2016-02-27

Shifting Focus from Ops to Profits

A brief reflection on organisational development thus far:
I'm not sure if other eateries go through this sort of organisational development, but here's what we've been poking at so far. Day counts are approximate.

We opened for specialty coffee service on 13 October (day 1) after obtaining a license from the city council. We started with one staff running the bar for 40 hours per week, and as local talent jumped onboard we were able to run 168 hours per week by 4 December (day 53).

The team that started doing this obviously hadn't done this before (we're probably the first company in Asia to do it), so a few iterations of practice were required. From day 53 to the the day 95 (15 January) the bar has tried to get itself sorted, and it continues to do so with varying inputs and varying degrees of success.

Meanwhile, the kitchen got itself off the ground by around day 99 (19 January). And by day 130 (19 February) it's been running a hot 56 hours per week. By next weekend (day 144), brunch service should be running till 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.

All this while, we have run on temps. The longest staff commitments are 12 months from a bar trainee, and 12 months from the chef. So circling back to address this, we've set development targets for bar temps for the period of March to May (day 141 to day 232), and we've communicated that "up, down, or out," developments must occur. We've also started looking for 1-year commitments from bar and administrative staff from June onwards (day 233 to day 598).

During the 141-232/Mar-May period we should see further evidence on the viability of running 24-7-365. This should result in either the extension of kitchen and bakery operations into the 24-7-365 space, or the reduction of operating hours and a retreat from that position in the market. It will be interesting in any event, as we still want to know if there will eventually be a market for specialty coffee served with brunch all around the clock.
Etcetera:
I have a hiring policy of "scare the fuck out of prospectives." If people still want to play, at least you know it's for the right reasons. It also applies to dating - which is probably why I don't get to date much :D
/
Cafe dude A: Heard you've got problems finding a girlfriend?
Cafe dude B: *pause* Which year?
Cafe chick C: *laughs*
Cafe dude B: "Finding girlfriend," is a recurring problem... like staff.
Cafe chick C: Huh? Oi.
(C, is our Chief of Staff.)
Etcetera:
Chef: "The way you say, "hi", to people, is like robot lah..."
Me: "But it's an accurate representation of who I am, what? I sometimes just tell them... "oh, didn't I just say "hi," to you yesterday?"
Etcetera:
Some people are afraid of growing old and poor. I don't believe in worrying about things like that. One should be comfortable with growing old and poor, and doing it with a straight face.

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