|▲ Cafe Man Wol Gyung / CEOs Jaehwan Kim, Jieun Yoon
Cafe Man Wol Gyung is attracting attention from the industry as a ‘monster newcomer’ who is leading a new café trend. It has secured a competitive advantage in the niche of famous franchises and individual cafes, with its upwardly averaged taste and low price, and is regarded as a leading role in the era of Cafe 2.0 as it has risen rapidly in recent years.
Cafe Man Wol Gyung is a customer-centric, unmanned café brand with the core value of ‘the closest place, the most comfortable space’. It doesn’t force a one-person-one-menu rule but focuses on providing a cozy shelter for everyone at any time with electricity sockets in all seats. As long as the user does not harm other customers, it is also allowed to eat outside snacks here. Unusually for an unmanned store, the cafe runs a ‘10+1’ coupon system that is managed by customers themselves, presenting differentiated services based on trust with customers.
Top-notch specialty beans and meticulous care...barista-recognized ‘taste’
Man Wol Gyung uses the highest quality ‘specialty’ beans that have been rigorously evaluated by the Specialty Coffee Association of America (SCA) and have received a standard score of 80 or higher. The coffee here is brewed in an optimal way with professional baristas, so it boasts a taste that even coffee experts appreciate.
Man Wol Gyung regularly measures and manages Total Dissolved Solid (TDS) at all of its branches through supervisors who are former baristas who have won competitions. In general, the higher the TDS level, the thicker the consistency of the coffee, and the lower the level, the softer it is. While the average TDS of franchise cafes is 3~5%, the TDS of espresso here is close to 10%. Through this, Man Wol Gyung breaks the prejudice that ‘unmanned cafes are only cheap and tasteless’.
Continuous improvement of merchandising and branding management are also advantages here. In May, the average sales of all Man Wol Gyung franchisees increased by 13% and the peak sales by 52% compared to the same month last year, and the number of stores increased fivefold during the period. This is a testament to the success of flavor standardization and branding management, as well as the growing customer preference for Man Wol Gyung. In addition, Man Wol Gyung has recently succeeded in attracting two rounds of investment in the frozen investment market, and is recognized as a “monster newcomer” with envy in the industry.
Within one year of its establishment, annual sales reached 6 billion won... grown to more than 170 branches nationwide
The industry’s first ‘24-hour all-in-one care’
In February 2021, Man Wol Gyung, a small private café that started as a side business for a young couple, has grown into a franchise company with annual sales of 6 billion won and 22 employees in just over a year since its establishment. An insider of the industry said “This is a phenomenal achievement solely by word of mouth, without a single round of publicity.” There are more than 170 stores nationwide, including 8 directly managed stores, and an average of 12 new stores are opening every month, so the growth is expected to accelerate further.
Man Wol Gyung has established an expert CS team and will launch the industry’s first “24-hour all in one care” this July. The service hours will be extended to weekday nights (18~21 o’clock) and weekend mornings (9~13 o’clock), and will also be provided on holidays. Experienced professional agents will respond to inquiries and provide kinder and more accurate services.
Man Wol Gyung received the ‘2023 Korea Innovative Company & Brand Award’ in the cafe franchise category. The award were hosted by The Herald in June and the company was recognized for leading the innovation of café trends and contributing to the development of the industry based on win-win management, while being trusted and loved by consumers. Man Wol Gyung CEO Jaehwan Kim said “The basis of a café is ‘taste’ and the basis of a franchise is ‘win-win’. I am very happy that the efforts of staff members who have been sweating together for this purpose have been recognized with this award. We will continue to work hard to establish ourselves as a representative brand of unmanned cafes in Korea.”
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