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Coffee, Conversation, and Crisis: Deskanso Cafe

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

Now that the Corona situation in Manila is generally calmer (not better), we at Bean & Barley thought it might be a good time to share some relevant and valuable insights from cafe owners affected by the crisis worldwide . This is the fourth of a series of blog posts about the topic.

May Deskanso Cafe Tacloban City, Philippines Deskanso Cafe is the newest coffee hangout in Tacloban City, Philippines. It aims to serve the best coffee in the area, and if their first few weeks of operations are any indication, they are well on their way to claiming that distinction.

How did you react when the lockdown was announced? What were the key things you prioritized? When the lockdown was announced, first thing we had to make sure was to have ample supplies for at at least a month, since almost all of our supplies comes from Manila. How are you dealing with the lockdown, now that we’re in the middle of it? How are you keeping your employees engaged? Are you reviewing your plans and strategies? We decided to operate during the lockdown—we are open for pick-up and 3rd party delivery services such as Food Panda. But to keep us all safe, we had to provide a staff house near the café for all our employees to make sure they don’t catch anything during their commute. We just opened a week before the lockdown so there were a lot of things that needed tweaking. The lockdown gave us ample time to review and adjust everything so this was actually a blessing in disguise also. How are you preparing to kickstart your business when the lockdown is over? Are you planning some activities to make sure you hit the ground running? When the lockdown is lifted, we just want to give back. We want to say thank you to the people who kept us safe during this ordeal. What are the key lessons you’ve learned so far during this time of crisis? Key lessons: we learned to be more resourceful and ingenious. Simple example—we ran out of pizza boxes here so we had to make the boxes from scratch. Pizza is fast moving with us so we had to find a way to keep going. So yes, find ways to keep going. Having gone through this experience, how do you think you can make your business even more resilient in the future? We just realized we need to have a “resilience and continuity plan” especially for force majeure events such as this pandemic and natural disasters. It should address health and safety considerations for all employees and stakeholders, facilities management, communications, and an operations manual for continuity of business. We also saw the need to have an emergency fund outside the bank, a fund that we can easily access in times of emergency. Should be worth 3 months of operational cost. And that's a wrap! If you would like to have a deeper conversation about what you can do to make your coffee business more resilient to crises, feel free to get in touch with us HERE.

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