Here's a completely different style of video for you and something we've never tried before. A couple of weeks ago Luke and Jimmy traveled to Sydney to do an install at a brand new Artisti cafe partner (3 Dots Cafe) and also serve coffee on the Destination NSW desk at the Australian Tourism Exchange 2022. As it was a long 6 hour trip they thought they would take advantage of the time and film a couple of chats between themselves to impart some wisdom around creating and operating successful coffee businesses.
In this first video they give their top tips when launching a new cafe. Luke's topics include the cafe build versus the business build and how to be ready for day one. Jimmy talks about doing your research and the importance of your first 100 customers.
We hope you enjoy this style of video and that you find something to takeaway from it that helps you out in your coffee business.
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We've got a few hours in the car and we think that we can just share
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a whole heap of knowledge with you guys, while we're driving.
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About building cafes,
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getting your team ready, just covering a whole lot of range of different topics
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that will hopefully inspire you to make a better decision in your cafe.
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Or have a better business.
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So today we're going to be talking
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about the top tips when launching a new cafe.
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So I've got two and it's going to be the cafe build versus the business build.
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And then how to be ready for day one.
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What have you got, Jimmy?
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I'm going to talk about doing your research.
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Making sure you got a good customer base from day one
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and the importance of the first hundred customers in your cafe.
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So bear with us we are driving and if we're not looking at the camera,
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But if this is going to stir up anything with you guys
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and you got some more questions, hey, please,
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leave some comments below
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because we want to shoot a few more of these and hopefully
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just keep sharing our knowledge while we're wasting away time driving.
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All right, so the cafe build versus the business build.
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Now, this is something that is really um, I feel really privileged
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when we get a customer that comes to us and they're new.
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They've never done anything before. They haven't designed their cafe.
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And we get to start with a blank template
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because we get to look at things like how they're going to lay up their shop,
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what materials they're going to use, the paint and all of those things.
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And we take them through that process.
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Now that is a huge undertaking.
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And a lot of people have worn out with the cafe build.
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They basically hit day one and they feel like this big relief.
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Oh, we've got the doors open.
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Yeah. Right. They're tired.
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They're done. Right.
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So I've got a sneaky little tip, that I'm going to give you on that one,
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which I give every business owner.
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But what they forget about is that is the cafe build.
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The business build is like the next six months and beyond
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the next six months is so important to think about how we're going to be
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customers and the menu planning and the staffing
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and the training and the marketing and all these other parts.
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That is the build of the business.
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So you've really got to define those two and make sure while you're building
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your cafe or building the actual shop fit and the business.
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Prior to, that you are thinking about the build of the business
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because there's things like rosters, staffing, profitability,
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payroll, marketing, all this other stuff is happening
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and people just forget about it.
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They kind of opened the doors and they just
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you just get lost for the first couple of months.
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So you've really got to make sure you divide those two up.
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What do you reckon the time frame is on that Luke?
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On which part the build or building the business or build of the cafe.
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A bit of both.
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You have to allow yourself enough time to build it,
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but then it guess the time frame.
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But once you do start building a business. Sure.
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What's a fair amount of time?
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On the cafe build, no cafe is ever opened on day one.
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The day they think it's going to be. Yeah. Never.
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They always get delays.
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So don't be brokenhearted when you start to open your cafe
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and you think you're going to do it in two weeks time.
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Trades get delayed. Signs.
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You know, everything gets delayed.
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So I'm going to put you up for that kind of disappointment right now.
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Even the best franchise groups still have delays
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and they repeat these stores over and over again.
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The timeframe for building
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the business is definitely the first six months is a key,
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and it can take that long to get that repeat business
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to probably start looking at some profitability to come through.
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If you look into financial sides of businesses,
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they actually talk about two years before, you really pay yourself.
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If you do it smarter, you can have a better outcome in a quicker timeframe.
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So the first six months is crucial.
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You should have an action plan for that.
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And then the following six months
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you want to basically be able to review what happened in the first six months
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and then take it to the next level by 12 months.
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And the one tip that I give every business owner is
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get the whole cafe ready, open, have everything laid out,
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ready to go, prep your menu, and then don't open the next day,
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stop take a day rest because you're already knackered.
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You've done these massive days painting yourself and doing menus,
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you know, huge days in the lead up.
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It's opening day
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take a day to go for surf, spend a day with a family, whatever it is,
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because it's going to be crazy the minute you open those doors.
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And crazy because you try to build a business and you want to be there.
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You want to be active in it.
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Once those doors are open, this is your baby
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and you want to build it. And that's what I 've seen.
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If you don't get that window of opportunity to just take your partner
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out for lunch, that one last time.
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Guilt free. You'll regret it. All right.
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So we're going to talk about market research, cafe planning.
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And this is all going to happen like pre build.
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This is happening not not during the build not during the building of the business.
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This is all pre business.
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This is deciding whether you even know
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whether or even if you've ever got a business idea and concept in place
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and that's when you're looking for your location and stuff. Yes.
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But even once you've got your location, it's it's looking at the area.
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So I'd encourage everyone going into the local coffee shops,
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reading the room, see what the customers are ordering.
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See what's on their menus.
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What are their menu's prices like?
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Are your prices going to be competitive or are you going to be like
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having to charge more and increase the experience for the customers.
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So definitely having an understanding of who's
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who's going to be walking in your door so that you can actually
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target them and know who they are and expect who they are.
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If you've got an office block next door and that office block
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is full of people they're looking to, they've got a ten minute break.
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They want to walk in the door, order, get it out the door.
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The last thing you want to do is build yourself a slow, specialty coffee shop
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where you really can't keep up the speed and expectations of those customers.
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I think it's really it's really a shame when you miss out on
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future sales from
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and as someone that's coming in to just have a look at your new cafe,
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I say this to people.
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As nice as we all are you are taking business from someone.
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You know, these people are changing coffee shops.
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They're coming to you.
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They like having a look around and it's having a bit of a sticky.
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Like sticky beak at what you're doing
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could be better than their usual and you're going to have to redirect them.
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So you want to know who those people are and when they walk in the door,
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they're going to be your regular clientelle.
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And really? Yep.
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So does your business vision suit the available market that's there?
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It's, it's great to have a vision mission statement.
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You need to express that, make sure you have a good
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understanding of that and make sure that your staff and everyone else does.
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But you also need to make sure it aligns with the actual customers that you're
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It's hard to do a beach style cafe in the city, and
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because that might not appeal
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to most of the people that you have access to.
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So yeah, it's definitely about aligning
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to the market and making sure that you as a person
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are okay with that.
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You're not kind of fighting against your potential customers.
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That you want so. Cool.
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And so my other thing is how do you get those
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first 100, first 100 customers now that you've kind of
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you know who they should be and you know, how do you know?
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You know who is expected to come in the door.
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What is the, how important are those first 100 customers?
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And this is going to come back to your experience.
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This comes to
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the customer's experience when they walk in the door.
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We encourage everyone to write customers names on the cup
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because even though that yes, it is a process, that when you get really
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busy, you don't want to be yelling out "Flatwhite for Tim".
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You want to be saying "Tim your coffee is there" because Tim is going to love that.
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And Tim might be the only one in the room, but that's fine.
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At least tomorrow you'll be able to say hi to Tim without having to
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ask him and
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and the experience that that customer
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is going to have from day one might alreday out
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do the experience that they're getting from their current regular coffee shop
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and that's just customer building.
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So I would encourage once you do, once you move into the phase of
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we're open, how do we how do we get customers and retain them?
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You need to make the most out of the first 100. Yep.
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Any other points on that you are thinking of?
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Yeah, so word of mouth is your best asset and your first 100 Tims
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that get a great experience
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and they walk into their office or meet someone down the beach for a surf
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or whatever the environment's like what they have to say about their workplace
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to their mates at the workplace is going to be so beneficial to you.
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So that kind of comes back to my point,
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which is to be ready for day one, be ready for that one.
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So when I say that is you don't want to be practicing and learning on Tim.
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So Tims going to be really annoyed if your POS system.
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If you can't drive your POS system and you can't work out how to take Tims order.
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Yep. And your EFTPOS isn't working because your internet didn't get connected
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in time and your
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you didn't have money as a float because you forgot to get your float.
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you don't have your alternative milks ready.
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There's so much that you need to be ready for day one.
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So you really need to do maybe a day with your friends
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and family, get them in, make every menu item. Yes.
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Make sure they can pay, make sure that the process is seamless.
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That when someone does order
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avocado on their BLT, they actually have a way to a process that.
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So it can't be
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clunky on day one.
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I think people to put it down to, it's like a cost to you.
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You think that I want to get open, I need to start making money
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so I can start paying off this debt that I now have from the build.
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The value of your staff being confident
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the first day that they have to start serving customers
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and they kind of break that ice with the family soft opening and, you know,
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working through all the issues
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not in front of a customer
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because it's pretty awkward working through those issues
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with customers they can be forgiving, but they might not be forgiving
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for another two weeks.
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They might say, oh, it's a bit of a rough experience.
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So I'll give them a month and I'll come back.
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I'll try again. I'm sure they'll be better.
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But yeah, that's a month that your not going to see that person again.
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That's a missed opportunity.
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So yeah, and definitely across all the accounts you see of us
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you know our really nice
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looking ones that are on brand and they're doing really well that we help
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from start to finish the follow this process and done really well.
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We've had people that have,
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we've given them advice, but they didn't really quite listen or take it on board.
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They might have got 50% of it right and unfortunately they're no longer operating
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because they didn't quite have that vision.
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They didn't have it correct to the market they were going into.
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They definitely struggled with a cafe bill
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that maybe didn't have enough money to allocate to the build,
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and they were still trying to open up shop early to get money in.
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To then try and finish the build um and they basically
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told their customer first 100 customers
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a vision that they didn't even really know what it was.
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So it created a lot of confusion across the whole lot.
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and it doesn't play well for staff.
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Staff really need you confident.
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Staff really need to be guided as you might be hiring experienced staff.
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But you really, you got to set that bar and say,
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we want to be the place that everyone wants to come to
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and we want to be the place that every customer feels welcome and feels
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we're excited to see them.
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We're excited at the opportunity of getting their business over someone else.
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I think never underestimate how valuable every single customer
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is because it's, it's, it's the individual customers that build up.
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You know to get you to that 20, 30, 40 kilo's a week.
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Yep. It's, it's one coffee at a time, so definitely that's, that's my.
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I'll end on that.
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One coffee at a time.
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Keep everyone happy and yeah.
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You'll be good.
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You you'll be on the growth scale
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to build that business over a long period of time.
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Definitely. Well, there you go guys.
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I hope that helps you out on episode one of Drive Time Coffee Chats.
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So we're going to keep hitting a few more of these.
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Yeah lets do it.
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Hopefully you got something out of that.
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I think there's a lot of gold there.
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There's definitely some gems that I feel like I've had that conversation
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lots of times with lots of new new cafe customers.
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We have those conversations six months into a business a lot, and it's
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because they, they didn't.
00:13:15:25 - 00:13:17:29
There's so much going on in the build time that they're just like
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I can't even fathom having a conversation about what's going to
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the potential issues, I just need to get this place open.
00:13:24:08 - 00:13:24:15
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So it's, it's hard to have those conversations in six months.
00:13:26:28 - 00:13:27:20
So if we're going to have
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the before you open or when you're opening, you're just, yeah,
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you're already in a better position than a lot of other people.
00:13:33:20 - 00:13:35:25
So yeah, it's going to be super helpful I think.
00:13:36:08 - 00:13:37:23
00:13:37:23 - 00:13:41:24
Thanks for tuning in and yeah, like, subscribe, hit the Bell.
00:13:41:24 - 00:13:45:08
Hit the Bell and we'll catch you next time on DriveTime Coffee Chats.
00:13:45:17 - 00:13:46:16
See ya guys! Cheers.