Crest Foods Growth Strategy



All great stories have a sensational beginning. For Nestle® Toll House® Café by Chip®, it was a rich history of Nestle® brands and a dream to make the world a more beautiful place, to spread the love… and enhance the way we live. From the beginning, Nestle Toll House Cafe by Chip was destined to be more than just a bakery; there is a passion to create those sweet moments in life. So the journey began to share this passion with the world. Staring with a single cafe, the concept was introduced to US consumers in 2001. What followed was an explosion of interest and the creation of cafes across the world.

Ziad Dalal, the CEO of Crest Foods Inc., franchisor of Nestlé®Toll House® Cafe by Chip®, who has been servicing this industry since 1985, beautifully crafted his passion to create memorable moments into a concept that evolved into a renowned chain of cafés. He sketched out the whole thing on a napkin, which swiftly progressed to a real endeavor. The original café was launched in August of 2000 at Stonebriar Mall in Frisco, Texas, and within 5 years, it managed to mark its spot among Entrepreneur Magazine’s Franchise 500 list. In fact, in the last two decades, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip has earned this plaudit 11 times along with other honorable mentions in Entrepreneur America’s Global Ranking, Restaurant Business Magazine, and Franchise Times. Also, it was ranked #1 in Category by Entrepreneur Magazine in 2009 and 2010. Ziad always intended the concept to be more than a conventional bakery. He wanted the café to be an adventure for all of the human senses. Being a concept with a passion for service, it always strives to offer its customers an ultimate experience enriched with dreams, memories, and unforgettable moments. This vision helped to evolve a single café venture into the franchise of Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip.

“Franchisees know we are always there to support them. We received many compliments during the pandemic because as a fellow small business owner, I have empathy for each owner.”

The winning recipe

As the franchisor of a premium café serving the authentic taste of gourmet desserts, made with the finest Nestlé ingredients, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip strives to bring back childhood memories by challenging their customers to explore and share the exciting blend of confections they have to offer with their loved ones. Their primitive impulse is to have a positive impact on the community through a cut above performance and exceptional service. This is why Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip emphasizes delivering a sanguine vibe entangled in unparalleled creations that will keep their customers coming back for more. Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip’s menu includes cookie cakes, cookies and baked treats, made with universally adored Nestlé ingredients, along with handcrafted coffee beverages, real fruit smoothies, ice cream, and sweet and savory crepes. And for those who have something particular in mind, the cafés provide an option to customize the order as they please. On-demand, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip also provides party platters and catering services to make every celebration even more exciting.

Ultimately, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip’s distinctive menu appeals to a wider audience than other players in the market. For instance, Ziad mentions, “Our top competitors are Great American Cookie Company, Mrs. Field’s Cookies, Starbucks and other coffee shop brands. Great American Cookie Company does a great job with cookie cakes and cookie offerings but doesn’t offer the same range of products NTHCBC does. Mrs. Fields excels with cookies, particularly with online ordering and shipping of desserts, but doesn’t offer the same in-café experience. The product line is limited and does not offer coffee or savory items. Starbucks owns the order-ahead business, but can’t compete with fresh bakery and savory offerings.”

Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip certainly gets an edge on its loyal customer base and far-reaching charm as it serves everyone with the same energy and passion— from customers just looking to have a bite to a group of people wanting to hang out, gather or celebrate. But the concept only got here by practicing the culture of innovation, customization, creation, indulgence, and celebration. Over the years, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip has advanced its digital communication network so it is able to stay relevant to advanced technology as it emerges. Hence, they further provide additional gift cards, third-party delivery services, online ordering and payment features, and digital menu boards to attract the new generation of consumers. Finally, to sustain its reputation as a franchise system, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip maintains a robust presence on social media and keeps its customers informed of all the new offers and products through emails.

The sweet taste of success

Just like the organization, every employee at Crest Foods Inc. is encouraged to develop, grow, and contribute to the business ideologies as a dedicated team member. This is why Ziad works with transparency to set an example and has an open-door policy with his team and franchisees to sustain effective communication and understanding. For him, the success of franchise owners and young team members who work hard every day to build their American dream piece by piece is what keeps him motivated. His principals and powerful leadership attributes have now helped the concept grow to almost 100 units. But what resonates most with their franchise owners is the simplicity and consistency this concept offers despite being a café with a hearty offering.

When it comes to choosing their franchise owners, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip looks for people who are truly involved in their community and have a passion to serve others. They should be able to uphold the brand status and must have a dedicated approach to demonstrate high-end service at all times. As initial support, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip offers a sound training program followed by pre-opening support which includes real estate, construction, and grand opening arrangements. Moreover, a franchise business coach is assigned to every owner for constant support along with a team that helps with marketing, purchasing, distribution, scheduling, and quality assurance. Even during these hard times when half of the world is struggling to meet their ends, Nestlé Toll House Café by Chip has made sure the respective support center team stays just a call away from the owners who face any sort of difficulty in running their business. Ziad exclaims, “Franchisees know we are always there to support them. We received many compliments during the pandemic because as a fellow small business owner, I have empathy for each owner.”

Going ahead, Ziad asserts, “We aim to have healthy growth and expand through different channels, to have locations that are not only mall-centric but more stand-alone cafés. We also have plans to utilize the technology to do more online business to continue to offer multiple revenue streams.”

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