Cilantro Cafe Going International

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Cilantro Café from Egypt to International Market
Table of Contents:
1.Introduction (Cilantro’s History)………...……........………….……… Page 3 2.Cilantro’s Current Situation…………………………………….……. Page 4 3.Cilantro’s Objectives and Strategies………………..………….....… Page 5 4.Cilantro Going International……………………...…..……...……...…Page 6 5.Cilantro’s Strengths and Weaknesses…………………...………… Page 9 6.Conclusion……………………………………………..……..……… Page 11 7.Recommendations…………………..…….………………...…………Page 11 References…………………………………………..….…..…………. Page 12

1- Cilantro’s History:
In 2000, Cilantro was originally established by creative young entrepreneurs Maher Maksoud and Nader Lahzee. The first store was a quaint and cozy little shop in Zamalek, Cairo, the store catered to a wide variety of customers ranging from the foreign expatriates to the sophisticated cultured intelligentsia of the Egyptian society and up to school and college students. The popularity of the store had encouraged its founders to open its second store in a strategic location in Downtown Cairo directly across the street from the American University in Cairo (AUC). Cilantro ventured its third store with the opening of City Stars mall, it was the first café to open in the mall and was able to gain excellent recognition and captured a wide market base. Its success in Cairo has allowed its owners to contract for a prime location in Alexandria City Center, and thus start its first operation outside Cairo serving the coastal Alexandrian market in the second largest market in Egypt. By 2004, Cilantro had 8 successful stores and very strong brand awareness in Egyptian market; it has been able to meet competition from international chains like Costa Café. In 2005, Delicious Inc. has been acquired by group Energya El Sewedy. Mr. Hesham Helal El Sewedy had bid against Starbucks for the acquisition of the chain and he won the bid for a rumored LE 40 million. In 2006, Cilantro had 21 locations throughout Cairo, Alexandria and Sharm El Sheikh. In 2008, Cilantro has expanded rapidly, from 12 locations in 2005 to 53 in September 2008. Cilantro Café became the 1st Egyptian café chain to venture outside the regional market into the international scene by opening the first cilantro café in Piccadilly Street in the heart of London.

2- Cilantro’s Current Situation:
The current domestic and international situation for Cilantro seems to be an emerging part of their business and the reorganization of this is proved by their aim to become one of the key players in the café industry in the international market through making a difference in customers’ lives all around the world. Cilantro’s slogan is “Appetite for Life” which describes what Cilantro is all about. Cilantro is not only a café shop or chain of cafes, its target is to be part of its customer’s life, Cilantro does not only offer his customers food, beverage and seating area, it offers them home away of home. Now Cilantro has 75 stores in Egypt (while Starbucks has only 23 stores) and 7 stores outside Egypt (2 FDI stores in London and 5 franchised stores in KSA, Jordon and Kuwait), during the next few months Cilantro will expand its store outside Egypt to 11.

3- Cilantro’s Objectives and Strategies:
a-Cilantro’s Coffee: It offers gourmet Italian coffee available in different tastes, styles and sizes.

b-Cilantro’s food: Cilantro is providing wide selection of healthy food ranges from soup and salads to bakeries, cold and hot sandwiches, snacks and desserts.

c-Cilantro’s staff: Cilantro management slogan when it comes to their staff is “We take care of our people, and they take care of our customers”.

Cilantro have policies and different programs for their staff, they are taking care of the safe working condition, they applying the open door policy, they provide medical insurance to their staff, developing training and development process.

They also have years and service program, rewarding and recognition...
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