If you want to find decent coffee in Budapest, you have many options, but if you need a quick caffeine boost to sip on the go, from a cool glass and at a good price-to-value ratio, then these options narrow. Now a new player has appeared on the market: 5 to go, a hugely successful coffee chain across Europe, has recently opened its first outlet on Király utca. If you’ve ever been to one of Romania’s larger cities, you've probably come across the brand, which is so popular that it already numbers nearly 400 outlets and is constantly expanding. We've just spent a great afternoon at 5 to go in Budapest, where we got to see how a franchise network works, which can also be a great investment, if someone here wants to start their own business with the help of a well-versed team.
Living on the go
When we arrived on hot Király utca, and all we wanted was a refreshing iced coffee, upon walking though the door of 5 to go, we immediately understood why this coffee chain is so popular in our neighbouring country. Our iced-caramel coffee was prepared in seconds by the smiling barista, and the counter was full of fun paper cups and gourmet crackers. The design is friendly and vibrant, the service friendly, the coffees delicious and the colourful, pop-art style glasses guaranteed to brighten your day – but that's not the only reason you leave the place smiling.
At 5 to go, you don't have to worry too much about the prices, there are no tricky amounts or fraudulent numbers ending in 99, the communication is clear and honest in all areas, which is why the 5-star rating is justified. You can drink an espresso or an Americano for 500 forints, a cappuccino for 700, and the prices are fixed, even if you drink the coffee on its own or flavoured with an exciting syrup.
For 900 forints,
you can order a larger glass of latte, a flat white or iced coffee, and for 1,100
forints, the coffee simply named Mr. Big comes in the biggest paper cup for real
aficionados, but for this price you can also order a smoothie, a milkshake or
an iced matcha latte.
And for 1,300 forints, you can have a hearty breakfast, for which you get a medium coffee and your choice of delicious cake or sandwich to go with it, depending on whether you choose the Italian, American, French or organic urban breakfast option.
Individual needs at no extra cost
At 5 to go, of
course, they also pay attention to individual needs. If you ask for any
drink made from lactose-free or plant-based milk, they won’t charge anything
extra, so there will be no hidden costs. On the snack menu, they also have
vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options, as well as delicious sandwiches
freshly prepared by the baristas.
Environmental awareness also plays an important role in the life of the café, so the biodegradable and even edible straws are standard issue, and you can even get your own 5 to go thermos instead of a disposable cup. It is planned that the resulting coffee grounds will be recycled for compost or beauty products, and 5 to go can also be found in the Munch system that fights against food waste.
In addition to great prices, good design and cool ideas, the most important question is, of course, what the coffee is like. We can say straight away: the quality is excellent. It is no coincidence, because the Italian coffee used is a unique blend with an intense, full-bodied, creamy aroma, which is made especially for the 5 to go coffee chain.
The 5 to go success story
The first outlet in the 5 to go brand appeared on the Romanian market in
2015, and in a few years it became the largest coffee chain in Eastern Europe,
and the most popular and accessible franchise network in the country.
In 2022, they have already opened nearly 400 stores, and next year this number may reach up to 500. They have also started to expand in the international market, so we can find 5 to go outlets in France, the United Kingdom and Belgium.
Positivity to go
"We believe in the strength of our business model and brand: simple solutions, clean processes, availability, fair prices and the constant pursuit of high quality characterise 5 to go. We offer coffee, smiles, a positive experience and a special atmosphere. 5 to go is a feeling of life, and this is what consumers around the world are looking for," says Radu Savopol, co-founder of 5 to go.
The 5 to go coffee chain was brought to Hungary by György Antalffy, who is no stranger to the franchise system, as he owns the master franchise of the Demmers Teahouse tea business and has two stores in Budapest himself. According to plans, five of his own 5 to go cafés will open in the capital by May 2023, but the opportunity will be available to future franchise partners throughout the country.
Huge potential for growth
"I strongly believe in the ‘to go’ business model, as this segment has huge growth potential in Hungary. I have analysed several franchises and business models, and I am fully confident that 5 to go is the right choice for entrepreneurs willing to invest and strive for success in our country."
"The main factors that distinguish 5 to go from any other café are actually part of the brand philosophy: accessibility, the essence of the 'to go' business model, the look and feel of the brand, from the coffee cups to the café décor, warm and friendly communication, from the barista’s smile to cool creative campaigns," says György Antalffy.
So if you go to 5 to go, you can not only drink good coffee at great value for money, but you can even think about starting your own business. A team with an international background helps franchise partners along the lines of a well-developed system, so even those who have no experience in the domestic gastronomy scene can boldly open their own café. But it is also a great option for those who want to create a small coffee corner in their existing store, as 5 to go has developed solutions for this as well.