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Master franchises, area development & multi-unit franchising

whichfranchise is working with selected brands looking to develop their UK presence, including:

New brands to the UK - these are successful international franchises looking to enter the UK market. They will tend to be offering master and area development opportunities; brands such as Tim Hortons, Denny's, Domino's, Molly Maid and Snap-on Tools all started this way in the UK. These opportunities are ideal for those with the ambition, skills and finances to take a franchise with a proven track record in other countries and develop it in the UK.

Existing UK brands - we are working with brands who already have a presence in the UK but using franchising to drive their expansion plans forward. These brands are looking for serious investors to take on a substantial stake in their business whether it be regional or area development rights, or the opportunity to own multiple units.

Click here for all investment opportunities

International news


Tim Hortons®, the iconic Canadian coffee chain has announced today its first franchisee in the U.K. & Ireland. Graeme & Lisa Tobias of West Scotland will become the first partners to operate the brand and will open their first Drive-Thru restaurant in Stenhousemuir, Scotland by the end of the year. The Stenhousemuir location will be the first of a number of Tim Hortons® Drive Thru Restaurants to open in Scotland and operated by Graeme & Lisa.

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Read more news in our interviews and news archive

Master, area development & multi-unit franchise videos

If you are interested in buying a high investment franchise opportunity and want to know more about the franchises available, then we have a selection of videos for you to watch. These include real life stories from multi-unit franchisees as well as master franchise owners, and further insight into some of the brands looking to enter and expand in the UK.

View all master, area development and multi-unit franchise videos

What is a master franchise? And why invest in one?

Master franchises are those franchises which have proven successful elsewhere and are now looking to replicate this success in the UK. They are however not proven in the UK and whilst they may be hugely successful in their own country, it doesn't necessarily mean that what works somewhere else will necessarily work here. It is therefore vital that you undertake as much research as possible to identify if master franchising is right for you; e.g. can you finance the purchase, and have enough capital to run the operation, and do you have the required skills? You also need to evaluate whether the UK market is right for this franchise. We have an advice section to help you fully understand investing in a master franchise.


Master franchises, area development & multi-unit success stories

Multi-unit McDonald’s franchisee talks to whichfranchise

John Kiely is a McDonald’s multi-unit franchisee in Coventry. Since opening his first restaurant in 2013, John currently owns 6 restaurants including 4 Drive Thru restaurants. In this exclusive interview with whichfranchise, John talks to us about the benefits of being a multi-unit franchisee, why he chose McDonald’s, challenges faced and his plans for the future with McDonald’s.

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Read more interviews in our interviews and news archive

Featured master, area development & multi-unit franchise

Spanning almost 1000 cities across 120 countries, Regus is the worldwide leader of flexible workspaces. We are looking for entrepreneurs with experience in franchising growing a high-profile brand who have the ambition and resources to facilitate the opening of 2-3 centres.

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Free franchise consultation

Johnny Sellyn Johnny Sellyn, founder of whichfranchise and a leading expert in international franchising, is available to answer any questions you may have about master franchising; bringing a franchise to the UK or investing in a master franchise. Find out more...

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Multi-unit/multi-brand franchisees - A bright future for UK franchising?

bird and bird logo Back in the 1980's when Yum wanted to expand the Pizza Hut brand in the UK it entered into a joint venture with Whitbread, then a very large and successful British brewer and pub company. Dominos expansion into the UK came first with a company owned operation followed by greater success with the grant of a master franchise to the Halpern brothers in 1993. So, at the end of the last century and beginning of the twenty first the tried and tested methods for foreign brands entering the UK was to set up a UK subsidiary, find a joint venture partner (often a large corporate) or appoint a master franchisee. The world has changed radically since then and, so we would argue, should the approach of US and other foreign franchisors looking to establish their brands in the UK. We believe that the way forward for foreign brands seeking to achieve effective exponential growth in this country is to engage with successful multi-unit / multi-brand franchisees and Bird & Bird are partnering with and HSBC to facilitate the growth of this important new market. Read more...

Top tips for successful master franchising

  • Look for a franchise business that operates successfully in its home country
  • Thoroughly research the business and the market in the UK
  • Ensure that the franchising model works for all parties
  • Seek expert advice from bfa affiliated professionals
  • Operate you own outlet(s) to prove the model works over here
  • Ensure that you have sufficient capital and financial backing
  • Conservatively forecast franchisee development targets
  • Don't underestimate the time it will take to get established

Read more advice on buying an international franchise

The role of the master franchisee

It is the responsibility of the Master Franchisee, especially at country level, to replicate what a franchisor does in their domestic market. This will include setting up pilot franchisees, developing a franchisee recruitment system, building a franchisee network, developing a support infrastructure and marketing the brand. Read more... Read more

What is multi-unit franchising?

Multi-unit franchising involves a franchisee owning two or more units of the same franchise. This is gradually becoming more common in the UK, with around 29% of franchisees owning multiple units, and 1 in 5 who own a single unit, planning to open more. Many franchise brands in the UK are looking for multi-unit franchisees and so targeting those with the ambition and finances to manage several units. Read on to find out more about the types of multi-unit franchising and its pros and cons...

List your master, area development & multi-unit opportunity

If you wish to put your brand in front of the hundreds of serious investors who visit whichfranchise each month, then contact for information on listing your opportunity with us.