Things cafes need to get right…

"Things cafes need to get right…"

If you are reading this you are either a consumer saying “honestly how hard could it be?” or a cafe owner reading the hypothetical consumer comment and saying “If you think it is so easy why don’t you give it a shot???” Possibly with more expletives. We know it can be hard to run a cafe and its exceptionally hard to please everyone. So lets try and keep it simple. We asked customer’s some of the things that cafes need to do right. Covering these bases will make sure you have a solid foundation.

1. Make not just great coffee but OUTSTANDING COFFEE

The coffee that makes you go ‘Hell Yeah, i want another one of those’ is the difference between a customer that goes there once, and a customer that returns. Every minute you spend on making your product better is a minute well spent. Be it practicing your latte art or researching better grinding techniques. Continuous improvement is key.

2. Simple delicious food with not too many choices

6 different types of bread, 25 different ingredients to chose from, toasted, grilled, microwaved, oven baked, toasted in a volcano… Having a lot of choices is a good thing right?

Wrong.

New consumers often get overwhelmed when there are too many choices. Even to the point of even being self conscious that they will get the order wrong and look like idiots in front of everyone when ordering. This can make customers pick the fast food restaurant down the road over your double sifted rye and crushed quinoa seed flame grilled quail burger with truffles. Just keep it simple – Maximum of 10 orders, list the ingredients (they will tell you on order if they don’t want something). This will save you on stock costs too.

3. Friendly , happy staff giving great service

theres a very aussie thing about walking into your ‘local’ and  the barista knows just how you like your brew, thats what sets the huge cafe scene in Australia apart from the chains in the USA for example. If possible, learn the regulars names (there are plenty of tips online for how to learn names via association etc) This will lock them in for good.

4. Ambience

The Vibe is key. Anyone can lease a shop font, put some chairs and tables in it and call it a cafe. The exceptional cafe’s go about 200 extra miles through creating the vibe of the place through ambience. Good music, uncluttered inviting space, relaxing vibes with the decor, books/local paper  to read if you are going for that. Alternatively you can go completely themed, really give the place a ‘personality’ which can help word of mouth “yeah i went to that cafe that has all those movie props” for example

5. location

-a spot where many folks are going to need a coffee right near a busy bus stop or train station for example

5. location

-a beautiful spot overlooking a park, gardens, beach or water is another good option

5. location

-a cbd spot where everyone stops on the way to work or an area with a certain flavour / style or just off it away from the average places so its a little secret spot in a laneway creating exclusivity. People love the feeling of discovering a new Awesome place thats a little bit special and telling their friends. The location is key to the success of a cafe. Some planning as to the area of your business can go a long way.

 

There you have it. Try to nail these fundamentals down and you are well on your way to having a successful cafe..

Mark Wilkinson On Tour.

"Mark Wilkinson On Tour."

Mark Wilkinson
Let The River Run Tour

Mark Wilkinson has a busy 2 months coming up. Gearing up for the release of his new album – Let The River Run. Kicking off at Beav’s Bar in Geelong Mark will be touring around the country. With some big shows coming up there is more than enough Mark to go around for everyone. However, If you do miss this one, you just need to get your head in the game.

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Cafe Review – ‘Coast Cafe’ Ettalong

"Cafe Review – ‘Coast Cafe’ Ettalong"

Coast Cafe  
175 Ocean View Rd, Ettalong

Coast Cafe is always busy on weekends. Being 5 minutes walk from the beach and the ferry stop from Palm Beach its in a great location. There is never a problem ordering, as you order and pay at the counter when your ready, so there is none of that trying to catch a wait staff as they rush past. It also frees you up when your leaving, instead of waiting around for the bill.There is a lovely outdoor terraced area which i have seen being used by large groups for meetings and the local cycle groups caffeine fix before they take on the Patonga Hill!

The breakfast menu might be short but covers yummy things like , avocado and tomato on toast, goats cheese omelette with Coast tomato relish and toast, and a seasonal fruit bowl with honey and yoghurt. The lunch menu is also not expansive, but again covers a snack like, bocconcini, tomato & Basil with Coast aioli on Turkish toast. Or something more substantial like , Beef burger Coast style with homemade onion jam and salad. Or more exotic , Poached lemon/lime chicken with cous cous preserved lemons, almonds, mixed herbs and leaves. The food is always consistent, and i love the added homemade relishes and aioli.

Ok now to the coffee, they serve Campos coffee and they do it well. We will cycle past 5 other cafes, and not stop because we know the Coast coffee is best. I have also recently started drinking decaf and most decaf coffee is awful, hot browny water with a bit of milk – yuk! Sometimes i cant tell if the decaf at Coast is really decaf……..

Cafe Review – Fragrance Coffee Lab

"Cafe Review – Fragrance Coffee Lab"
Fragrance Coffee Lab
191 Crown Street Darlinghurst
 

Tucked away, corner store style, on one of sydney’s most iconic streets – Crown Street is a tiny little cafe known as Fragrance Coffee Lab. Not easy to find but well known by locals as a life saver. This place is an amazing little hole in the wall that is well worth a visit if you are in the area.

In what seems to be a dying art, Andrew – the barista often remember’s the regulars name, order, work issues and life stories. This seems quite amazing to a guy who forgets someones name mere nan0seconds after being introduced. I guess some people just have a natural talent for customer service, Andrew being one of them.

On to the coffee – This is not an understatement when i say it is some of the best i have ever had. I usually get the caramel latte (‘manliest drink on the planet’ as i call it) and it is smooth, perfect temperature and spot on every time. As Sylvia Plath once said – “As a skeptic, I would ask for consistency first of all.” Any skeptic would quickly be turned after a few visits of Fragrance, and i dare say, would never look back.

If you have some pocket change ($3 for a most regular sizes), a case of the afternoon “can’t be bothered’s” and are in the area, drop in, see Andrew and pick up a coffee. Then stay for the delicious food.

D.

Product Review – Aeropress

"Product Review – Aeropress"

We recently received an AeroPress in the mail from Curtis at Aerobie. We must say that since we have opened the box we have been nothing but impressed. Let me just talk you through the thing.

The principle behind it is that it is method of brewing coffee by pressing the crema through a filter by the magic mix of air and pressure. it is remarkable how many top name baristas around the world are putting their name behind the product. there is really no need for us to try and explain how best to use it. take a look at Gwilym Davies – 2009 World Barista Champion explaining how it works.

As you can see it is frighteningly simple. This is the first kind of coffee making product i have ever used, not to mention i wouldn’t know the first thing about making coffee, and you can tell a product is brilliant when the first time i used it, not one thing caught on fire.  Not only that, the coffee i made was delicious.

In the package, comes everything you need to make you’re first cup (coffee not included) Including a year’s supply of filters. Most people recommend that the AeroPress be teamed up with a coffee grinder to keep the coffee as fresh as possible. However, for the less hardcore coffee drinkers out there, pre ground coffee will do fine as well (as long as you at least attempt to keep it in a airtight environment)

 

So what’s the bottom line? Aeropress is such a convenient small method of pressing up to 4 cups of coffee, in fact it is so convenient that it can be done on an aeroplane. Not to mention the end result is a cup of coffee that is just as good as – if not better than a cup you would buy in a cafe.

 

For more information on where to buy. click this: www.aeropress.com.au.

Cafe’s – Need to seat more waiting customers on Saturday night?

"Cafe’s – Need to seat more waiting customers on Saturday night?"

So you are looking to increase profits. How do you go about that? You could increase your prices, but that would likely anger the regulars, not to mention the ever increasing competitive nature of the market could lead to a drastic decrease in customers. So what else? You could increase the amount of customers you have at any one time. . But how can you do that without increasing your real estate size? Simple speed up the customer turn over rate.

One of the most frustrating things for a cafe or restaurant owner is when you have customers waiting for a table, or even worse, customers walking by because the wait times are too long for a table, all the while you have customers who are eating slowly. Wouldn’t it be great if you could speed up the time between seating and paying the cheque?

 

According to an article by Charles Areni, professor of marketing at University Of Sydney  has shown that the speed of the music playing can dictate the rate at which customers consume their food. “Diners eat more quickly – literally bring their forks to their mouths more frequently – when the music is fast rather than slow.”

What does this mean? Well simple:

When you have a slow night, for example, early in the week, you can play slower music and your customers will stay at your café longer and not even realise. This will cause then order more extras eg. Coffee, wine, dessert etc. On the flip side, when your weekend nights are fully booked and you need to turn tables quickly, you play faster tempo music and your customers will not stay as long. Allowing you to get more customers through the door.

Its amazing what music can do!

 

Further reading:

http://www.ppca.com.au/music-users-/restaurantcafetariff/.

Going to have a big lunch? Offset that crash with green tea.

"Going to have a big lunch? Offset that crash with green tea."

 It has been well documented, the health effects of green tea. Green tea has been used for hundreds of years and we are only recently discovering the reasons behind the health benefits associated with this magic drink. expired domain list . Recent studies have unveiled one such healthy component of green tea being a compound called – ECGC, which is a type of flavonoid that is not contained in other teas that could be used to stave off that after-luch carb-crash.

A recent study performed at Penn State University looked into the effects of green tea (containing ECGC) and the blood glucose level of mice after a starchy meal. As you may know, blood glucose, and insulin levels rise after a meal, and this is particularly true of a meal high in carbohydrates. Without getting too scientific, this is a bad thing, and can contribute to the “food coma” or “carb crash” that you experience after a big lunch.  Not to mention a myriad of health effects in the long term such as weight gain, diabetes and others.

The study showed that when the mice were given a dose of ECGC immediately before, during or immediately after the meal, their blood sugar and insulin levels didn’t rise to as higher levels as mice without the ECGC dose. The mice were given a dose approximately equivalent to one cup of green tea in humans.

So what can we take from this study? Aside from re-enforcing the idea that you should try and avoid starchy meals for your general health, if you are going to indulge yourself with a carbohydrate rich lunch (such as anything containing rice, wheat, potatoes etc), and want to mitigate the effects it may have on your afternoon at work, you can do this by consuming a cup of green tea with lunch. Give it a shot!

Further Reading:

http://live.psu.edu/story/62624.