A day in the life of a Degani Café franchisee

By Sponsored | 31 Oct 2019 View comments

When former accountant Jolin Cui told her husband Bob she wanted to step out of the office and into a café of her own, he wasn’t surprised.

“Jolin really has a passion for cafes, coffee and people,” Bob said. “We knew she couldn’t do it alone so we started researching business franchising opportunities.”

Their research led them to Degani Cafes, born in Australia’s coffee-crazed culture hub of Melbourne. A chance visit to the inaugural Brisbane Degani Café in Calamvale piqued Bob and Jolin’s interest, and the rest they say, is history.

“When we found out the Calamvale cafe was for sale, we thought it was the perfect opportunity for our family,” Bob said. “I resigned from my job as a chef too to help manage the café because happy wife, happy life!”

A flexible future

The venture has been the perfect fit for Bob and Jolin, which he said is down to the model’s flexibility and support. The experienced chef can piece together his own unique menu, while Jolin can enjoy the freedom of being her own boss with the support of Degani’s team of hospitality experts.

“Every menu and fit out is tailored to the location,” Bob revealed. “I work with Degani to create my own menu and change it up, and to include some of my own favourite dishes. It gives me the opportunity to maximise profit and compete with other cafes in the area because we have a point of difference.”

Degani Cafe multi-unit franchisees Bob and Jolin Cui | Inside Franchise Business

Degani Cafe multi-unit franchisees Bob and Jolin Cui | Inside Franchise Business

It’s the secret sauce that has allowed all Degani franchisees to make a meaningful start to their business. By tailoring the iconic Melbourne café culture to fit seamlessly into the local community, owners really feel like the business is their own.

The ‘no cookie-cutter’ approach sees franchisees work alongside the Degani design and operations team to create unique café and menu concepts, much like Bob and Jolin’s bustling Calamvale cafe.

The thriving hub is now a haven for families, students and young professionals all eager to get their caffeine fix, but it isn’t the only venture the Cuis have on the go. After the success of their Calamvale cafe, the husband and wife team decided to open a second Degani Café in inner-city Coorparoo.

Step inside and you’ll notice that while the Coorparoo cafe looks and feels completely different to their original Degani café, the two booming businesses share the same passion for great coffee, food and service.

Bob admits that while running two cafes can be a challenge, if there is one thing he and wife Jolin have worked out over five years in franchising, it’s teamwork.

“The biggest challenge that I face is not being able to be everywhere at once,” Bob said. “I have to split my time across my two businesses but Jolin and I work as a team to manage, so we are able to split our responsibilities.”

So, with two Degani cafés under his belt, what does an average day look like for multi-unit franchisee Bob?

A day in the life

“Busy!” he joked. “I work in the kitchen as the head chef, managing the team in back of house and I usually split my weeks evenly between both cafes.”

With Bob playing to his strengths in the kitchen, it leaves Jolin to man the customer-facing and management roles.

“She is great at team leading and people management, and admin from her accounting days,” Bob said. “When we’re not busy in the café, we work on our marketing – including social media, reviews and taking pictures.”

Degani Café support

The Cuis are a perfect example of the modern-day entrepreneur. The husband and wife team, along with Degani head office are always trying to bring new and exciting ideas to life in their businesses, even installing a craft beer tap to meet customer demand.

But despite the pair’s entrepreneurial spirit, Bob admits a guiding hand is still a welcomed addition. He works closely with his dedicated business development manager Laura to ensure that every idea, no matter how wacky has the full support of the Degani Café team.

“I pretty much run every idea past her, and likewise, she brings a lot of ideas to the table,” Bob said. “She is always there to be relied on and will even help us on the coffee machine or in the kitchen when we get busy.”
It’s precisely this focus on local communities and customer relationships from all members of the team that has made the Degani Café business a household name across Australia.

With over 60 locations nationwide, the café franchise has built a reputation for helping inspired entrepreneurs like Bob and Jolin get into business for themselves. If you are ready to take the plunge and join a leader in the Aussie coffee culture, visit franchisebusiness.com.au/brands/degani-cafe/ and make an enquiry.

Like Bob, it could end up being a ticket to your dream career.

“I love the flexibility of being my own boss and working hard for something that’s mine,” he said. “We’re a big part of the community, we’re the meeting place. Even my 3-year-old son gets his daily babyccino fix!”