Is there an age limit to become a partner?
No, please bear in mind however that if you are going to be loading a van and delivering vegboxes it's physically demanding and the hours can be long, especially on a cold, dark winter’s morning (but, looking on the bright side you’ll be outside in the fresh air and sunshine during the summer too)!
Could I run a second business or work a part time job at the same time as running a riverford business?
No. We’re looking for people who not only share our values but who can also really commit 100% to growing their business in partnership with us.
Is a Riverford business more suitable to a partnership or sole operator?
Both! We’ve had successful franchises run by partnerships and single operators. However we’ve found that the
added support that being part of a partnership brings can help the business to grow and develop, especially in larger territories.
How long is a franchise lease for?
How long’s a cucumber? Our franchise term is five years, but if you’re successful there’ll be a further option to renew it. Whilst we’re looking for people to work with in the long-term you’re free to sell your franchise at any time if you want to. Please bear in mind though that this can take up to six months to complete.
What will I need to invest and what is the return?
The cost of an existing franchise is dependent on the size and current valuation of the territory. On top of the agreed investment price there is a £5,500 launch training fee. You'll also need funds for a van and livery, office equipment and a small amount of working capital.
How can I fund the purchase of a franchise?
We work closely with the main banks who are likely to be able to provide finance if you have a deposit of at least 30%. Contacting a franchise specific department of a bank will gain you a better repayment rate than going through your local branch. The Bank's franchise department will also be familiar with the Riverford franchise model and will have copies of Riverford’s annual accounts.
why are franchisees not included in employee ownership?
We did look at developing an ownership model that includes other stakeholders - franchisees, suppliers and possibly customers. The idea was appealing and fitted the ethos of the business, however the practicalities were daunting and we needed to retain simplicity to get a model that works. Franchisees own their own local businesses and cannot (and would not want to be) treated as employees. Employer ownership is already a radical and complex step. If we had created a whole new stakeholder model we would have still been working out how in another ten years – and it has already taken ten years of thought to get to the point we are currently at.
Do I need my own premises?
No, produce will be delivered to a chilled collection hub within your area or collected from the farm if nearby. All you need is a home computer and a little storage space for business paperwork.
Do I have to live within territory?
Ideally yes, it is important that you live within territory or no more than 45 minutes of your collection hub. To achieve the greatest success it's beneficial to have knowledge of your territory and customer base. We do however accept applications from people who wish to relocate.
Why do current partners choose to sell?
This can be for many reasons, retirement, moving away, change in personal circumstances or simply wanting a change in career.
When can I speak to an existing franchisee?
Once we have received your application and progressed you through the initial stages of our recruitment process, we will supply you with a contact list of our partners. We will also arrange for you to spend time out on the road and in the office with your local vegteam. Our partners will give an honest and true account of what running a Riverford business is like, so we encourage you to meet with them early on in your research stage.
Please contact us if you would like to find out more or call us on 01803 227380.