Business Profiles

by The Coffee Club

last updated 31/03/2022

Come Out On Top

by The Coffee Club

last updated 31/03/2022

Franchisees explain why The Coffee Club works for them in all sorts of ways

Sarith Thong, Westpac Supreme Franchisee of the Year 2019

Sarith Thong defines success in business as achieving goals, being profitable and having a high staff retention rate. ‘Having a great team is a sign that you’re doing a good job. Take care of your team and they take care of your customers and business.’

Sarith and his wife Helen know all about success. Their Takanini outlet of The Coffee Club won them the Westpac Supreme Franchisee of the Year title in 2019 and, despite all the trials of Covid, their second at Manukau Supa Centa was recognised as a finalist in the 2021 Awards.

‘Awards aren’t just about us, though,’ Sarith points out. ‘They belong to everyone with us and behind us, from our staff who serve the customers every day to The Coffee Club’s franchise team who guide and support us. We couldn’t do it without all of them.’

2021 Retail & Hospitality Franchise System of the Year - Westpac New Zealand Franchise Awards

And the Awards judges agreed – The Coffee Club was named 2021 Retail & Hospitality Franchise System of the Year, a title it has won five times before along with two Supreme titles. The Coffee Club’s franchisees have won numerous Awards over the years, too. 

Using systems to make a difference

Talking about his two cafés, Sarith explains, ‘We took on the second once our first was already performing well and we were ready to grow. Manukau was an existing café with a lot of potential but needed some fresh energy. We brought what we’d learned in Takanini, and focused on applying the systems and staff training to change old habits. Customers really started to notice the difference and the results followed.

‘The Coffee Club at the Supa Centa is now steadily doing $10,000 more in weekly sales than when we first took over – it just shows what you can achieve with The Coffee Club’s excellent training and systems, which are clear, easy to follow and very effective. You quickly see why the company has won so many Awards: the tools are there to lead you to success, and the brand adapts and changes with the market.’

While the last couple of years have been hard for everyone in hospitality, Sarith says that although there have been restrictions, they have been keeping staff and customers happy. ‘Consistency and service are key – we had the chance to prove ourselves to the community before Covid hit, and whenever we’ve had to close for lockdowns our customers are always eager to come back to us.’

A business that grows with you

The Coffee Club was brought to New Zealand in 2005 by co-directors Brad Jacobs and Andy Lucas and has since grown to become a household name here with 65 cafés across the country. ‘Sarith and Helen are one of a number of multi-site franchisees now, proving that the business is designed to grow with you,’ says Andy.

‘We’re always on the lookout for the right people to work with. We are proud that many of our franchisees have been with us eight or nine years, like Sarith and Helen, or even longer. That’s proof of the business’ longevity and the team culture we have built.’

Sarith agrees. ‘Having a good brand and a great team supporting all the franchisees has been key, especially since Covid. At the start of 2020, nobody really knew what a lockdown was or what to expect, but the support team was in constant communication with us and listened too, and we all figured it out together.

‘Every time Covid flared up after that first lockdown, they presented us with options and step-by-step guidance for making decisions like whether to open for takeaways in level three. We already knew the  value of a supportive franchise in everyday operations and marketing, but this was another level of support through crisis. It proves what a great investment we made that we’re still seeing the benefits years down the track.

‘We’re all looking forward to getting back to a bit more normal this year, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished despite the challenges.’

 Could it be you?

The Coffee Club has opportunities throughout the country for franchisees looking for a fresh start and potential to grow. ‘We already have a number of key growth areas identified, and if you want to look at another area then we know what to look for to get you off to the right start,’ says Andy. ‘With the option of two different store models to suit the market, location and individual franchisee, the opportunities are endless. Investment in your own café starts from $400,000.

‘We’re looking for people who are passionate about our vision and our culture of good food, great service and excellent coffee. Right now, we know a lot of people are searching for a change of pace or a different lifestyle in a different region. Well, owning your own business could be the change you’re looking for – and The Coffee Club can provide you with the tools you need to succeed.

‘Who knows? One day, it could  be your name on one of  those Awards!’   

See this advertorial on page 36 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 31 Issue 1

Contact details for The Coffee Club

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