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Food franchises


Warrens Bakery


Andy Hulbert is head of corporate development for franchise at


Warrens Bakery, the Cornish bakers and breadmakers, who lay claim to being the oldest pasty maker in the


world, and who are expanding their presence through franchising


Tell us a little about Warrens Bakery and what you do... We provide a model for franchisees to open a British bakery serving breakfast, lunch and afternoon menus either in a ‘food-to-go’ or ‘sit-down café’ environment. We have flexible formats to suit varied retail scenarios. With our heritage dating back to 1860, a recent accolade of No.1 UK Craft Bakery at the Baking Industry Awards, plus being the world’s oldest Cornish pasty maker and employing artisan craftsmanship to make our produce, there is strong storyboarding for the brand. And with over 50 operating stores run


by the business, we have a model that comes with reassurance when it comes to operating profitably.


What will a typical day for a franchisee be like? Despite being a bakery, your day won’t start at 5am! You can leave that to us – we supply our baked goods frozen to be part-baked in store. The day does, however, start with the smell of fresh baking and popping breakfast items into the oven, often drawing in customers by the appealing bakery smells alone!


In the morning you’ll be serving coffee with breakfast items, as well as preparing for the key lunchtime trading period of 11am to 2pm, which involves sandwich


preparation from a set menu made up on our artisan rolls or bread. The ovens continue baking hot


savouries (including the signature pasties) throughout lunchtime, and these are generally the fastest hot food around, with average transaction speeds that are very tough to beat by any other quick- service restaurant. Afternoons tend to focus on cakes,


coffees and people picking up hot savouries to eat for their commute home as well as pre-prep for the next day trade. All in all, the operation of the bakery is simple, transaction spend is high compared with the labour required and the product range lends itself to servicing different periods of the day, so staff are busy and productive throughout.


What training and support do you provide initially, and ongoing? We provide input on site selection and fit-out, as well as management training for operations, marketing and merchandising prior to opening. Post-opening, we provide ongoing one-to-one support, weekly newsletter updates and monthly auditing to ensure brand standards are upheld and profitability is maximised. Every quarter we hold a marketing committee to allow franchisees the opportunity to input on future thinking and business direction.


What are the benefits of investing in and operating a food franchise and with your brand in particular? As a brand we have identified a clear gap in the market for a premium British bakery with a full-spectrum breakfast, lunch and afternoon offering. There are currently regional specialist, independent bakery brands and value players operating nationally but nobody has yet capitalised on the area in the middle of the market where consumers are looking for an affordable, premium food offer with traceable ingredient story and utilising craft British bakery skill. Our vast years of experience in operating multiple, varied units, as well as our ongoing recognition through the industry as UK No.1 Craft Bakery, mean we are well placed to become a national brand for this clear gap in the market.


What are the ideal qualities that you are looking for in a franchisee? We are looking for partners who wish to open five to 10 stores in a set territory, within a two- to three-year period. This ensures brand awareness levels within territories rise quickly for maximum benefit to franchise partners. An ideal partner would have passion for the brand and a background in operating successful businesses and ideally (but not exclusively) experience in the food/hospitality industry.


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