Nestle Toll House Café by Chip, the chain of dessert and bakery cafés, is experiencing record growth across North America, as well as overseas.
In 2013, Nestlé Toll House Café signed 32 new franchise agreements in North America, a 33 percent growth rate. Cafés were added in both new and established markets in the U.S. and Canada, in addition to several new locations throughout the Middle East.
And thanks to bullish franchisee demand, the chain already has 30 new locations scheduled to open in 2014. The overall annual goal is 40 new franchise agreements in North America this year.
“We are growing aggressively, but strategically, in partnership with many outstanding franchise operators,” says Ted Milburn, vice president of franchise development for Nestlé Toll House Café. “Our new stores, featuring our next-generation design for Street, In-line and Kiosk cafés, are generating significant interest from prospective franchisees every day. Our franchise discovery process is also very thorough and has engaged more candidates with our brand. We just wrapped up a tremendous year, but we expect 2014 to be even better.”
Milburn noted that a key driver of the chain’s growth this year is the company’s new relationship and long-term master lease agreement with Rouse Properties Inc., a national owner and operator of regional enclosed malls. The agreement calls for 18 new cafés to open in the center courts of Rouse-owned shopping malls across the country in 2014. Three of these cafés have already opened since the first of the year.
In addition, the chain recently rolled out an enhanced kiosk concept, featuring soft seating with convenient electrical outlets for smart phone and computers, free Wi-Fi, digital menu boards displaying video images of key menu items, and an upgraded design that showcases the brand's product offerings in a more efficient and attractive manner. The new look incorporates the brand's essence of providing a warm, homey environment for guests that seek a longer, more relaxing experience.
"Our customers, as well as our operators, are raving about the new kiosk design," says Ziad Dalal, founder and president of Nestlé Toll House Café. “It’s much more inviting, so instead of grabbing a cookie and rushing along, guests often choose to sit down, re-charge with a cup of premium coffee and a baked treat, and linger a while. The new kiosk is more of a meeting and gathering place, and that’s great for our guests and our business.”