Crucial Things Cafe Owners Need to Be Aware Of
In Melbourne, a flourishing foodie city, the prospect of starting up a café can seem like an appealing and simple task. While it can provide great reward, running a café often takes much more consideration than people assume. The life of a successful café is about much more than just what food they serve and how good their latte art is. For a food service establishment to thrive, it requires a solid foundation to build upon. This means employing skilled staff, starting up your business in a good location, appropriately market to your target clientele and ensuring that all aspects of your building are up to scratch.
One of the biggest downfalls of cafes is when their customer and employee facilities are not up to scratch. Dirty or unkempt toilets, uncomfortable furniture, unpleasant internal temperature and the like can significantly hinder your diners’ experience. It’s important that café owners and managers address all of these concerns to guarantee that patrons get a positive impression of your restaurant. Here are a few of the most crucial things café owners should be aware of to keep their business running smoothly over the years:
• Plumbing Issues Are a Major Risk: If and When They Arise, You Should Be Prepared
Cafes rely on internal plumbing for a variety of reasons, the most obvious being for their toilet facilities. It’s extremely important to keep up your café plumbing or this reason alone. If customers use your café restrooms only to find clogged toilets or backed up sinks, they will never want to visit you again. Plumbing is also necessary or the proper functioning of your kitchen appliances such as sink basins and washing machines. It’s recommended that you get a commercial plumbing assessment every few months to make sure everything is working as it should and that no leaks or clogs have occurred. It’s useful to develop an ongoing relationship with a local plumber so that you know you have someone to rely on in the case of plumbing emergencies.
• Your Electrical Appliances Will Also Require Routine Maintenance
From phones to coffee machines to digital payment hubs and more, many commonly used cafe resources require electrical connection. In fact, some even have higher voltage requirements than what’s available from standard powerpoints, meaning you may need professional help adapting the outlet. If you have lots of appliances to connect, seeking the help of a trusted electrician will help you avoid complications like power surges. Whether you need assistance installing your electrical devices or need a larger job done such as reiring, taking the necessary measures to do so early on will help your cafe function more efficiently.
• Floor Plan and Design Is More Important Than You Think
Interior design is a way to attract customers to your cafe and give it aesthetic appeal, but it can also help avoid issues such as overcrowding and traffic jams amidst your patrons and staff. A well-designed floor layout is highly important because it impacts how customers feel in and perceive your cafe. An open floor plan tends to promote a modern and communal feel while closed off plans are cosier and more intimate. The right choice for you will depend on the nature of your cafe and what sort of environment you are trying to create.
• Heat and Cool Your Space with Customers in Mind
When you are working in a cafe, either on the floor or in the kitchen it’s very easy to get overheated. The most obvious solution would be to blast the air conditioning or open all the doors and windows. However, while this may keep you and your staff satisfied, your customers will probably feel differently. It’s essential to put yourself in their situation when deciding what average temperature to keep your venue at. A cafe that is too cold or too hot is going to drive customers away, so make sure you make adjustments as needed to make sure they are comfortable. Maybe this means installing wall or standing heaters in certain parts of the restaurant, maybe it means putting snakes under the doors and windows to block draughts from getting in and maybe it means keeping the cafe warm and telling your staff to dress appropriately if they tend to warm up easily.
Launching a cafe is a lot of work, but hopefully these tips can help you start out on the right foot. For more ideas and inspiration regarding what to do and what not to do when opening a cafe, refer to resources such as other cafe owners and literature like this coffee shop business startup guide.