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by Bugger Café,
last updated 22/09/2014

Bugger Café is a new franchise that wants people to enjoy a memorable retail experience

At Pipiroa, on the busy road to the Coromandel, an old, bright red tractor catches the eye. It appears to have crashed into a café sign, which is now leaning at a precarious angle. The name of the café says it all: ‘Bugger.’ Somehow, you can’t help but grin – and that’s exactly what Bugger Café is all about.

‘We want people to laugh a little, or laugh a lot,’ says Glenda Gourley who, with husband John, is the creator of Bugger Café. ‘Life is too serious sometimes, so we like to celebrate those funny moments when things go wrong and you can laugh at yourself. Lots of people have their photo taken on the tractor and when you get inside, the décor continues the theme: we have quotes on the walls, photos, screens showing epic fails, and our customers even bring in mementoes of their own ‘bugger’ moments, such as bent badminton rackets. We even have our own range of merchandise, such as umbrellas with the message ‘Bugger – it’s raining!’ It all creates a light-hearted atmosphere in which to enjoy a variety of truly excellent food.’

Good Food And Franchising

You see, there’s more to Bugger Café than an attention-grabbing name – it’s actually a very carefully-planned franchise concept designed by some very experienced people. Glenda Gourley is an award-winning food writer and TV presenter, while husband John has a long background in business, including managing big-name franchise brands such as Budget Travel. ‘Bugger Café brings together both our passions – good food and franchising,’ Glenda says.

The core belief at Bugger Café is that food should be fresh, succulent, seasonal and, wherever possible, local. On-site chefs produce everything from traditional Bugger Breakfasts and awesomely succulent Bugger Burgers to a hot flounder sandwich made from the freshest fish. Hot batches of fresh scones are brought out from the kitchen throughout the morning and at the right time of year fresh berries are used in the smoothies and shortcakes. There are also fresh salads, lentil burgers and gluten-free options to cater for all tastes and diets.

The Figures Tell The Story

Pipiroa might seem a strange place to pilot a new café franchise but there is method in the madness. ‘We have an average of over 10,000 cars a day going past our door,’ explains John. ‘We grab the attention of new people and we’re a landmark for regular travellers. They can park easily and are assured of a warm welcome and great food, so once people have visited us once, they keep coming back. We recently surveyed 100 guests and 98 said that their visit had made them laugh or feel happy. Of the returning guests, every single one had told people about their previous visit to Bugger Café. Of the new guests, 91 percent say they’ll be back (the remaining 9 percent were from overseas, or at least the South Island).’

The result is a business concept that is doing very well indeed. ‘Hospitality magazine reported in October 2013 that the average café in Auckland is grossing $457,000 per year – just under $40,000 per month,’ says John. ‘Bugger Café is doing a lot more than that from a standing start in December 2013 – and we don’t have the same overheads, either.’

Looking For The Right People

‘Now we are looking for franchisees to take the Bugger Café brand to similar high-traffic roadside locations in other parts of New Zealand,’ says John. ‘Right from the start, we documented and developed systems for every part of the Bugger franchise from signage to recipes, equipment to staff training, pricing to programs. Our thorough training covers every element involved in running a Bugger Café, and then there’s ongoing support in marketing, business management and vital areas such as product margin/cost control. By providing simple-to-understand ‘rule of thumb’ guides we break the whole process down. It means new franchisees don’t require previous café experience – just an interest in good food and coffee and the desire to build a successful business.’

The cost of setting up a Bugger Café is around $250,000-$300,000 depending on location, although John suggests franchisees will only need around $120,000 of their own money including working capital.  

Franchisees will also need to be great communicators with, as John puts it, ‘a disposition towards laughter. We want people to leave Bugger Café feeling a little, or a lot, happier than when they came in, having enjoyed great food and coffee in a relaxing, uplifting place. Bugger Café has a great atmosphere – you see families laughing together at the photos or talking about moments on the screen, and it’s the role of the franchisee and staff to make that happen.

‘Owning a small business requires lots of hard work and Bugger Café is no different, but you’ll have excellent systems to follow, lots of support and, above all, lots of fun. If that sounds like your sort of thing, then bugger – give me a call!’

This advertorial is taken from Franchise New Zealand magazine Volume 23 Issue 2

Contact details for Bugger Café

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