The 40/40 List for 2023: America’s Hottest Startup Fast Casuals

Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii

A name like Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii will naturally garner some attention, but the Colorado-based coffee and cafe brand has the beans to back it up.

After relaunching under new ownership and leadership in 2018, Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii is making a name for itself as a rejuvenated 33-year-old franchise brand. Led by CEO Scott Snyder, the coffee company recently signed its largest deal in brand history to open 20 locations in Florida. With about 80 additional units sold and in various stages of development, the concept is well on the way to its goal of opening 150 new locations over the next five years.

“I saw its potential and knew what was missing to transform Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii to new levels of success,” Snyder told QSR in August 2022. “We knew from the start that there would be a lot of change to manage in the organization, so leadership alignment around one common vision would be critical. Even after the pandemic started, we maintained our focus on the vision but were still able to execute efficiently and pivot as a team when met with challenges.”

In addition to aggressive franchise sales and development, Bad Ass Coffee also experienced a 66 percent increase in average unit volume in 2021 to $720,000, which is up 76 percent from 2019. The brand debuted new store prototypes in 2022 designed to ignite rapid growth, plus rolled out a new point-of-sale system that integrates online ordering and loyalty on one platform. And a significant menu innovation project with Denver-based Food & Drink Resources provided a road map for the brand’s future food and beverage options, which will be on-trend and inspired by its Hawaiian heritage.

“Bad Ass Coffee’s dedication to sharing Hawaiian coffee starts with its longstanding partnerships with multi-generational Hawaiian coffee farmers, including Greenwell Farms in Kona–the oldest coffee farm on the Hawaiian Islands and one Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii is proud to call a partner for the past 33 years,” says Chris Ruszkowski, senior vice president of marketing for the brand. “Through these partnerships, the brand embraces its unique practice of harvesting some of the highest-quality coffee beans in the world.”


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