Archive for the ‘Business Meetings’ Category

Chapter Too

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

110 Canterbury Rd, Heathmont VIC.

The quality is spreading like spilled coffee nectar into the outer suburbs of Melbourne.  Say hello to Chapter Too,..  three suits decided to abandon the cubical life and have a crack.    I’m here for the coffee, so food will have to rely on your own experience.

My take was a lovely, well made, earthy and buttery coffee delivered post haste.  The service was great, the team friendly and attentive.  They have wireless here but alas today it was on blink.  If you are near by this is a must visit,.. say hi from us…  2 big beans.



This got me thinking, are you thinking about setting up a coffee shop?

Is there anyone still in the corporate space,.. or is it just that the lights are on?   My impression is that more and more corporate types are leaving the relative security (or maybe not) of the corporate world and setting up cafes or restaurants.  

They are buying them, operationalising them using their corporate skills then 6 to 12 months latter going back into the corporate world with another asset on the personal balance sheet.  It must make for a different feeling should redundancies and restructures occur.

MCR is on the hunt for people to interview for our next article on this phenomenon.  If you are a corporate worker, and are looking to buy or establish a café or restaurant, or in fact have already done it, we want to ask you a few questions.   If you have a mo, please fill out this survey, and we might be calling you for an interview!






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Coffee, Ideas and the Coffice

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

If you live in Melbourne, Sydney, New York, San Francisco, Portland, Toronto, London, or any other major city with a coffee culture and haven’t noticed that increasingly, office workers are streaming out of the corporate workspace to indulge in great boutique roasted coffee in groovy cafes instead of utilizing the corporate office work spaces, meeting rooms and break out areas, you are probably the café’s barista and too busy stick your head up to notice.

Why do business people prefer to do their work and have their meetings in cafes? What happened in the last five years that has emboldened the workforce to get up, and walk out into the lobby, hit the lift button and leave the work place where rent is paid, and coffee is, all be it poor quality, generally free?

Many corporations know this to be the case and are trying to stem the tide. They are building breakout areas, and embedding multiple $10,000 coffee machines or in some cases actual cafes (costing tens of thousands to set up) with baristas to stem the flow. They conclude that ‘bums not on seats’ equals lower productivity and so a prelude to an erosion of profits. Is this true?

There was a time when people took off for a smoke a few times a day and perhaps now they do the coffee thing?

Clearly professionals feel like they can do better work in cafes or over a coffee? Why do people with business ideas pitch them in cafes? What is it about a great business idea, drawn on a café napkin, make it better than on a white board in the office?

Corporate work teams love to meet in cafes rather than the meeting room paid for by the firm; that is irrefutable. There is something about receiving a coffee in a café that disarms and prepares people for an exchange of ideas, thoughts and opinions. City workers love it when they hear, “were going downstairs for a coffee, would you like to come?” They extract themselves from the work pod in a flash and can now rejoin the human race for a moment. No doubt, the lunch room is a shorter and cheaper trip.

When did coffee become the thing to do in modern society? What is going on?
Macquarie Bank has café’s embedded with their buildings, as they conspire to keep traders and other knowledge workers a small a distance from the point where they produce wealth as possible. The firm ‘Tru Energy’ has break out areas with coffee lounges and groove automatic coffee machines yet people prefer to go to the café in the alleyway down the back of the building. Australian engineering firm Boulderstone spent more than $20,000 on in-house latte machines to keep their workers working.

It’s no secret that Google has taken the whole concept of ‘keep ’em working longer’ by providing everything including coffee, massage, food, dry cleaning – the list goes on. The bottom line is that Larry Page, the CEO of Google, encapsulated the feeling of most employers when he confessed recently he wanted the workers working “all the time!”. Let me be clear, I don’t have an issue with that as long as working = fun = money, and = happiness and joy!

Wisdom tells us that a pause, a moment of stillness in our day, a chance to come into the moment, is a doorway to balance and wellbeing in our life. Profits are important but people I believe are taking more responsibility of their own mental health and general well being and productivity for that matter.

I think that the coffee shop and great coffee is the modern temple for the city dwelling cyberworkers of the day, where they are taking charge of not only that, but also hatching and planning their own next exciting entrepreneurial, professional, social or political adventures.
Progressive employers have a great opportunity to leverage off this phenomenon. Workshops, brainstorms, business planning and strategy meetings are all employee gatherings where coffee and coffee culture can act as the fertilizer for great ideas and outcomes!

Peter Christo
Founder, Melbourne Coffee Review

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Culinaria Gem in the Burb

Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013

Vote for this cafe!

It’s not always possible to be in the hip part of Melb where cafe houses are abundant and the coffee delights sublime. There is of course the category of ‘that place near by’ that by all accounts does a great job in servicing those of us more that 5km out of the CBD. Tucked in Brenford square is Culinaria a cafe bar that does a damn fine job in delivering across my favorite items. fast and friendly service, a decent coffee, made as I asked, and a place to pop my laptop open. They do Beraldo which is a solid performer in the cafe roaster league.

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The church of Cafenatics on fire!

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013

Something about the Cafenatics guys that is a cut above the rest. They are not only great coffee makers, but undertake to create the experience for their breakfast and lunch businesses like a quality restauranteur.

I am checking out their recent star on Church Lane off Collins. This is a slick fitout, relaxed atmosphear that appeals to the urban worker, for that hearty breakfast, essential caffien hit or business meets.

Of course the coffees are as much about redundancy packages, new business startups, projects and who is sleeping with who in the office, that is a constant. Essentially I say Cafernatics is in step with the times and offers a great coffee and food experience. Mind you, I don’t see wifi anywhere.

I tried their coffee of the day, the single origin from Costa Rica, Pepe, which was a delightful, bright and smooth coffee, perfect to kick off my day.

Well done you guys.

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