Scope of Work
- Market research to study, evaluate & understand cuisine trends, café formats, competitive landscape, customer spends, design elements, manpower & customer experiences
- Conceptualise, create & develop a unique gourmet café
- Create a distinguishable, gourmet styled comfort food menu
- Create high quality beverages based on coffee, tea and healthy & fresh ingredients
- Recruit, train & manage skilled team members
- Project management, SOP’s, logistics & overall management of the business
- Location hunt
- Design build
- Menu development
- Team building
- Pre-opening SOP’s, training, trials & soft-runs
- Post-opening customer experience management
- Post-opening team re-training & management
The Fun Part
What started out as a location hunting exercise led to the most enriching experience of developing a high-end gourmet café, building it through all parameters, running the business and going on to win awards too.
An enviable location in a brand-new development with a large corner frontage & outdoor seating set the stage for a highly distinguished concept creation.
Thinking & working on the concept idea delved our brains into making it a high-end gourmet, all-day dining café with great comfort food from across the globe and organic teas, coffees and healthy blends to add to the offering.
Designing the space as an open kitchen format with a large indoor & outdoor dining area, having loads of sun shine through the outlet’s floor to ceiling glass façade turned out to be one of the most exciting planning exercises undertaken.
The Important Part
The macro to micro exercise was easier said than done. This involved a lot of thinking & planning and re-thinking & re-planning multiple times over till the best desired outcomes were developed.
Brand naming kicked off the entire vision for the concept leading to a superb menu development exercise coupled with a highly energetic & interesting space design for the outlet.
Developing the right team with skill sets & personality matches was the next big task. This was accomplished via careful selection of members based more on their personality & attitude attributes with a great deal of training provided to hone their skills to exude a higher level of vibe & confidence suiting the concept attitude & panache.
Many days, weeks & a few months later, the outlet was raring to go. Alongside the build, menu development & trials, team training, supplier’s selection and creation of standard operating procedures, a carefully thought out marketing program was also put into place.
The concept was soft-launched and followed through with a mega launch two months later thus giving birth & establishing the newest & finest gourmet café in town.
The Critical Part
As if building the concept, the menu, the team and conducting all pre-opening trials weren’t enough, the worst and the best was yet to come, exactly in the same order.
We opened doors one fine evening, guests came strolling in immediately thereon, orders started to flow, the kitchen began to hustle, the servers started handling their sections and so the evening went well.
What ensued over the next couple of weeks was completely the unexpected: guests poured & poured & poured and we could not cope & cope & cope. We had trained hard, prepared ourselves for all the hard work but we couldn’t match up. Such was the opening euphoria.
Back to Basics
Re-drawing the entire work-flow, menu re-orientation, team re-training was immediately put on the front lines with the utmost emphasis given to team morale and customer experience.
Day by day, shift by shift, member by member, dish by dish, we tolled yet again, perfecting each element again and again, to the degree where it began to feel like clock-work and a well-oiled team-managed machine.
Whilst we never closed during the re-orientation phase, we were conscious that we needed to send out a new message to all our customers who supported us during the difficult period and to thank our supplier partners along-with letting the town know that we were ready, yet-again.
A carefully planned out formal launch party was executed to great success, showcasing the venue, its cuisine, the awesome team and the panache that the concept had created.
Success is Sweet
Days, weeks, months and many happy customers later, the venue was nominated amongst the best in the category and went onto win a prestigious award.
The next couple of months saw a few more award categories flowing the venue’s way: We knew now that the concept was a huge success !!
- How much ever one may work hard during the pre-opening days, you are never ready or prepared till you serve the first customer
- The saying “Devil is in the Detail” is so true but one only realizes it after going through it
- Operations is not for the faint hearted
- Building a menu is easier than building a team
- Stay ahead of the curve, always
Awards & Recognition
Favourite Cafe Dubai by What’s On Dubai
Two Hat Exceptional Rating by What’s On Dubai
Best Breakfast by Zomato Dubai
Nominated for Restaurant Team of the Year by Caterer Awards Dubai