Drink chain has grown with BB's success

What started as a small venture into the coffee shop sector with one café in 2001 has grown into one of BB's Coffee &'Muffins' largest franchises with eight cafés open across Scotland.

Drinkchain is the company set up to own and operate BB's franchises in Scotland by Angus Macmillan and Bobby Haston, who acquired their first cafés in Kirkcaldy and Paisley from the franchisor. Their businesses include other food-related concepts in addition to BB's, but their interest in franchising stemmed from Angus Macmillan's previous career in banking where he was involved in franchising and gained sound experience of the franchising market.

'When we were looking for a franchise I was very clear about what makes a good franchisor but also what were the growing markets,' comments Angus. 'The café market particularly interested us and BB's offered an expanding business opportunity with good locations available where we were located in Scotland. They also provided clear start-up costs and financial projections, reasonable franchise fees and most importantly company-owned outlets where the concept had been seriously tried and tested.

'Becoming a franchisee of a chain does bring a number of significant benefits. At a time of scarce credit, banks are more likely to loan to a franchisee of an established franchise. They can see the business model working for themselves and so there is less of a risk. But a word of caution: franchising does not mean you negate responsibility for your business, you must be prepared to work hard, market locally, ensure that the ambiance of the store is welcoming, provide exemplary customer service and a high quality product.'

The UK coffee bar market has grown considerably over the last three years with the total market now exceeding £1.3 billion and growth forecasted at eight per cent per year (source Allegra, Project Cafe). In the last three years BB's Coffee & Muffins has doubled its number of outlets to 180 to meet this demand. A full member of the British Franchise Association, BB's currently has 11 cafes across Scotland with further opportunities now available in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.