Food retailer offers franchise lifeline

Retailers, restauranteurs and publicans impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic are being offered a lifeline by a London food brand.

Innovative Eat17, who combine grocery shopping with dining out, are planning to expand through franchising and are keen to share their business model with outlets needing a new source of income.

Award winning Eat 17 has been operating in London and the South East with successful outlets in the capital including Walthamstow, Hackney and Hammersmith and Bishops Stortford for over 14 years.

It’s identified struggling retail outlets, restaurants and pubs among the sectors where its proven innovative retail model combining dining and sales could offer a new stream of revenue.

Each store will be tailored to its local area offering a combination of convenience store retail, eating out and independent retail.

Top end Eat 17 branded products including Bacon Jam, bakery products made fresh on site, and the recently launched chocolate will sit alongside grocery items supplied Spar.

Independent local products will also share the aisles to ensure each store is different, supports local producers and is tailored to its location.

Stores can decide on whether they focus on retail, dining or both dependent on the needs of the local community.

Eat 17 will work alongside the outlet to help the business get off the ground with as much or as little support they need from founders James Brundle and Chris O’Connor, builders, buyers and recommended independent retailers and street food vendors.

Eat17 co-founder James Brundle said: “Our offering isn’t a one size fits all. Instead it’s about us working closely with publicans, restaurant owners and retailers to give them another stream of revenue as they adapt their businesses to the changing times.

“It’s tough on the high street, not just for retailers but all those other outlets too who were thriving before lockdown restrictions were imposed.

“Rather than throw in the towel, we want to support these struggling businesses and help them find a new way of doing things which will offer them the chance to grow, flourish and diversify.”

James continued: “The franchise opportunity we’re offering will be tailored to individual areas. The four outlets we’re currently operating are all very different. Some are very retail focused, for others the bulk of the business is built around dining.

“We can offer as much or as little support as a business needs. For existing retailers, we can help with the site layout and bring in builders to make that happen. Our head buyers will be on hand to assist with orders and we can help find out concessions from street food operators to florists to fishmongers.”

Chris O’Connor added: “Our concept has been working well in our four stores for 14 years and it’s a model that can easily be adapted to businesses that have found it challenging since the start of lockdown in March.

“Since we launched in 2006 our business has grown to include our wholesale range, our unique partnership with AF Blakemore who own Spar and the opening of new stores.

“We’ve built it from the ground up and are now in the lucky position to be able to pass what we’ve learnt onto a new generation of retailers.”

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