The Rise and Rise of Coffee Culture in The UK

Friday, February 14, 2014

In Italy, it is the norm to drink a lot of coffee. In fact, it is actually considered strange if you decline a cup. A morning macchiato followed by espressos through the day, the Italian’s are known for their coffee love, and it’s a passion which has been spreading around the world with fresh coffee franchise opportunities popping up all over the place.

There are set rules about how coffee should be consumed in Italy. For example, milky coffee is exclusively a morning drink. The coffee that you drink after meals should always be black. Coffee should be drunk as it is served, and all our syrups and creams and other types of more exotic brews would be shunned by the Italian connoisseur!

Other nuances of Italian coffee consumption include:

  • Coffee is drunk on the go and standing up. It should be downed in one. Glad you didn’t go for that latte now aren’t you?!

  • Speaking of downing it one, coffee in Italy is served at the right temperature for you to drink it straight away.

  • You’d also never order “an espresso”. For our Italian friends, this is a technical term but it is also the default. If you order “un caffè”, you would receive an espresso.

In Italy, coffee is a lot more than just a drink. It is a passion, a way of life, and a drug that a whole nation is addicted to.

While the stricter side of coffee consumption rules haven’t yet permeated our little island, there has been a substantial growth in coffee culture over the last decade. In the past, we didn’t do coffee well. Instant was all we needed. Since then though the growth in the UK coffee industry has been unrelenting. There’s a coffee shop on every street through town, and they’re rarely empty. A generation grew up watching Friends spend hours in Central Perk, sipping on hot cups of coffee, and that generation wanted in.

With the growth of the industry, and Britain’s growing love for truly quality beverages, there has been an influx of coffee franchise opportunities. While pubs go out of business, the humble coffee outlet is here to stay in all of its many forms.

When you don’t work in a town though, it can be difficult to guarantee a good coffee. Despite our old habits, instant is just not good enough anymore. You can buy machines to make coffee at home, but it can be expensive, and unless your beans stored properly before being freshly roasted and ground, the taste just won’t be the same.

Few employers will want to splash out on the luxury and the cost of a professional coffee machine. The best coffee isn’t instant, and it takes time and skill to prepare. As quality coffee can barely be considered a luxury at all anymore, rather a way of life, you should demand better. Coffee franchise opportunities such as Cafe2U’s mobile coffee vans are able to bring  premium quality espresso based coffee made by highly trained barista straight to you at work. If there isn’t any other coffee shops or franchises nearby, they can be an absolute god send.

Mobile coffee franchise opportunities are growing in popularity just like the drinks they serve. There are plenty of places where it wouldn’t be viable to have a static coffee business, but with a mobile model, baristas can go where they’re needed, maximising profits and making sure no remote corners of our isle are left to suffer through dreary cups of rubbish coffee. Say no to instant, and yes to coffee where and when you need it.

Questions To Ask Before Joining A Coffee Franchise

Thursday, February 06, 2014

There are three main groups of people you should talk to before you consider signing up to a coffee franchise opportunity. First, discuss with your friends and family your skills and your weaknesses. Ask them to be completely honest with you, because when you’re planning to go into a new business you don’t want to do so under false assumptions.

Be careful though, because if these people do not run their own business they are likely to be cautious and point out all the risks to you!  Similarly they may not understand the coffee opportunity if they don't like coffee!  But nevertheless ask them their thoughts.

The franchisor should also help you decide if you are suited to a franchise, and importantly their franchise.  They know the skills required, and should be honest with you if they don't think you have them.  

The next two groups you’ll need to speak to are the franchisor themselves and if possible some existing franchisees. This will give you a far better understanding of what’s expected of you as a franchise holder and how the agreement will work. The details of any coffee franchise opportunities might not be immediately apparently from online searches, and the only way you’ll be able to find out the information is by performing thorough research.

Don’t feel like you’re pestering anyone by asking the franchisor as many questions as you want to. They will be used to it from others, and as they will want you to join they will be happy to dispel any worries you have, and clarify confusing details.

Make a list of your questions so that you don’t forget anything.

The basic areas you might want to cover include:

  • Financial responsibilities and ongoing costs

  • Marketing support provided to you at launch and ongoing

  • Legal - what is the relationship between you and them, and are they happy to let you see the agreement early in the process?

  • Training and support it is important you understand what this involves at the outset and on an ongoing basis

  • Operations - is there a team behind the model? - to help with equipment, products, training, help you in the future.

  • Product supply - you should expect the franchisor to help you with this area.  

There are other things you might want to check as well which will be specific to the coffee franchise opportunities you’re considering.

Questions to ask the franchisor:

  1. What sets this model apart? What is different about this particular coffee franchise opportunity? Is the demand for the product proven?

  2. How much time does it take between signing up to the agreement and opening my franchise?

  3. Is there any guarantees of profit/turnover?

  4. How long is the contract for, and is there the option of renewal when it comes to an end?

  5. Should I choose to leave the franchise before the end of the contract, what are my options? Are there many instances of this happening?

  6. How many franchises do you currently have? How rapidly is the company growing?

  7. How do you determine territories, and are my rights exclusive?

  8. If I wanted to, could I expand into other local territories?

  9. How much choice do I have about products sold, and what is the process for ordering those?

  10. Who sets the price for products? If it isn’t set are there recommended prices?

  11. How much marketing do you do, and what is expected of me in terms of promotion?

Obviously some of these questions might have straightforward answers, while others will be more complicated. These might lead to having to ask further questions to get complete answers. If you’re not entirely satisfied, find out more information.

Questions to ask a franchisee


Most franchisors will ask you to meet with them for an informal no obligation discussion about the franchise, as well as your goals and skills, before you speak to a franchisee. This is actually good practice because otherwise you could waste your time and the franchisee's when in actual fact the business isn't right for you or you for it.  But at some point it’s a good idea to speak to a franchisee about their business. Always ask whether it’s okay to discuss the franchise, and maybe arrange a time to sit down and chat or schedule a phone call. Remember that while the franchisor will be happy to talk to you about the scheme because they’re trying to sell it, franchisees won’t necessary be so pleased – especially if you interrupt them at work. Be polite and if they’re too busy don’t pester them.

Good franchisors will also offer to arrange for you to visit a franchisee while they work.

Once you’ve arranged to speak to a franchisee, compile a short list of questions so you don’t take up more of their time than is necessary.

  1. How many hours do you work per week? Is this what you expected?

  2. Do you work on evenings or weekends to boost your income?

  3. How good is the training offered, and what is the ongoing support like?

  4. What did you do before you bought into your franchise?

  5. What is the worst aspect of the role/business?

There might be more things you can think to ask, but this should be a good starting point. It might be useful to consider what you expect the answers to be, and think of follow up questions as well. It’s easier to ask everything at once than to constantly have to approach people as and when you think of new things to ask.

Coffee Myths Dispelled: Does Coffee Dehydrate You?

Thursday, January 23, 2014


Good news coffee lovers!

Another study has proven that our favourite drink isn’t as bad as people thought. Myths about coffee (as well as other types of food and drink, such as red wine and the high protein diet) have been plaguing its otherwise stellar reputation for years, but it seems that every day a new one gets dispelled.

If you were looking into mobile coffee vans for sale, now might be the time to invest. We always thought we were doing a public health service, and now science is backing us up. Coffee doesn’t dehydrate you, as some people have argued. In fact, it is as good at hydrating you as water is!

We’re not saying you should try and manage two litres of coffee rather than water every 24 hours. IT probably wouldn’t do your teeth a world of good, and trying to get eight hours sleep might prove tricky.

The study proved that coffee managed to keep your hydration levels up just as effectively. It makes sense really; coffee has even more water in it than we do!

The point of contention was always around the diuretic quality and the caffeine content of our morning hero beverage. As it transpires, neither of these are enough to counterbalance the water you’re taking in (unless you drink a lot), and so you’ll finish a coffee a bit more hydrated than you were when you started.

Here’s the science. The human body is made of 60% water. For it to operate at its best, it stands that as it uses water, you’ll need to replace it. All your organs and bodily systems rely on water to work. You’re able to maintain body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure better when you’ve had enough liquid.  

And the good thing is, that hydration doesn’t have to come from just water. While water and milk are your two most healthy options, there are all sorts of other water sources which you can turn to for your hydration fix.

Fizzy drinks, soup, fruit, smoothies, yogurt and good old tea and coffee are all hydrating as well.

One of the biggest dehydration culprits is alcohol. It is one of the reasons you might end up with a bit of a headache the morning after you overindulge. To overcome this, try and have at least one glass of water for each alcoholic drink you consume.

So your mobile coffee van is basically a medical facility. In an ideal world water is better for you than coffee, but does it wake you up on a Monday or get you through that 9am meeting? Didn’t think so. 


When looking into coffee vans for sale, you are going to want to know your product. Cafe2U is about providing a service, so we’re chuffed to hear that it does more than we suspected.

It’s important that coffee isn’t your only source of hydration throughout the day; some of your liquids should just be water. If that taste puts you off, try sparking, or pop a slice of lemon or lime in to give it a different flavour.

If you’re thinking about hydrating your local area (and making a bit of money while you’re at it), have a look at our information about coffee vans for sale, or contact us if you’d like to ask any questions.