In the last decade food has taken on a whole other dimension. Between Millenials seizing the moment and enjoying dinner out more often than their parents did and social media accounts competing for the best presented dish, food is a whole new business market.
Food delivery used to be limited to pizza joints, but business models like uber eats has redefined the industry. People want choice and they want immediacy and the food business has responded tenfold.
The advancements in communications and technology has made the market more vulnerable and more competitive, while also offering a free marketing platform. Hidden gems have gained a lot of momentum through hashtags and shares without paying a cent.
This has not only been a benefit to the small niche of local restaurants, but it also has created new franchises opportunities. Consumers’ needs changed the food franchise for the better to make the lives of Americans easier and even more delicious.
According to Franchise Direct, “69% of adults said purchasing meals from take-out and delivery restaurants makes it easier for families with children to manage their day-to-day lives.”
People are now willing to pay for convenience, and a service that saves time, plus they are looking for a lot more choices. We all like to have some added flavour in our lives and when it comes to food, the choices are endless. They want it all and they want it brought to them, in a timely manner.
Takeout and Delivery
First up on the franchising list is a service providing exclusive takeout and delivery services rather than a full scale restaurant. A benefit to this type of franchise for the investor is definitely the low startup fee. Compared to other food franchises, this one comes at a relatively low cost. There isn’t much serving staff nor location feesm but mainly food preparation. For those who are interested in a business opportunity rather than a customer experience, this would be the better option.
A franchise is a great choice for this type of business because it would be well branded and well known. With a menu that is already familiar and enjoyed by the public, franchising is an easier sell than a unique start up.
It’s a easy work life balance with a business plan that runs itself. A franchisee wouldn’t have to participate in the function of the business, unless under emergency circumstances. For an easy new business in the food industry, this would be a safe and successful choice.
A restaurant is also worth consideration when looking at food franchises. However, nowadays there is a lot of competition with small businesses in this area. More unique and local restaurants are popping up more often and well-received by the public. People enjoy a variety of services and atmospheres and appreciate a different experience, instead of a bulk product.
That being said, franchise restaurants have responded to the new consumer demands and chave created new atmospheres with a different aesthetic that feels like a completely unique and upscale experience.
For those interested in a restaurant, it’s best to research many different layouts and designs when considering an investment, as well as a review of the menu to get a feel for the place.
Even though local restaurants are a competitor, franchises are well known to many consumers and the brand and menu is familiar and appreciated, making for an easy profit.
Franchises restaurants have a template that is tried and true, with great training and support that is a recipe for success. A long standing restaurant franchise can pretty much run itself. The marketing is well done and taken care of and advertisements are placed without any worry for the franchisee, giving a leg up on the competition.
Ask the marketing team what the social media and advertising plan is for the upcoming years; it’s important that the restaurant reaches all ages and demographics.
It’s important to look at the many services offered by the restaurant. Does it have a delivery service? If som are you responsible for such a service or can it be taken care of by an outside vendor?
Are there any extra curricular activities within the restaurant, such as children’s parties or meeting rooms?
What’s on the menu? People have recognized a lot more dietary needs nowadays. There are a lot more palates to please than ever before. Are there gluten options? Are allergies considered? And what about vegan and vegetarian plates? The more preferences you cover, the more mouths that can be fed!
Is there alcohol on tap? Having wine and beer options increases profit and a different type of audience. People appreciate a drink menu, and the restaurant could become more of a bar venue in the evenings. However, it depends on what a franchisee is looking for long term.
A restaurant franchise can’t be narrowed done to one simple choice; it’s truly dependable on the franchisee, their goals and interests.
Desserts and Coffee
A smaller scale food option is the coffee house. A great opportunity for those interested in the food industry but find the restaurant life too busy and take out only service a bit too impersonal.
Coffee houses are the place to be and have been for awhile now. You can lounge and work from your laptop while surrounded by desserts and coffee, making for a great experience or meet friends for a gathering or even a work meeting.
Some franchises are competing with local houses, which have gained some momentum in the last few years. There also seems to be a coffee franchise on every street corner, which makes nailing down a location difficult. A land survey of interested areas would be a good idea as a first step.
Sweep the land and then ask yourself what you would like to bring to the table as a franchisee of a coffee house. While the marketing and support would be well established with most franchises, what’s the atmosphere like? Are small meals served ? Do you cater to the many dietary needs of everyone? Is it high end or family friendly?
Similar to a restaurant franchise, it’s wise to take time and really look at what the pros and cons of each option are for you as an investor. Start with your own goals and move on from there.
When it comes to franchising, the food industry is endless. Like the many tastes of Americans, so too are the choices in business opportunities. Food will always create a profit, because everyone needs it.
However, now more than ever the industry has been completely redefined by the public: more choices, with more considerations for sensitivities, as well as a unique atmosphere.
Although aesthetics is important, the American family is also privy to convenience. At the end of the day, everyone is hungry, tired and cooking a big meal or heading to a restaurant can be exhausting. People want the luxury of restaurant meals, but don’t always want the experience.
In 2009, an NDP Group study stated that the number of restaurant meals eaten at home would grow 20% in the next decade. More restaurants offer a lot of options, whether it be delivered, picked up or even an outside vendor bringing an experience to consumers right to their home.
Franchisees simply need to survey the area and really consider what type of food franchise suits them and their lifestyle, then speak to other franchisees and narrow down their options. When it comes to comes to business opportunities in the food industry, the world is your oyster.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: After receiving an English Degree, followed by a Journalism Diploma, Gina Gill became a freelance journalist in 2008. She has worked as a reporter and in communications, focusing on social media. She currently works as a community information officer with Epilepsy Society, while pursuing her writing career at the same time.