Leading multi-unit, multi-brand franchise business, Scoffs Group, has ambitious growth plans, and its current trajectory proves nothing is impossible

Scoffs Group is a business that we know well, in the franchise world, even if the name is unfamiliar to the consumer. The company proudly operates one of the UK’s favorites, Costa Coffee, and has recently partnered with Burger King, Taco Bell, and Miss Millie’s. Being one of the world’s leading franchise operators requires a finely tuned operation in order to offer best-in-class service, experience and a delicious array of food and beverages.

Chief Executive Officer, Antony Tagliamonti, established the group in 2012 by purchasing three Costa Coffee stores in Essex and East London. He topped this off with a further five in Norfolk and Suffolk in 2013, and by 2018, the group had expanded to 31 stores across these regions.

Now, with a number of new store openings, including additional drive-thrus, Scoffs Group (Scoffs) boasts over 113 Costa stores nationwide as well as growth partnerships with Burger King, Miss Millie’s, and Taco Bell. “We are making good on our growth aspirations,” begins Paul Turner, Chief Operating Officer. “We entered into franchise partnership agreements with like-minded growth partners who share our values, including multi-site deals for stores across the UK, and we are very excited about these developments.”

He continues to share that being the largest franchise partner of Costa Coffee is not an easy feat. Paul used to work for Costa Coffee and holds a long-standing career in the hospitality and retail industry. “When I joined Scoffs, I understood the values of Costa because I lived and breathed them for seven years. Scoffs’ goal wasn’t to simply replicate Costa’s values, it has its own set. At Scoffs, we strive to embed our own culture and values of UNITY (United by Excellence, Natural Passion, Integrity, Teamwork and Your Community Matters) within all our new and existing brands,” he shares.

Paul believes Scoffs has been successful because it actively seeks businesses with aligned values. Furthermore, he believes that support is filtered down from the top across each brand to provide reassurance for the team. “From the entire management board through to the leadership team; we’ve built robust values, and one of the reasons I joined Scoffs was because of those values and how people look after each other.”

As a result, longevity has become a by-product of the business’ values, and Paul is grateful to lead a team that is committed to the brands it operates. “That comes down to how they are treated, which is what fuels our growth. Our brand partners, like Costa, have commented on how we look after our people, which then drives further growth because it achieves consistency and stability, and people are not just doing it to get paid, they are doing it because they love what they do.”

Scoffs has also been formally recognised with “Leading winning teams”, scoring the highest in this category across all other franchise partners.

Dream Beans

One of the ways in which Scoffs encourages support and camaraderie is through brand-specific initiatives. One in particular is Dream Beans, which is applied to all the brands. “Of course, we tailor the name depending on the brand, but it started with Costa. Everyone in the business can earn Dream Beans, from the baristas to the store managers, as well as sales colleagues in the other brands through to the managers. These are points awarded based on the quarterly performance of their site or remit, and if you hit the KPIs, the beans are paid out and converted to a cash equivalent.”

Dream Beans isn’t the only initiative that the company introduced to help support its team. “We were conscious about the rising cost of living that would be tough on everyone. To mitigate the impact as much as we could, we enhanced our bonus scheme for our store teams and field leadership operators for the golden quarter of Christmas 2022. We added 50 percent to whatever they achieved, which was a massive bonus for those who hit their KPIs. In the run up to Christmas, we provided lunch for anyone who was on shift, so they didn’t have to worry about bringing their own lunch or using the usual 50% off food benefit which all store teams receive. We have also undertaken a group wide pay review in early 2023 which went live in April. This will support our team members in store and our colleagues across the group,” Paul expresses.

Finally, Scoffs is making waves to improve its trainee scheme in an attempt to mitigate the labor shortage currently hitting the hospitality industry. “We partner with Yuzu Training and support hundreds of people through our training apprenticeship programs.” The group has partnered with Yuzu Training for over ten years, and, during that time, over 2000 learners have completed their apprenticeships through the company. Currently, Scoffs has approximately 80 learners completing their Level 2 and Level 3 programs in hospitality. “We offer 21 different programs, from apprenticeships to short courses, and we are very proud of this achievement. We believe this offering sets us apart from similar sized businesses in our industry adding further career and development opportunities for our employees.”

Yuzu Training became the first training provider in the country to gain the top OFSTED grade following the pandemic. It is one of the only training providers in the country that works with just one employer: Scoffs. In fact, the business was named in the Yuzu OFSTED report, which is a rarity as an employer’s name doesn’t usually feature. However, according to Paul, the inspectors felt it warranted it due to the exceptional relationship in place. “We have put a number of people through the partnership with Yuzu Training for apprentices that are still with the business today; a clear sign that we are dedicated to our people.”

Lasting partnerships

Looking to the future, Paul highlights that he is excited about the growth potential still in store for Scoffs. “Our aspiration is to have more than doubled in size in terms of locations. In five years’ time, we want to be north of 400 stores across multiple brands. We are having many discussions with brands that have the potential to be exceptionally successful, and when we get them off the ground, we will be the UK’s leading multi-brand franchise business. We aspire to have the capacity to own and operate our own brands as well. We have the talent in the business, and the will and the drive to get there,” he says.

To conclude, Paul reflects on the journey of Scoffs, and the pride he has for the exceptional team keeping the business progressing. “Not only have we grown our talent in terms of our leadership team, but we are also building lasting partnerships to expand our network. For example, we now partner with external partners such as RAB Retail Limited, who manage our landlord and tenant matters including new site finding and acquisitions to fuel our growth plan. With our disruptive growth plans, the foundations we’ve built, and the investments we’ve made, there is no stopping our capabilities,” he concludes.