Pioneers UK Limited
(Costa Coffee Franchise)
PIONEERS GETS AN EDGE IN THE CROWDED COFFEE SHOP MARKET
Pioneers UK is a Costa franchisee with 21 stores in the West Midlands and Birmingham. Costa is the leading brand here as elsewhere in the UK and its sales are increasing, but the competitive environment is much tougher than when Pioneers opened its first store in 2005.
“In one small town where we have a store there are no fewer than 20 brands,” says Chris Edwards, Accounts Manager, Pioneers UK, who is in charge of finance and operations.
This level of competition inevitably means reduced footfall in most stores, added to which the mood of economic uncertainty means people are spending less freely than was once the case.
Quality of customer service can make a big difference in this environment.
Pioneers employs approximately 180 staff, with a team of between four and ten individuals working in each store, including a manager.
The baristas are a mix of full-time and part-time employees, preponderantly young people, often in their first jobs, often between school and college. There are more mature baristas, too, but with so many young workers, there is significant staff turnover.
Consequently, workplace management was extremely time-consuming and challenging so long as store managers and Pioneers headquarters were reliant on paper-based rostering, recording of attendance and calculation of wages.