Café’s raw vision to ride coastal wave

From a funky café in Coolum to one of the most popular healthy-eating chains along the southeast Queensland coastline, Raw Energy has come a long way since bursting onto the scene 12 years ago.  The business, which attracted appeal among beach-goers with its fresh menu choices, has announced a boost to business health with plans to go from six cafes to 30 in the next five years.

With an annual turnover of $6,300,000 million across its current Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast operations, Raw Energy managing director Matt Hope said the company would take its healthy offering to major regional hubs in Queensland and New South Wales and establish smaller Raw2Go stores to reach their 2020 growth target. 

“We’ve got some pretty significant business goals but we’re confident we have the right strategy to achieve them, he said.

“Firstly, we will continue our focus on expansion in coastal locations across the eastern seaboard because they fit perfectly with the Raw Energy brand and philosophy but we’ve earmarked a number of regional and inland areas with plenty of market potential also.

"We’re actually opening our first regional franchise in Toowoomba in December and our first Brisbane café will open early next year. 

“All new cafés will also display a revitalised brand experience, with our new fit-outs evoking an organic and fresh feel that will be very competitive in the market.

Mr Hope said the time was right for expansion as the healthy fast food movement was very strong.

“Over the past five years the popularity and custom at our cafes has grown significantly and while in the past I put our success down to fitting a coastal way of life, I now see that it is actually in line with a greater market shift towards healthier eating and living. I am now confident regional and metro city areas will also embrace the concept.

Mr Hope said innovating the model and releasing fresh menu items would also be significant factors in the brand’s future success. 

“After the success of our first Raw2Go concept store in Mooloolaba we’ll also be expanding through this lower-cost franchise model in areas where there is strong demand for a healthy take-away offering, such as in Cairns.

Raw Energy currently has six franchises in Mooloolaba, Peregian, Coolum, Cotton Tree, Coolangatta and Noosaville.  As part of the expansion plans, the company will be targeting Cairns, Townsville, Rockhampton, Gladstone, Byron Bay, Port Macquarie, Manly and Bondi.  

Mr Hope, who is no stranger to franchising as Master Franchisee of G.J. Gardner Homes NSW / ACT business and the Total Fitouts franchise, said international expansion was also on the cards for Raw Energy. 

“We’re actively recruiting master franchisee to help us grow the brand domestically, which is where our current focus is, but we believe the franchise offering also has plenty of potential in overseas markets like New Zealand, United States of America and Canada.”

Further information about Raw Energy can be found at www.rawenergy.com.au.