FRANCHISING STAR: 10 Minutes with Aroma Cafe’s Alicia Mule

Posted on by Mark Fernandez

In this installment of FRANCHISING STARS, we are privileged enough to interview Alicia Mule the General Manager of the successful and ever expanding franchise Aroma Cafe.

aroma shop image

Aroma Cafe Logo - Horizontal

Aroma Cafe has been a formidable force within the food industry, what do you think is behind its longevity and success?
Unwavering commitment to our ideals and a strong passion for what we do. We have never tried to expand rapidly and have instead concentrated on quality over quantity. This runs throughout our business from the sites we select to the recipes and products we use. We’re also always keen to try something new and expand into new markets and territories. We never get complacent.

What is the biggest challenge right in your particular business and the sector you trade in?
Our challenge over the last year or so has been finding new ideal locations for our cafes. We don’t want to sign up a lease just for the sake of it, or enter sites that we may not suit 100%. The perfect Aroma Cafe location is not all that common. We look at each one as ruthlessly as possible and would rather let them pass by than sign it up if we’re not so sure about it.

What is the key driver for customer loyalty and how is Aroma Cafe attracting loyal customers?
Customer loyalty is driven by the attitude and personality of each of our Franchise Partners. We know how important it is to be likable to customers and to say “yes” to any request that may arise. We will do whatever possible to ensure our customers genuinely like our people and keep returning.

What is going to be the focus for Aroma Cafe this financial year?
Finding new, suitable locations and expanding further into the health sector.

What qualities do you look for in a prospective franchisee and how does that tie in with the Aroma Cafe brand?
We look for attitude over skills and dedication over experience. We have the ability to teach anyone how to be a great cafe operator and business owner if they have the drive and passion to succeed.

Describe your ideal franchisee.
Someone with a positive attitude, a love of people and a passion for our brand.

How do you benchmark franchisee success?
We have a lot of benchmarks based on growth, operations and KPI’s, however our true indicator of success is the desire to always improve, and never get complacent. While we respect the basics, we know that it’s pushing boundaries and wanting better for our businesses, our lives and our customers is that breads success, so we encourage it.

Define ‘success’ in five words.
The desire to be better.

Who has been the biggest influence on your career to date and why?
My Dad, Robert Mule. He has taught be so much about the franchise, cafe and hospitality business since starting the franchise in 1996. His values have not changed since starting his first cafe in Wesley Arcade in the Perth CBD and I’m constantly reminded of how the fundamentals of customer service remain important today.

So how much of Daniel Ricciardo’s success do you think is attributed to Aroma Cafe?
Ha-ha I’m going to say none. Daniel has worked so hard for everything he has achieved and we’re so proud of him. Although I’m sure the Rome Rolls didn’t hurt.

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