On Saturday February 3rd, Cafe2U took its show on the road to hold its biggest annual conference to date at the stunning Coombe Abbey, Warwickshire.
The tone for the event was immediately set as three franchise partners, affectionately known as the ‘Gang of Three’, jumped on stage and welcomed us to this year’s conference – an ‘Event with a Difference’.
The Gang of Three, who posed challenging and thought provoking questions throughout the day, then introduced guest speaker, Mark Rhodes, who kept the audience entertained and interested during his numerous pieces on stage. Mark used his wealth of experience in running and maximising successful businesses, plus his considerable public speaking expertise, offering the audience insight, hints and tips to positively impact their Cafe2U operations.
Cafe2U UK Managing Director Tom Acland, then took the audience through an overview of the day and discussed the reasons why this year’s event was such a break from the norm of Cafe2U conference over the years. His presentation was underlined by the phrase ‘if you stand still, you go backwards’, illustrating why Cafe2U is consistently adapting and evolving to maximise its success.
As a supplier guest, Bewley’s David Jameson took to the stage to discuss the importance of sourcing different components to the coffee blend, the key role the farm and the farmer play, the inspection process pre-roast, what the roast does and how the beans reach Cafe2U baristas in optimum condition.
A number of practical workshops and breakout sessions, designed to share best-practice, then took place, before Will Vernon, Cafe2U operations manager, spoke to underline the important role franchise partners play at the customer-facing end of the supply chain. Will went on to discuss the importance of brand standards and how quality products plus quality service will result in a successful business.
Martyn Ward then recognised those franchisees who have reached goals set 12 months ago, reinforcing the importance of goal setting. He then introduced Richard Martin to the stage to discuss his achievements in regularly selling more than 250 cups a day and David Dodds who has quickly turned a low performing round into a profitable one.
After another breakout of practical workshops focusing on social media and event planning, four awards were presented:
● Highest Grossing Single Event – Cafe2U Reading West
● Most Improved Franchise Partner Performance – Cafe2U Westbury & Warminster
● Most Productive Franchise Partners – Cafe2U Norwich East
● Top Launch of the Year – Cafe2U Heathrow
Social media guru Sam Parish then came onstage to outline the business’ social media strategy for 2018 and highlight the successes of the past 12 months and how franchise partners can utilise it to maximise their sales.
Mark and Tom then rounded the fascinating day off with speeches reinforcing how mindset changes, goal setting and revisiting of standards and skills can collectively move the business on to a whole new level of success. The day was completed by the all-action Barista of the Year live competition, with audience members gathering round to get a close view of the action.
Evening Awards Dinner
The Cafe2U awards dinner is always an exciting and fun affair and with this year’s ‘Medieval’ theme, it was no different – perfectly fitting into Coombe Hall’s imposing surroundings. The room was a sea of jesters, knights and fair maidens.
Cafe2U has a very high standard of business owners, which means the awards are always a tightly contested affair. This year the following walked away with the prizes:
● Supreme Bean of the Year – Matt Hunt – Cafe2U Stevenage & Alfred Andrade – Cafe2U Heathrow
● Barista of the Year – Paolo Basta – Cafe2U Park Royal
● Highest Sales of the Year – Richard & Natalie Martin – Cafe2U Solent
● Outstanding Achievement – Ian Ballantyne – Cafe2U Chelmsford
● Franchise Partner of the Year – Tony Keilty & Carol Pezzella – Cafe2U Milton Keynes
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.