Monday, October 20, 2008

Cafe Update

I haven't mentioned the cafe in a while, so I thought I would catch everyone up to date. And yes, you know you care.

The official opening was repeatedly delayed mostly because of missing menu items. But since the menus are printed on demand each day, the manager finally took the stuff off the menu that we couldn't make and turned on the "Open" sign. With no advertising other than word-of-mouth, business increased every day last week. Today broke the streak. At 1pm, after being open for six and a half hours, we had $50 in sales. Oops. I'd be surprised if total sale broke $100.

But Mondays were always horrible at the bakery as well. Many small businesses are closed or open for reduced hours on Mondays. No one has an explanation. We are all keeping our fingers crossed that tomorrow at least brings in enough cash to cover one person's pay for the day. We also have some articles announcing the opening of the cafe in a couple weekly papers that are due out this week, and the manager is trying to arrange for some face time on a locally-produced TV show to talk up the place.

In many ways, the slow start has been very beneficial. Everyone has had a chance to settle into their jobs and work the kinks out of their work area without the pressure of crowds lined up outside trying to get in. Last week was a very-much-needed shakedown cruise for us.

So we'll see what happens. There hasn't been a worse time to start a business with high elasticity of demand in a decade, so if we survive the next six months or so, we'll probably make it. If not, maybe Debbie and I will both lose our jobs about the same time and go off on a one-year vacation someplace.

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