Franchising to Help Chef Service Feed More Seniors
The impact of aging baby boomers on the growth of senior care and healthcare franchising has been the subject of coverage from multiple angles here at Franchise Times, such as in our Top 200, in an interview with Home Instead’s CEO, and by way of expansion analysis.
But this rise in older Americans also presents an opportunity for another franchise segment: foodservice. Enter Chefs For Seniors, a four-year-old company out of Madison, Wisconsin, whose professional chefs prepare weekly meals in the home for an elderly clientele. The service, which has corporate locations in its home state plus Illinois and Florida, just launched its franchising initiative in 37 states.
“We are excited to begin offering franchises and believe this will help us reach exponentially more seniors needing help with meals and wanting companionship,” said founder Barrett Allman, an executive chef and restaurant owner who started the business after hearing from senior customers in his restaurants who had trouble cooking for themselves. “Over the last four-and-a-half years we’ve proven this service fills a need for our clients and provides great opportunities for chefs.”
Allman’s son and the company’s COO Nathan Allman said they’ve already received a high number of inquiries from Texas, which he noted has “favorable demographics for a senior services business.” And he pointed to Chefs For Seniors’ low initial investment—the basic franchise fee is $5,795—as being attractive to chefs looking to redirect their career. Franchisees can purchase extended and regional territories for a larger fee.
“Our mission is to improve seniors’ lives through food across the country; we feel franchising is the best way to further that mission and expand quickly,” said Nathan Allman. “Our service is very high-touch and customer-service oriented, so having a local owner that’s taking full responsibility for ensuring that client’s needs are met helps us provide the best possible service.”
There are two ideal Chefs For Seniors franchisee profiles, Allman explained. One is a working chef who is interested in becoming a personal chef for the elderly.
“This individual may be working long hours in a restaurant and is looking for a career change that offers more flexibility,” said Allman. “They may cook for all clients within their exclusive territory themselves, or hire a small team of local chefs to expand their reach.”
The other is someone with prior management and sales experience who’s looking for a business opportunity in the senior services and/or food space.
“These individuals wouldn’t cook for clients themselves, rather they would hire local chefs to execute the service,” said Allman. “Most of our franchise leads to date have been very interested in our social mission, and are also looking to capitalize on the rapid growth of the senior population in the U.S.”
With the AARP reporting that 90 percent of people age 65 and up want to stay in their homes as they get older and with the senior population in the U.S. expected to increase 30 percent by 2030, Chefs For Seniors hopes franchising is its recipe for success.