The franchise is the largest in the sector in the UK, with 60+ mobile coffee vans serving fresh, barista-made, espresso-based coffee drinks, sweet treats and snacks at ‘non-traditional’ work locations including film and TV sets, studios and locations across the UK. The company are finding that demand for their services is on the increase not only because of their flexibility and reliability but also for the quality and taste of their award-winning coffee.
The little red mobile coffee vans are being called upon more and more frequently to serve up their award-winning coffee as set and studio managers realise the benefit of keeping cast and crew happy with coffee and snacks during the day, without the expense of having to run a full-time facility. Cafe2U vans are like mini mobile coffee shops, equipped with a full espresso machine, grinder and hot and cold food storage areas, enabling them to sell sandwiches, sweet treats and snacks all day from the back of their fully customised Mercedes van.
Cafe2U franchisees have worked on well-known productions such as Game of Thrones and The Fall, Call the Midwife, Grantchester, Mr Selfridge, Frankenstein, The Man from Uncle and with X Factor winners Diversity.
Paul Newman, owner of Cafe2U Rochester, who was a business manager for McDonalds Restaurants before buying his franchise, regularly stops at The Historic Dockyard Chatham, where Call the Midwife and Mr Selfridge are made.
Paul says, "Sometimes I’m invited to park so near to the set that I fear I’m going to end up actually in the film! The crew from Mr Selfridge let me park really close so I can serve the make-up crews while they are working, I love it!"
Nigel Crisp, film liaison officer at The Historic Dockyard Chatham says, "All the film and TV crews are very passionate about their coffee and demand not only the best in respect of taste but also a comprehensive choice. As such, Cafe2u fulfils all their requirements.
"Good coffee is essential to the wellbeing of the crews and the smooth running of the production, and whilst The Historic Dockyard has its own onsite catering outlets that serve lovely coffee, its Paul's ability to drive right up to the filming locations and his willingness to bring the Cafe2u unit onto site during unsocial hours, when our outlets are closed, that really scores highly with the crews.
"The sight of the bright red Cafe2u van appearing on set on a cold, dark, winter’s night shoot, is always appreciated. Paul’s friendly personality and his chatty banter whilst still maintaining a quick and efficient service to his customers, only adds to the experience."
Nigel even credits the presence of a Cafe2U van with winning repeat business, "Paul and the Cafe2u van have been instrumental in a number of crews returning to The Historic Dockyard Chatham time and time again and many now book his attendance in advance when they know they are going to shoot with us."
Cafe2U Bradford East owner Nick Anderton, serves coffee every day at the North Light film studio near Huddersfield, where they are currently filming a period drama for ITV.
Franchisee’s vans are often decorated with photos of the famous faces they have met during their daily rounds, both on set and location including, Keith Lemon, Steve Bruce, Geoff Capes, Laura Main, Don Warrington, Gavin Peacock, Daly Thompson and Katie Price.
Jeff Peters, owner of Cafe2U Belfast, who has been serving coffee since 2012 to the cast and crew of Game of Thrones, filmed in his territory at Belfast Docks, says, "I’d like to think we are very much part of their set up now; aside from the regular stops my team and I will make on set every day, we are frequently requested to make special visits to cover late or early shoots, production meetings or end of filming parties.
"It’s absolutely not a problem to us and the Game of Thrones crew really appreciate their, fresh cup of coffee every day. The film business is booming in Northern Ireland and we’re very happy to provide them with such a first class mobile coffee service."
Rhoda Basta, who works with husband Paolo on their Cafe2U Park Royal van says, "The runners absolutely love us; before they would have had to go to get coffee for everyone, now we bring it to them, so they’re delighted. We have a fantastic relationship with the manager of the two TV studios on our patch, he rings us up when a new shoot is starting, so we can be there on day one, making great coffee for everyone."
Managing Director and owner of Cafe2U Tom Acland says, "We are delighted that Cafe2U owners are seeing such success working with the UK film and TV industry. Cafe2U is perfectly positioned to respond to their needs as our franchise owners are entirely independent, mobile and able to visit them wherever the script takes them.
"As a nation, our love and appreciation of coffee is growing, with the popularity of the plain espresso on the rise and it is great to see that the cast and crew of these great productions are demanding that our coffee be a part of their day."