Food and Beverage Jan, 22 2010

Piping Hot Additions To Cafes

With the concept of gaming over a cup of coffee catching up fast with the Indian youth; franchising a coffee café with the value addition of games is a profitable business venture to look into. Let us explore how

By Ramanjit Kaur
Feature Writer
Piping Hot Additions To Cafes

With the introduction of value additions like digital games and gaming libraries the format of coffee cafes has attained a new horizon.  Coffee cafés have enabled the youth to enjoy an enhanced in-café gaming experience thereby helping the café owners to bring value to their brands and businesses. This refreshing idea has not only raised the level of cafés but has provided a new way to grow the customer base.

Coffee café franchises have been around for quite some time. Entrepreneurs have been successfully owning and operating coffee shops amid the hiss of espresso machines and the aroma of coffee. Though the idea of serving freshly brewed coffee is a great  franchise business opportunity in itself, still a value addition to this proposition can bring a lot of uniqueness to it. For instance, there are a few entrepreneurs that have come up with a wonderful idea of introducing the digital mode of entertainment to their café chains. According to Ankur Gupta, CEO, Brewberrys, “We have introduced changes in our café as per the local needs to make it work profitably in India. We have books and games for our customers to make them spend more time in the café.”  Also, Coffee N U, one of the few cafés offer many value additions like free Wi-fi and library services  and has announced to add 100 more cafés by 2010. They have their own premier gaming zone named OOVAA where they have membership schemes also.

Key players

Entrepreneurs have realised over time that coffee outlets have tremendous opportunity and have become popular hangouts for the youth. So, combining it with games and libraries has provided a new angle to the business of coffee cafés. For instance, Brewberrys and Café Coffee Day provide first hand experience of true gaming entertainment at their café chains.

Eligibility criteria for taking up the franchise

Unlike other franchising businesses, coffee café franchise is the sole franchise business that can be successfully operated in a small and limited space. But the key to make a café run profitably is its location. It must be located in a high footfall area to obtain maximum benefits. Therefore, being an aspirant for a coffee outlet, it is necessary to have a space in a high traffic area. As Shashank Jha, Founder, Coffee N U says, “The location is selected by our team looking at the floating youth population in that particular area.” Secondly, the franchisee must be financially sound to bear the overhead expenses of running the coffee outlet. Generally, a franchised coffee outlet requires an investment of Rs 18 to 20 lakh (company specific). Besides such primary requisites for a coffee franchise, a franchisee must understand the concept of the business and work accordingly As Gupta says, “The prospective franchisee must understand the concept and the business to make it run successfully. Moreover, the franchisees should be willing to work according to our standards and requirements.”

Support and services of the franchisor

As the concept is new, therefore, the franchisors provide assistance at every step to the franchisees to run the outlets effectively and efficiently. According to Jha, “Our franchising module allows the franchisee to own the store and the rest is handled by our team. The franchisee is given the induction about the company and brief working knowledge about the store. The store is 100 per cent managed by our team.”

With the rising popularity of the coffee culture and gameplexes in India, more and more coffee outlets are being opened that not just offer brewed coffee and lip smacking cuisines but also provide other entertainment options. Thus, this beverage franchise concept has undoubtedly a great future ahead.

Related: Shining opportunity in kebab biz!

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