Knot, the pretzel and coffee concept, is looking to roast its own coffee to improve its profit margins ahead of a franchising push, MCA has learnt.

Co-founder Vincent Pierrot told MCA he was also looking at investment to open more stores, particularly shopping centres.

He said he had closed Boxpark Croydon, which had not worked out, and was now looking to capitalise on the brand’s strong coffee and differentiated food offer to consolidate the existing sites ahead of further expansion.

He said: “We opened two sites last year, and closed one, which made us lose a bit of money, so we have to reconsolidate and try and generate some money before we open any more

“This year is a bit challenging with all the headwinds and cost increases. The good thing is our sale share is growing in our locations.

“Our growth has mainly been driven by coffee, which really makes us stand out, as well as our dedicated food offer, as most coffee shops offer the same thing.”

Pierrot said getting into shopping centres had been difficult, due to the presence of American pretzel franchise, but said it remained a priority.

He said improving margins and becoming more cash generative would be a key priority before returning to expansion.

He said: “The moment I look to grow again a shopping centre will be the next destination.

“I don’t want it to all be transport hubs – it’s just what we become good at and what we got offered.

“In the future I’d like to have a strong of sites in shopping centres.”

He added: “To franchise the model, we need to make money in small locations with a low turnover.

“I want to grow the estate in and around London, focus on shopping malls, and start thinking about roasting our own coffee.

“This is an area we could save money, and I believe I’ve got the expertise in this area.

“If we start to produce coffee we would be in a situation where we would have better margins, to make it successful for franchisees and the franchisor.”

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