Opening a Café? Some Extra Costs to Consider

November 28, 2016 by  
Filed under Food, Goods and Services

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cafe-interiorOpening your own café is the ultimate dream come true. It’s a chance to show off your skills in cooking or drink making, to find a way to build a community around your space and to exercise your business acumen. It’s an exciting prospect, but it’s also a lot of work. Aside from the occasional burn, and slow day, there are some extra costs that some of us miss when we’re envisioning that dream.

Inventory Costs

All those white paper cups add up to real dollars when you’re looking at your costs for the year. That’s one area where new business owners tend to get wrong. Ordering too little means you’re out when you may have a customer rush. Ordering too much means you’ll have lots of extra inventory for next year, if you make it that long. You want to avoid those extra costs as much as possible by looking at whatever seasonal sales data is available to you. This is one reason why many people opt for the franchise model. They tend to provide this data to you, so you can base your work on their previous findings.

You can also look closely at the materials used in the coffee cups and lids you buy. Be forewarned that you can cut costs by going with cheaper materials but it’s smarter to get better quality cups in bulk. Customers know a shoddy product when they see one, and that’s not how most people want their businesses to be remembered.

Branding Costs

Ordering paper coffee cups in bulk also saves you money when you’re looking into branding. Those fancy Starbucks cups come at a cost, but the premium is worth it to the company because the benefit from brand recognition. Many frozen yogurt franchises do the same, with bright colors and intricate logos. Look into printing costs for these items. Is it cheaper to print on bags or cups? What about colored spoons and branded merchandise? What about loyalty cards? All of these methods help develop branding and encourage customer loyalty.

Regulations and Fees

The final hidden cost is the cost to do business in your state. Does your state have particular health codes or requirements you must adhere to, outside of the basic ones required to keep your food safe for consumption? If so, you may need additional equipment to comply, or permits to operate. You should also check with your city’s Chamber of Commerce to find out what they recommend, and if they have resources for you to get started.

Gelato Products sells coffee cups and lids in bulk, with free ground shipping available throughout the United States.

Packing for a multi-day kayaking trip

November 17, 2016 by  
Filed under Travel

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9952_Gov_003Written by Crystal Seas

A kayak vacation can be one that gives you the chance to do what you love while learning and bettering your hobbies. However, packing for more than a one-day kayak trip can be stressful and if you forgot an important item, you may have to hold on your paddle for one more day.

The type of water you will be traveling on will affect the type of gear you need to carry. For example, if you are traveling in open water you will require additional navigational equipment, signaling, and safety gear. Your water will also impact the boat you use and how much storage space is available for gear. Here are some of the items you may need;

General gear – Sleeping bag, Personal mug, plate, Spork, Toiletries, Water pump or purification system, Compact stove, Stove fuel, Kitchen & cooking kit, Tarp or shelter, power pack, headlamp.

Supplies – Food (labeled by day or meal), Water storage, Repair equipment, Breakdown or backup paddle, Duct tape, Needle and thread (for skirt repair), Zip ties  (for boat repair).

Safety Gear – Basic first aid kit, communication device, GPS or navigational device, Emergency contacts.

Clothing & Wearable Gear- Personal Flotation Device, Knife, Whistle, Board shorts or swim suits, Synthetic hat, Sandals, Waterproof footwear and gloves, rain coat, Wetsuit or drysuit, Synthetic socks, Bag for dirty laundry clothes.

Small Essentials – Water bottle, Lighters, Sunscreen, Sunglasses, Bug spray, Camera and dry bag, Bear spray

Crystal Seas can give you everything you need—including training—and guide you through your Washington kayak adventure.