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Why not closing later?

That's what a costumer asked me in disbelief that we closed the cafe at 6pm.

"Why not closing later?"

I thought about before I answered the guy. The question came with some entitlement energy. The man was questioning with the tone "how come you will not be open to serve me until later?".

If the tone was more like: " I am curious about the reasons you decided to close at 6pm", I would gladly explain him the reasons. But entitlement is a thing that I can't understand. So I answered him in the most direct and honest way: "We close at 6pm because we are the owners and we can decide the time we open and close our store".

We fight hard everyday to be a place of community, a cafe like no other, where we not just serve you a delicious coffee, but we would ask how your family is doing. A community oriented business don't function just to make money. We don't waste our lives to open as early as possible and close as late as possible so we can make a little more money at the end of the month.

A community oriented business model works when both parts of the equation are present: the business serving and connecting to community members, and the community members supporting and connecting the business. A model where the business - or the community member takes advantage of each other is not how it works.

If you travel to other countries, exploring other cultures, you might see this model in practice. Places that open and close according to their possibilities. In Spain for example, business open in the morning, close during the day for a few hours, then re-open again late in the afternoon. It's the famous "siesta". In Brazil, business might stay open a little longer than normal hours if people are having fun - including the owners of the business.

When we decided to open Favela, we spent some time thinking about the aspects that would make our cafe unique. We wanted more than just money transaction. We also decided that we wanted to have fun in the process. Working long hours and not having time for ourselves were not part of the business plan. We work hard, and we have fun - and we work even harder to have work life balance.

So no, we don't close later to satisfy entitled individuals. We close when we think it is enough time connecting and serving our community. If the individual is part of our community, he, she or they will understand and come when we are open. If the person comes and wants to be served when he, she or they thinks is best for them, then they are not what a community member supposed to be.

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