Friday, April 16, 2010

YamDaisy Ambiance

Just when I am trying to update the food and menu sections of the YamDaisy Website, along comes a reminder of another important aspect of the cafe experience, and such an important one!
On my weekly 3RRR community radio treat of a food program 'Eat It' they had a segment about design in restaurants and how important it is.
These were the figures bandied around about what makes the visit a great experience for people:
25% Service
35% Chef and food
and another 35% on Ambiance ~ the feel of the place, the atmosphere, the culture, the coolness and the comfort!
(They also had a bit of discussion about how important the coffee after the meal is!.... Very important!)

I do respect these figures! But isn't it fascinating how some multimillion dollar redesign with all the latest everything might make no difference, and some greasy spoon tucked away somewhere just might zing!

These are important issues for the success of the YamDaisy Cafes. To work well, they need to be popular!
The Chef and Food are the core of the outfit. 
The Service ~ the relationship staff have with the customers, and the way food is served is also very important..... 
But every YamDaisy Cafe will need a wonderful Ambiance!
How is this done? How will it be done on a franchise level? Because I want the YamDaisy Organization to be setting up cafes wherever they will work, and each community needs their one to be a great place to go to.

Here are some of the ideas I have had:
  • A space that is easy to be in for people with all different abilities. This is always tricky because the cafes will be small, and we will need wheelchair and maybe scooter access, lovely practical lighting, big chairs for obese people, comfort and space for mums with little children, coolness for teenagers, peace for the frail elderly and, ofcourse, set up really well for the service of the food.
  •  A vibrant space, full of the richness of art, colour, form and texture that makes each particular YamDaisy cafe fresh and different and a jewel in its community.
  • Changing the ambiance throughout the day or the week or year to suit the cafe customers: lighting, music. warmth, even space (e.g.between the tables) can change if it is designed well.
  • A sustainable space, design that uses eco friendly materials and minimizes waste.
Well, really I have had only one idea for putting all this together, but I think it is a good one!

Design Students! 

Wouldn't it be great if Yamdaisy worked with the places that taught Design. What a brief to give to Design Students! What a way to be incorporating fresh bright ideas and at the same time adding to the experience and skills of upcoming designers! What a wonderful real life practical exercise for them!

The YamDaisy organization would have a great deal of work to do overseeing this (but what a great job!): networking with the University or TAFE or Design School setting up rigorous plans, consulting and checking the practicalities, costing and so on. But this would also be on a scale which means the systems could be set in place and streamlined. I would imagine the cafe's design should be refreshed every 5 years at the most, bringing in issues of retrofitting and renovating in a way that interrupts business as little as possible. More good lessons for the design students to learn!

I love that this sort of process would help develop the feeling of community ownership, keep bringing fresh ideas forward, feeds back to help the students (great for their CV's) as well as bringing wonderful design to the YamDaisy Cafes! Each one will be so different and so cool! (I hope!)
And Yes I have an eye on the cost saving! And indeed, the students could be encouraged to factor in more cost saving: recycled furniture, decorating with found objects, working with local school children to design art pieces etc.

Do you like this idea? What have I missed out? Are there things that you feel are very important when creating ambiance?

PS My plan was for a picture to illustrate this post that showed some art, some style and a sense of music.... but I got up this morning and found all the ambiance I wanted in my morning cup of coffee!! I do hope it created a welcoming atmosphere for today's post! Cheers everyone!


  1. It sounds like pretty serious reflexions here. Way to go.
    And I can smell the coffee...

  2. Love your ideas Joy! Especially using Design students, seems like a win-win situation - they would have a project on their CV and the community will have lovely cafes.

  3. wow..Daisy, you have lots of interesting ideas! The idea of "Design Students"...sounds really cool.

  4. Sounds great! I like how you make all people feel welcome and I particularly like the idea of colour and artwork making each cafe individual and exciting.
    Lucy xx

  5. Sounds perfect and reinforces the idea of YamDaisy being a comuunity focused place! Perfect!

  6. What a great idea! I love the sense of community too. -Tien :)

  7. Superb ! I loved the idea of artwork :)
    This post makes a huge difference. I'm sure YamDaisy Cafe will have the same welcoming atmosphere as you've shown here in this post. Simply fabulous ! It reminds me "Ratatouille", remember the link of the movie ? Real comfort food into real comfortable and warm place :)

    Have a great week dear Joy ! xxx

  8. Great ideas! I like the idea of working with design students and I love that you're wanting to make the space welcoming for all!

    I used to love this cafe in Maine because it had an area with big, comfy couches and a small chest full of toys reserved for mothers with young children. My girlfriends and I would meet there weekly for coffee. We could linger, too, because we felt sure that our crawling babies weren't disturbing anyone. I loved having a chance to get out of the house and have a little "grown-up time" with my other Mommy friends. It was amazing!

  9. Nothing missed out I'd say - all sounds good to me!

  10. Wow! Design students is a fabulous idea!

  11. How wonderful that I should loiter in unannounced at the same time that you should post on this wonderful idea of Design Students.

    Incidentally, I love St Kilda....fabulous days spent in Melbourne :) Actually, I miss all things Australia - an ex-UNSW student myself! Lovely corner you have here.


    Devaki @ weavethousandflavors

  12. Hi Joy! great post! i agree that the ambience is very important but the food too :)
    great idea with design students!
    have a sweet day,

  13. I appreciate for your brilliant and wonderful idea. Liked it very much. As I am very much fond of coffee so I feel like having a cup of coffee with you.

  14. I really love your ideas, Joy. You have so much to give. It's a shame you can't speak directly with design students. Perhaps one of them could use cafe design for a design project they might have. I can already smell the frachise coffee cookin'. Have a wonderful day. Blessings...Mary

  15. A great post , enjoying my coffee while reading this!

  16. I am SO glad you all thought this was a good idea!
    Mary I will certainly try to contact a design class (in my slow tortoise like way).
    Devaki thankyou so much for joining in!
    Emily I know how precious those child friendly cafes are! So important!
    Claudia I won't forget the wonderful spirit of "Ratatouille" !
    Virtual coffees all round!