Sunday, 10 August 2014

Week beginning August 4th - Credit Cards Fees and the minimum spend

In the planning and set up of Kaffeine 5 years ago, the bank said ' so you'll need a credit card machine, we will get that set up for you'.  Okay sure. It really wasn't high on my list to get organised. Of all the things you need to think of. Then the machine etc arrived and that was great and we were open and it went to the top of the cupboard....for a week.

Customers started coming in and asking to pay by card to which we had to say 'no sorry cash only'. So The Legend That Is Rhea, who was our first service person said, 'I'll get it set up'. I knew we were going to be charged credit card fees, but I had no idea how it all worked. I knew from the days that my parents had their own business that card fees were not a happy subject, I remember they would not accept Amex* (don't leave home without it) as the fees were too much. I really did not want to think about it, but knew we had to.

I asked Rhea, 'should we have a minimum spend on cards?' and she suggested £6. Why? Because that was the set limit that she had worked with a two separate bars in London prior to Kaffeine. So since 2009, we have had a £6.00 minimum credit card spend. I don't like it, our staff don't like it, it would be so much easier if we could accept cards for everything, but if we did, our fees that we pay each month could double or more. At the moment, we pay about £400 per month on credit card fees. I have argued with the bank, I have moved to a different card supplier, we moved to accepting contact-less, but still we have the fees.

Several of our service staff have worked in bars in previous lives and they all tell me how they had minimum spends on cards at these bars, sometimes up to £10.

We ask that if it is possible to pay by cash, we would appreciate it. It is actually quicker (apart from contact-less), for us to serve you that way, and we love being faster and faster at everything we do in order to serve people better and more efficiently. (not push people out the door, why on earth would we want to do that? unbelievable. but that is another story).

If you do have cards, that is no problem at all. We do apologise, but we have a minimum spend. We have four different options. You can of course add something to your bill, a water or a muffin or a drink for a friend, you can go to a cash point one minute walk away or you can pre-pay for next time, that is, you pay for another coffee or product and you keep the receipt, like a personal gift voucher. Next time you are in, you can redeem the receipt. The amount of people who say - 'what a great idea!' Or if you really want to you can make up the difference to £6.00 and we put the extra in the tip jar.

I really do apologise though to any customers who perhaps do not accept our policy. Just yesterday I paid for tickets on the TrainLine and had to pay a fee to use my credit card. It's the way of the world. I am sure there are thousands of other businesses big and small that either have a fee or have a minimum, but it's 10 pm Sunday night and I can't think of any in particular. It is not an idiotic or moronic business decision, unless of course I have missed something completely and there is a way to not pay fees. If there is, I would love to know. If there is not, then one day hopefully, there may be. It is in my mind a policy that is as fair as possible to all parties. Win Win. Which is how I have been taught to not only do business but to treat all people from staff to customers. Win Win.

Next week is our fifth birthday. Kaffeine is a bit of a girl, so we are going to say "I'm a big girl now, I'm five'. We will be celebrating with a 'legends of the kitchen menu' and free chocolate brownies all week.

We hope to see you and we hope you enjoy.

Thank you for listening.

*Amex have changed a lot since my parents days. Even in the early days of Kaffeine, the fees were just too high. They have dropped this immensely as well as the other hidden fees they used to have. We now accept Amex as we do all other cards, except Diners (remember them? high fees too.)

Traditional bircher muesli with rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Granola muesli with pomegranate molasses and rhubarb and raspberry compote 3.60 (V)
Fruit salad (pineapple, mango, strawberries, grapes, passion fruit) 3.70 (GF, V)
Ciabatta roll with omelette, pancetta, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Ciabatta roll with courgette omelette, rocket and tomato salsa 4.90
Croissant with Italian roast ham, talleggio cheese, spinach & plum tomatoes 4.90
Seven seed bakery bloomer toast with home made preserves 1.90
Pumpkin seed and apricot fruit toast 2.40
Banana bread 2.40

Pastries by Seven Seed bakery
French butter croissant 1.90
Pain au chocolat 2.50
Almond croissant 2.80

Baked Treats
Sweet muffin: Blackberry and apple (V) 2.40
Savoury Scone: Asparagus, mustard and cheddar (V) 2.40
Friand: Melilot and lemon (V, GF)  2.40
Super moist chocolate brownies 2.40
White chocolate blondies 2.40
Portuguese tarts 2.00
ANZAC cookies 2.00
Raspberry and coconut slice 2.00
Canele 2.40

French retro baguettes 5.00
Smoked salmon, lime soft cheese, cucumber, Thai basil and rocket.
White peach, blue vein cheese, cucumber, red onion and and spinach. (V)

Foccacias 5.30
Ham, smoked mozzarella, tomato, basil and spinach
Haloumi, sweet chilli sauce, butternut and rocket. (V)

Salads: 5.50/6.90
Black-eyed peas with shredded carrots, red onion, cavolo nero, parmesan, in a tomato dressing with croutons. (V)
Honey dew melon, fennel, toasted fennel seeds, coriander, chicory, pancetta and Sambuca and prune dressing. (VE, GF)
Olives, sea blite, pumpkin seeds, capers, pomegranate, shallots, watercress with a raspberry vinegar dressing (VE, GF)

Tart: 4.50 or 7.90 with salad
Scotched beef and green elderberry terrine with rowan berry chutney

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