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Rei do Mate: Mom and Pop Will Sell the Shop?

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Source: Canal Executivo

Rei do Mate arruma a casa à espera de pretendentes

Rei do Mate, expecting suitors, puts its house in order

My wife — my in-house Brazilian consumer focus group of one — is just crazy about the beverage and snacks chain, built around the sour-bitter supercaffeinated herbal beverage that down South they like to drink in the form of chimarrão. She explains that when it is just too hot for coffee, a chilled mate gets the job done nicely.

It took me a long time to warm up to maté myself, but I now find I can drink it with pleasure when batida with abacaxí.

The “professionalization” of management at traditional Brazilian family-owned businesses is a trend I am trying to follow. A soap-operatic case of the pitfalls of this business model, in the news lately, is the Rede Bahia media group:

Politically charged cases like this aside, I sense there is a lot of interest in the “dark liquidity” of family-owned businesses here, and you hear more and more about consulting services specializing in “succession planning” and “management professionalization.” I have been corresponding with some of these consultancies to see what I can dig up.

Com quase 240 lojas em operação em 16 estados do Brasil e um crescimento médio de 30 lojas ao ano, a rede de franquias Rei do Mate está deixando para trás o modelo de gestão familiar.

With nearly 240 shops in operation in 16 Brazilian states, and average growth of 30 shops a year, the Rei do Mate franchise chain is leaving the model of family management behind.

A empresa da família Nasraui diz que está focada na organização da estrutura financeira e no aprimoramento de seus processos de gestão. No mercado, especula-se que o objetivo é deixar o negócio mais interessante para potenciais compradores.

The company, owned by the Nasraui family, says it is focusing on organizing its financial structure and improving its management procedures. There is speculation in the market that its objective is to make the business more attractive to potential buyers.

“Já recebemos uma proposta de compra, mas ainda não era nosso momento. Agora estamos reorganizando nossos mais importantes processos gestacionais, deixando o Rei do Mate pronto caso surja alguma proposta que nos interesse”, diz em nota Antonio Carlos Nasraui, diretor Comercial e de Marketing da rede. “O setor está, sem dúvida, em um dos seus melhores momentos; então, vamos esperar”.

“We have received an offer, but it was not our time yet. We are now reorganizing our core management processes, getting the company ready in case a proposal that interests us arises,” said Antonio Carlos Nasraui, sales and marketing director of the chain, in a note. “The sector is certainly living some of its best moments; so we are going to wait.”

Neste nova fase, uma das principais iniciativas adotadas pela rede foi a contratação de uma empresa de consultoria financeira. Caso o projeto dê certo, não devem faltar pretendentes. A rede está entre as cinco maiores franquias de alimentação do país.

In this new phase, one of the company’s main initiatives has been to hire a financial consultant. If the project works out, they ought to have plenty of suitors. The chain is one of the five largest fast-food franchises in the country.

Yes, I will have a coxinha to go with that batida. That sort of thing.

Por mês, cerca de 1,5 milhão de pessoas circula por suas unidades, dos quais 70% estão na faixa etária entre 14 e 39 anos. O público consome 1 milhão de copos de mate e cerca de 300.000 xícaras de café gourmet. Alem disso, só em pão de queijo, são vendidas 100 toneladas mensalmente.

Nearly 1.5 million customers pass through its premises every month, of which 70% are between 14 and 39. The public consumes 1 million cups of mate and nearly 300,000 cups of gourmet coffee. It sells 100 tons a month of pão de queijo alone.

A regional breakfast dish: bite-size balls of bread with a dab of cheese baked into the center.

This is pure surmise on my part, but I just cannot see Starbucks competing with this business here. Brazil is awash in good, cheap coffee, for one thing.

First of all, why pay five bucks for dusty, weak imported coffee that is 90% foam and comes in absurdly large servings? (The dense-as-mud cafezinho served in a xícara seems to be the preferred dosage.)

And secondly, coffee is for wimps and small children, anyway. It is the light cigarette of legal mind-altering, cardiac arrhythmia-inducing vegetable alkaloids.

If you really want to artificially fortify your enthusiasm for life at 6:00 a.m., you need something quite a bit stronger.

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Yerba mate: When coffee is no longer enough to jump-start your heart.

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