We invited Imran Mamud, founder of Rooster Shack, and franchise consultant Matteo Frigieri, to participate in the first of our new “Franchise Forward” webinar series. These two experienced food franchise professionals gave us their take on why now is an excellent time to start a franchise. 

Though the events of the last year make it seem like this isn’t an opportune time to start a business, that assumption couldn’t be further from the truth. Our news section is bursting with success stories, and we’ve had the privilege of talking to savvy franchisors across a wide range of sectors about how they’ve achieved success during a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic.


On Friday March 5, our very own Shayne Thomas, from Point Franchise’s editorial team, hosted a discussion with two professionals from the world of food and beverage franchises: Imran Mamud of Rooster Shack offered a franchisor’s perspective while franchise consultant Matteo Frigieri of Seeds Consulting brought 30+ years of expertise to the conversation. We know everyone’s schedules are a little different right now, so you can check out what they had to say any time by watching the video below. Short on time? We’ve summarised the need-to-knows in this handy article.


Is the food and beverage sector growing?


There’s no denying that some people’s finances have been devastated by the Covid-19 pandemic. But those who have been able to work from home, or were able to pivot and adapt their businesses with safety restrictions in mind, may now find themselves in a stronger financial position than ever before.


Shayne kicked off the session by sharing a number of eye-opening statistics about the impact of Covid-19 on consumers’ finances. Research suggests that 74% of consumers’ finances are unchanged or have increased during the pandemic. And even if their wallets have taken a hit, 86% of people feel optimistic about economic recovery after the ongoing vaccine rollout.


“Lots of people have been saving up during months at home and have the disposable income to go out and spend as soon as it’s safe to do so,” explained Shayne.


And one area where consumers have continued to spend their money is on food and beverage. Local restaurants have especially enjoyed a boom in demand, thanks to restrictions forcing everyone to stay close to home.


The Quick Service Restaurant (QSR) sector has been one of the pandemic’s biggest success stories, and it’s on course to grow by 32% by the end of 2021, reaching a staggering worth of £11.7billion. But why is now a particularly great time to start a business here? Matteo and Imran had plenty of suggestions.


How trends have shaped QSR businesses


Restrictions have taken on-site dining off the table at various points over the last year. However, many restaurants have used takeaway and collection services to keep themselves trading in some capacity.


“Delivery-focused businesses have hugely risen in popularity,” revealed Matteo. “Deliveroo looks set to launch its IPO soon, and it’s predicted the business will achieve a multi-billion-pound value. Virtual brands that have been able to operate out of existing restaurants or domestic kitchens have also proved very popular over the last year.”


Imran explained that the first lockdown of March 2020 caused customer habits to change virtually overnight.


“Before the pandemic, lots of our customers collected their orders from our stores. But we found that the first lockdown shifted the dynamic and most of our business was being done through delivery. We’ve had our own app for around three years and receive around 90% of our orders through it, so we were well-equipped for this change. And on a weekly basis, we saw our orders massively increase.”


Matteo also revealed that customers are choosing to buy from local establishments as they spend most of their time at home.


“Local takeaways are definitely back in fashion. In secondary high streets and residential areas, which may have previously been less desirable locations, they are now even busier as people are not moving around as much.

F&B trends that are here to stay


Many of the trends we’re seeing now are fleeting (Zoom quizzes and banana bread, anyone?), but some will likely shape industries for years to come. Imran said that he believes home delivery is the future of the QSR sector and that franchises and independent businesses must adapt if they want to succeed.


“We’re delivering food to customers’ doors more than ever before. I’d say around 70% of our orders are for home delivery now. We’ve also noticed that our customers are more cautious, so we’ve introduced plenty of payment and delivery options to suit everyone.”


He explained that home delivery is one of the trends that will not fizzle out.


“We really believe that the future of fast food is customers ordering food from their home via an app. Lots of businesses need to adapt, and quickly, because it’s clearly what customers want.”


One of the best ways to enter this thriving industry is with a franchise. In the five years after the 2008 financial crisis, the number of franchise units in the UK rose by 33%, showing that even the most severe downturns can’t deter this country’s ambitious entrepreneurs.


Why now is the time to start a QSR franchise


As the webinar drew to a close, Imran summed up why there’s never been a better time to invest in a QSR franchise opportunity.


“Sales in QSR are only going in one direction, and that’s up. We’ve enjoyed a 40% year-on-year increase in the first two months of 2021 and it’s clear people are changing the way they buy and eat to suit QSRs. People are now eating in but want the quality they’d get when eating out—and that’s exactly what Rooster Shack offers.”


Matteo also explained that businesses born during this ‘new normal’ may have a big advantage over established institutions.


“New brands were born in this new normal, meaning they’re perfectly aligned with its new demands, whereas old businesses now have to catch up,” he said. “This gives new brands an advantage because they don’t have to pay premium high street rents simply to attract customers and have designed their business models with delivery services in mind. They’ve been able to establish a true local market presence and take advantage of the opportunities that exist in every neighbourhood.”


Find out more about franchising


We’re so grateful that Matteo and Imran took the time out of their busy schedules to share their franchising expertise with us. You can find out more about Rooster Shack on Point Franchise  and also visit Seeds Consulting to learn more about Matteo’s area of expertise.


Keep your eyes peeled for our next webinar article, Webinar Recap, Part Two, which will look at the challenges of starting a franchise in the food and beverage sector. In the meantime, why not explore our articles page? You’ll find guides covering everything from marketing to mental health to making profits.

Sophie Cole, Point Franchise ©

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