Coffee chain combat seen taking shape in Hungary

Malta-based café/bistro chain Café Jubilee and Spanish coffee specialist Jamaica Coffee Shop are among the nearly 100 exhibitors at this year’s International Franchise Exhibition BuyBrand Show to be held between 15 and 17 November in Budapest. Competition between coffee chains in Hungary is seemingly becoming fiercer.

Café Jubilee decided already in June that it would start looking for franchisees in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria. It is reportedly seeking a master franchise partner in Hungary.
Café Jubilee was established in 1998 by Alex Scicluna with his brothers Mario and Anthony after having operated another restaurant and commercial catering operation.
The first outlet was opened in Victoria, the capital of Gozo which is Malta’s sister island. A second outlet was opened in Valletta, the capital city of Malta, in 2000.

After a period of consolidation a third café was opened in Gzira, a popular shopping and entertainment area, in 2005. At the same time the International Division of Café Jubilee was established.

Café Jubilee estimates set-up costs of a franchise at around EUR 150,000 to 300,000, which includes an initial all-inclusive fee of EUR 40,000, equipment, fixtures, stock, training and -all the necessary working capital to successfully establish the business.

The ongoing franchise royalty and management services fees are set at EUR 2,750/3,650 Euros.
The company demands the facility to be at least 110 square metres.
Café Jubilee’s menu in Hungary would feature Maltese (60%), local (20%) and international cuisine (20%).

The Maltese chain will presumably not be the last to enter Hungary. AmRest, the operator of Pizza Hut and KFC restaurants in CEE, with around 200 stores in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, signed a non-binding preliminary agreement this March with coffee chain Starbucks Coffee International to take Starbucks into these countries. Rumour is that the first Starbucks coffee shop will open in Budapest in 2008.

Jamaica Coffee Shop, founded in 1994 and headquartered in Barcelona, operates 109 establishments and is present not only in Spain, but also in Andorra, China and Portugal.
Eston International already mentioned Jamaica Coffee Shop as a potential newcomer in Hungary back in June.

It speculated that besides Starbucks, a number of other chains might decide to come to Budapest. It said Coffee Republic, the number one café chain in London, which already runs two stores in Bulgaria, intended to open more in the region. -Le Pain Quotidien from Brussels, which is not a real café but a superb alternative with top quality organic coffee and homemade bread and pastry, has not directly targeted the CEE region, but is already present in Moscow and Istanbul,” Eston noted.