by The Coffee Club
last updated 07/12/2023
The Power Of Belief
by The Coffee Club
last updated 07/12/2023
Sukh Singh and Steph Lang dreamed of owning a café. The Coffee Club has helped their dreams come true
For Sukh Singh and Steph Lang, opening their own outlet of The Coffee Club in North Canterbury has been a dream come true. The young couple, who first met almost six years ago, share career backgrounds in the supermarket sector. Sukh has also enjoyed some success as an amateur filmmaker.
Whenever he travelled into Christchurch, Sukh made a point of stopping at The Coffee Club. ‘It wasn’t just the excellent coffee – it was also the extensive food options that impressed me, including a menu that beats all the competition, and the ability to serve wine or beer,’ says Sukh. ‘To me, it was almost a European-style café, which is a real point of difference.’
When the opportunity to take up The Coffee Club franchise for an all-new 156-seat café arose earlier this year, Sukh and Steph were up for the challenge. They had carried out their own research, they knew the Ravenswood, Woodend and Pegasus area really well, and they understood the potential and the power of The Coffee Club brand.
And so they began. They had a lot of questions for Brad Jacobs, co-director of The Coffee Club in New Zealand. They had more questions for existing franchisees who were living the life already. They had long discussions with their families and colleagues, and they got financial assistance and helpful advice from two close friends who are now their business partners.
With a clear picture of what to expect, and confident that they would get the support they needed, Sukh and Steph were keen to get started.
Let the training begin
The couple completed four weeks of training in-store in Christchurch, plus one in Auckland where they got to meet Brad’s co-director Andy and the whole support team behind the award-winning franchise. ‘In just five weeks, Steph and I became fully trained in all aspects of the café’s operations,’ says Sukh. ‘Playing to our strengths, I focus on the kitchen and back of house areas, while Steph manages front of house.’
Trading 7 days a week from day one, the priority has been on getting a strong team totally up to speed. ‘Sales have grown steadily, with local residents quickly becoming regular customers and local tradies loving the takeaway coffee and food,’ says Sukh. ‘People are spreading the word and early morning is an especially busy period. We love it.’
High level support
For Sukh and Steph, the back-up provided by the franchise has exceeded expectations. ‘Right from our initial discussions with Brad, the whole team has been very, very supportive. And when you consider that the franchise now looks after 67 stores throughout the country, you have to take your hat off to them.
‘The Coffee Club support team was with us for two weeks when we first started out, and they worked constantly. We were amazed at just how dedicated the team is to our business. If we have an issue to deal with, they are always just a phone call away.’
Believe in your product, believe in yourself
Ask Sukh and Steph to name the key ingredient for successfully managing a café business like theirs and they’ll say it all comes back to belief.
‘It’s like any business, you have to totally believe in your product,’ says Sukh. ‘I truly believe we have superior coffee, excellent food, and customer service that is second-to-none. Our whole team not only believes in it too, but delivers it day after day, Monday to Sunday.’
Brad adds that franchisees need to believe in themselves, too. ‘Sukh and Steph had a dream, they worked to make it come true, and they put in the hard yards to learn the systems and skills they needed to succeed in this business. Yes, we provide the brand, training and ongoing support, but it’s their daily focus on creating a great business that is generating the results.’
Owning a franchise with The Coffee Club is a deeply rewarding experience, says Sukh. ‘Whether it’s the service, the coffee or the overall experience, it’s that instant and positive feedback from customers that I enjoy the most about this business. It’s very different from retail. In the hospitality sector every day is different, and that’s exciting.’
Steph agrees that it’s all about the customer. ‘It’s so rewarding to see customers enjoying themselves and relishing their meals and coffee,’ she says. ‘Having a really nice service team also makes our customers happier and life much easier.’
A bright future
Getting the right property in the right location at the right price is critical for the success of any café, and the future looks extremely positive for Sukh and Steph. Urban drift north of Christchurch will have an ongoing impact, while a planned 300-home retirement village will provide further fuel for growth.
‘If you’re considering a café franchise, check out The Coffee Club first,’ says Sukh. ‘They’re very passionate about what they do, everyone works from the same page, and they’re always quick to pass on their knowledge. They helped our dream to come true.’
Contact details for The Coffee Club
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