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“Our network’s welfare is at the centre of everything we do”

“Our network’s welfare is at the centre of everything we do”

Cafe2U’s chief concern is the happiness and well-being of its franchisees, according to the company’s Sam Parish

With Mental Health Awareness Week taking place in May, amidst a global pandemic full of worry and uncertainty, it feels like the perfect opportunity for us at Cafe2U to assess how we are able to support our franchisees and ensure we’re putting their well-being at the centre of everything we do.

As we all know, anyone can suffer from mental health - now more than ever - and the sad truth is that nobody is immune from it.

From franchisors to franchisees, employees to customers, ensuring the support is in place to help should it be required is a great place to start.

Workplace issues

A recent study by mental health charity Mind highlighted a number of issues relating to mental health in the workplace:

  • 21 per cent of respondents agreed that they had called in sick to avoid work when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
  • 14 per cent agreed that they had resigned and 42 per cent had considered resigning when asked how workplace stress had affected them.
  • 30 per cent of staff disagreed with the statement: ‘I would feel able to talk openly with my line manager if I was feeling stressed.’
  • 56 per cent of employers said they would like to do more to improve staff well-being, but don’t feel they have the right training or guidance.

Removing the strains and stresses

Franchisees, like any other business owner, can feel a plethora of strains and stresses throughout both their working and personal life. However, unlike other business owners, being a franchisee gives you the support of the franchisor and at Cafe2U we’re confident our model removes as much of these issues as possible.

The old adage of a ‘successful franchisee is a happy franchisee’ is often true. However, happiness shouldn’t just be measured by business success alone. While the two often do go hand in hand, if a franchisee is unhappy a successful business can quickly start to deteriorate.

Therefore, it is our responsibility as a franchisor to look beyond performance data and delve deeper with our franchisees on a personal, more human level. We believe our business is only as strong as the people within it and ensuring they are happy and comfortable in their day-to-day life only strengthens our success.

Regular contact

To best achieve this, we keep in regular contact with our franchisees. Whether that be through face-to-face meetings between them and their franchise development managers, visits from the wider head office team, webinars or conferences, we strongly believe that open and clear communication channels can only help franchisees feel comfortable in talking to us, while allowing us the opportunity to spot any issues before they become a problem.

This said, dealing with such personal issues as mental health and well-being is a two-way conversation. It relies on franchisees being open and receptive towards the franchisor and being comfortable to talk about their feelings and concerns.

According to a Cascade HR study, 77 per cent of people believe the support of an effective employer plays a huge part in the management of their stress levels and happiness. Also, according to the Mental Health Foundation addressing well-being at work increases productivity by as much as 12 per cent.

Making sure your franchisor-franchisee relationship is such that these conversations can happen easily and freely is something that needs to be implemented from day one of the franchise life cycle.

And coffee can help our customers too. Caffeine has been proven to have a positive effect on mental health, with women that drink two or more cups of coffee a day less likely to suffer from depression.

In a study undertaken by the BBC, women consuming two to three cups of caffeinated coffee daily had 15 per cent less risk of depression, while those consuming four cups or more daily had a 20 per cent lower risk than women consuming one cup or less a day.

Well-being survey

At Cafe2U UK, our franchisees’ happiness and wellness is paramount and in the coming months we will be sending out an independent and anonymous survey to all our franchise partners looking at their general and mental well-being - both within the franchise network and in their personal lives.

We will then use this data to further shape our ongoing franchisee engagement strategy and ensure we continue to be an inclusive franchisor, determined to set new standards for the industry as a whole.

Now more than ever, it’s important that as a business we look to minimise our franchisees’ anxieties, addressing their concerns and helping them react safely to the ever-changing landscape of legislation and regulations.

Ensuring they’re safe and comfortable in their operations will ensure they continue to offer their customers the award-winning service and coffee that has helped make Cafe2U the UK’s number one mobile coffee franchise.

At a glance Cafe2U

Established:

2004

Number of franchised outlets:

90-plus

Location of units:

nationwide

Investment range:

as low as £15,000 (subject to status)

Minimum required capital:

£10,000 (subject to status)

Contact:

Teresa Fowler

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