Business Snapshot: Cafe 202

Posted: 20th Sep

Three years ago Bree Kent returned to Swan Hill to live the dream of being a small business owner.

After a corporate career in marketing, Bree wanted more flexibility with her time and the opportunity to purchase Cafe 202 in Beveridge Street became available.

Supported by friends and family that had started their own businesses, Bree knew her skills were transferable and the business provided a significant opportunity to introduce ideas gained from her extensive travels.
We caught up with Bree to find out if she is living the dream and to gain a snapshot of the business.
Q. The cafe renovation looks great, but why spend all that money?
The cafe has experienced continued growth, so it was necessary to update all aspects of the business. What you see is only half of the work that was done! We did a lot of work behind the scenes to ensure a quicker service by addressing workflow behind our main counter.
Q. Have customer expectations changed in your industry?
The shift in customer expectations is huge. New customers will seek you out because they saw a post on instagram, so menu items need to be consistent in quality and presentation. Our regular customers also seek consistency as a visit to Cafe 202 is part of their daily routine.
Q. What about staff expectations of you as an employer?
It all starts with recruiting the right people that will be a cultural fit in a high functioning team. Staff at 202 see hospitality as a great career and have a real interest in all aspects of the business. They bring ideas and suggestions and are incredibly supportive of each other.
Q. Has technology changed hospitality?
While social media is an obvious change, other changes have come about due to improved equipment such as our new milk dispenser and dealing with suppliers through online ordering. Point of sale (PoS) software provides data on products and service periods that enables me to make informed decisions such as adjusting our trading hours.
Q. What should we be ordering – espresso, latte or cappuccino?
What everyone else is ordering - smashed avo and a latte!