As I mentioned in my vegan peanut butter banana muffins post, up until a few years ago we owned a Coffee Shop/Cafe. It was a super fun little restaurant in a small town. We were open 7 days a week, year around from 5Am-9pm closing only on christmas day. On our menu was a large array of baked goods, pastries, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, salads, gelato and more. We also were one of the few places in the area to offer a large vegan selection. I learned a lot during those years. I worked hard (and slept little), laughed a lot, got to share my love of food, and made a lot of memories.
Confessions of a Coffee Shop owner
On the flip side, owning a coffee shop is BY NO MEANS all rainbows and sunshine. There is a reason, actually a large list of reasons, that we decided to sell and move on! I thought it would be fun and perhaps a little therapeutic, to share some of the things that annoyed the living crap out of me. My own confessions of a restaurant owner…..
Here are some of the many aggravations that I endured and kept buried over the years.
You know, all those grin and bare it moments:
- Customer says ” Can I get a different donut, this one isn’t fresh from today”
- My reply: ” I’m so sorry, we make them fresh every morning, but of course you can have a different one”
- What Im thinking: I do not drag my tired butt out of bed every morning at 3am to come here and stare at the wall. I get here while the rest of the world enjoys a normal sleep schedule to make EVERYTHING in this store FRESH EVERY SINGLE DAY! So don’t you dare tell me that donut is not fresh. Just say what you really want, an extra donut for free!
- Customer says: ” The coffee is even more expensive than (insert large coffee shop chain here)”
- My reply: “Yeah unfortunately a small family business, like mine, has higher costs than larger chain stores”
- What I’m thinking: Oh my goodness, the cup of coffee is three cents higher than the surrounding chain stores. Support your local hometown store before they completely disappear from the face of the earth by shelling out the three cents. I saw the car you pulled up in, you can afford it.
- Customer rudely states : ” Coffee should only cost a dollar, I mean it’s just coffee.”
- My reply: None, I ignore it unless a response becomes absolutely necessary.
- What I’m thinking: Coffee itself is not super expensive, but this is the bread and butter of my business and I have a lot of overhead.
That $2.10 cup of coffee needs to cover :
- My insanely high rent
- My amazing employees that get up at the crack of dawn to serve you with a smile
- Cost of training employees , like the 2 pots that got shattered and three batches he/she had to throw out before getting you that perfectly brewed cup because they are new and clumsy and forgot filters etc.
- The cost of the cup itself , lid, cup sleeve, syrup shot, cream and sugar you have in your coffee.
- The landlord has decided to put a new roof on the building, oh yeah, and re-pave the parking lot. So basically my rent will double shortly.
- The quickly rising price of EVERYTHING I have to keep in stock in addition to the always changing fuel charge to have it delivered.
- And so much more! So please don’t complain about the $2.10 cost of coffee.
- Customer : Grabs handfuls of sugar, napkins, ketchup, stir sticks and anything else they can shove in their pocket as they leave.
- My reply: ” Daniel (store manager) have someone go stock……..Everything out front…..again.”
- What I’m thinking: What the hell is wrong with some people
- Customer says: ” I see you hired a new girl, is she single?”
- My reply: ” (Sally) just started training and we are happy to have her. I am not aware of my employees relationship status as it is none of my business.”
- What I’m really thinking: EWW, I’m not a dating service I can’t believe you actually asked that question.
Alright, enough complaining, at least for now. Maybe I will continue this on as a series if it is liked. I don’t want to put too much negative vibes out there.
I must stress that overall I loved my coffee shop customers!
Being in a small town we had a lot of regulars who made me smile every single day with there never-ending kindness. They are what keeps a small business owner going and passionate about what they do!
What grin and bare it moments go with your job?