Caffé Nero

Caffé Nero

Steaming ahead with customer engagement


Who are they?

Caffè Nero is a European coffee house specialising in high quality Italian coffee. Their philosophy is really very simple: premium Italian coffee; a warm and welcoming atmosphere; good food and great personal service. Caffè Nero opens one new store a week and now has over 600 stores globally with more than 4,000 skilled baristas and support team employees. Caffè Nero has been part of the coffee culture revolution and has helped raise the bar on the coffee quality available to consumers through the introduction of hand-crafted artisan coffee in hundreds of towns and cities in Europe, the Middle East and the USA.
Through this, Caffè Nero has become one of the most recognised and admired coffee house brands in the world.

In the beginning
Caffè Nero had observed the growing success of prepaid in high street retail and felt there was an opportunity for them to explore. In order to understand the true potential of this opportunity from a financial and brand marketing perspective, and to make an informed decision on the most appropriate routes to market, Caffè Nero needed to have a comprehensive understanding of the UK gifting market; its size, how it is segmented and the “best fit” channels for a Caffè Nero Gift Card to be sold through.

Savvy clearly demonstrated relevant market understanding and we strongly felt they would deliver

James Flett

Partnerships Manager


Initial Requirements

In late 2010 Caffè Nero formally engaged Savvy to:

  • Provide a comprehensive understanding of the UK Gift Card market, giving specific attention to the various channels to market and their level of fit with Caffè Nero’s requirements
  • To outline the stages and processes involved in launching a successful gift card programme, and insight into implementing this across Caffè Nero’s estate and fulfilling both consumer and business to business orders
  • To deliver a detailed plan of activity for each stage, to include both costs and benefits of various solutions/services on offer in the market. This fully costed proposal would enable Caffè Nero to understand the impact a gift card product would have on their own resources, present outsourced services for various elements of the gift card programme and offer personal recommendations in-line with Caffè Nero’s criteria.

Development and Deployment

Following initial consultations with the Caffè Nero team, a precise project scope was agreed the deliverables from which were:

    1. Interview leading prepaid industry contacts for specific insight and views on the proposed Caffè Nero prepaid card
    2. Provide general market insight on the closed loop prepaid market in 2010 and beyond in terms of the opportunities available
    3. Clarify and prioritise the channel to market opportunity (malls, B2B, B2C)
    4. Establish their business income targets for prepaid and key performance indicators to be managed
    5. Establish the recommended programme launch plan with timelines and milestones, identifying key resources and dependencies
    6. Identify the optimum approach for ongoing programme management post launch

Early in 2011 following the successful delivery of the consultation phase, the Caffè Nero board gave the green light to proceed with a full rollout of a gift card product to be sold via their outlets, head office, and via 3rd party retailers. The chosen solution provide was Barclaycard who white label the award winning Savvy Store24 platform. Savvy subsequently worked closely with the Caffè Nero IT and Operations teams which included facilitating a direct integration with their EPOS vendor Torex. Following a successful development and testing phase, the full product was deployed on schedule and to budget in mid-2011.


“The Caffè Nero card really is a great success for us and we are delighted with the support we have had from Day 1 with Savvy. We would strongly recommend them to any merchant looking for a committed service delivery partner in the customer engagement space”.  

James Flett

Partnerships Manager, Caffe Nero

 On-Going Success

Three years post launch, the programme continues to go from strength to strength. The Caffè Nero card now forms a key part of their customer engagement strategy in ways such as:  

  • As a popular gift across B2C and B2B channels
  • As a handy way for regular customers to pay in store as a cash replacement tool
  • Cardholders can register their card online, check their realtime balance, top up their card, and declare it lost or stolen – all via easy to use Caffè Nero gift card services online
  • As a way for Caffè Nero to tailor targeted offers and communications to their regular clientele
  • As a pseudo currency for 3rd party promotions… e.g. ‘enter a draw for a year’s free supply of coffee from Caffè Nero.’ The prize is delivered via a Caffè Nero gift card which is specially configured to allow the recipient to receive 1 cup of coffee per day for free from any Caffè Nero outlet.