Europe Is Slowly Opening for Business
A new climate is emerging in Europe, and not only meteorologically speaking. And while the European summer should be warm and sunny, June also is marking a country-by-country reopening of most retail, bars, restaurants, and fitness clubs, giving back a real enthusiasm to consumers, franchisees, and franchisors across the continent.
On the health side, everyone remains cautious about the pandemic because of the 2020 cycles (summer recession, September increase), the slowing of the vaccination rate, and the spread of the highly transmissible Delta variant, now to 60 countries, including the U.S.
Most countries in Europe still impose restrictions inside restaurants, mandatory masks outdoors, working from home for corporate employees, and many travel restrictions.
In the U.K., despite a 40% vaccination rate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson this week announced a 4-week extension of coronavirus restrictions because of the Delta variant.
In France, an 11 p.m. curfew is still in place until June 30, but theaters and cinemas are now open and live events allowed up to 1,000 participants (with a negative PCR test or proof of vaccination ).
All over Europe (either the geographical entity including the U.K., Norway, and Switzerland; or the political and economic entity known as the European Union), travel conditions are still very strict from one country to another, and many corporate companies have not yet lifted their business travel ban.
By June 30, European countries should finalize a standard protocol, including a vaccination passport, to facilitate cross-border travel – good news for the tourism industry and for every business activity, including franchising.
The franchising model still appeals
On the franchising side, despite the strong disruption brands, operators, and clients faced during the past 15 months, the franchise partnership model proved its robustness. Thanks to the ability and agility of franchisors and franchisees to collaboratively build new processes, adapt their business models, and invest in digital solutions, many prospective entrepreneurs believe in a post-Covid future through franchising.
Today’s entrepreneurs expect a franchisor to prove its capacity to anticipate the new consumption trends that will appear, and to sustain the development of its franchise partners through a peer-to-peer approach and supportive relationship.
In many different industries, from food to services through fitness concepts, European entrepreneurs remain eager to discover, replicate, and develop a new foreign brand in their national and local markets. Depending on their territory and current operations, they may favor a multi-unit development agreement, rather than a master franchise partnership with sub-franchising development opportunities.
European franchise shows go live this fall
Today, in mid-June 2021, Europe is focused on ending the lockdown step by step and preparing for a cheerful summer, and franchisors across the continent are sharpening their tools to be ready for September, which will mark the re-start of “live” events for franchising including:
- Franchise Expo Paris – Sept. 26–29
- The International Franchise Show – London, October 1–2
- Franchise Expo21 – Frankfurt, Germany, Nov. 4–6
- MAPIC 2021 – Cannes, France, Nov. 30 – Dec. 2
For updated information on these European markets and events, go online or contact me directly at the phone number or email address below.
Christophe Angleys, Director of European Development for Franchise Update Media, is based in Paris. His extensive experience includes more than a decade as Sales & International Development Director for Franchise Expo Paris, where he helped produce one the largest franchise events in Europe. Through his key contacts and invaluable perspective on franchising in France, Europe, the Middle East, and the Americas, he has helped numerous franchisors to identify, qualify, and recruit the right master and multi-unit franchises and develop profitable, sustainable partnerships worldwide. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or +33 6 61 55 67 46.
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