When it comes to the food industry and franchising in particular, restaurants would be the first thought to come to mind. However, the food industry goes well beyond the doors of a sit down restaurant.
Franchising is an option for food and beverage products, cafés, food specific shops and so much more. If you’re interested in the business of food, it’s best to consider all options before taking the dive because you can easily invest in an area that peaks your interest. Let’s explore a few of the varied options available to franchise.
A new niche of the food market is the café. With a wide variety of high-end drinks, both hot and cold, as well as a range of desserts, the café has become the hangout spot for a lot of people. With a range of foods to choose from, as well as specialty drinks, the menu applies to a lot of palates. Families can stop for a coffee with treats for the kids; it’s the perfect first date stop and the drive thru allows people to get their java fix on the way to work.
Starbucks can be found on almost every corner of any street. It’s a well-established café with a distinguished taste and high-end feel. It helped catapult a economic need for high priced, good quality coffee – a need that the public didn’t realize they had. Now it’s a part of everyone’s day; a good hot cup of coffee starts the morning off right. The café is now a hang out where people open their laptops, meet for school projects or sit alone reading a book. Starbucks changed the dynamic and a lot of other cafés joined the bandwagon, and the variety of choice has been appealing to the American people.
There are more than 400 million cups of coffee consumed in this country per day, making it an easy product to sell. It’s a part of everyday life. For those who have always wanted to open a coffee shop, a franchise is a great option because it’s a well-known brand, the café franchisor will help choose a location that would be profitable and has a template for success.
One of the downsides is local business competition. A lot of areas have local cafés that are well known in the area and preferred over the name brand establishments. Local research at the community level would be the first step when considering a coffee franchise.
Sometimes you forget that grocery stores are a business. They have become buildings of necessity but they are a part of the food industry that is very profitable. It goes well beyond food to include beauty products, cleaning products, toiletries and even clothing. It’s become more of a department store, rather than simply groceries. Though the main source of profit is food, there are a lot of brand name products loading the shelves of grocers that bring in customers for numerous reasons.
Grocery stores are laid out perfectly, appealing to the consumer. The process and layout is well researched to influence selling and promotion. Sales and discounts, schedules and marketing are a process provided by the franchisor, making success guaranteed and easy to manage.
The employee turnaround can be high, but the franchisee is unlikely to be involved much since the business runs like clockwork. Competition of local grocery stores is slim and the public usually prefers the big bulk stores. They like a one-stop shop with low prices. Food is a constant purchase and people want to shop where they wouldn’t spend too much money. Grocery stores have recognized the needs of the consumer from organic fruits and veggies to whole kosher and healthy aisles that appeal to everyone.
Grocery stores sales were over 620 billion in 2015 in the US alone; it’s the one product that everyone has to purchase and the last thing that people will cut when making a budget.
If a big department store is an appealing franchise endeavour to you, it has a lot of perks including a great work-life balance and does not need hands on experience from the franchisee. Though it does have a large start up fee, it’s an almost guaranteed success.
The food industry goes well beyond, well, food. It includes drinks and that is a wide spectrum in itself, from soda to caffeine, bottled water to alcohol and beyond. Franchisees can enter the beverage industry in a variety of ways.
Some brand names offer franchise options: Coca Cola offers a franchise distribution franchise, for example. A soda brand name distribution franchise is a safe investment to consider because they have established clients with contracts for specific amounts and they have a great reputation.
Bar and Pub franchises can help fulfill the dream to own a bar. A lot of entrepreneurs have a passion to run a pub, but the initially start up is overwhelming and a lot of work. Bars and Pubs now fall under the franchise field, with a supporting franchisor, a marketing plan and a better work life balance. Running your own bar can lead to managers running themselves thin but a franchise would encourage a less hands-on approach.
Of course alcohol and beverages ranges far beyond distribution and nightclubs; it can include a specific spirit, or even a winery as well caffeine and tea suppliers. It’s a whole other sisterhood to the food industry that is worth researching.
There are even retail stores that specialize in beverages alone, including high-end tea stores, as well as smoothie restaurants.
Restaurants dominate the food industry but it is so much more. Food is a necessity, a never-ending world of product because it’s constantly consumed. In the world of business there is always a chance that consumers will lose interest. That’s never the case with food, not only will we always want it, but we need it to survive.
Due to the history of this product, from the natural environment to the farming fields, it’s been ameliorated and turned into a very profitable business.
The only downfall is the long and harsh amount of research before investment. A lot of the fields have large start up fees, but great profits and success rates. There is no previous experience needed, but an interested franchisee should really look around their community to see what food industry is in need and then begin research from there.
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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.