I have to say that the locals around here use the shop a lot and I’m very grateful for that. Having somewhere like this broadens their sense of community. However, customers don’t use the shop for everything. I’ve tried to change that, but the weekly shop is bought further afield in larger places. Most visitors buy the essentials, but if I were to buy in a Chicken then it would still be there at the end of the week. If you start bringing something new in then you need to prepare for the famine before you enjoy the feast. I have tried in the past, but wastage was a big problem.
We are five years in with the café now. The filled rolls are popular and I’d recommend the process to other shops who have the space. Although it depends where you are, and it takes some balance to get right. I originally shut the café down as the numbers were all over the place. One day I could be serving 78 pizzas, and then the next have two customers for three members of staff.I reopened after bad weather washed away the foundations for a stretch of nearby railway and contractors started coming to the shop. The demand for lunches was high. The café has been a success ever since.
It should have made a difference around Christmas time because people buy drink when they are doing their big shop at the supermarkets. My prices are actually better than most big chains, yet shoppers don’t seem to have cottoned onto this change yet.