Monday 30 November 2020

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Cork Independent

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Do you want to run a cafe?

Wednesday, 26th August, 2020 3:11pm

The Triskel Arts Centre is inviting tenders to run their popular cafe bar (previously Scrypt Cafe Bar).

The café also includes the courtyard in front of the old church, next to Bishop Lucey Park. Over the years, the Triskel and indeed the café have undergone some changes but it was always a great place that was brimming with creativity.

This will continue with South Main Street undergoing major development (I am not even touching on the sore subject of the event centre). Expression of interest should be emailed to by 5pm on Friday 4 September. If you are interested you need to have a valid tax clearance and insurance cover.

When I got the email from the Triskel marketing department, I was thinking of many people who would love to run a café – based on the many times I heard ‘I always dreamed of having my own café’.

Most people who have never worked in a busy café or restaurant will not understand the amount of work that goes with a café.

Once I tried to help a girl who did a course in one of our famous cookery schools and thought she knew it all. I came to visit her as she wanted my opinion – I sat down to watch the proceedings and it became clear within five minutes that she was overwhelmed.

I gave her a few tips – none of which she took on board – and next thing, she gave up. It was such a pity as the café was a beautiful tearoom with great potential.

Now, you might wonder what it takes to run a café. First, you need to know what you are getting yourself into. If you have never worked in the hospitality industry, I suggest you do that first.

Then you need a good team behind you - people who understand what you are trying to achieve and will work with you. Pop into Idaho and you will see how successful a small place can be with the right people.

You will need stamina – and a lot of it. For the first year (and very often even longer), you will not be able to take a day off (unless you have a partner in the business). Building the business is a full-time job – if you can’t commit, think twice before starting your adventure.

The right location – it is hard to attract customers to a new place if no one knows where it is or if there is no footfall. Food and service – I am mentioning both together as it goes hand in hand. If you get both right, people will return again and again. Idaho has it down to a fine art. Customers are greeted as friends; you always get a smile and the food is always great.

Do your research, be prepared to only break even in the first year and have the right people around you.

Whoever is taking over the Scrypt Café in the Triskel Arts Centre has big shoes to fill as Rose McKenna created a great place with tasty food. I will make sure to pop in as soon as it reopens.

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