Real People. Real Stories. Real Business.
Chris Bell

What’s in store for Franchises?

It doesn’t take that much really to take note of all the franchises opening up everywhere, and I guess that is indeed the whole point of franchising. Lots of business hopefuls make use of franchising as their preferred route to market, whether that would be a fast-food establishment, an automotive establishment, or even a pub chain. Actually, over 120 industries are currently identified to have franchised companies. This model normally sees the franchisor providing the franchisee with assistance with their major operations, including their site selection and development, support, operating manuals, quality control, branding standards, training and business advisory support.

In this post we shine the spotlight on some top franchises in the UK, exploring how they got to where they are and extracting some lessons which we can learn from them.


Originally operating under the Martin’s Free House name, the first Wetherspoon’s opened its doors in North London, in 1979, operating out of a former bookmakers’ store. The chain’s success can be attributed to it positioning itself in key locations and embracing the festival spirit. They are involved in a biannual beer festival with 60 beers on tap and they also draw much of their success out of offering great meal deals that prove to be extremely popular.

What has helped Wetherspoon’s succeed the most is flexibility and adaptability


John Gregg’s delivery service came into operation in the 1930s, which saw him delivering eggs and yeast to families on his pushbike in Newcastle upon Tyne. John then went on to open a small bakery on Gosforth High Street in 1951, this after having his delivery service helping families bake their own bread for more than a decade. Ian Gregg took over the business following the death of his father.

As the company expanded it invested in a large Technical Centre, and today it operates out of nearly 1,700 shops nationwide while still staying true to their roots in their local communities. So while they offer a popular range nationally, regional favourites are sold depending on where you’re located.

Lookers Group

Founded by John Looker in 1908 in Manchester, Lookers has a long history which includes involvement in the Second World War as well as a stock exchange listing. It’s currently operating as one of the UK’s top three motor vehicle retailers and offers a variety of car service parts, representing 32 manufacturers and selling car types through 150 franchised dealerships. The company’s key business features encompass the valuing of the people you would be serving as a company, a philosophy which has had the Group receiving top UK employer accreditations in 2017 and 2018. As the Group recognises, it’s important to look after your own to succeed.

While only three examples from what is a much, much bigger selection of successful franchises were explored, what should be clear to see is that there is continuous growth in the franchise world and it doesn’t seem to matter which industry you’d be selecting. The ready-made business model you get as a franchisee allows you to keep your skills sharp while you join a business that is indicatively already thriving. Naturally this would make you feel that you have a better chance of succeeding, so as a budding business owner, make sure to research the availability of any possible franchises which could be of interest to you before you push ahead with your idea.