Origins of 4 famous franchises

Origins of 4 famous franchises

Whether starting your own franchise from scratch or buying a pre-existing franchise, you can follow the examples of notable franchises on your way to the top. In addition to researching a franchise directory, you can get inspired by these famous UK franchises.


1. Costa Coffee

Although now owned by the American Coca-Cola company, Costa started out in Lambeth, London in 1971. A pair of brothers sold roasted coffee, a humble operation that ballooned into today’s £3.9 billion empire.

In other words, Londoners love their coffee. Costa is a great example of the classic coffee shop franchise dream: Start small, then get bought out big.


2. We Love Pets

This animal-centric franchise was started up in 2007 by Ryan and Jo, a couple who continue to run the business. The pair actually met on an animal handling course, and their romance bloomed into 40 local branches. In 2018, the British Franchising Association named them Emerging Franchisor of the Year.

The franchise focuses on dogs, cats and horses, but they offer some services for reptiles, small animals and exotics. Presumably, the guinea pigs are kept far away from the Burmese pythons.


3. Riverford Organic Farmers

Here is another franchise with a fairly humble beginning. Founder Guy Watson was delivering vegetables to a few friends in Devon. Today, nearly 50,000 boxes a week get delivered around the UK. Boxes are packed with fruit, veg and even meat, making it simple for buyers to enjoy sustainable, authentic British food.

The franchise taps into our collective love of healthy, organic eating. It also emphasises animal welfare and a return to countryside roots.


4. KFC

It’s as American as they come, but KFC (formerly known as Kentucky Fried Chicken) has a number of franchise partners across the UK.

The story of its founding is part of the brand’s ethos. Harland Sanders opened a small roadside diner in the 1930s, where he served his famous fried chicken, complete with 11 herbs and spices.

Eventually, Sanders was named an honorary colonel by Kentucky’s governor, and so the mascot was born. Now an international behemoth, the once-small chicken shop has immortalised the phrase, “It’s finger-lickin’ good.” It is owned by Yum! Brands, the company behind Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, and your high cholesterol.

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