Franchising proves a big success for Scottish sandwich shop company

Baguette Express, the Scotland-based sandwich shop chain, has signed its first franchisees, following the successful launch of its franchise expansion programme.

The Haddington-headquartered company announced earlier this year that it would be taking a franchising approach to future growth. The strategy has so far seen its Gorgie Road, Edinburgh, store bought by franchisee Margaret Watret, while Julie Malone has bought both the Musselburgh and Tranent stores.

Julie, who took over the shops in June, had been managing the Musselburgh shop for two years. 'When I heard they were available for franchising I thought I'd go for it. I know the business well and they're busy wee shops.'

Margaret had been working for a health care company, but had been thinking about opening a café. 'When I heard about Baguette Express it sounded exactly what I was wanting, and I decided to go for it. The franchise route was very attractive because I knew I had the support of the company, and would be able to benefit from the experience they had running the shops.'

Director Robin Stenhouse says the success of the franchising strategy means the company is well on target to achieving its goal of having another 12 outlets by the end of next year. The company is concentrating on high street locations in Scottish towns, and Robin sees great potential in the Falkirk and West Lothian areas, with towns such as Falkirk and Bathgate ideal locations. 'We also intend to expand through Airdrie and to the West and then northwards through Fife and beyond.'