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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 12 October 2007
If you have a business, any business, and you're not rich, and you don't know why, or if you have ever thought, "I'm really good at what I do, why am I not more successful"..... this book was written for you. I come at this from a slightly odd angle. I have nothing to do with the cafe business. I'm a photographer. I was looking for marketing books when I came across this gem. What this book spells out is that the ability to make the best coffee in the world and the ability to run a successful coffee business are two distinct things. I have concentrated for years on taking better photographs and assumed the business would run itself....afterall I am a photographer. Not so. What this book lays out in the simplest forms is that so many of think the normal "rules" don't apply to us as we're busy doing what we do best. It is the wake up call. This book is more relevant to me than a lot of books written specifically for photographers. A lot of it may seem painfully obvious, but it works. I wish it had been written years ago.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2008
I'm not quite sure what the previous reviewers problem with this book is. Although obviously you can't be all things to all people one of the great aspects to this book is that it HAS lots of anecdotes in it. Most of the "52 ways" are accompanied with an anecdote that explains how they have either used the tip in their own businesses or with other peoples. For me that was the big benefit. In other words it's not just theory. It's lots of great ideas and concrete examples of how they actually work in real life.

I was given the book by my coffee supplier who challenged me to take just one or two concepts and apply them to my business. Needless to say, since we don't value anything that we don't pay for, it sat around unopened until he asked me what I had applied. Somewhat sheepishly I replied that I hadn't even read it yet! I then read it in one evening and have now changed several aspects of my business and plan to apply many more. I created a couple of star products and got all my team on board to explain to customers why we are so proud of them. Sales of these items have dramatically increased. I totally changed the customer flow within my business and had a enlightening meeting with my staff where I did the "muffin test" and discovered that most of them thought I was keeping approximately £500 out of every £1000 that goes in the till!

Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2007
This book is a real wake up call to those who are slugging their guts out in this industry and sometimes wondering if it is all worthwhile. Unlike so many books of this kind it is really specific on the ways to improve your bottom line profit and helps the reader look at their business from a completely different angle. I read it in one sitting and really couldn't put it down. All 52 points the writers highlight hit home immediately - hard facts with no waffle. An absolutely invaluable read to anyone involved in the coffee business.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2007
Great, easy to understand, advice from people who really understand the business. Some of their "true stories" had me laughing out loud since they so clearly mirror the mistakes I have made too. There is some really invaluable advice for people starting out but also dozens of great tips for wizened veterans like myself who think we know it all but seem to have forgotten a lot of it!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2007
I found John Richardson through his scratch2scratch blog. He accomplished something I, and many many
other golfers only dream of, to shoot a perfect round of golf. I have been reading his golf blog for some
time now and have been deeply affected by his insights and advice regarding not only golf, but life in
general. I read his coffee shop book, because living in Hollywood, California, I am also a driven coffeeholic! This is the land of the quadruple (and larger) espresso and we take coffee consumption VERY
seriously.

I read this book hoping to learn more about one of my favorite subjects (coffee) with no intention of
actually starting a coffee shop. What I found was a wealth of information about the coffee shop business
and SO much more! I am an entrepreneur and record producer and have had some pretty reasonable
success on MTV and in films and television. In the age of digital downloads and changing technology
there is one thing that is more important than most everything else - HAPPY CUSTOMERS! John
Richardson has (yet again) made it very clear that the basics to most ANY business is customer
satisfaction, and the tools and attitdue he puts forth in in Wake Up and Smell The Profit are the
fundametntal building blocks of ANY successful business. Not only is it a good read, but it could be
considered a handbook for any entrepreneur that needs a refresher course or a wake up call.
Thanks again to my favorite golf writer for more valuable information on business, life and of
course coffee! Make mine a quadruple!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 7 December 2010
Having worked in a the coffee shop I now own for a few years prior to buying it, I was already armed with examples of 'How not to do it' (which I have been very grateful for). However, after a couple of yers of building up the business, making it work, essentially establishing it as a solvent business, I hit a brick wall...What now? Came to mind.

That's where this book came in. I have no idea what lead to me buying it, but so far it has proven to be one of the best business purchases I have made to date! In the 2 years (or so) that I've had it, I can remember countless occasions that I've picked it up and dipped into it (as was the authors' intention) to motivate me on how to improve the customer experience, and of course, improve profit.

There is not much to I can add to what previous reviewers have already said...this book is one of the best purchases you may ever make within the food industry!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on 14 September 2007
John Richardson & Hugh Gilamartin have laid down the fundamentals of the coffee business with the tone of an informal chat. They obviously have first hand experience of the subject, as I can relate to every single point they make(I manage a coffee shop/restaurant). Some of the chapters, or lessons, had me cringing with the realisation that I have been making some very simple errors in my business, while others had me grinning to the point of smugness that I'm getting a lot right too. Hugh & John's 'true stories' punctuate the book, giving practical examples of each important message. Anybody in the industry, or considering doing so should check in with these guys asap. INDISPENSABLE ADVICE!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 9 May 2011
Well, I stumbled across the Coffeeboys name on a boards discussion where a coffee shop owner suggested reading their books if you're really serious about opening a cafe. There are Sooooooo many books out there on coffee shops, delis, cafes, restaurants, sandwich bars and business books in general, that I rarely read one that isn't recommended in some way.

So I decided at those surprisingly reasonable prices, I'd order both books as I intend to open my very own amazing coffee shop/cafe asap!! After reading only a small part of the Wake up and Smell the Profit book, it quickly hit me that if I hadn't read this book, my future coffee shop/cafe would be very VERY far from being amazing!....In fact having now read and finished both books, I'm pretty convinced had I not read them, (and instead just dived in and opened a shop in a hurry), that I would've been closed within the first 6 month... fact!!

These books offer non of the usual generic business strategies and fancy bulls... marketing cliches, instead it gives to-the-point no nonsense advice on what you should and must do to succeed in planning, opening, running and maintaining a profitable coffee shop/cafe.

These books would be of benefit to anyone entering any area of the food sector, not just coffee shops as the advice given, crosses many borders of the food industry. Together, the two books cover anything from how your shop appearance should look (especially from the customer's point of view), to looking after your all important regulars, to the importance of star items on your menu, to hiring quality employees, to a huge REALITY check on the numbers side of things!

Think again if you reckon the huge margin on coffee = you relaxing on a beach in Hawai with a wallet full of cash while your business runs smoothly without you. Hugh and John's hands on experience in running and owning previous food businesses literally wakes you up from the dream of owning a nice cosy coffee shop with an easy lifestyle to the inevitable hard work, planning and constant drive needed to produce a profitable successful "business".

I can't remember reading any book twice, let alone a business book! I read both of these books twice in a couple of weeks, practically ignoring my poor girlfriend, the TV or anything else that would normally take my attention! Luckily the books aren't too long, so my relationship is still intact! :-) The "Wake up" book is a real flick open onto any page and get a quick insightful tip, whereas the "Setting Up and Manageing" book is more of a detailed step-by-step kind of book, which takes more time to take everything on board. I expect I will be reading both books many many times during my quest to open a great coffee shop and maintaining it.

To end, don't dream of opening a coffee shop without reading these books, and to quote a phrase which comes up regularly in the books, "do so at your peril"!!
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2007
This is a cracking little book. I would admit that I'm not a great reader of business books but this was recommended to me by my slightly exasperated accountant and I thought I'd give it a go. The style of the book makes it easy to read and the countless "true stories" where they back up their points with real examples from their own experience made it vastly more readable than the average management or business book.

What I liked about it most is the fact that they have both owned a large array of food businesses and are speaking from experience. This is not the usual theoretical nonsense put out by so many "consultants" who have never actually operated a business day in and day out.

The consistent emphasis on the business being "about the money" has helped me realise just how ridiculous some of my notions towards operating my business have been. I have already made some important changes to my business and made the cost of the book back many times in one month!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 October 2010
Yes...coffee sells if you get it right. I despair of the many places that do not understand the principles laid out in this book, but I am sure that if it was an obligatory read for any such business, then excellent coffee and service would be reciprocated by a healthy profit due to customer appreciation. I love this little volume as it is packed with relevant instructions on how to run your own coffee business with aplomb! Easy to read but don't be fooled! These guys know their stuff and have years of experience behind the, Go for it, I say...a must read!Wake Up and Smell the Profit: 52 Guaranteed Ways to Make More Money in Your Coffee Business
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