Eat 17

Source: Eat 17

Eat 17 is preparing to mount a targeted franchisee recruitment drive

Spar retailer Eat 17 has attracted interest from 15 businesses who are keen to take up its franchise offer.

The East London-based retail and eatery chain first considered franchising its model in June, in response to the growing trend of combining retail and hospitality as restaurants and cafés were shuttered during lockdown.

The interested parties have included retailers with existing stores to convert, those looking for additional stores and a number of restaurants looking to incorporate a retail offering into their premises.

Most of these are based in the London area, but Eat 17 said it had also been contacted by a number of established retailers from the north of England.

The retailer is also set to launch a targeted recruitment campaign next month.

The package will include co-owners James Brundle and  Chris O’Connor assisting with the design of stores, placing an initial order for the retailer, and passing on Eat 17’s favourable supplier rates.

It would also help to secure street food vendors in keeping with the Eat 17 brand.

An area manager will then be assigned to the franchises.

“Considering we haven’t been shouting about it we are really pleased with the amount of interest we have had so far,” said Brundle. “We’re not going out there to sign up 20-30 businesses. We are looking for the right people. We are quite precious about the brand, we are looking for those people that can reflect it and what we do.”

Eat 17 recently converted its separate restaurant and retail units into one combined space by knocking down the dividing wall during lockdown to make use of the shuttered hospitality area.

This incorporated retail and restaurant offer is the model the owners hope will prove popular with prospective franchisees.

Brundle confirmed sales were now back to pre-lockdown levels in the restaurant, in part due to the half-price Eat Out to Help Out scheme. However, this was balanced with a 5% dip in sales on the retail side Monday to Wednesday.