Internet Café Business Terminology

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Overview & Definition of Terms:

This blog post contains the basic terminology to be used in our discussions on planning, organizing, leading and controlling an Internet café business. This  article is part of a knowledge base section that will deal on “managing a café” in order for an investor in the business to not only recover his investment but to make reasonable return on investment (ROI) as  well.

The above goal is easier said than done. The current attrition rate in the industry is very high. Could it be lack of preparation to indulge in the business or is it just lapses in managing it? No matter what, a thorough knowledge of the business should help and that is the aim of this section,  share the knowledge about the business without jeopardizing the trade secrets of some café owners which make them stand out from the rest.

Careful planning and thorough evaluation of existing facts and figures are requisites of a sound business foundation. If you are currently a café owner, did you do this before you sink your hard-earned money in the venture? How and when do you expect to recover your investment?

Basically, there are three (3) kinds of cafés according to the services they offer. They are as follows:

  1. Internet Café – no games,
  2. Gaming Café – games only and
  3. Internet + Gaming Café

No matter what kind of café a shop is, its customers can be classified into two (2) kinds:

  1. Productive – those doing researches, typing resumes, preparing reports, etc. and
  2. Leisure – those chatting with friends, listening to music, watching videos and, of course, playing games.

Depending on what kind of kind of service(s) a café offers, the capitalization needed varies widely in terms of the computer equipment to be bought. The other requisites for a well-patronized shop like adequate Internet bandwidth, stable power supply and efficient air-conditioning system will be the same for all the business models described above.

Lastly, the location of the business spells a lot to its success. Needless to say, it should be located where the target market is and minimal competition exists. Where is that location? Prospective cafe owners must first find it before they dip hands into their pockets or get the loans needed by the venture.

Internet Café vs. Gaming Café

What are the differences between an Internet Café and Gaming Café? Will their differences matter much in an investor’s decision on which to choose as his business model? Let me try to describe the two (2) café models so that those who are still in the planning stage will be guided while those already in may know exactly where they are.

The ambiance of an Internet café is very different to that of a shop categorized as Gaming Café. The customers’ profile also varies widely because their purposes in availing the services of the café are different from one to the other. The customers  inside an Internet café either want to be productive or be entertained while those inside a Gaming café are there purely for leisure.

To elaborate further on the differences between the two (2) opposite café business models, let me explain some more that majority of the customers in Internet café are the what I called “productive” ones who go and rent computers to do researches, type resumes, prepare and submit work reports online and do many other things in furtherance of goals to accomplish things that they are tasked to produce.

Other customers of Internet café do social networking with their friends, relatives and acquaintances by emailing, chatting and calling them using the VoIP technology.  Either way, Internet café customers need a silent environment, though soft music may do for some, and definitely a cozy ambiance. Customers of Internet cafés would gladly pay after using the computers because they had accomplished their purpose in going there. This is especially true if the café attendants had helped them get through some constraints in doing what they need to do.

On the contrary, a Gaming café is the opposite of an Internet cafe. It is very noisy place, dimly lit and customers seem to be in eternal battle among themselves. Payments for the PC rent are almost always “Pay Before Play” because the owners do not want to run after customers who are too frustrated losing their games and usually forgot to pay at the counter before leaving their place.


Internet + Gaming Café

Roughly said, a café owner does not just offer to serve the needs of the two (2) kinds of customers described above and be successful in his business. In many instances, a choice on which one to cater has to be made.

For reasons already mentioned above, the two (2) services cannot be offered in a common business space and spell customer’s satisfaction in an Internet plus Gaming café. The two kinds of customers have to be physically separated. There should be a place to be productive and another one for leisure. Productive customers want a place conducive for them while leisure clients need a place to enjoy and relax.

After reading about the three (3) categories, what kind of café do you have if you are currently engaged in the business? If you are just in the planning stage, what do you want your café to be?

By the way, I want to add that our lessons in Café 101 do not stop here, the whole weblog is a knowledge base for current and would-be café owners. And to squeeze more from yours truly, you may post your queries here and anywhere on the articles in this weblog. Isn’t that nice?

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