Cafe2U started as a small business in Sydney and grew into a franchise spanning four countries. The company offers mobile cafés in vans and has steadily increased its business over the past 15 years it has been in operation. With the growth of coffee culture in Australia and internationally, Cafe2U offers café-quality beverages that have proven to be popular anywhere from sporting events to school fêtes. The CEO Magazine spoke to Cafe2U’s General Manager John Stanton about growing a franchise business, leadership, and the company’s plans for the future.

The CEO Magazine: What was your professional background prior to becoming general manager of Cafe2U?

John: I previously worked in the automotive industry, mainly in sales and sales management roles, until I moved to Cafe2U five years ago. I was originally a franchise sales consultant and then progressed to a franchise recruitment manager and on to general manager in early 2015.

During your past roles with Cafe2U, what were some key things that you learned?

Working on the recruitment model for Cafe2U has allowed me to get to know the franchise partners very well. I’ve met with the majority of franchisees. I’ve sat across from them at their kitchen tables, and I’ve got to know them on a personal level. This has allowed me to achieve a good understanding of what their expectations for their businesses are.

Getting to know the franchise partners on a personal level lets me ensure that we are all on the same path and all heading in the one direction.

When you first came into the GM role, what was your initial strategy and what key areas did you focus on?

I intended to make the switch as seamless as possible for the staff and the franchise partners. When there’s a change at the top, it amounts to a bit of uncertainty for everyone, so it was just about reassuring both the corporate team and the franchise partners that it was business as usual. As Cafe2U is an extremely successful company, our main focus was to continue on this trend by receiving great results.