Budget chain easyCoffee aims to open 200 stores in two years

EasyCoffee is aiming to disrupt the coffee shop market in the next two years by opening 200 stores selling hot drinks at £1 a cup.

Brand director Nick Paterson-Jones described the franchise company as the “new kids on the block” who would “challenge everyone on price”. Greggs and Starbucks will be key rivals of the business, which is backed by easyJet founder Sir Stelios Haji-Ioannou.

Launched in the UK in January, easyCoffee currently has three sites - two in London and one in Southend - but has been receiving interest from potential franchisees across the UK, particularly in Northern Ireland.

“Ideally we want to open sites in big shopping centres and travel hubs, places where there is a lot of footfall,” Paterson-Jones told British Baker. “The ideal store size would be 500 to 1,000sq ft, with limited seating.”

EasyCoffee aims to undercut rivals by selling cups of Lavazza coffee or tea for £1, with a 16oz cup at £1.60.

Its food range is priced more in line with competitors, with a bacon, egg and cheese bap at £2.40; porridge at £1.95; smoothies at £2.80; and a cheese and ham toastie at £3.20.

The company is expected to grow organically from its London base in the next year but may offer regional master franchises across the UK, covering areas such as Bristol or Manchester, Paterson-Jones said.

New easyCoffee sites in locations including in Croydon, Uxbridge, Wembley, High Wycombe, Slough and Brighton are to open in the next six months.

Plans are also in hand to launch vending machines for offices, shops, stations and airports.

Paterson-Jones said the business had looked at acquiring existing chains to fuel its expansion.

It would possibly go down the acquisition route in the future, but was not proactively doing anything on that front at the moment, he said.

Currently the company is supplied by wholesalers including Brakes and JJ Food Service, he added.

The easyCoffee chain is a partnership between Sir Stelios’ easyGroup and businessman Nathan Lowry, who has licensed the global ‘easy’ brand.

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