Mikel Coffee Company to Expand in UAE

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Reading Time: 3 minutesFounded in 2008 the chain made its debut in Greece and spurred over a period of eight years. Operating some 154 stores in Greece, Mikel Coffee Company has plans to conquer new horizons.

Offering a menu that has 130 varieties of drinks on it, Mikel is good at paying attention and sustaining what attracts customers’ attention. Skilled staff and ambiance; both are managed well enough by the company to give a tough competition to its big named rivals in the coffee field and prosper in its homeland amid the recession years.

For expansion, Mikel Coffee Company has chosen the world region that contains a huge global community these days; Dubai. The company has plans to move beyond Dubai and expand over the whole UAE region. So far Mikel has shown great progress, opening seven stores in under a year. Thirteen more are part of the plan already.

The reason behind their swift expansion and increasing popularity might have to do with them custom tailoring their menu according to the regional tastes.

General Manager Hossam Altadmori told said: “we have to work closely with Mikel owner Mr. Eleftherios Kyriakakis to adapt Mikel’s portfolio of drinks to the diverse needs of these consumers, especially Mikel’s cold drinks that are very popular here. Shortly, we’ll launch four new special drinks for UAE only. Meanwhile, we have supplemented Mikel’s product offerings with a full international food menu that includes Arabic and English breakfast, and western lunch and dinner dishes, such as Pasta, Burger, Salads….”

While UAE is an open market which is booming and still has so much to offer it is Mikel’s great chance to succeed for it is not yet anywhere near saturation point for the coffee industry in the Gulf Region.

Starbucks has a little problem in Dubai — competition from Greek start-up Mikel Coffee Company.

For years, Starbucks faced little competition at home and abroad. That’s how the company ended up with over 24,000 stores.

To be fair, many companies have tried to copy and replicate Starbucks business model. Some tried to copy the company’s espresso beverage menu — like McDonald’s with its McCafe product line. Others tried to copy its “third place” concept — like Costa Cafe in London and Caffe Bene in New York City.

But none of these companies managed to come up with a business model to compete effectively against Starbucks in all four attributes: beverage, store setting, service, and culture.

Until 2008, that is, when Mikel Coffee Company made its appearance in Greece with a modern coffee shop, featuring a portfolio of 130 beverages — and an elegantly designed “third place” look, staffed by well-trained and dedicated associates.

That’s how Mikel expanded like wildfire in Greece, opening up 154 stores in eight years, most of them in the middle of the country’s severe recession.

Last year, Mikel began its expansion outside Greece. Beginning with Dubai, where it has already opened up seven stores, with another thirteen under the way. And it has plans to expand in the rest of the Emirates and the Gulf countries, adapting Mikel’s menu to the tastes of UAE consumers.

That’s according to Hossam Altadmori, once a Mikel customer in Athens, and now General Manager of Mikel UAE.

“As you are aware, UAE is among the most cosmopolitan countries in the world, where more than 200 nationalities live together,” says Altadmori. “So we have to work closely with Mikel owner Mr. Eleftherios Kyriakakis to adapt Mikel’s portfolio of drinks to the diverse needs of these consumers, especially Mikel’s cold drinks that are very popular here. Shortly, we’ll launch four new special drinks for UAE only. Meanwhile, we have supplemented Mikel’s product offerings with a full international food menu that includes Arabic and English breakfast, and western lunch and diner dishes, such as Pasta, Burger, Salads….”

StatisticValue
Population9.16 million
GDP Growth3.9%
Per Capita GDP$39,313
Per Capita GDP PPP$65,717

Source: Tradingeconomics.com 4/28/2017

Will these adaptations help Mikel replicate its success at home in UAE, and serve as Starbucks’ big problem, as has been the case back in Greece?

It is too early to say. Besides, UAE is a fast growing economy with plenty of room for many great companies to thrive without crowding the marketplace.

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