“Bye Ely! had a great time here. Magrereport muna ako sa Starbucks.” We both laughed as I waved goodbye. That was 11:45 Pm when I left and they we’re doing their “cash-count” at Café Noriter- Taft before finally calling it a night.
It was after a regular formal-attire Monday when i decided to stay up late sa school. While trying to feel the new metal yet comfortable chairs na nasa hallways ng Mutien and Duerr Hall ng CSB, I went out to look for a place para mag-aral and saw myself entering the narrow gate beside Tapa King along Estrada St.
I had great time and coffeewhile talking with a forward-looking Manager (who is at her twenties) slash Barista who graduated 4 years ago at TUP (Technolohical University of the Philippines) with a COM-SCI degree and a major in Management regarding how she started and how she was handling Café Noriter.
“Hindi ako ang may-ari nito, I just applied here as a barista after taking up a technical course in coffee making sa Tesda. Fortunately the owner was looking for a manager and that is how I got here”, She replied as she offered me a honey-ahsgahs bread (I cant remember kung ano yon pero it was delicious).
She first worked at PLDT as a Call-center agent and she was one blessed woman to handle an embarking coffee shop, handle the Marketing concerns and lead a team of 2 other colleagues from Tesda.
Ely, just like any starting up companies has to consider and should have a broad knowledge with the 3C’s that Josiah Go (a renowned marketing expert) laid. They are the Company, Competition and the top most priority: The Customers.
As we know, there are clusters of coffee shop now and competition is very tight. A great challenge for a manager like Ely is how to bring something new to the market. How you can make your actual buyers spread the word through satisfaction and increase your potential buyers.
For 110 pesos or a mug of Café Mocha, here are some of my randomly asked questions that Ely generously answered:
Q: San nyo naisip yang mga customer designed cups gallery?
A: Inadopt lang namin yan from the first Noriter-Dumaguete. As of now, ginawa na naming syang 5 pesos kasi yung iba binabasta lang and they even put obscene words. Di ko nga alam kung pano gagawin namin dito (pointed her finger to a sack filled with hand-designed cups). We are even thinking of a competition for this month of December.
Q: What makes you different from other coffee shops?
A: First is yung environment namin. We want the customers to feel na nasa bahay sila. Sa Korea kasi when you say coffee shop, it is a place where in you can relax and just have a cup of coffee. And from the Korean word “Noriter” meaning playground, we modified our interior design as we did with our first branch here in the Philippines: Dumaguete. Integrate coffee shop with playground, you have Café Noriter. Second is yung coffee namin na hindi nalalayo sa quality ng leading coffee shops. We are using world class coffee beans and most of them are imported from other countries. And lastly is the way we treat our customers and employees, we have promos that would keep you inviting friends and getting free cups of coffee.
Q: How much would I need to start my Café Noriter?
A: Rough estimation ko, siguro 6 Million you can now start your business.
Q: How were your Sales so far?
A: So far, so good. Before bukas-sarado kami. But as of now, madaming customers kapag Tuesday to Fridays and considering na hindi pa kami nagaadvertise kasi we are still gearing up to cater mass customers. We even have customers who are from UP, ATENEO and from other schools. Going all the way here to taste our coffee just because of ”word-of-mouth”.
Q: So you do have reservations? (Looking at the “Reserved” sign sa table)
A: Ahh… actually, nirecommend lang yan ng customer namin and then we came up with a strategy. As of now you can rent or reserve a playground (I dunno what they call those Korean-inspired cubicles) for 500 pesos plus 2000 pesos worth consumable Noriter products for the whole day. Mas okay na yon kasi minsan nauubusan sila ng place lalo na kung marami sila.
These are my personal recommendations for the business:
- Advertising and promotions
- Get their shop featured or reviewed at a Campus Magazine
- Flyers and Social networking Sites
- Company Website
- Sponsorship for school activities
- Invest in a Point of Sales System (sales and inventory management system)
- Invest with own cups (printed with LOGO)
- Keep on unlocking marketing strategies.
Café Noriter remains on its prime years.
It has more years to prove that it could stand up till the end.
Let us go wait and see.
Thank you Ely for sharing! I would be back every last Saturday of the Month for the free taste just like what you said. :))
And ulitin ko di ako Spy :D
You might want to read my random posts:
- April 12, 2010 — 10 Reasons why Filipino Students should Linked-In
- March 25, 2010 — 6.2-magnitude quake shakes west of Manila
- February 24, 2010 — It is who we are today and tomorrow!
- December 6, 2008 — The YOUTH SUMMIT ’08
- April 30, 2010 – Separation of Church and State
- October 24, 2010 – Facebook Addicts. Are you one of them?