Coffee with character

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Check out how Cibo Espresso is tapping into coffee trends. Inside Franchise Business: Coffee with character.

Cibo Espresso was founded in Adelaide in 2000 by four Italian friends, and was acquired in 2012 by Retail Zoo, the Boost Juice franchisor.

Franchise recruitment manager Sally Nathan says product development is a strong focus at Cibo (an Italian term for a non-pretentious person who enjoys food).

“Our team is constantly monitoring trends across the industry and looking into the viability of these, including cold drip, flavoured blends and coffee flights, just to name a few in development and trial at the moment.

“While we are always looking to push forward in the product innovation space, we are also mindful these trends need to be commercially viable and that each new product we introduce sits with the ethos of the brand.”

Apart from product innovation, the brand has its own distinguishing features. “Each of our stores have distinctive characteristics to reflect their location and the local community,” says Nathan. “You will often find old photos of the franchisee’s family on the walls of their store, as we have a strong family atmosphere across our brand.”  

GM Merissa Collins says the idea is to have the group’s stores “look like cousins, not identical twins”.

“The branding needs to be strong enough for our customers to identify our stores, yet the ambience needs to be unique in each setting, to reflect the area in which it is located.”

While Cibo does not have mapped territories, operations and leasing teams are constantly assessing emerging catchments to ensure growth is considered for the mutual beneficial of franchisees and franchisor.

As for profitability, the franchisor constantly analyses each store, seeking ways to grow profits each year. “Our operations team meets with franchisees regularly to review their profits and losses, and to identify efficiencies in-store and how these can be improved,” says Nathan.

Franchisees also benefit from buying power across the Cibo Espresso supply chain as well as its centralised marketing.

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