My learnings from two café's in Avignon, France.
Whilst in Avignon we decided that it would make sense for me to work from a local cafe in the mornings so that Alex and the kids had more room to play and do things in the morning and I could work without being disturbed - win-win.
So we sussed out a place that looked good (and even was recommended in a digital nomad blog) - it opened at 8:30am - later than I planned to start but I could do an hour or two before everyone got up in the awning, then head to the cafe for a start there at 8:30 - perfect plan.
The first day, I set all that in motion, and arrived at the cafe at 8:30 on the dot…it wasn’t open…and there were no signs of life inside as if it was opening in a minute or 2. Just in case I hung around for 5 mins…nope…no movement at all..the chairs were still all up on the tables from tidying the night before.
Hmm…ok…I stereotypically thought - “typical French timekeeping” - then very quickly realised that was a terrible generalisation and I shouldn’t be so judgemental.
So I went round the corner and found another cafe to work from (not at lovely - but it did the trick).
The next day I thought, I’ll give that place another go…perhaps someone was just running a little late to open up - after all, these things happen (although I really do hate lateness!)
I decided to arrive a few minutes after opening, to be a little safer…I arrived at 8:40…nothing…no sign of life again…now I was a little miffed…walked around to find somewhere else to work from…
Day 3 - no I am not a glutton for punishment - I didn’t try the same place again - instead I found somewhere that opened at 7:30 - awesome - I was looking forward to it.
I arrived at 7:30 - closed still. I walked around for a little while…walked past again at 7:40…closed still…walked past at 7:45am…still closed (and nowhere else said they were open that early for me to head somewhere else that day)…finally at 7:55 they opened…
Will this be my experience throughout mainland Europe? Will this just have been my experience in Avignon? Was I just unlucky - it’s off season so perhaps people are a little less precise with their opening times…only time will tell if this will be my experience for the rest of our trip…
But the business learning is - are you delivering on the basics that your clients and customers expect?
Not opening at the advertised opening times (which were on both of these places websites, facebook pages and google listings) was very far away from my expectations.
What do your customers expect from you as standard and are you delivering because if not, they might just have to go round the corner to somewhere/someone else...