… Funky Monkeys wins Best Newcomer at Irish Franchise Awards…
Northern Ireland-based franchise, Funky Monkeys, has been announced as the Best Irish Newcomer at the Irish Franchise Association Awards which recently took place in the RDS in Dublin.
The Irish Franchise Awards recognises excellence in franchising and rewards the outstanding achievements of businesses and individuals in the franchise industry.
Funky Monkeys, the children’s softplay chain, fought off tough competition in the category from FitKids and stockWatch and won the award in recognition of their rapid growth throughout Northern Ireland coupled with their excellent management and commitment to customer satisfaction.
The Funky Monkeys brand is owned by Newry couple Mark and Alison Simpson who began their business by purchasing the master franchise licence agreement in 2007. Since then they have experienced great success by opening seven franchises across the province, which employ a total of 70 people, and have expanded their management team. The ambitious franchise also has plans to export the brand into the Republic of Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.
Speaking after the event, Mark Simpson, co-owner of Funky Monkeys Playcentres said, “We are honoured to have received recognition of our hard work from such an acclaimed industry body. Funky Monkeys prides itself on good practice, sound reputation and satisfied customers who keep coming back and this award confirms that our franchise model has what it takes to be a great success. We will continue to develop the brand at home, as well as expanding into new markets in the near future, so there are certainly very exciting times ahead.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the management team at Funky Monkeys as well as the committed franchisees and this award is the result of a great team effort.”
The Awards ceremony is the highlight of the Ulster Bank Irish Franchise Association Expo, which acts as a showcase for Irish franchisors and the franchising sector with opportunities for prospective franchisees to meet existing franchisors and seek out new business opportunities.
David Killeen, Chairman of the Irish Franchise Association said “The awards are an opportunity for us to formally recognise and celebrate the excellent work being done by all franchise operators in growing the sector, consolidating existing businesses and protecting sustainable jobs despite the difficult trading conditions we currently face. Through the collective effort of all involved, we continue to drive improvements in standards and the understanding of best practice and ethical franchising in Ireland.”
The ceremony was an impressive business event reflecting the remarkable growth of the franchise sector in these challenging times. According to the latest Irish Franchise survey, the sector contributes €2.4 billion to the Irish economy with 4,086 operating units on the island of Ireland and provides 42,927 full-time equivalent jobs.
Funky Monkeys has softplay cafés in Newtownabbey, the Kennedy Centre, Cityside (Yorkgate), Dungannon, Larne, Lurgan and Downpatrick with a centre in Antrim due to open next month.