A Food Fun Travel Guest Post
The Covid-19 crisis forever changed the way in which the food industry operates. Rather than being down in the doldrums though, the sector has rebounded impressively with enormous opportunities now presenting themselves for those considering investing in a food franchise.
The breadth of food franchises UK is as extensive as any menu with modes of preparation, delivery, and service as varied as the dishes you could offer. There are takeaway franchises, fast food franchises, restaurant franchises, and many more. The figures from trade observers are huge – 30% of the 1,105 franchise brands that applied to be included in Entrepreneur magazine’s 2020 top 500 franchise rankings were food-related. If you can eat it, you can invest in it.
Now is the moment to invest in a food franchise with soaring demand, a revolution underway in the ordering and eating habits of customers, and the chance to shape the culinary landscape within your local area, and/or chosen cuisine.
Here are three very significant and compelling trends that point to why the boom in dine-in, dine-out, and takeaway plus delivery models make sound business sense for those pondering investment in a food franchise in 2021, 2022, and beyond.
In the here and now and beyond – pent up demand to continue
There was much talk when Covid restrictions began being lifted that the economy would benefit from a pent-up demand as people re-emerged into the wider world and began to spend the money they actually saved during lockdowns.
What we’re now seeing is that this effect will not be a sharp burst. There remains economic uncertainty in the minds of consumers and the shock of Covid has illustrated that we can never be sure of what is around the corner, so many will remain somewhat wary of splashing their cash right away.
Take the United States as an example. At the end of spring 2021, the National Restaurant Association reported that 85% of adults said they were not eating out as often as they would like. That’s an enormous number that indicates it will take many months for folk to return to anything like their pre-pandemic restaurant habits.
Meanwhile, in the UK, as summer got into full swing with the reopening of cafes and restaurants Bloomberg reported that supermarket food sales were falling as dine-out takings jumped impressively.
The pent up demand for eating out is more likely to be a steady trickle of increase than any big bang effect. If you’re starting out with a food franchise it means the upward curve in sales is likely to be sustained and continue rising at a steady but healthy rate. There is business certainty in trends like that.
Demand for food is strong across the demographic spectrum
We know that different areas and different cohorts of people will resume their dining habits at different times. Young people were quick to get back out there. Meanwhile, older age groups, more cautious about the continued risk of Covid until vaccine programs are all but complete, will take longer to return to eating out – perhaps not until the latter stages of 2021 or well into 2022.
This is illustrated by the same survey by the catering trade body in North America. 90% of “baby boomers”, who are generally aged 57 to 75 years old just now, said they miss eating out and would be looking forward to doing so more frequently. Again, that’s a huge number of people who are yet to fully return to restaurants and cafes but who will do so steadily over the coming months.
If you’re starting out with a food franchise within the next year or two, it means that you can capitalise on differing demographic demand by varying menus and offerings as certain groups of diners hit eateries at various timings.
Lessons for food delivery trends to take away from 2020 key events
The Euro 2020 tournament was particularly notable as an indicator of western food trends. The summer festival of football was the biggest sporting event to take place in the near post-pandemic landscape.
The competition took place in various cities across Europe. Restrictions on crowd numbers remained in place and differed depending on government policies in each host nation.
With this limitation on tickets, the potential for takeaway and food delivery services was clearly evidenced by the two behemoths of the online ordering market – Just Eat and Takeaway.com – who are now one and the same entity.
The tie-up was notable as reinforcing the message that the still relatively new models of internet-based, integrated platforms that seamlessly merge kitchens, service and delivery models will be the food ordering mechanism of choice for stay at home, TV audiences during massive events.
The marketing campaigns for what is now a giant pan-European food corporation were also highly localised. In the UK, the organisation operates under the Just Eat brand, but in the Netherlands, the brand remains under Takeaway.com and in Poland as Pyszne.pl. The company points to the “combined joy” of watching your team play as your favourite takeaway arrives at the door.
The concept can just as easily be applied to other enormous events scheduled for the next few years. And it can also be applied to food businesses large and small, national and local.
This includes the 2021 Olympics in Tokyo and the 2021 Nations League finals in October. In 2022, there will be the Winter Olympics, the Super Bowl, the Commonwealth Games, and the UEFA Women’s European Championships, along with the FIFA World Cup in Qatar, which have the potential for enormous global TV audiences that are ripe for food franchise operators.
Even the Platinum Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II and the 75th Independence Day in India are opportunities for national celebrations in parts of the world. After all, food (and drink) plays an important part in any celebration.
The takeaways for potential food franchisees
These are significant trends for would-be investors in a food business. The opportunities right now are enormous. What all of this tells us is that buying into a food franchise either now or in the short to medium term means the potential for healthy returns certainly exists. And there aren’t many new businesses that you can invest in that would come with such an optimistic forecast.
Food franchises UK and globally equally offer entry to the market with relatively low start-up costs along with buying into established or growing brands. Investors benefit from proven business models, marketing strategies and materials, and brand awareness and reputation. The time to act, and feast on the potential rewards, really is now.