Happiness in a Cup

Taking the best and unique drinks from around the world and bringing them under one, happy roof.


Happiness in a Cup

Vital Stats:

INVESTMENT CAPITAL

  • Set-up cost: Average R1,5 million (excludes R100 000 opening stock)
  • Unencumbered capital: 50%
  • Royalties: 7% (includes marketing and management fee)
  • Hot spots for development: Areas with LSM 7 to 10
  • Est: October 2013
  • Footprint: 7 Joburg, 1 Pretoria
  • Ideal store size: 110m2

About the franchisor

Founder and CEO of Happy.me, Jan Roode’s background lies in chartered accountancy, financial consulting for banks, property development, marketing, and a director of a JSE listed construction firm. In 2010, pursuing their love of travel, Roode and his wife took a sabbatical, travelling to over 100 countries sampling food and beverages with the intention of developing Happy.me. They launched in October 2013.

Developing the concept

“We’re not a bubble tea company. We’ve brought the most delicious and unique international beverages under one South African brand. We have bubble tea (about 20% of the menu), but we’ve got over 50 drinks with six bases to work from: Coffee, tea, chocolate, yoghurt, vegetables and fruit. We chose a diverse menu because it ensures longevity and caters to many tastes and ages.”

What sets the brand further apart is their product delivery. “Our staff are specially trained mixologists and baristas. They bring art, science and a cool factor to the fold. Customers can choose food or drink ingredients, and mixologists combine them to create a delicious finished product.”

The Happy.me experience

“We provide the best quality ingredients to our customers. We’ve got the best coffee, all fruit and veg are fresh and in season, and we work on a model similar to Starbucks where food ingredients and snacks are there to complement the beverage. We have regular and gluten free sandwiches, wraps and muffins to cater for everyone. The ethos of the brand is about having fun and new experiences,” explains Roode.

The ideal franchisee

Happy.me has two types of franchise models. “With the owner-operator model we prefer franchisees with food and beverage experience and they have to be in the store. They need to be a front of house personality who can make people smile, sing and dance. With the investor model, we run every aspect of the store on their behalf and charge a monthly flat fee. Currently we have a 50/50 split with two silent investors and two owner-operators.”

Franchisor support

Happy.me has strict standards and provides extensive support to its franchisees. “We’re particular about store location, targeting higher LSMs in places conducive to chilling, thinking and dreaming, so no food courts.”

Franchisees are trained at head office and then moved around to different stores. Field and operations managers go to site daily during the first month to offer support. The franchisor has a 600m2 warehouse to supply non-perishable ingredients, while partnerships have been negotiated on behalf of franchisees with FruitSpot for fresh produce.

The brand averages 12 months for 60% return on investment, and break-even in month two.

Tracy Lee Nicol
About the Author
Tracy-Lee Nicol is the managing editor of Franchise Zone Magazine and deputy editor of Entrepreneur Magazine. She studied her Masters degree in Art History and Visual Culture at Rhodes University and spent the next two years working and travelling in Asia. Her love of people, business and teaching is reflected in telling the stories of entrepreneurs, franchisees and franchisors, inspiring others to take the leap to being their own boss and bringing about positive change in South Africa.

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