Failure to understand the UK market and adapt Mugg & Bean’s business model to local conditions contributed to the brand exiting after j ust 30 months.
Filmalter says that the biggest mistake was to use a “South African solution in a UK environment. It didn’t work. It was a hard lesson to learn.”
The Mugg & Bean in Bromley, Kent, however, was successful, but due to poor research (shopping centre trading hours and patterns), it could not be sustained. “The second location in Birmingham was a full-blown disaster with the market not understanding the café element of the business at all. We packed up after 30 months,” he says.
The group is planning a different approach in the US, where it has been conducting research for three years, by partnering with an existing brand. FilmaltFilmalter says that he is involvinvolving the millennial gengeneration in the US rr eesearch . “Even wwhen it comes to technology solutions and marketing, I involve the millennial gener– aation to develop ssolutions for their pepeer group. I went to visvisit the Starbucks heahead office and had to have a nap thereafter because I was so overstimulated by the amount of creativity and energy in that building generated by the young people. This is how they stay relevant.” Visit www. finweek. com for franchise advice from FNB’s Morné Cronje.