Cafe Culture

This month’s buzzwords are too many to mention, but personalisation is up there at the top of the list. We read about cafe companies and how all companies must restructure and re-culture and take on more of the attributes of small firms.

Independent shops, small boutiques and owner-operated cafes are experts at building loyalty. They know their local customers, they make time to chat and they remember their preferences, in other words Amazon at a human level! So the question becomes how can we operate as a cafe company and give that amazing personal touch and service that boutique stores are recognised for?

Technology has influenced how we operate, allowed us to work remotely and send everything electronically – the queue for postage stamps was always an awful exercise – but has anything really changed? Tech can help automate most areas, but loyalty, personalisation and friendly smiles – I am not so sure.

The great economists say the answers lie in the past and I believe this story tells true to this day – there is great little bookshop called Lutyens & Rubinstein in west London. What chance does this store have against the giant e-tailers? Yet they have a secret weapon and she goes by the name of Claire. Her knowledge, people skills and personal touch makes all the difference to this brilliant bookshop and their customers. Long may they thrive.

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