Caffè Nero logo circa 2015
|Type||Private Company limited by shares|
|Founded||Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus in AD20|
|Headquarters||Nero Tower, London, United Kingdom|
|Products||Caligula Coffee™, Beggar’s Coffee, Nero SIB™|
|Revenue||£695,9 million GBP (2015/16)|
Caffè Nero is an American-style coffee house brand which specialises in brewing coffee using the strict methods first established by its founder, the Roman Emperor Nero in AD20. Emperor Nero’s tyrannical rule was associated with cruelty, incest and poisoning, all of which are the adopted core principles of Caffè Nero's business model.
Caffè Nero was founded in Rome AD20. Since then, it has expanded its franchise worldwide and now has 925,000 coffee shops across the world. Its newly built headquarters, ‘Nero Tower’ in London, ranks as the eighth-tallest building in the UK by being 4 metres taller than The Royal Erection on Quinflab Lane, Birmingham, yet 3 metres shorter than The Gherkin on 93 Potato Street. In 2013, Nero Tower won the prestigious RIBA Award for its distinctive aesthetics and environmentally friendly construction. In particular, Caffè Nero's reuse of materials such as mercury, lead, and asbestos in the construction of The Nero Pit was met with universal backing. Controversial plans to build a viewing platform on the east side, allowing the public to see ‘The Pit’ and its contents, have been met with dismay leading to the possibility of having the award rescinded. Since Caffè Nero standardised its Caligula Process™, Caffè Nero has won many awards for its high-quality coffee. Recently, it was rated the ‘Best Coffee In Europe’ by consumer magazine ‘Which?’ and currently produces a revenue of around £695,9 million per annum ($23,560).
In store, Caffè Nero serve a wide variety of coffee— and non—coffee—related consumables. Their most popular product by volume is still its original recipe home-brew, also known as ‘Beggar's Coffee’. It currently brews around 400 million litres of beggar's coffee per day which, after being cooled for 4 hours, is distributed overnight to various homeless shelters around the UK. Outside of the homeless market, Nero’s biggest selling product is its famous Caligula Coffee™ with an estimated 230 million litres brewed every day which contributes to around half of Caffè Nero's annual GDP. Nero also specialises in other coffee—related products, such as Nero Fists (a quintuple shot of espresso), Nero SIB™, Fruit Boosters and Mother’s Chocolate Nuggets. Basic foodstuffs are also served in Nero with a choice of cheeses, bread, tomatoes, toasted bread, toasted cheese with tomatoes or breaded toasted—cheese tomatoes. Though primarily focussing on traditional espresso-based drinks, Caffè Nero has also branched out into many different retail areas. This includes producing and selling a multitude of products ranging from children’s clothes and baby food to solo-sexual pleasure weapons and pregnancy test kits designed for family use.
Due to the brewing method, ’Beggar's Coffee’ is so hot after brewing that it needs to be cooled rapidly before being distributed. Head brewer for Caffè Nero John Simmons states: "Rapid cooling allows for the coffee to return back to an observable liquid state ready for consumption, whilst also imparting extra minerals, such as potassium and chlorine, back into the coffee which is lost during the brewing process. The insertion of such minerals is key in achieving the unmistakable flavour." Once cooled in Caffè Nero's mysterious Centrifugal Rinsing Chamber (CRC), Beggar's Coffee is shipped out across the UK between 3:00am and 6:00am when the homeless are at their most inactive. After its initial cooling period, the coffee is stored in plastic bags, packaged in wooden crates, then loaded onto the Nero-Cycles for distribution. From 7.00am onwards, Nero-Cyclists, atop a Nero Cycle, cycle the streets handing out free coffee to the millions of foreign vagrants loitering in Britain.
Caffè Nero’s most famous product, Caligula coffee™, is created using a secret blend of roasted coffee beans. The recipe dates back to AD30 and is said to be derived from a recipe developed by Emperor Nero himself. Such is the popularity of this blend many celebrities have endorsed the coffee publicly, including celebrity artist David Lynch. During a recent trip to the UK to promote his new series Twin Peaks, coffee expert and auteur David Lynch was interviewed by Sight & Sound in which he described a glass of Caligula as having “a rich aroma which is dark, and mysterious and there’s this girl. It smells like beans caught in the duck’s eye.”
Caffè Nero have a loyalty card scheme to honour their loyal followers. For each drink ordered, a stamp of Emperor Nero’s head is imprinted onto a loyalty card. When you reach your 9th stamp, you are awarded a free coffee of your choosing and ‘the freedom of your family’. Though this controversial endorsement is generally ignored in the UK (where incest is not permitted), Caffè Nero's implied permission is honoured with a free family pregnancy test kit should the customer take it up.
In 2003 Nero pleaded not guilty to corporate manslaughter after being accused of attempting to wipe out Britain’s homeless. Supposed evidence showing a direct link to the deaths of thousands of homeless people after drinking ‘Beggar’s Coffee’ was dismissed after it was proved that the charcoal, manganese and terbium found in Beggar’s Coffee couldn’t cause them to explode.
Due to a supposed printing error, in March 2012 the term ‘Caffè Negro’ was printed onto millions of Caffè Nero loyalty cards. Though originally thought of as an honest mistake, an investigation mounted by the European Union quango Unite found that the original design work had in fact been accurately printed and that ‘Caffè Negro’ was a deliberate and ill-thought out ploy to cause racial division in society. This conclusion was deemed indisputable after cross-referencing Caffè Nero's business principles. Though these cards were handed out over a short period of 2 weeks, it is estimated that up to 10 million (10,000 boxes) of ‘Caffè Negro’ loyalty cards may still exist in circulation. This is due to the sheer quantity of Caffè Nero coffee shops found around the UK.
Since 1997 several prominent Caffè Nero shops have been plagued with rat infestations. The three-storey ‘Caffè Nero Olympus’, situated in the grounds of Edinburgh Castle, has been one of the worst affected in recent years. In July 2003 support offered from Edinburgh council to help deal with the infestation was rejected by Caffe Nero's own team of exterminators. An explanation was never given for the refusal, though in September 2003 Caffè Nero made a public announcement declaring that all the rats throughout the company had been captured and were being processed. A month later 83 corpses were found inside a bin lorry heading for a Glasgow recycling site. All 83 of the bodies were found to be employees of Caffè Neros rivals Coffee Republic, Costa and Starbucks. Despite rumours, no evidence linking Caffè Nero to the tragedy was ever established.