Franchising · 23 March 2016

Revealed: The UK’s most popular franchises

most popular franchises
Chris Brown owns 14 Burger King franchises in the US

As pimped-up sandwich brand Subway proves ever-more popular with franchisees in the United Kingdom, here are the UK’s most popular options for those who want to run a branded business.

Opened recently in Scotland, Europe’s 5000th branch of the popular fast-food outlet is run by a hugely successful franchisee who has now built up a network of 16 Subway outlets – a testament to the success such business models can lead to.

All 44,000 of the chain’s worldwide stores are run by franchisees – and it’s far from the only brand being expanded by zealous entrepreneurs in this way. The UK’s franchises have a combined turnover of more than £13.4bn and employ over 600,000 people.

Here are the five of the most popular franchise businesses in the UK:

Spar

With over 2,400 franchises in the UK, this convenience store leaves other franchise options trailing behind. It’s also the oldest brand on the list to have a presence in Britain – the first Spar store opened in the UK in 1957.

Costa coffee

Founded in London in 1971, Costa coffee has since expanded to include 1,500 franchisee stores in the the UK. The brand is currently so popular with aspiring entrepreneurs that the company’s owners aren’t offering new full store franchises right now – hardly a surprise considering the profit margins on coffee.

KFC

One of the biggest franchise chains in the world, this fast-food brand has over 800 stores in the UK, and certainly has high hopes for franchisees – who are expected to expand to ten restaurants in five years.

Kumon Maths

At 680 franchises in the UK, this education brand is the country’s most popular non food and drink option – and commands a much lower investment than the other brands on the list, requiring an initial investment of only £3,000.

Burger King

With over fifty years experience making burgers, it’s no surprise that the US brand is so popular worldwide with fast-food entrepreneurs. The owners of the UK’s 654 franchises also have the dubious honour of having something in common with music legend Chris Brown, who revealed last year that he owns 14 Burger King franchises in the US.

Thinking of taking the plunge and going for franchising? Check out this list of five things to consider in year one.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hannah Wilkinson is a reporter for Business Advice. She studied economics and management at Oxford University and prior to joining Business Advice wrote for Kensington and Chelsea Today about business and economics – as well as running a tutoring company.

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