Total Coffee Solutions from Coffee Planet

Coffee Planet embarked on its journey in 2005, when the local coffee landscape in the UAE was very different from what you see now. It is now a multi-national success story, not only through its own brand but via roasting private label coffee for top companies across the globe. They are also strongly committed to the coffee industry as a whole. Moreover, they work closely with farmers from over 20 countries across the most renowned coffee-growing regions to source the best of the best. In this interview, we hear more about this fast-growing brand from Scott Treasaden – Brand Operations Manager, Coffee Planet.

1. How did you enter the franchise business?

After initially entering the UAE market with the first freshly-ground specialty-grade 100% Arabica vending coffee solution, back in 2005, Coffee Planet built on its immediate success in convenience stores by expanding into 5 star hotels, offices, catering companies and airlines. Thereafter, in 2009, we extended into franchising stores in Dubai – and shortly after – into Pakistan. With numbers growing in the UAE, the brand will soon see further new developments in the UK, Egypt and KSA.

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

Whilst there was plenty of competition on the High Streets around the World, offering blends of average-grade robusta and arabica beans, there remained the opportunity to bring a growing brand of specialty-grade 100% Arabica coffee to consumers. With coffee-roasting first introduced on the Arabian Peninsula over 500 years ago, it seemed exactly the right place to build our business, taking in the rich heritage of the local surroundings and incorporating them into our themes for stores and flavours.

3. What inspired the brand name?

Truly the ambition and mission to bring our rich 100% Arabica specialty-grade coffee to the global masses.

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

Clean lines, impactful and classic in colour usage.

5. What makes your brand different from your competitors?

Our premium-grade coffees are a taste experience like no other – rich aromas, complex taste profiles and a soothing finish. We source the World’s finest coffee beans direct from farmers in over 20 countries and roast them to perfection in our roastery in the UAE. We are the largest coffee roaster in the Middle East – doubling our capacity in 2019 with investment to our process – and now capable of producing 200 tons of specialty coffee per month.

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

Fundamentally, we are looking to partner with individuals who share our vision and passion for great coffee and next-level customer service. Whilst experience in food and beverage is not mandatory, we are looking at operators with acute business acumen and an ability to see the potential in commercial opportunities across our trading formats of café, cart, pod and kiosk. We offer a complete turnkey solution, with an investment range of $50,000 – $250,000, dependent on size and location. Our support levels range from location approval, store design, menu engineering, promotion planning, cost and margin analysis, marketing, social media, business development and full barista and café staff training.

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

By following our business modelling and brand direction, we anticipate most investments to be returned within 2-3 years. Location will always be key – and strict adherence to the brand guidelines and standards will ensure a great chance of success.

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

Easily recognisable across continents as “the Authority on specialty coffee”. The brand will be a welcoming beacon for coffee-lovers seeking out a quality of beverage over and above the competition – a guarantee of specially-crafted 100% Arabica – married to a team of industry-leading Q Graders and passionate professionals.

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

The specialty Arabica coffee segment is the growth area in the coffee industry. Coffee remains a high growth category, with attractive margins. Coffee Planet offers a well-differentiated brand with a supremely high-quality core product. Add to the mix our expert know-how (we have 7 Q-Graders in our team. There are only 11 in the entire UAE!! These are the industry specialists recognized by the SCA to score and grade coffee), our stylishly-themed café designs and competitive fee structure and you will be hard pressed to find an investment proposition with so much temptation and opportunity.

10. What should any interested party do now to further their curiosity?

Certainly – if potential new partners are attending the international franchise shows – come and talk to our team at the Coffee Planet stand and sample a cup of our finest 100% Arabica specialty coffee. That would be a great start! We will explain our different commercial agreements – either a regional master franchise partnership – allowing territorial exclusivity to trade the brand and the ability to sub-franchise, or – single site licenses – allowing investors to build their business from a modest base, choosing to expand their interests over time, should they so wish. Contact details are above, for remote enquiries and applications. Whichever route to market blossoms from our discussions, rest assured our team of dedicated coffee professionals will be on hand all the way to help develop another chapter and partner in our growing success story.

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