Didcott’s received plenty of franchising offers over the last five years. But he’s a fussy guy. He donned the first bow-tie and apron in the business and even though he’s retired his bottom from service these days, he’s wary of letting standards slip. “We’ve had requests from all over the world: South Africa, Canada…” says Didcott. “But the first franchise is launching in Melbourne Australia. It’s someone we already know.” The only offer to tickle Didcott’s fancy came from an ex Butler in the Buff. “It’s a Aussie guy who used to work for us in Edinburgh,” he explains. The minimum set-up cost for prospective franchisees is £10,000. Operations are then kitted out with the Butlers in the Buff bespoke software and marketing is all handled back in Blighty. Didcott is anxious that all franchises adhere to the original business model.” “The whole process is going to cost me about £30,000,” he says. “That includes the legal bills on contracts. I’ll also have to go and visit the new business regularly to make sure it’s doing ok – we’ve got a very in-depth operations book – and handle promotion. It’s really important to get the first franchise just right.” Didcott plans to roll out the Butlers in the Buff concept across Oz over the next two years. But what next? “The sky’s the limit with franchises,” he says. “We’ll probably target Europe next. Then maybe South Africa.” There’s one place that Didcot plans to give a wide berth… “I not so keen on the US,” he admits. “You’d think it’s a good place to do business, but it’s a bit, um, tied up legally.” “Care to elaborate?” asks RB. “They sue you for smiling the wrong way over there!” Oh well, America’s loss. Watch out for toned tushes across the globe! www.butlersinthebuff.co.uk
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