The Immersion Education Series #Cafe Health Check

Kristy Aylmore

Friday, 05 July 2024

We chat all things CAFE HEALTH in Grinders Coffee Immersion Education Series.


Immersion Education Series

An important part of running a hospitality business is regularly taking the time to review your operations. Shaun De Vries from Open Pantry Consulting spoke to us recently about ideas to review your café operations, outlining their process for review as well as a case studies of long-term Grinders Coffee customer, Sidewalk Café in Airlie Beach.



The Pain Points




Action #1 Develop Comprehensive Recruitment Procedures

  • Create compelling job descriptions that highlight unique workplace benefits and culture, making positions more attractive to potential candidates. Pinpoint what makes your business different and special. Don’t hold back from telling your story and share your passion for your business.


Action #2 Implement regular training programs

  • Establish ongoing training programs that enhance skills in customer service and coffeemaking, thereby improving staff competence and satisfaction. From pre-employment to day 1 of employment. Take time to work with new starters. Bring new employees on the journey about the business. The data clearly says that the more proactive you are with this, the better your staff retention will be. If you can get the first 6 weeks right, you’re more likely to keep quality staff for longer, but the big tip is getting day 1 right.




Action #1 Diversify supply sources

  • Explore and secure multiple suppliers for key food ingredients to mitigate risks with supply chain disruptions. Understand your COGs, food cost, and wastage. Then review every 6 months and perform a tender process with suppliers every 12 months.


Action #2 Food menu optimisation

  • Analyse food menu items on a seasonal basis for profitability and popularity, reducing offerings that are costly and less favoured by customers, thereby streamlining operations and reducing waste.
    The ideal no. of food menu items is 12-15. This will ensure a better customer experience, that you’re focusing on what you do well and keep down service times with a simplified menu. It will also allow you to turn over more tables and increase revenue. A trend of sandwich shops and wine bars is growing due, small menus that allow you to focus on what you do well and providing an exceptional customer experience.




Action #1 Select Appropriate Technology Solutions

  • Identify and integrate technology solutions that are specifically tailored to the operational needs of your café, ensuring that these tools enhance efficiency without overwhelming staff. Review technology every 6 months to assess effectiveness. POS, order at table, supply chain backends and marketing. Use this technology available to you, but similar to your food supply chain, review it regularly for its effectiveness and renegotiate fees.


Action #2 Regular Staff Technology Training

  • Organise ongoing training sessions to ensure all team members understand the platforms they use for their roles. This will prevent errors and increase productivity through being able to use the programs more confidently, efficiently and to utilise all the features.


The Pantry Review

A great way to identify the pain points in your venue, is a technique Open Pantry use called a Pantry Review.

The Pantry Review looks at 8 key ingredients or areas in your hospitality venue. These are, the overall concept, Finance, Location, Design and fit out, Food and beverage offering, supply chain, operations &technology and lastly, talent acquisition. This framework will provide a thorough review of all business operations.

The effectiveness of the process was demonstrated with Sidewalk Café in Airlie Beach, who since employing these techniques, has grown their overall turnover by 25.3% and reduced COGS and Staff costs by 5% each by reviewing business operations, menus, technology and assessing their recruitment and training approach. They also greatly reduced trading hours to focus on coffee and food and still had a huge increase in overall turnover.

You can learn more about Open Pantry consulting and check out Shaun’s podcast, Principle of Hospitality, for some tips, tricks and stories from the best in the business.


Want more?

Want more practical tips and hints and cafe partner examples? Pour yourself a delicious Grinders coffee and make yourself comfortable, so you can watch the full keynote speaker Cafe Health session online.

You May Also Like


The Perfect Blend at Bitton, Rose Bay

Join us for a coffee collab with our long-term coffee partner, Bitton Gourmet, Rose Bay. The Perfect Blend! Set your Alarm Clocks! Block your…


Gloria Jean’s Coffee Capsule Alternatives

Unfortunately the much loved Gloria Jean’s Coffee Capsules are no longer available at Grinders Coffee. The truth is Caffitaly Gloria Jeans coffee capsules are…


Give it a Ristretto

In the world of coffee, there’s no bigger buzz word than “ristretto”—a beverage loved by many avid coffee drinkers for its mystery and glamour….


March Barista of the Month - Meet Simaran

Located inside the luxury MACq01 Hotel on Hobart’s waterfront. Old Wharf restaurant is a café & restaurant catering to inhouse guests as well the…