Business Profiles

by The Coffee Club

last updated 22/07/2019

Same Again, Please

by The Coffee Club

last updated 22/07/2019

Top franchisees choose The Coffee Club for the second time

The Coffee Club Sarith Thong: 'Re-investing in a second franchise was an even easier decision than the first time'

Having won The Coffee Club’s Franchisee of the Year award for the second time in 2018, Sarith Thong sat down with the franchise’s co-director Brad Jacobs to set himself a new challenge. A few months later, Sarith and wife Helen acquired their second café.

‘We’ve been with The Coffee Club for five years now, and with the success of our Takanini café we were in a good position to become multi-unit operators,’ Sarith explains. ‘It’s great to be part of a brand where if you put in the hard work, people notice it.’

The couple had had an opportunity to purchase a second café in 2016, the first time they won the award. However, Sarith wanted to go into it in the best possible position and knew they weren’t yet financially or physically ready. They’ve always been sensibly cautious; before committing to The Coffee Club in the first place, they had spent months doing their homework on the franchise, the locale of the proposed Takanini site and the competition. But, this time, they were ready and had already been looking for a second outlet when the former franchisee at The Coffee Club in Manukau Supa Centa phoned Sarith personally to see if he was interested in the business. It was close to their existing Takanini café, not far from home and the timing was right.

Behind us every step of the way

The challenges Sarith and Helen faced were different second time round. ‘We know the systems and the business model very well by now, so we didn’t need the very thorough training we received when we were new-entrant café owners. Just like the first time, though, The Coffee Club has been behind us every step of the way – anything we need, they’re just a phone call away.

‘The Coffee Club has a great reputation for helping franchisees pre-select the right staff, which really paid off for us from day one. We have a great team of experienced senior staff at Takanini, which allowed us to focus on building up the new café for the first couple of months.’ Now, the couple’s time is more evenly split between the two, and they still manage to take days off.

‘Although we had owned businesses before, the main reason for us joining a franchise was to have the benefits of a well-known, reputable brand – and consistency across outlets is a big part of that. When people go to The Coffee Club, they expect good food, great service and excellent coffee, so our main priority for Manukau has been bringing it into alignment with the brand and increasing profitability by maximising efficiency and increasing customer retention. The tools are all there in The Coffee Club’s systems; you just need to use them.

‘Increasing the touch points in our customer interactions improves the service – greeting everyone who walks through the door, and table checking to ensure we’re meeting expectations. People do notice the difference.’

Looking to the future

Now that they’ve spent a few months building a good reputation for the Manukau café and things are heading in the right direction, Sarith is looking at other opportunities to maximise the potential of their franchises. ‘The Coffee Club is always thinking ahead and seeing what’s next – they’re not a static brand, and having the franchise team looking at the bigger picture gives us more time to focus on running our business.

‘As society changes, it’s important not only to keep up but to look towards the future. Statistics show that more people are starting to want us to come to them now – that’s the driving factor behind the recent boom in delivery apps. We’re excited to be testing an UberEats rollout in the Supa Centa café in the coming weeks, which will help us reach more customers and, hopefully, encourage them to come in and get the full experience.’

From one to more

The Coffee Club is constantly expanding throughout the country, with investment levels ranging from $350,000 to $400,000 depending on location and store model. Sarith and Helen aren’t the only franchisees within The Coffee Club to own more than one location; with over 50 franchisees operating 63 stores nationwide, The Coffee Club clearly provides opportunities for growth within the brand.

‘The success of our brand and reputation lies with our people,’ Brad Jacobs says. ‘We’re always looking for franchisees who have a passion for the business, and the determination to succeed in an award-winning franchise – whether or not they have industry experience. With The Coffee Club, you can become part of a successful, forward-thinking brand with huge potential for your future. If you have what it takes and want to know more, I’d love to hear from you.’

‘We want to thank Brad and the team for giving us this opportunity,’ Sarith and Helen conclude. ‘We have reaped the rewards of everything that attracted us to The Coffee Club. That made re-investing in a second franchise an even easier decision than it was the first time!’   

See this advertorial on page 53 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 28 Issue 2

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