Xpresso Delight Franchisee Dishes On His Business And The Future
Stu Mills joined the Xpresso Delight franchise system about a year ago, so we wanted to sit down with him and reflect on the past year. You can read more about Stu’s background here the announcement from when he joined a year ago.
Xpresso Delight franchisees offer high-end café level coffee to corporate offices through its innovative coffee-as-a-service program. Its proprietary 100% Arabica coffee blend is roasted locally in the United States and drop shipped fresh to clients weekly. Xpresso Delight provides fully automated coffee and espresso machines that provide café quality coffee comprised of whole fresh beans ground for each cup and fresh steamed milk – all at the push of a button - to offices around America.
The brand draws demand from medium to large company offices looking to upgrade their in-house coffee options they provide to their employees at an affordable cost. There are over 200 franchises worldwide.
Stu Mills was one of the very first to join the franchise in America.
Stu, what’s been your favorite and least favorite part about the business?
Landing new clients! For a couple of reasons, first, I like the installation process where I get to meet new people and I love seeing their reaction to the coffee. It’s fun to see how excited they are after the two-week free trial. The second reason is obvious - it’s simply great to land a new client because I know I’ve got a new stream of recurring revenue coming in.
There’s not a lot I don’t like about the business, but sometimes the weekly machine cleanings can be a pain point. That has more to do with the logistics of navigating and parking in New York City than anything else. I’m sure that this is less of a factor in other cities that may not have the same logistical barriers.
All in all, it’s really great. The schedule is incredible. Like any new business, I’d love for the business to be even bigger than it already is, but that comes with time and effort. The first six months was just feeling out the business and honing in on the model. Now it’s just a matter of continuing the momentum from the latter half of the year and scaling it as quickly as I can.
On the subject of momentum, obviously that’s been delayed a bit. How has the Covid-19 pandemic affected business?
With everyone out of office, we’ve had to suspend business operations. But given the news on the retail and restaurant landscape, I honestly feel pretty lucky. It’s great not to have any lease payments due or creditors breathing down my neck. I fully own the assets so there’s no financing issues. And once everything is over, everyone will be back in the office and I think it will be business as usual.
The other thing that’s happening is we have a cold brew for at-home workers which is a brand new revenue stream that can bridge the gap for now and then continue as a new source of supplemental income beyond the pandemic.
How has the transition been from corporate life to owning your own business?
It’s been incredible. I can’t believe how good it’s been. I set my own hours and it’s super flexible. I also know that I’m going to make a difference. In the corporate world, it’s not always apparent that you’re making a difference, but I know that the harder I work, the bigger the impact I’m having on my business and my future.
What has the response been from your clients on the quality of the product?
Exceptional. Everybody loves the coffee and loves how simple it is. They love not having to do any cleaning or maintenance and the fact that they don’t have to do any ordering or inventory. They appreciate that I’m available. They don’t have to wait days for a service person to come out. They know that I’ll be there if any issues arise, which is rare. They love the presence, that I’m there every week. I have lots of very friendly conversations and have even been invited to company events.
The quality takes care of the value. People are OK spending just a little bit more for a massively better service and quality cup of coffee.
Last thing I’ll mention is that they love the eco-friendliness of the product since many companies are moving that direction toward sustainability. Our product uses fresh whole beans ground for each cup rather than plastic pods so we’re doing a lot of good for the earth.
Even though you've only been in the business for a year, you're actually an Xpresso Delight franchise veteran in the U.S.! Any advice for the newer franchisees out there?
For my colleagues that are already franchisees: Set realistic goals, join a local BNI chapter (word of mouth is powerful), utilize LinkedIn, devise creative marketing strategies, always be super positive when interacting with clients – they’ll come to love your weekly visits.
For prospective franchisees: My lifestyle and level of happiness have improved immeasurably since investing in XD – if you’re miserable in your daily life and on the fence about this franchise, take the leap!
Share this Feature
Comments:comments powered by Disqus
- Multi-Unit Franchising
- Get Started in Franchising
- Open New Units
- Featured Franchise Stories