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Is it a good time to buy a franchise?

That's for you to decide - but I'll tell you about what we've done to give our team plenty of opportunity to keep operating and how it's working out.  

I completely get why people would worry about whether this is a good time with Covid and the uncertainty that brings.  After all, everything has been turned on it's head, given a good shake and we're all still spinning!  

But our view is that the show must go on - so we have found a way to do just that! 


We have had 2 new franchisees start with us in the last 4 months.  

We are thrilled to welcome Jo who is the owner of Cook Stars in Mid Hants who started in the summer holidays. 

Jo began by running summer workshops (all fully booked!) and is now running VERY successfully!

Jo only started classes 6 weeks ago (in September)  and already has:

*6 face to face classes running

*5 of which are fully booked 

* 31 children already booked in for her Halloween workshop!

So if you're not sure if Cook Stars will work at the moment, I hope this helps alleviate any worries!

  We are also excited to welcome Rochelle to the team who owns Cook Stars Leicestershire SE.  Rochelle has been doing a great job training remotely with us, and is starting classes after after half term in November!  Exciting times :)

Our new franchisees!

Jo Poupart
Owner of Cook Stars Mid Hants

Rochelle Jarrett
Owner of Cook Stars Leicestershire SE


We reacted quickly to lockdown in March, and within weeks turned things around so our team could carry on working. So here is a round up of what we've done and where we're at now.

When it looked likely that the UK was going into lockdown, our team provided their customers with 2 weeks worth of 'class packs' which included ingredients, a craft activity and a recipe card so they could carry on enjoying our classes until the end of that half term.


We then started doing online sessions very soon after lockdown was announced.  We did this because we wanted to make sure our customers were well looked after, and also so that our team could keep earning during lockdown.  We also set up a 'lockdown' Facebook group to help and support people.  We offered lots of free cooking videos and recipes to provide a bit of light relief and fun from the situation.

At the start, like everyone else, we had no idea how long things would go on.  We started off with just some parties but when we realised it was going to be longer term we brought in other services for our team to run and customers to enjoy.  We built all our lockdown services from scratch for this very purpose. 

Lockdown did mean the team weren't earning as much (the same as many other people of course!) so to try and help the team out as much as we could with cash flow, everyone was offered 0% management fees until face to face classes resumed in September.

Here are some of the sessions we built for the team to run:


Our online services went down really well with existing customers and new ones too.  In fact we realised that online sessions work so much better for some people! 

We had lots of new customers too from all over the country and even abroad!  As a result of it's success, we now offer Online Sessions as a standard service.  

Anyone joining our team can also offer Online Classes so you too could run online sessions, as well as face to face sessions.  We run Minis, Juniors and Academy sessions online and now also have a brand new service too - our Family Cook Along sessions. 


Our franchisees are back up and running face to face classes now and most are also running online classes too. 

We have had to move to some different venues that are more suitable in line with our thorough risk assessments, and we have stringent covid measures in place to enable us to run sessions as safely as possible.  

In England where the 3 tier system has recently been introduced, the importance of children's activities has been recognised for children's well being.  This means we are able to carry on running our sessions - even in high risk areas.  This is great news for our customers as well as our team.


To minimise the impact of local lockdowns or potential national lockdowns (as Wales faces after today) we have a strong plan in place. 

If there is a situation which means we are unable to run a session, we will instead run classes online over Zoom.  The class would run at the same time as the face to face class would have, and the children cook the same recipe as planned. 

This provides reassurance to parents booking with us of continuity and that their child's class will be running no matter what!  For our team it means they are assured of income stability as well as a way to take care of their customers. 


We also have a plan where a child cannot attend a class (eg. if they are well but having to self isolate).  In this instance we can  live stream the class to them at home so they don't need to miss out. 

We have put all the above in place to minimise the impact to our team and customers in these uncertain times.  


There is no doubt things are more tricky than before - not just for us obviously, but for everyone!  Very few businesses have remained entirely unscathed (Amazon and Zoom have done alright mind!) but we have done our very best to minimise the impact to everyone.

We are SO proud of our team who have embraced the new culture of 'online', and this new way of living by running sessions on Zoom. They would all tell you I'm sure, that they would never have imagined they would be running online sessions - let alone enjoy doing them!  But here we are - we found a silver lining and now have another service/string to our bow offering online sessions as well as being able to run our face to face sessions. 

I hope this all helps reassure you that although things look different now, there is still loads of opportunity with Cook Stars. Our team will be expanding again soon - perhaps you too are looking to start a new career? 

If you'd like to ask us anything about this article, or anything else please feel free to get in touch.

You can book in a call below or feel free to give us a call (01443 704267) or send us an email: 

Look forward to hearing from you x

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Cook Stars

United Kingdom

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