11 questions about a mobile coffee franchise: The Coffee Guy

By Sarah Stowe | 22 Jun 2016 View comments

Franchisees in The Coffee Guy network work from a customised vanIf you're thinking of buying a mobile coffee franchise, find out here how The Coffee Guy is approaching the business.

1. What’s the biggest challenge operating a mobile coffee business?

A benefit rather than a challenge for The Coffee Guy, is that its mobile platform removes the cost and complexity of running a traditional cafŽ due to its static nature and low cost start-up. In any new business there is fear of the unknown, however The Coffee Guy overcomes these concerns through intensive training and business development programs which significantly reduce these fears for franchisee.

2. What are the operating costs and time considerations for a mobile coffee business?

Business hours are generally Monday to Friday and work on the weekends is usually limited to the morning, however remains at the discretion of the owner.

Being one of Australia’s newest and most exciting mobile coffee franchises that delivers high quality coffee daily to customers, the biggest benefit for business owners is the exceptionally low start-up cost. The cost considerations are limited to vehicle costs (rego, service, insurance and fuel), franchise fees (marketing and advertising), loan repayments and stock control.

3. How easy is it to extend the business beyond the initial territory?

Franchisees within the business are nominated a territory that they must trade in. If they choose to extend business outside of their territory or attend additional events, this is acceptable on the premise that they are not within another van’s territory.

For each franchisee a unique territory is mapped out using scientific technology to identify a suitable customer base and allow for success on their coffee run.

4. What’s more important, the quality of the coffee, the speed of service or the breadth of the menu?

Each van is customised and fitted with the finest Italian espresso hardware finished in sleek stainless steel, to produce the best coffee. Within such a high demand market with plenty of choice and knowledge by customers, the quality and convenience of coffee is critical.

Speed plays an important part as no one likes to wait too long for their coffee. The Coffee Guy overcomes this barrier as all vans are customisable, designed and built to maximise efficiency.

5. How can technology improve business operations in the mobile coffee model?

The van itself offsets low emissions and offers better fuel efficiency, it utilises an alternative gas power source to alleviate unnecessary start-up and running costs and also contains a GPS tracking system to improve the route.

The Coffee Guy vans are constantly evolving to adapt to the industry and new technologies and to stand apart from the competitive market.

From an operational perspective, technology has improved efficiencies through allowing customers to pre-order their daily brew via an app which has an inbuilt GPS notifier so that customers know when the vehicle is on route to their destination.

6. What are the main elements of business operation that can be taught in the initial training, and what can only be learnt on the job?

Each new franchisee receives extensive training in the initial phase of learning the business. The in-depth program focuses on teaching quality barista skills, the know-how of customers, how to manage financials, control stock and how to confidently operate the equipment in making both hot and cold beverages to an exceptional standard.

Every customer has a certain expectation to meet, therefore adjusting to the clientele base and challenges out in the field can only be learnt on the job and by experience. This includes any traffic issues and parking logistics, which is something the franchisee must overcome during their daily run.

7. What attributes do you need to be a successful mobile coffee franchisee?

The majority of franchisees in The Coffee Guy business have come from completely unrelated fields which is what provides that little bit of flair to their own business. The main attributes are a love of coffee, enthusiasm, passion and personality which encapsulates the essence of The Coffee Guy.

8. How can you handle competition from other brands as a mobile franchisee?

Australia is one of the biggest mobile coffee van markets and The Coffee Guy fills the unfulfilled niche. There is plenty of business within the stature of this industry to cater for competitors alike and in order.

For a franchise partner to successfully reach their business potential, a minimum of 25-35 stops a day is desired and achievable.

Most of our territories contain around 3,000 businesses as identified by our mapping technology, therefore franchise partners are able to identify the key, target business within the territory. By approaching the right customers and securing quality over quantity, The Coffee Guy is able to capture regular business and reign their part of the market.

9. How are mobile territories created? 

The Coffee Guy’s territories are mapped out using comprehensive, state-of-the-art, mapping technologies which concentrate on certain commercial and industrial areas with a concentration of staff within a specific radius. The territory is mapped out to allow the franchise partner to potentially run up to two vans successfully in the catchment area and also allows for potential competition.

Being one of newest and lowest cost entry point operators in the Australian market, there are plenty of territories available to be franchised in QLD, NSW, WA, VIC and the ACT.

10. How important is product development and innovation in the mobile coffee landscape?

Very important, as coffee is an ever changing and evolving business that relies on market trends and taste to be successful. At The Coffee Guy, we always aim to keep up with the latest market trends, coffee quality and flavour by introducing new product lines and menu innovations as well as alternative coffee brewing methods.

11. How do you promote a mobile coffee business?

Every franchisee contributes to a marketing fund that is used to run marketing and advertising initiatives such as newspaper, radio, direct mail and outdoor advertising within relatable areas in order to build new clientele and create brand awareness.

The business also relies on word-of-mouth and face-to-face interactions by the franchise partners, as self-generated advocacy is the greatest indicator that there is a strong degree of satisfaction amongst this type of business system.

The vans are also encouraged to attend several community based events within their areas, whereby the vehicles generate brand recognition to potential customers and spark interest through various print materials which they can hand out to stimulate new business.

Have you got an appetite for a mobile coffee franchise? Find out more about The Coffee Guy.