Cokotetra (Coklat, Kopi, Teh, dan Sastra or Chocolate, Coffee, Tea, and Literature if you don’t understand Indonesian) is a small cafe at Dago area, Bandung, Indonesia. I always like chocolate more than tea or coffee; it really made me happy when my friend brought me to this place! It was founded in 2012, so the place has been there for nearly 4 years. Long enough, yeah, but sadly some people will frown in confusion when I say I like to visit the place once or twice a week.
“Where is it?”
“I’ve never heard of it.”
Come on, guys!
But, then again, I wouldn’t know that Cokotetra is an acronym if I didn’t searched a bit about the place… and I’m a regular customer.
I don’t visit Cokotetra that often, but I know baristas and waitpersons who work there. I talk to them if I come there, and sometimes I even try to make my own coffee or chocolate with their guidances. Cokotetra is a nice place to talk, meet someone new, or just sit alone and have a me-time. But, after hopping from one coffee shop to another and come back to Cokotetra again, I feel some things are missing.
I don’t know what Cokotetra has been doing so far, but here’s my ideas about how to improve the place, to make it more lively and get more customers. (Anyway I don’t write this in exact order; I just write what comes to my mind first.)
- Redesign the place.
Cokotetra is dominated by brown colour which is good because, in my opinion, brown expresses warmth and welcoming vibe. The place is small and compact, with not too many tables and a close distance to baristas so it’s possible to talk with them from your table.
However, after several times coming there, I feel like the place needs a refreshment. The place needs to be brightened, either by repainting the wall with lighter brown or changing the lamps so it will be brighter and customers can read books comfortably.
Adding some decorations like painting, typography, or plants would be good too!
- Retrain the staffs.
My friend told me that staffs in a company where he works always get training every some time (I forget how often). The point is, staffs need training so they can learn something and improve themselves. Furthermore they can give better services and the company will get more income in return.
Cokotetra also hired a new staff. It will be good if they have a good quality control over their staffs, so each of them can reach the company’s standard (maybe have a same vision or something. I’m not an expert about this kind of thing).
- Add more coffee variety and ways to brew it.
Maybe Cokotetra’s main selling point is its chocolate and there’s not so many people who are interested in which beans the cafe use to make their coffee, but some people care about it. I think a good cafe is the one who can accommodate each demands from customers even though the demand isn’t that high (of course only demands which are related to the cafe. You wouldn’t give a massage service in a coffee shop even though some customers beg you to). Adding more coffee beans selections would be perfect!
And also ways to brew it… I think it has got something to do with the former point of this list. More training means you can push your staff to stretch their limits, so you can improve and give varieties about what you can give to customers.
- Find ways to make all foods and drinks on the menu available.
It is disappointing to know that some of the menu (especially foods) are not available because the suppliers are no longer producing the products, etc. Although it is not restricted to bring foods from outside and eat it there but it’s just, well, weird. Cokotetra should find ways to make all the menu available to order. They can seek for new suppliers or change the menu to the ones which they can cook themselves.
- Advertise more.
Cokotetra is a kind of cafe that you will never know of if your friends don’t tell you about it. Even though the place is located on a main road, there’s a huge tree in front of it that blocks the view. Cokotetra needs to do more advertising in order to attract more customers (or maybe cut down the tree).
Publishing promotions in social media is not enough because the followers of social media are mostly regular customers and they can’t just rely on them to share the info (some of them most likely only will hit “like” button). I think Cokotetra can create Line Official Account because it’s easier for people to read it (young people in my city rarely use Facebook or Twitter; most of them use Line instead) and the post can be indirectly shared by clicking “like”.
Giving brochures or fliers to campuses and local communities also will do because that’s how I know Cokotetra. I know Cokotetra used to do that before, and I also read that some communities held a meeting there back on their golden age, but I rarely see any nowadays.
- Ask testimonials and photos from customers and post it on instagram (or any other social media).
Posting testimonials or photos of their customers (after granted a permission) can be a way to say thanks to customers for visiting Cokotetra. Moreover, by doing so, people who never visit Cokotetra at least can get an idea how Cokotetra is like and the owner also will know what his customers think about the cafe.
It’s very different to see testimonials from cafe’s official account and read it from someone else’s blogs. It gives personal and thoughtful image of the cafe if they post those testimonials themselves.
- If the concept is to make people talk with each other every Saturday night, initiate it!
Wifi password of Cokotetra is unique: “malamminggutanpawifi” or Saturday night without wifi in English. Why? Because they want people to drop their gadgets and spend the night talking and sharing stories with each other.
I came to Cokotetra once on Saturday night, but it was raining so the cafe wasn’t crowded. Still, there were customers there, and I think it would be great if the staffs initiate the conversation with customers! What I mean here is more than just say hi and ask the taste of the coffee, but an actual and meaningful conversation. That would be unforgettable.
- Hold a book club, a writing club, or anything.
As I previously mentioned, Cokotetra used to be a place where communities hold their meetings, events, etc. They should do it again to make the cafe more lively. Crowded cafe attracts more consumers as people tend to follow the crowd and crowd also makes them curious.
If the communities don’t contact Cokotetra first, it’s okay to be the first to contact. Offer the place, make some arrangements, or give them discount if they can bring 10 people to the cafe.
- Give ways for customer to keep in touch even though they cannot come.
Cokotetra has accounts in Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (maybe there’s more) and that’s great. They just need to be more active and post more things such as promotions, testimonials, facts about coffee or something new about the cafe, and so on.
Cokotetra also can open a funding or book donation (for the library) for those who wants to contribute for Cokotetra to grow. Or maybe a donation for coffee, tea, or cocoa farmers, so customers who buy something at the cafe know that some of their money will be given to those who need it the most. After all most people likes to do good and feel good about themselves.
- Think of another selling points (and strengthen the current ones).
I have mentioned selling points which Cokotetra can use to improve:
– variation of coffee beans and ways to brew it
– interaction between fellow customers and staffs (initiating conversation, actively posting on social media, asking for feedbacks)
– be a connector between customers and worlds of chocolate, coffee, or tea (donations)
There is one more idea for me for the third point beside donation: in order to make customers more connected to what they drink, offer customers a chance to make the drink themselves if the baristas are not busy. Trust me, I have done that and it was very interesting and exciting! Don’t worry about them stealing your recipe because it takes more than once to perfect the coffee/tea/chocolate making process; they won’t be able to do that. It will make customers know more about what they drink and coincidentally Cokotetra will contribute to educate people about worlds of coffee, tea, or chocolate which aren’t really well-known among people. 🙂
That’s all I can think of how to improve Cokotetra to be more than just a small cafe in a city which is full of coffee shops. I really like Cokotetra and all people in there, and I hope Cokotetra can grow, able to make people more open and carefree, and serve a hell cup of chocolate!
Asri F. Septarizky