| Germany

Espresso House begins European franchise expansion drive

The Swedish coffee chain has signed an agreement to open 15 new stores in Germany via new franchisee MF KAESO GmbH ahead of planned expansion across Europe

MF KAESO GmbH's Klaus-Peter Frühauf (left) and Marco Frühauf (centre) with Espresso House CEO Anssi Thureson (right)


Espresso House Group has announced a new license agreement with MF KAESO GmbH to expand into North Rhine-Westphalia and is seeking further franchise partners to lead European outlet growth. 

Lund-based Espresso House currently operates 38 stores across Germany following the acquisition and rebranding of Hamburg-based Balzac Coffee in 2018. 

The coffee chain’s first franchised store in Germany will open in Cologne later this year, with MF KAESO GmbH seeking to open 15 Espresso House outlets by 2028 with a focus on the cities of Cologne, Düsseldorf, Bonn and Wuppertal.  

“I am delighted and proud that Marco Frühauf, Managing Director and founder of MF KAESO GmbH, has signed this licensing agreement with us. This cooperation will enable us to establish Espresso House in attractive locations in West Germany. The operational expertise and experiences from the food industry, attention to detail and shared values make them an ideal partner to Espresso House,” said Anssi Thureson, CEO, Espresso House Group. 

Espresso House added that UK-based consultancy WhiteSpace Partners worked in an advisory role to establish the the MF KAESO GmbH partnership. WhiteSpace has also been tasked with sourcing new license partners for Espresso House in Germany’s Bavaria, Hessen & Baden-Württemberg regions. 

Founded in 1996, Espresso House currently has more than 500 stores across Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Norway and Germany, nearly all of which are company operated. 

Having established itself as the market leader across Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway, Thureson has cited the expansion of Espresso House’s franchise model as key to its next stage of growth. 

With the MF KAESO GmbH agreement adding to a small number of Espresso House franchise operators in Denmark, the coffee chain is also reportedly exploring franchise partners for expansion to Austria, Poland and Switzerland. 

MF KAESO GmbH was established in March 2023 with €100,000 ($108,000) capital to operate restaurants and cafés. The franchise group is led by Marco Frühauf and Klaus–Peter Frühauf, who has more than four decades of franchise experience working with fast-food chain McDonald’s in Germany. 

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