Caffè Nero

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Caffè Nero Group Ltd.
Private company limited by shares
Industry Coffee Shops
Founded Founded in 1990 in South Kensington, London
Headquarters London, United Kingdom
Products Coffee
Caffè Latte
Revenue Increase £227.9 million GBP (2013/4)[1]
Slogan The Italian Coffee Company

Caffè Nero (Italian for black coffee) or Caffè Nero Group Ltd is a European style coffee shop chain with its headquarters in London. It was founded in 1990 by Ian Semp and sold to a consortium of investors funded by BancBoston in 1997.the Caffè Nero Group by Gerry Ford. Currently, the company runs more than 600 shops in the UK and is also established in Cyprus, Poland, Turkey, Ireland, Middle East and the United States


A Caffè Nero in Belfast, Northern Ireland

Caffè Nero was founded in 1990 and in March 2001 joined the London Stock Exchange under the symbol CFN. In October 2005, Caffè Nero was named the 20th fastest growing company in Europe by Business Week Magazine.[2] In early 2007, Caffè Nero was taken private[3] giving more flexibility to grow the business. In the same year, the company completed their first country expansion into Turkey.[4] This was closely followed by launching a new Nero Express concept within railway stations in the UK.[5] By 2009, Caffè Nero had expanded into the UAE and in 2012 started a partnership with Green Caffè Nero in Poland, opening their first store in Lublin Union Square, Warsaw.[6] Most recently Caffè Nero has opened its first beach store in Larnaca, Cyprus.[7] In April 2014, Caffè Nero opened its first US location in Boston's Millennium Place building.[8]

In July 2013, Caffè Nero’s coffee was rated best tasting among five major UK brands by experts at the independent consumer magazine Which?[9]

Caffè Nero also operates coffee houses within House of Fraser, Waterstones, and in a number of airports in the UK. In 2014 the company opened three branches in the reopened Terminal 2 at Heathrow.[10]


Along with traditional espresso-based drinks, Caffè Nero stores also sell Frappé Latte (an iced latte), Fruit Booster (an iced fruit drink), Chai Latte and Hot Chocolate Milano, an extra sweet and thick Hot Chocolate drink. In summer 2013 Caffè Nero introduced the Frappe Creme. Several specialty coffee based drinks were launched in 2007 these were: Caramelatte (a vanilla flavored Caffé Latte served with Whipped Cream and caramel sauce topping), White Chocolate Mocha (a twist on the classic Caffé Mocha), and Espresso Con Panna (an espresso drink served with a topping of cream). Caffè Nero also has its own line of paniini, pasta salads, and soup dishes and recently introduced gluten-free rolls produced by Genius Foods.[11]

The company buys coffee from traders who have direct relationship with farmers and pay a "fair" price.[12] It works continuously to establish relationships with farmers to offer them what they actually need in their community.

The majority of coffee beans in Caffè Nero’s unique blend are sourced from clearly identifiable and traceable sources. The company is fully ISO and BRC certified.

The company has a reward scheme for customers. Each time a coffee is purchased, the customer's loyalty card is stamped with the 'Nero Coffee Bean Logo'. Once a card has nine stamps, the bearer is entitled to a free drink of any price (including Iced Drinks).[13]

Caffè Nero operates a “one to one” service where a barista takes a customer’s order, makes their coffee and then serves them their drinks.

Commercial success[edit]

A Caffè Nero in High Street, Sutton, Greater London

Starting in London, in 1990 the first branch was Old Brompton Rd,South of 2010 the independent company experienced rapid growth and by January 2011 had registered 54 consecutive quarters of positive like for like sales growth.[14] Caffè Nero continues to open stores internationally and now has locations in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, Poland and Cyprus. As a result of the chain’s rapid expansion, in 2005, Caffè Nero was named the 20th fastest growing company in by Business Week Magazine.[15] In 2013, it was named in the Top Track 250 by The Sunday Times. The company believes its success is primarily due to its record of providing the best tasting coffee on the high street. All of its beans are imported into the UK and then roasted at the company’s dedicated plant in Battersea, South London.[16] Much of the food sold at Caffè Nero has been created by Italian chef Ursula Ferrigno who the company says help it to serve “high quality, interesting, artisan food” including “traditional soups, salads, fresh pastries and delicious cakes”.[12]

Nero Foundation[edit]

The company’s founders recently started the Nero Foundation to support coffee growing communities. Funds from the Foundation will be invested to enhance community amenities, such as schools, in rural areas where the company sources its coffee beans. Caffè Nero also encourages its staff to support local causes that are close to their heart. The company has a commitment to provide funds up to the equivalent amount raised by employees for local good causes.[17]

Caffè Nero is also a supporter of UK Coffee Week.[18] Project Waterfall is the central focus for fundraising during UK Coffee Week, and aims to transform lives by improving access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation in African coffee-growing countries. 100% of all funds raised from consumer donations will directly benefit this cause. Caffè Nero customers can choose to add 5p to the price of a coffee – a sum matched by the Nero Foundation.

Supporting the Arts and young musicians[edit]

Caffè Nero has fostered a relationship with the Arts for over a decade.[19] The company has supported a number of exhibits and works with the likes of Tate Britain, Tate Modern, the Royal Shakespeare Company, National Portrait Galleries, Ashmolean Museum, The British Museum, Italian Cinema London and smaller organisations on a more local level.

Caffè Nero also supports unsigned and young musicians. Its Artist of the Month programme sees talented young musicians reach a new audience through free gigs in the company’s cafes.[20] Their music is played in branches every afternoon for a month and CDs are available for purchase from time to time.

The company is also a sponsor of the Cornbury Festival in Oxfordshire.[21]


Caffe Nero have been accused of "bully-boy tactics" [22] following the opening several branches in the United Kingdom, without the legally required planning permission. In November 2011, the chain opened a branch in Skipton, North Yorkshire. The town has a policy that 81 per cent of shops in the core area must be retail only on the ground floor, and planning permission had been denied because the seating area on the ground floor would mean that threshold would be exceeded by less than 1%. The chain was once again denied retrospective planning permission at a hearing in December 2011, however they refused to close the premises whilst a second appeal was launched. A spokesperson for Caffe Nero said that they would "continue operating...whatever the outcome of the appeal" by moving the seating to the first floor if necessary.[23]

In 2012, the company was added to the list of UK businesses that are not paying their tax in the UK under the legal loopholes in the UK tax system that is being used by a number of such retail companies.[24]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Caffe Nero website: Performance page". Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "*** EUROPE'S 500 ***". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  3. ^ Gerrard, Neil (11 January 2011). "Caffe Nero plots growth after £140m refinancing". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Druce, Chris (24 November 2008). "Caffé Nero continues expansion despite recession". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  5. ^ "Caffe Nero expands empire to the east". Property Week. 18 October 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  6. ^ Dominic Walsh (15 June 2012). "Caffè Nero brews up a battle in Poland". The Times. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  7. ^ "Caffè Nero continues global expansion". Peach Report. 28 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  8. ^ Luna, Taryn (28 February 2014). "British coffee chain Caffè Nero coming to Boston". Boston Globe. 
  9. ^ "Which coffee shop chain serves the tastiest coffee? - July - 2013 - Which? News". 11 July 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  10. ^ "Heathrow - Press releases - Caffè Nero to open three unusual stores at Terminal 2". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  11. ^ "Caffè Nero to stock Genius gluten-free filled rolls!". The Happy Coeliac. 13 May 2013. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Caffè Nero". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  13. ^ "Caffè Nero’s got a whole latte love". Real Business. 27 November 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  14. ^ Gerrard, Neil (11 January 2011). "Caffe Nero plots growth after £140m refinancing". Caterer and Hotelkeeper. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "BusinessWeek Online: BW Magazine". 24 October 2005. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  16. ^ "Caffè Nero". Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  17. ^ Hilton, Rhiannon (22 August 2013). "Caffe Nero organise pirate-themed treasure hunt for St Luke's Cheshire Hospice appeal". Crewe Chronicle. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  18. ^ [1][dead link]
  19. ^ "Caffe Nero". Caffe Nero. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  20. ^ "Caffe Nero". Caffe Nero. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  21. ^ "Caffe Nero at Cornbury". YouTube. 19 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  22. ^ "Planners say 'no' to Caffe Nero in Skipton (From Craven Herald)". 15 December 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  23. ^ "Public hearing hears of coffee shop concerns (From Craven Herald)". 7 June 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 
  24. ^ Simon Duke (18 November 2012). "Caffè Nero avoids UK tax". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 9 May 2014. 

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