Cafe2U – Cover Story


This article appeared in Issue 3#5 (July/August 2009) of Business Franchise Australia & New Zealand


“I never knew how to make coffee – now I’m making around 120 coffees a day!”

Cafe2U mobile van operators provide delicious quality espresso coffee and complementary food items, visiting non-traditional environments such as office buildings, commercial parks, sporting events, corporate functions and school fetes.

Established nine years ago in Sydney, Cafe2U has grown into the largest mobile coffee franchise in the world, with 135+ vans operating throughout Australia, the UK, Scotland, England, Ireland and the Channel Islands.

Franchising since 2004, Cafe2U gives individuals the opportunity to own a café without the conventional burdens of long hours, staff and expensive rentals.

The goal is for every franchisee to earn at least $500 in sales each day, as soon as possible.  To facilitate this, Cafe2U has recently introduced its Acceleration Package, which includes a four-week launch program.

Cafe2U is determined this package will have franchisees experiencing a level of sales that would otherwise have taken them three months.

The first week is ‘at home’ preparation, where each franchisee scopes their area, determining suitable clientele targets.  The second week is spent at Cafe2U’s Sydney offices, where franchisees are trained in full operations, including barista training.

Each franchisee has a Franchise Development Manager (FDM) assigned to them.  There are three FDMs on staff, all with hospitality experience, and two are former Cafe2U franchisees.  During weeks three and four, a FDM spends two weeks accompanying their allocated franchisee, helping them build their business from day one.

Dominic Calabro joined the Cafe2U family in February 2009, becoming one of the first franchisees to experience the Acceleration Package.  During the two weeks with Jarrod Kidd, his FDM, Dominic learnt how to physically canvass for work while mastering his coffee-making skills.

Cafe2UIn addition, Cafe2U offers an income guarantee for two weeks.  For daily sales under $500 during those ten working days, Dominic was handed a cheque from Cafe2U for the difference.

At 44 years, Dominic left his well-paying IBM job, after 17 years of service.  Morale was low and dissatisfied employees were either complaining or leaving.  Working through many lunch hours and driving in peak hour traffic for two+ hours a day, Dominic felt disillusioned and exhausted.

He explains, “I was a junior coach with a local soccer team, but I got to the stage where I was too tired.  I was fed up; I wouldn’t help the kids with their homework and was narky with my wife at times.  I just wanted to do something different.  I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do, but I always liked giving service.”

One day last October, Dominic was in charge at soccer when a Cafe2U van appeared.  “I approached the guy and asked him what he was doing there, because he hadn’t asked for any approval”, says Dominic.

Dominic befriended the franchisee, which led him to contact Cafe2U:  “I spoke to Alan Biddle, the General Manager, who sent me a package of information.”

He admits he shopped around, “Cafe2U seemed to have the better offering in terms of support such as the structure, the training, their reputation and great website – and they were very accessible.  I was able to speak to a real person as opposed to being sent an email – that was a big difference.  I like that personal touch.”

Dominic feels there is no doubt his business has been fast tracked:  “I sent Jarrod an email saying, if it wasn’t for your Acceleration Package, I wouldn’t have gone so far in such a short period of time.  It definitely is the right wording – Acceleration Package – it definitely gets you there.”

After six weeks on his own, Dominic’s daily sales are constantly increasing:  “I was making $400-$475 – now it’s $513, $525, $585! I’m getting around a lot faster, because I’m becoming quicker at what I do.

“I have a very stable clientele, but other people see me and ask me to pop in.  Before you know it, they like our coffee and I’m going there every second day.  Without Jarrod showing me how he does it all, I might have been struggling for a while.”

For further information on owning a Cafe2U franchise visit