beefybean said:I cannot speak for Alex, and I am sure that he knows a lot about the business. Most consultants are out there to help you smooth out the bumps. They don't have any secrets, just eperience, and the good ones can help you to assess your situation for it's specifics.
The information from Alex seems to say that you will FAIL if you don't use his services. I try to stay away from that type of polarized thought.
Again, no magic bullets, but I don't think you are going to find the magic bullet.
What we are all seeking in this startup venture is a sense of comfort that all will work out. There is risk, no matter what.
I have been researching, reading, investigating and talking to people for two years -- at this point what I'm hoping for is a way to lessen the learning curve in the efficient and high quality prep of the drinks since I have no experience in that aspect. I'd like to hit the ground running so to speak. There is a lot of buzz in our town over our new place (no Starbucks nearby!) so I worry about people piling in and my not being able to handle it. Meanwhile, I can hear what an opinionated person says and take what I want and leave the rest so I'm not worried about that. I found this consultant as I was researching menus and like how he has simplified the choices - as a consumer I like what I see. It seems to reflect experience to me. As for pricing, I have to take into account my area and customer and believe I am. I like the philosophy of getting people hooked and making it affordable so they come every day and then raising prices when you're so busy you can't keep up. I'm not a great number cruncher though so I'm not sure about the COGS -- need to look into that.
Putting aside the issue of consultant, I'd like to hear from other owners about the syrups you use, the chocolate for hot chocolate and especially what you think or have experienced about specialty drinking chocolate.
Thanks so much,