THE COFFEE CLUB POISED FOR OVERSEAS EXPANSION
One of Australia's fastest growing café groups is going from strength to strength with a Thai partner.
THE Coffee Club is forecasting major growth in the international franchising market with two stores already trading well in Bangkok under Asian fast-food giant and leading hotel operator Minor International. Minor bought a 50 per cent share of The Coffee Club in 2007 for more than $23 million. The acquisition was followed by the opening of The Coffee Club Turtles Village and more recently a store at the Royal Garden Plaza Pattaya - 150 kms south east of Bangkok.
Director and group chairman Emmanuel Drivas said business was brisk for the company's two Thailand stores with the outlook for 2009 strong, despite talk of a receding global economy.
‘This is the start of a major growth phase for The Coffee Club which could see many franchises developed throughout Asia and the West," Mr Drivas said. "Minor has offices in Dubai and China and if things go well for them in Thailand, which they currently are, I wouldn't be surprised if they take on the master franchise for those regions as well. If this happens, the company's international growth will escalate substantially.'
‘The Coffee Club entered the New Zealand market in November 2005 and within fours years we have grown from zero stores to 25; we're likely to do the same in Asia. Obviously we need to make sure we have the foundations right in these first few stores before moving forward.'
The Coffee Club's food and coffee menu remains the same in Thailand as it does in Australia with the exception of a couple of Asian-influenced dishes. Mr Drivas said solid business for Thailand's first two Coffee Clubs was a result of The Coffee Club's strengthening brand in the overseas market and the fact that more travellers were heading to Asia because of cheaper travel options. ‘This is coupled with the fact that the Asian market is very accepting of western products and brands.'
Mr Drivas added that The Coffee Club was still experiencing growth despite the downturn. ‘In the last quarter, we achieved 3.2 per cent growth so it is clear that our organisation is defying global financial trends. By mobilising our marketing resources and motivating franchisees to drive sales at a local level, business confidence and positivity has increased.'
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