Next to our office is a coffee and food shop that is about to go bust. It’s the third to do so on that site. This is in a major suburban centre that already has about 100 coffee and lunch venues.
What’s the thinking behind these ventures? Perhaps it’s the notion that if they can make a go of it, so can we.
One hundred struggling casual restaurants.
In a different suburb that we visit, there’s also a surfeit of coffee and snack venues. As well, there’s a single tiny icecream vendor that is so swamped with business that it’s set up a purple velvet rope on the pavement to control the crowds.
Cut back to the dying coffee shop. Out of desperation, it has expanded its offering. The place now boasts breakfast, lunch and dinner with 20 dishes on the blackboard menu. Why miss out on a single potential customer?
But what do people crave after they’ve eaten lunch and coffee? A simple dessert, something sweet.
Such as an icecream.
Amazingly, nobody has set up in competition to this massively successful vendor. Yet.
The numerous restaurants in these two suburbs offer a free lesson in business success and failure to any member of the public who cares to take notice.
A chalkboard menu, the same as all the others? Or icecream and a velvet rope? The answer isn’t hard.