Multi-unit/ Multi-brand franchising
Multi-unit franchising refers to one franchisee owning and operating several units of a franchised business, typically within the same area or region. While owning a single franchise was traditionally the norm, the multi-unit model has become increasingly popular in recent years and, according to a 2016 report by the BFA, around 29% of franchisees now run more than one unit. Of those who do own only one unit, one in five plan to purchase another, and more than 50% of current multi-unit franchisees intend to open more.
The advantages that the multi-unit franchising model presents for all parties concerned, including increasing the franchisee’s likelihood of being granted a loan and easier management for franchisors, mean that the growth of the model is likely to continue in 2018. A newer concept still, but one which ties in with the multi-unit model, is that of multi-brand franchising. This allows a franchisee to own several different businesses as opposed to (or in addition to) several units of the same business, and allows them to diversify and pursue varied interests. Although the single-brand model is still the most common type in the UK, multi-brand franchising has gained considerable attention recently and may well become more prevalent in 2018.