Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii Franchise Makes Bold Moves to Help Franchise Owners in the New Normal

The CEO of the Hawaiian coffee shop franchise opens up about how the leadership team is helping franchise owners remain profitable and open during the pandemic

When Royal Aloha Coffee Company acquired Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii, the Hawaiian coffee shop franchise, in 2019, the leadership team enacted bold initiatives to grow the brand. They made significant investments in training and support, launched a beautiful new store design and new branding, and streamlined the business model to maximize profitability.

And then Covid-19 happened. Faced with an unprecedented pandemic, the leadership team of Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii had to move and act quickly, mobilizing its significant resources to help franchise owners through the crisis. Luckily, all of the initiatives the leadership team enacted before the crisis hit, strengthened the brand and allowed them to weather the crisis together. 

“When the pandemic hit, we didn’t have time to waste – we acted quickly,” says Scott Snyder, CEO of Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii. “We gathered information, leveraged our resources, tracked changes as they came in. We worked to ensure that our franchisees had everything they needed to stay open and continue to prosper. As the pandemic developed, we were tasked with thinking beyond what the existing questions were, and we knew we needed to make online ordering possible.  COVID made that capability a make-or-break moment for our franchises. We identified a  short-term QR Code solution that was implemented within a week, and because we acted fast, our franchise stores remained open and competitive in their markets.

lady with mask serving Bad Ass Coffee Drink

The leadership has continued its all-hands-on-deck approach to supporting franchise owners. They’ve upped their communication significantly, and are focusing their efforts on getting answers, providing advice, and offering ongoing coaching.

“It had to be reactionary in the beginning, but now we’re focusing on actively coaching our franchise owners,” Snyder says. “We’re communicating with them on a daily and weekly basis. One of the advantages of being a small franchise system is that our franchisees know that they can call any one of us at any time – and if we don’t have an answer for them, we’re going to work until we do. We’re focused on helping them sustain their businesses as COVID continues.”

The success of the leadership team’s ability to act quickly on behalf of its franchise owners is a testament to the franchise model itself. Independent operators had to figure out everything from how to get access to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, to navigating changes to the supply chain, to keeping their staff and customers safe, as well as how to continue to be profitable, on their own. On the other hand, franchise owners with Bad Ass Coffee of Hawaii are now reaping the benefits of a strong support network. As the economy opens back up, our stores are seeing surging sales and winning over tons of new fans.

“We’ve got stores that are doing record breaking business today because we were able to stay open and earn new customers when other coffee shops were closed,” Snyder says. “Our overall revenue is exceeding pre-COVID revenue. We’re so proud of our stores and our franchise owners for how hard they’ve worked, how creative they got, and their commitment to stick with it. They’re winning over new customers, and we’re really excited about the future. Our success shows the strength of our business model, and it shows what’s possible when we’re united in our efforts.”

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