The UK coffee industry has been one of the fastest growing retail sectors over the past decade and forecasts suggest that growth will continue for many years to come. Whilst the sector took a hit during the pandemic, it also presented an opportunity for forward-thinking retailers to innovate, drive their business forward and compete more effectively with the big coffee shop brands.
Bru Coffee & Gelato, established in Leicester in 2014 and now with six stores across the UK, is a shining example of an up-and-coming coffee brand that has big ambitions and big plans for growth over the next few years. Innovations that they have introduced over the past 18 months include, a successful delivery service, the relaunch of a mobile app with one of the most generous loyalty schemes on the market, as well as product and packaging developments tailored towards changing consumer habits and trends.
Bru has recently been attending and exhibiting at various franchise shows. Franchise Director, Aftab Gaffar said:
“Bru is a new wave in coffee shop culture serving the multi-billion-pound food and coffee market through an ever-expanding range of drinks and tasty treats to satisfy a multitude of customer cravings within a fun and quirky setting.
“We firmly believe that we offer the right combination of ingredients that customers are craving and this has led to an influx of business-savvy individuals coming to us to find out how they can become a part of our coffee shop revolution.
“One franchisee that recently came on board committed to six new franchises, without ever having worked with us before, which I think is testament to the strength of the Bru brand and it’s potential. We’ve also had lots of other new franchise enquiries come in recently and we’re excited to take some of these forward over the coming months.
“Coffee holds a really important place in people’s lives, and this is a trend set to continue. During lockdown we offered customers new ways to get their coffee fix, which were really popular. People are continuing to fulfil their coffee cravings, whether that be to take away or as an opportunity to gather and meet friends. Sales since reopening have been strong and we’re confident that they will continue to grow.”
A trend highlighted in the Allegra Project Café UK Report (2021) was that customers have become a lot more educated in coffee and are more likely to customise their drinks. This is where an organisation like Bru can really excel. With a more personal and community feel, backed up by the utilisation of new technologies, plus an internal manufacturing facility, they can easily spot and respond to emerging consumer trends and evolving taste buds.
As part of their expansion strategy, Bru have been working with Runo Group Ltd, who match businesses with suitable franchise partners and help them to develop and expand their business networks.
Andy Hulbert, Director from Runo Group says that he was immediately impressed by Bru’s values and commercial potential:
“Coffee is already a proven and sustainable business to invest in but Bru’s exciting interiors and eccentric personality really add an extra layer of interest, taking the investment opportunity to the next level.
“I was particularly impressed by the diversity of Bru’s customer base. They appeal to a wide demographic including families, students and professionals which is another important factor that will help investors to maximise their return on investment. The initial response to the franchise has been extremely positive and we’re excited to work with Bru to develop these partnerships in a mutually beneficial way for all involved.”
Aftab says that now is a great time to invest in a Bru franchise:
“Bru’s franchise packages offer the unique opportunity to run a coffee shop that has an independent feel whilst also benefiting from the proven support and backing of the Bru franchise.
“From the moment you take up a Bru franchise, we combine our operational expertise with your local knowledge to bring your Bru to life. From feasibility studies and business planning, to serving your first coffee on opening day and beyond.
“Bru was created by a team fuelled by passion…and coffee! Our team at Bru HQ will provide continued support including menu development based on new and seasonal ingredients and Bru’s data and customer feedback.
“Our manufacturing and logistics infrastructure, which includes just in time ordering, ensures minimal stock holding and wastage whilst getting your Bru products and ingredients from kitchen to plate with no compromise on quality.
“In addition, Bru also regularly invests in cutting-edge technology, software and systems, helping our stores to remain a destination of choice both online and offline. Our in-house marketing team also provides comprehensive support to let your city know they have a Bru. From pre-store launch campaigns, opening days, new menu launches to dedicated social marketing campaigns and digital marketing.”
Bru is currently looking for franchise partners to help deliver their mission and share in the future success of the brand. Find out more about joining Bru’s journey to evolve coffee shop culture for generations to come.