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SEATTLE (Blue MauMau) - After announcing on Tuesday that Seattle's Best Coffee will begin selling franchise opportunities in the United States, Marie Gill, director of franchising for Seattle's Best Coffee, answers questions about why the chain wants to franchise again and how much it will cost.
There is something of a shakeout that is happening as coffee shops disappear and prices for a premium cup of joe slides south. Seattle's Best Coffee's parent company, Starbucks, has announced that it will close some thousand shops and lay off thousands of employees. In the midst of this coffee war, Seattle's Best Coffee announces it will begin selling franchises.
[BMM] What will franchising solve for Seattle's Best Coffee and why franchise now during the credit crunch?
[Gill] Seattle’s Best Coffee has had a franchising program in place for many years, and this model has historically been proven relevant for the brand. Currently, there are 12 franchisees with 36 cafes. After nearly four years of successful development through a national licensing program, allowing for building a strong foundation of operational and marketing support, the decision was made to expand the franchising program to grow the brand.
According to the International Franchising Association, franchising tends to thrive during challenging economic times. Now is actually a good time to consider a franchise business for several reasons:
[BMM] What is Seattle's Best Coffee's franchise goal? How many, by when and where?
[Gill] We do not share specific plans; however we look forward to growing the Seattle’s Best Coffee brand through franchising nationwide.
[BMM] What is the expected start-up investment, expectations of net worth for the buyer and any other fees?
[Gill] The total investment necessary to begin operation of a single Seattle’s Best Coffee cafe ranges from $298,000 to $481,500. The total investment necessary to begin operation of a single Seattle’s Best Coffee kiosk ranges from $191,000 to $521,500. This includes $60,500 to $70,500 that must be paid to Seattle’s Best Coffee.
The royalty is 7% and the store fees are $30,000 each.
[BMM] What sort of profile is SBC looking for in café buyers — area developers, single unit, anyone?
[Gill] Seattle’s Best Coffee is offering franchises to qualified and select applicants, using a pre-defined set of criteria and focusing on multi-unit franchisees with a proven track record of success. The ideal candidate will have experience in the Food and Beverage industry, franchising, and be well-established in the community in which they wish to develop.