Ok, so everyone told me running a cafe would be hard. That the margins are tight (to sometimes non-existent) and that staff would be your main worry (other than paying the bills and mortgage of course).... um yep on all our accounts. However the buzz of being back in hospitality confirms that I personally have done the right thing - I just now have to make sure that it works commercially.
Pete and I are so overwhelmed with all the wonderful feedback we are receiving from our incredible customers. We turn every constructive comment into a point to make change and we honestly couldn't be happier with how Mister C is going. What we need to do now is make sure we give our customers what they want - however, sometimes they don't know what they want. So for example we have created a make your own muesli bar to give people a healthy breaky on the go - will it work or not. Who knows until tomorrow, but you just have to keep trying until you hit the right spot. We have brought on a pastry chef - Mel, and she is incredible - the sweets coming out of our kitchen are ridiculous. Where do we go from here? How do we increase trade in our quiet times, afford to get more seats in our licensed areas and how do we service more people faster. It is non stop... I no dream of taking endless differing coffee orders, I had a massage today and I couldn't stop thinking about baristas and then there is the all important challenge to create a great culture. Peter and I love our staff and they are a great team, they are good people, they care about what we do, our food and Mister C. For that we are eternally grateful...
Biggest buzz was meeting Mr Close, our year 8 teacher and his wife Diana. Remarkably he hasn't changed a bit, he looked exactly the same (and the same as the logo) except he is naturally grey. He was very pleased at what we had created and although it isn't a shrine to him, we have certainly used a memory and person from our past to name our business - so it was pretty cool.
This is a pretty straight blog account, because that is how I am feeling right now. Did I do the right thing to give up a wonderful, job and stable lifestyle? that I have risked much of what we own? That I have completely changed track at the age of 41 and I don't know what the future will behold? Abso-fucking-loutley.... this is the most incredible thing I have ever done and although very hard right now (due to being out of work for much longer than expected and the build being about 30% extra) it is the most satisfying feeling in the world to hear customers happy with what we have done. Hospitality is very very hard but pleasing people makes up for it. Thank you Mister Close, I think I am in love.