22 May, Wednesday
5° C

The library of essays of Proakatemia

Projector translations – Café panel

Kirjoittanut: Annaliina Jokinen - tiimistä Samoa.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 17 minuuttia.

Proakatemian ensimmäiseen projektoriin kuvattiin lähes tunnin mittainen kahvilapaneeli, jossa käytiin ravintola-alan yrittäjien kuulumisia kuluneen kesän ajalta läpi. Koska olemme nykyään kaksikielinen koulu, niin me projektorin järjestäjät halusimme, että jokaisella on mahdollisuus oppia paneelista jotain. Paneeli kuvattiin ja osallistujat puhuivat pelkästään suomea. Paneeli ladattiin YouTubeen, joten ratkaisumme oli kääntää koko paneeli englanniksi, jotta jokainen pystyy sen katsoa.  Minä, Tea Kivinen ja Aleksi Kolunsarka teimme käännökset suomesta englanniksi, ja tässä on koko paneeli kokonaisuudessaan käännettynä englannin kielelle. Uusien essee ohjeistusten myötä päätimme hyödyntää tätä luovaa tyyliä tuottaa tekstiä ja jakaa tämän esseepankkiin myös muiden luettavaksi.

For the first projector of Proakatemia was filmed nearly hour-long café panel that covered the news of entrepreneurs in the restaurant industry from last summer. Since we are a bilingual school nowadays, we, the organizers of the projector, wanted everyone to have an opportunity to learn something from the panel. The panel was filmed, and the participants spoke only Finnish. The panel was uploaded to YouTube, so our solution was to translate the entire panel into English so everyone could watch it. Me, Tea Kivinen and Aleksi Kolunsarka did the translations from Finnish into English, and here is the whole panel translated in its entirety into English. With the new essay guidelines, we decided to take advantage of this creative style to produce text and share this in the essay bank for others to read as well.


(Oona) Welcome to the café panel. Here we have people from

different Proakatemia cafes. We can start with instructions

and we’ll start there. You can tell us who you are, which team

are you from and what cafe were you running?

(Rosa) I’m Rosa from team Saawa and I was at café Lempi next to

Pikkukakkosen puisto.

(Petra) I’m Petra and I’m also from Saawa and I was with Rosa at Lempi.

(Antti) I’m Antti from Apaja and I was running Blokki at Hiedanranta

which was a new thing this summer.

(Aaron) Aaron from Apaja. I was at Kuplis and still am.

(Iida) I’m Iida from Evision, from Café Katto, running all year.

(Sanni) Hi, I’m Sanni from Revena and was running Tönö at Eteläpuisto for the summer.

(Oona) Then we can start with the first question. What did you learn? We can start there.

(Rosa) Learned a lot. We’re second year students so we started our studies

last year so learned a lot during the journey. For example, that running a café takes a lot

time and that the summer comes faster than you think. You want to add something?

(Petra) Yes. We would’ve needed more time for product development,

branding and Instagram-marketing. We quite ran out of time.

(Iida) It’s fun to see that whatever you do, you always run out of time. Or how was it

at Blokki when it was a new concept, and you didn’t have anything ready? Did you run out of time?

(Antti) Well yeah, luckily, we had some experience about opening in a rush. How to get all the necessities like cash, internet etc. Still, it did quite fast because we had problems with where to sell. Is it going to be a cabin owned by Tampere city or is it going to be a container? We really wanted a container because it has more space. We were in a lot of hurry. The opportunity to open Blokki opened super late in the spring but when we got the chance, we organized everything quick and succeeded pretty well with Anna.

(Petra) In our case everything got little harder because we got into quarantine and then City of Tampere announced that we’re going to have the cabin only for half of the summer. We thought that we bought a ready concept, so it did pull the mat under our feet. We couldn’t concentrate to the product development because all the time we had, we had to be looking for a new place to sell.

(Sanni) What did happen? What container did you get?

(Petra) Well week after we were supposed to move, they informed us that you can have it.

(Petra) We worked a lot for our sponsors and way to get a place where we can operate. So, it felt like we wasted a lot of time because after all we didn’t have anything to stress about.

(Petra) And because we were ready to move elsewhere, we didn’t really invest on anything graphical, and our main goal was just to get Lempi opened and ongoing. It was a bad thing for us.

(Aaron) Well next what I have learned from Kuplis ? We have learned a lot from Kuplis, but the human resource management were the biggest learning lesson.

(Aaron) We did and learn a lot about employer contracts, recruiting, salaries, interviews, terms of employment. Well, I think those were the main points from us.

(Iida) Where you did get help to know more about terms of employment?

(Aaron) I consulted one of the owners of Aitoleipä. There were many problems because terms aren’t the easiest entireties to handle. We needed actually a lot of help on that like “Can you explain to me what this actually means in Finnish ? “

(Antti) I have added that if you want to run a restaurant business Proakatemia is a great place to do that because you are sure to get good people to work with you and starting an employer relationship is a lot easier compared to a whole new person to you. With an outsider (in perspective of Proakatemia) employer can demand a lot of different things and you have more of legal technical stuff to work with.

(Antti) But I agree on a lot of things Aaron earlier said as I was skeptical about Blokki because everything happened very fast, and we didn’t get to focus on opening with Anna. We worked a lot to plan and test our products on spring with Anna.

(Antti) We didn’t really recruit people as we were ready to run Blokki on our own with Anna. But it happened really fast that we noticed that we cannot be there every day ? Our sales were good at that moment, but I noticed that we did a mistake about not hiring a people. We had an open application with a good wage. We got only one application from a 47-year-old human. It was a strange to notice that we needed an employer and really didn’t get one.

(Antti) That was a lesson for us from the recruiting point.

(Iida) Have you noticed any difference on applications if a person is more willing to work on a summer job compared to long-term employer relationship?

(Aaron) Well, we didn’t recruit people to summer job. We recruit people more to a part-time job for weekends and evenings. We noticed that part-time job gained more interest from students and young people.

(Antti) How about others? Were you working yourself whole summer ??

(Sanni) Well, I wasn’t. We had employers first time on this summer, as last summer we did all the work ourselves. We trying to grow our business the whole time in example with events and bringing Eteläpuisto more life. I think we have learned a lot about being superiors this summer. I think it was challenging because summer is really short, and everything is hectic. In example we noticed that we need next summer more space as we had a lot of employers and not enough space, so we need to grow from infrastructure point.

(Sanni) I think we must expand because there is way too much work for little container and for the whole people we have. Recruiting more people is wrong way for us because we don’t have as much space we really need.

(Aaron) In a summer restaurant I think one of the main problems is space. Working on a small container is not easy so you really need to think do you want to expand on your area or work on a more long-term solution.

(Sanni) And if you want to expand its hard because there isn’t anything in container to expand. And we had a period where people broke in to Tönö multiple times straight from the wall. So, it was a very stressful and we had to plan how to store our products and groceries in a very limited space. We made a lot of changes just in a moment and I think that’s one of the things in summer restaurants that you need to get comfortable living in a moment.

(Iida & Sanni) That’s what season work is and that’s why we enjoy it.

(Sanni) Yes, and that’s why we need to be prepared and do a lot of changes for next summer already.

(Antti) Expanding really helps you about having larger product scale and having more equipment as in Blokki we played Tetris in how to organize everything from multiple freezers to deep fryers and dishes. Compared to an example Kuplis are much easier to storage in an interior place and there is way harder to break in. We had everything locked in all the way to the tables and chairs and we actually stopped doing that on late summer and were lucky that nothing got stolen.

(Petra & Rosa) And what comes to storage we went to wholesale two times a week and when you are relying on whether it’s hard to manage what you can order as every day varies a lot.

(Sanni) And as Tönö is placed nearby lake there’s a lot of wind which resulted on lots of hardware damage on us. Many times, on morning we noticed that hardware damage resulted on our groceries going bad, and it is very hard to manage that beforehand. But after all we survived everything.

(Oona) Well as you can see there’s a lot of lessons learned as you can see based on all these stories. Now I’m asking that what you would do differently on next summer.

(Aaron) Well, we opened with Kuplis last summer and we had our first birthday! (Applauses). The first summer at Kuplis was behind us and after the spring with corona, we were kind of shocked that people were moving a lot and we sold a lot. We weren’t prepared enough with employees.

(Aaron) Next year we’re going to prepare ourselves with more employees because the summer is the season when we sell the most. We also would like to develop more seasonal products for the next summer.

(Petra) We need to have more employees too.

(Rosa) Luckily enough none of our workers was at quarantine but we had so little employees that we wouldn’t be able to have sick leaves. And the product development. We didn’t have time to concentrate to the target groups. We just thought that” this might work” and tried some products. Our target group is kids so we should have products that are for the kids, that they’re fun.

(Petra) And also, we need to invest to marketing. Only few people knew what is that red cabin at the Koskipuisto is because there isn’t any logo or anything. Before we bought this to our team, I didn’t know either and I’ve always been living at Tampere. I’ve only seen the red cabin there, but I didn’t know what it was.

(Sanni) This year we had painters who wrote to our container that it’s Tönö and it never had anything related to Tönö before.

(Petra) You can’t even find that from Instagram or anything when you don’t know what it’s called.

(Sanni) Many people were searching with words Eteläpuisto, kahvila or something. This summer we realized that we’ve never had name anywhere written so we decided to make a change this year.

(Antti) I have to agree that the branding at a public space needs to be clear. The customer needs to see right away what you’re selling without coming to the cashier. We had amazing employees. Must mention Kolu who did long shifts and covered a lot of shifts also Tuija and others. We had a bad luck with all the injuries etc. during the summer so we had to re-do the shifts. And of course, you can’t predict those kinds of things. The only thing you can do is that you have enough employees.

(Antti) You should also have the employees from the beginning of the summer, so they know from the start what they’re doing.

(Oona) Yeah so, the next question. Was the summer profitable?

(Sanni) Yes, it was. I don’t have the exact numbers because Kaisa, who is responsible of finance, isn’t here but our sales were about 100 000€ and our profit about 35 000-40 000€.

(Iida) We didn’t have that much profit and almost all the profit we did, is going to different investments. The awnings were a big investment. I don’t have the numbers to tell right now.

(Aaron) We also had a very profitable summer with Kuplis. I don’t have the numbers either, but we had a very good summer.

(Iida) And the restaurant business is always profitable.

(Aaron) If you do it right. And you have a good luck.

(Iida) You always need the luck.

(Aaron) We have a similar situation (with Katto). We’re going to make investments and we have our goals high.

(Iida) And next summer Kuplis and Katto will cooperate. We were supposed to do it this summer already. Just wait for it.

(Oona) Now we got it on tape, so you have to do it.

(Iida) We have a year. It shouldn’t be impossible.

(Aaron) We have time.

(Antti) The sales at Blokki were about 50 000-55 000€ with Foodora and the sales at Blokki. We were open a little more than two months. Paloma’s sales were 60 000-65 000€. We wanted to test the dishes because we had professional chefs, our Espe and his collegue. We wanted to be at Wolt and got reviewed pretty well. I can’t say about the profit yet because we still have some storage left. I think that about 15-20% is the profit. But for example, with Blokki the container costs about 10 000-15 000€ and we did it with the minimum budget. If you want to have anything more professional, it’s going to cost a lot more.

(Petra) What about us?

(Rosa) We had about 30 000€ from June to July. We’ve been thinking that next year we would like to open a little earlier. This year we didn’t have time.

(Oona) So next up I would like to ask how much was the best sales in a day?

(Antti) I’ll go first. In the opening days we had couple of very thirsty people drinking but it still wasn’t the best day. The best day was just some surprising day that there were lot of people. Sales were about 1500€. We didn’t make any 2000€ days. I don’t know if people realize how much you normally make per day but there isn’t lot of places that can make 2000€ every day all around the year. If you could reach 1000€ every day, at least I would be happy.

(Petra) I think we had around 800€. (Rosa) In July we had the best days. Families were on a vacation, so we had people.

(Sanni) July is the vacation.

(Iida) Not for us.

(Sanni) We had these Urho’s summer days that we arranged in mid-June and our sales were 5000 euros.

(Aaron) That’s a lot!

(Antti) To what we were talking about so pretty good lifting is the significance of the events. So, ca you say a few words about that because I’d like to hear more, we have discussed about that before and surely many other would like to hear more and about how important the events are.

(Sanni) Yes, it is. When we bought Tönö cafe we had that very clear vision that our interest is precisely in event production and that we have taken forward. We have had something almost every weekend and also every day. That is what have been profitable. It markets the entire area and then when the area has nothing but our cafe Tönö so when an event has held then all the people come there. So, marketing and organizing events are the reason why such numbers have been reached.

(Aaron) At Kuplis our most productive day was around 2500 euros I don’t remember the exact number but about that it was. It includes food transport and sales that happened in the restaurant. July was also good, that month was most lively when people are on vacations. We didn’t have any big events but of course Koskikeskus had their own campaign days and yes you will notice it when the campaign days are going so then there is clearly more crown in traffic when the Koskikeskus advertises in Aamulehti and in the other channels.

(Sanni) Can I ask you, how must does Wolt and Foodora affects for your sales?

(Aaron) It is very variable. I feel that sometimes for example if there are a really rainy-day people do not want to go out and then they order their portions at home and then home delivery is used but then if there is a nice weather and weekend then people spend time outdoors and then cash register sales are higher. It is always nicer to have cash register sales than sales that comes from Wolt or Foodora because they take their commissions from sales.

(Sanni) That is the rescue of rainy days.

(Aaron) Yes, it is! Especially during the worst pandemic last winter in fact, it was not until the spring when we joined at the food delivery. It was a big rescue then. The mall was quite quiet then but luckily people ordered food home when they couldn’t make it to the restaurant because it was provided for by law at the time. It is clearly affected by the fact that we make the sale. I can’t say any certain percent but however more than half came from the restaurant sales.

(Antti) I guess that is much influenced by the style of your concept. If you think about Kuplis the food is not the best when you order it, but the best is when you eat it in restaurant or with friends in outdoor. It is the best when you get the food from the mall and you go eat outdoor with your friends because it is some exciting new thing.

(Antti) Our main sale channel is not Foodora, but it was set because of covid and it was really great thing then. If you compare now our sales at Wolt and Foodora to what it was then when the covid started, Foodora and Wolt was our main channels. I believe that at summer most of our customers came at the restaurant to eat. A tip for everyone if you want to go into this industry. If the product is suitable to put in Foodora it is nice to try and you get to learn. They take a big commission share it is always worth remembering.

(Antti) About the Blokki it was a funny thing for us, and we are in the new place middle of nowhere that you can only reach by foot, so you don’t just get lost in there. So, our marketing strategy was to go to Foodora so we can get visibility that is kind of free advertising. If you think someone is searching some restaurants on the app and they found a new one, they start to think what restaurant this is and then they come to the place to eat.

(Antti) Please people go to place at restaurants to eat if you can because the food is much better, and you get customer service from the real person what is really important at least to myself so use those services if you are able to do so.

(Iida) Now came a bad conscience I just ordered food at Wolt ?Our best day sale at Cafe Katto was with VAT approximately 4000 euros but given the fact that the best-selling product of those days has been tap drink and they have a VAT rate of 24% so the sales figure drops pretty well from there.

(Ida) Somewhere there we are with our best sales and last summer our best sale day was a bit over 8000 euros but then we had 2 sales points open and this summer we sold everything on the table. We didn’t sell all the products that we sold last year so it has taken a big slice of our sales

(Oona) Well on what did you spent the most money on?

(Aaron & Antti) This is an easy question for us.

(Aaron) Most money we spent on employer resources. In Finland hiring an employer is a very expensive which is a good thing, but it really comes to key point on restaurant’s cost structure.

(Oona) So, everyone agrees on that.

(Iida) I think on second place is raw stocks.

(Sanni) I cannot say which of those because honestly, I don’t know. But those really are the biggest ones.

(Oona) Now things are getting more interesting as I want to know what was your biggest mistake on summer?

(Iida) Can we modify the question that what was the biggest setback of summer?

Everyone agrees.

(Iida) Biggest setbacks on us were house Technik things. Katto is in an old building so we have faced a lot of electric issues. Luckily our payment device works in 3G, so we got to cash people but many times we had to manually enter transactions to counter afterwards. It messes a lot of things with taxes. But it has been the biggest setback even we had lots of bloody bird fights on our terrace and even in the restaurant.

Iida is amazed that Tönö didn’t have bird problems.

(Sanni) We have lot of problems as we faced vandalism issues on weekly basis. Eteläpuisto is an area with no settlement so it’s a wildlife in a night. We also had alcohol storage which gained interest to break in. We were very blue-eyed, so we reacted very slowly to multiple break ins. We firstly just fixed the contained and after a couple break ins we focused more on cameras and guarding what should be the first thing.

(Sanni) It wasted a lot of time just to be in contact with police and insurance companies. And of course, that the container cannot handle all storage and electricity in a small box. Our fences were throwing into water and many times the little things resulted to a lot of work just to fix and clean places. And even when you even didn’t own all the things, so it was stressful.

(Aaron) Well, we in Kuplis had our biggest setbacks on hardware and raw stocks as many restaurants were selling their hardware and wholesome had empty storages and it was hard to keep up the same pace with others. So, we had to sell “no-no” a lot and it really effects the customer service. And actually, our waffle irons were in use lot more than expected and they took a big hit, so we needed to fix them a lot and actually order new ones. We are happy that we didn’t have any bigger setbacks.

(Iida) It’s huge milestone to get away from selling “no-no” with having any losses on raw stocks. Especially as we all are selling fresh items it’s hard to manage circulation.

(Oona) Anything to add from Blokki or Lempi?

(Antti) I agree a lot of things said earlier and to add it’s really frightening when there’s a global problem in answering the demand. Like now it’s funny that there’s even a problem that you may not even get a PlayStation 5. And EU is coming with different directives in example using plastic. But back to the question I think our biggest setbacks was with employer timetable schedules as we were only in hands of small group of employers. Like if you could face an accident in work it really affects everything. We did our best preventing break ins as Hiedanranta is a popular area of that.

(Antti) It may seem like a bad thing but usually its harmless young people wanting some extra spice to their lifes. Hiedanranta actually has a lot of areas (even romantic) where to trespass. We faced a couple of incidents with graffiti people. There was a huge car festival nearby and I knew that there were going to happen something to Blokki. People painted a pork cop to our container to protest the cops who ended the festival. Actually, people didn’t realize that the container is going to be a restaurant as we didn’t have terrace there yet so they though that it’s a freight container. We installed a camera next to our locks to prevent vandalism.

(Rosa) I think our biggest setback was the situation with the illusion our cabin getting moved. We worked a lot on things then that were really unnecessary. Other thing was with our staff management, we need to do a lot on that for next summer. We were surprised how we didn’t face any vandalism. Only accident was when one of our info boards were sprayed but that really was a little thing. In a very active area as Koskipuisto it was a great thing that we survived greatly as our cabin is made of wood and was easy to break in.

(Rosa) I think that not having alcohol lowered the interest to break in Lempi and there were lots of polices daily as Koskipuisto is a very active area. It’s a good to hear from others what kind of actions they have done to prevent vandalism.

(Antti) And as we are discussing about summer cafeterias it’s very obvious that you can do everything but not all to prevent break ins as the constructions are still very easy to break in even if it’s a metal container. You cannot change your restaurant into a bank vault, so you just need to focus on other stuff like cameras and guarding.

(Oona) Last question: Why would you start or get involved in a summer restaurant business?

“Everyone laughing that don’t be involved ? ? ? “

(Iida) I earlier wrote down that it’s a crazy people’s business.

(Sanni) If you want to be crazy that’s right path for you.

(Antti) Let’s move on to this side where people really are motivated ? ?

(Rosa) Well, we learned a lot just by doing things. We did almost everything with our team, so we did learn about teamwork and summer cafe is a great way to handle everything in business general. There’s going to be multiple tasks that just comes to your face that you cannot learn in office and I think you are going to learn lot about handling pressure.

(Petra) As we jumped on a ready concept it was easier to start a business and with that it really lowered our threshold to future in starting own concept.

(Iida) Now that you talked about pressure, I think it this is one of the best ways to learn handling it. Of course, you get to develop it anywhere but working on a season-time restaurant on a hectic environment differs a lot from other works. You cannot buy yourself a more time or do wholesome orders at a night, so you just have to deal with it and not lose your dreams because of it. I have learned that you can always sleep well because you cannot do anything at that time.

(Sanni) I think it’s the complete learn from running a business that gets me back every summer. It has surprised me and will even more.

(Aaron) I think restaurant business is hard and even doing a small profit has a large amount of work behind it. I think in Proakatemia summer cafe is a great low-risk way to learn running a business because you’re jumping right in to perfect season. It’s a great way to have a more complete understanding of running a business. And of course, its excellent way to make innovative products as bubble waffles really started from our restaurant Pulu where we had an idea to make own restaurant of bubble waffles.

(Antti) I think main reasons to run a cafe here in Proakatemia is that you get to work immediately. You learn a lot about branding, product development and most importantly customer service. You learn also about cost structures, profit calculations. Just go for it! In a best scenario you get to hire people or even make a franchise.

(Iida) In addition, what Antti said about starting it in Proakatemia here is a lot of people from restaurant business so you get and can sometimes give more support. I think that’s a big part of that and that’s why Proakatemia is a great place to start a summer restaurant.

(Antti) Remember to ask help, that’s a tip from me!

(Oona) Thank you for everyone participating in this discussion, hopefully this encourages people to start their own or be involved in a summer restaurant!

(Iida) Should we clap for all of us that we got to hire people as it is a very important from social point and in best interest on future of Finland?

“Big applauses!!”

Post tags:
Post a Comment