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Nice location, that's on 15th Street?

I havent been that way for a while, but should be good considering your competition isn't that complex. :)

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2 minutes ago, MIKA27 said:

Nice location, that's on 15th Street?

I havent been that way for a while, but should be good considering your competition isn't that complex. :)

Yeah correct, Kudo's on the knowledge.
I'm pretty confident with what my partner and I are going to do in terms of improvements to food, Service and the appearance etc..
But best way to lure in more customers and handling the business, balancing life etc with your own business.. Any advice is good advice at this stage!

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Disclosure - I don't know anything about the hospitality scene. I only know minor things from being friends with several café owners. If you want real business advice, you should ask our fearless leader - El Prez. Just PM him.

First advice - I would recommend you to check out if opening earlier is going to improve the trade. Selling coffee is to get the customer through the door but from what I have been told food is where the profit is. Also, check if getting the liquor license is worth the costs and paperwork involved.

Second - Concerning Cigar sales, might use the café as a local gathering point for FOH meets to start and get the word out.

 

Just my 2 cents

Lastly - Good luck with the endeavour.

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Yeah Prez is getting a call once I get a little more organized, I had allot of little speed humps I hadn't forecasted.
I've seen my Solicitor and my Accountant so far. Contract is currently being drawn with both their advice in place and Accountant believes it all looks pretty positive.

Current staff have suggested that around the 5-6 time frame while we would currently be closed that another local business is quite busy with local tradies etc heading to work and getting their morning fix.

 

Cigar thing I'm hopeful for, But I'm really not expecting or wanting a big turn over.. more to just provide people who want good cubans the option and to link up more of the local cigar smokers,, I know there's allot of us here in the area. But no real connection between us. Be nice to change that slowly.

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Good luck on your venture mate ,hope it all works out for you ,it’s gotta be better than working for the man ?

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It's been years since I managed a restaurant (breakfast - lunch - dinner), but the thing that stood out for me is the ultra long days are a bear, and a regular, predictable schedule is important for clientele.  

As to the first, you've got a partner, so likely covering the early and the late shift you've got split up and can do.  I remember envying those joints that only had breakfast/lunch hours!

As to the second, I'd lean toward having dinner every night or no nights.  Unless you have a way to advertise/get the word out.  Uneven schedule = more advertising required.

Good luck!  It's both wonderful and relentless! :party:

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In additon to the cafe and cigars, I recommend also stocking adult paraphernalia. If the sex shop can sell cigars, I don't see why you can't sell adult toys too! Hell, they may start trying to sell coffee!!

 

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9 hours ago, Fuzz said:

In additon to the cafe and cigars, I recommend also stocking adult paraphernalia. If the sex shop can sell cigars, I don't see why you can't sell adult toys too! Hell, they may start trying to sell coffee!!

 

Those ain't cigars they're selling . . . sheesh!  Do I have to 'splain everything to you guys?? :P 

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We have a restaurant chain here in the city in which I reside. It is only open from 06:00am-03:00pm daily. They use the cheapest products and ingredients I've ever tasted in my 55 years on this planet. Their food is bland and tasteless. For the love of GOD man. If you use quality ingredients, you have likely surpassed many of your competitors. I don't know if I made any sense with this statement. But bad news travels fast. 

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Offer an experience that is niche and unlike other coffee shops.  One chain near me offers free fresh whipped cream for their coffee if someone wanted cream in their coffee.  Doesn't cost more than just pouring heavy cream into a decanter, but really makes the coffee special to the consumer.

 

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16 hours ago, Fuzz said:

In additon to the cafe and cigars, I recommend also stocking adult paraphernalia. If the sex shop can sell cigars, I don't see why you can't sell adult toys too! Hell, they may start trying to sell coffee!!

 

Fuzz I've told you before, I'm not buying your rubber fists! I don't care how the latex feels..

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Best of luck with the cafe.

While I don't have experience, one of my best friends is a chef, and another owns a coffee shop in Colorado.  The coffee shop does their own roasting of beans and makes the best espresso I've ever tasted.  They also have a nitro cold brew iced coffee on tap.  It's those little things that I think will set you apart.  If you can get a handle on your own roasting technique, that's something to really put you above the competition. In addition, whatever capital you have, sink it into the best espresso machine you can find.  Frankly, I'm more than willing to shell out 5 bucks on a quad americano that I know is going to be excellent.  Starbucks doesn't cut it--neither do the other big box stores.  Most small operations just buy beans from the big boys anyway, and the allure is lost for me.

If you can't roast your own beans, get someone local to do it for you if it's feasible.  If that doesn't work, PM me, I will see if my buddy ships to OZ and what the cost is, I know he ships in the USA and his stuff is really that much better. 

Create a place that people feel comfortable gathering and you've really done a great job.  My favorite place, Crowfoot Valley Coffee and Crowbar in Castle Rock, is that place to a T.  When I rage quit my brick and mortar cigar store, the owner built me an office out back of the coffee shop, two chairs, a coffee table (which has since been stolen), an ash tray, and a plug for my computer.  I could not have been happier.  Now instead of the 5 bucks on coffee every morning, I throw down an additional 10-15 on a drink in the PM while I smoke my cigar and finish up my work on the laptop.  It has the added bonus of my office converging on this spot most Fridays to crush beers and decompress from the stresses of the week. 

A liquor license is key--I'd suggest offering rotating taps of weird, but approachable craft beers, a house white and red, and a rotating signature cocktail menu.  I enjoy Crowbar's take on the Moscow Mule, which is home made ginger syrup, lime, vodka, and club soda, finished with a spritz of regular beer on top and stirred.  It's very good.  If you get a good cold brew down, make a white russian type drink with vodka and sweet creak in the cold brew.  The Boulevardier is one of my favorite underappreciated cocktails.  Basically it is a Negroni, but with bourbon rather than gin.  Really warms the cockles on a cool evening. 

Live music and art would be your next good bets.  I hate bare walls, almost as much as I hate boring manufactured art that most places stick on their bare walls.  If you know a local artist, offer to sell his or her works and hang them in your place.  An open mic night is not my preferred way to offer live music, but if it's all you have, it's at least a draw to get people to drink after coffee time has passed.  A better way to go would be to contact local musicians for individual gigs, pay them a modest sum (literally 50 or 100 bucks is all it takes), and they will bring a different crowd of their own family and friends into your spot on a Friday to drink and listen to them play. 

I hope you crush it with your cafe brother. 

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32 minutes ago, dominattorney said:

I hope you crush it with your cafe brother. 

Your speaking my language mate.

Cafe already utilizes a very popular locally roasted coffee, I intend once contracts are signed to approach them and discuss a few tweaks to make a slightly stronger signature blend.

I've already decided allot of the tables and chairs aren't large enough or comfortable or inviting enough so I'll be replacing them immediately with better options and soon adding a lounge area to make the place overall more inviting.

Food quality and local ingredients are something I've made a bit of a name for locally so I'm confident there.

There are already some large framed photos of the building in its original scenery some 80 or so years ago that will be in the lounge area.
There's a nice rustic brick feature wall across from the bar area with a bar along it I plan to hang an attractive 1948 BSA Bantam from as a feature but not in the way of any potential dining space.

 

Bar etc and rotating well done cocktails etc I'm very keen on doing and enjoy myself. There's an outdoor space I could redevelop as a beer garden the only issue there is timeline vs. money to do it, I've got strong relationships and support from local suppliers etc though so I'm confident that will be both excellent and fantastic once done.

Mildura is a strange town, If I've got a strong Cafe scene being open only Thursday to Saturday as a Gastro Bistro wouldnt actually make bad sense here. The early week scene is usually only strong if you have corporate clientele or if your one of the larger businesses in "Feast Street" in town. Otherwise it'd likely be hardly worth doing.

 

As far as art goes, My mother dabbles.. But I'm trying to attract some more artists I like also.. Ofcourse I have a few suppliers of Alcohol keen to give me their advertising stuff too some of which is actually quite attractive.

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2 hours ago, dominattorney said:

They also have a nitro cold brew iced coffee on tap

Cold brew has become incredibly popular here in the states. I love it, too. It really brings the flavor of the coffee through, and I imagine you guys get some hot weather in this part of Australia? The nitro cold brew is awesome. It adds a creamy texture like a stout beer.

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I'll just second what Domina says in general. Make the best coffee you possibly can. There are really cool cafes that I like and want to support, but I don't like their coffee, so I don't go. On the flip, there are some places that offer zero in atmosphere and amenities, but they have great coffee, so I do go.

 

Good luck! If I'm ever in your part of the world, I'll have to stop by!

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Yeah my partner is Italian so the coffee has to be top notch or she'll leave pigs heads in my bed, Regardless we're both pretty passionate about food and drink etc ;)
I don't think I've seen nitro coffee.. Familiar with cold pressed.. I'll start looking into it!

 

We're definetly very mindful about offering an amazing package as far as great food and drink, Service, Atmosphere. Now more than ever hospitality sector has become what needs to be an experience,

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If you and your partner are working in the business then you have a big head start.  

While I own my Cafe, I hire the team. They do a great job but it is 70% of the way I would like to do it.   I am comfortable with that as I have other interests. The cafe effectively is the czar staff canteen.  :D

Break it into steps. Do a business plan and achievable timeline. 

Everything you do will cost twice as much as you think, take three times as long and deliver half the revenue you expect. It is a good rule to work to. 

Slowly does it. Take a section of your business. Make it yours, Make it brilliant. Move to the next section. Repeat. 

Forget about cigars until everything else is working smoothly. 

Buy well. Buy fresh. Make everything you can from scratch. 

Know your market. The Nurse may weigh 200kg but she will want a salad for lunch.  Have the muffin ready for afternoon tea as she will be back. 

Understand all council requirements. Hire on a casual basis only. Don't sexually harass your staff.  Extend opening hours on a 1 hour trial only. You may find the existing opening hours is what work best in your locale. 

Have a deep frier. 

Most people have $15 dollars a day for coffee and lunch. Your job is to take it.  Change the menu. keep things fresh. 

Do a council search, talk to other businesses nearby. Are there any competitors to open in the area?

Have a good lawyer and a good accountant. Use them. 

Lay spikes for the local coffee van. 

 

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8 hours ago, El Presidente said:

IThe Nurse may weigh 200kg but she will want a salad for lunch.  Have the muffin ready for afternoon tea as she will be back. 

.....

Have a deep frier. 

 

 

Totally this. 

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15 hours ago, Danimalia said:

I'll just second what Domina says in general. Make the best coffee you possibly can. There are really cool cafes that I like and want to support, but I don't like their coffee, so I don't go. On the flip, there are some places that offer zero in atmosphere and amenities, but they have great coffee, so I do go.

Lots of average coffee places out there.  Love that nitro cold brew too.  A new coffee chain from Brazil opened up down the street.  They do a wonderful job on coffee and make it an experience, but it comes at a price.

The next big thing will be the Singapore style coffee "kopi" to become mainstream like Nitro brew; the first ones offering it in the US will do well with it.

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Kopi or Vietnamese style coffee I'm more familiar with and enjoy, I've made a bundle of Nitro inquiries yesterday and hopefully that's going to be my point of difference when I open!

 

The casual staff thing is something I just clued into between my solicitor and the guy I'm taking over from, Very wise advice!

Hear you on the Cigars too Rob and think my biggest weakness is probably that I do get excited and try to do a million things at once!
Going to really work on the breaking it down into prioritized steps and coming up with a good business plan around it.

 

" Everything you do will cost twice as much as you think, take three times as long and deliver half the revenue you expect. It is a good rule to work to.  "

Yeah,, I'm finding that already with expanding equipment and freight etc.. contract fee's and times also... Yikes.

 

Potentially I've considered the delivery side but I know allot of the big orders there are already loyal to other businesses.

 

Council I'm still yet to really delve into.. I've got a few folk in there I know already loosely so I'm hoping I can leverage that and get good advice etc..

the 15 a day thing is great advice too and reinforces something else I'd had in mind to offer a range of $10 combo's of meal and beverage and then always have in house baked items etc available from the $3-$5 mark.

I'll post some before and after photos and keep progress notes going possibly, Kitchen is pretty good, Lay out isn't too bad.

Just bloody hard keeping everything quiet locally and trying to get balls rolling at the same time. :P

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Feeling it now lads! Contract is drawn, Just sent off my business details.. Signing should happen tomorrow I guess?
I've kept it all pretty well secret.. So now the dreaded resignation needs to be quickly considered and I've gotta find the courage to do it o.O

I'm a pretty central and important part of the family business I currently work in.. So I've been dreading this awhile..

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5 minutes ago, AndrewNR said:

Feeling it now lads! Contract is drawn, Just sent off my business details.. Signing should happen tomorrow I guess?
I've kept it all pretty well secret.. So now the dreaded resignation needs to be quickly considered and I've gotta find the courage to do it o.O

I'm a pretty central and important part of the family business I currently work in.. So I've been dreading this awhile..

Think of it like  bandaid. Hurts less when you rip it off rather than slowly peeling it off. 

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