A Legacy Coffee Chain is Helping Franchisees Find Their Inner “Badass”
It’s rare that a legacy brand with fewer than 50 units has strong name brand recognition, but Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii is no ordinary franchise. Started in Hawaii over 30 years ago, the unique coffee chain has units in vacation destinations like Maui, San Diego, and Naples and Destin, Florida, and CEO Scott Snyder has always been struck by how often patrons remember the brand from their times visiting those locations.
“It’s amazing how well this brand resonates with people who have an appreciation not just for great coffee, but great coffee that is matched by the Aloha Spirit,” Snyder says. “Everything we do with our brand is connected to that laid-back vacation feel, from our buildouts to our fun lattes and flavors that appeal to consumers both young and old.”
A year ago, Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii was acquired by Royal Aloha Franchise Company with intentions to expand to 150 units by 2025. Several new store layouts were unveiled and there’s a national food menu on the way. Still, the brand is hyper-focused on growing in a conservative way that helps replicate the magic it was founded upon, which Snyder says boils down to the word “Ohana,” which means family in Hawaii.
That vibe was felt by Aaron and Lisa Rutter, who recently signed a franchisee agreement to open stores in Chandler, Arizona and then expand from there.
“Bad Ass Coffee has a spirit that is real and felt at every touchpoint throughout the company,” Aaron Rutter says. “It’s not gimmicky, it is not lip service, it’s a very real sense of family.”
Franchisees at Bad Ass Coffee are treated to the requisite training and support you’d expect from an experienced franchise concept that is resourced to grow—Snyder classifies the company as a “30-year-old legacy brand with a start-up’s mentality.” Where the brand differentiates itself and displays that hunger associated with start-ups is in its local marketing techniques.
“Our vice president of marketing, Chris Ruszkowski, is super focused on digital strategies that are meant to connect with local customers that are most likely to love the brand,” Snyder says. “The marketing captures the feeling and experience you are going to get once you walk into the doors of Bad Ass Coffee, and it begins with our grand opening process which is focused on creating awareness by leveraging a trial of our coffee that helps locals understand how we’re differentiating ourselves. It’s about bringing those people into our ‘Ohana’ and creating digital channels for our franchisees to have an ongoing relationship, and conversation, with those guests.”
Snyder is confident that, given the right franchisee, the business model will resonate with consumers in all types of markets across the U.S.
“We’re looking for family-oriented people who love being a huge part of their community,” Snyder says. “And we’re looking for people who enjoy helping others relax, drink great coffee, and unlock their inner ‘Badass.’”
View the entire article from QSR Magazine.