1. Sunny1000
    Offline

    Sunny1000 Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2013
    Messages:
    37
    Likes Received:
    1

    Day-to-day running of a cafe

    Discussion in 'Research' started by Sunny1000, Jun 8, 2015.

    Hello!

    I was wondering if anyone here knew the super simple basic running of a cafe. I've tried researching it on the internet but I keep getting "how to start your own business' articles. All I want is what goes on each day in an up and running cafe.

    For example what needs to be done before the doors open for customers, I'm assuming food prep, but does anything have to be done with the till or money or other things like that? I'm definitely looking for "behind the scenes" jobs that people would have to do in a cafe.

    Here are the details of my cafe:

    Small sized max capacity approx 20 ppl
    Serves coffee, tea and juice.
    Offers easy food: breakfast eggs and toast, then sandwiches for lunch.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated, even links that I can read! For some reason I don't know anyone who has worked in a cafe T____T
     
  2. Stacy C
    Offline

    Stacy C Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
    Yes, food prep and any cleaning that wasn't done after closing and adding that day's specials to the menu board. Most managers/owners take the deposit to the bank on the way home, so the only till stuff would be making sure there's enough change. I worked in a pizza/sandwich place, so our food prep was probably more extensive than in your cafe, but someone came in at least two hours before opening.

    Edit: And don't forget to check voicemail for calls from employees scheduled that day who aren't coming in. Minimum-wage employees tend not to to be the most reliable.
     
  3. BrianIff
    Offline

    BrianIff I'm so piano, a bad punctuator. Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,294
    Likes Received:
    433
    Location:
    Canada
    There's a lot of steps to cleaning an espresso machine. I've probably forgotten a couple. Also done daily.

    Where I was, a box of fresh pastries was dropped off before 'open' every day.
     
  4. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    My friend worked in a bakery/cafe and he got up at 4 or 5am, if I remember correctly and got into work for 5 or 6am. I believe he had to sometimes even buy the ingredients on the morning from the supermarket that was attached to the shopping centre the cafe was in. Then he'd spend the morning baking, and then he'd also serve behind the counter once the cafe opened. I think he finished work at like 2 or 3pm usually? Was a pretty exhausting job from what I remember.
     
  5. Stacy C
    Offline

    Stacy C Banned

    Joined:
    May 3, 2015
    Messages:
    272
    Likes Received:
    127
    Location:
    Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind
    My job at the pizza place was to bake the buns for the grinders (long, hot sub sandwiches) and make the pizza crusts, but that's all I did. I came in a couple of hours before closing and left a few hours before opening.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  6. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    So you essentially worked overnight? That must've been tough on a long-term basis!
     
  7. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    They also need to put the chairs out, perhaps erect the footpath eating area barriers / heaters / umbrellas, put the menus out on the tables, position the chairs, flip the [Closed] sign to [Open].
     
  8. Wrizzy
    Offline

    Wrizzy Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2015
    Messages:
    59
    Likes Received:
    23
    Location:
    Everywhere
    I worked in a school cafeteria and, being a government institution, perhaps they were a little more strict. I had to get a 'food handlers' license. Anyways, from that training they drill you with food and kitchen safety facts. I assume that any food place must be up to code. (Also a dental assistant and have been ingrained with sanitary procedures; I cringe when I see the show Kitchen Nightmares...ugh. :blech:)

    My point is--if these details help, or can build some story--there are quite a few rules that are required to be adhered to, to keep a kitchen legally sanitary.

    Here's a good list:

    Food Handling

    Just the basics, there must be hand washing (duh, haha) and food must be kept at certain temperatures or else must be stored away somewhere that is the appropriate temperature. All surfaces must be disinfected, etc. (This is why counters have those glass walls up that separate the customer from the food--in the name of sanitation!) Refrigerators must be checked regularly for the dates noting food item spoilage...many more daily tasks can be incorporated into your story based on the link I gave.

    I remember going in the back storage all the time and finding snacks that hadn't sold before expiring. We had to chuck them. Inventory management is huge! Also, the manager, depending on if it is a chain or privately own, will have to arrange who they get their goods from. We had Hostess trucks coming regularly and back kitchen staff did loading, unloading, and janitorial work. Sometimes janitorial work is hired out to a cleaning team--especially if there is a bathroom on the facilities, yuck!.:dead: Plus, there may be a chef who runs the menu, and/or has a different schedule...

    Also, when I worked at a wedding reception agency, we had to hand wash all the delicate wine glasses and things by hand, in bleach. Aprons will have to be laundered and or left up to the care of the employee. And yes, being there before opening is huge. An hour or (depending on how much staff you have) more for prep work.

    Phew...maybe I should open my own cafe, lol.

    Hope that is helpful. :bigsmile:
     
  9. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    My first job ever was in a little cafe that served coffee, tea, and a small amount of food, including pastries, breakfast paninis, and lunch paninis. I worked the morning shift before I went to high school, because yeah -- I'm just that driven. ;)

    I would get there around 4:30 to open at 5:00 am, and the first thing that needed to be done was to take the chairs off of the table. Then you had to open the till, and begin the POS system. Ours was super simple, since we didn't serve a whole lot.

    Counting money is extremely important. There was a base line of $200 in the till, and it had to remain that way from open to close, regardless of how much money came in or left. If the money added to the till was less than that $200, there was an issue. Someone cashiered incorrectly, or stole something.

    We also had to grind the coffee, brew coffee (iced and hot) and tea, and make sure the espresso machine had enough coffee in it to handle the morning rush.

    Gosh ... what else did we do? I know that we listened to a lot of punk rock because no one was in at that time, and then we'd have a morning smoke before opening. Haha. I suppose I remember more of the social aspects of the job, than the job itself ... it was a pretty mindless and fun job.

    I'm happy to answer any specific questions you might have!
     
  10. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Ah, yes! I always had to go to the store to get 3 gallons of whole milk, 2 gallons of 2% milk, 1 gallon of non-fat, and 1 gallon of half-and-half. Sometimes I'd take a quick 5 minute power nap in the parking lot. Lol.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  11. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    That's a lot of milk to carry all by yourself!

    Btw how did the £200 baseline thing work?? Why is there that rule?
     
  12. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    1/ At "A pint of water weighs a pound and a quarter" that's 70 lbs...not too hard on one barbell - in 7 (or 14?) large bottles in a couple of supermarket bags...

    2/ I think that's what I'd call an "Imprest" system, where you start the day with £200 (so you've got some change), take out the £200 at the end of the day and the difference is today's takings, which should agree to the till.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  13. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Man, I have trouble carrying 2-3 two-litre bottles. I'd collapse under 7-14 large bottles.

    Ok so here's what 7 gallons of milk look like according to google:

    [​IMG]

    Yup, I still maintain - that's a lot by yourself.

    Although, I guess at least you could use the supermarket trolleys to wheel it to your car, and then ask colleagues to help you once you've driven it to the cafe.
     
  14. Shadowfax
    Offline

    Shadowfax Contributing Member Contributor

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2014
    Messages:
    2,504
    Likes Received:
    1,337
    I wasn't belittling 7 gallons of milk as a load to carry; the weight itself is not insignificant, but is no world record. The killer is how unwieldy the buggers are.

    I can remember somebody suggesting (on a body-building site) that milk cartons filled with water would make a cheap alternative to proper weights. Your photo shows how stupid that suggestion is.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  15. Aaron DC
    Offline

    Aaron DC Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2015
    Messages:
    2,554
    Likes Received:
    1,251
    Location:
    At my keyboard
    Time for No-Name Slob to reveal her final, Shiva form, clearly. Carrying so many bottles of milk at once - epic!!
     
    Shadowfax likes this.
  16. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    I used to work in a pub, which is similar in its ways.

    It mostly consisted of serving customers, keeping the place clean, replenishing and rotating stock, cashing up the tills at the end of the day. And there is always a final scrub down before you close for the evening. Remember, the customer is always right ... unless you're in France.
     
  17. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Or the Czech Republic :twisted:

    Mind you though, I totally do not agree with the motto of "customer's always right", as though it always trumps the needs of the staff or that the customer can be as outrageous and unreasonable as they like and still it'll be the staff who'll "get it". Employers need to learn to protect their staff. It's why I stopped working for one language agency - they'd never so much as ask if the student would be available to have a lesson just 30min before or after their requested time so that I could actually teach them. If the student says no, that's fair enough, but to not even bother to ask? Bearing in mind they paid peanuts too. Only teach private these days!
     
  18. The Mad Regent
    Offline

    The Mad Regent Contributing Member

    Joined:
    May 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,024
    Likes Received:
    427
    Location:
    Wirral, England
    Yeah, I know what you mean. It's only to a certain degree, though. If the customer is being an unnecessary complete twat then you can just refuse to serve them, but I think the whole point behind the motto is to please the customer to the point were they will come back.

    I dealt with some right whiners when I worked in a pub: complaining over stupid shit like not putting a clover on the foam of their Guinness, or using Pepsi over Coka-Cola. It didn't help that the assistant manager was a complete tool as well. He cried about everything, and always treated the guys like shit and sucked up to the girls, even though he was an incompetent virgin type.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  19. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Okay guys, here's the kicker: I'm 4'11 and weigh like, 100 lbs. 7 gallons of milk was a total bitch.

    But I still say that anything is worth it for that rare 5 minutes I had to close my eyes at 4:30 am in the parking lot of the grocery story. Haha.

    I did drop a gallon a time or two.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  20. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas

    Yes, this is what I did. Team work!
     
    Mckk likes this.
  21. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm not really sure what the reasoning behind that specific amount is. I know a lot of systems are set up to assume $200 in cash is in the drawer at all times. I've always worked in small businesses, and it seems to be a common theme in the states. I guess it helps you balance easier, and notice discrepancies in the cash.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2015
    Mckk likes this.
  22. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    I'm 5'1'' and currently far heavier than I should be cus I'm pregnant, so I totally get you!!
     
  23. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    Oh God, I've done that whole pregnancy thing twice, now. It's brutal no matter the size of the woman, but there is something about being as wide as you are tall that can really add insult to injury.

    Solidarity, sister.
     
    Mckk likes this.
  24. No-Name Slob
    Offline

    No-Name Slob Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    1,232
    Likes Received:
    925
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    OP - I remembered another really important detail: at the end of your shift, your clothes always smell of the sour milk in the air from constantly steaming and frothing it all day. That's probably the worst part of the job.
     
  25. Mckk
    Offline

    Mckk Moderator Staff Supporter Contributor

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2010
    Messages:
    4,749
    Likes Received:
    2,534
    Thanks sweetheart:blowkiss:but if the avatar is your pic, you don't look old enough to have 2 kids! I did actually just write a whole paragraph of pregnancy woes but I suppose the forum-at-large probably wouldn't wanna know haha. Sending a PM :superagree:
     

Share This Page