Best Franchises in the UK (Summaries, Costs, and Scalability)

What is franchising?

Franchising is a business strategy where an entrepreneur (franchisee) purchases the right to operate a business model, brand, and support services from an established company (franchisor). This proven and successful business format allows individuals to own and operate their own businesses under a recognised brand name.

The current state of franchising in the UK

Before delving into specific franchises, it’s essential to understand the current landscape of the franchise industry in the United Kingdom. The franchise sector plays a significant role in the country’s economy, offering a diverse range of opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs. Here are three of the biggest factors influencing the ever-changing nature of franchising:

1. Growth and trends

The franchise industry in the UK has experienced steady growth in recent years, driven by factors such as consumer demand for established brands and the desire for proven business models. Emerging trends, such as the emphasis on technology and sustainability, are reshaping the way franchises operate.

2. Market diversity

From fast-food giants to service-oriented businesses, the franchise sector in the UK is incredibly diverse. Entrepreneurs can explore opportunities in food and beverage, retail, health and fitness, and various service-based industries.

3. Economic impact

Franchising contributes significantly to the UK economy, providing job opportunities and driving economic growth. The collaborative nature of franchising promotes entrepreneurship at both the national and local levels.

Best franchises to own in the UK

Disclaimer: The estimated starting investment costs provided are for informational purposes only. These costs may vary depending on factors such as geographic location, specific franchise requirements, market conditions, and changes in pricing by the franchisor.

ActionCOACHIndustry: Business coachingStarting investment: £90,000 to £100,000
ActionCOACH is a business coaching franchise, founded by Brad Sugars in 1993. It offers coaching and mentoring services primarily to small and medium-sized businesses with the goal of enhancing performance and profitability. Operating on a franchise model, ActionCOACH provides comprehensive training, tools, and support to its certified coaches, who work closely with clients to develop customised strategies for success.
Autosmart Industry: Vechicle cleaning products Starting investment: £20,000 to £100,000
Autosmart is an automotive products franchise operating in the UK. Founded in 1979, it specialises in providing a wide range of cleaning and detailing products for vehicles to both commercial and domestic customers. With a focus on quality, innovation, and customer service, Autosmart has established itself as a trusted brand in the automotive care industry, offering franchise opportunities for entrepreneurs seeking to enter this market.
Cash ConvertersIndustry: Retail Starting investment: £280,000 to £300,000
Cash Converters is a well-known retail franchise that specialises in buying, selling, and trading second-hand goods. The franchise offers a diverse range of products including electronics, jewellery, and household items, providing customers with both affordability and convenience. With a network of stores across the UK, Cash Converters has become a go-to destination for individuals looking to purchase pre-owned items or sell their unwanted belongings.
CEX Industry: Retail Starting investment: £150,000 to £250,000
CEX is a retail franchise specialising in buying, selling, and trading various entertainment products like video games, DVDs, electronics, and gadgets. The franchise provides customers with a convenient platform to purchase second-hand items at competitive prices while offering an opportunity to sell used goods for cash or store credit. With a focus on quality assurance and a vibrant community of gamers and tech enthusiasts, CEX has established itself as a popular destination for entertainment shopping.
Chem-Dry Industry: Carpert and upholstery cleaning Starting investment: £9,995 to £29,995
Chem-Dry is a cleaning franchise offering a wide range of professional cleaning services for carpets, upholstery, rugs, and more. Using innovative cleaning technology and environmentally friendly solutions, Chem-Dry provides customers with efficient and effective cleaning results. With a focus on customer satisfaction and quality service, Chem-Dry has earned a strong reputation in the cleaning industry.
Costa CoffeeIndustry: Coffee Starting investment: £150,000 to £400,000
Costa Coffee is one of the world’s leading coffee shop franchises and is known for its wide selection of coffee beverages, teas, and snacks. With a focus on providing high-quality coffee sourced from sustainable and ethical suppliers, Costa Coffee has garnered a loyal customer base.
Domino’sIndustry: Fast foodStarting investment: £280,000 to £1,200,000
Domino’s is a well-recognised name not just in the pizza industry but as a brand across the world. With a focus on fast delivery and customer satisfaction, Domino’s has become a go-to choice for pizza lovers across the globe. As it continues to push its reach into new areas, franchises are constantly opening up in new areas.
Greggs Industry: Bakery Starting investment: £30,000 to £250,000
Greggs is a strong contender in the fast-food market, widely regarded as the biggest bakery chain in the UK. The business is known for its iconic sausage rolls (and vegan options), whilst continuing to innovate with new menu times to cater to the ever-evolving demands of the public. It is also a healthy option for a franchisee, giving investors ample opportunity to join the bakery industry.
Heritage Healthcare Industry: Home care Starting investment: £89,000 to £150,000
Heritage Healthcare is a reputable home care business providing personalised care and support services to individuals in need. The business promotes independence and an enhanced quality of life, whilst offering a range of tailored care plans to meet the specific needs of each client. It is also committed to delivering compassionate and professional care through highly trained caregivers, earning trust and recognition in the industry.
KFC Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £1,100,000 to £1,800,000
As a household name, KFC is easily one of the largest fast food chains in the world. It is widely known for its signature fried chicken and wide array of innovative menu options. Whilst expensive to start up, it is a lucrative business opportunity for any aspiring franchisees.
Krispy Kreme Industry: Doughnuts Starting investment: £200,000 to £300,000
Krispy Kreme is a popular doughnut chain celebrated for its fresh, melt-in-your-mouth pastries and signature glazed doughnuts. Founded in 1937, Krispy Kreme has an extensive selection of flavours and toppings, and offers a sweet treat for every palate. The business has garnered a loyal following worldwide, known for its commitment to quality ingredients and indulgent desserts.
Kumon Industry: Tutoring Starting investment: £3,000 to £10,000
Set up by Toru Kumon in 1958, Kumon is one of the world’s leading tutoring businesses, recognised for its personalised learning programs. With a focus on mathematics and reading, Kumon offers structured, self-paced learning materials tailored to each student’s abilities. Franchisees with a desire to help students with their education and career will find this to be a good choice.
McDonald’s Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £800,000 to £1,800,000
McDonald’s is undoubtedly the largest fast food chain in the world. Its convenience, cheap prices, wide selection of menu choices, and constant innovation keep it ahead of the competition at all times. Whilst a leader in the fast food industry, it also leads the way in the franchising industry, being one of the most successful franchise businesses of all time.
Molly Maid Industry: Residential cleaning Starting investment: £20,000 to £25,000
Molly Maid is a reputable cleaning business known for its professional and reliable home cleaning services. With a focus on personalised cleaning plans and attention to detail, Molly Maid offers tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of each customer. The business has earned a strong reputation for its high standards of cleanliness and customer satisfaction, making it a trusted choice for residential cleaning services.
Nisa Local Industry: Convenience store Starting investment: £100,000 to £150,000
Nisa Local is a popular convenience store chain offering a wide range of grocery items and household essentials. These stores form parts of the local community, making them reliable stores for the needs of people nearby. The business operates under a cooperative model, allowing independent retailers to benefit from collective purchasing power while retaining their individual identities.
Oakhouse Foods Industry: Grocery delivery Starting investment: £30,000 to £60,000
Oakhouse Foods is a frozen meals delivery service offering a diverse selection of ready-to-eat meals, desserts, and sides. They strive for quality, convenience, and nutrition, whilst catering to individuals looking for easy meal solutions without compromising on taste. The business delivers directly to customers’ homes, providing a hassle-free way to enjoy delicious and nutritious meals.
Oven RescueIndustry: Oven cleaningStarting investment: £12,500 to £14,500

Set up by Mike Harris, Oven Rescue is a franchise business that specialises in professional oven cleaning services across the UK. Their trained technicians employ advanced cleaning techniques and eco-friendly products to remove stubborn grease, grime, and carbon deposits from ovens, grills, hobs, and extractor fans. With a commitment to quality and customer satisfaction, Oven Rescue ensures that ovens are not only cleaned to a high standard but also restored to their optimal functioning state.

The franchise offers flexible appointment scheduling, accommodating both residential and commercial clients at their convenience. Their services are especially popular among busy homeowners, landlords, and restaurants seeking a hassle-free solution to maintaining clean and hygienic kitchen appliances. Oven Rescue’s attention to detail and thorough cleaning process have earned them a strong reputation in the industry, with many satisfied customers praising their professionalism and outstanding results.

Moreover, Oven Rescue franchisees receive comprehensive training and ongoing support to help them establish and grow successful businesses. This support includes marketing assistance, operational guidance, and access to proprietary cleaning products and equipment. As a result, Oven Rescue franchisees are well-equipped to deliver exceptional service and build long-lasting relationships with their clients.

Learn more about Oven Rescue’s pricing and structure here.

Pizza Hut Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £300,000 to £1,000,000
Pizza Hut is a huge name in the fast food industry, being one of the most successful pizza delivery chains in the world. With options to eat in or take away, it is a convenient option for any customer looking for a classic or innovative meal. On top of being a leader in the pizza industry, it is also supported by a strong franchise network.
Poppies Cleaning Service Industry: Household cleaning Starting investment: £23,000 to £30,000
Poppies Cleaning Service is a reputable cleaning business known for its comprehensive range of residential and commercial cleaning services. With a focus on professionalism and attention to detail, Poppies Cleaning Service offers customizable cleaning plans to suit the specific needs of each client. The business has earned a strong reputation for its reliable and high-quality cleaning solutions, making it a trusted choice for maintaining clean and organised living or workspaces.
Pure Gym Industry: Fitness Starting investment: £38,000 to £450,000
Pure Gym is a prominent fitness business offering affordable and accessible gym memberships with 24/7 access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. With a focus on inclusivity and flexibility, Pure Gym caters to individuals of all fitness levels and schedules. The franchise provides a supportive environment for members to achieve their health and fitness goals, whether it’s building strength, improving endurance, or simply leading a more active lifestyle.
Sandler Training Industry: Training and consulting Starting investment: £55,000 to £65,000
Sandler Training is a sales and consulting firm known for its innovative sales training methodologies and personalised coaching programs. With a focus on empowering sales professionals and business leaders, Sandler Training offers practical strategies and techniques to enhance sales effectiveness and drive revenue growth. The business’s proven approach emphasises building trust, uncovering client needs, and fostering long-term client relationships for sustained success in the competitive business landscape.
ServiceMaster Clean Industry: Commerical cleaning Starting investment: £19,500 to £44,000
ServiceMaster Clean is a leading commercial cleaning business renowned for its professional and reliable cleaning services. Specialising in commercial spaces such as offices, retail establishments, and healthcare facilities, ServiceMaster Clean offers tailored cleaning solutions to meet the unique needs of each client. With a commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, the franchise has earned a strong reputation for delivering high-quality cleaning results, creating safe and hygienic environments for businesses across various industries.
Southern Fried Chicken Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £80,000 to £300,000
Southern Fried Chicken is a popular fast food business known for its delicious fried chicken, burgers, and sides. Southern Fried Chicken is an affordable option for many customers looking for quick and convenient food. The business has established a strong presence in the fast food market since its introduction in 1973.
Starbucks Industry: Coffee Starting investment: £80,000 to £500,000
Starbucks is the largest coffee chain in the world and has cemented itself as a leader in both the hot drinks and franchise industries. Starbucks is renowned for its franchise success, with plenty of stores open across many countries. With plenty of global opportunities, the chain is a perfect choice for aspiring business owners willing to invest a large amount.
Subway Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £93,000 to £210,000
Subway is a globally recognised sandwich business celebrated for its customisable sandwiches, salads, and wraps. Alongside its infamous customisation options, Subway is also a historically successful franchise opportunity, with plenty of stores open in the Western World.
Trophy Pet Foods Industry: Pet food Starting investment: £8,000 to £15,000
Trophy Pet Foods is a pet food business known for its nutritious pet food products for a range of different animals. The business provides personalised consultations and home delivery services, ensuring that pet owners can conveniently access premium pet food to support their pets’ health and well-being.
Vodafone Industry: Retail Starting investment: £60,000 to £100,000
Vodafone is a leading telecommunications company offering mobile, broadband, and fixed-line services to customers worldwide. With a focus on innovation and technology, Vodafone provides reliable connectivity solutions for individuals, businesses, and governments. The franchise’s extensive network infrastructure and range of digital services have positioned it as a key player in the global telecommunications industry.
Wimpy Industry: Fast food Starting investment: £45,000 to £250,000
Wimpy is a burger business that operates primarily in the United Kingdom. Founded in 1954, Wimpy has established itself as a nostalgic brand known for its classic diner-style burgers and milkshakes. While its presence has diminished in recent years, Wimpy still maintains a loyal customer base and continues to operate franchises across the UK, offering a taste of retro Americana to British diners.

Franchises in the UK FAQs


The success of franchises can vary widely depending on various factors such as the brand, the industry, the location of the franchise, the skills and dedication of the franchisee, and market conditions. While many franchises have proven successful and offer a proven business model, there is no guarantee of success. Conducting thorough research, obtaining proper training and support, and carefully managing the business are essential steps to increasing the chances of success as a franchisee.

Yes, you will need money to buy a franchise. The cost can vary widely depending on the franchise brand, location, and other factors. In addition to the initial franchise fee, there may be costs associated with setting up the business, such as equipment, inventory, and real estate. Furthermore, franchisees often need working capital to cover expenses until the business becomes profitable.

Various studies have indicated that franchises generally have a higher success rate compared to independent businesses. According to the British Franchise Association (BFA), approximately 97% of franchise units in the UK were profitable in 2018. It’s important to note that success rates can fluctuate over time and are influenced by numerous variables, especially with the likes of inflation and pandemics in recent memory.

The ease of buying a franchise can vary depending on several factors, including the specific franchise brand, your financial situation, your business experience, and the franchisor’s requirements. Some franchises have relatively straightforward application processes and may offer support to prospective franchisees throughout the purchasing process. However, others may have more stringent criteria or require significant capital investment, making it more challenging to buy into.

Determining the “best” low-cost franchise depends on various factors such as your budget, interests, skills, and market demand. However, a low cost option exists in Oven Rescue. Having a starting investment of between £12,500 to £14,500, and potential earnings of up to £2,000 weekly, Oven Rescue is a great low entry opportunity for any aspiring entrepreneurs or business owners.