Cafe2U’s franchisee development manager worked at prestigious coffee roasting company before joining Cafe2U
Mike Ditullio’s coffee industry experience stretches back nearly 30 years. The 47-year-old franchisee development manager for the Cafe2U coffee truck franchise spent his early 20s working for Everett, Wash.-based Millstone Coffee, which evolved into Cascade Coffee. Cascade, like Cafe2U, is very picky about how it roasts coffee — and that pickiness earned it a Who’s Who list of customers: Starbucks, Tully’s and Peet’s Coffee and Tea, to name a few.
Mike, who joined Cafe2U in July 2012, lends his expertise to franchisees, helping them learn the coffee business, master the Cafe2U menu, and hit the ground running with Cafe2U’s process for starting a business.
“I shadowed Samuel Graham, an experienced franchise development guy from Australia, during the first two launches,” Mike says. “And I’m about to go to Sydney for a couple of weeks to meet the people at Cafe2U Australia and see how things operate at their office and with their franchisees in the field to see what works best over there and bring back some lessons we can use to grow here.”
Cafe2U started in Sydney in 2000 and began franchising in 2005; in a little more than a decade, it’s grown to nearly 200 franchisees worldwide. Cafe2U’s mobile espresso vans serve the millions of workers who don’t have convenient access to coffee shops.
“Cafe2U’s coffee is sophisticated,” Mike says. “It’s a five-bean blend, and two different roasts are involved, and the level of attention that goes into the roasts shows Cafe2U’s desire to get a really good espresso. It’s a fabulous espresso blend. It makes sense that it’s won awards.”
Coffee, Ditullio notes, has twice as many flavor profiles as wine, so paying attention to how it hits the palate can pay huge dividends in customer enjoyment — and repeat business.
Part of Ditullio’s job during the launch of a new Cafe2U business is to ensure that each cup of coffee is perfect. While about half of the training that Cafe2U franchisees receive at corporate headquarters in Bend, Ore., is focused on perfecting technique, it’s tough to juggle all the aspects of the new business the first few days — so Mike has franchisees greet and start building relationships with customers while he makes the coffee and provides tips and guidance. During the second week, the franchisees take over the espresso machine, with Mike serving as a backup.
“The equipment that we provide them is half the battle,” Mike says. “It is a very good espresso machine and a very good grinder — and espresso is all in the grind. You need the right extraction time to get the flavor perfect, and it’s very easy to know when you’ve done it right because the espresso machine will tell you.”
While Mike’s primary focus is ensuring franchisees build good relationships with customers, he enjoys the interaction, too.
“When you say you’re in coffee, you always get a positive response,” he says. “It’s not like being a life insurance agent or a lawyer. People always have something to say — usually positive. Or they’ll pick your brains about things they’ve heard. There’s an artisan aspect to it that most people aren’t aware of.”
Interested in starting a business in an untapped niche?
To learn how you can start a Cafe2U franchise, and read more about our business model and what franchisees have to say, visit cafe2ufranchise.com and check out our research pages and blog. You can also fill out a form to download our free franchise information report or just give us a call at 1-855-522-3328. Let’s start a conversation!