On Saturday February 5th, Cafe2U took its show on the road to hold its annual conference at the fabulous Horwood House Hotel, Milton Keynes.
The day’s activity began at 10.45am with the popular supplier showcase. Franchisees had the chance to talk to their key supply partners about current ranges and sample lots of exciting new products coming soon. As usual, the conversation flowed and discussions were extremely valuable as franchisees met new and old friends, swapping stories, business ideas and taking in the fantastic atmosphere. One key talking point was the brand new Cafe2U van on display, which allowed delegates to appreciate some of the recent merchandising and POS enhancements now available.
The conference was officially opened by managing director, Tom Acland, who gave an overview of the current UK coffee landscape, whilst illustrating some new trends coming its way.
Invited along as a supplier guest, Bewleys’ Scott Rogers, explained how and why global coffee pricing and economic factors gave the UK price of coffee a hard time in 2016. His colleague, Fiona Power, then introduced their new ‘Impulse’ range and explained how it will help franchisees ensure their range is even more attractive to customers, as well as it now being delivered in Bewleys vans and not by couriers.
Will Vernon, Cafe2U operations director, reminded the audience of the importance of focusing on coffee sales in the business. He underlined how it produces loyalty, habit and profit with no wastage, whilst reinforcing that quality and excellent presentation must be maintained, especially as consumers become more discerning and understand what’s good or bad coffee. This is the cornerstone of the success of Cafe2U, which recently launched it 85th van and something that it stresses all staff should keep front of mind.
The conference then recognised those franchisees who have recorded exceptional sales improvements and results, with badges and trophies being awarded to franchisees on stage by Will, who commented on the remarkable sales levels across the Cafe2U estate, and the individual achievements of the franchisees.
The conference continued with some superbly interactive roundtable discussions and franchisee interviews. Six franchisees volunteered to be interviewed on stage and explain how they run their businesses, overcome certain challenges and plan for and evaluate success. The roundtable discussions were again a very loud and interactive affair, with an enormous number of ideas shared and best practice taken back into Cafe2U businesses throughout the country. Each year, delegates’ feedback proves that the sharing of knowledge and best practice is the most valuable part of the day and worth the investment alone.
Celia Delaney, the keynote speaker, concluded the day’s conference by explaining her ‘5 Point Sales Process’ in an entertaining and informative way, which certainly gave a reminder of the key steps in making sales, and inspired people to put these into practice straight away.
Evening Awards Dinner
The Cafe2U awards dinner is always an exciting and fun affair and with this year’s ‘Aussie BBQ’ theme, it was no different. The room was a sea of cork hats, inflatable kangaroos and green and gold outfits, with even Kylie and Jason making an appearance, and the drinks reception, sponsored by Beyond The Bean, certainly got the evening off on the right foot.
Cafe2U has a very high standard of business owners, which means the awards are always tightly contested. This year the following walked away with the prizes:
- Cafe2U Supplier of the Year – Bewleys
- Cafe2U Lifestyle Award – Peter and Kirsty Boyce (Cafe2U Norwich East) won this inaugural award (sponsored by Moreland Insurance)
- New Business Launch of the Year – Mustafa Dol for the launch in Stevenage
- Highest Sales of the Year – Richard Martin (Solent)
- Supreme Bean of the Year – Tony Keilty (Milton Keynes) and John Jennings (Lincoln West) (Sponsored by Franchise Finance)
- Barista of the Year – Paolo Basta (Park Royal) and Jay Huang (Basingstoke) (Sponsored by Bell Trucks – Mercedes)
- Outstanding Achievement – Antonio Petrosino and Angela Bakun (Cafe2U Croydon & Merton) (Sponsored by Moreland Insurance)
- Franchise Partner of the Year – Richard Bool (Chippenham) (Sponsored by Bewleys)
Glorious food, great wine and plenty of beer combined perfectly with excellent company and a fun-filled atmosphere to ensure a truly enjoyable evening was had by all…with a good many carrying on into the small hours of the morning!