T hey say that only a minority of people are in the right job well I consider myself one of the fortunate few. Of course, it would be wrong to say that every day is perfect, but overall I enjoy my work and often describe it as an addiction in a good way, I hasten to add. I have a great love of variety and a restless nature so being out and about is what suits me best, and as anyone in field sales knows, variety and being out are among the few guarantees of the job.
My alarm is set for 5.15am, but it rarely wakes me, I’m sure I’ve got a natural alert mechanism as I’m normally awake waiting for the clock to ring. Some days I head for our office in Epsom, in which case I need to be gone by 6am to stand a chance of getting there by 8am. Some days I work at home when I try to fit in an hour’s jog before being showered, changed and back at my desk by 7am. You’ve guessed it, I’m a morning person. However, I’m rarely home much before 8pm and, with a national remit, I stay away a lot so may not be home for a few days. Most working days I spend in what I consider my domain in the field with our customers.
At work we now have nearly 1,000 Tchibo to go! systems across the UK, mostly in forecourts and convenience stores, dispensing coffee, tea and hot chocolate 24/7. To achieve this we work as a team. I have a great team of sales people, trainers, coffee IQ analysts and marketing executives who are all dedicated to putting as many great cups of Tchibo to go! into the hands of as many consumers as possible.
Tchibo have been roasting coffee beans since 1949 so coffee is our passion. Tchibo to go! was launched five years ago to make getting a great coffee on-the-go convenient for the modern consumer. Outside of my direct team we are supported by commercial, finance, engineers, warehouse and IT. While our business may appear simple, it needs a whole host of skilled, enthusiastic people to make it work and I’m proud to say we have them.
While I describe my role primarily as sales, it is more accurate to describe it as finding and keeping coffee partners. Our business model only works for us and our customers with sufficient cup sales to make it viable. Therefore we always go through a rigorous survey and use our experience to assess a site’s viability before recommending an installation. We work to a strict set of rules, known as our Master File. On reflection, my ’most likely to say’ could have been, "If it’s not in the Master File, we don’t do it".
I often find it hard to believe how the convenience market is evolving. Many people talk of the blurring of the channels, but there can barely be an industry that this describes better than ours. Just a few decades ago you’d have been lucky to get a lukewarm soft drink and a chocolate bar from many forecourt shops. Now, in most, you can get almost anything you could possibly want, whether it be a snack for now or a dinner to cook when you get home, the range is incredible. Obviously I can’t help thinking about the coffee, but even this is rarely purchased without confectionery, food-to-go or a newspaper. I believe the driving force is two-fold. Firstly the consumer is demanding an ever-expanding range of high-quality food and drink. Secondly, it is the amazing owners and operators that have brought thoughtful designs, high standards and commitment to quality that satisfies the modern consumers’ demands and desires.
After work there are few things I enjoy more than being sat at our kitchen table enjoying a meal with my wife. We also love entertaining at weekends; good food and drink are a big part of our social life.
With whatever leisure time I have left I like to be on one of my bikes. I love cycling and have completed many of the big events including the London to Brighton off-road. This year I am planning to ride the Oxfordshire Classic 100 and the London Etape, both with my 21-year-old daughter. Obviously I’m delighted my ’little girl’ still wants to go for a bike ride with her dad, but, just like the coffee to go market, I hope I can keep up!
Name: Peter Brooks
Company: Tchibo Coffee
Job title: Head of Tchibo to go!
Career history: Seven years with Tchibo, the past three in my current role. Before that sales jobs in the food, drink and motor trade
Greatest achievement: Work growing our Tchibo to go! business by more than 25% each year; personal climbing Kilimanjaro; proudest my family
Tips for business success: You can get everything you want by helping others get what they want
Most likely to say: Not sure if my first answer can be printed but second to that, "You’re a star"
Least likely to say: "Of course I’ll be home on time." Apologies to my wife, but I’ve never worked regular hours. Who does?
Other interests: cycling and jogging. Most sports rugby and Formula 1 in particular