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Cino on the Terrace

DOME Coffee Australia has entered the growth phase of its coffee shop expansion with a new Cino to Go cafe opening in the city next week and offshore sites firmly on the agenda.

Flagged to WA Business News by Dome chief executive officer Nigel Oakey almost 12 months ago, the expansion also includes the positioning of its Dome Cafes into new international markets.

The new Cino to Go cafe on St George’s Terrace is the first Cino to Go cafe opened under the helm of Mr Oakey who has spent the past two years as CEO reinvigorating the Dome brand, product, its people and off-shore markets.

The result has been the opening of several offshore Dome stores and consolidation of the business that, according to Mr Oakey, is now at a stage to push forward and expand.

Next week’s opening of the new Cino cafe, located in Hawaiian Management Group’s redeveloped office building at 182 St Georges Terrace, is the first of several new Cino to Go cafes planned for Perth and existing overseas markets.

However, while the look of the coffee shop is the same as the existing five Perth metropolitan cafes, there are some radical changes that set it apart.

For starters, it’s much bigger than the usual Cino to Go cafe because tucked around the corner is a five-star board-room, which Mr Oakey said is geared to cater to a growing number of business owners with office space on the Terrace.

“We did a bit of research that indicated that the medium-sized business sector is one of the fastest growing and they are now taking St Georges Terrace office space. But, rent is at a premium and they don’t want to rent something that they only use 20 per cent of the time.”

Mr Oakey said he believes the 16-person capacity sound-proof boardroom, which is fully serviced by the kitchen and comes equipped with state-of-the-art facilities such as surround sound and DVD players, will provide a better value proposition for business owners.

The cafe has been wired to allow mobile Internet access and will be one of the first public meeting spaces in Perth to offer Internet access for laptop-wielding diners.

There are power points located throughout the store and at the base of some of the lounge seats to enable people to plug in their notebooks rather than rely on batteries.

But the new hi-fi and board-room concept is unlikely to migrate to other Perth stores, Mr Oakey said.

“Other stores are not big enough and there has to be a business case to do it,” he said.

But what is on the cards is strong growth for the company’s coffee store outlets.

“Both Dome and Cino are on the expansion track,” Mr Oakey said.

“In the past 12 months we’ve taken the number of Indonesian (Dome) stores from three to nine. In Dubai we are at five stores. We used to have two there.

“When Cino reaches critical mass in Perth, then being part of the Dome group gives us more opportunities to take it into overseas markets.”

The company has also opened a Dome cafe in Busselton. Mr Oakey said the group had identified three new offshore markets and were currently in negotiations to open new Dome outlets there.

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