Why Buy?

It takes a number of crucial factors, all working together, to create a successful café. When you go into business with Robert Harris Café you'll get the full benefit of our proven systems and national brand awareness.

Read below for what you can expect from your franchise package.


1. A powerful brand

The Robert Harris Café name acts as a powerful magnet, drawing customers in from the street. In fact, recent research showed the Robert Harris Café brand had the highest unprompted brand recall amongst cafe brands in NZ - higher than Starbucks, Columbus, Coffee Club or McCafe*. This high level of brand awareness translates into strong performance at the till. In the year to ending March 2017, our cafes attracted 3.7 million customers through the door and sold approximately 3.1 million cups of coffee. 

* Research conducted by Colmar Brunton, July 2017.  Sample: Café coffee drinkers; (n=691)


2. Industry leader

Having pioneered the café industry in New Zealand, Robert Harris Café continues to lead the field. We work closely with the "Service IQ" to define and support the highest standards of training. Our support staff are all qualified baristas and assessors, who in turn train all Robert Harris Café owners and key staff to qualified barista level.


3. Superb systems

The key to success for any franchise is the way it maximises performance in every aspect of its operation. This is where you will enjoy a unique advantage with Robert Harris Café. As a franchisee, you can draw on documented systems for all the key areas of your operation - Food Production, Customer Service and Back Office.


4. Focus on profits

Our relationship with franchisees is a win-win partnership. One of the ways we help you meet your profit goals is by negotiating key National Supply Deals. Each Robert Harris Café enjoys the advantage of discounts that are simply not achievable for their competitors.

The result is a boost to your gross profitability, so you can build a successful business without excessive working hours.


5. Support, support, support

Even before your café opens, you'll receive the valuable input of our Franchise Support Team. Design and fit-out are supervised by us, with additional support from members of our team who will work alongside you directly prior to opening.

But it doesn't end there. You'll also receive on-site support after your café opens, to ensure everything goes smoothly.

Your franchise will be evaluated twice a year to highlight opportunities for growth and improvement, and to give you a 'financial snapshot' of your business performance. And if you have any questions, your Franchise Support Manager is always available at the end of the phone.


6. Training for success

Robert Harris Cafés have developed industry-leading training modules in all areas of business operation, from food and beverage preparation to local and in-store marketing. We also provide one-to-one training in the lead-up to your café opening.

With our specialist training centres in Auckland and Christchurch, we provide hands-on training away from the distractions of daily business. After your business is up and running, we will continue to invest in your success. Whether you have been a franchisee for six months or six years, we will continue to inject fresh skills into your business to ensure it keeps pace with industry best practice.


7. Marketing muscle

Partnering with a major national brand such as Robert Harris Café gives you the ability to leverage our marketing programme. National marketing provides instant brand recognition, saving you the trouble and expense of starting from scratch. On top of that, we can help you create local promotions that lure new customers to your café.


8. Top Retail Technology

Robert Harris Cafés utilise the Quest Enterprise Manager (QEM) Point of Sale (POS) system - the most user-friendly system on the market. Cloud based and designed for easy operation by all staff, it provides you with a priceless tool to monitor your progress. You'll have access to the information you need - and you don't have to be a technical whiz to get your hands on it.


9. A quality product line

Customers love our premium espresso and delicious, freshly cooked food. All menus and production techniques are constantly reviewed to maintain our quality image and enhance customer loyalty.

As a Robert Harris Café owner, you will receive an extensive set of recipe manuals. With these tried and tested recipes, you can provide your customers with their favourite menu items, produced fresh on-site every day.


Here are some of the questions we’re often asked by people who are looking at buying a Robert Harris Café franchise.

Not necessarily. While a background in hospitality is handy, some of our most successful franchisees have come from totally different fields. The most important qualities are a passion to succeed and a desire to create a customer-focused business. Then we'll make sure you receive all the training you need to run a great café.

We find that outgoing people with strong communication skills have what it takes to build a popular café business. Recruiting and managing a great team of staff, and making customers feel at home, are absolutely fundamental. In addition, you must have a positive attitude, a desire to learn and a passionate commitment to working within our proven system to deliver great customer service.

Robert Harris Café has worked with top designers and retail experts to refine and develop our café packages. We are committed to creating a state-of-the-art environment in every new café we open. Comfortable modern furnishings, attractive colour schemes and appetising food displays come as standard.

You would. Robert Harris Café franchises are generally owner-operated under the Robert Harris Café Franchise Agreement between the franchisor (UCC Coffee New Zealand Ltd) and the franchisee (you).

Robert Harris Café charges an initial franchise fee, which covers training and set-up costs. Then there are ongoing advertising and group participation fees, calculated on a percentage of your monthly turnover. In addition you will need to provide capital up-front to buy your business, plus a sum of working capital for your first few months of operation. In return, you will receive a turn-key operation, based on our proven formula with all the components necessary for success. Your commitment, plus our desire to see you succeed, creates a win-win scenario for the franchisee and franchisor.

Please note that costs will vary, depending on the size of café you buy and a number of other factors. We will provide a full explanation of costs and capital requirements during a one-to-one discussion about franchises.

Simply call Rod de Lisle on 0800 4 BEANS (0800 423 267) or use the Contact form to send your contact details.

We will set up a meeting to go through the opportunity in more detail and answer any questions you may have.

Robert Harris Cafés typically operate seven days a week and a minimum of eight hours a day, with additional late nights for cafes in shopping centres and malls. You'll find that Saturday and Sunday are often the busiest trading days, depending on the location. But as conditions vary by site, trading hours are usually established on a café by café basis, according to the lease.