For Esquires Coffee, the world really is its oyster. Gathered here are comments from some of the brands’ leading figures, who explain to The Franchise Magazine the reasons behind Esquires global success and why the future looks even brighter.
Esquires Coffee is rapidly expanding into international markets all around the world. The premium, organic, Fairtrade coffee houses can currently be found in 11 countries, including here in the UK and Ireland, throughout the Middle East, in China, New Zealand and Australia, as well as where the brand originated in Canada. The company’s goal is to operate at least 800 stores globally by 2020. Esquires currently operates 18 stores in the Middle East, with another seven to be opened by the end of the year. The stores are located throughout the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and in the UAE.
“The Middle East has certainly embraced coffee culture in the last few years,” says Stuart Deeks, the brands Executive Director of Business Development. “Retail continues to be the regular way for people to spend their leisure time, given that outside the air-conditioned malls and offices, temperatures regularly reach the high 40’s.”
Sheikh Khalid Al Khalifa, a member of the Bahraini royal family and Esquires Master franchise owner for the country, is about to open his fourth store in October, in the very prestigious Bahrain World Trade Centre, and looks forward to opening another six stores over the coming few years. He is thrilled with how well the Bahraini people have embraced the Fairtrade organic brand and how loyal his growing customer base has become in a very short amount of time.
Esquires is also growing quickly in China, with 16 stores already present and that number set to double by the end of 2014. Master franchisor Ellen Zhang proudly points out that by the end of March 2015 there will be 50 Esquires stores in China. Of course, Ellen is a shining example of what can be done in the ever-burgeoning company and she has every right to be very proud, having began her relationship with Esquires as the franchise owner of a single store in Auckland, New Zealand, some 10 years ago.
“The opportunities for new franchisees are as big as someone chooses them to be,” Stuart points out. “We are thrilled to work with qualified candidates on a single store right through to an entire country.”
The quick growth being experienced by the brand globally isn’t likely to slow anytime soon either. Esquires have signed letters of intent in Northern Cyprus and Indonesia, with the first Cypriot store likely to open in only a few months time. In Indonesia, Esquires has finalised terms for a master franchise agreement that will see them open a minimum of 40 stores starting early next year.
Stuart describes entering the Indonesian market as, “an exciting opportunity for a clearly differentiated brand to enter the market, while the coffee shop industry is still in its infancy there.”
Back in the UK and Ireland, Esquires Coffee currently operate 30 stores and Doug Williamson, Managing Director in the UK, says that the company is literally only scratching the surface. He is planning to double the size of the business in the UK within the next two years.
Investment in an Esquires Coffee franchise in the UK is between £150,000-£265,000, dependent on location and size. Single, multi-store and Master Licence partnerships are available throughout the UK, Ireland and globally. Single sites carry a franchise owner fee of £19,500, while multi-store investors can expect to pay a fee of £12,500 for subsequent sites.
In order to help franchise owners gain access to finance, Esquires has assisted them by introducing them to dedicated franchising partners in both HSBC and NatWest. Between them, the two banks have funded multiple franchise owners and Esquires continues to have a close working relationship with both banks. In addition, Esquires is able to assist with introductions to leasing and other finance providers, as may be appropriate.
“Esquires is proud to build relationships with the best partners in the franchising industry,” Doug states. “We work with the best finance partners and legal team, property managers and staff, to ensure that, when you make the call to franchise with us, you are assured of the very best support that the industry can deliver. It’s a turnkey solution that we provide from site selection through training and opening. We are with you every step of the way and our aim is to exceed your expectations in all regards.”
Esquires Managing Director for Ireland, Tony McVerry, points out that, in addition to great support, there is another vital ingredient in the company’s success and that is the quality of the product itself.
“Esquires customers are an incredibly loyal group,’ Tony says, ‘and that is because we stake our reputation and our growth on the quality of our Fairtrade and Organic coffee. Customers know they are going to get an amazing cup of coffee from us every time. Now, team that up with the expertise of our people and the effectiveness of our partnership model. From the friendly smile of a barista to the daily dedication of our franchise owners, it’s a recipe for success. We are a team of people with pride in ourselves and our brand.”
Tony, who previously owned the Master Franchise for Ireland and now works as the groups Irish Managing Director, points out that the business is aiming to double in size in Ireland over the coming year.
“We have very successful units already and have identified new sites for the next growth phase. Come and join us, see the stores, talk to the franchise owners and then let’s get started!”
Esquires Coffee is looking for people who share their vision. It is seeking to recruit new single store, multi-store and regional master franchise owners across the UK and Ireland. If you wish to benefit from tried and tested systems, to work with enthusiastic, entrepreneurial colleagues, to feel supported and part of a team, yet still own your own successful business, then you are what Esquires is looking for.
Esquires Coffee has 21 years of passion and success to share with new franchise owners. Esquires provide a tailor-made solution for each franchise owners’ needs, including full training, assistance with site selection and procurement, lease negotiation, store design, marketing, recruitment and staff training, as well as ongoing support. Franchise owners that are hands on, with a deep knowledge of their local market and that are willing to follow the Esquires award winning franchise concept, have an excellent chance to become leaders in the booming food and beverage retail sector.