Table of Contents
Keys to Success
Vision and Goals
Ownership and Governance
Location & Facilities
Industry / Market Overview
Performing Arts Centre Experience
Startup Expense / Major Renovation
The Music Café will serve the daily needs of frequenters of the Faculty of Music building, including students, Faculty members, guests and concert-goers With the growing demand for high-quality gourmet coffee and great service, the Café will capitalize on our location in the Faculty of Music to build a core group of regular customers. The Café will offer its customers the best prepared organic and free-trade coffee in the area that will be complemented with pastries and light fare.
The Café will operate a coffee bar in the Faculty of Music Lobby using the existing artists lounge as a prep and storage space and a built out bar for customer service and product display. New seating will accompany it, providing space to relax for guests of the Café and the Faculty of Music. The FMUA will provide the bulk of the start-up funds in the form of an internal loan with hopes of obtaining additional capital for the renovations from the Dean’s Office and University Provost. The Café is expected to recuperate its losses within 5 years.
The Café’s objectives for the first year of operations are to:
The Café will be the place where students, faculty, and concert goers can socialize with each other over an exceptional cup of coffee or espresso, divine pastries and light fare. We aim to be a contributor in making the Faculty of Music world class as an intersection between the world, the city and University. We aim to provide trendy, ethically sourced, and healthy food and beverage services. At all times we aim to enhance the experience of students and concert patrons.
Quality of food and beverage service cannot be overstated. Espresso products must be right 100% of the time, our concert patrons will demand nothing less. Employee training to ensure the best coffee preparation techniques is key. Additionally, as students and faculty become more aware of where their food is coming from, ethical, organic and fair-trade products are of huge importance. With numerous local producers at our door-step, we can easily accommodate this.
Our Service must be stellar. Both students and concert patrons are pressed for time and will demand quick turnaround. We must ensure that we are never understaffed, especially over lunch hours and at concerts.
Community building is key to developing a loyal customer base. We want all of our customers to choose us, not just out of convenience, but out of belief in our services and our mission: Greeting customers with a warm smile and building a coffee bar and seating area that will be both visually attractive to customers, and designed for fast and efficient operations.
The risks involved with starting the Café are:
Our vision for the Music Café to be the premium meeting spot where the city, the Faculty of Music and culture meet over an incredible quality of coffee. We want to be the go-to destination for theatre-goers and students alike on the central-north side of campus. The Music Café will make the Faculty of Music a world-class facility.
Our guiding principles are as follows:
The Faculty of Music has a history of operating food services at various locations throughout the Edward Johnson Building. Originally, there was a Café operating in what is now the third floor student lounge. When this later became the music library, the Café and common room were displaced to room 130. Though there have been varying levels of success, we believe that our model for the Music Café is different: we have lower administrative costs, and ultimately our aim is to provide a service to our membership and community, not to turn a profit.
The Faculty of Music is one of the areas where the city and University come together. The proposed site of the Caféteria remains in the MacMillan Theatre Lobby. The existing staff lounge (known as the Artists’ Lounge) will be converted into a preparation and storage area with the Café bar and display counter being built slightly outwards into the lobby. Additionally, portable barista carts will be used to provide beverage services to the Walter Hall Lobby and later in the lobby outside of the 90 Queens Park Performance Hall. They will also be used to help meet peak-demands before and during the intermission of performances in MacMillan Theatre.
The Edward Johnson Building is located at the intersection of Bloor Street and University Avenue. The world-renowned Music Library, the 815 seat MacMillan Theatre, the 490 seat Walter Hall and the proposed 250 seat 90 Queens Park Performance Hall combined with each of the 600+ recitals, concerts and special events they host generate significant traffic in the space and surrounding area. The Faculty of Music is also affiliated with an organization known as the Bloor Street Cultural Corridor, a collective of arts and culture organizations along Bloor St. West.
Our hours will be 8am-7pm on weekdays and 9am-5pm on weekends. We may extend closing hours when a concert is being presented in either MacMillan Theatre or Walter Hall.
The Music Café will be owned by the University of Toronto Music Society, currently operating as the Faculty of Music Undergraduate Association (hereafter FMUA), incorporated under the Ontario Corporations Act as a non-profit organization.
The FMUA is governed by a twenty five-member Board of Directors who are elected annually. The organization has a multi-year history of fiscal stability. The organization also has a strong institutional memory through a lengthy policy manual, Director’s Handbook and experienced staff. Directors elected in the Spring Semester are invited to shadow their predecessors for 2-3 months prior to them taking office. The FMUA Executive Director and other staff will assist with the transition.
Appointed from this board is the Organization Development and Services Committee (ODS) which reviews and administers all services and proposes short and long-term service planning for the FMUA. The membership consists of the President, Vice-President Internal, one (1) additional Executive selected by the Executive Committee, and four (4) additional Directors.
This committee, with the addition of five (5) voting ex-officio members from the Faculty of Music will form the Café Advisory Board:
Café Advisory Board
From the Organization Development and Services Committee (FMUA)
From the Faculty
This committee will oversee the management of the Café and suggest changes to policy and food/beverage offerings. An FMUA Hiring Committee will appoint the Café Manager. Day-to-day operations of the Café will be left to the discretion of the Manager and the Executive Committee of the FMUA as necessary.
Our business model is built upon leveraging two groups of consumers: faculty & students and concert patrons.
Our faculty members and students are hard pressed for time. They value convenience and cost-effective food and beverage services. Our light-fare menu and caffeinated beverages will have healthy and trendy options to promote physical well-being and learning. They will be offered at a price with minimal markup, thereby providing an inexpensive and efficient food and beverage service to busy faculty members and students while maintaining quality.
Our concert-going crowd expects beverage and light food services to accompany their musical experience at a professional performance venue. A Café is a key component in making a performing arts facility world-class. Specialty drinks, with an emphasis on espresso-based drinks, and pastries will meet their palettes.
By leveraging the complementary nature of performance and food & drink, patrons will enter the space and be immediately encapsulated by the buzzing atmosphere complemented only further by a warm beverage. This experience will only be heightened at intermission. We will be a key part in making the Edward Johnson Building a world-class space, competitive with other facilities in the city like the Four Seasons Centre, Roy Thompson Hall and Koerner Hall and those offered by other postsecondary institutions globally.
Data from Statistics Canada shows that the Canadian market for tea and coffee totalled almost $1.5 billion in 2008. Of this, ACNielsen reports that domestic market retail sales of coffee totalled $647 million in 2008, an increase of 23.2% over 2007 when retail sales totalled $534.4 million. The average per capita consumption of coffee is approximately 86.88 litres - about 440 cups of coffee per year. Our student population by all accounts may exceed this.
The marketing plan for the Music Café consists of four main parts: social media, email newsletters, physical advertising, and promotional campaigns. A customer feedback loop will be maintained all throughout.
3.5.1. Social Media
In today's hyperconnected world, the omnipresence of social media lends itself as a powerful marketing tool. Using social media will allow our business to connect with customers on an intimate level, provide updates for products and/or services, and maintain an accessible online presence, keeping the business relevant in customers' lives. Creating an online presence for the Music Café on these platforms will provide an online marketing set-up built to effectively and efficiently reach a wide but relevant customer base.
Marketing the Music Café on social media will take place primarily through Facebook and Twitter, with the option of expanding to other services such as Instagram as well. These three platforms are ideal for marketing the Music Café because a substantial number of the Music Café's target demographic (i.e. Faculty, students, and concert patrons) are already regular users. There is no monetary cost for creating and maintaining these social media accounts but advertising dollars may be spent to extend the reach beyond those who follow us online.
3.5.2. Email Newsletters
The weekly newsletter that the FMUA emails out will serve as the main form of direct online communication to our client base. In the newsletter, we plan to share weekly specials and generate anticipation for any special events, such as holiday or season-related deals. The newsletter also plays a pivotal role in reaching the portion of our client base who may not use social media frequently or at all. The FMUA newsletters are sent through the University of Toronto Listserv, which ensures delivery to all Faculty of Music students.
3.5.3 Physical Advertising
While online forms of marketing are critical in this day and age, we have not overlooked the effectiveness of using physical advertising forms such as posters and banners. This tried-and-true way of marketing is ever-present in the many stairwells of the Edward Johnson Building, which regular building traversers have come to know as the go-to locations for gathering information on upcoming concerts, symposiums, and other events.
The Café will design and post posters for promotional campaigns to advertise deals, combos, and new items being sold at the Café. Most posters will be 8.5x11 size prints, which can be provided by the FMUA. Larger industrial-sized posters and banners may cost between $20 to $80 per print, and would be used for special promotional campaigns or marketing projects. Sandwich Boards on University Ave would be set up daily to encourage modest walk-in traffic.
3.5.4. Promotional Campaigns
Promotions that will run in the Café may include the following (will be further discussed by the Café Advisory Board):
In addition, special events such as Faculty of Music concerts, FMUA-hosted events, and holidays give the Café a change to connect with customers through themed promotional campaigns. This can include changing the aesthetics of the Café with tastefully themed decorations, offering seasonal menu items and flavours, and offering special deals. Additionally, there is the possibility of providing party platters and other catering fare to these events.
The following are a few events that the Café can participate in:
3.5.5. Customer Feedback Loop
Gathering and responding to feedback from customers will play a crucial role in marketing and improving the services of the Music Café. The following are a few feedback loops that we plan on implementing:
The Music Café will offer a set menu of caffeinated drinks and baked goods as well as a changing menu of seasonal drinks and light fare. The Music Café seeks to implement the following benefits on the basis that they are important to its customers:
As mentioned earlier, the Café Advisory Board will oversee the management of the Café, approve its policies, food/beverage offerings and appoint the Café Manager with day to day operations of the Café left to the discretion of the Manager and the Executive Committee of the FMUA as necessary.
The Manager will be responsible for:
Regular day-to-day accounting, staff payroll and administrative services will be integrated with the FMUA’s quickbooks software and done by FMUA Staff with oversight by the VP Internal. Any additional admin costs incurred will be nominal and will be absorbed by the FMUA.
Note: other Student Societies running food services at the University have relationships with their College/Faculty Admin where payroll of staff is managed through the University. This is an option that has yet to be explored.
We anticipate needing on average 124 hours of labor per week during the Academic Term and an average of 40 hours of labor per week during the Academic Holiday and Summer Weeks. Throughout the year, the manager and two Baristas will form the core personnel team. Students will be employed part-time to compensate for the difference during the Academic Term.
The FMUA receives basic operating funding through four levies:
Our intention is to cover the material and overhead costs through our profits and for the FMUA to keep a reserve of 15k annually for unexpected expenses or losses. This finding will be ensured through the FMUA Clubs, Events and Services Fee. Construction, maintenance and improvements will be ensured through the FMUA Special Projects Fund
Stock Expenses: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19fJx-hIp2OiUTMqJusCM4zY0MJGb0lEJgHtn18KSZ3E/edit#gid=102481525
Personnel expenses: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/19fJx-hIp2OiUTMqJusCM4zY0MJGb0lEJgHtn18KSZ3E/edit#gid=2085443192
Discussion must be had with Faculty Admin regarding Renos.
Upon discussion with other student services operating food/beverage establishments, the conclusion is that the Café should be audited internally by the FMUA quarterly.