The UK: A Coffee Nation

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The UK is rapidly becoming a coffee nation. In the past we were well and truly known for our love of tea, but strong and rapid growth in the coffee sector has led to a change of the status quo. In fact, volume sales of tea fell by more than 6 percent in the 12 months until December, nearly twice the fall of the previous period.

So why are we opting for a latte over an earl grey?

Just think about the growth of high street chains in recent years. This has caused a domino effect which sparked the idea for Cafe2U’s mobile coffee franchise model, and has resulted in consumers appreciating the nuances of a great cup of coffee.

Personally, at home or at work and I want a hot drink I’ll make a tea. When I’m out and about though, I’ll usually buy a coffee in one form or another. It’s not that I prefer one or the other, or I make a great tea, but for me it’s down to the fact that it’s much harder and more expensive to get a great espresso from the comfort of your own home. With tea you can’t really go wrong, but with coffee it takes more of an expert hand. There’s something so much more delicious about sipping a professional barista made latte. And with the growth in the industry, we have more choice than ever over when and where we get out coffee drinks from. That might be a high street chain, a small independent cafe, or from a mobile coffee franchise right outside your office.

It can really be put into perspective by the fact that every day in the UK 15 million cups of coffee are served, with one in five people visiting a coffee shop every single day of 2013. Not sure about the other 80 percent? Not to worry, 85 percent of people visited at least once a week. No less than 1.7 billion cups of coffee were served throughout the year in coffee shops. That’s quite a lot really.

Research group Allegra Strategies predicts in their Project Cafe 2013 research that by 2018 the UK market will exceed 20000 outlets. Since our inception, Cafe2U has grown and grown – we now have more than 230 mobile coffee franchises around the world, from Australia and New Zealand to the USA and the UK. We’ll soon be expanding into South Africa too. The continual growth of companies in these markets has proven that all round the world, people love coffee.

While tea was falling by 6 percent, coffee was still growing – in fact in 2013 the overall growth was 6.4 percent.

We’re becoming coffee drinking connoisseurs

Location always used to be the prime factor when picking a coffee outlet. However, as the high street fills up, and Cafe2U’s mobile coffee franchise model caters to the work place, people’s requirements are changing. More people are realising that this competition means that they can demand a better service and a higher quality drink. If an outlet isn’t good enough it just won’t get the business. It’s really important to us then, that we give every barista the comprehensive training they need, as well as high quality equipment so that we always serve exceptional drinks, whether you choose an Americano or a Macchiato.

Passionate About Coffee: The Cafe2U Way

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The Problem

Have you ever been to an event, ordered a drink from a coffee van or from a static catering unit and been given some sort of non-descript brown water? It might be coffee, it might be tea, but to completely honest we have absolutely no idea what this drink is pretending to be. It’s tasteless and it’s pretty much the least appealing beverage you’ve ever seen. It probably cost far more than you would usually pay, and it just tasted terrible. There isn’t even any real milk to cover up the flavour (or lack of flavour as the case might be!).

The Solution

What you need is a mobile coffee franchise who are passionate about their work. We try our best to come to your rescue whenever we can. Cafe2U regularly saves the public from having to put up with poor coffee at special events and at the office, by providing its purpose built, red Mercedes mobile coffee vans all across the country. Our professionally trained baristas aren’t just in it for a paycheck, they are passionate about the premium coffee, hot chocolate, tea and tasty treats that they serve. We never, ever serve poor quality drinks. So you can be sure that you’re getting the drink you ordered, and not some poor excuse for coffee.

Whenever possible Cafe2U will help out with fundraising and good causes. At Sport Relief 2014, Cafe2U had twelve vans in operation at different Sport Relief events across the UK, including the Olympic park and Velodrome, in London. The proof of Cafe2U’s high quality products is in the popularity – we are rarely without a queue! We served spectators and competitors alike, refuelling the runners or walkers, and making sure the spectators kept warm! Cafe2U thinks it’s really important to put something back into the community by supporting others as they raise money for such a great cause!

The Cafe2U service is a way of keeping visitors at your event longer, and certainly helps them feel special while there. Without the availability of food and drink, people are likely to head off when they get hungry or thirsty. Fundraisers require that patrons stay for as long as possible, to make sure the most money possible is raised for the cause. There’s nothing better than being able to relax with an award winning cappuccino, or latte, or a milkshake or 'steamer' for the children. If you are raising money for a good cause, we will consider helping you with your efforts too!

It’s not just charity functions or fundraisers which Cafe2U will help out with. Our mobile coffee franchise model is built in such a way that franchisees can earn extra money by working at local events on weekends, as well as their usual working week. All you need to do if you’d like us to attend any sort of event at all is head over to our website where you’ll be able to enquire about having a mobile coffee franchise at your event. From there we’ll be able to work out whether just the one van is enough or whether you’ll need a few to cope with the demand.

As the only nationwide mobile coffee franchise, Cafe2U can ensure that you can have a van at every location that you hold your events, as well as have multiple vans at large events, like we did at the Olympic park for Sport Relief. It means that even if you’re holding multiple events across the country you can be sure that your patrons will be getting the highest quality drinks possible, so you can just focus on organising the event itself.

Cafe2U: Growing As A Network

Thursday, May 08, 2014

A Brief History of Coffee Culture

Coffee has been around for more than 700 hundred years. It took a few hundred years more, and then the world's first coffee houses started to appear (it was 1652 before England got its first coffee house). Cafes soon became a common meeting place and social hotspot. The origins of more modern coffee shops are usually attributed to the rise of Italian immigrants to America in the 1950s. In the 1960s the politically minded counterculture embraced the coffee shop, and coffee culture as we know it now was born.

The coffee house scene led to the birth of the now global coffee giant Starbucks, with its humble beginnings as a single coffee supplies shop in Seattle. Their vision helped bring the concept of the coffee shop out of the niche and into the mainstream, expanding outside Seattle and into the rest of the world. More big brands joined in, and there's still room for independent businesses and cafes which make up a significant percentage of the market.

Walk down any high street in any town almost anywhere and you'll be able to pick up a cappuccino or a latte, or a hot chocolate.

It's strange to think there was ever a time without coffee shops. Where would we have met up with friends? How did people make it through the working day?

The Cafe2U Method

Cafe2U has bought coffee culture one step further than static coffee shops can manage. There was a gap in the market which was twofold but could be simply and effectively be resolved by a bit of lateral thinking. How do you make a viable business out of getting coffee to places which aren’t usually accessible to static businesses?

To Cafe2U's founders the answer was simple. By putting the same equipment you would find in a coffee shop into a van, the mobile coffee franchise was born. People working in office blocks are generally not located particularly close to coffee shops. It means they're likely to be stuck with poor quality instant to get them through those tough Monday mornings. But by bringing the coffee to them, great quality drinks can be provided when and where they're needed.

Nowadays coffee shops seem to be two a penny. The world's biggest mobile coffee franchise is now in its tenth year, but the model which Cafe2U has perfected has very humble beginnings. The first prototype was launched in Sydney in 2000. In 2004, the business was purchased by its current owners who used a strategy to fully implement the franchise model.

From the very first van to the rebrand and relaunch in 2005 which saw Cafe2U enter the British market, the business has grown and grown. To date there are 155 of Cafe2U's mobile coffee franchises in Australia where it all began, but there are also 60 in the UK, 12 in New Zealand and 5 in the United States. Soon the business will be expanding into even more territories with its South Africa launch.

The reason Cafe2U has been, and continues to be, so successful is because it provides real quality where no one else can. There is a lot more to a coffee shop than simply fitting a coffee machine into a building and providing cups and hoping for the best. There needs to be a trained barista who knows how to get the best from those little beans every time. There needs to be competitive pricing. Staff need to be loyal to the company and give exceptional customer service at all times.

There's something different about Cafe2U and that's why it is the world's best mobile coffee franchise. For the last four years a new franchisee has started up their business every 10 days. If you're interested in joining us, or getting great coffee in your place of work, we'd love to hear from you.