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Loren Burgess
March 31, 2017

Coffee Shop Case Study: EC1 Coffee House

One day in the life... EC1 Coffee House 

So you think you have what it takes to own and run a coffeeshop? 
Not sure what your day to day would look like if you do decide to run with your plans? 
Let Nobly POS and the owner of EC1 Coffee Shop, Daniel, take you through a typical day in the life of their family coffeeshop.   
"There are still thousands and thousands of places in the UK that don't yet have a decent coffee experience," says Jeffrey Young, managing director of Allegra Strategies, which produces detailed research on the coffee market. Having read this comment, we set out to disprove this and demonstrate that this doesn’t have to be the case. To do so, we sat with the lovely people over at EC1 Coffee to dismiss this once and for all. 
We got stuck in to it with Dan over at EC1 to find out the details you need to know. 
How did you come to own and operate EC1 Coffee House?  
My family has always run restaurants, we used to own the restaurant next door, and so when I was 16, my parents bought this space, which they then later sold 2 years later. Then 2.5 years ago, some Italian guys were using the space as a sandwich shop and we bought the space back and have been operating ever since.  
What is a typical day like for you? 
05.40 - I get up, get myself organised and ready for the day ahead. I also travel over to the shop in Clerkenwell.
07.00 - I arrive at the coffee shop and start setting up, organising the food items we are going to sell over the day. We’re family run, so whichever member of my family is due to work that day will also arrive and help me get ready for the day, making sure we’ve got enough of all our products.
07.30 - 10.00 we have a huge morning rush, as we are located really close to loads of office buildings around Clerkenwell, so we churn out mostly just coffees for people on their way to work. 
10.00 - 12.00 - People tend to start leaving their offices, for meetings, or grab bulk orders to take back to their office and we also get a few groups of people who come to the coffee shop to chill out and catch up with each other. At this time people buy more food items such as pastries and are generally a bit less rushed. 
12.00 - 14.00 - We run a busy lunch time service, again loads of coffee is sold, but also even more food, so sandwiches, pastries, granola bars and sweet items that we offer, again this time of day gets more chilled and people are less rushed. 
14.00 - 16.00 - We get more coffee orders, people popping out of their office for bulk pastries and sweet orders. 
16.00 - 17.00 - Trade tends to wind down and so do we, we still have a few orders, but it is a lot more chilled out and close down for the day, organising and getting ready for the following day.  
EC1-coffee.jpgWhat has been the hardest part about working in a coffee shop? 
Not being able to eat sweets every day is hard, they are so tempting. Nothing is really hard, the customers and regulars make it really fun, we hardly have any new people coming past, so always having the same people means we’ve built a huge rapport with our regulars and we know how to get on with all of them individually. In any business I believe you need a lot of good customer service, especially for us, so we can keep our customers and get it all right with our products. 
What have been and are the biggest challenges you face running a coffee shop? 
Keeping everyone happy and giving people the right amount of attention, some people like to talk, some like to be left alone or acknowledged so finding that balance can be tough. 
What has been one of the most unusual conversations you’ve overheard? 
We once had a guy come in to our coffee shop and ask Do you sell coffee?’ So I looked at the coffee machine, looked back at him straight in the eyes and then once more at the coffee machine, before saying to him no sorry, you’ll need to go down the road,’ that made me laugh. 

EC1-products.jpgIs there anything you wish you knew before you started selling coffee here? 
Don't compete on price! Everything is worth learning the fairly hard way and making mistakes helps, I’m glad I’ve made the mistakes I've made, otherwise we wouldn't be doing as well as we are. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, they are inevitable.  
Which features of Nobly POS help you the most in your day to day tasks? 
For me, the back office, inventory management and stock analytics are the most helpful tools, I really like knowing how many of each product has been sold, being able to break it down to the exact products and how simple it is even on such an in-depth level. 
From this we hope to swayed you to want your own coffee shop that little bit more and to help you along the way to you have provided further insight in to a typical day that you have to look forward should you venture on to coffee shop ownership with Nobly POS as your Point of Sale provider.