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Delicious Disruption

In Focus
NAME:Scott Meneilly
COMPANY:Minor DKL Food Group
LOCATION:Melbourne, Australia
From local Queenslander to global success story, The Coffee Club has its sights set on a new generation of coffee lovers, with a new CEO, Scott Meneilly, to bring this vision to life.

Since opening its doors in 1989, The Coffee Club has become a homegrown Australian success with more than 400 cafes across 11 countries.

For Scott Meneilly, CEO of Minor DKL Food Group, The Coffee Club’s owner, innovation is a top agenda item to drive growth of the iconic brand and not only modernize it for today and the future but to clearly articulate its unique and compelling position in the coffee market, underscoring why this brand is a great Australian powerhouse.

“We are focusing on a much more premium end store in terms of design, look and feel.”

The success the brand Meneilly took the helm of in February 2023 has enjoyed is testament to its role in shaping Australian coffee culture. Eggs Benedict and frappes were a staple on its menu 35 years ago, when many of us were only starting to understand that there was a real difference between a flat white and a cafe latte. The Coffee Club has been a pioneer when it comes to many factors that are now the category norm in the thriving Australian cafe culture.

Since taking the company’s reins, he has thrown himself into the task of futureproofing the vast business which today serves coffee, breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks across a number of different formats including cafes, kiosks and bar-restaurants.

A New Chapter

The Coffee Club had not had a presence in an Australian central business district (CBD) for some time, however, and when an opportunity came up in Brisbane, this was seen as a chance to showcase all that The Coffee Club could deliver. 

In November 2023, the brand heralded a new chapter with the opening of its new concept cafe, 128 Charlotte Street, in Brisbane’s CBD. This much-anticipated flagship cafe is an elevated offering for the company, where the brand’s coffee expertise is flexed with an expanded coffee offering, including hot and cold brew taps and an array of single-origin and custom coffee blends to choose from. 

The sleek, inviting interior is a nod to the original The Coffee Club location at Brisbane’s Eagle Street Pier.

“We looked at where the brand started from. What was the brand ethos that surrounded the business, the single store, at that point in time?” Meneilly tells The CEO Magazine. “The idea was to reimagine that and bring it back to life in a store that the Founders would be proud of and one that the customers would love.”

“Celebrating 10+ years of Strategic Partnership, Unilever and The Coffee Club share the same ambition of bringing on-trend quality dishes to consumers. Our businesses collaborate on trends insights and menu development, backed by premium products to over-deliver on customer expectations.” – Mel van Wyk, National Account Manager, Unilever


Along with a new-look flagship cafe, Meneilly is revisiting what The Coffee Club brand stands for and what value it can offer Australians well into the future.

“The brand perception of The Coffee Club is one of franchise coffee, it’s very much the same from one outlet to another,” Meneilly reflects. “Whereas, with this one [128 Charlotte Street], we are focusing on a much more premium end store in terms of design, look and feel.”

From the street frontage to the internal finishes, the Charlotte Street store has the feel of a high-end independent cafe, according to Meneilly.

“While we want to have familiarity and similarity across every one of our stores, they do not need to be exactly the same.”

This type of concept cafe will go into carefully selected areas such as CBDs, with each adapted to suit its surroundings, using local ingredients and suppliers.

“It’s about creating an offering that is sympathetic to the environment that it goes into,” he explains.

“The Coffee Club is very well known for almost being exactly the same from store to store. However, cafes are a very localized business, and the success of cafes is the fact that they tap into that local community so very well.”

Ongoing Transformation

Tailoring the offerings to the individual requirements of each store is part of the plan – adapting the menu to suit each location, whether that’s convenient grab and go lunch, fresh pastries or healthier options.

“While we want to have familiarity and similarity across every one of our stores, they do not need to be exactly the same,“ Meneilly says.


“I love innovating and being around a dynamic business with a heartbeat – a living and breathing entity,” he explains. “Despite the fact that it’s a corporation, what we’re running is, in essence, businesses that connect people.

“So it’s about understanding how the world is moving, how things are changing and asking ourselves as a business, how do we stay ahead to achieve and maintain cut-through in the market?”

“I love innovating and being around a dynamic business with a heartbeat – a living and breathing entity.”

With this in mind, Meneilly describes the drive-through market as a huge growth pathway.

“For us, it’s a kiosk concept with fewer products and faster service,” he explains. “That’s another angle for us to really lean in on, where we have traditionally been about the full-service cafe experience.

“All these things are about creating new ways to connect with current and future customers, generating sustainable businesses that we can on-sell to our franchise partners.”

With such a strong focus on consumer experience, customization and adapting to the local market, it’s only a matter of time until The Coffee Club’s next generation of both loyal and new customers are asking, “Where will I meet you?”

“Our partnership with The Coffee Club is built on achieving win–win solutions and jointly identifying growth opportunities for the future. Together, we provide The Coffee Club franchisees with a sustainable range that provides the
best packaging solutions to suit their needs.” – Natalie Larke, Business Manager – Global Brands ANZ, Detpak
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