Tesco’s café division has signed its first nationwide franchise agreement to open dessert cafés within its in-store cafés across the UK.
The deal with Creams, which currently runs around 100 cafés, most of them within the M25, will see Tesco staff trained to run the “café within a café” sites.
Creams will offer Tesco shoppers 24 different flavours of gelato ice cream, as well as a range of waffles, milkshakes, cookie dough, crêpes and sundaes.
The tie-up follows a trial of a standalone Creams café in Tesco Extra Streatham, which began in November last year. The first Tesco café-run Creams will open at Tesco Extra Gateshead, Newcastle on Thursday followed by Tesco Extra, Maryhill, on Friday, with further sites scross the UK due to begin opening later this year.
Tesco’s cafés will continue to provide customers with the core selection of breakfasts, light meals and hot and cold beverages, as well as a range of baked goods.
However, alongside that, diners will now find features such as fluorescent detailing, graffiti-esque street art motifs, skateboards and neon signage, which is a feature of the chain, which launched in 2008.
In 2021, Creams served more than four million customers, dishing out over 50 million scoops of gelato and a million milkshakes.
Tesco has undergpne a rollercoaster history for café concessions in its stores.
The supermarket currently has six Greggs cafés in various stores, though unlike the Creams tie-up they are run by Greggs staff.
Last year it ended a trial with Pret a Manger after just over a year, with only one of four planned “shops in shops” having opened, in Peterborough.
In 2016 Tesco sold artisan-style coffee chain Harris + Hoole to Caffè Nero, having also offloaded the Giraffe resturant chain under a restructuring by former boss Dave Lewis.
“This is a fantastic fit for both us and Tesco ansd we are very excited to be chosen as their first franchise partner,” said Creams CEO Everett Fieldgate.
“Our offer is all about families with young children and this is going to give Tesco something that I believe is unique among UK supermarkets and in my understanding anywhere in the world.”