Subscriber login Close [x]
remember me
You are not logged in.

In the midst of Covid-19 Veeno eyes up expansion via franchising

Published:  08 April, 2020

Veeno has revealed plans to expand via franchising, while also unveiling plans to renovate its key wine bars as it looks beyond to a post-coronavirus (Covid-19) future. 

Rodrigue Trouillet, who bought the Italian wine bar chain out of administration in March 2019 having joined the business as a partner in 2018, told Harpers the goal for 2020 was to renovate its key stores with “a fresh look and improved menu”. 

In addition, he said the business had picked up the concept of franchising again at the end of 2019 - under its old ownership several of Veeno’s outlets were run under franchise, with an original view (pre-coronavirus) to launch two to three such sites this year. It currently has eight wine bars, including one franchisee in Reading.

As a result of the pandemic, the revised plan was to “hopefully” open two to three franchised sites during 2021. In preparation for this, Veeno last week added a dedicated franchise page to its website.   

“Veeno has recently engaged again in franchising. The business model being attractive due to low capital investment and a simple operation makes this an affordable franchise and is getting a lot of interest from potential leads,” said Trouillet.

Veeno was also looking to expand abroad via franchising, he added. 

The business was “of course being cautious on the approach and making sure opportunities are thoroughly assessed and mutually beneficial for the franchisee and the corporation”, he said.

Measures to knock the business back into shape included closing down three of its bars as “they weren’t making any money, but we have kept all the sites we firmly believe in”, said Trouillet. 

The past year had all been about “stimulating the business and recovering from past issues - “having gone into administration there were real financial problems”, said Trouillet, adding Veeno was on the back of “a strong solid performance” now in a good position to look and plan for a post-coronavirus future.  

“Veeno has been trading successfully with consistent like-for-like sales growth since March 2019 and even during the first weeks of March 2020.”

Troillet didn’t rule out adding further ‘corporate sites’: “We may look into that but it takes a lot more capital investment."

Not ignoring the “existing situation”, Trouillet said “we have to deal with this but we also have to look forward and prepare”. 

Having furloughed staff, Veeno, which has a 50-strong workforce, said it was not looking to make any redundancies as a result of coronavirus.