The Streat takes the road to fast growth outside Northern Ireland

The Streat, the Holywood-based branded café franchise, is investing more than £650,000 with assistance from Invest Northern Ireland to develop opportunities it has identified in the Republic of Ireland and Great Britain for its distinctive business model.

Support for a new business growth strategy developed by The Streat Franchising Ltd was announced today by Maynard Mawhinney, Director of Invest NI’s Food Division, during a visit to the company.

The Streat is planning new franchised cafes in the Republic, including Dublin, and an expansion of its high technology Streat-on-wheels ‘Vanchise’ mobile café business during 2007.

Invest NI has offered the company financial assistance of £103,000 to develop its business outside Northern Ireland. The investment is expected to create 10 new jobs at the company’s head office over the next three years.

Mr Mawhinney, commenting on Invest NI’s support for the company, says: “This is a very successful entrepreneurial business which has established a strong market position in Northern Ireland through its distinctive branding and excellent quality in terms of its products, services to customers and its premises.

“The strong focus which it has on services to customers is clearly demonstrated through its commitment to employee training, a commitment which has seen the company achieve its Investors in People accreditation and a National Training Award.

“Our support is geared towards helping the company grow its business outside Northern Ireland, to around 50 per cent of turnover over the next three years through a significant increase in franchisees including 29 in external markets.

“This expansion should provide opportunities in Northern Ireland for enterprising people in the catering industry. Existing and potential suppliers in Northern Ireland could also benefit from the company’s growth. Overall, the planned investment by The Streat will help to create additional wealth in Northern Ireland,” he adds.

Mr Michael McQuillan, The Streat’s Managing Director, says: “Our objective is to grow turnover almost 10 fold by the end of the three years. We are convinced that we can achieve this through our unique proposition which offers customers an all day range of freshly prepared food and coffee, with award winning service. As part of this expansion, we have already opened a landmark café in Oliver Plunkett Street, Cork, which is already developing waves of regular customers.

“In addition, we offer franchisees superior value in terms of fees and fit-out costs.

“Furthermore, franchisees benefit from our comprehensive training programme and ongoing support to boost sales. A key element in our expansion plan and our commitment to helping franchisees succeed is the creation of a dedicated training centre.

“Our planned investment in an IT management system that encompasses Point of Sale, Intranet and Voiceover Internet protocols that improve the information management and knowledge development in the company will also have spin off benefits for franchisees as well as customers,”

“This investment will help to build the profile of The Streat as the most recognised brand within the branded café sector,” he adds.