I don’t know about you, but most cafes I’ve been to are rather average. They all sell good coffee, most sell good food and they all have the same business model.
So rarely is there a compelling reason to walk to the other side of the CBD to visit a certain coffee place. Most business people meet at the place which closest to the client and meets their minimum standard of quality.
Now there are some exceptions here; one of my favourites is Get Naked Espresso Bar who only sell coffee. Its an idea that really appeals to people with the mindset of “I don’t want the 80% coffee, I want the best money can buy”
Understanding The Customer
So much business is started and closed in cafes all around the country. At the moment, there is not one cafe in Bendigo who provides a solution tailored to these customers.
As one of these businesses, here are the main problems I would like to see addressed.
- Feeling of importance: I would like to be able to book in a table for a meeting where I can pre record the client’s first name. When we arrive, I would like to see someone say “Hi Brenton and Peter, we have been expecting you. We have the best table reserved over here for you”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
- Money changing hands: At the end of every meeting, there is always a decision about who will pay. Imagine at the end of your meeting, someone came over and said “Thats been taken care for you Brenton and Peter”. Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
- Meet People: When was the last time you meet someone in a coffee shop? It probably doesn’t happen all that often. Imagine there was a designated business networking space where business and go and meet new businesses? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
- Theming/Community: Imagine everything was themed for business, a wall of business cards, regular business events, maybe even a coworking space on the top floor? Wouldn’t that be worth making a remark about?
Now feel free to add your thoughts in the comments below about problems you have with the current system.
The revenue model I would be pushing would be a membership model
- $xx per month includes X amount of coffees, access to members wall, access to monthly events, access to online forums, co-working hours etc etc.
- Corporate sponsorship packages include x amount of staff, coffees, naming rights on a custom beverage etc etc.
If you can create a high enough value community, the amount you charge will have nothing to do with how many coffees you sell them. The value comes from the other businesses you have in the community and your ability to help them be more successful in business.
Other sources of revenue could come in government grants, Headline sponsorship, employment incentives etc. I could see something like this be fully funded before a single coffee is sold.
In a crowded marketplace, fitting in is a failure. In a busy marketplace, not standing out is the same as being invisible. – Seth Godin
Why most people won’t build my idea
This is an idea that lives on the edges. Most people are happy being average, playing it safe and doing what everyone else does. My challenge to you; If you want to be remarkable you need to embrace the concept of “edgecraft”.
Don’t be A place a most people find interesting, be THE place your specific customer considers essential.
Tell me what you think of this idea, is it something you think will work. Is it close enough to the edges to matter? Is it remarkable?
How would you do it differently?