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“Customers don’t just want a coffee, they want a bit of chat, a bit of a gossip, and they want to be listened to”

“Customers don’t just want a coffee, they want a bit of chat, a bit of a gossip, and they want to be listened to”

Having been a store manager at Mcdonald’s for 20 years, Paul knows efficient service and high standards are essential to succeed as a Cafe2U franchisee

There is a great sense of accomplishment that comes from running your business. Especially when your venture helps customers kickstart their day with a cup of coffee.

Paul, who is a Cafe2U franchisee, knows first-hand the importance of the job.

“Customers don’t just want a coffee, they want a bit of chat, a bit of a gossip, and they want to be listened to, said Paul. “So while I am making their coffee and serving their breakfast, I am listening to their views on the football, the weather, tales of what they did the evening before and what they did at the weekend!”

The hustle

Paul admits he is not an early bird, but that doesn’t prevent him from running a successful coffee business. Having received his sandwich delivery at home by 8.00 am on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, he is usually at his first stop by 8.30 am.

“Before my first stop, I organise the sandwiches, set the displays and check my coffee pour times, as well as made myself a coffee,” shared Paul about his morning routine. “I have also turned on all the machinery before arrival so that it is hot and ready to serve on arrival.  I will complete 50 stops by the time I have done the last one at 4.15 pm.”

The essential balance

Offering a quick service while maintaining the excellent quality of a product is a skill hard to master. But Paul remembers that customers value great coffee and don’t mind waiting for it.

“I came from a background where efficient service and high standards are paramount – I was a store manager of Mcdonald’s for 20 years,” he said. “Nevertheless, serving a cappuccino or latte quick enough for people not to complain seemed near on impossible before I started the Cafe2U franchise, and even at the end of training it still seemed daunting, but I soon get quicker and confident without losing the important Cafe2U quality.”

Paul is busy serving coffee throughout the whole day, with the slot from 8.45 am until 11 am being mainly about the hot drinks – coffee, chocolate and tea – with some snacks, too.

He added: “All the rounds are a little different and lunch for me tends to peak around 12.15 pm, and then switches back to drinks and snacks again for the afternoon, up until my last stop at 4.15 pm.  I prefer this type of day – starting a bit later than most in the morning, and working through until 4.15 pm.”

Taking great care

Apart from offering great service, Paul also boasts very low waste levels.

“I take great care with my orders, altering it through the week, and pick the ranges that sell best, as well as rotating my stock in the fridge carefully,” he said. “I have found you cannot totally avoid wastage of sandwiches, but I am careful with ordering, rotation, and regularly run special prices on nearly out-of-date items, you can minimise it.”

Spreading the word

Another aspect that is ‘vital’ to Paul’s business is local marketing.

“I make sure I always chat to my customers looking for referrals, or introductions for daily stops or event business,” he explained. “This is not expensive, or time-consuming because it is direct marketing and people who trust my Cafe2U service.”

Paul also wants to make sure he can maximise his profitability and retain his customers while finding ways to build the business further on every level. 

“Selling a product which results in customers saying ‘Wow that is a great cup of coffee’ is a fantastic feeling which I never tire of, especially when you are your own boss and in charge of your working day at the same time,” Paul added. “I thoroughly enjoy being able to attend events, which I enjoy and am able to make money at the same time, especially when my wife Melanie and son Harry come along to help.”

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