2015-07-18

Focus on Fun

I think I'm generally into relationships for sex, not romance. Like I'm into commerce for money, not fun. But three of the four things listed are really unnecessary - one should know how to have fun, regardless of circumstances.
"You're a busy guy these days."
"I've always been busy. But this is sales. Sales, is loud, by nature."

2015-07-16

Gender Bias, in F&B Compensation

So a candidate for F&B operations made an comment about men being paid more than women, in general. I thought that was interesting, and said something along the lines of:
You might find more interesting data on women being paid more, in the entertainment industry, as the economics of women being more attractive creates specific incentives for certain targets markets. Likewise you may find that specific cafes have branding policies which are biased towards hiring either attractive men, OR women, but (often not) both at the same time. I would encourage you to (visit many cafes), to familiarise yourself with the market. Let me know if you have any observations to discuss from your study. :)

Pop by during busy hours, and observe for 1-2 hours per cafe, the interactions between staff and customers of (any) gender. Look for patterns and see if you discover anything, at any particular cafe. It can be quite amusing.

You can look through the Instagram accounts of each cafe also. That will save you some time.

Labour Microeconomics

1. Many people don't know what their hourly rate is.

2. Many people think their hourly rate in domain A should influence their hourly rate in domain B, prior to the demonstration of competence in domain B. This is a fallacy.

3. Many people haven't thought about what they would be willing to do if their hourly rate was increased to X.

Specialty Branding Operations

There's nothing wrong with a preference for commodities over customised products. The problem is that many consumers unknowingly pay high premiums for low-cost goods, sold under the banner of quality.

The first thing every specialised business needs to do... is to demonstrate the difference between specialised and non-specialised products.

As soon as the difference is clear to consumers, consumers can decide if they prefer commodities, over specialised services and products. And they become aware of a clear preference for one or the other, which is becoming of more intelligent consumers. It saves their money.

2015-07-15

Recipes to Attempt

2015-07

(Chilled Pomegranate + Peanut Butter) Toast... another effort to replace more of the rubbish in our daily food with fruit. (Probably because I met a fruit addict today - she runs a fruit shop.) The toast, must be 'yay' thin, probably a half cm prior to compression.

2015-07-14

A Cafe Marketing Strategy

What are the main issues of the cafe "industry" in KL and how do you plan to go about overcoming them?

A Singaporean investor asked that question. This was my brief answer. TL;DR - it doesn't have to be F&B. Please note that this approach regards a very specific real estate opportunity, and should not be consumed as general advice for cafe owners. 


Let's consider the markets for

  • good customer service
  • public spaces
  • wifi
  • coffee in general
  • specialty coffee
  • food tourism "the food is that good"
  • space tourism "the space/architecture is that good"


The consumers to which these value propositions apply are different (of course, the sets overlap).


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  • food tourism "the food is that good"

This has the lowest priority. It's easier for me to deploy specialty coffee, than an entire kitchen menu. But if we capitalise in the 300-500k MYR range, then we're good to try this.

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  • specialty coffee
  • space tourism "the space/architecture is that good"

This has the next lowest priority. There are a LOT of food tourists and space tourists who basically follow hearsay, the contemporary manifestation of which is Instagram (VERY VERY IMPORTANT). There are also a few, but much more tightly knit, specialty coffee tourists who only go to the few coffee shops that deliver coffee of a certain quality. We can only address this market if we capitalise in the 190-390k MYR range, simply due to capEx requirements. (Making things look pretty, is curatable, but it's a bit easier if the space is also designed right and spruced up with a nice finish.) Good espresso machines cost money.

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  • public spaces
  • wifi Internet access
  • coffee in general

This is all I intend to focus on if we capitalise in the 150-250k MYR range. It's an infrastructure play. We want to keep costs low, be "always on," and provide the facility that 24-7 public libraries provide in more developed societies.

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  • good customer service

As discussed in the State of the Union, this is the only thing most low-budget F&B places really have as their Unique Selling Point. It's an artist management business - as long as the audience feels a personal relationship with the staff, the audience patronises the establishment. That is what most F&B owners don't bother to curate, and that is often why they fail.

2015-07-12

Easy Bs

People who ask if I'm going to get bored of the coffee business are missing the point, and they probably don't know me very well. I'm already bored. Commerce in general bores me - boredom, as such, is a very core part of my identity. I like F&B because I find it easy. I like washing toilets and mopping floors because I don't have to sit down all day (my hobbies, which largely involve pen and paper, or computers, generally require me to be deskbound). I'm in coffee because of all the boring things in the world, running a basic bitch neighbourhood F&B joint strikes me as a pretty easy domain - a view I've had since I was ten or eleven. I'm in coffee for the same reason I majored in Philosophy, in college - it was an easy B. Of course, I could be wrong, but that's ok by me. :D

I wonder how scary that is for investors. I imagine that it ranges from nonchalance, to absolutely terrifying "we don't touch this."