Tea Room Hours
Sep 30, 2009 | Written by Anupa Mueller
We received yet another e-mail yesterday asking why we weren't open for longer hours. This one was unusual in that it requested early morning hours. Usually, it's customers asking why we're not open later in the evening. So for all those customers who have asked us over the years, here is our rationale for why we do what we do. As you know we serve only tea, no coffee. So it makes little economic sense to be open in the morning when most of the general population is craving a cup of coffee. Our neighbor around the corner, Coffee Labs, has a thriving morning business because it's predominantly coffee. We would attract the occasional tea lover or the person who enjoys our ambience (comfortable but upscale, clean, tablecloths and napkins, bright, good energy, suitable music). Mornings may be a possibility when we re-open with a larger space and we will need to think through the ramifications to achieve the right balance between pleasing our customers and getting our work done to set up the restaurant each day. (It takes a good hour or hour and a half to set up daily). You will be pleased to know, however, that we plan to open at 11am daily instead of 11.30 am. Evenings are another matter completely. We experimented with late hours (till 9 pm) for 3 months and, unfortunately, it confirmed our suspicions. Most people like a hot dinner with proper dinner entrees. Once in a while, a wrap or soup/sandwich or light dinner is acceptable but on a regular basis, most of us enjoy a good meal in the evenings. Additionally, we have a limited kitchen and it's difficult to expand our menu beyond the selections we now have. And like the mornings, it isn't cost-efficient to be open for dessert and tea. And finally, being open longer would definitely necessitate two crews. It's just too long to have one crew work from opening to close and finding appropriate people to work part time on a daily basis is harder than you may imagine! (I emphasize "appropriate"!) Bottom line? We will most likely be opening earlier in the morning - 11 am instead of at 11.30. We will probably not extend hours in the evening. If you still have suggestions as to how we can serve you better, please write in or call us. This is invaluable to us - you are our raison d'être.