OLDTOWN White Coffee tastefully different

Dawn Liew, OLDTOWN White Coffee

What makes OLDTOWN White Coffee tastefully different is its commitment to quality in everything they serve. Their premium quality coffee beans are roasted just like the time it was first created. Further, they adhere to diligent R&D through their many years of experience. In the below interview, Dawn Liew, General Manager – F&B Operations, OLDTOWN White Coffee tells us about the variety they have in store for every coffee lover. Moreover, they don’t stop with just coffee, they also serve a delicious variety of food items like toasts, rice and noodles. They currently export to over 18 countries. To date they operate in over 200 cafe outlets across Asia.

1.How did you enter in the franchise business?

When the original founders set up the first outlet in 2005, friends, family, and suppliers in the initial years saw a unique concept which was commercially viable, and the franchise business began with them

2.Where and how did the idea of your concept come from?

We envisioned a world where everyone could have access to Halal certified Chinese hawker-style street food in a clean, comfortable environment, equipped with Wifi for those working out of home.

3. What inspired the brand name?

Our signature product, White Coffee and our formulation began from a small neighbourhood kopitiam in the old town of Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.

oldtown white coffee logo

4. What is the story behind the brand’s logo?

It is a throwback to our origin story, and where we started. Our original white coffee formulation is traced back to a recipe invented in 1958. Our corporate brown colour represents liquid coffee, and our corporate yellow represents the sun which all plants require in order to grow.

5.What makes your brand different from your competitors?

Our white coffee is roasted to this day using a blend of 3 coffee beans, namely Arabica, Robusta, and Liberica. Up to 70% of our products served in-store in Malaysia and Singapore are produced from our central kitchen, and bakery. This ensures consistency of product quality across our chain.

6. What are the essential qualities that you look for in a franchisee?

Simplicity: Humble and transparent.
Entrepreneurship: Drive and passion for the business.
Accountability: Responsibility for actions taken.
Discipline: Driven to work the business with dedication.
Solidarity: Shared values with us as franchisor in order to ensure a sustainable business for the long term.

7. How long does it take, in an average, for your franchisee to realize their investment?

The fastest was 6 months, which is still the record to beat, and the standard average is within 36 months.

8. What was the major challenge you faced in your career, and how did you overcome it?

The global pandemic brought about by Covid-19! We are still facing it now, but we believe we will overcome it with sheer grit, innovation, perseverance, and commitment to growth and redevelopment in all areas of our new business.

8.1. What is your best achievement?

To-date, it would be reopening the brand to the possibilities of franchising in the domestic market, and licensing overseas.

9.How does your business day start?

With a cup of coffee, of course.

10. What was your best moment throughout your franchise career?

Seeing our franchise business being passed down from fathers to sons and daughters. It is a testimony to the strength of the brand and sustainability of the business model.

11. Where do you see your brand in the next 5 years?

We will be Asia Pacific’s largest Halal certified local coffee chain.

12.Any tips you want to impart to our readers who want to be in the franchise industry?

A franchise is not a guaranteed win. It is there to minimize entry risk into your industry of choice. Find a franchise that you are passionate about and don’t mind being dedicated to 24/7. Talk to people who are already in the industry, and be aware of the risks. Find a dedicated franchisor whom you believe in, and have chemistry with. Hopefully, you will be together for a very long time!

For any further franchising queries, please do not hesitate to contact us at +6016-526 6599 or email to myfranchise@oldtown.com.my

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