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Why Choose a Franchise With Wide Appeal in Tough Economic Times?

Awesome Chips Image
Fresh fried french fries with ketchup and white sauce on wooden background
Miroha141/Getty Images/iStockphoto

The fast-food industry has a wide appeal. I’ve worked in the fast-food industry for many years, and it is inclusive. People from every social class need to eat and love to be tempted by a convenient, tasty meal! The location of the fast-food outlet on the high street, is therefore critically important as fast-food is often an ‘impulse’ purchase. Great branding, national marketing presence and great food are the key ingredients for success along with the perfect ‘place’ to take advantage of high footfall.

Niche franchise opportunities generally have a limited but more clearly defined market. If we stick to fast food, we are talking premium desserts, specialist coffee or even perhaps thinning yogurt drinks rather than the wide appeal of chips for example! Marketing to a niche customer based needs to be more focused and aspirational as its not necessarily such an impulse buy.

When it comes to tough economic times, I believe a franchise with a broad appeal which moves away from the ‘premium’ status has far more chance of success. Customers come from a wider pool; the target audience is larger. Further, when it comes to the discretionary spend of a meal of say chips over a premium coffee or ice cream, it’s a no-brainer which will win out for those needing to watch every penny spent.

I was involved in launching a highly successful juice bar franchise a few years ago along with Roni Dalal, founder of the Awesome Chips franchise. We found in the good times, when consumers weren’t watching their expenditure, £5 for a freshly squeezed juice was no problem. Now with the cost-of-living crisis, these types of ‘luxury items’ tend to be the first to go. This was one of the drivers behind launchingAwesome Chips. It’s a low-ticket item which appeals to everyone: young and old, vegan, Halal and gluten free and it’s not seasonal.

Awesome Chips Blog Post

Marketing a franchise with broad appeal can also be more straight forwards. Simple, staple products don’t require education of the customer of the health benefits of ‘thinning yogurt made from the finest Yack milk’ for example! There is little need to create demand for a product which people eat most days.

The UK location for a broad appeal franchise is also less relevant. Premium, niche products may only sell in affluent areas of the big cities for example. This will add to the cost base of premises. A fast-food franchise with universal appeal – I’m thinking about chips again (Yum!) – will sell anywhere in the UK and beyond. This means the expansion potential of a broad appeal franchise is far greater than one with a niche audience.

As you can see, I’m a bit of a ‘chips’ convert! There are certainly advantages of niche franchise opportunities – for example low volume, high value sales and a more aspirational brand which may make staff retention easier. However, there is more of a need to develop customer loyalty and what concerns me is the cost-of-living crisis and how these types of franchises will fare compared to simple, staple foods which we know from experience continue to sell well.

For further information about the Awesome Chips franchise please see:**

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