Mobile coffee king takes world by storm
Written on the 4 September 2008
One of the fastest growing business concepts in the nation, Australian franchise success story Café 2U has been crowned the largest mobile coffee franchise in the world. Since developing into a franchise system in 2004 from a humble one-man, one van operation on Sydney’s North Shore four years earlier, Café 2U currently has 45 franchises in NSW.
Opening multiple franchises in Queensland, the Central Coast and the ACT next, two years ago they infiltrated the ultra-competitive Melbourne coffee market. They currently have 10 franchises in Victoria and have since moved their expansion drive into Perth and South Australia
A chance meeting three years ago between franchise founder Andy Simpkin and a British expat working in Sydney opened the way for Café 2U to feed the coffee cravings of the United Kingdom.
“An Englishman named Tom Ackland approached me about taking the concept to the UK, and things progressed from there. We now have 46 franchises throughout the UK including Scotland, Northern England, Southern England, the Channel Islands and Northern Ireland.” Mr Simpkin explained.
“The next countries we have targeted are the US and South Africa.”
Since their December 2006 listing as one of the AFR Top 7 franchises in Australia, when there were 60 franchises locally and 15 in the UK, Café 2U have added another 40 franchises to their total.
Café 2U currently make over 4.5 million cups of coffee a year on average, with the figure set to be the tip of the iceberg as they continue to make big inroads overseas
When they aren’t providing “nine to fivers” a range of espresso options as well as ice blended frappes, gourmet sandwiches, salads and sweets, Café 2U service sporting fields and events around the country. Every weekend thankful parents juggling the sporting commitments of their children are accustomed to the sight of the distinctive red coffee van, saving their sanity as well as their time.
“Our mission is to take great quality espresso based beverages to non-traditional locations. So we end up going to office buildings, sporting events, corporate functions, school fetes, basically anywhere where a more traditional solution is not available,” said Mr Simpkin.
“In January we celebrated 100 franchises worldwide, but there are other frontiers to explore including right here in Australia. There are plenty of available territories out there for interested parties, and our existing franchisees have a myriad of options if they want to expand their presence.
“Most of the territories were designed to be large enough that they can divide their territory to sell or lease, or hire a manager to run that new territory. One franchisor in Queensland has three territories and has hired a manager for each one. So there is huge potential for multi-franchising in our network.”
To find out more about Cafe2U, visit www.cafe2u.com.au
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