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Caffè Nero

Caffè Nero

Caffè Nero (officially Caffè Nero Group Ltd) is a premium European style coffee house brand headquartered in London, England. Since 1997, led by Gerry Ford, Caffè Nero has grown internationally to be recognized as Europe's largest independent coffee house group. [1]. Currently, the company runs more than 1000 coffee houses in eleven countries: the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Poland, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey, the UAE, Oman, France and the United States. In 2009 Caffè Nero bought and opened its own coffee roastery, which supplies the coffee to all its coffee houses worldwide. It receives all of the beans it uses directly from the farmers, where the company has direct relationships and supports through a variety of community and funding schemes.[2]

"Caffè Nero" is Italian for "black coffee".

Caffè Nero Group Ltd.
Wandsworth Bridge Road Caffè Nero.jpg
Wandsworth Bridge Road Caffè Nero
Private company limited by shares
IndustryCoffee shops
HeadquartersLondon, England, UK
Number of locations
Increase1017 (2019)
Key people
ProductsEspresso based coffees
Frappé Latte
Savoury and Sweet goods
RevenueIncrease£227.9 million GBP (2013/4)
Number of employees
SubsidiariesHarris + Hoole
Websitewww.caffenero.com [28]


In 1997 Gerry Ford led a small group of investors in the purchase of 5 central London shops with the name Caffe Nero from an Ian Semp who established the name in 1990. Gerry Ford subsequently redesigned those units and founded the Caffè Nero brand as recognized today.[3][4]. At the same time the signature coffee house blend - Classico - was introduced, and has gone on to receive awards for its quality. [5]. The Classico blend is still served in every store today. [6][7] In March 2001 Caffè Nero joined the London Stock Exchange under the symbol CFN. In early 2007, the company was the subject of a management buy-out by the newly formed Rome Bidco Ltd and taken private.[8] Since 2007, the company expanded to Turkey in 2007, the UAE in 2009, Poland in 2012, Cyprus in 2013, and Ireland and the United States in 2014, Croatia in 2017, Oman in 2018, Sweden and France in 2019 [9]Caffè Nero's parent company is based in Luxembourg.[10]

In June 2016, the Caffè Nero Group completed the purchase of the Harris + Hoole brand from Tesco which consisted of 43 sites.[11], and in January 2019 the Group expanded further by completing the purchase of the majority shareholding of the 92 strong coffee chain Coffee#1 from Brains SA.[12]

Caffè Nero has won many accolades for its high quality coffee. It was rated by Allegra Strategies as having the highest coffee quality among coffee brands in the UK for eight years consecutively. In 2013, Caffè Nero's coffee was rated best tasting among five major UK brands by experts at the independent consumer magazine Which?[13]

On 10 April 2017, Caffè Nero introduced their loyalty payment app in the UK, in partnership with Yoyo Wallet. Designed to focus on improving customer experience and convenience, the app is much more about utility than it is about brand content. [14].[15]

Gerry Ford started the Nero Foundation to support coffee-growing communities and local communities located near to where it has stores. Funds from the Foundation are invested to enhance community amenities, such as schools in rural areas where the company sources its coffee beans. Caffè Nero also encourages its staff to support local causes that are close to their heart. The company has a commitment to provide funds up to the equivalent amount raised by employees for local good causes.


The company states it buys coffee from traders who have direct relationships with farmers and pay a "fair" price.[16]

The company has a reward scheme for customers. Each time a coffee is purchased, the customer's loyalty card is stamped with the 'Nero Coffee Bean Logo'. Once a card has nine stamps, the bearer is entitled to a free drink.[17]. Caffè Nero also offers double reward stamps for every customer who uses a reusable cup in its stores [18]

Caffè Nero participates in numerous waste and recycling initiatives including the London First Mile scheme which collects coffee grounds and converts it into bio-fuel[19]


Caffè Nero has not paid any corporation tax in the UK since 2007 and has been subject to ongoing criticism.[10][20], however, the BBC reported that "there is no suggestion that Caffe Nero has done anything illegal."[20] and that "Caffe Nero has previously rejected accusations that its complex corporate structure involving various holding companies is designed to avoid corporation tax."

A handful of the company's stores have either had planning permission controversies and/or enforcement action taken. One town accused Caffè Nero of "bully-boy tactics" [21] following the opening of several stores in the United Kingdom, without the required planning permission. However, all 11 stores where there have been planning permission issues have subsequently been granted planning permission.

In May 2015, the company said that they will stop serving milk from farms in Gloucestershire's badger cull areas. On 29 May 2015, the company said: "Caffè Nero has instructed its partners supplying to stores which are situated around the cull zone areas to supply milk from farms outside of the zone.[22] On 7 July 2015, rats were videoed scurrying along the floor and counter in their Donegall Square West unit in Belfast, despite having previously been awarded a four out of possible five star rating by inspectors from Belfast City Council. Having been notified of the incident, the store was closed for a full investigation and has subsequently reopened; the source of the infestation was an adjacent disused building.[23] A 2017 study by the BBC found trace amounts of faecal bacteria in Caffè Nero's iced drinks, alongside those of Starbucks and Costa Coffee.[24]

In June 2018 Polish State Sanitary Inspectorate and media reported 63 adults and 10 children having been poisoned (21 of whom were hospitalized) after eating salmonella-contaminated cakes served in a number of Caffè Neros in Warsaw, Cracow and Wrocław.[25][26]

See also

  • List of coffeehouse chains


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