Coffee Unicorn Manner Accelerates Expansion

Manner Coffee, a Shanghai-based coffee chain, announced on Tuesday that it will open more than 200 new cafes in 10 cities in China, including Shanghai, Beijing, Wuhan, Chengdu, Nanning, Haikou, Shenzhen, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Chongqing. The stores will commence operations between March 8 to March 10.

Manner Coffee started operations in Shanghai in 2015, focusing on small stores and high cost performance. The price of a single cup of coffee is between 15 and 20 yuan ($2.38-$3.17), which is 50% lower than Starbucks. The stores are mainly located near office buildings.

Manner Coffee’s ambitious expansion has seen a lot of money pushed into it. In 2018, the company received 80 million yuan from Capital Today which enabled the company to accelerate its store expansion in Shanghai and nationwide from 2019. At the same time, its stores have been enriched from stores with windows of 3-10 square meters to common coffee shops of 20-50 square meters, to stores with baking rooms of 80-100 square meters and to stores with kitchens of 150 square meters. At present, the common store type of 20-50 square meters is the main type of the store that Manner Coffee is expanding.

From December 2020 to May 2021, Manner Coffee received financing from H Capital, Temasek and Meituan‘s DragonBall Capital. In June 2021, ByteDance became a new investor of Manner Coffee.

After the company’s rapid expansion, Manner still needs to solve the problem of insufficient baristas. The current coffee market is highly competitive and companies are expanding quickly. Aside from Luckin Coffee that uses fully automatic coffee machines, many coffee brands, including Manner, use semi-automatic coffee machines. A Manner Coffee store usually requires five baristas, so being able to hire such qualified personnel is not an easy task.

SEE ALSO: Luckin Coffee Opens Nearly 360 Stores in January

Judging from the number of stores of the leading coffee brands in the coffee market, the top three are Starbucks, Luckin Coffee and Tim Hortons. Manner Coffee’s current number of stores has almost caught up with Tim Hortons, but it is still a long way to go from Starbucks and Luckin Coffee, both of which have more than 6,000 stores.