New Year reflections


 Jan 06, 2011 |  Written by Anupa Mueller

I hope this new year brings joy and good health to all.  Last year was our first full year after our expansion and we pored over our numbers to see what we could learn:
  • We serve an increased number of customers
  • Spending per person declined
  • Sales of Food & Tea consumed at the Tea Room increased
  • Sales of Loose Leaf Tea and tea Accessories declined
  •  We increased our new customer base
  • Our larger space allowed us to rent out part of the Tea Room for smaller parties
  • The banquette is a big hit
  • Our loyalty card was used frequently and was redeemed for the most free points of any year to date
  • Our online sales were the best in 3 years
  • We received high praise for our food and tea
  • Customers raved about our soups and scones
  • Desserts need to be indulgent - people like to treat themselves
Here's our analysis of the above:  Although it is obvious that we would serve more people at a larger establishment, the economy has played a significant part.  People are still eating out, specially at "casual dining" places but spending less when they do.  It is to be expected that in a depressed economy, customers would cut back on discretionary spending on items like specialty teas and teaware.   Interestingly, although teapots and tea mugs look great at the Tea Room and are essential to further the tea experience at home, they are still the smallest part of our business.  We fine-tuned our service levels and are still making adjustments to our work flow, our systems and our menu.  For the year ahead, we expect to hold our Menu prices at current levels although it is very likely that loose leaf tea prices will increase slightly mid-year.  Thanks to all our customers for your patronage and we are here and ready to serve you in 2011.

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