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The UK based crepe focused QSR CrepeAffaire may have had to put a stop on their dining experiences, but definitely hasn’t stopped its brand development. Since the very start of the COVID-19 crisis, the market leading brand has been fully invested in the development and implementation of a multitude of new revenue streams. Through these efforts, CrepeAffaire is quickly underway to become a truly international and hybrid brand, whenever opening restrictions are lifted. By expanding their horizon, CrepeAffaire has readied itself for their next big phase of growth, which includes franchising in the Netherlands. Curious about what and how they did it? Check out the article below.
CrepeAffaire is a brand that was quite literally made to be rolled out internationally. The core of the concept, the crepe, is a simple and highly recognisable product. It’s an envelope that can be filled with anything, be it sweet, savoury and everything in between. This versatility allows the brand to potentially operate in any market, especially considering the flexibility with which CrepeAffaire handles issues like the menu. While the branding and systems are strictly predetermined, the brand has a very market-oriented approach, thinking along with franchisers in international markets. This, for example, leads to restaurants in countries such as Saudi Arabia having a much larger share of (local) sweet toppings on the menu than those in European countries. The flexibility of the brand additionally led to the launch of a very successful GF/Vegan line that gave the brand an “indulgence without the guilt” USP in the UK.
While the brand opened its doors for the first time in 2005, it’s only been focusing on expansion since 2018. Daniel Spinath, owner and founder, has years of experience building hospitality and entertainment brands through his senior positions at brands like Kraft Heinz, Viacom and P&G. He explains that the long period of development was a very conscious decision.
“We wanted to ensure that all of the growing pains were eliminated before we expanded. We learned a lot; we know what our market is and who our guests are. That ensures we can now expand rapidly since we no longer have to guess what the right choices are for the concept.”
CrepeAffaire currently has 23 locations internationally with a growing pipeline. The brand was in the midst of an international growth spurt with successful location after successful location, when everything ground to a halt.
“All of a sudden, everything came to a full stop, but we knew that we couldn’t stop ourselves.”
Daniel and his team immediately got to work. All the innovative ideas stored in the backrooms of their brains were brought to the table. How do we reach the guests if they can’t eat with us? The answer was multifaceted. CrepeAffaire finalised the development of Crepe & Roll, a To Go concept, developed pancake mixes and -meals for the retail, came up with a new way of delivery and even created “Pancakes in the Post”. Aside from all these innovations, the team managed to connect all of their internal systems into dashboarding software by VitaMojo. This burst of creative entrepreneurship ensured the brand is set for the reopening of their restaurants with an energy that is sure to lead to big leaps in the brands’ growth.
Crepe & Roll
To Go concept Crepe & Roll was already in development but the process was sped up and altered by the pandemic. The core of Crepe & Roll are its regenerable, pre made and pre topped crepes. They are prepared within a minute and within sight of the guest in a special-made waffle iron that even brands a little heart (a company icon) onto the product. The crepes can be frozen without effect on the quality and can thus be prepared in a local Crepe Affaire or even a centralised kitchen. This not only makes them quick to prepare but also allows for easy delivery. Aside from crepes, Crepe & Roll offers quality coffee and soft serve which in turn can be made into shakes. This coffee+ approach boosts the average ticket value, while its high speed allows for high ticket numbers. Due to the extremely simple operations and equipment, the concept has no need for HVAC and can thus be placed almost anywhere. From hole-in-the-wall to Food Truck to satellite location, Crepe & Roll offers the company a highly flexible solution that enables rapid international expansion with low CAPEX investments.
Delivery & Pancakes in the Post
Next to focussing on physical locations, CrepeAffaire worked on getting the product to their guests. Daniel’s marketing background played a large role. They developed new packaging and focused on specific occasions which gave the delivery packages their name. The 6-crepe box, for example, is called the “Girls’ Night In” and can optionally be combined with cocktails. CrepeAffaire also came up with Pancakes in the Post, allowing the brand to nationally (!) deliver crepes, toppings and crepe mix through the post. This diverse approach makes the brand the right choice for any occasion while staying clearly connected to their core, the crepe.
The CrepeAffaire crepe & pancake mix will soon be available in multiple UK supermarket chains. Additionally, the brand partnered up with a French crepe company to be able to offer fresh, topped, ready to eat crepes with CrepeAffaire branding on the cooling shelves of supermarkets. Besides an additional revenue stream, the retail channel also offers the advantage of increased brand awareness.
Finally, CrepeAffaire improved their physical restaurants by collaborating with VitaMojo. This partnership allowed them to integrate their internal systems, simplifying their operation and eliminating human error. Their new systems additionally offer them valuable customer data that can in turn be used in making data driven strategical- and marketing decisions.
It’s clear, CrepeAffaire truly put in the work over the last year and it has paid off. The brand has been refreshed and energised and is ready for tomorrow. With big ambitions and a flexible hybrid portfolio the brand is proving itself to be a brand of the future. The Netherlands will be the next target for expansion and they are looking for franchisees that have the energy and passion to be and stay a step ahead of the market. CrepeAffaire is looking for experienced local entrepreneurs that want to be a part of their success story.
For more information about franchising with CrepeAffaire, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
CrepeAffaire is collaborating with Conceptional for the recruitment and selection of potential franchisees in the Dutch market.