Relish Cafe provides top quality food services from three locations in the Drogheda – Bettystown area of counties Meath and Louth. Entering its 7th year of trading in its full service cafe in Bettystown, the business has expanded to two additional outlets in Drogheda and now employs a total of 48 staff. Denise Walsh established the business following ten successful years operating a busy cafe in Drogheda town centre. Denise is focused on providing a top quality service to her clients, many of whom are regular users of the Relish Cafe over many years.
Why participate in the programme
Having participated in a briefing on developing the business arranged by her local bank, Denise committed to the ManagementWorks programme because of the outstanding value it provided. Denise felt that the programme would help her to become more organised in her day to day operation of her growing business.
Experience of the programme to date
Denise found the experience of working with other owner managers to be very helpful. The ability to discuss business issues in a confidential manner with people who understood business was great. In particular, Denise found that the regular phone sessions with her mentor added significantly to the experience. Being able to focus on her business issues and being challenged by the mentor delivered genuine change in Denise’s approach to the business.
Impact on their business
Denise attributes many small changes in how she works to her participation on the ManagementWorks programme. Contact information for regular clients is now captured which has allowed her to build a database to which she can promote special offers and rewards. This has the potential to impact on the relative seasonality of one location. Staff are now provided with comprehensive contracts of employment. Denise built herself a small office in one location to work from. Denise has made substantial changes to how she manages her time. Denise now holds a weekly team meeting with the managers and chefs from each operation which reduces her time commitment and ensures better communication as issues are discussed once and the potential to share ideas and best practice is growing. Denise now operates a default diary system which allows her to plan the tasks which need to happen on a weekly basis including spending time in each location to ensure she stays close to the customer. Denise has much tighter control of her business numbers and is actively promoting value offerings to customers to increase average order value. 40 staff have received additional customer service training to include role play to ensure that the customer experience is as positive as possible.