The Caffè Nero story goes back around 20 years, to their founder Gerry Ford. Armed with a passion for coffee, he had a vision to create traditional Italian cafés across Europe; places that would serve very high quality coffee and serve as neighbourhood meeting spots.

They started off simply trying to make a few local independent coffee houses work. And they did! They  never aspired to be a big company; in fact, even today they see themselves as a start-up. They have grown one coffee, one customer and one store at a time – always trying to be the best at what they do.

They have reinvested in the business to stay true to Gerry’s original vision and they’ve done this with resilience and determination.  Making great coffee takes some doing. So, they built their own Roastery and created a unique award-winning coffee blend. And, they also set up their espresso training school – where all their Baristas master the art of coffee making. This has led to their family owned and operated business opening more than 800 coffee houses across Europe.

The Challenge

To produce a single, standardised information system to support the reporting and analysis needs of the business and to make it widely available to operational decision makers.

The Solution

Caffè Nero chose to work with Tahola due to their experience and some strong customer references in the hospitality sector. Tahola recommended a solution based on IBM  Cognos Business Analytics. “A key aim for us”, says David Radburn, Head of IT at Caffè Nero, “is to integrate all of our key business systems so that everyone sees the same information in the same way”.

The solution has two purposes. Firstly, to provide ad-hoc analysis capabilities to look at, for example, the performance of individual stores, new products, product categories. Secondly, it produces fixed reporting to  the  operations teams. To support this, Caffè Nero has developed a web- based “Cognos Portal” which has become the only place to go for the information its Area Managers need to do their jobs effectively. The portal pulls information from a number of operational systems, including:

  • Micros BE Epos system
  • Pegasus Opera accounts and maintenance system
  • Bespoke customer service system
  • HR database.

Having all this data in one place enables managers to look at their trending and analysis, for example, the correlation between staff turnover and retention and sales or customer service scores.

Daily and weekly business summary reports show performance at a glance, highlighting any issues and enabling managers to click through to look at the supporting information. Caffè Nero also uses Cognos to produce a monthly dashboard/balanced scorecard to assess whether the company is meeting its KPIs at a store, area, region or corporate level.

“Cognos has become absolutely critical to the successful running of our business”, says Radburn. “Having accurate, timely and relevant information at our fingertips enables us to make the right decisions to improve our performance. In fact, our Area Managers need to use it to support them in successfully managing their territories”.

Radburn concludes “We serve premium espresso handcrafted expertly by baristas who take pride in their work, and of course we aim to be as  profitable  as we can  be by doing    so. Understanding the detail of what is happening in our stores is mission critical and there is no question that Cognos makes a significant contribution towards helping Caffè Nero achieve its aim”.

The Result

  • Significant contribution  to achieving business goals
  • Provides a consistent, balanced picture of performance
  • Greater insight into store, product and staff performance
  • Trend analysis
  • Provides efficient, consistent and standardised  way of working for all Area Managers


If you are ready to start your analytics journey or would simply like to find out more about the wide variety of solutions and services Tahola offer, then contact us today to arrange a call or to book a demonstration. We can help you to understand more about which of your data really matters to you and what you should be doing to act upon it….lets start planning your analytics journey together…today….

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