The Eastern European branded coffee shop market looks buoyant. Romania, in particular, posted double-digit unit growth in 2018: + 25%, according to the latest Project Café Europe 2019 annual study published by the Allegra Group. And while big international brands like Starbucks are entering new markets and driving their growth in others, local brands are also emerging and gaining strength.
The 100-unit-strong coffee shop chain 5 To Go was launched as a fixed-price concept in Romania’s capital, Bucharest, in 2015 by Radu Savopol, a designer and restaurateur, and Lucian Bâdilâ, a 25-year-old barista, and entrepreneur.
All hot coffee beverages (espresso, cappuccino, latte etc.) as well as other beverages (chocolate, tea, soft drinks) and snacks are priced at RON 5, little more than one Euro (approx. €1.05), and served in well-designed stores with an appealing and contemporary feel. “I wanted to come up with something new and fresh for the Romanian market,” says Savopol. “Fixed pricing is not really an innovative concept for Europe or America, but in Romania, it was not really developed. Research showed us that a good and well-prepared coffee could be sold at a fair price in good looking stores. We have gained the trust of our clients because we are offering them medium-premium products at a low price.”