Are there ongoing fees?
Yes there are. We give you 3 months after your training to get going before you have to pay anything to us. We do this very simply because we want you to be in a good financial position before you have to pay any further money out.
It’s important to us that you are happy with Cook Stars, so it’s a little way to help you out whilst you’re getting to grips with everything. There is a lot to learn at first and we want you to feel relaxed whilst you’re learning the ropes and building your franchise in those important initial months. By the time you come to paying ‘management fees’ as their called, you should be well under way to getting established in your area and have services up and running.
After those ‘free’ 3 months, like most franchises there is a fee. Ours is a flat fee of £210p/m (+ VAT). I’d like to tell you a bit of a story about this. We used to run our management fees on a percentage basis (and actually many franchises do this), but then we changed it. Why? Because our team were paying us 10% (with a minimum monthly payment £200 +VAT) and some were paying us an awful LOT....and it made me feel icky. Hear me out, I’m not entirely mad....
We had a particular month when we had franchisees paying fees of just shy of £700 a month - and it didn’t feel right. I know this makes me sound like the most stupid business woman ever! Yes, financially I have done myself up like a kipper here…..but it was a very deliberate decision with good rationale. There is method to my madness I promise….!
I don’t believe ‘business’ should be ugly. I work a bit unconventionally perhaps, which has always worked in my favour and I’m not going to change that. I don’t care how the big boys do things, or what a business specialist would advise, what my competitors are doing AND I don’t think money should always come first. Yes I want to make money (I’m not Mother Teresa or anything!) but receiving such large fees wasn’t sitting comfortably with me.
I did have a moment of thinking YES, seeing these figures mean we have mastered our craft and also taught those franchisees well (like proud parents we were!)….BUT what it also meant was if those franchisees were bringing in £6-7k a month - they too had also nailed what they were doing. I didn’t feel right capitalising on that AND from the teams point of view I also didn’t want to get to a point where any resentment might develop.
Here’s the thing - Cook Stars is a brand that I’ve been building for over 7 years. It's got my name plastered all over it! It’s not just business, it's personal. In terms of our reputation and my personal integrity, I want to be proud of what we offer and what we charge for our services at head office. When the balance felt off I changed it immediately. I got a bit of backlash for it! A business mentor told me I was plain wrong (and nuts!) and someone else thought I had lost the plot, BUT if my name is on something it needs to feel right.... and accounting spreadsheets have nothing to do with that!
At the end of the day building a great brand is ultimately the most important thing to me. A good business should be playing the long game and it is WAY more important to me that we do things the right way and for the right reasons, and have a team of franchisees that feel valued and cared for. I went off on one there - shorter answer, yes there are fees!!
When people join Cook Stars, they know if they put the work in-they will do well. It’s beautifully simple and linear. There is great money to be made if people want to put some work in, and listen to our advice.
Yes, we do of course charge for what we provide - and rightly so (it’s awesome and we over deliver massively and we’ll happily tell you all about it!). I am extremely proud of what we offer and the fee we charge. It’s amazing value.