Founders: Sue and Claire Burrow
Year started: 2008
When Sue Burrow set up her catering franchise with 18-year old daughter Claire in 2008, the franchisor, Jaspers, said the pair might be able to turn over £5,000 a week, provided they pulled out all the stops and got a bit of luck. Today they are turning over nearly three times that amount, testament to their ability to disrupt an established market with inspiration as well as perspiration.
The Burrows’ franchise, Jaspers Newcastle, is powered by an award-winning online ordering system, and covers all manner of occasions; in recent months, Sue and Claire have tackled everything from a Chinese banquet to a divorce party, and each challenge has been met with relish (no pun intended). The dynamic duo have grown their business by launching two on-site catering facilities, as well as strategically placed coffee shops in local business parks.
At the outset, Sue claims that she and Claire handled all aspects of the business. “We began by making the lunches in the morning in whites and hair nets, before delivering them with drivers hats at lunch times, and finally putting the business suit on and going out in the afternoons to try and find new customers.” Now, the Burrows have a team of 20 staff, across three locations, to spread the work; but their love of catering remains undiminished. The turnover target has been increased to £1m, and Sue is confident that her family franchise can smash through this barrier in the coming financial year.
Judges' comments: The judges believe that Jaspers Newcastle are stand-out winners of the Franchisee of the Year award. Started by a mother & daughter team who wore chef’s whites & hairnets in the morning while making the lunches, drivers hats at lunchtime to deliver the food and business suits in the afternoon for cold-calling new customers, they now employ a team of 20 over three locations. Their growth in turnover & profitability are commendable as is their tenacity to continue striving while companies around them are closing.