Have you ever wondered why 7 Brew Coffee stands out among its giant competitors in the coffee industry? Larry Wilson, the founder of healthy fast-casual franchise CoreLife Eatery, has an interesting analogy: “It’s Chick-fil-A marrying Starbucks and having a child.” In this article, we’ll explore what makes 7 Brew Coffee unique and why it has become a popular choice for coffee lovers.
The Kindness and Convenience of Chick-fil-A, Amplified by Starbucks
At 7 Brew Coffee, the focus is on delivering exceptional customer service. They have taken inspiration from Chick-fil-A’s renowned kindness and combined it with the convenience of Starbucks’ drive-thru system. With 7 Brew, you don’t need to leave your car; they bring the coffee directly to you. This tangible positive energy, coupled with a menu that primarily consists of beverages (with only muffin tops as food items), sets 7 Brew apart from the rest.
The Success Story of Brew Crew LLC
Larry Wilson and his business partner, Brandon Sebald, are the masterminds behind Brew Crew LLC. Their mission is to develop 212 locations of the drive-thru coffee concept. Currently, they have 11 stores open in Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee, with plans to open a new unit every two weeks, reaching a total of 26 stores this year.
Sebald, who resides in Fayetteville, Arkansas, where 7 Brew is based, was instantly captivated by the brand’s positive energy and exceptional customer experience. He knew he had to get involved and convinced Wilson to join him. Together, they have become exemplary franchisees, attracting attention from industry leaders like Tacala Companies and K-Mac Enterprises, known for their expertise in running successful Taco Bell operations.
A Fresh Start and Rapid Growth
7 Brew Coffee first started in Rogers, Arkansas, in 2017. The company was later acquired by Brew Culture, a parent company formed by a group of entrepreneurs, in January 2020. With the new ownership came renewed energy and a vision for rapid growth. In March 2021, Drink House Holdings, an investment partnership led by Jimmy John Liautaud (founder of Jimmy John’s sandwich) and Jamie Coulter (founder of Lone Star Steak House), became the majority owner of 7 Brew.
This partnership brought about the launch of a franchise program, and since then, 7 Brew has grown to 56 stores, with a remarkable 3,000 units sold. The company has attracted best-in-class franchisees like Wilson and Sebald, as well as industry leaders in the drive-thru category. The combination of experience, expertise, and a strong franchise network positions 7 Brew for substantial development.
The Magic of Brew Crew: Personalized Service and Employee Satisfaction
What sets 7 Brew Coffee apart from other drive-thru coffee options is its emphasis on personalized service. Each 500-square-foot store is designed with double drive-thrus and canopies, ensuring that employees take and deliver every order to customers’ vehicles. This dedicated service, combined with the training provided to employees, creates a warm and welcoming atmosphere reminiscent of the popular TV show “Cheers.” The goal is to make every customer feel like a regular, with employees getting to know their names and drink preferences.
The culture at 7 Brew is centered around creating the best job on the street. The company believes in investing in its employees’ growth and development, offering competitive pay, and fostering an environment that promotes learning. From a “brewista” role to a shift lead, store manager, and even franchise owner, there is a clear career pathway for those who join the 7 Brew family. This commitment to employee satisfaction translates into fully staffed stores and a turnover rate below 30 percent.
A Strong Leadership Team and a Bright Future
To support its growth and success, 7 Brew Coffee has assembled a strong leadership team. Nicole Miller Regan, formerly the managing director and head of the consumer equity research practice at investment bank Piper Sandler, joined as the chief financial officer, bringing 22 years of domain experience. The C-suite also includes COO and Director of Franchising Drew Ritger, who previously served as CEO of Zips Dry Cleaners and spent 22 years at Sonic Drive-In.
A Unique Brand in a Rapidly Expanding Market
While larger coffee chains like Starbucks and Dunkin’ continue to expand their drive-thru offerings, smaller brands like 7 Brew Coffee are making a name for themselves. Unlike kiosk models, where the experience can be transactional, 7 Brew focuses on creating relational connections with customers. This approach appeals to a wide range of age demographics, including younger consumers.
The brand’s success is evident through its average gross sales of $2.39 million in 2021 across eight company-owned locations. With a solid financial model and post-royalties and brand fund EBITDA of 19.68 percent, 7 Brew Coffee is an attractive business opportunity. The total investment range for franchisees is between $790,800 and $1,582,000, with a minimum commitment of two stores.
In conclusion, 7 Brew Coffee has carved its niche in the competitive coffee industry by combining the kindness of Chick-fil-A with the convenience of Starbucks’ drive-thru system. With a focus on personalized service and a commitment to employee satisfaction, 7 Brew stands out as a brand that delivers a truly exceptional customer experience. As they continue their rapid expansion and attract top-tier franchisees, it’s evident that the future is bright for 7 Brew Coffee.
To learn more about 7 Brew and experience their unique coffee offerings, visit Marmalade Cafe.