Oct 15, 2007

Something unique and new

I like spending time at CCD (Cafe coffee day). Though I don't do it quite often, the moments I engage in a cup of coffee are memorable. I love the CCD at the Crosswords book store after roaming around and browsing through different collections of books and having a quiet chit-chat (an oxymoron?) with dear hubby. My preference would always be for a cup of milky latte. Having been brought up in a South Indian family where coffee is close to everyone's heart and a daily morning ritual, I like my cup of coffee as a mixture of strong decoction at the bottom and frothy milk all the way up.

I came to know of this new coffee place Brewhaha in Koramangala while whiling away my time reading blogs sometime back. Having got disappointed with the tickets of Chak De not available on a Saturday evening, we decided to hang out at brewhaha around 7 PM. It's a unique place with a casual ambience and with many college-goers playing Scotland Yard and Scrabble. They have implemented a different concept where you can hang out with your friends, play a couple of board games and enjoy different flavors of coffee. I also heard from friends that they organize many interesting events. Their website (though not updated recently) shows that there was a Harry Potter quiz held on 22nd July. How did I miss that?

Now for the bad part. The service was pathetic, with the waiters focused more on setting the table for the buffet dinner than getting our orders for coffee. I don't understand the need for a buffet dinner when the USP (unique selling proposition) of this place is coffee. It looks like this place has lost its primary focus and trying different things. We waited for 15 minutes and finally got hold of the menu card. As usual, I ordered a latte and hubby went for a chocolate milkshake. This time, the wait was over 20 minutes and we were wondering if the coffee beans had to be plucked from the plantations of Coorg.

Though the idea is unique (coffee, events, hobbies and board games), trying other options like buffet dinner is not a good idea. The differentiation aspect goes for a toss. Moreover, the poor service adds to the fact that their operations is not upto the marks of CCD and Barista. Coffee places are picking up big time in India and it's a good business to venture into at this point of time. With a clear market leader in CCD, new entrants can succeed if they have some unique aspect that differentiates them. And I guess that is the reason behind Brewhaha's strategy. But lack of focus and customer service with not-so-good operational model can become a huge setback for their unique strategy. On top of it, their prices are on the same lines of CCD which shows that they are not very keen on capturing the market share with low prices. I'm not sure if they are advertising through any form of media. Being setup right next to a college (Jyoti Nivas college in Koramangala) really helps in capturing the pocket money of the college-going youngsters. It will be interesting to see if any new branches of Brewhaha opens soon.

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