McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd, which has 193 franchised restaurants in the UK & Ireland, has been announced as the Gold Award winner in the Franchisor of the Year award category at the prestigious annual bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018.
Run by the British Franchise Association (bfa), these widely-respected awards recognise both franchisors and franchisees who have demonstrated outstanding business acumen, innovation and achievement. Franchising is a simple relationship between two parties, the franchisor who owns the brand and business system, and the franchisee who contracts to run a copy of that business in a local area.
The bfa HSBC Franchise Award winners were announced last night, 28th June 2018, at the ICC in Birmingham at an exclusive black-tie ceremony held between day one and two of the bfa Annual Conference. The Franchisor of the Year Award is a category for which celebrates and recognises franchisors demonstrating excellence in franchising – providing a strong infrastructure and support for its network, ensuring franchisees have the best environment to succeed and reach their full potential. The judges were particularly impressed by McDonald’s continuous growth across the network.
The judges awarded the Silver Award to Agency Express, a leading ‘For Sale’ board company offering a daily service to over 50% of all UK estate agencies via a network of 114 franchisee operations, and Bronze Award to Driver Hire, a national specialist provider of temporary and permanent transport and logistics staff.
Franchisor of the Year – Gold Award – McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd
With its long history of franchising in the UK & Ireland over the last 30 years, McDonald’s believe it is essential for the company to identify the right franchisees for the brand. Using a robust and transparent application process, it brings the right people into the business. This is underpinned by McDonald’s relentless desire to see its franchisees succeed, whilst demonstrating its commitment to ethical franchising through the company’s values and behaviours.
McDonald’s has an ethos of strong engagement with each individual franchisee, whose voice is key to the development of its plans. McDonald’s planning meetings are one example of the engagement process with franchisees. These are held throughout the year to focus on business priorities and McDonald’s considers that working together in this way with its franchisees is key to driving the overall success of the wider business.
McDonald’s has achieved 48 consecutive quarters of growth and currently, 85% of all new restaurant openings are being franchised to existing franchisees. The franchise estate has increased to 81% of all restaurants across the UK & Ireland. Franchisees are also supported by Franchisee Consultants who are on hand to help and are an integral part of helping franchisees grow their businesses.
On winning the Gold award for Franchisor of the Year, Abel Campos, Head of Franchising & Field Services at McDonald’s said, “We are extremely pleased to be recognised for the Franchisor of the Year award. Not only is it an honour and privilege to receive this prestigious award, the win is instrumental in demonstrating how seriously committed we are to our franchisees. The business has recently achieved an impressive 12 years of consecutive growth during difficult times for the economy; McDonald’s puts this success down to listening to its customers, people, and franchisees, investing in what matters to them most and delivering freshly prepared, great tasting food at an affordable price.”
Franchisor of the Year – Silver Award – Agency Express
Agency Express dominates the UK ‘For Sale’ board service market and as the largest board contractor in the UK, it remains the only company able to offer truly nationwide coverage.
Formed in 1998, this is Agency Express’s 20th trading year and the last 12 months has been a landmark period. With virtually all UK territories allocated, the direction of the network has never been more important. Agency Express has taken time to optimise every aspect of the business, from the service they provide to their national clients, to the nuts and bolts used to attach ‘Sold’ slips, aiming for ultimate efficiency across the group.
Balance is core to the business: balance for the franchisees between work and home life; balance for the client base between quality assurance and price; and balance for the network between sales and operational support. Agency Express believes that a well-supported network, with a healthy work-life balance, breeds happy, successful franchisees.
On winning the Silver award for Franchisor of the Year, Stephen Watson, Managing Director for Agency Express said, “We are absolutely delighted to be announced as the Franchisor of the Year. This revered award showcases the UK’s most exceptional franchises and to be recognised as Franchisor of the Year for a second time in three years is an enormous accolade. Over the past 12 months we have made extensive investment into technological innovations and optimised support structures to ensure our franchisees can thrive whilst maintaining the healthy work-life balance that we all strive for. This award shines a spotlight on our ongoing commitment to the industry, our franchises and the advances we continue to make to ensure their wellbeing and success.”
Franchisor of the Year – Bronze Award – Driver Hire Nationwide
Driver Hire Nationwide provides companies who operate commercial vehicles with a range of recruitment services for both temporary and permanent staff, as well as driver training and driver risk management systems.
The company’s success is centred on its relationships with its franchisee partners. Ethics are an essential element of the sales process and every effort is made to ensure that prospective franchisees have the skills to succeed. They are given access to all business areas and insight into running a Driver Hire office before they make their decision.
There is also a strong infrastructure in place to help franchisees once they are on board. All offices benefit from a central team working across specialist departments including national sales, IT, marketing, compliance, finance and HR.
Being part of a national network is also hugely beneficial to franchisees as they meet regularly with their peers and their area manager, who provides hands-on support and guidance. Driver Hire also holds National Sales Days to generate new business leads and find the ‘best of the best’ within its network, with prizes awarded to the best performing franchise in each region.
On winning the Bronze award for Franchisor of the Year, Graham Duckworth, Franchise Sales Director at Driver Hire Nationwide said, “This is fantastic news for everyone in the Driver Hire business. The support we give our franchisees is reflected in their trading success and the overall growth of our brand. That has been built on our stance as an ethical franchisor. It comes on the back of another record trading year which does, I think, prove that we’re getting things right!”
Pip Wilkins, CEO of the bfa, said, “It’s over forty years since the bfa was launched specifically to develop ethical franchising in the UK, and I am proud of the way the sector has grown in that time, with the industry’s turnover exceeding £15bn – that’s 1% of the UK’s GDP! If you are running a successful business or want to be your own boss, then franchising is a valid and important option for accelerating your business growth or starting your own commercial venture.”
The bfa HSBC Franchise Awards 2018 are a celebration of the broad church that is franchising in the UK, from a large multi-national to a lifestyle business, as franchisors come in all shapes and sizes. Every year it’s really great to see the excellent work our members demonstrate through their entries and the quality has never been higher. I would like to thank all our finalists in this year’s awards and congratulate our winners, it was an extremely hard job for the judges to separate them. It great to see such a wide range of businesses represented as it really does illustrate the depth and breadth of franchising opportunities in the UK.
“Winning the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year 2018 is a massive achievement as it shows the company not only demonstrates operational excellence but supports the entire network and ensures franchisees have the training and development to reach their full potential. This award recognises the entirety of the business and McDonalds, Agency Express and Driver Hire Nationwide all really impressed us with their commitment, innovation and business acumen, many congratulations to all three of them on winning these awards.”
Andrew Brattesani, UK Head of Franchising for the Awards’ sponsor HSBC, said, “HSBC is delighted to be once again supporting these industry leading franchise awards. Franchise businesses are often the hidden engine of business growth in the UK and it is essential to highlight the important contribution both large and small businesses make to our economy. It is also important to showcase to people that they can run their own businesses and if you don’t want to go it alone, or haven’t got a strong business idea, you can still be successful and become your own boss, as together we thrive.”