World’s largest coffee franchise launching in South Africa

Cafe2U van on beach

Cafe2U van on beach

Cafe2U, client of Coconut Creatives, is the world’s largest mobile coffee franchise. Cafe2U continues to grow worldwide and is proud to announce its launch in South Africa. South Africa will be the third international market, next to Germany and New Zealand, that Cafe2U has added to its growing global franchise network in 2012. South Africa is a discerning marketplace offering huge growth potential for Cafe2U’s latest Master Franchise owner, Marco Da Silva.

Marco knows the potential of the South African coffee market from first-hand experience. In 2007, Marco and his cousin Dylan launched renowned Mokador Coffee in Johannesburg, operating as the sole distributors of this premium Italian roasted coffee brand to the South African market.

Marco knows from his experience that the South African market differs from the Australian and English marketplace, even though the coffee culture is quickly developing, it remains about 10 years behind. However, the demand for quality coffee is growing rapidly and so Marco feels this is the perfect time to introduce Cafe2U’s mobile franchises to the market, as there is a definite space for Cafe2U.

“Many of the businesses in South Africa are in business parks meaning employees need to drive to get to their local café. Cafe2U offer amazing coffee and café style bites served at your business address, which is a concept we believe consumers will be very excited about,” says Marco.

“We cannot wait to launch our first van into the market and introduce South Africa to the amazing coffee in the most convenient way possible. The South African coffee scene is going through a mini revolution,” adds Marco.

With a population of just over 50 million, Cafe2U International’s Managing Director Derek Black believes this is a rare opportunity for Cafe2U to be part of the evolving demand for quality espresso coffee in South Africa.

“Cafe2U is already the largest mobile coffee franchise in the world and this development in the South African market marks the beginning of a powerful new clientele and incredible growth opportunity,” says Derek.

Cafe2U have won a multitude of awards for their franchise business model, their coffee and for their service levels. Founded in Australia, Cafe2U has been operating the business for 10 years and have expanded their franchise model to the UK 5 years ago. They already have over 50 franchise partners across the UK, and over 100 in Australia and have successfully launched in the US in 2011.

If you would like to find out how Coconut Creatives can help your franchise generate great PR please click here

Cafe2U celebrate the best baristas in the UK

With four of their franchise partners shortlisted for the Beverage Standards Awards 2012, making it the 5th year for Cafe2U, the awards ceremony on 20th September was full of excitement!

Cafe2U Winners with Tom Acland

Cafe2U Winners with Tom Acland

The four Cafe2U franchise partners had to reach a 4 Cup standard during anonymous judging to be shortlisted for the final awards. Laura Macrae of Cafe2U Aberdeen West, and Stephen Mcarthy of Cafe2U Wakefield were shortlisted for the Best Espresso category, whilst Nick Anderton of Cafe2U Bradford East, and Antonio Petrosino of Cafe2U Merton were shortlisted for Best Cappuccino.

Organised by the Beverage Standards Association, the UK’s out-of-home non-vending refreshment industry trade association, these awards are designed to assess the standards of service, facilities, tea, coffee (espresso, filter and milk-based) and hot chocolate. In order to ensure accurate and impartial assessment of standards, all nominees have been evaluated by anonymous, trained assessors over a period of many months.

Antonio Petrosino was delighted to win the Best Cappuccino category:

“I am privileged to receive this award as it is one of the biggest achievements in my life. A huge thanks must go to the BSA and Cafe2U for giving me this opportunity to develop and demonstrate my skills as a barista. I really do put all my effort into making a great cup of coffee for my customers, every time!”

The ceremony, hosted by Cafe2U’s own barista trainer, Jon Skinner, the UK’s top barista trainer, was a grand a celebration of all nominated establishments who have yet again proved that they have been raising the standards in the excellence of drinks and best service during 2011/12.

Tom Acland, Managing Director of Cafe2U explains why the awards are so important to him and the Cafe2U franchise network:

“We are absolutely delighted and thrilled for all our franchise partners that have taken part in this year’s competition. To have so many of them achieving 4 Cup Standard and one also winning their category has beaten all our expectations. The BSA competition and awards evening is now firmly established in the Cafe2U calendar and continues to demonstrate not only Cafe2U’s commitment, but our franchise network’s commitment to delivering exceptional coffee and other hot drinks to our customers, every day!”

Cafe2U is already the world’s largest mobile coffee franchise with over 100 mobile coffee vans in Australia and over 50 in the UK and Ireland. If you are interested in joining this successful franchise network and would like more information about the Cafe2U franchise visit: or call us on 08456 444 708.


2 New Faces Serve up Cafe2U Coffee

The growth of the coffee business in the UK is showing no signs of decline as loyal and new customers queue up for their daily cup. Tony Unstead and Donna Morris are the latest two franchise partners to launch their Cafe2U franchises.

Donna Morris & Jon Skinner barista trainer

Donna Morris & Jon Skinner barista trainer

Cafe2U delivers fresh espresso coffee, hot chocolate and a range of snacks to non-traditional locations in over 50 franchise territories across the UK. Recognising a gap in the market with big growth potential coupled with longevity, these locations are mainly work places, business parks and industrial estates situated away from the high-street.

As with all Cafe2U franchise partners, Tony Unstead will run his exclusive High Wycombe and Marlow territory from August 2012. With a background in sales and construction, easing into the world of barista skills has been a surprisingly seamless transition for Tony.  Tony says: “It is a friendly, quality conscious and driven team dedicated to bringing one of the good things in life to as many people as possible.”

Cafe2U provide an industry-leading training model using their unique Acceleration Launch Programme, which accelerates your new business to higher turnover levels quickly. Within the Cafe2U network there are successful lifestyle franchise partners and high earners. You can choose to take a single van whilst some have now expanded into multi-van franchises across multi-territories.

Cafe2U hold awards for their franchise business model, as well as their excellent service levels and most recently won the Express Newspapers Brand Builder of the Year in the bfa HSBC Franchisor of the Year 2012 awards.

Developing her territory in Motherwell, Donna Morris who recently vacated her role volunteering as a development service manager took the first step on the road to a new adventure and financial security by becoming a Cafe2U franchise partner. She cites that the “feeling of being part of larger team” was a key reason for joining the growing franchise.

A BBC feature reported in March 2012 that there are 70-million cups of coffee being sold each day and 1 in 10 adults visit a coffee outlet at least once every day as this sector continues to grow despite the economic climate. Cafe2U are capturing the mobile coffee market as coffee continues to be a key part of the British lifestyle.

To enquire about joining this exciting and growing franchise, please phone 0845 6444708 or visit to request more information.

Cafe2U: Upwardly Mobile

Cafe2U, Making Money Magazine, March 2012.

Tim Shaw manages three vans over two Cafe2U territories in Berkshire and has plans for further expansion.

Cafe2U is the world’s largest mobile coffee franchise system, delivering fresh espresso coffee and great food to businesses, events and functions. Cafe2U is an associate member of the British Franchise Association and has over 50 franchises in the UK.

Franchisee Tim Shaw’s background is in customer experience transformation and, prior to starting his Cafe2U business, he had been a customer service consultant for eight years and a telecoms manager for seven years.

Sensible Option

He explains: “I knew about franchising from the obvious franchise brands on the high street such as McDonald’s and when I decided to start my own business, I didn’t quite have the confidence to go it alone completely, so franchising seemed like the sensible option. It took 9 months from initially deciding on buying a franchise to signing up and launching my Cafe2U franchise.

“Although I had worked in a bar several years ago, I didn’t really have any food service or retail experience and had never made a proper coffee in my life. I did have several years’ worth of experience helping organisations manage customer experience as a consultant, so this was more about putting my money where my mouth was. Catering or retail experience isn’t essential with this franchise, it is much more important to put yourself in the customers’ shoes and understand what they require from you – this is something that is taught throughout your training.

Tim says he had always been interested in opening a coffee shop, but loved the concept of selling quality coffee in various locations. “My customer service background really kicked in when I met the Cafe2U team and spent some time with a couple of franchise partners”, he says. “I could see how their impeccable service was another winner.

“The initial training was fantastic. I received an initial week’s worth of training as part of the Acceleration package, where I learnt the basic barista skills and how to manage the business, prior to this I had completed an online food and hygiene course organised by Cafe2U. I then worked closely with my Franchise Development Manager over the following three weeks, who pretty much camped on my doorstep and was the driving force in launching my business. I learnt so much over this period and this is what gave me the confidence to go on and manage my business successfully.

Tim adds: “The ongoing support has been very good. Cafe2U have adopted very much a collaborative approach and provide both simple operational tips to more strategic thinking to help develop my business.”

With plenty of competition on the high street, the UK’s coffee market is an established one, but this is where Cafe2U comes into its own. The company delivers its coffee to non-traditional locations via its eye-catching and ear-catching vans, which are fitted out with the latest barista-quality equipment and musical airhorns.

Business Model

“The competition from well-known café brands has not been an issue for us”, says Tim. “Firstly both the quality of our product, professionalism and service that we provide sets us apart from many established coffee businesses. Secondly, the nature of our business model (delivering coffee directly to the customer) is unique to our area.

“It’s a huge buzz to see customers’ faces when they enjoy a good cup of coffee and I have great job satisfaction but this is also a business that provides an income so that I can spend time with my family and enjoy my hobbies. The mobile system means you can focus on times of peak demand and do not have the expense of operating a shop at less busy times.’

“We are operating ahead of forecast. Since we became operational 17 months ago, we have grown to operating three vans across two territories. On a typical Monday to Friday we have 23 stops per van each day and can sell anything up to 30 cups per stop plus a variety of snacks and sandwiches during lunchtimes.”

Tim is pleased that he chose Cafe2U and that the company chose him. His advice for those looking at buying a Cafe2U franchise is: “Get experience with existing franchise partners. I visited two Cafe2U franchise partners before I signed up. It taught me a lot, and I was inspired to aim for expansion right away. Think about what your objectives are and capture these in your business plan. Define a way of measuring success so that you know how close you are to meeting your objectives. And, don’t worry, you won’t be on your own as Cafe2U will help you with this and much more along the way”

Tim’s enthusiasm for Cafe2U has rubbed off on everyone he meets: “I’m particularly pleased that I have also made an impact on other people looking to start a franchise. Amazingly, I served someone at the Caversham festival last summer who lives in the USA and he is now hoping to be one of the first franchisees to launch Cafe2U in the States!”

If you would like to know more about Cafe2U, why not call on  08456 444708 or view the video on their website

Are you buying a business or a brand? – Sally Anne Butters writes for Making Money Magazine, January 2012

A brand is so much more than just a name and logo, for many people it’s a personality, a feeling that they get whenever they come across, purchase or interact with that company, product or service. That is why a strong brand is essential for anyone buying a franchise; any new business is a risk but the comfort of knowing what you are really getting into will set aside some of those start-up nerves.

Ask your Franchisor about how they manage their brand; all franchise opportunities should have brand guidelines to help with promotional literature, point of sale displays and so on but it is important that there is at least one person at head office assigned as a Brand Guardian.

In the best businesses, you can go to any branch of the company and get the same positive experience and this is where the brand buy-in is so strong that there isn’t just one Brand Guardian but every single member of staff takes on this role. This is so comforting to a prospective franchisee that it can prompt a decision to purchase and David Baker who purchased Driver Hire Kingston couldn’t agree more:

“Driver Hire seemed to be a rock steady brand and a well-established big business and that really gave me confidence. I also liked the idea of buying a business that was already up and running and part of network of around 100 offices. Everyone in the head office team was really enthusiastic and from this point on, Driver Hire were the only franchise in the running.”

Franchising gives companies the option to build their brand on a global level. Franchises such as The Athena Network, Cafe2U and FASTSIGNS are all global leaders in their marketplace. The Athena Network launched in Singapore this year after a strong few years in the UK whilst Cafe2U’s successful 10 years in Australia and 5 years in the UK prompted a launch in the USA this Summer as Australia’s Cafe2U MD, Derek Black explains:

“Consumers have been very welcoming of the mobile Cafe2U concept with one of our new American customers quoting: It’s even better than Starbucks!”

There is no doubt that Starbucks is a hugely successful and recognisable brand across the globe so how does a mobile coffee franchise like Cafe2U compete? They set themselves apart and make themselves memorable with brand differentiators – new locations, barista qualities, and an airhorn on their van playing the tune from the Godfather!

So what should you be looking for in a franchise when it comes to buying a brand that is well-established and support you to success or a younger franchise that has the potential to develop into a strong brand?

No.1 on your list is that you must be able to 100% agree with and emanate the company’s brand and ethos and the best way that you can get a feel for this is to spend some time with other franchisees and the head office team; a great way to do this is on a discovery day if the franchisor offers these.

Brands are also built on trust and just as a business’s customers need to trust them, so must someone buying a franchise. Trust fosters loyalty and a franchisor should always be open, communicative and ready to provide the information you require; being transparent starts off a strong relationship and will bring the right franchisees into the business which means you get off to the best start with your franchise and your franchisor.

In general, consumers value brands more than they are influenced by price because of the trust they have in the quality or standard of service so you should consider what is offered by the franchise opportunities that you are looking at in terms of their products and/or services. You can easily find out what their consumers think by searching online for Facebook pages, conversations on blogs or on trade websites.

Consumers are risk-averse and, of course, franchise searchers are too! Consumers will look for recommendations from friends, work colleagues or even strangers online before engaging with a new brand and you should do the same when researching a franchise purchase. There are also experts such as MatchPoint who can help match you to a franchise brand that most suits your skills and attributes if you want a free helping hand.

Finally, it is really important that you choose a brand that is ready to innovate as the marketplace changes and new technology comes along. Not all franchises will suit internet sales but all will benefit from an online presence for communicating with potential customers. Some will naturally have new product lines constantly in development like Mac Tools and others will have occasional updates as new design software makes work processes easier like the printing process at a FASTSIGNS franchise. What is imperative is that a franchisor can demonstrate to you that they have the flexibility to adapt and the skills to innovate to keep the business fresh, the turnover growing and the brand strong.