Meet the Dartford Coffee Blue barista delivering to workers on the Covid-19 frontline

March 31, 2020

Coffee Blue Franchise UK – Coffee chains may now be shut but one barista is still busy refuelling the nation’s army of key workers.

Christine Kelly, 55, is delivering food and drinks to frontline staff operating from the Acorn and White Oak business parks in Dartford and Swanley.

Working as part of the mobile franchise Coffee Blue she distributes everything from baked goods to cappuccinos.

Following the Prime Minister’s lockdown announcement on Monday she anticipated business would soon grind to a halt completely.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Instead she says she has been inundated with calls from those companies still operating with key workers to see if she is able to visit.

She said: “I got a call to see whether I was still coming around. I didn’t intend to go in until they said they were still working.

“There is a whole army behind people. I was surprised to see how many people were there.”

The majority are utility workers needed to keep gas, electricity and water operations running.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

But she says others support the work of doctors and nurses operating on the frontline, providing clinical support and other services.

The franchise had been carrying out “doorstop drops” for people in self-isolation but will now primarily be focusing on food delivery services to NHS staff and other key workers.

Christine says she will continue to work while a revenue source is available or until asked not to.

“I have to have a reason,” she adds, “I don’t want to be stopped by the police.”

The business said extra precautions were now being taken to minimise contact and maximise the health and safety of staff and customers.

Related: Coffee Blue Franchise

Franchise Manager, Martin Jones, said: “We understand the great strain our NHS workers are under. They are the ones on the front line fighting this disease.

“With long shifts and little opportunity to leave the workplace, nurses, doctors and GPs will find little time in their days to eat meals and take care of themselves.

“Whether it’s hospitals, local GP clinics or anyone under the NHS umbrella, we’d like to extend this invitation to those who need it.”

By Sean Delaney

Source: Kent Online

Triple Two Coffee agrees City Tower deal

February 20, 2020

Franchise-led brand Triple Two Coffee has agreed terms to open at Manchester’s landmark City Tower building.

The food and drink chain operates throughout the UK, with its latest venture set to be its first in the North.

It has struck a deal with Schroder Real Estate to take over 1,600 sq ft of space across the ground floor on a ten-year lease and is expected to open late February.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Rob Cosslett, investment manager at Schroders, said: “This new addition is reflecting our strategy of continuously improving the retail offer at City Tower and will be a very positive addition to Parker Street.

“This is a national, fast-growing food and drink chain which will complement and enhance the existing offering. Triple Two Coffee is set for a rapid expansion all over the UK, and we feel privileged that City Tower has been selected to be the first destination in the North.”

Related: Coffee Franchises – Find one in our Franchise Directory

Russell McGill, associate director in Savills’ Manchester retail team, which advised Schroders, added: “The retail and leisure offering at City Tower has developed significantly and the addition of Triple Two Coffee bolsters the recent deals struck with Lidl and Freshly Chopped.

“The result is a diverse tenant mix in the building which can support the needs of occupiers and really help create that vertical village feeling.”

Related: Triple Two Coffee Franchise

City Tower is owned in a joint venture between Schroder Real Estate Investment Trust, the actively managed UK REIT, Schroder UK Real Estate Fund and Immobilien Europa Direkt.

By Matthew Ord

Source: Insider Media

Wild Bean Café franchise offer ready to roll out to more independents

February 10, 2020

BP has “a strong pipeline” of independent dealers looking to adopt Wild Bean Café coffee and food to go franchises this year, according to the company.

The franchise proposition was launched last year to independent dealer partners within the BP network, and is ready to roll out further after success at an initial five sites.

Martin Tolson, dealer partner offers manager, said: “BP customers want quality coffee and food on the go. Delivering this in a consistent, convenient and fast proposition is at the heart of the Wild Bean Café offer. We know that the proposition, exclusive to BP branded sites, will give dealers a competitive advantage and encourage in-store purchases to further their business success with BP in 2020.”

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Each forecourt receives a bespoke solution, and the proposition includes equipment especially designed for limited back of house space. BP provides full on-site training prior to launch, and digital solutions to streamline and simplify production planning, task management and temperature checking.

Forecourt operator Sectorsure No 10 opened a franchise in Bradwell, Essex, last year. Managing director Andrew MacDonald said: “We have long been supporters of the Wild Bean concept. Our customers have completely embraced the concept with great coffee, superb food available the latest branding looks fantastic.”

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Wild Bean Café forecourt locations on average see over 30% of fuel customers purchase in the coffee and food to go category, with a significant proportion of these purchased in the morning and lunchtime trading periods. The offer was developed and refreshed last year to reflect these forecourt customer trends.

There are currently around 300 Wild Bean Café units across the UK, predominantly in BP-owned sites. The BP Dealer network makes up approximately 900 forecourts out of the BP UK network of over 1,200 sites.

By David Rees

Source: Convenience Store

Swindon’s first bubble tea cafe opens for business

January 17, 2020

Bebble Tea – With big franchise stores closing, more and more people are calling for independent stores – and Swindon just got a new one.

It is also the town’s first bubble tea-based cafe and offers a variety of flavours of the Taiwanese drink.

Owner and manager of Bebble Tea Merjie Casasola, said she chose to open the store on Commercial Road because she saw an opening for it in the town – even though dessert restaurant Kaspa’s sells a bubble drink.

She said: “For now, I believe there is no competitor. I realise we have Kaspa’s but I checked their business, prices and how they’re making the drink, but as far as I can see it’s nothing compared to how the original bubble tea is made.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

“I thought ‘why not try?’ It’s a gamble, to be honest.

“Right now, in town, as you can see it’s quite dead and a lot of businesses have shut down.”

The location might seem an odd choice for a new cafe, but Merjie was put off the town centre by the cost of rates and restrictive opening times.

Merjie told the Adver: “This is a good location for a variety of reasons. The car park just behind is great as well as people passing by on the road can easily see the store.

“People have said they just passed by and decided to come in, so it’s a good location.

“But it’s expensive. I didn’t really expect the monthly cost and I’m going to be having a hard time with it.

“I will see how it goes, because it’s still early and I know that summer will be booming.

“I checked the town centre and it’s so expensive and I now realise that that’s why a lot of places have shut.

“I also looked at the Brunel and it’s not bad, but they’ve got quite a restriction on the opening hours and I’d like to be able to get those extra sales.

“Everywhere closes at 5pm or 6pm but out here I can stay open until 9pm, 10pm or 11pm because the store next to me is open until 10pm, so it’s not bad. “

A big stuffed dog sits in the corner of the room. The story behind it – and the store’s name – is one that Merjie was keen to tell.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

She said: “About a year ago me and my family went to Winter Wonderland and my dad paid to play some of the games.

“He tried to play the basketball and we didn’t think he was going to win anything but he won the third basket and he won a big stuffed dog.

“My dad loves to give things nicknames and so he called him Bebble.

He’s big and we couldn’t take him on a bus so he stayed with me in my small London apartment – he’s huge.

“Then, while we were thinking of the name, I was saying that it should sound like bubble so that people will recognise it. My dad jokingly said it should be Bebble Tea and it stuck.”

What does bubble tea taste like?

With the opening of Swindon’s first bubble tea cafe, Adver reporter Connor Mountford went to Commercial Road to give the new beverage a try…

At first I was overwhelmed by the choice of options. There was everything from Nutella to watermelon, I was recommended the Thai milk of the taro, a root vegetable, but instead I went for vanilla.

The drink was made in pretty good time and I quickly had the finished product in my hand.

I had never had a bubble tea before and so I didn’t really know what to expect.

Overall it mainly tasted like a vanilla milkshake except with some tapioca balls at the bottom. Those were a surprise and had a very odd texture. Either way, I would highly recommend it.

I had to head back to the office, so I had my drink in a plastic cup. Owner Merjie Casasola says that while she knows they aren’t the best for the environment a lot of customers ask for one to show off the colours created by the various drinks.

But every cup does come with a bamboo straw instead of a plastic one.

By Connor Mountford

Source: Swindon Advertiser

World-famous Tim Hortons coffee and donut chain plans new Co Armagh drive-thru

January 4, 2020

World-famous coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons has set its sights on opening a new drive-thru in Portadown, Armagh I can exclusively reveal.

The development – which would create 10 new jobs if approved – has been earmarked for a site across from the Meadows Shopping Centre, adjacent to the Meadows Retail Park.

The SK Group – the parent company for the Canadian brand within the UK – has submitted proposals to Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council.

The company argues it would be a major boost to the general locale, where the McDonalds restaurant was renovated just over a year ago, and the addition of The Range to the Meadows shopping centre itself has helped to provide a new lease of life in the area.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

Now Northern Ireland’s fourth opening under the Tim Hortons franchise – and the first outside the greater Belfast area – could shortly become a reality if planners serve up approval.

And according to a submission accompanying planning papers, the chain hopes to open around 25 more units across Northern Ireland within the next two years.

Tim Hortons – named after the Canadian hockey legend – is renowned worldwide for its coffee, freshly baked goods – including an extensive range of home-made donuts – sandwiches, wraps and other such fayre.

The plan in Portadown is for a drive-thru café.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

The 2,400 sq ft cafe would be boosted with the inclusion of an outdoor seating area and in excess of 60 car parking spaces.

The application also includes a height limiter, order point kiosk, landscaping, access, parking provision, together with lighting and ancillary site works.

The site – an existing car park – is bounded to the east by Meadow Lane and to the north by Sandy Row.

According to papers submitted with the proposals, 10 jobs would be created, with hundreds of customers expected on a daily basis.

Pre-application discussions have already taken place with planners when, according to a supporting statement, the “principle of development was agreed”.

According to the statement: “The proposal seeks to confirm and add to the lively and attractive environment of the primary retail core by creating a choice of food outlets for customers.

“As Tim Horton’s are a successful global chain and are a recent addition to Northern Ireland, the drive-thru coffee shop will attract and encourage visitors to the area.”

It says it will offer a service “similar in nature to the adjacent McDonalds” and will “complement the established retail uses within Meadows Retail Park to the south and Meadows Shopping Centre to the east of the site”.

To date, one objection has been received from Playtime NI Ltd, trading as Peter Pan’s Neverland, within the Meadows Retail Park. It raises issues with potential congestion and car parking, saying it would reduce the “legitimate car parking on the site to an unacceptable level”.

It also argues that it would result in an “overhang at the entrance” and “increase the hazards to both pedestrians and road users” at what it says is an “already busy junction”. It suggests alternative sites at the Lidl on the Armagh Road and at the Marlborough Retail Park.

The detailed submission will now be considered by planners during the determining process.

Tim Horton’s opened its first outlet in the Canadian province of Ontario back in 1964. Twenty years later it opened in the United States and today the brand now employs thousands of workers in over 2,000 outlets.

It is only two years since the iconic brand arrived in the UK with a slow and gradual process leading to a handful of openings. Tim Horton’s now has three in Northern Ireland – in Belfast City Centre, Connswater and Glengormley, with another approved for Coleraine – and this newest earmarked for Portadown.

The application will now be considered by ABC Council and will be publicly advertised this week, with a decision expected within the next few months.

By Micheal McKenna

Source: Armaghi

Popular bubble tea chain Chatime caught ‘intentionally underpaying’ more than 150 workers across 19 outlets

December 20, 2019

Popular bubble tea chain Chatime allegedly underpaid its workers by almost $170,000 with the boss ‘intentionally choosing’ a business model of underpayment.

The Fair Work Ombudsman filed legal action against the tea franchise and managing director Chen ‘Charlley’ Zhao of paying 152 workers as little as $7.59 per hour at 10 outlets in Sydney and nine in Melbourne.

Zhao allegedly knew staff were underpaid dating back to 2013, The Australian Financial Review reported.

He was accused of having a ‘partial compliance’ business model with an award at less than a third of the cost.

Court documents showed former CFO Lawrence Chen told Mr Zhao and Chatime co-founder Iris Qian about the differences between what the business were paying staff and what they were entitled to.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

It was alleged the business was giving staff cash payments as low as $9.42 at the time when the minimum hourly wage was $17.96 for permanent employees.

He told Zhao the company’s payments were illegal and said paying legal wages and including a uniform allowance and leave entitlements would cost the company $854,862 annually.

Mr Chen also allegedly gave an alternate proposal called ‘costing model B’ where employees were given hourly rates and a uniform allowance with no leave entitlements, penalty rates or overtime.

Mr Chen said costing model B was ‘partial compliance’.

The model was implemented in 2014.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Court documents revealed 42 underpaid workers were aged below 21 and 95 were were visa holders.

Fair Work Ombudsman Sandra Parker said improving compliance among franchises and franchisors is a priority.

‘In the fast food, restaurant and cafe sector where many vulnerable workers are employed, we will continue to take enforcement action when we find breaches of workplace laws.’

The Fair Work Ombudsman recovered a total of $731,648 in unpaid wages for 780 workers after a national investigation into emerging fast food, restaurant and cafe franchises.

Fair Work Inspectors audited franchises that have recently commenced operations in Australia – Chatime, GongCha, Hot Star Chicken, PappaRich, Sushi Izu, Nene Chicken and The Sushi 79.

Six of the seven emerging franchises were founded overseas – five in Asia and one in the USA.


Source: Daily Mail

Tim Hortons announces Cumbernauld opening date

December 6, 2019

Canadian café and cake shop chain, Tim Hortons, will be opening the doors to its new drive thru restaurant in Cumbernauld Retail Park next Tuesday (December 10) at noon.

There will be an early Christmas present for Tim Hortons fans too, the first 100 customers at the new restaurant will receive a free lunch combo meal to celebrate the opening.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

The lucky, early-bird customers can treat themselves to a Tims Crispy Chicken Sandwich, or any Grilled Wrap, with a portion of potato wedges and a small drink all free of charge.

In addition to this festive treat, the very first person in the queue for the restaurant, and the queue for the drive thru, will receive a VIP card entitling them to two free drinks every day for a year.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Kevin Hydes, chief commercial officer of the Tim Hortons franchise in the UK, said: “We’re delighted to have secured a fantastic location in Cumbernauld for our new drive thru restaurant.

“We’re very much looking forward to becoming part of the local community and serving their food and drink needs.”

Source: Cumbernauld News

Costa Coffee Announces Appointment of New CEO

November 27, 2019

Costa Coffee announced today that Dominic Paul will step down as CEO of the company effective Nov. 30. He will be succeeded Dec. 2 by Jill McDonald, an experienced business leader who has worked in senior roles across several industries, including retailing and airlines.

Paul has led Costa through a strong growth phase, along with the sale of Costa to The Coca-Cola Company, the complex separation from Whitbread and the development of Costa’s new growth strategy.

“Dominic led a significant reshaping of Costa’s international footprint, the expansion of the brand across multiple new platforms and a wide-ranging reset of the core UK business strategy,” said Jennifer Mann, president of Global Ventures for The Coca-Cola Company, parent of Costa.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

McDonald will report to Mann. “I am excited to welcome Jill to the Costa family,” Mann said. “Her track record, depth of international experience and excitement about joining our business makes her an ideal leader to build on the great work of Dominic and the rest of the Costa team.”

Most recently, McDonald was managing director of clothing and home for Marks & Spencer. Prior to being named to that role, she served as CEO of Halfords Group, a UK retailer of bikes, car parts, leisure products and a chain of garages. McDonald worked at Halfords from 2015 to 2017.

She held three roles with McDonald’s Corp. from 2006 to 2015, ultimately serving as UK CEO and division president, North Europe. From 1990 to 2006, McDonald worked for British Airways, ascending through a series of positions of greater responsibility, eventually serving as global head of marketing.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

McDonald started her career as a graduate trainee at Colgate-Palmolive in 1987.

She currently serves on the board of InterContinental Hotels Group. McDonald is a native of the UK and a graduate of the University of Brighton.

“I have long been a fan of Costa and have watched the company grow in the UK and far beyond,” McDonald said. “I look forward to joining the Costa leadership team and building on the great foundation and growth potential in the business.”

Paul will remain with Costa as a special advisor through February 2020, supporting the transition.

About Costa Coffee

Founded in London by Italian brothers Sergio and Bruno Costa in 1971, Costa Coffee operates over 2,600+ coffee shops in the UK and more than 1,300+ in 31 international markets and are proud to be the UK’s favourite coffee shop, having been awarded “Best Branded Coffee Shop Chain in the UK and Ireland” by Allegra Strategies for nine years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018).

Related: Costa Coffee Franchise

Making a positive contribution to the communities we are part of is extremely important to us, both here in the UK and across the world. That’s why we established The Costa Foundation, a registered charity with the aim of improving the life chances of children in coffee growing communities by helping them access a safe, quality education. So far, the Costa Foundation has funded over 80 school projects and changed the lives of more than 75,000 children. We also have a UK-wide Community Programme, which enables our teams to volunteer their time to good causes locally and to invite community groups to make use of our welcoming space in store.

In 2011 Costa Coffee purchased Coffee Nation rebranding it to Costa Express. Today, Costa Express operates over 9,000+ coffee bars in nine international markets and proudly serves the same famous Mocha Italia blend found in stores, combined with fresh milk to create a delicious and warming cup of coffee on the go.

Source: Franchising

Costa makes fresh investment to boost transaction speed and cut queues

November 18, 2019

A revolutionary kiosk that works to increase transaction speed while simultaneously reducing wait times for customers is being rolled out by Costa Coffee.

The solution from EPOS specialist WRS Systems, in conjunction with partners Oxhoo and Datasym, is designed to meet the needs of busy office workers and travellers that want minimum interaction with cashiers.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

The first of the new kiosks has already gone into Costa’s Lewisham branch, with subsequent trial stores in and around London also implementing the new technology.

Currently, there are eight stores in the trial programme, typically with smaller shop fronts such as seen at railway stations and strategic shopping locations.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

WRS Systems has been working with Costa since 2011 when it completed its first installation for franchisee P2M in Cheam, Surrey. Since then it has installed systems across the UK and Ireland to all 947 current franchise estates.

The company now serves as the chain’s sole EPOS provider and supports more than 3,600 terminals across its store network.

Related: Costa Coffee Franchise

Emma Wilson, business development manager at WRS Systems, said: “Providing innovative, reliable and secure EPOS solutions for our clients is at the heart of all that we do. Oxhoo is our principle hardware partner and for good reason. Like us, they offer cutting edge innovation and a philosophy of collaboration at every stage in POS solution development; from design to service, delivery and support. These are all key requirements for our clients across hospitality and retail, and essential in delivering this revolutionary new kiosk for Costa Coffee.”


Source: Foodservice Equipment Journal

40 jobs to be created at Newtownabbey Tim Hortons

October 24, 2019

Tim Hortons, the Canadian coffee chain, has announced it will open a new drive thru restaurant at 261-263 Antrim Road, Glengormley, later this year.

The Glengormley location will be the third Tim Hortons restaurant to open in Northern Ireland and the first outside of Belfast city centre.

The two restaurants in Belfast, one in Fountain Street and a 24-hour drive thru at Connswater opened in 2018.

The new restaurant will create 40 jobs, a combination of full-time and part-time opportunities. The roles will be a mix of shift managers, who hold the teams together, motivate everyone and lead by example and team members who will make guests feel welcome and serve the famous coffee and donuts the brand is known for.

Related: Coffee Franchise UK – Should You Invest in a Coffee or Coffee Shop Franchise?

The restaurant is seeking outgoing applicants who are warm, welcoming and caring to join the team ahead of the upcoming opening.

More details can be found on the Tim Hortons UK website.

The Tim Hortons brand was founded by its namesake, a top professional ice hockey player, who wanted to create a space where everyone would feel at home. Fast forward to 2019, more than 5.3 million Canadians – approximately 15 per cent of the population – visit the cafés daily.

Related: Coffee Franchises – Search Franchise Reviews Directory

Kevin Hydes, Chief Finance and Commercial Officer of the Tim Hortons franchise in the UK said: “When we opened our two Belfast restaurants last year, we were completely blown away by the excitement and the wonderful welcome from the local community.

“We are now thrilled to be opening our second drive thru site and can’t wait to open our doors.”


Source: Newtownabbey Times