Coffee#1 sees “great potential” in the UK, with opportunity to expand at the edge of its current geography, managing director Bruce Newman tells MCA.

The Nero Group-owned chain, which operates 113 sites, is eyeing the East Midlands, Home Counties, North to suburban Manchester, and potentially Cornwall for expansion.

“We have enjoyed a strong and successful growth in the post pandemic period, with all our new store openings being well received,” Newman says. “I think there is significant opportunity to expand at the edge of our current geography.”

Coffee #1 operates across Wales, the Southwest, and the Midlands. It recently opened a new site in Yate, South Gloucestershire – bringing its estate to 12 stores in the Bristol area – and will open its next in Cwmbran this week.

It recently reported like-for-like sales in three months to 31 May 2023 have reached 117% of 2019 levels.

“Clearly value is increasingly important to our customers,” Newman adds. “We feel that 30 minutes enjoying a barista-prepared drink in a spacious store is pretty appealing to our guests.”

“We’ve seen the proportion of customers adding a food item increase over the course of the summer. While the overall proportion of all sales from food has broadly held flat, our seasonal lines play a key role in adding variety to our core offer.”

Earlier this year, Coffee#1 partnered with Uber Eats to extend its presence in the delivery market. Delivery remains a modest proportion of total sales – at 1-1.5% most weeks, according to Newman – but the brand sees scope to increase this number.

“We are learning bit by bit how to get more from delivery and see plenty of scope to double the number of YOY transactions in the next 12 months. Our partnership with Uber Eats will be a key ingredient in achieving that.”

Coffee#1 is also focused on increasing its number of app users and tailoring the offer to them, while looking to trial an order at table service through the app in the long term.

The app has more than 200,000 registrations, with customer transactions made through the app exceeding 30% in a single week for the first time during May.