Let’s learn everything there is to know about this iconic hot-goods franchise and find out if you’re the right fit to become a Greggs franchisee.
A Brief History Of Greggs
Gregg’s dates back over 80 years to John Gregg’s first “ bakery” in Tyneside in 1939.
The store had no storefront for the first 12 years of its service. It operated more as a bicycle delivery service, distributing John Gregg’s fresh eggs and yeast to the hungry patrons of Newcastle.
It wasn’t until 1951 that Gregg opened his first bakery in Gosforth, with the business soon finding its niche and becoming a staple of the local community.
Gregg passed away in 1964, transferring the business to his sons, Ian and Colin. The two Greggs spearheaded an ambitious business strategy to improve customer acquisition and organic growth. They soon established locations in towns across the UK, including the city centres of Leeds, Manchester, Kent, and London.
Over the next years and decades, their strategy proved wildly successful as sales skyrocketed and new branches of the bakery chain multiplied to 1500 by 2011.
A Necessary Transition
As supermarket competitors crowded the bakery sector, Greggs transitioned to the “food-on-the-go” market, allowing their iconic sausage roll and sandwiches to lead the way.
In the latest year for which data are available, 2019, sales grew to £1.17 billion while pre-tax profits soared nearly 30% year-over-year.
Today, there are over 300 Greggs franchises in the UK, with many operating in partnership with convenience store and service station owners.
In addition to its brick-and-mortar stores, Greggs is famous for its lucrative rewards app. Whenever a customer makes an in-store purchase, they’re entered into a lottery to receive exclusive prize draws, a free cup of coffee, or a birthday treat.
While the franchise has evolved from its local bakery roots, it’s become one of the leading hot food brands in Europe and discovered a new niche within an ever-changing market.
What’s On A Greggs Menu?
If you’ve never popped into a Greggs for a quick bite, you’d be one of the few in all of the UK. 80% of their total income funnels from their food on-the-go sales.
Greggs’ menu is filled with baked goods like melts, pasties, sausage rolls, and piping-hot meals like pasta, pizza, and sandwiches. In-store, you’ll also find mouthwatering drinks like coffee and tea, along with sweet desserts like doughnuts, muffins, brownies, and shortbreads.
As more customers adopt plant-based diets, Greggs is adapting to changing tastes. They launched a Quorn-filled vegan sausage roll in January 2019 and quickly discovered found their supplies dwindling with ravenous demand. The chain is rapidly developing more vegetarian and vegan options for those with dietary restrictions.
Greggs Unique Franchise Business Model
Greggs’s franchise business model is one of the most unique in Europe.
While its traditional standalone stores have dwindled, the franchise has found its home by attaching itself to corporate partners in locations that might be difficult to operate a company-managed shop.
For most of its history, Greggs kept their store management in-house to exercise greater control and company cohesion. However, they have recently absorbed franchising into their business model, with dozens of stores operating in difficult locations.
Think educational establishments, motorway service stations, and any nook and cranny you could think of with a heavy foot and car traffic flow. The more people move, the hungrier the customer.
Some of Greggs’s biggest franchise partners are Applegreen, Blakemore Retail, Moto, and Euro Garages. This creates a symbiotic relationship between the firms, giving Greggs the foot traffic and real estate it craves while offering the partner’s customers a hot food retailer with a tremendous track record.
3 Reasons To Become A Greggs Franchisee
1. Steady Growth In The Sector
The UK has no shortage of top players in the baked goods sector. The vast majority who have achieved widespread brand recognition specialise in business models dominated by a single item, like Cinnabon or Dunkin’ Donuts.
Greggs is different. They offer a wide variety of goods and hot beverages, ensuring customers that they’ll always have a delicious option or two to choose from, no matter what they’re craving.
Market research company IDG predicts that the food-on-the-go sector will grow at around 26.5% over the next five years, double the 12.5% rate of the total food retail sector in the UK.
Check out Greggs Careers to find out more about this hot food retailer and discover if you’re the right fit.
2. Opportunity To Flex Your Management Muscle
If you want to become a multi-unit franchisee of Greggs, you’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your management skills.
Think motivation, delegation, and organisation. Greggs only achieved its current size and status by training store operators to become well-oiled machines and then trusting those employees to get the job done.
Fortunately, if you don’t have much management experience, Greggs can help. They offer comprehensive training in the initial startup period and ongoing lessons and support throughout your tenure.
3. High-Profile Name
Over its 80+ year history, Greggs has established itself as one of the leading hot food distributors in the UK, and its reputation across Great Britain is nearly legendary.
Whenever someone craves a sausage roll, pastie, doughnut, or midnight coffee, their minds inevitably wander to Greggs.
While other franchise opportunities might offer limited sector penetration, Greggs’ brand awareness is already at an all-time high. Instead, your main goal as a Greggs franchisee is to maximise sales and improve return-on-investment ratios.
Taste Success With Greggs
Greggs isn’t just a hot goods retailer — it’s one of the most widely recognised and historically successful bakery chains in Europe.
They’ve adapted their menu to suit shifting customer needs through the years. They’ve transformed John Gregg’s original eggs and yeast delivery service into an international behemoth that delivers sweet pastries, savoury sausage rolls, and hot beverages to millions daily.
Greggs is food on the go’s past, present, and future. With Greggs franchise cost relatively low for hot food retailers, there’s no reason not to find out if you’re the right fit for the Greggs family.