FRANCHISOR IN DEPTH - Business Franchise Magazine July/August 2016

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Crema Espresso offers customers premium coffee, light meals and most importantly an amazing experience. The stores are designed to be a meeting place for friends and families, incorporating a bright, sophisticated and modern shop design.

The Gold Coast has proven to be a brilliant test market for the award winning franchise as the brand prepares to roll out nationally. Securing prime positions in high profile shopping centres, brand recognition and appreciation has meant new stores are opening to an existing customer base.

“We establish new outlets in major shopping centres and premium locations as store branding is a key part of our appeal. We do not want to open 100 stores; we would rather open 50 exclusive outlets where our franchisees are recording strong revenues and profits. Unlike some other systems, we want franchisee business partners, not hostages,” said Managing Director Antony Forbutt.

When it comes to recruiting new franchisees, Crema are looking for community-minded people with a lot of enthusiasm. They also need to have a sound understanding of business and understand there are risks involved but there can be rewards that come with it.

Franchisees are encouraged to participate and involve themselves in the local community through sponsorship of events such as sporting and charity efforts.

“We encourage our franchisees to get involved in the community as much as we can. For example, we supported 45 people who took part in the Gold Coast marathon, had 15 teams at the Noosa Triathlon, and recently supported MND and Me foundation by sponsoring and raising fundsand awareness for the charity bike ride from Brisbane to Sydney,” said Mr Forbutt.

Best Practice Franchising has been adopted to review and coach the performance of all franchisees. All franchisees meet with a business coach for two hours every quarter to review and assess their business performance. Each franchisee is reviewed against a rating system and areprovided benchmarks to compare their operations against other stores.

This system is proven to be beneficial in the improvement and profitability of all stores. Mystery shoppers are also utilised to provide vital feedback for franchisees. The program is used to give great insight into the customer’s experience which is crucial as Crema Espresso’s major source of new business stems from word-of-mouth.

The franchise actively encourages all employees to treat guests as ‘friends’ rather ‘customers’.

“The people who visit our stores are our friends. We don’t like using the word ‘customer’. Our stores are communal places where friends come together to meet. We operate using the mantra: it’s about the coffee and you,” said Mr Forbutt.

Customers can join the loyalty program that is free to register. Members receive a free cup of coffee and are credited with 10 per cent for every purchase. This credited cash can be used to buy any item, in any Crema Espresso store.

To further enhance performance and communication within the brand, Crema Espresso have implemented ‘Bean Me Up’, an internal intranet and communication system that connects all franchisees and employees.

It uses the cloud-based World Manager software suite that connects with every employee and provides them with online training. It allows for monitoring of employees to ensure they have completed courses such as food safety and quality control to the required levels. Store managers can see all the mystery shopper results, notices, a calendar of events, employee performance results, messages and links to social media. Managers can monitor the performance of employees any time from a phone application. The entire franchisee training program is on the intranet and all manuals and files can be accessed at any time. The training program ‘Crema Friends’ follows a simple premise: treat the people in store like you would treat your friends. The Crema Friends system has three levels. ‘Friends’ are the people in the business, ‘Neighbours’ are the other people and businesses in the shopping centre.

“We like to build a connection with our neighbours and build strong relationships with them. The third level is the Community. We believe in giving back to the community and helping the community where we can.

“We are continually looking for innovations for the way we conduct our business. We started our Crema Friends internal training program to improve customer service; we implemented the business coaching system to help our franchisees perform better and we have implemented the Bean Me Up intranet system to better improve our internal communication,” said Mr Forbutt.

With the recent launch of the digital community platform cremafriends.com.au Crema Espresso is not only your modern sophisticated local café but also a holistic communal meeting place.

It is this innovation that has seen the brand continually evolve to provide the ultimate experience for their friends.

Mr Forbutt continues, “We created and installed the Crema Kids concept, a 25sqm children’s play area installed within the café. This allows parents time to enjoy their coffee while their children play. This has proven exceptionally popular and has created opportunities that we did not expect. The success of this concept has created a lot of interest from major shopping centres, which has seen the incorporation of the concept into the last two store openings and the rapid expansion of our brand.”

CREMA ESPRESSO: A COMMUNITY OF FRIENDS

Crema Espresso is a franchise that is changing the face of the café experience and customers appreciate the personal service that a friend can offer.

Joining the Crema Espresso team gives you the opportunity to own your own business, but not just any business:

• A proven business with a simple operation;
• Flexible floor plans;
• Local support;
• Regional advertising;
• A four week training program;
• Ongoing learning for franchisees and their staff;
• Store development assistance;
• Design support;
• Lease negotiations,
• Staff guidance; and
• Much, much more.

At Crema Espresso, extensive training is in place to enable the success of your business. Your initial training will have you focused on whole store management. Then ongoing training and support will be assessed and delivered through your quarterly business reviews conducted by Crema Espresso and the consultancy firm Best Practice Franchising Pty Ltd.

Crema Espresso are looking for hands-on franchisees. If you possess motivation and great communication skills, are looking for a new challenge, not afraid of rolling up your sleeves, and enjoy being around people in a communal environment, then Crema Espresso is for you.