June 9, 2012

A true testament to hard work!

A true testament to hard work!  After ten years with an unclouded vision and a loyal team of supporters, Café Biz celebrated its tenth year with great success. We all walked away proud and enlightened, with 100% commitment to continuing this great café industry show.


afé Biz has seen the largest ever roll up, with 3,500 excited delegates attending this year’s event. Talking with visitors to the show, most café owners were looking forward to a strong future within the café industry and recognised the opportunities for success in today’s business climate.

The café industry has definitely grown since we started ten years ago, with an annual turnover increasing from 2.5 billon dollars to well over 10 billion. As we all know, you can’t go anywhere these days and not come across a café or coffee service system of some sort. What has been a big difference is that businesses are getting smarter, and the failure rate is dropping.

As an established industry source of information, Café Culture is working hard to continue to gather real statistics, so the industry can grow successfully. We have been reinvesting in our own business intelligence, with many new projects well on their way to collecting industry data that will help with some accurate future predictions on trends.

Three years ago we had a chance meeting with a company called Pulse, who surveyed industries such as pharmaceutical, grocery and liquor segments. The meeting led to the creation of Café Pulse and three years later, we now have some genuine information that we can start working with for industry direction and planned growth cycles of products and services.

The Australian café industry has been fast moving, and many of our concepts are looked upon internationally as successful models that are a great achievement and as being smart in our approach to this complex business. It’s now time for us within the industry to start collecting and correlating the real data, so we can use it to move forward. A good way café businesses can help us in this process is by filling out the survey we will have in issue 30. The more surveys we receive, the more accurate the reports will be. We will be summarising this year’s annual café report in issue 30, as well as supplying an extensive suppliers directory that will highlight lead café service and product providers.

Talking about business intelligence, this data becomes valuable information for your business and information to assist café owners in the process of understanding customer habits, which include buying trends and frequency of visits. Technology is assisting this process now, with lots of options for pre-purchase systems such as cards and smart phone apps for ordering. Not only do these systems speed up delivery time for morning coffee rushes, they also track customers’ usage and habits. This information can be transformed into marketing programs like loyalty and reward systems. Sometimes simple things like shouting a customer a free coffee on their birthday will keep them interested in staying loyal to you and your business. As competition grows and quality of service and offerings go up, more clever marketing ideas are needed to retain the business and customer base.

It was a pleasure this year to host some very important guests from Korea over the Café Biz week. Mr Hong is the Principal of the Café Show in Korea and owner and publisher of the Korean hospitality magazine, Café Magazine. He and his wife and sales manager came to Australia to see how our industry operated.

We had the good fortune of taking them to the Campos Coffee Cupping Room and were honoured to have owner, Will Young, host our visit. The group also called in at The Grounds of Alexandria to see this unique business just days before its official opening, and the Di Bella Coffee Roasting Warehouse in Surry Hills supported us with a great lunch that was more than welcomed by our visitors after a long flight.

The group enjoyed the visit and noted comparisons between our two countries. The Korean coffee market is thriving and they have a strong focus on quality – not unlike our fast growing industry.

I just experienced my first taste of South America on a recent family holiday. My wife Kristine and I celebrated 25 years of marriage and wanted to do something special and a little crazy, and South America was part of this dream. Look out for some fun travel notes from this trip to Chile and Argentina in this issue and the next.

Our team is excited about the promising future of the café industry, and we look forward to getting out there and sharing more of our cafe experiences.

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