inevitably, a franchisor’s personnel will need to travel to the United States to identify franchise prospects, train personnel, inspect proposed sites, provide operational assistance, and monitor franchisees operations to ensure that they are operating in accordance with system requirements. The travel costs, including flights, visas, and daily travel expenses, can add up. The methodical franchisor should seek to budget for these expenses, and structure both its initial and ongoing fees accordingly.

C. International Support/Assistance
The cost of providing support and assistance in the United States is likely to be higher than in one’s own country. This is due to a variety of factors, such as the need for greater training and assistance; introduction of a new concept in a foreign market; and adaptation of the franchised concept to the United States market.

D. Regulatory Expenses
A franchisor will have to incur a variety of compliance costs in the United States. Twenty-two countries, including the United States, directly regulate the sale of franchises in some form, and a number of states have separate franchise registration requirements. There will be added costs to generate disclosure and registration documents and to make the required filings. There are also expenses associated with seeking and maintaining intellectual property protection.

3. Register the Primary Trademarks in the United States
Neither the FTC Franchise Rule nor any of the state franchise sales laws requires that the franchisor have a federally registered trademark to use with its United States franchise program. Nevertheless, there are practical and legal reasons why a federally registered trademark is desirable.

If a mark is not registered, there is a risk that another party could use a similar or identical mark and obtain a common law right in the mark in a specified area of prior use. That would mean that the franchisor would not be able to grant a franchise using the mark in that area of prior use. In addition, the franchisor would have to disclose in its FDD if it knows of either superior prior rights or infringing uses that could materially affect the franchisee’s use of the principal marks in the state where the franchise will be located. Moreover, the infringing party may seek to register its own mark. The risk to the franchisor if it uses an unregistered mark is that the franchisor may have to modify its trademarks or discontinue using a trademark, which then raises the practical issue of which party would bear the cost of modifying the marks used by the franchisees. Brand identity is critical to a successful franchise program, and having to change or modify a mark could have a negative impact on the franchise system.

4. Determine the Optimal Structure for the Franchise System in the United States
When expanding a franchise system to the United States, the franchisor has to choose the method for expansion. Establishing a subsidiary and beginning direct unit franchising provides the franchisor with maximum control but is very expensive and time consuming. For this reason, direct unit franchising tends to be disfavored in international franchising transactions.

Many franchisors prefer to contract with a local party in the United States, someone who is familiar with the business environment, the cultural environment, and the legal environment, and who can focus on expansion in the United States as its primary function. For this sort of contractual arrangement, the choice may be between a master franchise and an area development agreement.

In master franchising (also known as sub-franchising), the franchisor will grant the master franchisee the right not only to establish and operate outlets owned by the master franchisee but also to sub-franchise outlets to independent sub-franchisees. The master franchisee will have to act as local franchisor and take on all obligations and perform all services for the sub-franchisees. The franchisor has to train the master franchisee not only in the operation of the franchise system but also in the training of sub-franchisees. As the master franchisee creates another layer in the structure, it is necessary that the training of sub-franchisees be identical to the training that the franchisor gives its local franchisees.

In area development agreements, the area developer will be granted the right to establish and operate a number of outlets during a certain period of time. The area developer will not be allowed to sublicense its right to others; it has to establish all outlets by itself. The area developer usually handles the obligations of a franchisor for the territory it has been granted.

An area development agreement is often preferred over a master franchise agreement: the franchisor will get the expansion it wants but without the middle man seen in the master franchise structure.

5. The Franchisor Should Adjust its Franchise Agreement
When entering the United States, it is usually necessary to modify the franchisor’s existing agreements. This is especially true when a franchisor from a civil law country (such as Germany) enters a common law country (such as the United States).

In an area development structure, the development agreement can include both the development grant and the grant to operate units with all the details concerning the operations. The development agreement can also be a two-fold system with a separate agreement for the development grant and an agreement for the operation of each unit. The latter agreement may be very much like a direct franchise agreement. In both scenarios, the franchisor will be one of the parties to the agreements and will want to have its law as the governing law. If the franchisor originates in a civil law country, it will most likely use its civil law agreement. However, there are clauses that need to be adjusted to protect the intellectual property and to enable the franchisor to seek injunctions in the United States.

If the arrangement is based on master franchising, there are two layers of agreements: the master franchise agreement and the sub-franchise agreement. The master franchise agreement will be concluded between the franchisor and the master franchisee. Just like the development
agreement, the franchisor will most likely demand that the governing law be the law of its home country, similar to most licensing agreements. If the franchisor originates in a civil law country, it will most likely use its civil law agreement. But, like the development agreement, it needs to be amended to enable the franchisor to protect certain right in the United States. The second
layer of agreement the sub-franchise agreement will be concluded between the master franchisee and the sub-franchisees. Both these parties are established and operate in the United States and must use a franchise agreement that recognizes common law principles.

6. Cultural Differences May Require Adjustments to the Franchise System
Franchisors from outside the United States used to spend a considerable amount of time trying to determine how best to Americanize their concepts for the United States market. Now, the need to change any franchised concept to conform to what might have been considered Americanâ tastes and preferences has been significantly diminished. A franchise concept developed in Europe may be much more successful in the United States if it remains authentic, instead of trying to turn itself into something more American. European franchisors will want to minimize any changes to its concept that could sacrifice the integrity of the brand.

Some successful foreign concepts also target the market of emigrants in the United States who are from the country where the concept was developed. In those cases, the franchisor wants to capitalize on its authenticity and heritage and successfully bring the home country feel of the brand to consumers in the United States who are already familiar with the concept. Of course, for each particular system, relevant cultural differences should be studied and taken into account as the foreign franchisor considers entering the United States market. For restaurant concepts, portion sizes may need to be altered. In the hotel industry, American business travellers expect that each room will have internet access, as well as an iron and ironing board. Given the number of overweight Americans, furniture sizes for restaurants and hotels may also need to be reviewed. Every aspect of the brand will have to be carefully considered prior to determining the exact offering for the United States.

If the franchisor’s home country and the countries where it has already expanded utilize the metric system or the Imperial system, the franchisor must include in the budget for its United States expansion the costs to convert all its measurements (recipes for both proprietary and non-proprietary food and beverage items) and architectural and interior designs for plans and specifications to the United States system of measurement.

7. Adjustments May Have to Be Made Due to Different Laws
The extent to which the franchisor will have to adjust its business model will depend on many factors, but most particularly on how the franchisor has set up its model in its home country and the level of any applicable disclosure requirements with which it is already complying. For example, in Germany there is limited pre-contractual disclosure because there is no statutory requirement for such disclosure; the limited obligation to disclosure arises from German case law and the German Franchise Association code of ethics. On the other hand, in the United States, the FTC Franchise Rule requires an FDD containing twenty-three items of disclosure. A German franchisor that is doing business in France, Italy, or Spain will be familiar with the level of pre-contractual disclosure required in the United States; but a German franchisor that has not previously had to provide detailed disclosures may be in for a surprise.

For example, in the United States, the franchisor must include information about any payments designated suppliers may make to the franchisor from franchisee purchases. If the arrangement with suppliers in the home country includes rebates or other payment benefits for the franchisor related to such purchases and there is no obligation to disclose them, the franchisor may have simply included such payments in its income. This disclosure does not, of course, dictate what the franchisor must do with rebates, but the transparency required regarding the payments may lead a United States franchisor to alter the use of such payments.

8. The Franchise System May Have to Be Modified Due to Supply Chain Differences
One key to a successful launch of a brand in the United States is the development of a secure, high quality supply chain. It will be necessary for the franchisor to determine whether products and supplies must be imported from the home country into the United States, with the added expense of transportation and logistics services and the payment of customs duties; or whether proper suppliers and manufacturers can be located in the United States. The integrity of the brand will be at stake so the franchisor must be assured that local United States suppliers can meet the requirements and provide the same quality of goods and products as the brand does in its home country. If the concept includes proprietary ingredients or technology, for example, the franchisor may be hesitant to permit production of these items by any supplier other than those with which it has a long term relationship. Supply chain analysis should be undertaken very early in the investigation of whether the brand and the business model will be financially attractive for franchisees in the United States, particularly if any goods or inventory must be imported.

The franchisor will also need to undertake careful research to determine if the amount of the advertising contribution required in the home country or other countries where the franchisor has units will be appropriate for the United States market. The franchisor must also decide if it will allow the United States franchisees to undertake advertising on their own, particularly when the brand is just beginning to grow in size.

9. A Franchisor Must Prepare and Register a Franchise Disclosure Document
As noted above, the content of the FDD is mandated by the FTC Franchise Rule. In addition, state franchise regulators have issued Franchise and Registration Disclosure Guidelines to provide further guidance on the disclosure and state registration process. A number of the franchise registration states require that certain additional state specific disclosures be included in the FDD, usually in an addendum.

Counsel in the United States may provide the franchisor with a detailed questionnaire that can be used to gather the information that will be needed to prepare the FDD. Many disclosures in the FDD need to reflect certain provisions in the Franchise Agreement, the Area Development Agreement or Master Franchise Agreement, and other documents used in the franchise sales process. Therefore, it is most efficient to prepare the Franchise Agreement and other agreements before preparing the FDD. Among other requirements, the FDD must contain the franchisor’s audited financial statements and a copy of each agreement to be signed by the franchisee.

Once the FDD is ready, it can immediately be used in about 35 states. However, it will have to be registered in 15 states before a sale or offer of a sale of a franchise can be made that is  subject to the laws of those states.

10. A Franchisor May Be Responsible for its Master Franchisee’s Compliance with the
FTC Franchise Rule
Franchisors that enter into master franchise agreements (rather than area development agreements) have additional disclosure obligations. The FTC Franchise Rule defines a franchisor as any person who grants a franchise and participates in the franchise relationship. Unless otherwise indicated, a franchisor also means a master franchisee. As noted above, there are at least two agreements involved in a master franchise relationship  the master franchise agreement between the franchisor and the master franchisee, and the franchise agreement between the master franchisee and the sub-franchisee.

These two types of agreements each have their own FDDs: (1) the FDD provided by the franchisor to the master franchisee; and (2) the FDD provided by the master franchisee to the sub-franchisee. The latter FDD must include information about both the master franchisee and the franchisor. The franchisor is responsible for the master franchisee’s representations in the FDD to sub-franchisees. Therefore, the master development agreement should contain detailed provisions about the responsibility for preparing the FDD. Similarly, state franchise laws also require that disclosure be included for franchisors in sub-franchise offerings.

11. The Size of the Franchisee’s Territory Must Be Manageable
The United States market is very large. The franchisor who grants too big a territory to the master franchisee or area developer is likely to be disappointed when the territory is not developed at the pace it expected. If the master franchisee or area developer undertakes to develop a territory that is too big and, as a result, fails to meet the development schedule, it risks losing its development rights. The way to handle the territory and the pace of development is by agreeing on a development schedule that both parties believe is feasible. The franchisor should set realistic goals on how fast it wants the territory to be developed. If the development is state- by-state or area-by-area, it is easy to set goals and thresholds. If the master franchisee or area developer does not meet the goals, the franchisee’s exclusivity may be terminated, the territory may be decreased, or the whole agreement may be terminated.

Many foreign franchisors expand to the United States with the naive perception that the United States is a single market. Too often have we seen franchisors grant a territory defined as all of USA. This is not the recommended way to expand. Very few franchisors would grant a territory defined as all of Europe. The countries of Europe may, in this example be compared to the states of the United States. Even though the states have the same currency and the same language, the laws and the culture will differ among the states.

12. The Franchisor Must Decide Whether to Form a United States Subsidiary
Franchisors generally form a United States subsidiary to license and operate the franchise system in the United States under one or more of three circumstances: (1) if it wants to have a presence in the United States to support the franchise operations or conduct company-owned operations; (2) to comply with the FTC Franchise Rule’s financial statement requirements for the FDD disclosure; and/or (3) to minimize its liability risk exposure.

If the franchisor plans to have its personnel stationed in the United States to support its United States franchise operations or conduct its own operations, it would be prudent to set up a United States subsidiary to conduct those operations. For tax reasons, and perhaps liability reasons, the franchisor may want to avoid having a branch office in the United States. The personnel stationed here would have to obtain the appropriate business visa to allow them to work in the United States, which may be easier to obtain if there is a local subsidiary. Such personnel often obtain a United States green card allowing them to live and work in the United States as a resident alien.

An important part of preparing the FDD required by the FTC is the need to have audited financials prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles used in the United States. Most foreign franchisors establish a United States subsidiary to license and operate the program, adequately capitalize it, and then obtain an audited opening balance sheet prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

13. The Franchisor Will Have to Provide Training for its United States Franchisees
A franchisor entering the United States should begin with its existing written training programs and materials. If these materials do not already exist in English, they will have to be translated and the costs for such translations can be significant. If they have been previously translated into an English version other than “American English, they will likely need to be reviewed and revised in order for Americans to be able to utilize them successfully. Some franchisors entering the United States have chosen to do so through their home country nationals who have emigrated to the United States and who are fluent in the home country language. In that case, written training materials may not have to be translated immediately.

Additionally, if the franchisor expects that the franchised businesses will be operated by a diverse workforce, it will need to contemplate the possibility that certain training materials will not only have to be translated into English, but also into Spanish or another foreign language, depending on the ethnicity of the workforce. The franchisor may be able to minimize costs by having a substantial amount of its training program provided through on-line tools.

14. The Franchisor Must Conduct Inspections and Ensure Quality Control
If the franchisor has determined to create a subsidiary in the United States to provide support for the franchise system, it may determine to hire its own local employees who can undertake inspections of the franchised businesses. Such employees will have to be trained in the culture of the franchisor and likely will have to spend a significant amount of time in the franchisor’s home country to learn about the system and the operation of the units in order to be prepared to conduct inspections of the United States units.

Alternatively, the franchisor may have created an in-house team who inspect the foreign units, both in the home country as well as in other locations where the franchisor has expanded prior to its entry into the United States. Any such non-United States citizens who come to the United States for such inspection work will have to obtain a non-immigrant visa, a process that can be very simple or complicated and time-consuming, depending on the citizenship of such person. Inspections can also be handled by independent third parties who have been provided with the criteria for such review. Mystery shoppers are another tool that some franchisors utilize. Customer satisfaction surveys may also serve as a tool for quality control. All of these methods may be combined, but as the franchisor considers its entry into the United States, it will be necessary to establish a budget for these activities.

15. Tax Implications for the Franchisor May Be Different from its Prior Experience
The United States tax implications of a foreign franchisor entering into the United States market depend upon the ownership structure of the franchise. Foreign franchisors may enter the United States market by either (i) entering into a franchise agreement, area development agreement, or master franchise agreement directly with an unrelated party; or (ii) forming a United States subsidiary to serve as a base of operations in the United States or as a joint venture partner. Each structure will have different tax implications, so it is advisable to seek advice from a qualified accountant or tax lawyer in order to create a tax-efficient structure. In addition, the effect of tax treaties must be considered.

16. United States Franchise Laws Apply to Many Commercial Agreements
A franchise relationship may exist even if it is called a license agreement, a dealership, a distributorship, or a sales agency. For a transaction to be a franchise, three elements of the franchise definition must be present in the relationship. The first element is significant association with the licensor’s trademark or commercial symbol. The second is the payment of a fee. The third element varies, depending on the jurisdiction. Under the FTC Franchise Rule, this element is described as “significant control over the licensee’s operations or significant assistance in such operations. In a number of states that regulate the offer and sale of franchises, this element is described as a marketing plan that is prescribed in substantial part by the licensor. Some states instead require that there be a “community of interest between the licensor and licensee for a franchise to be present. Franchise laws are considered to be remedial laws and, therefore, interpreted broadly. In fact, some states have a broader definition of franchise than the FTC Franchise Rule definition. In New York, a franchise consists of only two definitional elements: the payment of a fee and either a marketing plan or a trademark license.

It does not matter what name or designation is given the arrangement if it includes the definitional elements. Therefore, if a European franchisor wants to enter the United States market as a non-franchised licensor, it will need to eliminate the payment of fees. As a practical matter, this may be possible if the franchisor only sells goods to the franchisee for resale. That structure may qualify as an exception from the fee element if the amount paid is a bona fide wholesale price and if the franchisee is not required to purchase more than a reasonable business person would to maintain an inventory.

European franchisors are increasingly entering the United States market because consumers in the United States are attracted to European brands. In addition, the size of the market and the large middle class in the United States offers many potential benefits to European franchisors looking to expand. However, the decision to bring franchising in the United States requires that European franchisors have a keen understanding of the differences between the European and United States markets

IWG eyes rapid expansion in Scotland with first franchise partnership

  • IWG has signed an agreement to open its first franchise-owned locations in Scotland as demand for hybrid work grows
  • The partnership will see three new centres open in North and South Lanarkshire over the next three years, allowing those in the Central Belt’s neighbouring towns to reduce their commute
  • IWG reports a rise in demand of over between 20-25% in suburban hotspots of Scotland, including Livingston, Motherwell and Stirling.

IWG, the world’s leading provider of flexible workspace including Regus and Spaces, has signed its first franchise agreement in Scotland to meet growing demand for hybrid ways of working. The new deal will serve towns and suburbs in the Central Belt of the country and give those previously commuting into cities such as Glasgow and Edinburgh the chance to work closer to home long-term.

The new agreement will see three franchise-owned centres opened across Lanarkshire between now and 2024. This growth follows a surge in demand for IWG workspaces in Scottish suburban areas, where the provider has witnessed a 20-25% increase in enquiries for its centres over the last quarter.

Partnering with IWG to spearhead its franchise expansion into Scotland are Tommy Nevin, experienced BT and EE franchisee; Graeme Orr, freelance Project Management Consultant for multiple blue chip organisations; Tony McCabe and Scott Gibson, both vastly experienced Operations Directors who have ran and partnered with some of the UK’s biggest organisations in Financial Services and Telecoms.

Tommy Nevin is one of Scotland’s most experienced franchise investors and with Scott and Tony now runs 70% of BT’s Scottish operations through his existing portfolio. They are planning to move their BT staff members to the first IWG franchise centre in the country.

The pandemic has accelerated demand for flex workspace outside the UK’s cities, with many seeking greater freedom in where and how they work in the long term. Indeed, half (46%) of Brits now say they would quit their job if asked to return to the office full time with 83% more likely to apply for a job that offers flexible working.

Julian Chambers, Head of Franchise at IWG – UK & Ireland said:

The pandemic has accelerated a trend that we were already seeing across the world, the shift towards hybrid working. Employees want the freedom to work closer to home, avoiding a lengthy commute to the office and businesses are listening.

We’ve seen the demand soar considerably around the world in 2021 with more than a 350 percent increase in new locations committed by franchise partners so far this year, compared to the same period in 2020. Our UK partnerships have played a huge part in this and now, we are delighted to bring the opportunity to Scotland where there is still plenty of unmet demand across the country.

Graeme Orr said: It’s a hugely exciting time for the flexible workspace sector and we’re delighted to be spearheading IWG’s franchise network in Scotland. For years, people have commuted to cities such as Glasgow, Edinburgh and further afield for work, sometimes spending over two hours on public transport or on the motorway. Additionally, we believe many Organisations will be seeking property solutions with greater flexibility, that can rise and fall in line with actual business demand, providing agility that is missing in traditional real estate arrangements.

Tommy Nevin added: We’re putting our collective business knowledge together to make a real difference to the lives of commuters, and we are on the lookout for property owners who are interested in helping this vision come to life.

In the UK, IWG has formed multiple new franchise partnerships to date across 75 city and suburban locations, as demand for flexible workspace continues to surge following the pandemic.

Meet Nikki and Niamh: TRIB3 Ireland Area Development Partners

Nikki Dempsey and Niamh McCreery, our new multi-unit franchise partners, have exclusive territory rights to Ireland with an eight-site development deal. They joined the TRIB3 family earlier this year, supported by their partners who have a wealth of experience in the fitness market. We are thrilled to partner with them to bring the TRIB3 experience to Ireland, with their first store opening in Q4 2021.

We spoke with Nikki and Niamh to learn more about what lead them to joining the TRIB3 family and their journey so far in franchising.

What did you do before franchising and what prompted you to make the change?

Niamh: I’m actually a yoga instructor and before teaching private classes, I was a personal trainer for eight years, working at a gym. My partner and I have always been into fitness, playing sports, going to the gym, traveling to cities to try new workout classes. I’ve always wanted to own my own business and franchising has been a concept that I had been following for the last two or three years so I felt I could pair my passion with a proven business model.

Nikki: I’m new to the industry, having been an insurance broker for over ten years now. I’ve seen close family and friends become really successful running franchises so that sparked my interest in wanting to invest in a franchise myself. Since finding this opportunity, I’m really excited about getting more involved in the fitness industry and hope to teach TRIB3 classes as well as operating several of the stores too.

What drew you to TRIB3?

Niamh: The concept is so unique, especially with the three zones in the studio, which we hadn’t experienced in any other classes we’ve done anywhere before. We knew immediately it would be a great concept to bring to Ireland as it was completely different and we saw a lot of opportunity to grow and scale this concept across a new territory.

Nikki: It was definitely the people we met while getting involved in the process. The brand and the concept are brilliant but the actual people that you’re working with, makes all the difference. Everyone we’ve met on the team and at TRIB3 have been so supportive and I can see myself working with them, which is the most important thing to me.

Why did you want to bring TRIB3 to Ireland?

Niamh: We saw a huge gap in the market for it, so for us it was a no brainer. The combination of the workout, the music and the energy that you feel coming out of a TRIB3 workout was incredible. We’re hoping that there will be a big demand for it and we’ll be able to keep opening up more and more stores.

Nikki: Like Niamh, we wanted to bring something to Ireland that’s not been done here before. There’s a big trend for people wanting to train together so group exercise is starting to become quite popular here but there still isn’t a concept quite like TRIB3 available yet.

What qualities does someone need to be a successful multi-unit franchisee?

Niamh: You have to be willing to be patient, follow the journey and trust the process. Take in as much information as you can, as you have a team around you with so much support and guidance to give.

Nikki: The three things that are most important when it comes to franchising are people, process and product. You have to trust the process and work with the right people. Especially with being a multi-unit franchisee owner, you have to not be afraid of failing – learn from your mistakes and have the courage to keep moving forward.

Would you recommend franchising and this franchise opportunity to others?

Niamh: Definitely. I’ve seen people become very successful in franchising but you have to be passionate about what you’re doing. Also having the support of a franchisor, you’re backed by their knowledge and expertise, which you normally wouldn’t have running your own business. After my initial conversations with the TRIB3 team, you can just tell there’s so much experience within the network so it’ll be great to pull from their experience while being able to put our own touch on it too.

Nikki: 100% because franchising is being given a bag of tools to run your business. The processes are there so especially for people that have little experience in business, franchising is a great way to do it. During hard times and economic downturns, people tend to turn to franchises because the processes are there. I definitely recommend TRIB3 because the processes are there, the brand is developed and there’s a good team of people.

Ready to join our global fitness movement? Enquire today.

Snap Fitness – A New Philosophy of Fitness

As fitness innovators, Snap Fitness is making exciting changes and pushing boundaries of what we expect a fitness company to do.  They are increasing their focus on helping members move their moods as well as their bodies and are on a mission to help people create positive lifestyle habits that make them feel fantastic.

This new philosophy comes after results of a global research project that found a new generation of consumers see fitness as one part of an overall holistic approach to health and wellness. Yet, 34 percent of people are intimidated or even fearful to go to a gym. That number is even higher for women in particular. The team at Snap Fitness believes there is substantial opportunity to better serve their current members whilst also attracting a new untapped consumer segment of members.

The starting point is a shift in the go-to-market strategy, which is visible in the marketing and club design. However, they are focused on creating a technology led holistic approach, which will launch in late 2021, to supporting members whether in or out of club, recognising that all fitness is valid fitness, making it simple so it sticks and rewarding members.

Jon Cottam, EMEA CEO, said Snap Fitness is built upon the fundamental drive to continually innovate and elevate our offering for members, our teams and Franchisees. Our evolution in approach not only better reflects our position in the market, but also reflects our view that no one member, or their journey, is the same. We have a firm belief that fitness should be as fun as it is fulfilling. We understand that all fitness is valid, both in and out of the club.

Learn more about franchise opportunities with Snap Fitness here.

Flagship German Doner Kebab Opening at London’s The O2

German Doner Kebab will open soon at The O2, bringing a new fast-casual dining experience to the world’s most popular music, entertainment, and leisure venue, located on the Greenwich Peninsula.

The gourmet kebab chain has confirmed that it will open a new Flagship restaurant within the Entertainment District at The O2.

The restaurant is scheduled to open early July and will create in the region of 40 new jobs, bringing employment to the local area.

The opening has been announced as German Doner Kebab forges ahead with plans to open 47 new restaurants in the UK during 2021, building significantly on the 12 opened during 2020.

German Doner Kebab is revolutionising the kebab in the UK, bringing a fresh, high-quality taste sensation that has made it the number one spot to enjoy a kebab.

Freshly prepared in front of customers, the game-changing kebabs are made using premium, lean, succulent meats and fresh local vegetables, served in handmade toasted breads with unique signature sauces.

The new restaurant will be the brand’s 65th site in the UK as it continues to bring the GDK experience to more locations throughout the country.

Daniel Bunce, GDK MD for UK and Europe, said: We’re delighted to officially announce plans to bring the German Doner Kebab experience to The O2.

The O2 has long been in our sights and to be launching our new flagship restaurant in such an iconic London location represents a landmark moment in the growth of GDK.

Our game-changing kebabs are revolutionising the kebab in the UK and we are excited to be bringing a new fast-casual experience to The O2.

Combined with a busy events calendar from late 2021 and into 2022, The O2 provides a complete day out destination with retail, leisure and entertainment all under one roof. Located just 15-minutes from central London, the venue is easily accessible by tube, (North Greenwich via the Jubilee line) by road or Uber Boat by Thames Clippers and has pre-bookable parking spaces available onsite.

Speaking on behalf of Waterfront Limited Partnership, the joint venture between AEG and Crosstree Real Estate Partners who own Icon Outlet and the Entertainment District at The O2, Alistair Wood, Executive VP of Real Estate and Development at AEG Europe commented: We’re delighted to be opening the flagship German Doner Kebab restaurant at The O2 this summer.

Their unique fast-casual dining experience is a great addition to our tenant mix as we continue to diversify our offering for visitors with independent and well-known food and beverage brands.

Once opened, German Doner Kebab will offer a full dine-in experience, subject to government restrictions, as well as Takeaway and Click and Collect. Delivery will be available through GDK’s Delivery partners.

Learn more about UK opportunities with German Doner Kebab here.

New franchise numbers remained high through 2020

Economic uncertainty and the pandemic didn’t reduce interest in new franchises during 2020, according to data from HSBC UK.

From January to September HSBC UK’s Franchise team took on 834 new customers, just short of the 894 new accounts in the same period of 2019 and comfortably exceeding the 727 new customers in 2018.

Food delivery, the storage sector, business technology, care in the home and tutoring were among the most popular new franchises started during 2020.

Fast-food franchises in particular adapted quickly during the first lockdown by pivoting to offer drive-thru, delivery and Covid-secure collection. The major brands saw huge demand and all have experienced like for like sale increases on the previous 12 months.

Andrew Brattesani, Head of Franchise for HSBC UK, believes the stability of new customer numbers can be put down to a combination of furlough giving people more time to consider their career aspirations, economic uncertainty putting jobs at risk and people wanting to take control of their own careers.

He said: Despite the huge economic challenges that businesses faced through the course of 2020 we haven’t seen interest in new franchises dwindle.

Through the uncertainty there have been opportunities and we’ve seen examples of people having more time to assess their options and look to franchising as a way to start their own business, be their own boss and find growth.

Even with the unprecedented disruption, franchising is booming. Having the benefit of a proven business model behind them has given people the confidence to take these new opportunities and run with them and we don’t expect that to change.

HSBC UK customer Gbolahan Laoshe from London took the opportunity to change his career and start a franchise during the pandemic.

He had been working for a financial services company in London, but after a couple of months in lockdown found his contracted hours reduced, giving him more time to consider his future career aspirations.

Gbolahan explains: I’d previously looked into starting a franchise but hadn’t taken the idea forward until things changed with my day job early in lockdown.

The pandemic expedited my thinking and I got back in touch with Driver Hire, who I had spoken to previously, to see if there was still an opportunity there for a franchise in Bedford and Huntingdon.

Gbolahan went to private school in the UK before moving to Nigeria for university to study law, he then took over the family haulage business which he ran for seven years.

He returned to the UK where he settled with his family and worked in IT, but always had the desire to start his own business.

He said: Going out on my own felt scary and that’s why I looked at the option of franchising and got in touch with the British Franchise Association (bfa) and spoke to a number of franchisees to understand their experiences.

In October Gbolahan joined the Driver Hire ranks. The company is the UK’s largest specialist logistics recruiter with more than 100 offices and offers a full range of recruitment services.

He added: Some people might think it’s mad to start a business during a pandemic but as a famous author once said every adversity has the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.

In uncertainties there are opportunities and while it’s daunting every day I love the challenge. I wake up each day with a desire to make things happen.

HSBC UK has an award winning franchise team who have been providing financial support, advice and expertise to both franchisors and franchisees for decades.

The bank works closely with the bfa and its members to encourage successful and ethical franchising