Café Loustic | Why do you want to open a café?
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Why do you want to open a café?

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20 Jul Why do you want to open a café?

You can usually gauge the success of a future café project from the answer you’ll get to this question.

And unfortunately the answers, in the vast majority of cases, are these (usually expressed in coded terms..)

“It would be nice to bake a dozen scones whilst chatting to my friends”

“Wouldn’t it be cool to impress chicks with this amazing latte art I can do whilst showing off my freshly minted tattoo”

“I would like to be as popular as Taylor Swift and get my face beamed around the city/country/world in all forms of media, my name preceded by a ‘#’ or ‘@'”

The hospitality industry is a tough gig. (If it were up to me, I’d reintroduce National Service in this form: make everyone spend a month working in a café/bar/restaurant. Some customer behaviour would subsequently change, that’s for sure!)

Running and or/working in a café is all about the things the customer doesn’t see. Most customers don’t see or appreciate what’s really going on behind the bar. In their eyes, it always looks quieter than it actually is. The customer doesn’t care about excuses though. For them, it’s like the Nirvana line: “Here we are now, entertain us”.

Being the owner of a café means taking a thousand micro decisions per day.

Between 15h and 15h05, this could mean:

“those teaspoons need to be cleaned”,”has the customer on table 12 ordered”, “where are these coffees going?”,”has the food been ordered for tomorrow?”,”have you signed your hours”, “have we got enough change?”, “has someone done the milk order?”, “do we need bin bags?”, “use the Kenya for the cold brew”, “our opening hours are from 8am to 6pm, Madam”, “Can you turn down the volume?”, “How many kilos of coffee are left?”, “Is today the day we have to order from this supplier?”…

If you are only motivated by money, stop now. Being motivated by money is one of the major reasons most businesses fail within 5 years. If there is no passion or love of your craft behind your enterprise, you’ll be in free fall when the going gets tough. In the early days when there was no one in the café from time to time, I spent this time pulling shots, and learning more about the coffee I was working with.

I read a testimony from a businessperson in a magazine that as an entrepreneur, you’ll need nerves of steel to get through the tough times (the first few weeks after opening, dips in trade, employee relations…). They’re not wrong!Loustic 2014-238

If you choose to become an entrepreneur after having worked as an employee, you must shake off the employee’s mentality (taking weekends and holidays off, thinking about your free time..).

Your business is your child. You do not take leave of your child now, do you? It’s 24/7.


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