1997: Gratis culinaire hapjes wegsnaaien op de Horecava

Inmiddels waren we uitgegroeid tot echte koffie-experts en hadden we een goede neus en smaakpapillen voor de verschillende koffiesmaken gekregen. Door het dagelijks vele proeven, kenden we bijna alle merken koffie qua smaak en aroma uit ons hoofd. Intussen werd ons duidelijk dat echte koffie-experts niet per defenitie grote koffiedrinkers zijn. Dat geldt vaak ook voor experts op een ander gebied dan koffie. Juist omdat de koffie-experts geen koffiedrinkers bij uitstek zijn, kunnen zij hun smaakpapillen het objectiefst houden en goed onderscheiden en definiëren wat zij uiteindelijk proeven.
Wij profileerden onszelf altijd als eerlijke verkopers; we vertelden de klanten nooit dat onze koffie dé lekkerste en beste koffie was. Wij vonden dat iedereen dat voor zichzelf uit moet maken en dat het voornamelijk een kwestie van persoonlijke smaak is, in combinatie met de smaak van de gasten, want daar zal het geld mee moeten worden verdiend. Daarom zorgden we ook dat de koffie in de praktijk uitgeprobeerd werd en de reactie van de klanten kon worden gehoord. Daarbij maakte toen al ons design van de verpakking en het servies veel indruk. In tegenstelling tot een hoop van onze conculega’s die de klanten vaak hun koffiemolen verkochten met daarbij het verhaal dat er in de betreffende molen vooral geen andere koffiebonen mochten komen, omdat dan de molen kapot zou gaan. Bijna altijd geloofden die klanten dit volkomen oneerlijke en onzinnige verhaal.
Als iemand, tijdens een proefsessie, opmerkte dat een ander merk koffie lekkerder was, vertelde ik hem vrolijk dat ie die dan maar moest kopen en we dus geen tijd meer meer hoefden te verspillen met de proeverij. Zo simpel stelde ik dat, in tegendeel natuurlijk tot manlief die zakelijker was. Maar na een paar minuten bleek dan meestal dat het grootspraak van de persoon in kwestie was en werd het restaurant gewoon een klant van ons.

In 1997 stond de Horecava op ons programma. De Horecava was altijd het belangrijkste horeca evenement van het jaar in Nederland en in principe hoor je daar natuurlijk ook te staan. Al is het alleen maar als bevestiging naar alle horecaondernemers dat je meetelt. We hadden zoals gewoonlijk weer geld gespaard om in de zaak te investeren in plaats van aan ons zelf en dus legden we circa F10.000,00 neer voor een bescheiden plek tussen alle grote merken.
De inrichting voor de stand, organiseerde en ontwierp ikzelf zodat we geen onnodige hoge kosten hoefden te verspillen. Tijdens de horecavadagen stonden twee personeelsleden van ons gedurende de dag op de stand en stonden zij de mensen te woord. Natuurlijk waren wij zelf ook present en ikzelf hield me bezig met het koffie bereiden op de espressomachine die we er geïnstalleerd hadden. Tussendoor liep ik met driejarige peuterdochter, die ook een dagje erbij was, over de beurs wat dochter ook erg leuk vond.
Al met al had ik zelf zo m’n bedenkingen over het groots opgezet horecageweld en had er nou niet echt vertrouwen in dat het zakelijk iets zou opleveren. Ik zag voornamelijk mannen rondlopen die het wel erg geslaagd vonden om heerlijk vrij en blij over zo’n beurs te wandelen, in de tijd van de baas, en hier en daar culinaire gratis hapjes weg te snaaien. Gelukkig namen een paar échte ondernemers ook nog wel de tijd om even te kijken of er interessante dingen tussen zaten. Hier hielden we in ieder geval dan nog wel een paar mooie verkooptransacties aan over. Daarbij hadden we diverse bestaande relaties uitgenodigd, die even langskwamen.
Achteraf gezien, vond ik de Horecava iets wat je als groot bedrijf leuk kunt doen omdat het dan toch niet veel uitmaakt of je wat extra’s investeert. Maar als kleiner bedrijf vind ik het persoonlijk zonde van het geld en kun je daar beter lekker een paar keer van op vakantie gaan :-)).
Lees hier verder

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Since 1989 entrepreneur: exclusive importer of Italian espresso coffee Manuel Caffè, Pumpkinseed oil, Acme Cups, Manuka honey; publisher 50+ own websites, producer kids TV channel, photographer red carpet, illustrator/graphic designer, webhoster/designer, writer, mother/PR-manager of one of the world's best hyper realistic artists Rajacenna, Tarot reader, writer AllAboutLife for Celesta.nl since 2003

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