Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Can I get a menu, please?

One of this week´s missions was finding our menu holders. This is an item that has taken us long to design because we wanted something different than the typical leather folder.

We squeezed our brains to come up with an idea that we were happy with both functionally and esthetically. Apart from looking good, the holder must be easy clean, long lasting and with a simple system that enables us to change the menu pages frequently so they always look fresh.

We spent months discarding lousy ideas until we found the right one and when we finally did, we still had to see how to produce it. We then went from shop to shop asking for what seemed impossible and after being met with nothing but confused Balinese faces and even considering to make it ourselves, all our problems were miraculously solved when we walked into this shop, recommended by another of our suppliers. Despite having literally hundreds of menus on display, it was great to see nobody had thought of our idea (this made us smile… it is so damn hard to be original nowadays!) but they still were willing to help us by producing something from scratch.

We now know where to have our menus made and only need to understand the sizes of paper available in Bali (yes, this is not “paperland”) to finalize the measurements of our holders. Can’t wait to see them finished and more so you holding them!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

The faces of Cuca

We are now focusing on analyzing our staffing needs to start advertising the positions we want to offer. This may sound pretty simple but we need to create the foundations for a solid human resources structure that attracts great talents to Cuca.
We have started by drafting our organization chart in which we establish departments (culinary, marketing, etc.) and levels and classes within each of them to make clear the reporting line and the respective compensation packages.

The second step was to identify the stages for the hiring process. For example, we will first need someone who works closely with Kevin to test and study his recipes. We will then need a core team to be trained under Cuca’s values, products and services that later will be able to train the rest of the staff. The size of consecutive teams will depend on our sales forecast for each period and increase as our business does.

Another task is then to describe each position and define its respective job scope and remuneration. Finally we will also have to compile this plus other relevant information into an Employee Handbook that will work as a reference tool for all our staff.

The greatest challenge for us now is to design packages that are attractive enough to appeal to great employees (Cuca bets for on its people) and at the same time try to keep costs low as we are obviously working only with sales projections and not actual revenue. It is also difficult to decide the exact number of staff for each stage: we may be busier at the beginning with guests who want to try out Cuca and thus we would need to be ready for high numbers or we may be less busy until we get better known.

Well, at this stage we are getting used to face option after option. We are learning to overcome uncertainties by trusting our knowledge and experience and to move forward despite the obvious fear of making mistakes. What a journey…

Wednesday, 16 January 2013

New Year, First Guest

How have you all started this promising 2013? Ours kicked off in a big way… Our first guest showed up a bit earlier than expected in the midst of Cuca's newly dug foundations!

Yes, as you see we have finally started construction.

We witnessed the first days of the digging in awe, hardly believing this is really happening and getting goose bumps looking at so much action, all directed to build up our dream.

Now the clock is ticking and although we are walking towards the right direction, we realize there are still hundreds of things to be done.

Prioritizing is key, especially because being in an island the lead time for almost every product is 3 months so we need to make sure we place on time the necessary orders.

On the other hand, decisions made from now on are critical since there is now way back as the digger moves unstoppably.

As our adrenaline is peaking up, please expect continued excitement attacks from us!