Cafe Luwak adjusts to create new opportunities

April 2, 2009 by  
Filed under News

March sales dramatically increase thanks to new Sunday breakfast

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After 4 years of steady growth, Café Luwak saw things changing this year with their growth shrinking into the single digits for January and February. With costs going up and a kitchen remodeling project halfway completed, owner Jim Karnopp decided he had to do something to bring in new business.

“We have been planning to add a full breakfast menu for the past two years, but until our remodeling project is finished, we don’t have the infrastructure to support that business” Karnopp said. He decided that they could do a breakfast buffet on Sundays, and that would get them moving in the right direction. “My thoughts were if we could start doing the buffet, our customers would see what was coming and we could start building up our base of regulars”.

Karnopp started the buffet in March and by the end of the month his growth for the month was almost 20% over last year, and Sundays, which used to be the slowest day of the week, are now the busiest.

“We started our buffet without much of a marketing effort because we wanted to learn what we were doing without falling on our face. We are still learning, but the buffet is growing very quickly through word of mouth. By the third Sunday we had doubled the business of the first one and we are already seeing a nice group of regulars. I really love the atmosphere of the café when the buffet is going. It feels like the nice local place to go where you can catch up with your neighbors.” Karnopp said.

“I think one of the big things that is leading to our success overall is that we are family friendly and non smoking. My whole business plan is based on keeping prices low, quality high, and getting the volume to support that kind of business. So far with our buffet, it looks like we are going keep our growth in line with our business plan.”

Karnopp said he plans to expand his Sunday buffet to Saturdays as soon as he gets his new coolers installed. After that he will be adding breakfast to order throughout the week. Karnopp wouldn’t go into any details, but he said that he is going to be adding to his lunch and dinner menus eventually too. “In this economy, you have to keep working on new ideas and trying things out. We plan to be here for quite a while, and experimenting with new ideas is half the fun of owning a business like this.”

Source: Jim Karnopp, Cafe Luwak

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