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Austria - A caffeine boost for European exports

EU trade deals help turn Austrian coffee house into a global franchise.

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  • Mexico
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For centuries, Vienna has been famous for its coffee houses. Coffeeshop Company, which opened its first shop there in 1999, has a new take on the Viennese coffee house, involving roasting coffee, developing coffee machines and creating an authentic atmosphere under one roof.

EU trade deals with Mexico and Morocco in 2000 and Egypt in 2004 helped to turn Coffeeshop Company into a global franchise by reducing the administration needed to enter those markets. This lowered the cost of establishing franchises, making products cheaper, although challenges remained.

These stemmed from the highly developed coffee culture especially in Egypt and Morocco, where local traditions make it vital to understand the region. Coffeeshop Company thus hires and trains local people and develops close partnerships with suppliers.

Coffeeshop Company now has over 300 franchises serving 25 million cups of coffee a year and employing ‎4,500 people. These include 36 in Egypt and 6 in Mexico, with 54 set to open in Egypt and 100 in Mexico and the USA in the next five years.

The success in North Africa, where sales increased by a quarter in 2015, has led to contracts for franchises in Iran. Coffeeshop Company also has a big presence in Hungary, Slovakia and Russia.

The business was founded by the Schärf family and remains part of the Schärf Group, which was established in the 1950s and is an important employer in Neusiedl am See where it is based.

Find out more about the EU’s trade relations with Mexico