Romania’s immensely popular coffee shop franchise 5 to go has opened its first Budapest venue on the always buzzing Király Street in early June. The tiny shop was quickly flooded by coffee loving tourists and nearby office workers, who soon became regular customers due in part to the very friendly price list.
There’s no need to introduce the most sought-after coffee shop chain of Eastern Europe to those frequently visiting Bucharest or other big cities in Romania, as 5 to go boasts almost 400 venues in the country. However, the accessibility of 5 to go is not the only reason the Romanian coffee empire is so adored by locals.
The Policy of Low Prices
5 to go was launched by two Romanian businessmen, Radu Savopol and Lucian Badila in 2015 with an unusual concept in mind. Originally, all products in the coffee shop cost 5 lei (about one euro), which brought the company a great success among coffee loving people. Today, the number “5” in the name of the chain refers to five principles which include taste, professionalism, speed, diversity, and lifestyle.
Low prices have continued playing an important role in the current success of the franchise that boasts another charming attribute of our accelerated world: speed. The majority of 5 to go coffee shops is located at easily accessible places (such as train stations and office buildings), using an effective to-go system that lets customers get their daily dose of caffeine within just a few minutes’ waiting time.
Coffee To Go – in Budapest
After venues in France, the UK, and Belgium, 5 to go opened its first shop in Budapest in June 2022 with the local master franchisee of Demmers Teahouse György Antalffy leading the Hungarian team.
As he puts it, launching the Hungarian master franchise of 5 to go is a true love project. Starting a café that’s part of a franchise is much easier than launching a business on your own, as in this case, the experienced team helps Hungarian partners in many aspects. Choosing a location, for example, is up to the new local owners, but the professional crew helps with the construction of the venue.
György Antalffy and his team opted for the little shop in Király Street, because they could see a café with a focus on to-go service fitting in the colourful cavalcade of the city that’s present here. When we first entered into the lively shop in the middle of the summer heat wave, we quickly realized that they were right.
Friendly Service Instantly
When setting foot in 5 to go Budapest, there are two things that grab your attention right away. First is the warm welcome of baristas, who don’t hide behind giant coffee machines, which gives way to a much more personal communication between sellers and customers.
Secondly, colourful boards advertise that all products are assorted into price categories that – unusually in Hungary – end in rounded numbers. We can have coffees, cookies, smoothies, and beverages in funky, colourful cups with a unique design, all between the price range of 500-1300 HUF (around 1.5-3.5 euros). Also atypically in Hungary, plant-based milk and flavoured syrups won’t cost you additional charges.
At 5 to go Budapest, morning drinks are complete with signature beverages and a great variety of snacks, such as long chips, as well as gluten-free and vegan biscuits. Delicious sandwiches from locally sourced ingredients round off the repertoire.
The first 5 to go coffee shop in Hungary aims to continue the Romanian success story. To become an outstanding coffee shop chain in Hungary, György plans to open five more venues in the country within a year and 20 more in the year after, which is why they are currently searching for local franchise partners.