Coffee Republic has signed an agreement that will allow the company to develop branded operations within Family Entertainment Centres (FECs) across the UK.
The coffee house’s new chief executive Steven Bartlett – who joined last month following the forced departure of co-founder Bobby Hashemi – inked the deal last night with FEC veterans Danny Perkins and Heath Samples.
Perkins owns and runs PMT, a leisure consultancy business and machine distribution company which deals with all the amusement parks and FECs around the UK and is the exclusive distributor in the UK for two leading suppliers of video machines.
Samples owns and runs Hot Games, a design and distribution company for gaming machines, with offices in the UK, Spain and Poland.
The pair, both shareholders in Coffee Republic, formed a new company CR Direct for the purpose of implementing the agreement.
Speaking to Caterer this morning, Bartlett said the FEC market is largely untapped.
“It is a huge market,” he said. “There are 3,000 FECs in the UK and while there will be certain ones that are not acceptable for our brand – the kiss-me-quick type places – there is a lot of potential there.”
Coffee Republic has appointed Claire Christie as the project manager in charge of the FEC rollout.
Bartlett, who has been tasked by the Coffee Republic board to roll out its franchise model faster and look for new ventures, said deal was the first of many that are in the pipeline in the coming weeks.
By Daniel Thomas
E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.