Tuesday, March 9, 2010

YamDaisy Cafe - Start Up

Melbourne's Food and Wine is about to begin and I was interested to hear adverts for a workshop called "Starting a Cafe or Restaurant?". Ofcourse my ears pricked up!
I looked it up, and while I am sure it is worth every penny, $350 is out of my price range, and a one day workshop is beyond my health. So you can imagine how pleased I was to discover that Ken Burgin, one the people running the workshop, would be interviewed on my favourite food programme on radio  (3RRR 'Eat It!').

It was a great interview, beginning with the dream of starting your own Cafe being like falling in love, and how hard it is to talk someone out of someone, or something, they are in love with.
I do admit - I am a bit in love with my YamDaisy dream!

So I was ready with my pen in hand as they went through their reality check.
50% of cafes are closed within 18 months of opening, and the creative dream of making food  needs to be balanced with the hard reality of working out the bottom line.
They went through a list of skills a cafe owner needs:
  • GREAT WITH FOOD (artisan baker, creative chef, barista)
  • COMPLIANCE (food safety, legislation)
  • NUMERACY (book keeping, working out profitability)
  • FOOD HANDLING (storage, ordering etc)
  • MARKETING (getting people in)
  • MANAGING PEOPLE (staff, customers )

When I was first trying to see if my Cafe idea could work in reality I spoke separately to two people in the food industry. One works at a premier catering college, and the other is chef of a local cafe. Both have extensive experience in restaurants and catering and both were kind enough to give me their time and expertise. And both went through pretty much the same issues as I was listening to in the interview. What a relief!

Because my idea is for there to be a system of YamDaisy Cafes, (there could be as many as there are McDonalds!) I want a Franchise type of organisation to be behind them (a not-for-profit one).
It can help with many of the skills that are needed. It can support the Chefs and let them concentrate on cooking (and food handling!) (and the people managing!)...
No! Truly, they will be so useful! All the information can be on hand, and the expertise; checklists, training, online information and support, mentoring.

But here's the thing - at the end of the interview, Ken Bergin was asked what kind of food business would he choose if he was to start one up.
What do you think he said?

That will be the subject of my next post!

Note; The illustration at the top comes from the booklet I made so I could show people my idea, including my food industry contacts! This picture shows how I began my idea from the knowledge of how hard it can be for some people to cook good food for their family.


  1. I hope someone in your neighborhood picks up this Great Idea with you!

  2. Franchised yam daisy cafes sound very cool!~

  3. You may want to check with a community college to see if you can get a food license. Here, once you get a food license, it's good for 5 years. -Tien :)

  4. Can't wait to hear what he said....
    Blessings, andrea

  5. One has to conceptulize to actualize-if you want it bad enough, you will make it happen. I look forward to your future posts as you begin your journey to own a cafe. I think that is awesome.

    I would get information anywhere I could. In the U.S. we have an organzation that teams up new business owners, at no cost with a mentor ( an experienced buisness person in the same field). If you had a similar program in Australia that cold really be beneficial.

  6. I've always wondered how some people are taken away by their passions; you're one of them :) Frankly speaking, I don't have such extreme passion for anything in my life!

    I wish your dream comes true very soon. My best wishes for you :)


  7. I'm anxious to know what he said on your next post ;)

    I love your passion for the YamDaisy !
    Have a great day, dear friend !


  8. This is so fun to follow! I admire your passion for this idea!

    YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Hi Joy...thanks for the kind words about my Buddy


  10. What an interesting interview. Great post!