The first thing many people notice about The Human Bean is the coffee brand’s unique name. What they may not know is that it was conceived by the mother of Dan Hawkins, co-founder and CEO of The Human Bean, and speaks to the culture of family, friends, and community that the coffee franchise holds dear.
“The name to us is about the guest experience we seek to provide and the way we approach working in the community and giving back,” Hawkins says. “It’s still the perfect name—the human element is something that’s just so important to us, from our franchisees, to our team members, to our guests.”
After opening its first location in Ashland, Oregon, in 1998, The Human Bean quickly became known for its efficient drive thrus and wide-ranging menu, featuring everything from high-quality espresso shots to decadent mochas and smoothies. The brand has achieved notoriety thanks to initiatives like Coffee for a Cure, which has raised over $2 million for breast cancer support and treatment.
Now the brand is one of the fastest-growing coffee franchises in the U.S., with 132 locations currently open and nearly 200 more in development in 29 states. As the brand grows and sales increase, The Human Bean relies on forward-thinking solutions, like line-busting tablets that keep up its drive-thru efficiency without compromising on the quality of its product.
“Keeping the integrity of the brand is the most important thing for us in everything that we do,” Hawkins says. “We wouldn’t be expanding at the rate that we are if we didn’t think we could maintain the ethos of the brand and partner with people who will grow the brand the way we envision it.”
Hawkins is especially proud of the relationship The Human Bean has built with its franchisee partners. In a recent review conducted by a third-party, over 90 percent of the brand’s franchisees said they would recommend franchising with The Human Bean to a friend.
Hawkins believes that the high approval ratings are owed to the brand’s ongoing dedication to supporting franchisees, but he also thinks keeping franchisees happy starts with identifying the right partners to grow with.
“We deny many more franchisees and locations than we approve because we really want to find people and places where we know we will be successful in sharing our culture,” Hawkins says. “That means creating a positive atmosphere where our amazing baristas can create the best possible guest experience. How do we maintain that? It requires a whole lot of upstream work in identifying the right people, plus regular communication from our system’s field operations team that goes out and assures not only quality and consistency but shares what a guest experience looks like, feels like, and tastes like.
“Because at the end of the day, that’s what separates us: The authentic connection we have with our guests in anticipating their needs and delivering something super special for them each time they come into our store.”
For more on franchising with The Human Bean, visit thehumanbean.com.