Muffin Break

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Muffin Break
Founded1989 (1989) in Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia
Area served
Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom

Muffin Break is a franchise business of Foodco which operates small bakery cafe coffee shops throughout Australia, New Zealand, and the UK. As of 2013, Muffin Break had 275 stores worldwide: 190 in Australia, 37 in New Zealand and 46 in the United Kingdom.[1] Muffin Break is the sister company of Jamaica Blue, which is also a franchise of Foodco.[2]


The Muffin Break concept originated in Canada in the 1970s but was acquired by Foodco and refined for contemporary conditions.[3] The first of the new style Muffin Break stores opened in 1989 in Coolangatta, Queensland.[4]

The first Muffin Break store in New Zealand opened in Auckland in 1994.[5] Muffin Break entered the UK market in 2001.[6]

In December 2015, a partnership was made between Foodco and Croc's Playcentres, an Australian family entertainment centre franchise. The partnership saw Muffin Break cafes included in all new Croc's Playcentres and existing Croc's franchisees given the opportunity to convert their cafes to Muffin Break cafes.[7]


Share the Dignity[edit]

In 2018, Muffin Break announced Share the Dignity as their national charity partner and has since raised over $30,000[8] that makes a real, on-the-ground difference to homeless women and victims of domestic violence[9].

Share the Dignity is a not-for-profit that provides homeless and at-risk women Australia-wide with sanitary items to alleviate period poverty.

Founded by Rochelle Courtenay in 2015, more than 5,000 volunteers and some of Australia’s biggest corporates support the charity, which has collected almost 2.5 million packets of sanitary items since forming in 2015.

It’s important work. After reading that homeless women Australia-wide were making sanitary pads out of public restroom toilet paper because they couldn’t afford to buy them, Rochelle Courtenay felt a call to action.

It’s staggering to think that on any given night in Australia, one in 200 people are homeless. Of those, 44% are female and 27% are children under the age of 18. According to Share the Dignity, Family violence is the number one reason people contact homeless services. They need your help.

Muffin Break is proud to be supporting Share the Dignity in their campaign. We want to help eliminate period poverty in Australia, where women and girls experiencing homelessness or those fleeing domestic violence suffer the indignity of having to choose between food and sanitary products.[10]


In 2018, Muffin Break joined forces with Wakakirri as a major sponsor supporting Wakakirri’s mission to bring the benefits of performing arts and storytelling to every school in Australia. As part of the partnership, Muffin Break have committed to sponsor disadvantaged schools to create their own Story Dance productions to perform at the national Wakakirri Story Dance Challenge.[11]

“Partnering with Wakakirri has presented us at Muffin Break, an opportunity to give back and support regional communities, offering Aussie kids the chance to do what they love most,” said Muffin Break’s General Manager Natalie Brennan.

Wakakirri Founder and Festival Director Adam Loxley announced the partnership at Wakakirri’s Performing Arts Careers Day on May 28th, a free event for secondary school students in Melbourne where Aussie entertainment stars including Michala Banas, Joshua Horner and Alex Papps shared career advice and insights.

“Wakakirri is excited to embark on this new partnership and we are grateful to Muffin Break for recognising the work we have been doing for over 25 years and committing to support us,” said Loxley.

Simply Cups[edit]

Simply Cups partnered with the brand from August 2018, in an effort to reduce the amount of disposable cups used in Australia. Muffin Break pays Simply Cups to have a cup recycled for every takeaway hot beverage bought at their stores[12].

Starting in August 2018, Muffin Break will pay Simply Cups to have a cup recycled for every takeaway hot beverage bought at their stores.

Most takeaway coffee cups can’t be recycled easily, due to the combination of paper and waterproof plastic. Simply Cups works with innovators to solve this problem. They’re collecting disposable coffee cups from all over the country and giving them a second lease on life as a new recycled, and recyclable, product.

The coffee brand have also signed up to the Responsible Cafes Movement, joining cafes and coffee fans that promotes the use of reusable cups.


Muffin Break has been a recipient of many awards to acknowledge their achievements to include:

  • In 2019, rated “High Performers” by FRANdata – the independent Australian Franchise Rating Scale. Ratings are given after an independent and fact-based examination[13].  
  • In 2019, Muffin Break makes the Top 10 Most Innovative Companies as nominated by the Australian Financial Review[14]
  • In 2019, Muffin Break won QSR's Best Sustainability Initiative[15]
  • In 2019, Muffin Break is named Socially Responsible Franchisor Winner by the Franchise Council of Australia[16]
  • In 2018, Muffin Break won Squad Team of the Year by QSR[17]
  • In 2017, Muffin Break was awarded Coffee Shop of the Year by Roy Morgan[18]
  • In 2017, Muffin Break won many categories with the Golden Bean Awards[19]
  • In 2016, Muffin Break was awarded Coffee Shop of the Year by Roy Morgan [20]

Unofficial Bean Poll[edit]

Every election since 2007, Muffin Break’s Unofficial Election Bean Poll has accurately predicted the results of the Federal election, with 100% track record.

Once the date was announced, 200 stores across the country hosted a bean poll counter, encouraging customers to vote for their preferred party, with a coffee bean.

Muffin Break’s Election Poll predicated what no other poll had and continues to reflect an unblemished record. Even the exit polls did not reflect the results once all the votes were counted!

Regardless of social media reaching greater masses, combined with the traditional marketing leading up to the election, it seems Muffin Break’s reach of its 200 stores stretching from suburbia to regional towns right across Australia, prove to truly reflect the voice of the country’s residents.

More recently with the May 2019 Australian Federal Elections, it was no surprise to Muffin Break that they were able to predict the trends Australians are asking for from being the only poll to predict the election results correctly, to being first to market with plant-based milks for customers and sustainability initiatives to upcycle takeaway coffee cups[21].

Labour practices[edit]

In 2014, an investigation by the Fair Work Ombudsman found a 24-year-old student working at two Victorian stores had been underpaid almost $20,000. The store owners agreed to repay the employee and entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Ombudsman.[22][23]

In 2016, the former owners of a Hobart store were investigated by the Ombudsman and found to have underpaid two employees over $46,000 between April 2014 and December 2015. The store owners agreed to repay the employees and entered into an enforceable undertaking with the Ombudsman.[24][25]

On 23 February 2019, Muffin Break General Manager made headlines when she spoke about young people not wanting to work unpaid internships, telling a journalist: "There’s just nobody walking in my door asking for an internship, work experience or unpaid work, nobody." These comments were later refuted by the journalist who wrote the original story as being misinterpreted “She never said she expected all of her employees to work for free, as many online seem to be suggesting, only that those who put themselves forward to do unpaid work were more likely to get a job”[26]

In September 2019, the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman found that franchisees of Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break cafés had underpaid 166 employees a total of over $26,000.[27]


  1. ^ "About Us". Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  2. ^ Matt Ireland : Simon Murton : Bryt. "Muffin Break: Muffin Break UK". Retrieved 1 March 2015.
  3. ^ "Our Story". Muffin Break, UK. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Foodco Group Announces Acquisition" (Press release). 10 April 2010. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  5. ^ Shaw, Aimee (6 April 2018). "Cafes, food retailers trade better next to fashion powerhouses, Muffin Break boss says". The New Zealand Herald. ISSN 1170-0777. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  6. ^ "Muffin Break continues UK expansion drive". Hospitality & Catering News. 14 August 2018. Archived from the original on 26 February 2019. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  7. ^ "Croc's Playcentres ties up with Muffin Break". Franchise Business. 9 December 2015. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  8. ^ "Muffin Break Raised $15k for Share the Dignity". Muffin Break Australia. 2019-10-04. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  9. ^ "Help Share the Dignity with the Pink Lamington Muffin". Muffin Break Australia. 2019-08-05. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  10. ^ "Eat me to Share The Dignity!". Muffin Break Australia. 2018-08-08. Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  11. ^ "PARTNERS & SPONSORS". WAKAKIRRI. 2013-05-24. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  12. ^ "Muffin Break partners with Simply Cups in waste reduction initiative". QSR Media. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  13. ^ "Muffin Break, Jamaica Blue rated as high performers". FRANdata. 2019-11-18. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  14. ^ "Top 10 innovations in retail, hospitality, tourism and entertainment". Australian Financial Review. 2019-08-08. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  15. ^ closedloopaus (2019-06-23). "Muffin Break Wins Best Sustainability Initiative Award with Simply Cups". CLOSED LOOP. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  16. ^ "Franchise Council of Australia | Breaking free of waste". Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  17. ^ "FULL LIST: Winners of the 2018 QSR Media Detpak Awards". QSR Media. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  18. ^ "Muffin Break is tops for Coffee Store satisfaction". Roy Morgan. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  19. ^ "Golden Bean Award Winner 2017". Muffin Break Australia. 2017-12-01. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  20. ^ "Roy Morgan announces winners of the 2016 Customer Satisfaction Awards". Roy Morgan. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  21. ^ "Subscribe to the Townsville Bulletin". Retrieved 2020-10-01.
  22. ^ O’Byrne, Thomas (18 October 2014). "Muffin Break worker underpaid $20,000". Herald Sun. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  23. ^ "Muffin Break stores to reimburse underpaid Chinese student $20,000". Fair Work Ombudsman. 10 October 2014. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  24. ^ Kempton, Helen (3 November 2016). "Former muffin shop owners stiffed staff". The Mercury. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  25. ^ "Chinese workers underpaid $46,000 at Muffin Break outlet in Hobart". Fair Work Ombudsman. 3 November 2016. Archived from the original on 1 March 2019. Retrieved 1 March 2019.
  26. ^ "Muffin Break outrage misses the point". NewsComAu. 2019-02-24. Retrieved 2020-09-08.
  27. ^ "Jamaica Blue and Muffin Break employees back-paid". Fair Work Ombudsman. Retrieved 28 November 2019.

External links[edit]