Franchise coffee grinds to a halt in Australia’s coffee snobbery

The iced mochas and sugary syrups of franchise coffee have failed to ogvercome Australia’s ingrained bean snobbery, leaving giant retail operators with a weak monetary brew.

On Friday the embattled Retail Food Group, which owns Gloria Jean’s and Donut King, introduced a $87.eight million first-half loss, additionally saying plans to shut up to 200 shops by the center of 2019.

It cited “unsustainable rents” and declining performances in purchasing centres”. But is it additionally the coffee?

Food critic for The Weekend Australian John Lethlean advised The New Daily the difficulties of franchises similar to Gloria Jeans are twofold – a extra discerning Australian palette and shoppers choosing on-line buying as an alternative of heading to the suburban purchasing centre.

Gloria Jean’s coffee outlets failed to stimulate us. Photo: AAP

Mr Lethlean, who admitted he began a café in Melbourne 20 years in the past with out one educated barista however plenty of recent beans, stated he additionally questioned if the likes of superstar cooks Matt Preston, George Calombaris and Manu Feildel are a part of our penchant for upscale coffee.

“They’ve shoved down our throats, quality, local produce, good coffee … maybe it’s starting to seep in?” he stated.

“The man that used to be happy with Gloria Jeans five years ago is now saying to himself, ‘I wonder where these beans are from’.”

When Starbucks entered the Australian market in 2000, Gloria Jeans and McDonalds McCafe have been already established in the market.

By 2013, Starbucks had closed almost all of its 84 Australian shops, handing over the remaining 24 cafes to the Withers Group, which operates the 7-11 comfort store chain.

Starbuck’s emblem of a two-tailed mermaid may be noticed everywhere in the  United States, however the Americano brew couldn’t rise up to our love for a latte or flat white.

Jars of Nescafe 95G or Moccona nonetheless have their place in the workplace kitchen or smoko room, however most of us weren’t in straying from the the espresso introduced by Italian migrants.

Mr Lethlean additionally believes the theatrics of the European café scene are a part of the attraction.

I suppose to some extent individuals like to see somebody with a furrowed forehead, placing in the focus, enjoying with the grinder, tampering the cap, doing the milk”

Although the worth level of a ‘Cup o’ Joe’ could also be comparable at Gloria Jeans, the meals critic defined Australians are after “more than a beverage in a branded paper cup”.

Mr Lethlean stated there was theater in the sound of the grinder, the background music, the offered newspapers and watching a specialist, who is totally immersed in coffee tradition, make our coffee.

“Americans love a model they will depend on and have that mentality, ‘We can relax at Starbucks’, however Australians are a bit extra maverick,

“To me they [coffee franchises] add nothing to the retail combine that present life in Australia, and signify the American-isation of Australia. If that is a signal of that phenomenon diminishing, that’s a great point.”

And whereas the Starbucks behemoth failed to win us over, the standard Australian-style breakfast cafe has captivated Americans in the coastal cities of San Francisco and New York City.

The New York Times has described the arrival of Australian baristas and coffeeshops as “an invasion”.

It highlighted cafes referred to as “the Little Collins (named for a road in Melbourne), Brunswick (additionally named for a road in Melbourne), Bluestone Lane (named for the paving stones on a road in Melbourne) and Two Hands (named for a Heath Ledger movie)”.

“That Australians have anything to teach Americans about coffee culture may come as a surprise to casual drinkers,” the paper stated. “But those who nerd out on coffee know that Australia – Melbourne in particular –  has a dynamic and professional coffee scene.”

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