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Cafe2U - the first TASTE OF SUCCESS

A single sip of coffee tempted this couple to launch Auckland’s first Cafe2U franchise

Philippa Pollock only visited the franchise expo in Auckland to promote her employer’s print business, but it was to change her life. She and her husband Wayne are now among Auckland’s first franchisees for Cafe2U, the world’s largest mobile espresso coffee franchise.

The business was launched in New Zealand in June 2012. Cafe2U managing director Derek Black says the franchise has brought a number of innovations to the fast-growing mobile coffee market in New Zealand, including daily time-scheduled servicing of an established customer base (25 to 30 stops average per franchisee) and Mercedes vans. ‘These house a diesel generator that provides constant power to the café-size multi-dispenser espresso machine as well as a food display fridge, pie warmer and smoothie maker,’ Derek explains. ‘It means Cafe2U franchisees can offer much more than a cup of coffee and a cookie. That increases average sale value and enables franchisees to achieve a much higher return on their time.’

Of course, Philippa and Wayne knew none of this when they first arrived at the expo – they just knew they needed a coffee. ‘The distinctive Cafe2U signage on a smart-looking van immediately caught our attention and the first sip of coffee did it: we started asking a few questions and the more we asked, the more interested we got. General manager Alan Biddle and business development manager John Stanton were great, telling us how the franchise worked in a very matter-of-fact way without any pressure.’

Philippa and Wayne went home to prepare a list of questions before coming back to meet Derek the next day. ‘The first thing we did was taste the coffee to see if it was as good as the day before – it was. Like Alan and John, Derek showed tremendous professionalism and integrity. Being able to meet high-level management really helped cement our trust in the brand, its competitive advantages and its systems, so again we went away for some serious overnight discussion – after all, I’d gone to the expo to sell printing, not to buy a franchise! It wasn’t quite so hard for Wayne, who had already left 20 years of corporate life to become an online trader working from home. With the decision made, after just three days we put down a refundable deposit on our Cafe2U franchise.’

The deposit secured Philippa and Wayne’s preferred area of East Tamaki/Highbrook. Living just a few kilometres away, they were very aware of the tremendous business growth in the Auckland industrial area and could see huge potential in the location.

They might move fast, but the Pollocks are a cautious couple and knew the importance of due diligence in finding any hidden snags. ‘We consulted a lawyer and an accountant, both of whom spoke very highly of the quality and transparency of the information Cafe2U provided. Even the specialist franchise manager at our bank told us how impressed he was. We also contacted Stephen Vickers, New Zealand’s first Cafe2U franchisee, who told us that he was already looking at expansion together with his son.

‘Two weeks later, I handed in my notice in preparation for a week’s training in Sydney. Wayne and I have been to many training programmes and in our opinion Cafe2U facilitator Dino Demetriou was the best we had experienced. We came away knowing all about what makes a great coffee, the ins and outs of the espresso machine and feeling reasonably confident in our barista skills.’

On taking delivery of their van, Philippa and Wayne were ready to participate in the Cafe2U Acceleration Package. Arriving from Australia armed with Cafe2U’s territory mapping technology and vast experience at recruiting customers and route logistics, Jarrod Kidd, the Pollocks’ personal franchise development manager and business mentor, took them on the road. ‘Would you believe, within just three days Jarrod had recruited a run sheet of 25 stops. We were in business!’ Philippa laughs.

As promised, they rapidly established a routine. ‘Jarrod was with us a full two weeks. We start bright and early every morning with our first call at 6.30am and our last at 1pm, so by 3pm we’re all cleaned up and can relax,’ explains Philippa. ‘And while coffee is the hero, having food creates a really worthwhile income stream in itself. Like everything else with Cafe2U, systems are all in place with local food suppliers appointed and prices negotiated, so all we have to do is order.’

A fully fitted-out Cafe2U van including training, business mentoring and the Acceleration Package costs $130,000 +gst. During the first two weeks of business establishment there is a guaranteed payment of $2500 per week. ‘This represents the minimum amount a Cafe2U franchisee can generate by servicing just 10 percent of the potential market in their exclusive territory,’ Derek says.

Would Philippa and Wayne recommend Cafe2U? ‘I think we can best answer that by saying that, after just one week of working solo, we’re already looking seriously at a second van. It’s obvious the market is more than ready for Cafe2U and we’re ready to make the most of it.’

This advertorial appeared on www.franchise.co.nz in Dec 2012

 

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