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Thread: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

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    Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    I would like to address the ongoing debate of why cafe owners persist in signing contracts that do not allow them to exit if their coffee company of choice.... no longer becomes their coffee company of choice due to inconsistent coffee, bad service and fluctuating coffee prices...

    Where has the freedom of choice gone.... if cafe owners do not sign the contracts then the coffee companies have to work harder to maintain your business... the winner is you the cafe owner and your loyal customers that want you to deliver them the best coffee possible!!!

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 466B40676E6E63020 link=1233872442/0#0 date=1233872442
    I would like to address the ongoing debate of why cafe owners persist in signing contracts that do not allow them to exit if their coffee company of choice.... no longer becomes their coffee company of choice due to inconsistent coffee, bad service and fluctuating coffee prices...

    Where has the freedom of choice gone.... if cafe owners do not sign the contracts then the coffee companies have to work harder to maintain your business... the winner is you the cafe owner and your loyal customers that want you to deliver them the best coffee possible!!!
    This will be a great discussion Phil!

    I think they sign contracts because they want "free" machines, grinders, wind barriers, advertising, crockery, uniforms et al.

    Most of these owners could NOT give a hoot about whats in the cup ;)

    Coffee companies provide the "free" stuff to get accounts.

    Wouldnt it be interesting if the industry could have a code of conduct where this practice was not allowed *:-?

    P.S- Welcome to CS. Great to have you here!

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    I see similar discussions in the IT industry - the concept of capex vs leasing/rental.

    In all cases the capex model is the cheapest, however for a cash poor company having the cost of hardware offset as part and parcel of monthly charges is an attractive option.

    Although I hate to generalise, there are a vast number of "cafes" in Australia, and relatively few "coffee houses". I think this has a large part in whether people buy their own equipment and look for a boutique roaster, or whether they simply speak to a known brand coffee company and extract a deal.

    Until consumers are willing to vote with their wallets, well see the scenario youve painted continuing for a long time to come. This of course implies that consumers can tell a good coffee from a bad one... Judging by the number of people I see queued outside Mecca of a morning, Id suggest that people are slowly taking on board the concept of coffee as a quality food product, rather than just a caffeine hit. On the other hand, the number of people who still use the cafe downstairs due to its convenience also suggests that people are going to do whatever is easiest and most convenient for them!

    Grant

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 722D352328232F262625252D212E400 link=1233872442/1#1 date=1233873232
    This will be a great discussion Phil!

    I think they sign contracts because they want "free" macines, grinders, wind barriers, advertising, crockery, uniforms et al.

    Most of these owners could NOT give a hoot about whats in the cup *
    I tend to agree if the NOT was included in the statement... * ;)

    While I have been a solid supporter of Phils establishment and enjoy the beans and the great service that the *STAFF provide... * :-*

    Not all of the Cafe owners are so passionate... * *:o *I was looking for a little place and or a mobile solution some time ago... *100% of all I dealt with, came down to... How they could reduce costs and boost the bottom line... *Some of the tricks with beans and contracted usage etc was mind blowing... *:o *

    I can understand the establishments like Phils, trying to do the best for their company but also their clients and the end consumer... *AND being passionate about it... *8-)

    Problem is the middle man: *as you, the product supplier has little or no control / input... *The genera user just take the poor product and often knows NO BETTER... * There are a number of places selling the Di Bella Coffee products and I would not go to them in a fit.. *I would rather Pablo or Aldi instant...

    So who get the *bad press... The cafe or the Roaster ??? * ::)


    code of conduct where this practice was not allowed
    As to this option... A start... But who will and can enforce it ? *

    TG could be a roving Auditor ??

    Regards Electronically

    AM



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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 0F20292B3C032F202F292B232B203A4E0 link=1233872442/3#3 date=1233874548
    So who get thebad press... The cafe or the Roaster ???
    Not sure if Im going to get too OT here, but bear with me :)

    I remember reading a similar discussion on HB recently. In my early snobbery days, it pains me to admit that if I saw a Tobys sign outside of a cafe I would automatically assume it was good.

    While the boutique roasters cant provide machines under contract to compete with the big commercial players, I believe they could add value by including x hours of training per month. Maybe it just isnt feasible, but if they are providing coffee to a cafe, then as you mentioned it is their name on the line. Surely its in their best interest to make sure that their coffee is being served to an adequate standard?

    Grant

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 25312A2D24261C2734262F2F2631430 link=1233872442/4#4 date=1233876246
    Quote Originally Posted by 0F20292B3C032F202F292B232B203A4E0 link=1233872442/3#3 date=1233874548
    So who get thebad press... The cafe or the Roaster ??? *
    Not sure if Im going to get too OT here, but bear with me :)

    I remember reading a similar discussion on HB recently. In my early snobbery days, it pains me to admit that if I saw a Tobys sign outside of a cafe I would automatically assume it was good.

    While the boutique roasters cant provide machines under contract to compete with the big commercial players, I believe they could add value by including x hours of training per month. Maybe it just isnt feasible, but if they are providing coffee to a cafe, then as you mentioned it is their name on the line. Surely its in their best interest to make sure that their coffee is being served to an adequate standard?

    Grant
    I agree, but think were both OT *;D

    1: The principle and the intent of *"Coffee Supply Contracts" I believe is good for all parties... Yes there are Pros and Cons.

    2: *Supply contracts are an every day event in all facets of business.... *Even health and Government *:o * *;)


    The devil is in the detail, and that to be is where a Code of *Conduct come into its place... *With out going into all the detail, as my Government Procurement experience is causing brain cell destruction and excitation......

    As soon as you enter into a *Contract (AS4000 etc) *there are all sorts of legal issues that can get one bogged down... *KPIs and other performance and Quality can be written in, but it can get messy and seen as Over the Top by the little man... *He wants Quick and Simple...

    With a CoC in place, it means that a standard supply contract can reference any number of points, KPIs, expected outcomes and even penalties.. * *And importantly reduce the need or expense of havening a solicitor spend excessive time reviewing different contract and *T&Cs all the time..

    Will it happen next month or this year... I think not, but believe it should be on teh agenda... *As one of the most traded products etc.. It should not be left in the dark. *Or may be, some would rather have it that way!!!!


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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 7B6F74737A7842796A787171786F1D0 link=1233872442/4#4 date=1233876246
    Quote Originally Posted by 0F20292B3C032F202F292B232B203A4E0 link=1233872442/3#3 date=1233874548
    So who get thebad press... The cafe or the Roaster ??? *
    Not sure if Im going to get too OT here, but bear with me :)

    I remember reading a similar discussion on HB recently. In my early snobbery days, it pains me to admit that if I saw a Tobys sign outside of a cafe I would automatically assume it was good.

    While the boutique roasters cant provide machines under contract to compete with the big commercial players, I believe they could add value by including x hours of training per month. Maybe it just isnt feasible, but if they are providing coffee to a cafe, then as you mentioned it is their name on the line. Surely its in their best interest to make sure that their coffee is being served to an adequate standard?

    Grant
    Good idea Grant....Only problem is that the dodgy guys usually reckon they have it all 100% and therefore dont need training.

    Most of them are simply not willing to commit the time/resources even to allow complimentary training to occur. Bizarre concept. Extract $3 and get a new bum on the seat, or extract $6 because the first cup was so good. Which strategy builds a business? ::)

    Hopefully, with a growing CS population, there will be more competition, forcing them to step up or go broke ;)

    2mcm

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 336C746269626E676764646C606F010 link=1233872442/6#6 date=1233877252
    Good idea Grant....Only problem is that the dodgy guys usually reckon they have it all 100% and therefore dont need training.
    Fair point - it takes two to tango :)

    Grant

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Sorry but this discussion is totally misplaced in a retail coffee special interest forum and is nothing more than a stir up.

    The reason is simple. Business people whether they be cafe owners or their suppliers do whatever they need to do to run their businesses.

    Its a free country.

    Retail coffee drinkers can sort themselves out as to where they buy their favourite cuppa, and whether they get a good cuppa or not has nothing to do with coffee equipment supply contracts, it has to do with whether a cafe owner is a good operator or not.

    Plus there is no accounting for peoples tastes and one mans nirvana is another mans garbage so whether a cafes resulting cuppa is actually technically good or not is irrelevant....some of the best turnover cafes produce the worst brews....so what, they are successful businesses and both cafe owner and supplier are happy. And apparently, so are their clients. There IS no accounting for taste.

    Coffee Equipment Supply Contracts and whether thay are a good thing or not is only of importance to coffee suppliers trying to knock off someone elses client and many of whom will sabotage a perfectly good relationship between a cafe and his supplier, by trying to lay the seeds of doubt over so called coffee quality or consistency, but where usually the people behind the coffee machine cant even adjust their own grinder, yet when they think something may be wrong with their wet brew, they wanna blame their supplier instead of trying to work out where the problem really lies and mostly, it is in what they are doing.









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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 47666D6A70494E030 link=1233872442/8#8 date=1233878947
    Sorry but this discussion is totally misplaced in a retail coffee special interest forum and is nothing more than a stir up.
    Denis,

    Cant say I agree with you. This is a coffee lovers discussion forum. While the thread was started by a roaster, and may be perceived as a "woe is me, I want more people to buy my coffee" by some people there is nothing wrong with a healthy discussion. I havent seen any cafes bad mouthed, nor have I seen particular coffee wholesalers mentioned and slurred.

    Quote Originally Posted by 47666D6A70494E030 link=1233872442/8#8 date=1233878947
    Coffee Equipment Supply Contracts and whether thay are a good thing or not is only of importance to coffee suppliers trying to knock off someone elses client and many of whom will sabotage a perfectly good relationship between a cafe and his supplier, by trying to lay the seeds of doubt over so called coffee quality or consistency, but where usually the people behind the coffee machine cant even adjust their own grinder, yet when they think something may be wrong with their wet brew, they wanna blame their supplier instead of trying to work out where the problem really lies and mostly, it is in what they are doing.
    Do you work for a wholesaler...? Cause this sounds like youre taking the thread somewhat personally.

    Ive noticed a trend on this forum from newcomers.

    First post: Which machine should I buy.
    Response: Variable

    Second post: I bought xxx like you said, but there is no crema and I cant get a good taste regardless of what I do with my grind.
    Response: Are you using fresh beans?

    Why is the "fresh beans" answer applicable to home users but not cafes?

    Quote Originally Posted by 47666D6A70494E030 link=1233872442/8#8 date=1233878947
    there is no accounting for peoples tastes
    This I can agree with.

    Grant


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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    From a business point of view, the reason for making coffee for customers is to make money. thats it. If enough people buy crappy coffee and are fine with it, its not worth spending the time, effort and money to get better results for the few coffeesnobs who go to a cafe.
    Most people dont appreciate a good coffee anyway, and while they can tell the difference in side-by-side comparisons, thats not how coffee purchasing is done. If the coffee is OK, and made OK, most customers are happy. Theres always the market for niche quality providers, but consider all the people on this forum who may appreciate a really good coffee, and how many no longer visit cafes regularly because they have their home setup. Most of the time, its convenience, and acceptable level of quality, and a decent price that determines the sale, not just a spectacular coffee.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    thanks guys for your feeback so far... let me post the following...

    Yes Di Bella is a healthy business... but this forum is not about more business... this is about freedom of choice.... i give my clients the same choice... and in many instances pull the product if they have no interest in quality... as you can appreciate, and i am happy to state... not all our outlets will make great coffee, if only... for many reasons...

    Again this is not a commercial discussion, but rather a general interest one where i would like to personally see a code of conduct in place in the coffee industry... why should people be bullied into purchasing product they no longer believe in...

    I therefore seek the response, opinons and discussion of ALL people in whether they think that a code of conduct would be appropriate....

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    The obvious answer is
    If the prospective client is happy with the deal then go with it
    However an emphasis must be placed in contract format to ensure both parties adhere to a set of standards

    Just one example
    For the supplier e.g. coffee will be freshly roasted and despatched

    For the cafe e.g. coffee will consumed within 5 weeks of roast date.
    If not consumed the remainder of beans are to be disposed

    I am in favour of the saying that it takes 2 to tango
    And its in the both parties interests to follow easy guidelines dancing together to make profit together.

    Not only will they both profit but by doing so the customer is also the winner

    There are other inclusions such as training, storage, stock control ect but you get the idea of my thoughts

    Breach of the set standards
    Should one party break the rules the other can withdraw from the contract

    KK



    Edit
    My wife works for an organisation that has a secret shopper program
    The supliers can also have such a program to check on the cafes
    After all its there reputation that is also at stake

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 153813343D3D30510 link=1233872442/11#11 date=1233882035
    thanks guys (and gals) for your feeback so far... let me post the following...

    Yes Di Bella is a healthy business... but this forum is not about more business... this is about freedom of choice....

    1:i give my clients the same choice... and in many instances pull the product if they have no interest in quality... as you can appreciate, and i am happy to state... not all our outlets will make great coffee, if only... for many reasons...

    2: Again this is not a commercial discussion, but rather a general interest one where i would like to personally see a code of conduct in place in the coffee industry... why should people be bullied into purchasing product they no longer believe in...

    3: I therefore seek the response, opinons and discussion of ALL people in whether they think that a code of conduct would be appropriate....
    Sorry, had to edit your post *;D * *(and Gals)

    Item 1: *Quality outcome, is an issue and for many reasons is not straight forward, but interesting to hear that you do / have taken action.

    Item 2: As an end user / consumer - I agree. *Exit requirements must be available to both parties.

    Item 3: *As you have seen already.. *This is an interesting topic... Politics, Personal views and Passion. * The 3 *Ps, always make for touchy txt and e-mail / postings... *

    So I can only recommend that all, consider their responses B4 firing off a reply...

    Remember "Challenge the ideas, not the person".




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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    thanks kk... your contribution is noted.... i agree with your comments...

    a code of conduct would ensure that it is two sided..... to ensure that both parties benefit.... a supplier must cover its cost... but must also be accountable for quality product, service, training etc etc.. if it does not provide this then the cafe owner should be able to choose another company.....

    as to if the cafe breaches its protocol on quality coffee being served to the consumer.... if they breach this then the supplier should be able to stop supply...

    that is why i would call it a code of conduct rather than a contract... the obligation lies with both parties with the coffee drinker being the winner.....

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Very interesting discussion. For my part I hark back to the old marketing 4 Ps, product, place, price and promotion. So a sale of a coffee is only part of the mix of selling a coffee, you might have a well located, cheap and well promoted cafe that does crap coffee but still sells heaps. I dont agree with this business model as for similar money you can produce a high quality product and sell more but the plethora of crappy cafes out there proves that you dont need to make great coffee to make money.

    Now back on topic. I agree completely with the sentiment that this thread was started in, why do cafes give up their identity and flexibility by signing their lives away with company X. These "free machine" deals always seem to cost significantly more in the long term for the cafe. That said when you are running a busy cafe and arent a coffee snob it must just seem easier to sign up and not have to worry about that aspect of your business.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Welcome aboard Phil and thanks for raising one of my pet topics!

    When I started the business I pounded the pavements, looking for cafes that had their own equipment instore, figuring they had a greater interest in the coffee they offered their customers. Partly, I found that to be correct, *At least they were willing to talk to me about the coffee, though mostly, found it all too scary to switch to an unknown brand.

    Interestingly, 10 or 15 years ago, any decent cafe was very secretive about the coffee they used, for fear that their competitor around the corner would use the same blend. *Nowadays, we have majors who reportedly offer cafe owners cash incentives to switch.

    It bemuses me to know that the cafe owner has spent a fortune on fit-outs, then scrimps when it comes to one of the primary sources of their income - coffee. *For the cafe owner, the initial cost in doing this may be zero, but I believe over time, the cost is far greater than they ever imagine. *

    Ive had a city cafe owner who does 40kg a week, call and tell me they werent happy with the quality of the coffee, but couldnt afford to switch unless I were to replace the coffee machine that the provider told them was worth $20k (in fact worth about $10k), plus all the bits and pieces that go with it. *Needless to say, we didnt proceed.

    These places are easy to identify, as the establishment looks like a billboard for whatever brand they use, presumably thinking this will promote sales. *As consumers, we share some responsibility for this as we happily pay ridiculous prices for all manner of things that have a well known logo.

    The tide is however slowly turning in the right direction. *Coffee seems to be trending in the same way as the wine industry did - moving away from a product that is mass produced solely with profits in mind, to products that offer the consumer a wider variety and created with care and attention.

    Im not generally in favour of regulating unless it is required to protect society.

    Viva la revolution!


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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    It is an interesting discussion,

    Quote Originally Posted by 6D636E617660610F0 link=1233872442/15#15 date=1233885453
    Very interesting discussion. For my part I hark back to the old marketing 4 Ps, product, place, price and promotion. So a sale of a coffee is only part of the mix of selling a coffee, you might have a well located, cheap and well promoted cafe that does crap coffee but still sells heaps. I dont agree with this business model as for similar money you can produce a high quality product and sell more but the plethora of crappy cafes out there proves that you dont need to make great coffee to make money.

    Now back on topic. I agree completely with the sentiment that this thread was started in, why do cafes give up their identity and flexibility by signing their lives away with company X. These "free machine" deals always seem to cost significantly more in the long term for the cafe. That said when you are running a busy cafe and arent a coffee snob it must just seem easier to sign up and not have to worry about that aspect of your business.
    It is an interesting discussion,

    Another point, not all cafes are about just coffee.
    People will start up a cafe to also sell food.
    When they look to get coffee into the business a supplier can provide all the machinery, signage, umbrellas etc. Also the maintenance on machinery. The owner doesnt have to think. Just has to keep buying the beans.

    And to reiterate, most people cant tell the difference between good, bad or great coffee. Some can and dont care.
    Bit like food. How many people do you know that go to maccas or other fast food joints that know the food is crap? They just dont thinks it is worth the effort for better food.
    So a business person will sign up to run a franchise fast food place, much like a cafe owner signs up for their beans supply.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Great to have you here Phil! Makes me wonder if we should have an "Industry" section to the forum for this type of discussion?

    Quote Originally Posted by 18351E3930303D5C0 link=1233872442/14#14 date=1233884242
    as to if the cafe breaches its protocol on quality coffee being served to the consumer.... if they breach this then the supplier should be able to stop supply...
    I see one quite challenging problem with this one - the supplier (roaster) is the party that is being more heavily penalised.

    That said, Im sure that some café-side quality component to the contract could be managed through other means. It would probably need to be monitored via some sort of "Mystery Shopper" program through a separate company (to remove bias) and would almost certainly have to be a 3-strikes including notification within a specified timeframe (2 weeks with extra visits only required if the first was a failure). A method to make it fair on both the café and roaster might be to have the supply contract attract a (say, for example) $5/kg penalty for a 3 month period. If under these circumstances the café wanted to exit the contract, they could with perhaps a months notice period and payment for the 3 month period (at the higher rate). If the roaster wanted to cancel the contract under these circumstances they could with a similar notice period and continued surcharge rate but for only the 1 month period.

    There, random streaming brain activity on a penalty clause for an under performing café :) Im sure much of this could be extended quite a bit beyond what I have already written, however it needs to be clear that there are benefits and penalties for both parties for poor performance and that it must be fair to all concerned.

    cheers,
    James

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 202B273C2F384A0 link=1233872442/18#18 date=1233886930
    That said, Im sure that some café-side quality component to the contract could be managed through other means. *It would probably need to be monitored via some sort of "Mystery Shopper" program through a separate company (to remove bias) and would almost certainly have to be a 3-strikes including notification within a specified timeframe (2 weeks with extra visits only required if the first was a failure). *A method to make it fair on both the café and roaster might be to have the supply contract attract a (say, for example) $5/kg penalty for a 3 month period. *If under these circumstances the café wanted to exit the contract, they could with perhaps a months notice period and payment for the 3 month period (at the higher rate). *If the roaster wanted to cancel the contract under these circumstances they could with a similar notice period and continued surcharge rate but for only the 1 month period.
    Not sure there would be too many cafes who would want to enter into a relationship like that, it also adds to the cost of the relationship (3rd party) and as was discussed earlier one mans nirvana is anothers garbage so bias is always involved. An option might be to have a training component ie all people involved in espresso production must do training with the roaster to obtain a certain level of knowledge regarding espresso which should give you more consistency of product.

    I think what both partys would want from a code of conduct is knowing what to expect from the other, ie consistent fresh roasted coffee from the roaster and from the cafe having the equipment and staff to get the best from the coffee. What ever gives you that without to much complexity has got to be a good thing.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    i have been shocked on occasion when asked what coffee beans we use, then getting the reply " oh i only drink X (insert coffee company here) ". its surprising how brand focused some consumers are.

    that said i suppose not all cafes can afford the time or the money to source their own equipment, training and support and find the contracts easier.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 16323B3B38380216322E30325D0 link=1233872442/12#12 date=1233883463
    For the cafe e.g. coffee will consumed within 5 weeks of roast date.
    If not consumed the remainder of beans are to be disposed *
    Good luck trying to enforce that.



    Quote Originally Posted by 3F3C2E2E2A3C245D0 link=1233872442/17#17 date=1233886541
    And to reiterate, most people cant tell the difference between good, bad or great coffee. Some can and dont care.
    Bit like food. How many people do you know that go to maccas or other fast food joints that know the food is crap? They just dont thinks it is worth the effort for better food.

    Yep. Same with beer & wine & anything really. Unfortunately the majority of people (and businesses) dont care about quality, theyll just get whatever is the cheapest. Just look at all the crap products made in China these days! Most people are satisfied with mediocre – eating at Maccas, drinking XXXX or cleanskin wine, coffee from *bucks, etc. Its a pretty sad state of affairs really....

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    While I agree that a code of conduct is a grand vision in terms of ensuring consistent excellence in the cup, Id argue that realistically its just not feasible.

    Why?

    Sure ... I get the QA beans as a cafe owner, but my customers dont chew them from the bag ... they drink my barista concoction from those beans.

    My machine, my grinder, my storage, all have an impact on those beans.

    Its a fresh food product with a defined use-by date (yeah, yeah, you pedantic snobs, whens the bloody roasting date! ;D) like the lettuce & tomatoes I get very week.

    The gist? There are too many variables in cafes to ensure that some arbitrary notion of consistent quality can meet an equally arbirtary code of conduct.

    Id argue that any Code of Conduct for a cafe owner boils down essentially to their ongoing relationship with their customers.

    Feasibility of their business is dependant on this crucial factor - not so much the choice of beans, or some verbal/written contractual agreement with a supplier.

    BTW, if such a code has legs, whos going to define the criteria?

    Tony

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    this is fantastic guys and thanks for the posts....

    how about this situation... currently happening as we speak....

    company x provides client with equipment and says you must do x amount of kilograms per week or you breach contract.... then cafe lets company x know that there product quality has slipped, service is nonexistant and resulting in them to drop business.... they are told they must rectify this or the cafe will change supplier.... it is not and they change...

    company x sues for breach of contract on the basis the cafe has switched before the term expired...

    where is the benefit for the cafe.... remember this discussion is not entirely about equipment supply.... because this in most cases is built into pricing... but about freedom to choose your supplier at any time regardless of whether you have been supplied a machine or not....

    some companies supply equipment... but still allow cafes to switch if they are not happy... lets face it that equipment can be reinstalled into other accounts and so on....

    it is purely all about being able to choose your coffee supplier at any time based a certain type of code of conduct what that code might say or enforce ....well this is up for discussion....

    the aim is to make cafe owners aware not to sign any contract until they have done there homework, research and thoroughly understand what they are signing...


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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    there is a difference between supply agreements where you must use a companies coffee whilst you use their equipment.... this options allows you to change at your discretion....

    and then a contract which means you can only change when your term is up...... supply agreements is where it all started and then certain companies turned them into contracts with all sorts of conditions attached that do not work in the favour of the cafe.....


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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 476C6969050 link=1233872442/21#21 date=1233890804
    ... most people are satisfied with mediocre – drinking XXXX or cleanskin wine ... Its a pretty sad state of affairs really....
    Cmon Bill ... some cleanskins offer the same grape for half the price! :D

    Dunno about XXXX mate ;D

    But I take your point re mediocrity ... as a fellow snob.

    But not as a consumer!

    I can get a 16oz caramel infused latte with extra froth from GJs next door, so why should I pay the same for Andys supposed "cup of excellence" in a tight, finely ground restricted 18gram extracted via a double PF, as 40ml of magic, into a cup evidently something half the size that wont fill me? :-?

    I need caffeine and I need sugar NOW, speaketh the consumer :-[

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Mocopan I believe and then Vittoria, started the equipment supply scenario many many years ago.

    Since then, every tom dick and harry wanting to push their way around a coffee market and get some market share have had to quickly follow suit to the point where virtually, anyone that wants to turn over real kilos in a roasting business has to be in it or grow very very slowly.

    This in turn trained the cafe owners that they didnt need to own their own equipment.

    When there werent any contracts involved, newcomers (coffee suppliers) would sabotage an emcumbent suppliers product as already outlined, and the client would make the change. Every one is apparently scared of the old "the coffee is inconsistent" phrase even when the vast majority cant adjust their own grinder therefore have absolutely no control over the end product anyway and wouldnt know real coffee bean inconsistency if it jumped up and bashed them on the nose......and the blame game goes on......

    Coffee companies got jack of this and rightly introduced the "Coffee Equipment Supply Agreement".....in this way, the cafe owner that wants the loaner equipment, and asks / forces the supplier to buy a new machine for the cafe owner to use, has some security of tenure. That means, over a period of say 2 or 3 years the supplier has been guaranteed the sale of enough kilos to have still made a profit when the cost pof the equipment was taken off the bottom line of the account total for that client.

    All of this has absoliutely nothing to do wth coffee quality or the discussion of......

    It has to do with straight business principles. *If a cafe owner does not want to sign a contract, by all means let them buy their own equipment.

    And lets not forget if they want to get out of the contract they can do so any time......all they have to do is pay out the contract or buy the machine.

    Again, all this has no place in what should be a coffee appreciation forum it is straight business / industry management practice. We are all together in wanting to upgrade quality, and that has nothing really to do with the loan of equipment. An operator is either a good operator or he is not, and an operator that asked a coffee supplier to provide him with equipment at the suppliers cost, has an obligation to sort out his problems real or imaginery, with that supplier during the term of the agreement between them.

    If you really want to talk about quality I have one for you. Send a trainer around all your cafe clients and volunteer to give them training to upgrade their expertise and therefore both their own good name and yours, and see how many of them take you up on it.


    Otherwise as one connected with the coffee industry I would appreciate others associated with the coffee industry not airing their private laundry or individual business management practices in public. Coffee Equipment Supply Contracts are industry stuff and god knows we have enough interference in the coffee industry by outsiders without inviting more.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 64454E49536A6D200 link=1233872442/26#26 date=1233895121
    Otherwise as one connected with the coffee industry I would appreciate others associated with the coffee industry not airing their laundry in public. Coffee Equipment Supply Contracts are industry stuff and god knows we have enough interference in the coffee industry by outsiders without inviting more.
    I would think that "interference" from outsiders is what this forum is all about. Healthy discussion of these issues never hurt anyone.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Here here moto....

    Where else but a forum to discuss issues such as this.....

    In terms of getting out of the contract they need to payout or buy the equipment.... i suggest you look into this a little further... as this is not the case in the example that was given..... the only option is for them to pay for coffee they have not consumed..... not a fair call i would say....

    this discussion has all to do with quality i assure you DenisJm and not dirty laundry..... if you do not like the discussion then do not post.....



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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    a) Individual companies have different agreements with their clients....there is no one agreement.

    b) Usually, an understanding or experienced business manager of a coffee supply house, will "roll" over for a client where the supplier understands that a legitmate problem really has occured, a course of action was attempted but did not resolve the issue, they are left with no way of salvaging the issue, and the best course of action is to bow out. But the supplier is the one providing the equipment and is rightly the one to make that decision.

    c) In any case lets get things absoluteluy clear. The client has AN OBLIGATION to try all, they can to sort out their "problem" with their partner in the agreement. Any interference from outsiders (ie other coffee suppliers) is unethical and lets not forget that usually, the interference has been deliberately perpetrated to try and get the encumbent ejected in favour of the new supplier.


    So we are talking ethics in management, sales and business practices whilst trying to disguise the topic behind the facade of quality??????

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 7A5B50574D74733E0 link=1233872442/29#29 date=1233898688
    Any interference from outsiders (ie other coffee suppliers) is unethical and lets not forget that usually, the interference has been deliberately perpetrated to try and get the encumbent ejected in favour of the new supplier.
    This is interesting. Again comparing to my experience in IT I get calls regularly from sales people. Ranging from telcos, photocopier/printer companies, hardware vendors all ringing to tell me that they can either:
    a) save me money; or
    b) improve the quality

    As a business person with responsibilities to deliver a service, I have no hesitancy to listen to these people. Ill even take a quote and then inform my current providers that Im in talks with their competitors to improve service levels and costs.
    Invariably I end up with a better deal, whether I change suppliers or my current suppliers improve their service.

    Why is the coffee industy different?

    Grant

  32. #32
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    I do believe the customer must demand a good coffee for an industry wide improvement in quality. As mentioned, for most cafe owners it is a business. They simply want to make a living. If customers buy the coffee regardless, cafe owners will continue to be tempted by less initial outlay, flashest umbrellas etc...after all who cares what coffee I sell when the customer does not care what they drink.

    I know a woman who opened a cafe...her thing was food. She was good at making food and making a profit from it. When she went shopping for suppliers she came back saying Ive signed up. I get x brand machine for free, the cups look amazing and I get nice outdoor settings with umbrellas. Note she did not mention the coffee at all! And yes she was locked into selling only their coffee for some time. Maybe if she wasnt dazzled by modern marketing ("Look at the monkey, look at the monkey") she may have actually gone looking for good coffee...but also if she wasnt confident people will drink whatever, she may have actually gone looking for good coffee.

    At least this is an industry where more and more customers are becoming savvy as to what a good coffee tastes like...hopefully this will continue and reach critical mass whereby cafe owners will ask Will customers really buy this?.

    I fear this is not the case for the music industry (I love really good quality recordings) with people happy to listen to high quality 128 bit/s recordings (high quality my A**) on the worst quality player (but it looks stylish ...give me a break!).

    A code of conduct which resulted in more freedom of choice over time and more importantly better coffee in the cup would be great. But my opinion is why would it happen unless people will only buy good coffee.

    As for opinions this is business matters only and shouldnt concern us coffee drinkers...well, you can see we are concerned. And after all, it can have a lot to do with what is in the cup as Phil raises...so how is this not the concern of the person drinking what is in the cup? My thoughts anyway.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    as connected with the coffee industry I would appreciate others associated with the coffee industry not airing their private laundry or individual business management practices in public. Coffee Equipment Supply Contracts are industry stuff and god knows we have enough interference in the coffee industry by outsiders without inviting more.
    Settle mate :)

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Thanks for your thoughts pav..... the exact reason of this discussion is to better whats in the cup versus who has the tightest contract....

    if people vote with their feet based on what is in the cup then the world will be a better place..... choice for all.... just like wine there is a product of choice for all palates and all likings.... whatever the reason maybe...

    this discussion topic is all about the end user.... so lets not railroad it to be anything else.... ie management, dirty laundry etc etc


  35. #35
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    This is interesting. Again comparing to my experience in IT I get calls regularly from sales people. Ranging from telcos, photocopier/printer companies, hardware vendors all ringing to tell me that they can either:
    a) save me money; or
    b) improve the quality
    My sales team do that
    However in our industry (not coffee related) we ask are you happy with xyz do you have a contract, can we contact you around the time it is due for renewal

    Now thats ethical

    I will make another point as noted several times on other posts that most cafes serve food first and coffee is offered to wash it down

    There has to be an industry term that recognises an establishment that sells coffee as its prime business and sweets/food as a secondary offering

    For example Cafe sells as its 1st primary function Food and to compliment it Coffee, alcohol, take away ect ect is also offered

    A Coffee House sells as its 1st primary function Coffee, and to compliment the coffee - sweets, food, take away is also offered

    So industry branding is all important
    Industry needs a name for this "coffee house" type of establishment

    KK

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 0B2F262625251F0B2F332D2F400 link=1233872442/34#34 date=1233901744
    Industry needs a name for this "coffee house" type of establishment
    Maybe a "Coffee Snobbery"

  37. #37
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 5658555A4D5B5A340 link=1233872442/35#35 date=1233901837
    Quote Originally Posted by 0B2F262625251F0B2F332D2F400 link=1233872442/34#34 date=1233901744
    Industry needs a name for this "coffee house" type of establishment
    Maybe a "Coffee Snobbery"
    That will do it :D

    KK

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    i agree kk.....

    a cafe and coffee house differ in relation to primary product... however there is no reason why all products served by both establishments should not be of high quality and worth paying for....


  39. #39
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    That will come in time
    If the coffee is better at a coffee house the customers will demand coffee of similar quality from a cafe and competition will settle the good from the bad


    KK

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 41606B6C764F48050 link=1233872442/26#26 date=1233895121
    god knows we have enough interference in the coffee industry by outsiders without inviting more.
    Something seems to be bothering you.
    Please list some of the outsiders to which you refer and some examples of the type of interference thats annoyed you.

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 132F3229232235202823470 link=1233872442/39#39 date=1233911189
    Please list some of the outsiders to which you refer and some examples of the type of interference thats annoyed you.
    Sounding a bit like Maggie Thatcher there TG. ;D

  42. #42
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Quote Originally Posted by 6B7D7878696B676E6E6D6D080 link=1233872442/40#40 date=1233911590
    Quote Originally Posted by 132F3229232235202823470 link=1233872442/39#39 date=1233911189
    Please list some of the outsiders to which you refer and some examples of the type of interference thats annoyed you.
    Sounding a bit like Maggie Thatcher there TG. *;D
    ::)

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Any contract exists cause 1 party doesnt trust the other party to stick to its word and wants some kind of backup to get what they want. Its just like mobile phone contracts, we will give you this $xx phone but in return we want your signature to backup you will give us your business for 2 years

    These things work in cafes as most consumers couldnt give a stuff about good coffee, just that they have ticked the social boxes of drinking coffee (cause OMG it wakes me up soooo much) and to be seen buying it, and the proprietors are all poor small business owners that have it bashed into their brains that ongoing cost is good, capital expenditure is bad.

    The power of branding is also something that cant be sneezed at, the amount of people will say xxx brand is really good quality when they have no experience with it is amazing, all cause its beaten into them every day.

    I really feel for the position you are in, you have a premium product (long term very happy customer BTW) yet if were to be picky about who you sold to or tried to educate people on good coffee habits (I love the people that buy the dearer blends then proceed to get 1kg of it ground there and then ;D) you would only end up offending and possibly losing a lot of business, the car audio industry of years gone buy shows tis hard to survive just on a premium product.

    that or setup a cart near every cafe that should be using your gear, half price coffees for a week should see the local consumers demand a better product, rahter than trying to pitch it at somebody that doesnt know better 8-)

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Ahhhh, a utopian code of conduct, binding to all ... ::)

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    I agree with denisjm, if you want good coffee at cafes send around your trainer barista and train up the people pulling your brand of coffees, consistency of your product will keep the customers happy, I noticed at one boutique roaster every one pulled the same consistently good coffee, when I asked, he said he trained everyone to pull it the same way, didnt matter who was on, you got the same excellent coffee, consistency in technique pays dividends.

  46. #46
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Up until this point, I havent seen any "gals" around here add any weight to the discussion, AngerManagement...but thanks for remembering us! ;)

    I feel the need to join in and offer some of my thoughts on this...

    Firstly, let me say that Coffeesnobs is a forum for discussion of all things...we have an Off Topic forum even for general discussion...if this doesnt suit being in general coffee I am quite happy to move to Off Topic, otherwise, it will stay right where it is. I am more than a little taken aback by your comments, Denis, for a relative newbie here, about what should or should not be discussed.

    Remember, this is a forum for discussion. We arent here to make policy and set it in stone. This is a discussion. I cant stress that enough. So, lets discuss then...

    My experience...

    I am not a big fan of the coffee contract as in the long term it means expense either way to the business owner and consequently the customer. This is how I see it. My own place of work is now heavily branded up with a certain coffee, leaving us no easy choice in taking a walk if we want to. Which we quite rightly can, as we dont owe anything to the coffee roaster (as in contractual payments for a coffee machine etc). However, we have got around this by getting another grinder and showcasing other specialty coffee. This works well for us and we still like our supplier as they are good to deal with. That counts for a lot when youre 700km from the city, I can tell you!

    Ultimately, I think that the whole thing is up to the business owner. If they see that theyre getting something for nothing in terms of a contract, then they will make the decision to go with that supplier. I think that it is sad that it happens this way but I can see that it also has helped get coffee into various cafes around the country that may very well still be serving (God forbid) instant coffee!

    Of course, if a roaster is going to do everything in their power to make sure that their coffee is being made correctly, more power to them I say! I think its hard to police though if youre a roaster with thousands of cafes on your books. The staff wages to send someone or two someones around the countryside checking each person making coffee would be horrendous. I dont think it is necessarily the role of the roaster to have to do this. Honestly, I dont see reps from Toyota, Holden or Ford coming around and making sure that people are driving their cars properly!

    I guess customers will let the cafe know if they do or do not like the coffee produced for them. They are the ones who are paying for the service after all. And I, as a good barista (well, I hope I am!) will do my darndest to give my customer exactly what they want, regardless of whether they want it hot, weak and in a 16oz takeaway whilst they sit at a table!! In our business, our customers pay our wages and we serve them accordingly.


  47. #47
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Well stated Scoots.... [smiley=thumbsup.gif] [smiley=tekst-toppie.gif]

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    All Id say is that someone is going to pay for those machines and umbrellas!

    Luca

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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    You have to admit, if youre setting up a cafe, and spending....100k plus? If you can save 20k upfront on the coffee setup, that might include your machine, grinder, banners, umbrellas, branded cups and glasses, even sugar satchels, then its a pretty attractive prospect even if you do end up paying in the long run.

    A code of conduct would be nice, but whos going to police it? It would need to be voluntary for coffee brands to abide by.

    Ultimately, small business owners setting up a cafe need to be aware, get their solicitor to look over the contract and make sure theres nothing too blood sucking in there.

    Di Bella, the situation you speak of where a cafe is trying to get out of their contract *is quite sad, but ultimately, its a contract just like any other, and if they signed it, as prohibitive as the exit might be, thats what they agreed to.

    At the end of the day, coffee brands such as Di Bella et al are in the game to make a profit (passion for coffee exists for some, but not all) and the contract is designed to protect both parties and make sure they both make a pofit. If one side feels like theyre been let down, they need to negotiate and failing that, call in the solicitor.

    If I were setting up a cafe today, (as opposed to a coffee house) I would definitely consider getting a coffee brand to help get me started, though I would only consider possibly 4-5 that I knew had excellence as their driving force and their contract would be checked ad nauseum.

  50. #50
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    Re: Why Do Cafe Owners Sign Coffee Supply Contracts

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Hi
    In 7 years of trading ive had 2 coffee suppliers. the first one told me i should buy all my own equip so that if i was unhappy with his service or product i could change. 3 *months after he left that mob i changed.
    I would never sign any contracts to buy products.
    Its not just coffee, coke and schweppes tried but were told no deal. i buy from who and were i want.
    i find that by not being on contract i can get a better price as if they want me to sell there soft drinks i expect a good price and samples of all new products to try.



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