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Thread: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

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    OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    Hello All,

    Havent been around much lately :( we have been arranging a premises to open our own cafe and have finally settled on a location!!! The lease should be written up and signed by within the next week or so and we have access from January 1st! It is an empty shell in the Melbourne CBD that is an ex printing house! Were very excited but would like as much info as possible regarding as much as possible!!!

    We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!

    Also, should be buy our own coffee machine or lease one through a coffee company? To be honest, I dont really fancy of the big name brands but worry about servicing the machine etc.

    Id love to have COFFEE SNOBS coffee in our cafe if feasable... is whole sale purchasing an option here?

    Does anyone know who the best (best value) people would be to use to fit out the shop? As in refrigerated display cabinets etc.

    What Coffee Machine would be best... I hope to do around 300 coffees per day as well as have sandwiches, cakes etc. but also some really great food that is simple, tasty and wholesome... how about friges, ovens fryers etc...

    If any one has anything to offer to assist, we would be greatly appreciate it!

    We will have access from January 1st and will be opening April 1st (hopefully) so we still have plenty of time... but i need to start the research now!!!

    Thanks in advance to those that can help... you will all be invited for a coffee on the house

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve & Kylie Taylor

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    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Wow Steve....sounds like youre going into this venture with your eyes wide shut. I guess you are going to spend many, many nights between now and then doing heaps of research, or at least should.

    Great to see you go with your passion and that you are open to criticisim/advice. Speak to Chris (2mcm)...what youre looking for sounds like its right down his alley.

    Oh and for my 2 cents worth - choose a name that reflects what you are doing paper plane is too obscure.

    Sorry if thats too blunt

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/0#0 date=1191931014
    Hello All,

    Havent been around much lately *:( we have been arranging a premises to open our own cafe and have finally settled on a location!!! The lease should be written up and signed by within the next week or so and we have access from January 1st! It is an empty shell in the Melbourne CBD that is an ex printing house! Were very excited but would like as much info as possible regarding as much as possible!!!
    Wow Steven- Congrats!

    Melbourne CBD is hypercompetitive and there are more failures than successes. I trust you have applied due diligence in as many areas as possible?

    We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!
    No probs with the name- so long as you follow through with the concept. Employ some great designers to get it right for you!

    Also, should be buy our own coffee machine or lease one through a coffee company? To be honest, I dont really fancy of the big name brands but worry about servicing the machine etc.
    Buy if possible- and get a good one. Nothing is "free"

    Id love to have COFFEE SNOBS coffee in our cafe if feasable... is whole sale purchasing an option here?
    Yeppers- Andy can help you ;)

    Does anyone know who the best (best value) people would be to use to fit out the shop? As in refrigerated display cabinets etc.
    Hit the auctions and scrounge as much good stuff as possible. Commercial equipment costs a fortune and sells 2nd hand for nothing. Buy someones heartbreak ;)

    What Coffee Machine would be best... I hope to do around 300 coffees per day as well as have sandwiches, cakes etc. but also some really great food that is simple, tasty and wholesome... how about friges, ovens fryers etc...
    Get a great machine and use is better than anyone else in the CBD. Look at the best places in Melbourne...Why do they do well? Do your numbers well. It takes a heap of sales just to cover your expenses and more fail than succeed...

    If any one has anything to offer to assist, we would be greatly appreciate it!

    We will have access from January 1st and will be opening April 1st (hopefully) so we still have plenty of time... but i need to start the research now!!!

    Thanks in advance to those that can help... you will all be invited for a coffee on the house

    Cheers! *[smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve & Kylie Taylor
    Good luck. Its a tough business. Say goodbye to your life and family for at least 3 years. Assume that best you will earn is wages and perhaps nothing at all for 12 months or so. Can you sustain that?

    There a lots of romantic notions about the cafe business. I see sea-changers every time I teach- They have the package and they are going to make a buck out of their own cafe. Sadly, many fail because they have no idea of how to run their own business. There is no harder location that CBD (except for shopping centres). Be careful!

    Chris

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    You Guys Are Great...

    So Prompt...

    I have been managing a Cafe (Coffee CLub) at DFO Essendon for the last 18 months and have built up my own catering business over the last 4 years (running from home) so the cafe will also support the catering so rent will be split 50/50 which will help!

    I know this will be hard work... thats all Ive known for the last 4 years so thats fine!

    My wife is a very successful Architect so she should be able to support us for the first couple of years while we establish...

    The fact is, I cant imagine myself in any other indusrty... I LOVE IT! Once its in you... its in you!!!

    Thanks again...

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve


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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Talk_Coffee link=1191931014/0#2 date=1191931982
    There a lots of romantic notions about the cafe business. I see sea-changers every time I teach- They have the package and they are going to make a buck out of their own cafe. Sadly, many fail because they have no idea of how to run their own business. There is no harder location that CBD (except for shopping centres). Be careful!

    Chris
    All the best Steven.....

    But as Chris said above.... its not easy setting up a business - any business.

    Many of my colleagues also took early retirement at the same time I did and invested their "hard earned" to establish a business.... very few succeeded.... (none opened cafes by the way)...

    They all did what they had a real passion for - but lacked the business skills to make it work.

    I think the likelihood of success for these "sea-changers" is as follows:

    Good business skills but no care or passion for the business - sadly they succeed
    Good business skills and a real passion for what they do - amazing success
    No business skills but all the passion in the world for what they are about to do - most likely failure (as has happened to most of my colleagues).....

    Try to tap into as much business knowledge you can get, get a GOOD accountant and Id suggest care more about the dollars than the product...... (which is very hard for people with a real passion as their heart all too often rules their head)

    Just look at all the cafes serving crap coffee and mediocre food.... and doing very well thank you very much (and it certainly isnt because of their "product")

    Good luck.

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    If you want to be recognised as a place to get a good coffee then thats your starting point, good coffee.
    Excellent service is equal to that.

    Both of those things will get you repeat business.

    If it we me and money not a problem then Id buy my own machine so as not to be tied to a coffee supplier.
    Then I could choose my own coffee and not be limited by the same old brands out there.
    Andys Brown beans come to mind.

    Do plenty of research. Passion alone will not keep the wolf fromthe door.

    Good luck.


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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    The best advice I can give you is the buy the machine and grinder outright...its cheaper in the long run and you get cheaper coffee prices from who ever you will be getting coffee from. Sign a lease on machines and they own your ass for the next 3 years - even if youre not making a profit! Get good equipment and not just any shiny, good looking machine on the bench.

    Secondly, go out there and taste as much coffee as you can...let your taste buds do the work for you and dont worry about price. Dont confuse volume for profits. You can do less volume and be more profitable if you know how!

    My next point ties 1 and 2 together. Make sure you try the coffees you want to use with the machine and grinder combo you will be using (or similar) to get a true representation of what it will really taste like. A La Marzocco shot will taste markedly different (and probably superior) to an espresso shot from a Wega or Azkoyen for example. If youre using a HX machine with a conical burr grinder, make sure you taste the coffee with a HX machine and a conical burr grinder at the roasters showroom.

    Good luck.

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Wow, big project guys.

    Great too see you are allowing plenty of time to get it all done although Iíll be surprised if you can wait 3 months after getting the keys before opening the doors.
    ;)

    CS wholesale? Of course! In fact we are more than happy to work with business to develop a premium blend to suit your needs.
    ...and look at all the CoffeeSnobs you would also attract! Let me know when you need something and we will start the ball rolling.

    How big are the premises? Can you hint at where they are?


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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Andy...

    Sounds GREAT!!! Exactly what Im after!

    The entire building is around 130m Square which will have to include a decent kitchen for the catering side of things...

    The building is on ABeckett St. Between Elizabeth & Swanston; not far from RMIT university, so naturally Ill get involved with the University and support/spnsor events and get the union in side! Kylie (my wife) studied there so we have a foot in the door already!

    Competition near by includes a Gloria Jeans and an independant called Druids that has a pretty good following with the Uni... Coffee there isnt GREAT but its GOOD!

    Very Nerver Racking times but the opportunity arose and we had to take this one... No Guts, No Glory as they say... Exciting though!

    We are about to rennovate our home (talk about biting off more than you can chew) so we have negotiated extended terms in case we get held up with the house!

    Maybe if we can get together early next year to arrange some tastings etc. and go through a few options, that would be great!

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Wow a big dream which we can all jump into online!

    All power to you!

    I have sent steve and kylie an article, "Fundamentals of Coffee Business Success" written by an american coffee business consultant. I found this on another coffee web site, long before I found coffeesnobs (probably several weeks). I hope this is a useful addition to the support, advice and experience which you have got and will have.


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    CoffeeSnobs Owner Andy's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D


    Andy just thinking out loud here....

    The risk with Uni students would have to be them taking-up seats for hours for a single cuppa!

    Any chance of setting it up so that the espresso bar can open to the street as well as catering to those that want a seat?
    (Im not sure it the volume of foot traffic in ABeckett St would warrant that but you would have a better idea)

    Whenever I have looked a "cafe math" the biggest problem seems to be that you need a thousand seats at lunchtime but only a few in the quieter spots. The idea of getting customers that stay on-foot seems like getting paid double as the seat that they would have taken is still empty for the next punter.


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    Senior Member Sketchy's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    hi
    i would look at both new and used equipment. though be very careful when buying used from auction as they are always as is where is and may not work.
    you should only buy new grinders and coffee machine and my recomendations would be
    Grinders ; *Mazzer
    Coffee Machine ; La Pavoni or Synesso
    I have had a La Pav since i opened 6 years ago and love them, have only used a Synesso while training in Perth and they are wonderful and easy to use.

    LE

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Hey Andy,

    You and me (and my architect wife) are all on the same page...

    In her preliminery plans, she has accounted for a coffee window where people can order directly from the street and keep walking. We saw this concept irst in Austria and loved it and have wanted to have it for some time... So the students will certainly be the target for this option, while encouraging business people to come in and have a nice lunch and a seat.

    I guess the problem is always going to be the people that have a one cup, take up a table of four and sit there for an hour, but, these things are sent to try us...

    Coffee Window - Locked In!

    Is there anywhere to go where you can test different machines/grinders and see how they all work under one roof or is it going to be a pain staking task?

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/0#0 date=1191931014
    We have thought a good name for it would be paper plane as it is an ex print house and the name of a song we both love... thoughts on this welcome... please be critical!
    Angus and Julia stone? great song, if im on the right track, theyre at the corner next week.

    Good luck with your project when its up and running Ill have to try it out and reccommend it to my brother and father who both work in the cbd.



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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    You Got It!

    A & J Stone are awesome... yeah, were seing them at the corner on Thursday night! You going?

    We saw them at East Brunswick Club and fell in love with them... its close to us now and means a lot... but need to really think about the name of the cafe... its romantic and nice but still not 100% sure!

    Recommendations are ALWAYS WELCOME!

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    I have had a concept on hold for quite some time, and frankly I will never get the chance to do it (independently at least). So, Id like to offer the idea to you, as a potential ongoing project.

    The idea, in the simplest terms, would be to offer a once-a-month FREE seminar for underprivileged kids, to teach them hospitality basics. Essentially it would be rather like the Fifteen Project, but on a much smaller scale.

    Basically, once a month, you open your doors to any long-term unemployed youth who want to come along. They run the shop for the day, you train them in the basics. And if you are community-minded, you could even give a portion of the proceeds to a charity (we had decided on the Childrens hospital).

    The trade-off for the kids, is the chance for a free meal, the possibility of a job, and a day off the Playstation.

    Yes, there are many concerns (OH&S, Licensing, etc) but it -could- be possible, with some forethought and dedication. If you would like me to give you an in-depth description of the idea, just pm with your email, and Ill send you the proposal.

    Other than that, you can count on me being a regular at your cafe. Three cheers for you!

    -Cam-

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Wowza ... where to start ...

    OK, I guess that the quick response is to say that you really need to get a general idea of what needs doing. That is, you need to be able to come up with a checklist of everything that you need to cross off between now and opening. Most of the dudes doing great coffee in Melbourne are very approachable and will be happy to talk to you. Even if they arent, you should still visit their cafes to check out what works and what doesnt. The fastest way to get an idea of everything that you need will be to do some consulting with Chris at Talk Coffee, who has the virtue of being independent of coffee companies (except CS)

    As for machines, I think that you need to be realistic about what your target audience wants and what you want to spend. Every machine has its good points and its bad points, including the darling children La Marzocco and Synesso (and I say that having worked on both). Chances are that if you are just starting out, you will not be buying one of those. But it would be worthwhile working out what your budget is so that you can start to check out your options. Unfortunately, I cant see that you can really feel safe that you have bought the "best" machine for you unless you actually try them out, which means making a list of machines and vendors and taking your coffee around to them to try it out on their equipment. Tasting the results really is quite important ... its so easy to be caught up in generalisations by brand snobs. Either that, or just buy a machine and stop worrying about it. Some of the machines that I have used that might be appropriate for you include La Marzocco, WEGA, BFC and Brasilia.

    As for grinders, its always about getting the best that you can afford. The Mazzer Major and the Compak K10 WBC are both very good value.

    Anyhoo, thats just a small snippet of what youre going to have to go through. If you have more questions, post away and Im sure that someone will answer you!

    Cheers,

    Luca

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Hey Steven ...

    I reckon youre off to a flying start with your venture by tapping into the wealth of knowledge youll find on this forum. I wish I had found CS 5 years ago when I started my own cafe - probably would have made different decisions on the way & avoided a bit of grief :( Anyway its all part of the journey! Inevitably youll make a few wrong moves, but hey, you learn big-time from them.

    At least you have experience in the industry - I didnt. So in ignorance, & not doing enough research, I went with a big coffee company (owned by Sara Lee) got a rather dodgy San Merino machine & grinder & paid them a hefty amount per kg of beans for the dubious pleasure. Suffice to say I didnt renew the contract after a year, having learnt a helluva lot in that time about quality machines, and boutique local roasters. So in agreement with virtually every other CSer whos commented - buy your own, go with a local roaster doing great stuff.

    Also, do you have a business plan? Where do you want to be after a year, then after the 2nd year etc - turnover wise & no. of cups. You mentioned 300 cups as a goal - but that might take a year or more. Be financially ruthless, without compromising the integrity or quality of your product. Chris aint kiddin when he said a lot of dreamers go bust very quickly, due to an absence of business acumen.

    Also, be as hands-on as possible - customers feel more comfortable theyre being looked after when its the owner calling the shots (pulling the shots? ;D) rather than a team of bored looking casual helpers. It may be stating the bleeding obvious, but get to know EVERY customers name, coffee preference, & a bit about them. One very successful cafe up here in Brizzy CBD (churning through 70 kgs per week, only Mon-Fri, and with three 2 group machines puffing away :o) has an alphabetised filing system on the counter where customers search for their own loyalty card, get it stamped, then replace it after ordering - smart little system because it makes customers feel a part of the operation, its a personalised touch. In an unfortunately impersonal world, just this simple thing makes people know that the service is genuinely friendly & they feel important rather than just another number. Also with this cafe Im referring to, the owner is ALWAYS behind one of those machines, & knows everyones name - consistently good coffee as well.

    Oh, and dont let any setbacks dampen your passion ;)

    Tony

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    As the owner of a cafe situated inside a university campus, i can tell you that its hard word for satellite outlets to pick up on student trade, which is not to say that it cant be done, but youll need a strong insight into the student culture

    Also bear in mind the the uni semester only runs effectively for 20 weeks of the year, and that the university is pretty empty the rest of the year, so you will need to diversify to capture your market outside of semester

    Students are also very price conscious up to a certain price-point, but most of the food in the area is muck, and they will pay more for better quality

    I think that the name is great, a bit quirky if anything.

    Theres plenty of great design students at RMIT, and Id be willing to bet more than a few of them are a dab hand at modeling with paper, so there could be a potential tie-in there if you wanted some decorations for the space.

    Love the song also, I used to feature it on my myspace site!

    I would say also check out some of the site sponsors before committing to any one coffee supplier, and get some advise from them

    And if you havent done so already you should be spending some time down at Veneziano, checking out how those guys operate, and what makes them so good!

    Youve probably thought of this already, but you should find out who does the catering for the various departments at RMIT - if its anything like Melbourne Uni, the workload gets shared around a fair bit

    Have an idea of whats on offer, and the prices charged, and try to come up with a competitive menu

    Put a catering package together, find out who hold the purse strings for each department, and drop of samples, a sample menu, and seasonal catering package to each department

    Also, if youre in the area, youre welcome to pop up to my joint at Melbourne Uni, if you want to pick my brain.

    Ive been there for 5 years now, so Ive got a fair idea of how it all operates!

    Personal message me if youre interested

    Cheers,

    Pat







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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    If you need some help come by the cafe. I have all the suppliers and contacts which wont be a problem to pass on. Know the city very well with my first cafe and i also use to manage the food court in Daimaru so i know the area and customer really well in your area.

    I would even help you out with the coffee side if you go with Andy at coffeesnobs.

    Im not for one to say buy this machine. La Pav and synesso... huge difference thats like saying formula 1 or V8. Concept for helping people out like 15. Great idea and more people should do this, but you are not Jamie Oliver, you dont have millions behind you and most importantly is "its your first cafe". Customers are not forgiving and wont give you a second chance. Especially in the city. They dont care about how great you are, they count every cent they spend and very time poor. I saw a cafe selling a turkish bread with fillings and coffee for $4.50. Cafes all over the city doing that.

    Luca, i would agree on what he said. Grinders i would agree 100 percent. best value and great for a cafe. K10 kills the major and only a few hundred dollars more i would get that. Majors are really loud and k10 make hardly any noise. The quality of coffee is at least 40 percent better in a K10 over a long day on coffee.


    Good luck. The city really scares me. A lot of poor overseas students in that area that put every cent into their education. Advice.... people have plenty of it. At the end of the day its your cafe which reflects your personality. Dont get lost in all the information. Im sure family and friends will be giving you even more opinions and advice.



    Andrew

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Just another thought, & thats the name youve got in mind ...

    Agreement both with Dennis (obscure) & Pat (quirky). Seems to me youve chosen paper plane because its a fave song that happens to coincide with the premises being a printery. Methinks, your partner is an architect - revolve & decide upon a desired name around the infrastructure/character/feel of the premises rather than a discreet reference to a song (you wanted frank!). Your location, & its attributes, are probably longer lasting in the consumers mind than a song!

    However if ya wanna go paper plane, then enlist nearby Uni students for a weekly aero-dynamic comp - the self-designed plane that stays air-borne the longest attracts free coffee for a week. Gets design, & engineering, students interested ...

    Just a thought. My Concord, with double flapped wings hand-torn, stays air-borne prob 5 seconds, then nose-dives big time!


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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Seriously... you guys have been fantastic... I love your honesty!

    Pat, I currently run my own catering business (into our fourth year now) and we do a fair bit of work for the RMIT Architecture department, so I agree, this is a real opportunity for us to grow this business as we are situated so close. THe catering company will be run from the same premises as we currently operate from home and have well and truly outgrown the old house!!!

    After reading all this, I reckon I will DEFINITELY purchase a machine and grinder... let the quest begin!! But I am also having second thoughts on the name of the cafe! THis will certainly take up a bit of my time over the next couple of weeks... :(

    Another thing that I am having trouble with is the whol STAFF ISSUE I have had enough trouble getting people for the current stor I manage, how many people should I have on? Do we have a small crew that works full time or do we go with a big crew and have twice as many short shifts? How do we find GREAT people, because I WON"T hire people that wont compliment the business! I have one person lined up who will be great. But how many do I need to service between 20 & 30 seats???

    Anyh name ideas you might want to throw in will be good too... if we go with one, the winner can have 50 free coffees!!!! ;)

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    20 - 30 seats...Probably 2 at max running drinks/food to people, if you want table service. Otherwise, a system where inside customers are given a number, and collect themselves may be what you want to use.

    Do you plan on someone dedicated to taking orders/money? Will you have some sort of system in place where orders are marked completed/dockets spiked at both the coffee machine and in the kitchen? Have a serious think about having some sort of electronic system, or plain docket books. Look at the downsides of each (initial capital investment and subsequent consistency of future use v. cheaper overall but lack of consistency between staff (handwriting interpretation, differences in abbreviations)).

    Too many things to think about. My head hurts.


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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Anyh name ideas you might want to throw in will be good too... if we go with one, the winner can have 50 free coffees!!!!
    How about: The high flying bean! ;D



    Java "Flying high!" phile

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Space cakes?

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    I like the name. Its quirky and different.

    One other thing nbobody else seems to have mentioned is employees.
    I am guessing you are going to need one or two people to help you out. Something I have noticed at one of the cafe I go to a lot is the high turnover of staff. The owner - who seems to be a great bloke, is always looking for more staff. The cafe is not crazily busy, is small and popular - but not on the mad side. He just cannot seem to keep his staff.

    My guess is that he employs a lot of students/young people who are either unreliable or cannot keep to their shifts because of study commitments.

    This may be an opportunity for you to get an older CS type person who can commit to their job, has a passion and will not be caught up in all the BS that young people go through.

    If I lived in Melbourne Id offer to come and help you out.

  27. #27
    Senior Member askthecoffeeguy's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    hire a bunch of casuals first to sort of the beans from the chaff, and after things settle down rely upon a couple of full-timers with casuals to back them up

  28. #28
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Being an ex print house, how about esPRESSo ... or maybe The Bindery, Binders (oops, sounds too much like Grinders :P) ... Typo??? Im struggling here!

  29. #29
    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    This whole thing sounds like my house. A complete print shop and cafe all under one roof! I had a laugh


    Java "Go Letterpress go!!" phile

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Paper Chase maybe? Still struggling ...

    Is the printing infrastructure still there mate? If so - use it creatively, in your fit-out!

  31. #31
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Whats in a name?

    Something that ties together your idea and the physical space you create. It becomes a part of what you create.

    Tie together designer beans, designer wife, designer RMIT:

    Bean designed!

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Good luck with staff. It really sucks at the moment. Generation Y is killing the industry. William Angliss staff are just around the corner so look into that. I havent been too successful with staff there, based on they are all wanting to be the next Shannon Bennett and looking at all there options. But with them around the corner it could help you.

    Staffing .... it all depends on your menu. Make sure your menu has a flow and is simple so the staff have no problems. Dont make a huge menu that takes too much effort. I change the menu every 3 months trying to cut the fat off it to make it easier. A simple change can make you a $300 a week or even lose it.

    Patrick is spot on with the uni crowd. Its hard and Swanston Street is changing so much every year. Make sure you know all the development plans in the area for the future. A simple change can destroy a business or make one.

  33. #33
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Gadget - I like bean designed ... encapsulates allot.

    Hats off for creativity!

  34. #34
    Senior Member Dennis's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    If you think you might like to use the word bean, then maybe, "bean there" ;D

    or what about something taken straight out of the name of this thread...."Our Own Cafe"

  35. #35
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    "Whos on first?"

    I want to play.

    How about "The New Cafe"?

    Once youve bean there a few years the name can be the local in joke.

    Sorry Dennis but "Our Own Cafe" wouldnt do it for me in telling someone where to go for a good coffee. It did however inspire my suggestion.

    I was thinking that "The New Cafe" would be a good name for word of mouth recommendations.

    "Have you tried The New Cafe? They make a very nice coffee."
    "No I havent. Whats it called?"
    "The New Cafe."
    "Yes of course the new cafe. Whats it called?"
    ;D

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    I like that... "Bean Design" very good... thats certainly now in close contention!!!

    "Have you tried The New Cafe? They make a very nice coffee."
    "No I havent. Whats it called?"
    "The New Cafe."
    "Yes of course the new cafe. Whats it called?"
    Reminds me of the famous Abott & Costello skit Whos on First

    I love that skit!!!

    Staffing will be tuff... We CANT get staff at the shop I run now... near impossible, and the ones we do get are questionable.

    I have one girl lined up who is awesome (I just need to teach her to make coffee) but she has THE BEST personality and I think that is half the battle!!!

    Ive also got a cook lined up who is very good, but its the other two or three part timers that worry me! :-/

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

  37. #37
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    OT but I couldnt resist:
    When in the US recently, I was watching some of the Major League Baseball.
    One of the players in the game featuring the LA Dodgers had just been promoted from the Minor Leagues to have a few games in the Majors before the end of the season.
    His name:
    Chin-Lung Hu

    When he got a hit and made it to first base, the commentator said very dryly "And now the moment weve all been waiting for... Hus on first!"

    To make up for the OT - a name suggestion:
    Java Press or Coffee Time(s)

  38. #38
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    definitely give table service, having worked both Im not convinced their is a great time saving in serving people a the counter. Also I found customers are far more forgiving if they are sitting down and comfortable with complimentary water etc. I hate paying upfront it makes it feel like im not trusted to pay after.

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by muppet_man67 link=1191931014/30#37 date=1192153522
    I hate paying upfront it makes it feel like im not trusted to pay after.
    I hate paying after. If im only there for a coffee I want to just get up and leave when Im ready, I always feel like ill forget, If youre sitting down for a meal its a different story but if youre there just for coffee it just drags out the process.

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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Gadget has my vote with bean designed ...
    Tony

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    The Pressed Bean

    Bean Press

    Bean Pressed
    :-? :-? :-?


    Java "Pressing on" phile

  42. #42
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Wow great thread!

    It brings back so many memories. My first Cafe was a similar size(160m2) in the inner West of Sydney.

    We had a ball. It was five years of learning. You are in a great "space" already with the support of Andy and the wealth of info on this site you will have a successfull place before you even open.

    I cant wait to see it.

    Cameron

  43. #43
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    How about "The Paper Cup" for a name, being an ex printers premises?

  44. #44
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    To go with the former printing premises type name will involve sticking to the theme with pictures and possibly old paraphernalia.
    Keep that cost in mind.

  45. #45
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Reams of Beans ... Has Beans ... The Inkspot ... mmm, more thinking needed!

  46. #46
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    WOW!!!!

    Seriously... getting some real good names here guys!!!

    Paper Cup - Fantastic
    Reams of Beans - Ingenious

    We ahave also come up with another forty three beans I know no reference to the printing house, but we like it!

    Coffee Prince... youre right, this has been very helpful and the support we are getting before we take to the big opening day has been fantastic already!

    Id be very keen to try and find someone that is looking for work to begin around April next year that has the same coffee passion as we do!!!

    So Ill put the word out now!

    If you think you might be looking for work (Monday - Friday... 7.00am til 4.00pm) or know someone that might be, please let me know, My greatest fear is not having the right people from the start! If you have great people, you will have a great business! Thats my opinion anyway!

    Cheers Guys...

    Keep the info coming... cant have too much!!!

    Cheers! [smiley=beer.gif]

    Steve

  47. #47
    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/45#45 date=1192358462
    We ahave also come up with another forty three beans I know no reference to the printing house, but we like it!
    Steve
    Watch out for Nestle/Nescafe, they may not like you using that name. Although Im sure youre product would have no resemblance to the muck they produce, you dont want to start infringing on trademarks and copyrights.
    Good luck with the venture.

  48. #48
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Quote Originally Posted by Lovey link=1191931014/45#46 date=1192359088
    Quote Originally Posted by stevenkylie link=1191931014/45#45 date=1192358462
    We ahave also come up with another forty three beans I know no reference to the printing house, but we like it!
    Steve
    Watch out for Nestle/Nescafe, they may not like you using that name. Although Im sure youre product would have no resemblance to the muck they produce, you dont want to start infringing on trademarks and copyrights.
    Good luck with the venture.
    Lovey mate, that evil empire already owns the term/name/reference to decaf (registered & trademarked in Oz for the past 20 years). Theyve yet to sue the multitude of cafe owners who use the name as a beverage preference to customers with dubious palates.

    So! I say, schmuck the big-guys - their mostly bluff. Go with ya gut, & best of luck.

    ps Ive just trademarked reams of beans, so Ill be watching (only joshin ;D)

    Tony

  49. #49
    Sleep is overrated Thundergod's Avatar
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Hopefully the street address is 43 so it wont be an issue.

  50. #50
    TC
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    Re: OPENING OUR OWN CAFE - Advice Welcome :D

    Behmor Brazen - $249 - Free Freight
    Id reckon itd take about 3 microseconds for the Nestle legal eagles to have a cease and desist letter in the mail along with the threat of legal action. 43 beans would have to be trademarked, no?



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