Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in food and beverage but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Aidan Wang, founder of Aidan’s Cafe, located in Vancouver, BC, Canada.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Our business is a quick-service cafe concept restaurant located in the downtown Vancouver financial district. Essentially our customers are those who work in the area. Because of our unique location (Coal Harbour) we also have guests from hotels around us. And our next step is to target the residents in Coal Harbour who are working from home because of the pandemic.
Tell us about yourself
I am an actor in Vancouver, and I've always wanted to have my own restaurant. Yet, after I worked at a pizza restaurant, I saw the stress the manager and owners have every day. And so I thought I would start with a cafe to test out the water. As an actor who hasn't made it yet, I was hoping having a business would help me to have financial stability, but because of the pandemic, it made me realize having a business is not just for oneself. There is a team that I need to create financial stability before I have that for myself, so I am their hope, and making the business grow and thrive is for everyone on our team. That sense of responsibility was definitely one of my main drives. And luckily, we have the best landlord, Oxford property; the management gave us a lot of support and feedback helped us spread the word to the business crowd. Our customers are the best customer we could ever ask for, really understanding and supportive of our business, bringing new customers for us simply because they think we really try our best to serve great food. That's what really kept us going as a team!
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
I think sales growth aside, my biggest accomplishment is that I am lucky to have a solid team for the cafe. I make sure everyone feels they are taken care of and comfortable speaking up and communicating.
What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?
Definitely the amount of things going on in my head, constantly putting out "fires" at work. It became more fun after I got used to it, feels like playing a game.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
I'm not the best one to ask for tips; to be honest with you, I'm just surviving. If there are any tips, I would say definitely try your best to create the best quality food or drink or any item you sell. Your customers will let you know you made a difference from other businesses. Another one would be from my mistakes. I definitely constantly check your inventory because of the pandemic. Logistics are often having problems. Don't order stuff right before it runs out. The last piece of advice would be really for anyone who wants to grow in hospitalities, don't see yourself as a servant, see yourself as the host of your own home, this is when serving becomes providing and caring, it really makes a huge difference in your heart!
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email email@example.com; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
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