Interview with Coffee Bean

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When did you first open in Brunei?
How many outlets and staff do you have in total? We first opened at The Centrepoint Hotel on 10th August 2001. As of May 2014, The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf has a total of 10 outlets throughout Brunei, seven outlets in Bandar and three outlets in the Belait district. The most recent outlet was opened on 26 March 2014 at Departure Hall, New Passenger Terminal, Brunei International Airport. Currently we have a total of 150 team players.

What is Brunei’s favourite coffee and dessert?
Brunei’s favourite beverages are Viennese Coffee, Cappuccino, Caramel Latte for HOT drinks and the Original Ice Blended Mocha, Double Chocolate Ice Blended, Caramel Ice Blended topped the list for COLD beverages. Our most popular desserts are the Classic Chicago Cheese Cake, Blueberry Cheese Cake and Rainbow Cake and our oversized Chicken Pie is also a big hit.

Tell us about Bruneian’s love affair with the CBTL machine. How many CBTL machines have Coffee Bean sold?
The CBTL Single Serve Beverage System is a machine that connects The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf to our customers who appreciate coffee as much as we do. The CBTL is a machine that is giving customers the flexibility to be their own barista at home or at the office. The machine allows our customers to do their own espresso, coffee or tea with their own choice of flavour at any time of the day or night. Our quality and flavour are well assured as we have an excellent track record of happy and satisfied customers. Since the launch of this machine in September 2012, we have about 850 customers who now own one and this number is expected to increase by 30% by the end of 2014.

What is the secret of Coffee Bean’s success in Brunei?
We are in the “people business”. We serve people with a good premium product that is by the people, and for the people. Without happy customers, we will not be where we are today. We are always looking for ways to give only the best to our customers. We are thankful for the great support from the government, merchant partners, NGOs and most importantly from the community. What we have accomplished we give back through our community service & charitable program called Caring Cup Brunei Darussalam. We are proud to be part of Brunei Darussalam Local Business Development (LBD) that provides career opportunities for local Bruneians. To date, the company has employed about 65% locals. A happy employee and a satisfied customer will always be the secret recipe to our growth in the market.

What can we expect from Coffee Bean in the next 3 years?
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf’s mission is to be the leading franchisee and the customer’s first choice in the coffee business in Brunei Darussalam. We will continue to be innovative; to introduce more new products; and to provide excellent service. We sum up all of this in a standard of what we call; Total Quality Experience (TQE). We plan to open more outlets this year and expect to increase the company’s growth even more in the next 3 years.

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This article was published in the Jul-Sept 2014 issue of Inspire Magazine. Download it here!