Antonio Petrosino, Cafe2U franchise partner of Merton London, has a total of 28 years experience in the hospitality and catering industry. In his last role, he was a restaurant manager for 13 years. He had always been happy in this role and was very good at helping to run a successful business. In fact, it was only after so many customers complimented his exceptional services that he considered setting up something on his own.
He explains: “I worked all my life for other people and customers used to say to me ’you are managing your restaurant very well!’ I would have to explain to them that I was not the owner I was just there all the time and liked to look after my boss’s restaurant as though it were my own!
“I would often reflect on such remarks but did not make any big decisions until one day I felt that I was ready – or had matured enough, just like blue cheese(!) – to challenge myself to be creative, learn and manage something new.”
Antonio was first made aware of the Cafe2U brand by his partner Angela, following her own experience as a customer. He then proceeded to visit the company website and watch some videos on their YouTube channel about their franchise partners, the annual conference and how they serve their customers. He also contacted head office and spoke to Tom Acland, UK managing director.
Antonio continues: “I started doing some research online and heard about franchising. I liked that it offered a proven business model and the support of an established organisation. When I found out about Cafe2U, I was greatly attracted by the Acceleration Package, as well as the quality beverages and food that they stocked.
“After one month of decision-making, I used some savings and a loan to buy my franchise in May 2011. From there, I undertook a 4-week training course through the Cafe2U Acceleration Package and have since received fantastic on-going support and advice, along with guidance and visits from my franchise development manager.
“In my last job I was starting to feel a kind of boredom, not only earning the same wage but also doing the same tasks. With Cafe2U each day is a different one! I’ve always loved serving people but I also figured that I would spend my life working for others. One day though I just realised, why not work for myself and do what I am good at. As a result, I am now enjoying the satisfaction of supporting something that I truly believe in – offering quality products to customers and providing excellent customer service.
“For anyone who is planning to buy their first franchise, I would recommend that you consider the ethos of the company in question. Do they align with your own ambitions? Can you see yourself as part of their network? I think I’ve definitely found my ideal partnership."