The Kings of Java
A team of three Greek-Australian entrepreneurs are behind the success story of the franchise, The Coffee Club. John Lazarou shared their story with Neos Kosmos English Edition.
From inception up until the setting-up process, how did you start your business?
The vision of The Coffee Club, as it is today, was that of my two partners and founding Directors; Emmanuel Drivas and Emmanuel Kokoris.
I joined their original team as a store manger at the first store, which still exists at The Eagle Street Pier in Brisbane CBD.
After opening a further six stores as a manager I joined the Emmanuels as a partner and the rest is The Coffee Club History.
Today our brand is an iconic household name and The Coffee Club is one of Australia’s fastest growing and well recognised cafe groups.
Has your Greek-Australian background played any role in your business?
Both the Emmanuels are from Peloponissos and I am from Rhodos, so yes I believe our Greek background and culture has helped.
Greeks ‘do’ hospitality and they do it well!
I like to treat every one of our customers as though they’re walking into my own home. And that’s how we try to educate our team at The Coffee Club.
How is business currently?
The Coffee Club is still experiencing growth despite the economic downturn, and our franchisees alike are optimistic about the future.
In the last quarter, we achieved significant growth so it is clear that our organisation and in fact our industry is defying the global trend.
By mobilising our marketing resources and motivating franchisees to drive sales at a local level, business confidence and positivity has increased and franchisees are now trusting that we, as a franchise, can overcome the challenges of this so-called recession.
As the ‘R’ word nears and squeezes household spending, The Coffee Club is continuing to prosper with our customers seeing our signature blend as a necessary, well-priced luxury.
Consequently, The Coffee Club is serving over 40 million cups of coffee a year and is still the preferred venue for millions of coffee drinkers throughout the Asia Pacific region.
Our customers perceive us as affordable and value for money.
What would you say stands out as the comparative advantage of your business over the competition?
At The Coffee Club, we’re not just about serving you a cup of coffee or a meal, we aim to make each visit a pleasurable experience.
Whether you’re staying for breakfast, lunch, dinner or simply ordering coffee and cake, our team is sure to impress you!
We’re all about the ‘whole experience’ and of course good food, great service and excellent coffee is always there!
What is your vision for the future of your business?
With more than 230 outlets throughout Australia, 26 in New Zealand and stores now in Thailand, The Coffee Club is forecasting major growth ahead, especially in the overseas franchising market.
I have great expectations for our business; I simply don’t have any set time lines for these expectations to come to fruition.
Do you have any tips for young entrepreneurs who want to invest in the hospitality industry?
Good ethics in business and positive business acumen are the only tools required for what I believe is the recipe for success; that, and a commitment to excellence, a thirst for knowledge and a passion for your chosen profession.
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