Franchisor of the Year finalists confirmed

After a record number of entries and an extremely competitive judging process, 20 finalists have been named for the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year Awards 2014, supported by Express Newspapers.

New categories introduced this year led to more than a 30 per cent increase in entrant numbers compared to 2013 and a very high standard across the board, with a great mixture of newer and upcoming businesses combining with some of the giants of UK franchising.

The businesses vying for the awards are: bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year

  • Agency Express
  • Autosmart
  • Domino’s
  • ERA
  • Signs Express
  • TaxAssist Accountants
  • Water Babies

Emerging Franchisor of the Year

  • Ableworld
  • Bright & Beautiful
  • Right at Home

Award for Innovation

  • Chemex
  • McDonald’s
  • O2

Franchisee Recruitment Award

  • Autosmart
  • Mail Boxes Etc.
  • Riverford Organic Farms

Brand of the Year

  • Kumon
  • The ZipYard

International Achievement

  • InXpress
  • Pirtek

Cathryn Hayes, head of franchising for HSBC, said: “This is one of the toughest year’s judging processes I can remember. The 20 finalists should be extremely proud to have stood out in a highly competitive field, reflecting the quality and depth that is found in today’s franchise brands.

“Commiserations go to those that did not make it this far and we hope to see them again next year.” Finalists will present to the judging panel at the Express Newspapers offices on 21 or 22 May. This year’s guest judges are Adrian Price of Menzies and Suzie McCafferty of Platinum Wave, who join regular judges Brian Smart, Cathryn Hayes and Sean Hammond, head of franchising for Express Newspapers, for this year’s awards.

Winners will be announced at a black-tie gala dinner on 26 June at Heythrop Park, Oxfordshire.