Top 20+ Cafés in Oakleigh, Melbourne 
Craving the best coffee in Melbourne? You’ve come to the right place.
Melbourne’s coffee scene is known to be pretty much the best in the world – home to the flat white, trendy cafes and micro-roasters, Australian coffee is a standard all on its own.
The attention to detail found in most of Melbourne’s coffee shops and their championing of independent roasters makes it a coffee-lover’s dream.
Located in Melbourne, Victoria, looking for the best cafés? One of the best ways to satisfy your coffee cravings is to select every vendor yourself personally. We’ve created an ultimate list of cafés from right across in Oakleigh, Melbourne.
The Ultimate List of Best Cafés in Oakleigh
Vanilla Lounge Oakleigh Café
03 9568 3358
Welcome to Eaton Mall, a hidden gem located in the heart of multicultural Oakleigh.
Amongst the hustle and bustle of this amazing hub are Vanilla Lounge. In August 2008, we opened our doors, and our hearts to the community and everyone gave their love back. Being a coffee and dining lounge, Vanilla has something for everyone. It is a family place, a meeting place, a place where you can come and experience a unique European vibe right here in Melbourne.
The family behind Vanilla have been innovators and pioneers in the hospitality industry for over 45 years. With the opening of Vanilla Lounge, Oakleigh, saw a new dining culture emerge. What is particularly exciting for Melbourne is that it now boasts another leading patisserie that truly celebrates the greatest qualities of its cosmopolitan heritage. Vanilla was praised as one of the Top 10 Patisseries in The Age Good Café Guide 2012.
We are committed to enhancing our patron’s experience by providing our boutique coffee brand, Dukes, our extraordinary music acts on Thursday nights, our extensive menu made with local and fresh ingredients and without preservatives or additives, our world-class standard of cakes and biscuits and our latest venture, Vanilla Upstairs which has amazing pan-Mediterranean cuisine and invites people to come together and share in the simple pleasures.
CATERING FOR EVERY OCCASION
Enjoy your favourite food with Vanilla’s catering service, bringing you solutions for any occasion or event:
- Corporate catering for all-day meetings, breakfasts, lunches, teas, workshops, presentations, conferences, seminars, functions and celebrations, and other business occasions, including film sets and outdoor events.
- Private functions for social occasions like birthday parties, milestones, engagements, pre-wedding luncheons, baby showers, anniversaries, christenings, celebrations, and events.
- Community occasions for social clubs and organisations, aged care facilities and retirement villages, non-profit events, fundraisers, awards and galas, and the arts, including photoshoots and film sets.
Our friendly team can help you tailor your order to suit dietary and budget requirements. Don’t have time to spare? Simply tell us about your occasion, and we will do the rest. You can arrange to collect your order, or you can have it delivered to you.
- NO ADDED PRESERVATIVES, MSG, FLAVOURS OR COLOURS
- FREE RANGE HALAL & AUSTRALIAN MEATS
- AUSTRALIAN SEAFOOD
- WE ONLY USE LOCAL & FRESH PRODUCE
- IMPORTED GREEK OLIVE OIL & FETA CHEESE
- ONLY THE FRESHEST FOOD MADE ON THE PREMISES
Baked daily with the finest ingredients
Our sweet treats are made on-site with the best ingredients; from traditional Greek biscuits and specialties to popular classics, signature treats, whole cakes, and celebration cakes. We invite you to browse the galleries below. You can enjoy our cakes at Vanilla, or you can purchase them over the counter take away – the perfect treat when you visit family and friends or even at work! If you are after a celebration cake, our experienced cake consultants will be thrilled to help.
Vanilla Upstairs is the Perfect Place for Your Event! From birthday parties, Christenings and high teas, through to Christmas parties or corporate functions, presentations, product launches and other events, Vanilla Upstairs can cater for small or large groups in a classy and sophisticated space.
Whether you’re celebrating a family night out or a milestone, we can design and tailor a package to suit your requirements and budget.
The Brass Room
A sophisticated dining area for all seasons. Enclosed with our feature wine rack, a fireplace, American oak panelling and under a canopy of brass sails, this dining lounge is perfect for birthdays, corporate meetings, get-togethers, communions, christenings, engagements or work functions.
Depending on the time, date or size of the booking, you may enjoy it all for yourselves or with others.
A perfect alfresco dining area. Weatherproof and filled with natural light from our custom-designed skylights and glass balustrades, this dining area provides patrons with a space to enjoy the ambience of an original and bespoke design that incorporates a panoramic view of the sky.
Depending on the time, date or size of the booking, you may enjoy it all for yourselves or with others.
“Calling the crowds that gather in Eaton Mall, Vanilla Lounge in Oakleigh is a popular family-run venue specialising in Mediterranean fare and mouth-watering cakes. Boasting a large alfresco area to observe the shoppers in action, this ever-bustling venue is well renowned for its generous community spirit and warm welcome.
With an extensive selection of Mediterranean and Greek fare on offer, Vanilla Lounge dishes out an array of delicious options like warm pan-fried sweet chilli calamari with homemade dressing, as well as lamb souvlaki with salad, chips, tzatziki and pita bread.
For those looking to linger, pair a choice from the well-crafted wine list with the meat platter for two, or indulge with one of Vanilla Lounge’s specialty desserts, made daily on-site by talented pastry chefs.”
Kalimera Souvlaki Art Cafe Oakleigh
Making a difference through Souvlaki Art.
So they decided to make it happen. With hard work, inspiration and the desire to share all what Thomas had learnt throughout his valuable experience
Thus, in the very heart of the greek community in Oakleigh, SOUVLAKI ART made the difference…. A unique combination of both traditional and progressive, where the best, carefully selected meat, and quality fresh vegetables with just the right spice are wrapped in delicious pitta bread, KALIMERA SOUVLAKI ART is a restaurant which will WRAP you around!!!!
What we do & why we do it.
The only way to transmit the voice of truth to someone is to have heard it yourself and to have let this truth become part of your life. Thomas Deliopoulos heard this voice from a loving couple of deaf-mute, who happened to be his parents. Their physical disability, instead of a curse turned into a blessing as they developed a very special bond with the land and the cattle.
Raised by an agricultural family, which was also involved in stock-breeding, young Thomas realised from his early childhood the gift of being in contact with mother nature and learned how to collect, in full respect, the best of the products it had to offer. Young Thomas very soon developed a passion for cooking; it was for him something more than a simple hobby. He learnt from his family background the importance of selecting the best raw materials and that authentic good taste lies in simplicity and excellent quality…this often beats sophistication which sometimes covers taste instead of enhancing it.
From humble beginnings.
At the age of 17, he joined the army where he was chosen as a cook. He serviced for 16 years in officers’ clubs, based in Greece and overseas, in NATO. At the same time, he worked in the free market collaborating with restaurants, bars etc. He reached one point when he felt that this circle was over and that it was about time to quit the army; it had never been a field of expression for him anyway.
But every end leads to a new beginning…Tom decided to take the next big step. A real challenge it was…His wife and son are Australian citizens, so the whole family moved to Melbourne for a brand new start. Once settled, they realised that despite the numerous souvlaki restaurants, something was missing. One with authentic taste, …AUTHENTIC is for Thomas the keyword for tasty cooking (Authentic is the keyword for almost everything)
The Oakleigh Doughnut Co
(03) 9569 8171
At TODCO, we have been proudly serving artisan doughnuts and specialty coffee since July 2017.
Our objective is to produce the freshest doughnuts in Melbourne together with a memorable in-store experience.
To achieve this, we fry and decorate our doughnuts in small batches throughout the day to ensure a superior product and pride ourselves on exceptional customer service.
Our Oakleigh & South Yarra stores showcase our range of 26 yeast-raised and cake doughnut flavours.
Through our kitchen window, you can view our skilled pastry chefs work meticulously in our purposely designed doughnut kitchen.
We also know the importance of quality coffee.
That’s why we have chosen Industry Beans as our specialty coffee roaster.
We serve up their signature blend’ Fitzroy Street’ at both locations, Oakleigh & South Yarra.
Flavour profile & composition:
Blackcurrant – 33% Montana Verde, Honduras
Blood Orange – 33% San Rafael, Colombia
Chocolate – 34% Ruhora, Burundi
Fitzroy Street’s flavour profile is equally delicious both black and with milk, with its bright acidity, dark fruit notes and smooth finish.
This coffee is a perfect match for our delicious doughnuts!
We look forward to seeing you in the store!
Born in Oakleigh, brothers Yani and Nic’s fondest childhood memories were eating their Grandmother’s freshly made sweets.
It was these memories that gave them the inspiration to design exceptional artisan doughnuts and serve specialty coffee in the suburb they were raised in.
Every single doughnut has been through the brother’s rigorous creation process, and they are delighted to share them with you.
Oasis Café Oakleigh
+61 3 9570 1121
From our family to yours, experience the tradition and the passion of Oasis. Since 1998, this Australian owned and operated family business has been sharing authentic food from around the world with fellow food lovers.
With stores in both Murrumbeena and Fairfield, you’ll find a bustling café serving deliciousness, an immense gourmet grocery store with an unmatched range, a deli of epicurean proportions, the freshest fresh food market, and outstanding prices throughout. You’ll even find beautiful events spaces and a popular cooking school. We take pride in making everybody feel at home. Drop-in, we’d love to show you around.
From the Makool family with pride, experience the tradition and the passion of Oasis.
Since 1998, this Australian owned and operated family business has been sharing authentic food from around the world with fellow food lovers.
At the heart of the Oasis, the story is the Makool family that emigrated from Lebanon in the 1970s, along with a strong tradition of bringing people together through food sharing.
Over 20 years of hard work and a commitment to quality has seen three generations of the family transform a humble food store in Melbourne’s southeast into an iconic part of the city’s culinary scene. Today Oasis Murrumbeena is home to a bustling café, a gourmet grocery store, a deli of epicurean proportions, a fresh food market and popular cooking school.
If you find yourself on the northside, pop into Oasis Fairfield, right in the midst of it on Station Street, Fairfield. We’ve created a new store where you’ll find all your favourite groceries, a cafe where you can get the same delicious meals you’ve grown to love, a cooking school where Oasis founder Marwa Makool, takes the time to share her passion for food with you and a beautiful light-filled function and events space where you’ll feel at home sharing wonderful food and experiences with your friends and family.
The Oasis name is also found in independent supermarkets everywhere on a wide range of freshly baked breads and Lebanese pizzas, exotic spices, delicious dips, pantry provisions and many other products inspired by the flavours of the Middle East.
While the business continues to grow, it has maintained its dedication to sharing great food, offering friendly service and providing an atmosphere unlike anywhere else. Oasis is a food lover’s paradise, with pride and passion in every dish.
Kentro Oakleigh Café
(03) 9939 6371
KENTRO, located in the heart of Oakleigh, presents to you a modernised Greek restaurant. With your first steps into KENTRO, welcomed by our friendly staff, the feeling of a sense of Greece begins.
The open space layout allows you to relax with comfort and ease. The mesmerising unique design of the Ancient Greek wall takes you to the heart of Greece.
Open for breakfast lunch and dinner, KENTRO offers a wide-ranged menu to suit every individual’s requests. From traditional Mediterranean cuisine to modern, we have it all! And you cannot miss out on our unique mouth-watering desserts. All baked on our premises, our pastry chefs deliver a wide range of traditional Greek and modern sweets and biscuits, as well as a large variety of our incomparable divine cakes offered in our display.
Thinking of hosting a function? KENTRO upstairs delivers an eccentric feel with its wooden architecture and private feel. Hosting up to 200 seated, along with a foyer, stage, dance floor and a fully licensed bar, KENTRO, ‘The Meeting Place’ awaits your arrival.
Muffin Break Oakleigh Café
+61 3 9569 0044
Nothing beats freshly baked food, or coffee made using the freshest beans. That’s why every Muffin Break has its kitchen, baking throughout the day, so everything we serve is as good as it can be.
Good Food. Good Coffee. Good Times.
IT’S WHAT WE’RE ALL ABOUT.
HAPPINESS IS HANDMADE
At Muffin Break, we’re all about fresh and always have been. We work hard to carefully select and source the freshest ingredients and the finest coffee beans, giving you all the more reason to enjoy every last mouthful, and every last drop.
We bake daily in all of our stores and freshly grind your coffee to order. Our kitchens may be pocket-size, but they’re expertly designed giving us the capacity to hand make all of your favourites and something a little special each and every day.
Our bakers are hard at work from 4 am daily ensuring freshly baked muffins are out of the oven before you arrive as well as preparing other savoury delights such as our classic bacon and egg roll and famous handmade carrot cake.
We’re a family-owned and operated business. Each of our stores is locally owned and operated by our franchisees who are proud of the communities they serve and love nothing more than to see you leave with a smile on your face.
The Muffin Break Story
Muffin Break first opened its doors in Coolangatta, Queensland in 1989.
From humble beginnings, we now have over 210 stores in Australia. You’ll find us predominantly in shopping centres, but we continue to innovate and evolve into other locations such as airports, train stations as well as children’s play centres more recently, through our licensed partnership with Crocs Playcentres.
Our overseas footprint also continues to expand with bakery-cafes in New Zealand and the United Kingdom too, taking our total store count over 300 internationally.
Café Spacho Oakleigh Café in Melbourne
03 9563 3107
Our Tassone family has been operating pizza shops for 35-years in Adelaide.
We headed to Melbourne 6-years ago with one goal in mind: to share our Tassone family tradition, our South of Italy Calabrian and Catanzaro background, and our love and
passion for Italian family recipes with our customers. Providing dishes that are
fresh, hearty, and simply unforgettable.
All are welcome!
we also cater
Call us, and we can help with catering for any occasion, birthdays, parties, meetings, school events etc.
Chichi Café House Oakleigh
03 9917 2197
The Chichi Cafe story begins with our passion for excellent coffee and delicious food. Since 2012, our family-owned coffee shop located in Hughesdale has been a warm and inviting hub where locals, young families, University students and people from all walks of life can gather and catch up over warm beverages, hearty brunch meals, delicious lunch spreads and afternoon snacks.
We are driven by our mission to create unique fresh dishes using the finest ingredients and perfect the craft of coffee making together with our roaster.
We take pride in our friendly service and will continue to serve good coffee and tasty grubs for everyone with a smile.
iCake Café Oakleigh
+61 404 666 609
iCake Patisserie is the art on the tip of the tongue. The joy of sharing together and lingering nostalgia customise your gorgeous cake and the sweet taste that melts in your mouth.
Discover our cakes
Founded in 2013, a cake is the heart of iCake, and quality is the soul. We only choose the finest ingredients from worldwide, handcrafted with our passionate pastry chefs, baked daily on-premise, you will having the most authentic and delicate taste of every cake. At iCake, we focus on creating; our pastry chefs proudly create more than 1600 cake designs in 6 years. And we believe that when cakes become art, it is iCake.
iCake offers the complete joyful experience from ordering to sharing.
With 6000 designs of our birthday cakes and desserts, you will find that your happiness is such simple.
iCake offers a huge range of free delivery for our customers who like to stay at home to enjoy family time, and we cover the hardest work for you.
Creation is the heart of iCake, and quality is the soul. We only choose the finest ingredients from worldwide, handcrafted with our passionate pastry chefs, baked daily on-premise, you will be having the most authentic and delicate taste of every cake. At iCake, we focus on creation; our pastry chefs proudly create 20 flavours and more than 6000 designs since 2012.
iCake adhere to superb production technology, strict quality control and high standard of food hygiene, and has become a trusted brand in Melbourne.
We believe that when cakes become art, it is iCake.
Just Italy Oakleigh Café
+61 404 364 031
Our story began in 2015 when Tonino Amadio from Le Marche, Ascoli Piceno took over an existing Pasta shop of 30 years in Oakleigh. From there, the Just Italy name has continued to grow as we provide Melbournians with authentic Italian cooking…just like Nonnas.
In 2015 Tonino Amadio, who hails from Le Marche, a region in the centre of Italy that hugs the Adriatic Sea, created Just Italy…a small Italian pasta shop nestled in the heart of Oakleigh. The philosophy was very simple; to offer authentic Italian food, house-made products and uncompromising hospitality.
Three years later, Tonino met Sam Colosimo. A general conversation about business and their love of Italian food commenced, as did a new chapter at Just Italy as Sam joined the business.
Although the business continues to grow with new locations opening around Melbourne, Tonino and Sam’s core value remains the same; re-creating Italy in Australia. It’s about no-frills, good, authentic food…just like Nonna’s.
Come on down to a Just Italy location near you and experience a little piece of Italy for yourself.
See you at the bar.
Italian Touch Café Restaurant Oakleigh
03 9568 4499
Our chef is Italian born and raised and has been in Australia for four years. He has always been passionate about food and owned his first restaurant at 18 years of age. His desire was to bring beautiful, traditional Italian food to the people of Melbourne where they could enjoy this experience in their own home.
At Il Italian Touch Cafe Restaurant, our mission is to provide our guests with the most authentic Italian experience outside of Italy.
We are open for breakfast, lunch and dinner we cater for large parties, private dining groups, and special events are welcome at our restaurant.
Using the freshest ingredients and traditional cooking techniques, Italian Touch offers a wide variety of premium-quality Italian food paired with great coffee and juices in the centre of Oakleigh, Vic. The kitchen is supervised and guided by Executive Chef Placido Caroppi using recipes and preparations that Italians have mastered over centuries of making great food.
This passion for authenticity has been fostered for almost 15 years. Discover it for yourself by signing up for our Newsletter.
Mythos Gyros Bar Café Oakleigh
(03) 9568 6060
MYTHOS GYROS BAR IS LOCATED ON EATON MALL INOAKLEIGH’S FAMOUS GREEK PRECINCT. SERVING AUTHENTIC, TRADITIONAL GREEK FOOD INCLUDING SOUVLAKI & GYROS CHICKEN (KOTOPOULO), PORK RIB (PANSETTA), KEBAB (SOUTZOUKAKI), DIPS (TZATZIKI, MELITZANA, TIROKAFTERI) AND A RANGE OF DELICIOUS SALADS SUCH AS GREEK HORIATIKI, BEETROOT AND SLAW HELLAS. WE ALSO HAVE A LARGE RANGE OF LOCAL AND IMPORTED BEERS INCLUDING GREEK FAVORITE MYTHOS.
Cote Terra Café Oakleigh
Do you take bookings?
Yes, we do take bookings on the weekdays, but unfortunately, we don’t take bookings on the weekends.
Do you do the function?
Yes, we can do functions for up to 50 pax during the evening. Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
Do you serve alcohol?
We serve a range of wines, tap beer and some basic cocktails.
This Is Who We Are
Since first opening its doors in June 2012, Cote Terra has become a hub for speciality coffee lovers and foodies in Oakleigh and surrounding neighbourhoods. As it evolves, now located at its new Station Street premises with extended trading hours, evening menu and bar, Cote Terra continues to stay true to its humble roots and values. Offering delicious, affordable and contemporary food and drinks in a welcoming environment is only the surface of Cote Terra’s central philosophy. Their core principles extend to sustainability, with most of the stores’ products sourced locally. The Cote Terra team also shows strong support for their community, often promoting local artists/events and maintaining ongoing positive relationships with nearby small businesses. Much loved by long time regulars and brand new faces alike, Cote Terra continues to do things differently and from the heart.
In 2017, we launched our own coffee roasted in Braeside Victoria. All our coffee bean is carefully sourced by the team, as we believe in serving what we like to drink.
Furthermore, education is one important part of any industry. Hence, we would like to pass on the things we know, so the establishment of our barista school is formed.
5FIVE Cafe Oakleigh
(03) 9078 5440
“IN THE HEART OF EATON MALL IN OAKLEIGH, THE ATMOSPHERE AT 5FIVE BAKEHOUSE IS LIVELY AND ENJOYABLE. THE INTERIOR IS MODERN AND IMPRESSIVE. THE OPTIONS HERE NEVER DISAPPOINT WITH AN ALL DAY BREAKFAST, DELICIOUS SLIDERS, PIZZA AND SPECIALS. THE ARRAY OF CAKES IS ALWAYS TEMPTING AS WE NEVER GO HOME EMPTY HANDED. THE SERVICE IS FRIENDLY, EFFICIENT AND PROFESSIONAL WITH THE OWNERS OVERSEEING ORDERS ARRIVE IN MINIMAL TIME. ON OUR MOST RECENT VISIT LAST WEEK, WE HAD SMASHED AVOCADO, EGGS AND LAMB SLIDERS ALL AT REASONABLE PRICES. BEING FUSSY COFFEE DRINKERS, THE BARRISTAS KNOW HOW TO PUMP OUT GREAT TASTING COFFEE. HIGHLY RECOMMEND AS KID FRIENDLY.”
WE OFFER A RANGE OF CATERING FOR ALL OCCASIONS: PRIVATE PARTIES, CORPORATE FUNCTIONS & CASUAL GATHERINGS. FOR ALL CATERING ENQUIRIES PLEASE FILL OUT THE FORM WITH YOUR DETAILS AND WE WILL BE IN TOUCH WITH YOU SHORTLY OR ALTERNATIVELY PLEASE CALL US DIRECTLY ON 03 9078 5441
Things To Know Before Opening Café
Opening a coffee shop can be extremely profitable if you do it right. Pass by any busy specialty café shop, and it will likely be full of customers enjoying coffee, espresso, lattes, teas, and a variety of pastries and other goodies. Serving quality coffees and snacks in a trendy, relaxing atmosphere is a hugely successful business model pioneered by Starbucks, which has grown to more than 31,000 coffeehouse locations around the world. If you love coffee and are looking for a business opportunity, this is your guide to starting a café shop and making it a success.
The start to any great business out there is always a well detailed and outlined business plan! A business plan is a set of documents that spell out what the business is all about! Found on these documents are detailed future objectives to even the specific strategies for how to achieve those objectives. Before creating your business, look at it from three different standpoints: marketing, financial, and operational. After the business plan is created, you’ll have a better sense of your dream coffee shop’s achievability.
Where will your coffee shop be? Who is your target market? If your target market is college students, think about having your location in high trafficked areas, such as the library or study space. If your target market is workers on their way into the office, try thinking about having your location be close and a convenient walking distance from many office buildings. Finding a location will not happen right away! It takes time and research. It always helps to be familiar with the area before deciding to place a business there, so we recommend spending some time in the area you want your business to be. The most important way to have a successful coffee shop is to make sure it’s centrally located! If an area is already exhausted by the competition, chances are not the right place for your coffee shop.
Create a floor plan
A solid and welcoming floor plan is vital for a coffee shop. You want customers to have space to form a line, employees to have the materials they need within reach for quick access and a comfortable seating area. As with finding a location, it will take some time to produce a good floor plan.
According to Wilson, you should, “walk yourself through every scenario you can think of,” he says. “If you’re making coffee, what needs to be near you? If you’re a customer, what do you want in a seating area? Visualise everything you can and start putting those ideas down on paper.”
Your whole business is primarily about one thing: your coffee! It’s essential to choose to source your coffee from a place you not only like the flavour of but feel that you can trust. Many customers LOVE seeing that the coffee that they’re enjoying is local, so browse around local coffee distributors to see if any of their brands will work best for you.
Most importantly, taste your coffee before selling it to your customers. That may sound like a no-brainer, but we still have to ensure we mention it! Have friends and family members try out the product before displaying it out in the world. Aside from your coffee, your coffee brand is also very important.
We can not emphasise enough the importance a logo has on a business! The business logo is the first thing your customers see when they walk into your shop, and the last thing they see as they take their finishing sip of your amazing coffee. Your logo is the face of your company, so it’s important that you put devoted thought into it. The logo is what customers pinpoint as the recognising factor with your brand.
Take the logo as the cover of a book. We all know the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, but come on; we all know everyone does. Make sure your logo is professional-looking, aesthetically pleasing, and truly conveys what your brand is.
Any single way there is to get your name out there, do it! Start your marketing even before you open for business! Create social media pages and begin posting what your up and coming business is all about to peak potential customers’ interests. Participate in pop-ups, making appearances at local festivals and farmers markets. Call your local news outlets to let them know that you’re ready to take the town by storm and how excited you are for everyone to try your coffee! Any way you can think of getting people excited for your brand, even before opening, assures an excellent turnout for opening day!
If money is tight, create an Instagram and Facebook account. Doing so is free and incredibly easy. Begin posting aesthetically pleasing shots of sample drinks or how the shop is coming together to get people interested and excited about your business. Maybe even begin with a give-away! Create a contest post saying that you’ll give away $50 worth of coffee to one lucky person; all they have to do is tag three friends below and make sure everyone follows you! Believe it or not, hundreds of comments will begin popping up in seconds, exposing more people to your brand.
Have a positive attitude
Like every business, you’ll face challenges to get your shop off the ground. Renson says keeping a positive attitude when things aren’t going your way is a must. Not only does it benefit your outlook, but it showcases strong leadership to your employees and a welcoming presence for customers.
Fake it if you have to. Get in the habit of keeping an optimistic attitude. Even if it’s less than genuine to start, you’ll eventually teach yourself to stay upbeat and support those around you optimistic and ready to work.
Work at a cafe to know what it is all about
Everyone has got an (optimistic) idea of what “working at a cafe” means. Most people think it is about chit-chatting in a peaceful environment. The reality is different though, and more so in those cafes that are successful. To sell 100 espresso-based coffees/day could mean steaming milk about 50 times, washing up about 100 cups, 100 saucers and 100 water glasses. You would spend most of the day cleaning, no chit-chatting. You prepare the cafe before opening hours, clean a lot of equipment throughout the day while distributing and pouring coffees, and in the evening you need to put everything in place, ready for the next day. It is not for everybody, and the most challenging part is only communication with customers.
Coffee customers are a pretty diverse group of people, and you can expect loads of different opinions, criticism and complaints included. To deal with this, you need to have a reasonable level of self-confidence, authority, and experience. Now that is a combination that not everyone possesses, and sometimes you find out only when doing the work yourself. Every customer can share his knowledge of social networks nowadays, especially if it is negative! Facebook, Twitter and Tripadvisor are some of those networks.
We find that people come back to places that do their job with honesty. They are more likely to recommend the place to friends then. You do not need to have the best cakes in the world, but if you use quality ingredients to make your products, people are happy to pay for the great effort. The same rule goes for coffee brewing as well. Buying expensive equipment is not enough. If you buy good machines and start a contract with a great roaster, you are on the best way to make a good cup of coffee. Nobody is perfect, though!
Invest in yourself and your staff. Pay for a good espresso and filter coffee brewing courses. You can try to convince an experienced barista to help you out in the beginning. If you want to learn to make nice latte art, you will need to buy 40 litres of milk, and practice. Just be ready for demanding customers and have high demands on yourself as well! Healthy self-criticism is good for you. For a wider range of opinions and feedback, we recommend you to consult your skills with your roaster, too.