I hope this email finds you well.
I’d like to update you of my situation and perhaps seek your suggestions on how to improve and move on from here.
As you know I owned a small cafe with my husband in my neighbourhood. Before the pandemic happened, we were struggling a little to make ends meet but we never thought of giving up. The cafe is like our child since we never had any children. It pains us to close it during the lockdown and now we may never open it up again. The landlord wants to increase the rent and yes, even at times like this. We have been to town council but they turned us away because it is private property. I’m at my wits end whether should we reopen or stay shut until better times. If we do reopen, I’m afraid we are going to empty our life savings just for rental and marketing.
Before we talk to our lawyer, I’m making one last attempt to perhaps find out from you if there is anything I can do. I know you have lots of ideas and you like helping people. So maybe you can help by giving some ideas to save our business?
Thank you in advance.
Sad to hear that your business and your lives have been impacted by the current situation. We are all in this together however, some like yourself are having it worse than others. But not forgetting that there are many more that are having worst than us.
As you mentioned that your cafe had been struggling to make ends meet before the pandemic, I think we need to take a closer look at this. I hope you have the contacts of your regular customers to conduct a survey. If you don’t have their contacts, it’s okay. You can post a survey on Facebook in your neighbourhood group or Whatsapp group. Your questions need to reflect on food, ambience and customer service. Please allow me to provide some examples to kickstart your brainstorming.
Quality / Freshness
Most liked dish
Least liked dish
Where have they heard of your cafe?
Accessibility to your cafe
Attitude of Your Staff
Don’t beat yourself up if you get bad feedback. Be grateful for any kind of feedback because it means people are still rooting for you to make changes, rather than ignoring you totally.
Using the data you’ve got, think about the changes you need to make. With your cafe rising rate, the biggest decision you need to make is whether to continue to hold on to a physical store or move your passion online. Yes, you don’t have to stop completely. By moving your business online, you don’t need to have the liability of rent. You already have the necessary kitchen equipment that you can reinstall in your own home. You can also choose to focus and start with survey data’s most liked foods. With lockdown on and off, it can be difficult to forecast if you can even open your cafe next week.
Once the situation stabilise, (it will, for sure) you can start look at the survey data on your cafe accessibility and whether it is worth staying at the same locale or maybe you need to move neighbourhoods if you still want to have a physical place to run your cafe.
Humans are adaptable and resilient, we will survive this together. So keep changing and brainstorming with ideas until you find a solution (or many solutions) that fits you.
Don’t give up your dream. Take care.
If you like to reach out and tap on my brains for ideas, please feel free to drop me an email at Kally@MiddleMe.net. Otherwise, please enjoy the following advise that I dished out:
A Word of Advice: My Business Affected due to Pandemic
A Word Of Advice: Anti-Marriage Policy
A Word of Advice: Jobless & Homeless
Best things in life are meant to be shared, start spreading MiddleMe around, after all, sharing is caring.