You Should Buy a Healthy Food Franchise
in 2021: Here’s Why
If you’ve ever wanted to get into the restaurant industry, this is the right time to do it. The economy is opening up and the pent-up demand for eating out is about to hit the sector. But instead of building an independent restaurant from scratch or being part of a casual fast-food chain, your best bet might be to buy a healthy food franchise.
After more than a year in suspended animation, the economy is getting back on track. There was a pause in customers’ engagements with their usual restaurant brands. Now they’re willing to try out new names. This is the best time to start your entrepreneurial journey as customers would be looking to try out new products and formats of services.
Let’s pause for a second here. Who’s the ‘you’ in the sentence? Who does this apply for? You should consider buying a healthy food franchise if you are a:
- ‘Food’ entrepreneur: You’ve always wanted to be in the restaurant industry. You love cooking and serving food. You know all the celebrity chefs and watch all the cooking shows on television. Your social media feed has more than its share of food-related posts.
You probably ran a restaurant at some point. Now you’re looking for a concept that’s proven and growing. No matter what, you can’t think of being in any other industry.
- ‘Non-restaurant’ entrepreneur: You believe entrepreneurship is the way to go. You’re not sure what industry or sector to get into but you’re sure that it’s time to start something on your own.
You’ve been looking at viable opportunities and have done your research on at least one. Although you don’t have any experience in the restaurant industry, you know the potential of the sector and you are a fast learner.
- Business owner: You already run a business, typically, a small-scale, neighborhood venture. It could be a grocery, an office supplies store, or a bookshop. Maybe you’re looking for something with steady growth potential or something that’s immune from the e-commerce competition.
You probably have your own commercial space or have ready access to it. You know how to get the necessary approvals and can hire people fast. All you want is a viable idea.
If you’re from the restaurant sector, what you need is a future-proof concept. You need something that doesn’t have the usual risks associated with the sector and is in sync with the market demands. Plus, one that doesn’t require any wasted spending.
If you’ve never considered the food business, a healthy food franchise is a highly viable opportunity. Amidst all the talk about startups, what we tend to forget is that a business ultimately has to find customers, get consistent revenue, and be stable.
A healthy food franchise does all of that. It checks all the boxes.
Why healthy food franchises are the future
As Americans flock to find their new favorite restaurants, the focus will be different this time around. They won’t be blindly patronizing the typical fast-food chains or drive-throughs. They’ll be looking at healthier choices, and restaurants that are not synonymous with healthy food won’t be their priority anymore.
The pandemic was the biggest disruptor in the last half a century or more. It brought to a halt all economic and commercial activities and confined us to our homes. In a way, that gave us time to assess our lifestyles. As normalcy returns, people will be looking at alternatives to their previous choices. Eating healthy will be prime among them.
But is the pandemic the only reason for people discovering healthy food choices? Is it another trend that’ll go away within a year or so? Should one make a life-changing decision like buying a healthy food franchise based on a fleeting trend?
Eating healthy isn’t a trend that people have suddenly discovered. And the pandemic isn’t the only trigger for the growth in the industry. It’s the result of several factors compounding over the years. Let’s take a deep dive to discover why healthy eating is here to stay.
Offsetting pandemic inertia
Let’s admit it, the pandemic made us all passive. Work from home meant that there was a substantial reduction in our physical activity. We didn’t have to drive, didn’t have to walk to meetings or the pantry, and didn’t have to take the stairs. Importantly, we couldn’t head to the gym or go for a walk in the park.
We were glued to the chair or the couch. Either we were working or binge-watching shows on television or our computers.
It also meant that we could snack at any time without fear of being judged by our colleagues. Whether we were at our desk or on the couch, we could afford to eat whatever we wanted.
Barring a select, disciplined few, there was not much physical activity, exercise, or healthy eating for the vast majority of us. And now there’s a realization that things have to change. People know that they’ve got to put an end to the unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle they’ve pursued over the last 18 months or so.
So, when they step out, they might consider moving away from the usual calorie-ridden fast-food staples and opt for something healthy.
Increasing health awareness
Whether or not they prefer to eat healthily, people are aware of the consequences of unhealthy food. Most people know that there are healthier options that are superior to the mass-produced ones they’ve been consuming.
The pandemic has also revealed the problems of obesity that arise from carb-filled diets. Consumers are now aware of the need for a healthy lifestyle that builds immunity. The age-old junk food recipe of fast-food chains will still find takers but there’ll be a perceptible demand for food that’s good for the individual and the local economy.
There’s increased demand for everything from organic to locally sourced ingredients. Kombucha, agave, multigrain tortillas, and steel-cut oats may not have been well-known even a few years ago. But today, consumers are asking for such ingredients.
Concepts such as plant-based meat, only in the fringes until even two or three years ago, are fully mainstream now.
The trend is led by millennials, the largest consumer group in the United States. According to some surveys, 30% of them prefer to eat organic, while the demand for gluten-free or low-carb options is steadily growing.
Consumers are also mindful of where their food is sourced from and its carbon footprint. Locally sourced food that supports the local economy and independent farmers is preferred over others. Sustainability is also of the utmost importance to this new breed of consumers who don’t mind spending extra for ethically sourced food.
Women are at the forefront of choosing healthful foods that are low-calorie and low-fat. Their behavioral and buying intentions are more pronounced than those of men. Since women play a significant role in where a family gets to eat, this will be good news for healthy food franchises.
One of the biggest drivers towards healthy eating has been cooking shows and their celebrity chefs on television. Until a few years ago, visual appeal and taste were the primary features to judge the food. But the various food shows have changed those yardsticks. Now there’s an increasing focus on how healthy what’s on the plate is.
There has also been an explosion of ‘healthy celebrity’ chefs with massive followings on social media. This moved healthy food options from the periphery to the mainstream. Ingredients that were otherwise considered too offbeat, like kale, quinoa, or asparagus, are now in the spotlight due to the efforts of these chefs.
It also made healthy food tastier. The earlier assumption was that if the food was healthy, it certainly wouldn’t be appetizing. The cooking shows and the Instagram feeds of these celebrity chefs have changed that notion. People now know that they can have food that’s organic, gluten-free, nutritious, sustainable, and tasty.
With the normalization of healthy food, there’s increasing peer pressure to opt for healthier diets. When all their friends and colleagues start posting about superfood smoothies and juice cleanses, there’s a social endorsement for healthy eating.
That makes it easy to suggest a healthy food franchise when eating out. It also encourages people to post their healthful food on social media which creates a virtuous cycle.
Why you should buy a health food franchise instead of starting an independent restaurant
As we’ve seen, there’s a demonstrable move towards healthier diets and healthy foods. If you’re an entrepreneur, it’s the right space to get into. But some of you might wonder why you’ve to buy a franchise. What’s wrong with building one from scratch? After all, buying a franchise is joining a business, as opposed to starting something, right?
Plus, when you build a restaurant, you get the chance to name it and make it yours. So, why buy a health food franchise?
Starting something entails a significant amount of risk. Setting up the restaurant means investing in a place, getting all the necessary equipment, finding the right staff, and then creating a viable menu. Even with all that, there’s no guarantee that customers will flock to your place.
When you buy a proven healthy food franchise, you’re minimizing your risk. The concept has already been successful in other markets which means that so you don’t have to start from scratch. That business model will show you where you have to focus and where you don’t have to splurge.
If you’re starting an independent health food restaurant, you’ll have to spend a significant amount of time coming up with the right menu that has the right value proposition. It’ll have to be different and in sync with customer expectations. Also, it can’t be merely trendy as the initial interest may go down soon.
As a restaurant entrepreneur, you may have to experiment for months until you find a functional and profitable selection. With a healthy food franchise, you’re getting a menu that customers already like. The experimentation and optimization have already been done.
Cost and time savings
Every new business needs to attract customers and the products may not be enough to entice them. When launching an independent restaurant, since there’s little brand equity or awareness, you’ll have to spend on the ambiance and interior decoration. Other than the expected costs, you’ll also be wasting time on this front.
When you buy a health food franchise, you’re also buying a proven format. There’s no need to needlessly spend on infrastructure or interiors. You only have to repeat what has already worked elsewhere. This saves you money and time.
Multiple revenue streams
Building a restaurant from scratch means focusing on one thing until it works. Most fast-casual dining establishments are geared toward increasing walk-ins with delivery as an afterthought. This reliance on a single revenue source can be risky and limiting to growth.
Depending on the franchise you buy, you may get one with several revenue streams. If the walk-ins are slow for some reason, you can always turn to other sources to maintain your revenue. Some established brands are also good at catering. All these translate to steady and growing revenue, which is something every business needs.
Built-in brand equity
Any product or service needs to be advertised to get people interested. If you’re launching an independent restaurant, you’ll have to spend on marketing to influence and persuade customers.
So, you’ll have to start from scratch and think of a unique brand name. Then you’ll have to pay an advertising or design agency to design the logo, menu, signboards, staff uniform, and all other marketing collateral. As anyone who’s ever been involved in the launch of a product or service will tell you, all these will take time.
Once you finalize a name, logo, and other design elements, it’ll be time to market your brand. You may have to create and release newspaper ads, billboards, leaflets, and even go for paid promotion on newspapers or find an influencer on social media. You may also have to do public relations through food bloggers or restaurant critics.
Along with that, you’ll have to hire a digital marketing agency. Then it’s time to create a website, run a digital marketing campaign with paid ads, and work on your local search engine optimization (SEO) strategies. Of course, then comes the important task of building social media profiles and getting followers.
All these will require consistent investments. Even with the best digital marketing strategies, your social media pages and website will need some time to gain traction. Remember that you’ll have to pay the advertising or digital marketing agency on top of the media costs involved with the campaigns.
If marketing is new territory for you, it would be sensible to hire someone who’s experienced. That too will cost money.
There’s something else that most entrepreneurs forget about digital marketing and social media in particular. It’s that creating assets can also be expensive and time-consuming. For example, you’ll have to hire a professional photographer or videographer to take pictures and videos of the food, the restaurant, your staff, etc. for your social media pages.
One of the greatest advantages of buying an established healthy food franchise is that you don’t have to do most of the above. The brand would – or rather should – be well-known and hence there won’t be any need to advertise it. Aside from the savings, this means that you can launch faster.
You’ll also save time that you’d otherwise have spent on designing your collateral and getting your digital assets in order. The healthy food brand would have a website and social media presence. Some of them even have thousands of followers on Instagram which will make your task exponentially easy.
You won’t have to start your follower count from zero and rely on paid promotion for visibility. Your business already would’ve followers. Once the brand mentions your new location, those followers who’re in your vicinity would be excited to know more about you.
Plus, there’s no need to spend time and money taking photographs and videos. The brand’s existing digital marketing team would be glad to assist you with those.
Choose well and start your healthy food franchise journey
It makes immense sense to buy a healthy food franchise to minimize your risk and maximize your returns. What you want is a growing brand with a proven business model and credible social media presence, like Toastique.
Along with the exceptionally high returns, multiple revenue streams, and the lean model, what the brand also offers is a network spearheaded by the Founders to help new Franchise Owners. Plus, Franchise Owners will have exclusivity on their zones to avoid needless competition that’ll erode the brand equity and drive down prices.
To know more about this immensely profitable opportunity, please visit our franchise website for more information.