In 2003 the company founders, Christian Kohlhof and Ralf Meyer, had the idea of bringing coffee bars to where people work. Focusing on big companies, they succeeded in winning many big names, including well-known car makers. Today, chicco di caffè owns and operates 110 coffee bars in companies across Germany, and the management is looking forward to increasing the number to 140 this year.
“Quality and passion are the secrets of success, the high quality of both products and services and the passion for what we do,” says Senior Manager Florian Mahnke, who joined the company in 2007 and learned the business from the bottom up. “I share the passion for coffee; our name, chicco di caffè means coffee bean. Quality starts with the coffee bean and we carefully select the best beans from plantations which fully comply with the strictest standards of quality and sustainability. We know the owners and we regularly visit the plantations.”
chicco di caffè provides the complete solution, tailored to individual requirements, from a small coffee bar just for coffee, through to a fully equipped coffee bar for coffee specialties and sweet or savoury snacks, or the big solution with freezer, fridge and stove and an assortment of dishes. They all come with full service.
The coffee, espresso or cappuccino are freshly brewed by well-trained baristas and served with an wide smile. “Coffee is more than just a beverage,” states Mr. Mahnke. “Coffee breaks reduce stress, stimulate the brain and thus creativity, and allow for informal social interactions. Breaks in a chicco di caffè coffee bar are inspiring downtimes, providing numerous benefits for the companies.”
The company generates a turnover of 18 million EUR with a staff of 350, and the management is determined to further expand the business. “We hardly need marketing activities,” says Mr. Mahnke. “95% of customers are regular customers. We will further promote the brand with the target to increase the number of bars to 300 within the next three years. The training of the staff is a major issue, so we established our own academy. Moreover, we started a coffee roasting business, which so far works exclusively for our coffee bars. In the future the roasting will be available as a service for customers with very high quality standards.”