What is our ethical responsibility?

the business of coffee houses

do you tell them that the location sucks?

Poll ended at Sun Jan 28, 2007 2:49 pm

Yes
6
100%
No
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 6

What is our ethical responsibility?

Postby sutono on Thu Jan 18, 2007 2:49 pm

As wholesale roasters, what is our responsibility to tell potential customers that the location/idea/aesthetic that they have in mind for their dream cafe is terrible and they are likely to lose everthing?

Does it matter if they ask your opinion or not?

Tony (it's your dream not mine) Dreyfuss
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Postby Matt Milletto on Thu Jan 18, 2007 4:31 pm

I think it is important for them to get feedback from ANY professional who is not "emotionally attached" to their project. It's hard to say sometimes, but it can be done in a constructive manner in most cases. I think a roaster can help if the situation is right, or they may want to hire a consultant. Ambiance and atmosphere is so key to a retail operation.

I think also a common overlooked aspect in start ups is often adequate operating capital. pre-opening labor, marketing, consumable products, etc. can add up, and if a shop has slow customer growth and daily sales increase, an owner can be in trouble from the get go.

Good luck,

- Matt
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Postby Brent on Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:22 pm

MattBellissimo wrote:I think it is important for them to get feedback from ANY professional who is not "emotionally attached" to their project. It's hard to say sometimes, but it can be done in a constructive manner in most cases. I think a roaster can help if the situation is right, or they may want to hire a consultant. Ambiance and atmosphere is so key to a retail operation.

I think also a common overlooked aspect in start ups is often adequate operating capital. pre-opening labor, marketing, consumable products, etc. can add up, and if a shop has slow customer growth and daily sales increase, an owner can be in trouble from the get go.

Good luck,

- Matt


good points

I would also add that I have seen places do well (or OK or better than you would expect) in strange places. And some of the sites we look at and go "wow that works" are probably sites that someone took a punt on in the face of impending ridicule...

Like libraries - ridiculous to think that could work :) or bus and train stations, or street side vendors, or in a school...

So sometimes the gut feeling "this will work" is better than a formal business plan etc etc etc

of course it still takes adequate $$$$
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Postby sutono on Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:48 pm

Matt,

You are absolutely right - I should have clarified - 'coffee professional' rather than roaster. Sorry :oops:

This is on my mind because recently I went to visit a couple of potential cafe customers that are considering entering the business.

My gut feeling is that neither location will support a cafe due to extremely low human density, non-coffee drinking communities, expensive rents, ill-conceived themes, and about 2000 other reasons. I might be wrong, but I don't think so. I agree that I might not be the right person to ask since I stand to make a profit (does that count as emotional attachment) if they open a cafe. Moreover, I am certainly not a paid consultant.

However,I've seen enough cafes come and go to have a general idea what will fly and what will not - not 100% of course (punt to the nose!!! - we have a customer with a fairly busy cafe in a library, and I've heard of espresso bars in bait shops using over 100 pounds per week)

I guess that these were both sweet people who are about to sink their life savings into something that I would consider to be beyond average in risk.

Tony (It's as much about saving lives as it is about the coffee) Dreyfuss [/i]
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Metropolis Coffee Company
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