Why the Layout of Your Cafe is So Important in Cafe World

Did you know that it is a lot of fun playing Cafe World and customizing your cafe in all sorts of ways? Just like in a real cafe, you can choose to arrange all kinds of tables and chairs, doors and windows to create the right atmosphere you are looking for. Not only that, you can also customize a wide variety of stylish decorations, and even the very clothing that your own character wears.

But asides from the fun of decorating your cafe, little do we realize that it is actually of such crucial importance to the success of your cafe. The way you set up each and every item in your cafe, that is every table, chair, counter and even stove will not only impact the ambiance and environment of your cafe, but ultimately your ability to succeed in this game and grow your Cafe World business.

Quicker Access, Quicker Money

Firstly, just like in a real life restaurant, you will need to arrange all the tables and chairs so that your customers will be able to easily access any available tables and chairs. For example, it is not a good idea to have three chairs in a row up against a wall, since the middle chair would become wasted space. In this case, your customers cannot walk past the outer two chairs to get to the middle one, so you will lose customers needlessly when they walk in and cannot find a place to sit, when in actual fact there were still available seats.

Since you would never want to let customers walk away unsatisfied, you want to make sure that you have enough seating at all times. It is all too easy to forget this point, especially when you are so busy and caught up with the food itself, planning what to cook and how much to cook so that you do not waste food and money, while keeping your customers happy and coming back for more. But all this effort would be for naught if you have good, cooked food ready to serve, but no available or accessible seats for your customers.

Quicker Service, Quicker Money

Even when your customers are able to find an available seat, they will only wait so long to get their meal. So you would need to set your tables up in a way that makes it easy for your waiters and waitresses to move around. The quicker they can move back and forth from the serving counters to the tables, the easier it will be for you to make sure that every customer gets their food on time.

Another thing you can do to help give your waiting staff more time to serve your customers is to give your customers a longer walk to their tables. This means essentially putting in more twists and turns so that your customers will have to take a longer way around from the door to their seat. Most customers would not mind this at all, not being consciously aware of this. So the added walking time for your customers translates into more time for your waiters and waitresses to keep up to par with the serving cycles to customers. If you keep these points in mind as you add tables and chairs to your cafe and arrange them optimally, you will be paving your way to added success in Cafe World.

Cafe Business Plans – Financial Projections

When creating your financial projections for your cafe, save time and hassle by starting with an existing Excel financial model that just needs adjustment to reflect your specific business. Given that, here are a couple key areas to consider on which most of the other numbers will hinge.

Foot Traffic

Until your cafe becomes a destination through the work of your promotion strategy, it is safe to say that your primary business will be some a percentage of the foot traffic that passes by on the street, assuming you are on a city street with sidewalks. To look at revenue this way, you need to know the foot traffic per week during a normal work week, and how this number changes with the seasons or with holiday weeks over the course of a year. Next, you need to make an assumption of a percentage of this foot traffic that will enter your cafe during business hours. To base this in some reality, look at the percentages that enter a similar business. To be more exact, subtract from that number the customers who sought out the example business specifically. Finally, you need to decide on the average order size per customer who enters, taking into account those who enter and do not buy at all. Slight variations in the foot traffic assumption, the percentage who enter, and the average order size will mean huge variations in your revenue projections, so be sure to explain how all three numbers are grounded in reality.

Service Capacity

Your space needs, salary costs, and ability to generate revenue with your cafe will depend in large part on the number of servers you plan to have operating at a given time. Take into account that a server cannot serve customers nonstop from opening to closing as there will be a need for resupplying, phone calls, breaks, and clean-up. You should nevertheless have an idea of how many average orders a server can fill in an average hour to create a reasonable maximum service capacity for your cafe. Make sure to relate the service capacity you will have to the orders per hour you expect from your foot traffic in the first year. You may want to adjust the service capacity by adding additional servers or time-saving equipment like a POS system if you expect more than you can currently handle, or to give servers additional responsibilities if you believe they will be idle at first.

The Importance of Popularity Rating in Cafe World

Every time you prepare a dish in Cafe World, your main objective should be to make the customers who purchase it satisfied and happy. This is how you can keep your Cafe ratings high. Higher buzz ratings mean more customers, more experience points, and more cafe coins to spend. You should know how to maintain your high buzz ratings to reap these rewards as you go play Cafe World and level up.

All you do in your cafe should be focused on customer service and customer happiness. For you to make that easily, there are different things and tips to take note of for your cafe as you play and go forward.

Prioritize Service

The objective of Cafe World is to cook dishes and serve them to your customers. If you do not exert effort to do this, you are just wasting your time. You should not spend too much coins and time on decorating your cafe. Only make minor changes to your cafe if it is required to get more customers coming to your cafe – besides that, just pass up and save your coins. The new tables and decorations may look really enticing but if it will cause your rating score to go down by five points, it is no good.

Increasing your Buzz Rating

The number of thumbs up you receive, also known as buzz rating, can be seen on the top right corner of your Cafe World screen. It is a significantly important factor to any restaurant. If that number goes down, it means that your customers are not happy with your service. If it goes up, then everything is in place and you have done something right. There are times that your buzz rating goes up as you increase your level – do not worry about this. You just have to make sure that your rating will never go down without any reason at all. Keep your buzz rating going up as you level up throughout the game. This will help you increase your coins and experience points.

Serving Food

You want to make sure that your customers will get their food as soon as possible. This is why you have to ensure that your cafe is ready for the customers by the time you have logged on to the game. If you have cooked a dish that takes twelve hours to be ready, go on line within thirteen hours so that you can remove the food from the stove and serve these hot off the stove dishes to your hungry customers. Moreover, you should increase the speed of your serving time. Try putting serving tables next to your customers’ tables and employ as much servers as possible. The better your serving process is, the happier your customers will be with the kind of customer service you are giving them.

The main goal of Cafe World is to make and keep your customers happy. If you are able to do that, you are sure to succeed in creating a successful cafe that anybody would love to visit. Make sure that you have fun while you play.

Changing the Way Cafe Owners Think

Some time ago I was invited to a coffee roasting business in a mid west state of the USA, to partake as instructor in a coffee ‘Jam’ session for baristas, cafe owners and any one interested in coffee.

My role during this event was to focus on the basics of extraction whilst others would train in other aspects of espresso coffee making. What began as a basic exercise soon turned out to be a very different affair for the recipients (who were predominantly cafe owners) because what they really needed was re-training in their mental outlook on what constitutes good business sense.

You see, it is very easy to be trained in the A to Z of coffee making. There are thousands of ex-baristas out there plying their skills in the area of espresso training, and whilst some subtle cultural and quality differences exist, in general, it is not difficult for a prospective cafe owner to find a course or two on the subject. Unfortunately, what cafe owners require is training in a way of thinking which will allow them to create simple procedures designed to maximise the profitability of their business. Training in how to make espresso coffees is but one very small part of the equation, not the equation itself.

What do I mean by this?

cafe owners are NOT baristas. Whilst the both groups certainly need to know the most they can learn about the product which lends its name to the type of business, for the latter it stops there, and for the former it is just the beginning.

Running/owning a business requires owners to go far beyond the basics in order to create a business with a noticeable point of difference to the end consumer. And it is not one thing which will get you there, but rather a combination of many small points of differences which combine to create a huge point of difference in the mind of the end consumer. All too often in my consultancy work I come across cafe owners obsessed with the coffee making but not the institution they operate. For example, out of over 500 businesses I have personally coached, less than 10 revealed that they bothered to put together a business plan. Fewer than a dozen had a regular training plan in place for staff, and only half a dozen could tell me their financial position immediately, at the push of a button. Yet, well over 200 knew their coffee better than they knew their business.

The onus on the cafe owner to understand all aspects of his/her business goes beyond the product they ply, simple because the rule of thumb for me when I analyse a business is not about how much money it is making, but rather how much money it loses every day.

Any ‘black hole’ in a business sucks resources and money out of the business, thereby not allowing it to reach its full potential in sales. A ‘black hole’ is any part of a business which has not been measured, quantified, and simplified into a replicable procedure which all staff can repeat without inconsistency. Nearly all cafe businesses have areas which are performing inadequately and that only means that in reality nearly all cafe businesses are underperforming! Only when these areas are shored up to the point where everyone in the business can reproduce the exact same result will these ‘black holes’ disappear. From experience, what happens soon after often amazes owners. Sales shoot upwards. And each successive component of the business which is bedded down cranks sales upwards even more. I have observed many examples of owners who stood there in disbelief when their already ‘successful’ business, which they thought was running at maximum, suddenly experienced a 50% to 100% jump in less than 12 months.

Procedures which are simple to follow and which nobody within the business deviates from will always guarantee the same outcome. And customers out there who encounter inconsistencies in the majority of cafes they visit will desert these in droves given half the chance not to have to second guess what they are going to get every time they walk into a cafe. For these people, a consistent business means that they can truly take time out of their day to zone out without having to critique the products or service they receive. They will know exactly what they will get before they even walk in.

But procedures are not enough in themselves.

As I stated earlier, the biggest challenge I face when coaching cafe owners is getting them to change their mind-set towards business. With the cafe sector having grown so rapidly in the last 15 years, the reality is that a great many cafe owners bought into the business without any prior experience. Most had jobs. And coming from this kind of environment means that an individual is more likely to have been conditioned to think in terms of savings, cost management, and reductions rather than focusing on the key to success which is exploring ways to increase sales. For example, when most ‘business’ owners look at their overheads on the weekly or monthly P&L sheet, all they see are costs. An inordinate amount of time is then spent looking at ways of reducing overheads by 5, 10 or 15%. Apart from the amount of time (which is money) spent doing this, often the results of these actions are to change to a cheaper supplier of coffee, a cheaper supplier of breads, a cheaper supplier of hams etc. The groups which tend to suffer most during this cost cutting drive are employees, and food/drink. The reason for this is simple. There are many overheads which cannot be reduced – such as rent, gas, electricity etc, so the categories which can easily yield an immediate saving happen to be the ones just mentioned.

I know that financial controllers within large franchise groups always think this way (and good luck to anyone who lets them dictate the way to run a business). Most come straight from university into an environment where their only focus is how to ‘save’ the business money. That is how they have been schooled and it is plain wrong. Whilst it is important to manage costs, it is also more important to understand which sub-categories costs fall into, and what impact cutbacks would have on the sales within your business.

There are only two sub-categories, and I define them as: Costs or Investments. A cost is any overhead which cannot affect sales. These include rent, painting the shop, or signage. I guess you get the picture. On the other hand, tinkering around with the investment subgroup of a business’ overheads can jeopardize growth in sales. For example, people invest in the share market with the surety that one dollar gets you two or more times return. Paring the investment dollars back means that the return becomes less. By the same token, paring back on the quality of coffee beans, on food input quality or even training costs merely to produce a saving is a rather short term view since the immediate rise in profit will be more than outstripped by the medium to long term decline in sales. It’s like robbing Peter to pay Paul. If these ‘costs’ are viewed as a direct link to growing sales then the choice becomes simple – throw more money into it, and the return will be greater.

But of course, nothing in a business can be treated in isolation. I have briefly discussed the need for procedures, removing ‘black holes’ in a business, and a novel interpretation of overheads. These are but three areas of many which all combine to create or not create a point of difference in a cafe business. Absolutely every decision a cafe owner makes has a psychological impact on the end user, which will determine whether sales grow or decline. Knowing the outcomes of any decision or action determines the type of play, what is changeable, and what remains sacrosanct.

So, as I said earlier, whilst it is important for the cafe owner to know the A-Z of espresso coffee making, this is not the end of the story. Knowing the A-Z of business – your business – is of the most importance. Meeting with individuals who have a proven track record of achieving stellar growth for clients in retail can fast track your sales growth to triple digit percentages. Of course, anything new is something old, and if you have the time, energy and inclination you should invest in research and study into ways of growing your sales. There is enough information out there to re-train a typical cafe owners’ way of thinking.

I know that for some individuals, what I have written here can be rather unpalatable. The notion of throwing more money behind particular ‘costs’ which I deem to be ‘investments’ may sound like an anathema. It’s just not the way it is done. But if you are achieving average sales growth of low double digit percentages or less, or even struggling to make money, changing the way you think about your business is the first thing that has to give before anything else can change. For in the words of Albert Einstein, the definition of madness is: when you do the same thing everyday, but expect the outcome to be different.