reinventing the coffeehouse

Grooveground was created to be a place for everyone and everything. One visit and you realize why so many visitors comment on "never having seen such a place." To us, it is the biggest compliment we could receive. In an age of cookie-cutter formulas, retail nebulas and corporate coffee giants, Grooveground is and always will be original. As you'll discover, it's part of the design itself.

Grooveground set out to offer the most unique product mix available in both the coffee and micro retail categories in a comfortable and stylish "3rd space" environment. It delivers the unexpected from the moment you arrive. The interior consists of a main lounge with low-profile seating, the main section with varying arrangements of café tables, focal areas for CDs, DVDs and merchandise, a line queue and bar.

The first location opened its doors in 2001 in an suburban location outside Philadelphia. Though the town was growing through redevelopment efforts, pedestrian and auto traffic was initially very mild. To succeed, local businesses needed to become destinations —enter Grooveground. Through its unique offerings, word of mouth, rave reviews, and customer loyalty, Grooveground, in many ways, became a beacon of urban renewal and a sign of good things to come.

By 2005, Grooveground won numerous "best of" awards and began to draw visitors from all over New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Most importantly, the brand made true connections to customers by offering what they had been waiting for.

 

success is in the mix

Grooveground is a concept created to bring the best to our customers in many different product categories. Through a finely tuned and ever-evolving mix, we are strategically positioned to be a leader in concept retail environments. There simply is no more flexible and adaptable alternative.
The key to Grooveground’s success is its delicate balance between sales, presentation, merchandising and atmosphere, which is accomplished through a streamlined design and innovative café environment. In the end or customers are immersed in a “total brand experience”—crafted just for them and ready for whatever the future holds.

 
fueled by the coffee boom

Grooveground is one part coffee and dessert bar, another part café and another part retailer with results bigger than the sum of its parts. By choosing specialty coffee as its foundation, it has set the stage for success as the coffee industry continues to boom, year after year. In fact, coffee sales in 2005 rang in at a whopping $34.5 billion (yes that's billion dollars) and sales are expected to approach $48 billion by 2010*. In all, 80% of Americans drink coffee three to four times a day—53% every day in 2005 versus 49% in 2004. It is no surprise that traditional fast food outlets are trying to entice consumers back with new blends and mini coffeebars. Though this strategy may hold onto their current slice of the coffee pie, we would strongly discourage anyone from having an espresso in the same place that grills fish sandwiches.

[*Source: marketresearch.com].

 

creating communities, in style

In the era of online communities and blog-til-you-drop messaging sites, one thing remains clear, there is no substitute for the real world. Which is why, in addition to online technology, Grooveground makes its most substantial investment building real communities—places where people come together to exchange ideas, fuel-up and spend time with one another. Typically, you’ll find guests conducting business, getting some personal R&R, shopping for unique finds or simply, having way too much fun. That’s because Grooveground was designed with fun in mind. Inspired by the urban settings of Philadelphia, SoHo and Miami, it exudes a style all its own: minimal and modern, yet comfortable and smart. It's a place people grow to call their own and stylish enough to turn heads and draw in new customers every day. It's an experience that is forward-thinking, warm-feeling and one you don’t soon forget.

 

winning business formula

Because Grooveground was built from the ground up, we understand the needs of the independent operator. In order for our franchise to be accessible to all, our franchise system is engineered around 5 key areas:

[1]  SIMPLIFIED + ECONOMIC START-UP


Outfitting a retail space is costly. We know this first hand. However, things don't have to run out of control. Through simplified menus, ingredient controls and sometimes even pre-owned equipment, franchisees can significantly lower both their start-up and day-to-day operational costs.

 
[2]  DIVERSIFICATION

We've learned that focus is the key to elevating sales and minimizing loss—two factors that make or break franchises. By design, Grooveground uses diversification to increase the opportunities franchisees have to sell products by keeping the menu and product selection diverse. This encourages browsing and purchasing. As new product lines and menu items are introduced, it is seamless to the customer experience because (1) they’ve grown to trust the source and (2) the mix creates a harmony that is unique to Grooveground.

 
[3]  SYSTEMS + TECHNOLOGY

Grooveground’s ordering and management systems carefully monitor trends and allow franchisees to make adjustments specific to their location's needs. Example resources include operational audits, sales, order and financial tracking, human resource management and daily store operations.
Our multi-store Point of Sale (POS) system handles daily transactions and reporting with ease through proven back office functions that make store administration a breeze. Multi-store networking enables our organization to track trends and make recommendations to member stores regarding merchandising, pricing strategy and employee scheduling.
 
[4]  EXCEPTIONAL TASTE

We wouldn't be where we are, if it wasn't for what we are. At the forefront of Grooveground’s reputation is the ridiculous attention paid to the coffee we sell. La Colombe Torrefaction, one of the finest roasters in the United States, is fresh roasted daily by the same people who started the magic back in 1996. In our experience, no roaster pays as close attention to taste and service. The flavor is celebrated by gourmet palettes from coast to coast and we are very proud of the partnership we have forged over the years.
Grooveground’s café menu is one of the most varied and interesting in the industry. From tapas appetizers to succulent sandwiches, there are literally hundreds of reasons to keep your customers coming back. The success of our menu is grounded in its ability to offer options not only for varying palettes but for varying appetities. Some guests are regular breakfast, lunch and dinner visitors while others come for more social reasons during more off-hours. Grooveground’s menu and pricing strategy enables franchisees to fill the gaps between traditional dining periods with these types of add-on sales.

In-store, you'll find unique products that epitomize style and capture your customer’s attention. Our retail product team consists of management and line-level employees coming together to review potential products. At times, some great ideas are born and tossed to our sister company Spark Creative Group to design and produce under the Made brand where they eventually reach Grooveground’s shelves. Our customers demand products that speak to them passionately. Fortunately for us, passion is all we know.

[5]  EXPERIENCED EXECUTIVE TEAM


The franchise management team is comprised of retail managers, designers, hospitality professionals and operations consultants who are responsible for Grooveground's continued success and the its "caffeinated" future. After completing our initial application and evaluation, you meet many of the people behind the scenes at your on-site visit.
why franchising works

Franchising is an opportunity for high driven, talented people to start their own American Dream. With a franchise, much of the legwork has been completed for you. All you need is high energy and a drive to be successful! All franchisees receive full use of the Grooveground logo and brand identity, menus, recipes, proven operational guides, business model and vendor relations, which includes negotiable pricing to take advantage of greater purchasing power. For these resources, franchisees compensate the company with an initial fee and monthly royalties. It's a proven system that suited the expansion goals of Grooveground and offered an affordable and invigorating opportunity for potential investors.

"More than nine of ten (92%) of the 1,001 franchise owners questioned in a recent survey consider themselves either 'very' or 'somewhat' successful. The survey of franchisee satisfaction levels, conducted for the International Franchise Organization's Education Foundation by the Gallup Organization during September/October 1997, was released in Las Vegas during the association's annual convention in March. Nearly all respondents (93%) believe that being associated with a franchise system gives them an advantage. Listed advantages included name recognition, support from their franchisor, knowledge, advertising, buying power, networking and training, according to the survey. Franchise owners believe they are more successful than similar independent or small businesses."

[Reprinted from the May/June 1998 issue of Franchising World]

Who makes the perfect
grooveground franchisee?


In addition to being driven and a people person, there are certain x-factors that make someone a good match. Count how many you agree with then and score yourself at the end. It’s fun and you’ll gain insight into who makes a successful Grooveground franchisee.

I firmly believe that chocolate is the missing link
  in the food pyramid.

Without coffee, I am only able to see out of one eye.

Music is the globe’s most sustainable fuel source.
A sense of culture, community and diversity play a major role in my life.

I know I would be an excellent leader.

I’ve always wanted to run my own show.

People continue to fascinate me.

I learn something new every day.

I’ve been called a “foodie” for my culinary curiosity.

I know what it takes to get things done.

I’ve waited more than 5 hours for concert tickets.

I play well with others.

So, how’d you do? You get point for each you agreed with.

1-4 points: Call us as soon as possible-you need to get out more.
5-8 points: Ideal candidate and at one with the universe.
9-12 points: You should purchase five units as soon as possible and start the rest of your life!

training, support and systems


PRE-OPENING STAFF TRAINING

Grooveground offers the most comprehensive training package for you and a member of your management staff at our main location prior to opening. You'll work one-on-one with the founders, current management team and staff and learn the "ins and outs" of our operation from front of house customer service to food preparation. Consider it coffee university with style and perks.

OPENING

During your opening week, Grooveground staff will be at your location to assist you and your staff in with all preparations. This phase also serves to finalize in-store merchandising, décor, kitchen and serving details as well as to be a helping hand for whatever comes up. Prior to the big day, our agency will have thoroughly researched and prepared all advertising and public relations efforts, to allow you to focus on the grand opening. No worries here.

VENDOR RELATIONS

Over the years we have researched and established relationships that bring the finest product and customer service to our franchises. This enables us to achieve a lower cost-basis for all locations and present a unified product offering.

ON-GOING SUPPORT

In addition to monthly visits that first year, you will have access to on-line reference and promotional tools, newsletters, and a toll-free number for store assistance to help answer any questions you might have. Of course our entire staff is just a phone call or e-mail away to assist you with just about anything.


finding the perfect place

In reaching our goal of 20 regional locations by 2010, Grooveground is constantly researching, monitoring and establishing territories to offer to our franchisees. Each location is awarded based on the potential for creating a Grooveground community, where like-minded customers come to share food, fun, drinks and ideas. Creating that culture is a direct result of our dedicated franchisees opening in the best locations available.

Our expansion plan is based on a balanced strategy of corporate and franchise units so that everyone benefits from high traffic, highly visible locations in up-and-coming areas. As a Grooveground franchisee, we will assist you in the selection process. Because we continually look for “hotspots,” we are able to offer site selection assistance or can help evaluate your preferred location. Our experienced team can assist you in selecting and securing a location.

DEMOGRAPHICS

One of the first things to consider are the surrounding demographics which describe your potential customers across a variety of categories such as:

Population Density (urban): 25,000 (or greater) pedestrian and vehicle traffic
Population Density (suburban): 15,000-18,000 residents within 1 mile
Median Household Income: $55,000 (or greater)

GROWTH FACTORS

There are also many key drivers that can effect the success of your Grooveground franchise location.

Are there nearby universities and colleges campuses?
Is the location a part of a popular downtown or
  mainstreet district?
Is the location accessible from high traffic routes and
  public transportation?
Would your location be a part of a “lifestyle center” -
  an indoor or outdoor shopping destination?

PROPERTY ATTRIBUTES AND LEASING TERMS*

Lastly, and possibly most importantly, our team will make sure you secure an excellent location with beneficial leasing terms. Some specifications include:

Size of Building: 1,700-2,000 square feet
Total Customer Capacity: 38-44
Visibility: Must be very visible from main intersections,
  ideally from multiple angles. Corner buildings are best.
Appearance and tenant mix: Ensure that neighboring
  businesses both compliment and support the
  Grooveground concept and that all local properties
  maintain an excellent appearance.
Hidden Costs: Research and document all fees that
  may be associated with your location including common
  maintenance, taxes, etc.

*Your attorney and business advisors will need to review all these factors with you during your decision-making process.
architecture and design

The design and feel of Grooveground is eclectic, modern and comfortable. Our Interior Style Guide ensures that all locations give provide your customers with the consistent experience they expect. Our design team will assist you in implementing the guide for your specific location. There are minimum recommendations for size and exterior features of the actually location as well as sign specifications. By applying the guide’s requirements for fixtures, finishes and furnishings you will build one of the most unique environments in the business.

marketing and advertising

Grooveground offers full marketing and advertising services company-wide and has a very successful track record in both positioning and branding. We are in partnership with one of the region's leading brand design firms to ensure that Grooveground’s message is heard in all territory locations. Your marketing royalties fund fresh and up-to-date marketing materials as well as the media buys needed to target potential customers. Strategically, our marketing team works year-round to analyze potential opportunities and continue to grow the brand in directions that are ahead of the curve.
f.a.q.


Q. Do I need prior experience in the foodservice or retail business?

A. Not at all. All you need is management and people experience. Our training program and on-going support will give you the tools you need to be successful.

Q. Is experience in running a small business required?

A. While small business experience is helpful, it is not required. You will receive step-by-step training at our offices in the important aspects of operating your business. What is required is a love for our product offerings and a passion for customer service.

Q. Do I have to be the sole manager of a Grooveground coffeebar?

A. Not necessarily. We hope that you will have daily exposure to your location the first few years, however a staff member supervising day-to-day operations is helpful and recommended. Most successful stores are operated by owner(s) or a seasoned retail manager.

Q. Is there a typical size for a Grooveground franchise?

A. Currently, we are recommending spaces between 1000-2500 sq. ft. Kiosk and express concepts are being considered and should be discussed directly with your Franchise Coordinator.

Q. Are there standards set in place in each franchise?

A. Absolutely. That is the main reason Grooveground has been so successful. Standards for customer service, food and beverage, operations and human resources are required to ensure that every location delivers the same experience.

Q. What is an Operations Manual?

A. This is a publication provided by Grooveground that documents every aspect of the business. It is confidential and may not be shared with anyone outside the franchise.

Q. What is a protected territory?

A. A protected territory is a designated area where you are the exclusive franchisee. The territory is yours only and no other franchise or company-owned store would be placed in that area.

Q. What types of franchises are available?

A. Currently, we are offering single franchise agreements. In the near future, a franchisee will be able to purchase territory areas.

Q. What additional service will I receive after the franchise opens?
A. You have a number of support options, even after your training and opening facilitation. You will have access to our online web service, company updates and telephone support. You'll also receive visits from members of the franchise team and management for additional training and support.

Q. What products am I required to sell?

A. Grooveground locations are be supplied and merchandised by approved vendors and suppliers. We are always working to get the finest products for the best price.

Q. What are the other fees associated with the franchise?

A. Franchisees pay an on-going monthly royalty of 6% of gross sales and an additional 2% of gross sales to the marketing fund.

Q. I want a Grooveground! What do I do next?

A. It’s easy. Simply download and complete the Initial Application below and send it in. Read more about the complete process below.


what can i expect as i go through the process?

STEP 1:
Ask yourself if you meet the minimum requirements

A total combined net worth of $200-$300k is recommended with a majority of the cash investment coming from personal resources. These needs will of course vary by location, site development, market demands and other factors. Retail experience is recommended, but a love of people, a good business sense and a strong personal drive are more important.

STEP 2:
Request additional information

It’s easy and we’re easy going! Complete a brief online form [HERE] and let’s us know where and when to call. If you’re ready to go, you can apply now in the next step.

STEP 3:
Complete the Initial Grooveground Franchise Application.

Really excited? Can’t wait? You can go ahead and fill out the Initial Grooveground Franchise Application and mail or fax it in.
Just click [HERE] to download the application PDF.

STEP 4:

Evaluation

During this stage, we review your application and check all the requirements. Our job here is to make sure that you meet all the criteria of a successful franchisee.

STEP 5:
On-site visit

Selected applicants will be invited for an on-site visit. You'll receive our marketing package, learn more about the opportunity, tour our location, sample product and experience the Grooveground concept in person. You’ll also receive our UFOC (official franchise document) and Official Grooveground Franchise Agreement (if you haven’t already). Please remember to have proof of financial capability (loan application or other documentation) with you.

STEP 6:
Award notification

Within 7 days of receiving all completed paperwork and financial documentation, we will notify you of our decision to award you a franchise. If you are awarded a franchise you must execute your agreement within 60 days.

STEP 7:
Execute Franchise Agreement and Welcome Orientation

You’ll visit our offices to execute your Grooveground Franchise Agreement, pay franchise fee in full and attend a welcome orientation. Once the contracts are signed, you will have two months to contractually secure your property and five months to open your location.
STEP 8:
Pre-Opening Process

You'll follow our pre-opening process using the tools and systems we provide along with all the tips and resources in the Grooveground Pre-Opening Guide. This includes location assistance, store outfitting guidelines and operational systems.

STEP 9:
Training

You'll attend training at our offices which includes a mix of in-store sessions and small group meetings. During your opening week, we will be at your location to assist you and your staff in with all preparations.

STEP 10:
Opening

One of our Franchise Coordinators is dispatched to your store for three days to assist with opening your location.

request additional information

Interested yet? Think you are ready for the ride of your life? Good to hear we're not alone! Simply click HERE and provide some basic information and our Franchise Development Director will get you everything you need to get started. If you have all the info you need and are ready to apply, download and complete this PDF and mail or fax it to us.

Applicants that are a good fit will be invited for an on-site visit to discuss interest. You'll receive our marketing package, learn more about the opportunity, tour our location, sample product and experience the Grooveground concept in person. No pressure at all—that's reserved for the espresso water.

Request additional Information


downloads

Download Initial Grooveground Franchise Application
Download Overview Brochure













Disclaimers: Certain jurisdictions require franchisors to comply with registration requirements before they advertise or offer and sell franchises in the jurisdiction. The communications made through this web page should not be construed as an advertisement or offer to sell a franchise in, nor are the communications directed by or on behalf of Grooveground to the residents of, any jurisdiction that requires registration of a franchise prior to offering and selling the franchise in that jurisdiction. No Grooveground franchises will be sold to any resident of such jurisdiction or for any location in the jurisdiction until Grooveground complies with the applicable legal requirements, including delivery of any required disclosure documents. Nothing in this disclaimer should be construed as a waiver of any applicable exemption provisions which may be available.