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Café Owners – The Struggle Against Expectation

General Info February 3rd 2015

The stress of being a café/coffee shop owner is increasing by the day. Gone are the days of having a coffee with friends for the sole reason to catch up and discuss Phil Mitchell’s latest hairdo.

These days are over with the emergence of social media and technology advances now causing a stir especially with the larger establishments. I’m of course referring to - wireless charging solutions and WI-FI services. I’m willing to put my neck on the line here and say “your day is now shaped by where you can charge your phone and/or Instagram your latest hot mocha chocca molata (isn’t the real name, but it should be) so friends can sit in awe as they gaze into an empty flask”. I could be wrong.

However, as smartphones become more advanced and more entwined with day to day life, the café experience we used to know will peter out at a dramatic rate. Nevertheless, that is the way of the world now. Why not provide customers with an all-round solution? Food, drink, WIFI and a place to charge your smartphone is surely the whole package for an establishment like this. Is this the next step maybe? Why rent or buy buildings for business purposes, when everything is at our local café establishment?

It’s ok for the larger establishments because they have budgets which adhere to the growing demand, but what about ‘Carol’s Coffee Bar’ which is 50 yards away? She may have the best food menu around, however, it’s 2 o’clock in the afternoon and you have 21% battery. Without a doubt you will head to the larger establishment where you can charge your phone. You may have cheated your taste buds by choosing your phone over ‘Carol’s Monster Breakfast Bonanza’ nevertheless, you can now go about your day fully charged and ready for the rest of the day ahead.

With the above in mind, it’s a no brainer really. You need a smartphone and you need all the functionalities that come with it. Starbucks are the latest chain to kit out 10 shops in central London.

Starbucks teamed with US firm Powermat to enable the technology in its stores. It comprises a wireless solution based on open standards that charges phones with an accessory, called a Powermat Ring, which plugs into an iOS, Windows Phone or Android handset charging socket. The phone is then placed on the Powermat pad.

Powermat chief solutions officer Carlo Chiarello explained that the technology transfers energy through an inductive coil and will charge devices as fast as if they were plugged into the wall.

"The Powermat has a built-in charging spot that creates a magnetic field in a much focused area. That magnetic field comes to a coil in the ring which converts it to electricity and charges the phone so it thinks it's on a cable" he said.

This is definitely the future and it’s bound to take off in the UK. Now it’s just another thing to think about when opening or designing a new café or coffee shop.

Demand isn’t just for great food and drink now. It’s a lot more than that!!!

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