Local cafe owner can’t handle the heat

creative_canberran 24 November 2011 61

Daryl Hehir-Nielsen, owner of Deakin cafe Double Shot is in the Canberra Times calling for regulation of Canberra’s coffee shops. Apparently, he’s none too happy with every new building having a coffee shop downstairs, nor does he like groups of cyclists turning up without calling first. It’s a curious pair of complaints, he doesn’t want competition but doesn’t like the customers either – perhaps time to consider a new vocation, particularly in light of tepid reviews here and here.

In any case, hospitality has always been competitive, requiring hard work – and competition ultimately benefits the customer. In new Acton, a number of coffee shops within a short distance of one another thrive in new developments, as do coffee shops in new buildings at ANU, the inner south and Woden. One need only look at a certain Braddon coffee shop or the sister stores one Kingston cafe has spawned to see that with the right stuff, you can do well in the marketplace.

Is regulation of coffee shops really needed or is this just a way to prop up businesses that can’t compete on their own merits? And if we take Daryl’s comparison of such regulation to that already in place for supermarkets, has it been for the better, or is it influences like Aldi bringing a new model to market that has changed things more?


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61 Responses to Local cafe owner can’t handle the heat
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TD05 TD05 10:11 am 28 Aug 15

It may come as a shock to many, that articles in papers/magazines ‘may’ not contain truthful ‘quotes’…….shock, horror!

Coffeedrinker Coffeedrinker 11:41 pm 04 Jan 12

If you want a great coffee for under $4 then visit Metro Espresso Bar in Woden just behind the Commonwealth Bank. Not only is the coffee great but the food is too, all at reasonable prices. The staff are really friendly and if you’re a regular like me then it won’t be long before you feel like one of their friends.

Stevian Stevian 11:16 am 25 Nov 11

OpenYourMind said :

First world problem #1: These darn cyclists. They wear lycra, consume coffee (sometimes en masse), ride too fast for cycleways and not fast enough to not inconvenience car drivers for a couple of precious seconds and worst of all, they ride across pedestrian crossings. Clearly they are the number one societal problem we have.

I get why we are letting off all the drunk drivers, it’s to keep the cells free for those law breaking cyclists – unfortunately the police are intimidated by these cyclists, what with their lycra, shaved legs and soy lattes.

Lycra is a fashion crime against humanity, it cannot be allowed to go unpunished

davo101 davo101 10:57 am 25 Nov 11

Skidd Marx said :

Regulation = communism.

No regulation = Somali

gospeedygo gospeedygo 10:46 am 25 Nov 11

Tea forever!

Lazy I Lazy I 10:23 am 25 Nov 11

As much as I despise the fixie hipster trend of flash mobbing, I can’t help but feel that this would be a great opportunity for 200 twitter followers to all turn up at the same time and ask for a coffee.

qbninthecity qbninthecity 10:09 am 25 Nov 11

mp2615 said :

@ #7 Tried Two before Ten ? Hobart Pl

fyi two before ten isn’t in hobart place…its in marcus clarke st (canberra house building) even says so on said cafe’s fb page 🙂

Thoroughly Smashed Thoroughly Smashed 9:16 am 25 Nov 11

There’s a letter from the proprietor in today’s CT, claiming to have been both misquoted and taken out of context.

Mumbucks Mumbucks 10:58 pm 24 Nov 11

What Daryl needs is a nice big play group turning up.I wonder how much time he would need to get ready.Maybe the play groups craft activity could be making shiny mobiles to deter large hordes of those mulga bill types.

OpenYourMind OpenYourMind 10:55 pm 24 Nov 11

First world problem #1: These darn cyclists. They wear lycra, consume coffee (sometimes en masse), ride too fast for cycleways and not fast enough to not inconvenience car drivers for a couple of precious seconds and worst of all, they ride across pedestrian crossings. Clearly they are the number one societal problem we have.

I get why we are letting off all the drunk drivers, it’s to keep the cells free for those law breaking cyclists – unfortunately the police are intimidated by these cyclists, what with their lycra, shaved legs and soy lattes.

thatsnotme thatsnotme 10:44 pm 24 Nov 11

mp2615 said :

@ #7 Tried Two before Ten ? Hobart Pl

+1. Been my local cafe of choice for a long time now. They’ve recently imported their own roaster, and do single origin coffee, which they recommend is best enjoyed as a short black. They have really friendly staff, and manage to get coffee out in good time, even when a rush is on.

Seriously though, the examples in that CT article were ridiculous. A guy in Fyshwick who didn’t realise how much work was involved in running a cafe. A pregnant woman who wants to return to China with her husband. These are not examples of too many cafes ruining the market!

As for Mr. Hehir-Nielsen, he can probably consider himself lucky that he’s in Deakin, and not City West. Within about a 250m radius of my building, I have a choice of at least a dozen cafes. I have no idea whether they’re all doing well, but in the last year or more, none of them have shut down, so things can’t be so bad. And many of these places are innovating, and bringing something new to Canberra – places like Two Before Ten investing in a roaster to make their own coffee blends – should this innovation be stifled by the regulation that this guy is suggesting?

I think this is less about regulation, and more about protectionism, so a business owner can just keep going on the same as always, never needing to adapt to the changing environment, safe in the knowledge that the competition is locked out.

And I’ve gotta say, that regulation hasn’t really resulted in any better post offices or newsagents. Instead of my parcels ending up at my local post office, they now end up at the Belconnen Business Centre, not available for pickup until the next day, and it’s not open on weekends. My local newsagent in the city sometimes runs out of the newspaper I want to buy by lunchtime. Who knows, perhaps the threat of competition would force them both to lift their game.

Henry82 Henry82 10:02 pm 24 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

Those cyclist packs must be bad ass if a cafe owner needs to put his larger bills in the safe prior to their arrival.

That mainly applied to my old work, where the till couldn’t have more than x hundred. Once you went over the value, you got a harassment message. It wouldn’t go away until you put the large notes in the safe. Even at the cafe, it might involve swapping coins for cash. You’d be pretty frustrated if the manager had to get change out of safe while you’re waiting for coffee right?

fromthecapital fromthecapital 9:51 pm 24 Nov 11

I-filed said :

2.0 said :

I-filed said :

Perhaps that particular flock of cyclists behaved rudely, leaving their bicycles in the way … wouldn’t put it past a bunch of cyclists to be obnoxio

us in any setting!

“grabs popcorn and sits back in his seat”

And yes, I’m one of those drivers who don’t stop for cyclists flouting the law against cycling across pedestrian crossings. I can’t stand cyclists! Hardly any of them obey the road laws – they think they are a law unto themselves. They should be registered, with plates, so they are reportable.

This fantasy land where road users are ‘reportable’ doesn’t exist.

Sorry 😛

Swanny Swanny 9:44 pm 24 Nov 11

I agree, what a whinger and time for a new career mate. Typical of the majority of service industry in Canberra. Sorry, really should use that tar brush! LOL re: Lonsdale Street Wallys ooops sorry again, Grinders. Head up the proverbial or what?!?!? For a great short black (or any coffee) and friiendly service, try Dejabrew on City Walk. Ask for a ristreto (??) a variant of sorts which they put me on to. Their baby-cinos are renowned due thought, time and effort and feeling put into them for the kids. It’s like you’re visiting their home. Great Coffee and nice operators! By the way, I only pay $3 in Civic for a regular coffee from any of the several ‘independents’ on / around City Walk. My regular also doesn’t charge extra for Soy, Oat or Rice milk. I wouldn’t drink ‘chains’ rubbish and pay a premium for it.

FluffyMcBandwagon FluffyMcBandwagon 9:06 pm 24 Nov 11

Sorry OP, this guy makes a valid point about there being way too much cafe space in town and how it effects the value of his business, and the rest of the article seems to support this, and you tear him to shreds thinking he needs ‘help’ to operate his cafe and that if his cafe was more like x,y, or z then he’d be ok?? Please…
I read the article and he never attacked other thriving cafes, he merely pointed out (correctly) that there are cafes going up in every new building in town (interestingly,some of those are local and commonwealth government tendered) and it is driving the value of the market down and effecting our retail sector. He is asking for ‘help’ from the government to protect the value of his investment. Sounds ok to me.
Good on him for speaking up.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 8:08 pm 24 Nov 11

Henry82 said :

creative_canberran said :

Point is if he get’s the advance notice, what’s he really going to do anyway?

Have all the coffee cups stacked ready to go (in places you wouldn’t normally have stacked), have the fridge (and shelves) packed to capacity? remove large denominations from the till and put in the safe? check that “popular” items are stacked? Don’t begin mopping the floors/cleaning windows? organise tables and chairs to cater for the numbers? wash any implements that may need to be used during the rush, that you only have a few of? Unpack items from dishwasher, so he can load in stuff straight away? Clean the machine?

Those cyclist packs must be bad ass if a cafe owner needs to put his larger bills in the safe prior to their arrival.

Henry82 Henry82 7:25 pm 24 Nov 11

creative_canberran said :

Point is if he get’s the advance notice, what’s he really going to do anyway?

Have all the coffee cups stacked ready to go (in places you wouldn’t normally have stacked), have the fridge (and shelves) packed to capacity? remove large denominations from the till and put in the safe? check that “popular” items are stacked? Don’t begin mopping the floors/cleaning windows? organise tables and chairs to cater for the numbers? wash any implements that may need to be used during the rush, that you only have a few of? Unpack items from dishwasher, so he can load in stuff straight away? Clean the machine?

taninaus taninaus 7:10 pm 24 Nov 11

I just love the reference in this article to the establishment in Dickson that is trying to sell the business for $100k – there is no way that the business is worth that much as they and the previous owner totally destroyed the good business and reputation that existed with the two owners prior to them. I am certain that they did no market research into what would be different and popular in that area, offered items that the local crowd could get better elsewhere and then shut up shop without notice and no sign on the door for the few customers that they may have had. The new owner would have to build the place up from scratch and all they get is the cabinets and fit out.

I think his suggestion of some regulation is a good one – but it is private enterprise and as tough as it is, caveat emptor if you choose to get into that type of business.

dungfungus dungfungus 6:58 pm 24 Nov 11

“.Point is if he get’s the advance notice, what’s he really going to do anyway? Is he going to call in some casual and pay them $18 to serve one group whose coffees may only come to $30-40?”

FWA won’t allow this anymore. He has to pay the worker for a minimum of 3 hours + outrageous penalty rates. Soon there won’t be any coffee shops operating at weekends and public holidays. Most people commenting on this matter are hung up on coffee beans and lycra when the owner was saying how hard it is to run a business and he cited examples that made it even more difficult.

creative_canberran creative_canberran 5:54 pm 24 Nov 11

Henry82 said :

creative_canberran said :

Just how quickly can he call in the extra staff, …? … just how quickly can he order stock in?

like i said before:

Henry82 said :

As for the “advanced notice”; you could always give him a call and ask.

I’m sure if you were that concerned about it, you’d give him a polite call and ask. Are you even a cyclist? Have you even been to this place? Is there a reason behind the hate? We’ve already found out half the article has been quoted out of context, so i’m going to cut him some slack.

Point is if he get’s the advance notice, what’s he really going to do anyway? Is he going to call in some casual and pay them $18 to serve one group whose coffees may only come to $30-40?

I was in Group7 one morning around 8:30am and more than 20 public servants came in and lined up at once, adding to about 20 already waiting for orders. Should they have called first? Should they have asked if it’s okay for 20 of them to come buy and get takeaways then get told to wait an hour until more staff come on? No, and judging by the efficiency of the staff (one on cash, one on extraction, one on milk and one serving) – they had no trouble coping.

If he’s having trouble ordering stock and coping with customers, then he’s obviously under resourced and lacking experience. It’s for him to exercise self improvement and reassess his business plan – not attack other thriving cafes by calling for government to regulate.

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