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How a hot drinks brand overcame its greatest challenge

How a hot drinks brand overcame its greatest challenge

Cafe2U CEO Martyn Ward explains how the mobile coffee van franchise thrived during 2020 and why he’s optimistic about the year ahead

As we sit and reflect at the start of 2021, for many it could be argued that last year was a complete write-off. And while we all saw our plans drastically change in what was an unprecedented year in business, we can now begin to tentatively turn our attention to the year ahead.

Unfortunately for some, the pandemic would have spelt the end of trading, while others battened down the hatches and focused all their efforts on surviving. However, for us at Cafe2U I’m pleased to say that not only have we survived, we’ve thrived.


By no means has it been easy, but through a combination of the resilience of our franchise model, combined with determination across the network and a proven track record of attracting new franchisees, we will look back at 2020 and say that we not only got through it, but we got through it stronger.

I’m extremely proud of our company’s response to the pandemic and the brilliant work of the wider franchise community to adapt and endure in what has historically been our biggest challenge.

Whether it was through our drive to provide focus and clarity for our employees, supporting the well-being of our franchise partners or the unique opportunities to do more for others - such as delivering more than 15,000 free cups of coffee to NHS frontline workers - I felt humbled by the grit and determination shown by everyone.

The roll-out of our new brand, followed by the launch of our new app, could have easily been a decision we postponed. But we pressed ahead in the interests of each of our franchisees, ensuring that they were not only supported throughout the pandemic, but they are well equipped for the future.


This is not to say things are all of a sudden back to normal and there won’t be further challenges ahead, but we will now face them enriched with the confidence and drive that was cemented in 2020.

This positive attitude and resolve has been something we will continue to foster and exude across the organisation - and instil in every new franchisee.

Our franchise partners will keep on providing a cautious, respectful and socially distanced service, following the same measures that have served our customers so well in 2020.

And as a business, we will continue to look for ways to grow, strengthen and innovate to support them whatever the next challenge is that we face.

At a glance Cafe2U



Number of franchised outlets:


Location of units:


Investment range:

as low as £15,000 (subject to status)

Minimum required capital:

£10,000 (subject to status)


Teresa Fowler

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