Cat for an hour: how to make a cafe for lovers of Pets

The founder of the cafe “Cats and people” Vladimir Kuzin

“I’ve never been a cat person, and now my house is home to eight cats,” — says the founder of the cafe “Cats and people” Vladimir Kuzin. Our conversation at one of the tables and then interrupts fluffy red cat — jumps up on a table and requires the attention of the owner. For communication with cats — in addition to red their then 23 — paying visitors.

The idea to open a café where people could spend time in the company of cats, IT-specialist Vladimir Kuzin spied on YouTube. After the first cafés opened in 1998 in Taiwan, such institutions spread across Asia and even reached St. Petersburg in 2011 there was opened the first Russian cafés “Republic of cats”. These cafes are very different from the usual restaurants: rather, they are like a club, where the visitors come not for the food, and to pet cats and play with them.

The minute

Anticafe visitors do not pay for their food and service, and carried out in institution time. Usually paid hourly or by the minute, the time cost and includes free tea and coffee and sometimes snacks (cookies, crackers). According to the portal in Moscow there are more than 50 institutions of this format at a price of RUB 1 (“Flat 7”) to 9. (“Cats and people”) per minute. Some finishes include a library, an opportunity for presentations or viewing movies and also renting space for trainings, workshops and holidays. In other places you can play computer games or table — foosball, table hockey. Or just one for relaxation and one for work, where you can sit with laptop. In a separate antikafe even have office equipment.

Anticafe inhibits the growth of a fairly narrow target audience, mainly the youth, which is the main thing — to gather a group to be cheap, says General Director of the company “Restkon Elena Pepelina. “Antikafe main competitors is coworking, as well as the usual cafes, where to take a coffee once in three hours may be cheaper than in antikafe to sit,” says Pepelina. Time cafe — just a marketing ploy which may work or not work, says restaurateur Arkady Novikov. “People go to cafes to drink a Cup of coffee, something to eat or just relax. If the owners will be able to provide such services, not so important, what exactly shall be paid by the customer,” — said Novikov.

At the time cousins was studying in the startup Academy GVA LaunchGurus, and the idea to open a similar institution in Moscow seemed promising. “I worked all my life in the IT industry grew from programmer to IT Director of the security company “Caesar Satellite”, but I wanted to be the owner of your own business,” says cousins.

In early 2015, Vladimir invested all their savings into developing a mobile app for finding and rating restaurants Me Gusta, but it failed. “In the restaurant business psychology much more than in IT, and to go even with a very competent app that is designed from the point of view of programming, but not psychology, it’s useless”, — shares his experience Volodymyr. The best way to work in the restaurant business, he realized, is to work in catering.

Money to run the cafe was trying to get a loan was a failure: “Banks give a loan at clear financial plan from which a clear profit, they could not understand what the cafés,” he recalls. And Vladimir decided to risk it a second time: took relatives to the opening of the cafe about 3 million rubles.

The first thing was to decide where to take cats. Vladimir agreed with his fellow breeders kittens Larisa Urusova and Oleg Agranovich. According to SPARK, now a 51 percent stake in OOO “Katielady” belongs to Vladimir Cousin and 24.5% of Urusova and Agranovich.

With the help of breeders Vladimir found a private sponsor, ready to give to the cafe nine cats from your shelter. In return, the cousins paid for the cost of treatment and vaccinations for cats and helped to place animals in families at the request of the visitors of the cafe. Option to cat lived in cafes constantly, was not even discussed, says cousins, “Then the concept of cafés seems lifeless — imagine ten cats will live in the café for 15 years. Once it becomes pity them. And when is constantly changing, the pride, the cats come and go family, this is logic”.

“Cats and people” in numbers

3 million rubles was spent on the run cafe

500 rubles — the average check in a cafe

More than RUB 1 million revenue month brings cafés

24 cats from a shelter live in a coffee shop

From 30 thousand to 40 thousand rubles per month is spent on keeping the cats

From 3 rubles to 9 rubles worth a minute of time in cafes

In 1998 in Taiwan opened the world’s first cafés

Source: company data

Coosawatchie and people

The first room for a café of 50 square meters found in one of the houses on Sadovaya-Samotechnaya street in Moscow in the beginning of 2015. Rent cost 300 thousand rubles., but the Cousin and his partner is not confused. In vain. “We did not heed the advice of financial analysts who were telling us that it is dangerous to run in the crisis in such conditions”, — says Vladimir.

At the opening of the café took almost 3 million roubles — you could spend half as much, but because of the slow foreman repair was delayed, I had three months to pay the rent “in vain.” Cats do not require special maintenance, but need to set the columns, which they could climb, to make the shelves different heights where they could sleep.

Cafe opened in April 2015 and for the first month of work, has collected a good revenue of 1.5 million rubles. However, the first wave of visitors that came through advertising in Facebook, quickly subsided, and the new one never came, the summer came.

Besides the cafe was in the yard, the flow of people passing by. And it became clear that the 50 sqm is too low. “It turned out that with cats there are incredibly closely,” says Vladimir. Given the technical premises where cats can relax from visitors, from the entire area remained little more than half. Revenue soon fell to 600-800 thousand rubles. per month. Cafes became unprofitable.

“We thought that this project is not for fussy Moscow. But then we decided that we have, first, the rent is huge, and secondly, if you do the school, only on the first line and the Windows. Began to look for new premises,” says Kuzin.

In December 2015, the café moved on Sadovaya-Karetnaya — in the new building on the first line rental cost only 200 thousand rubles, and revenues at the same time returned to the original indicators. However, since the café moved two more times: first, on Maroseyka street, and August 6, 2016 — on the street Gilyarovskogo near the metro station “Prospect Mira”. Cousins says that the second move happened contrary to his wishes: on Sadovaya-Karetnaya he was a Sublessee, and the landlord without warning, he sold the room. On Maroseyka was a temporary shelter in the premises of the partners. All the throwing did not go to the benefit of the business. Cousins hopes that at least for the most discerning cafes to linger long.

Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC


Photo: Vladislav Shatilo/RBC

Children and cats

In Asian cafés are not allowed visitors with children, so that they do not torture animals. Vladimir Kuzin decided that Russia without children, the concept doesn’t work.

The time cost includes coffee, tea, hot chocolate and biscuits. “We have introduced pay as you go and unlimited drinks. It’s not ideal, but we wanted to make a place where people came and did not think about money, keep him comfortable,” — said the founder of the café.

Coffee and other drinks in the café, visitors do on their own. Not to pay for the repairs of the coffee machine, it was leased to the coffee company Julius Meinl — “Cats and people” got it for free along with a monthly commitment to purchase coffee in the amount of 20 thousand rubles. And that the employee was not carrying bottles, cousin rented for 5 thousand rubles. per month cooler that filters tap water.

Make a complete kitchen in the same room where animals are not allowed under the law. Had to do a fridge, which for an additional fee visitors can take cakes or sandwiches.

The number of cats in a cafe with time increased up to 24 in this scenario, visitors can see about half of them during the day. “It is important for people visual presence of cats, and if nine of them in all, half will sleep or hide. Accordingly, on view will be five cats, three of which will hide on a high shelf. People do not understand this, they want to see a lot of cats,” says Kuzin.

Cats are free to take home after the interview with the curator — not just anyone will give. Now cafe has partnered with several shelters, for example, Fund “Fluffy paws” and help Fund homeless animals “Forest shelter”, which always have ready a few healthy cats with a ready vetpasport, vaccinations and tests that can join the pride, if someone from animal will take home caring visitors.

So the cat was in “Cats and people”, it should be not only healthy, but also socialized, non-aggressive, as well as different from the other cats in the pride. “If we have one white cat, white is still possible to get, but the third is meaningless, because they’re all confused,” — explains Vladimir. According to him, every cat he has to pay the shelter from 3 thousand to 4 thousand rubles a month — the money to cover travel expenses for vets. Cat café provides its own expense is the main expense after the cost of rent and salaries. Monthly feeding, vitamins, medicine and care for cats translates into tens of thousands of rubles, says cousins. The café has 10-15 employees with an hourly schedule — mostly students who love cats.

The main part of the café receives income from the visitors that pay time. One minute the company is from 6 to 9 rubles depending on day of week and time of day. Monday in the café “happy day” discounts — from 10 to 12 hours the price is 3 rubles per minute, from 12 to 14 — 4 rubles., night — $ 5 an hour together with coffee, biscuits and other things comes out to about 180 rubles, which is quite cheap for Moscow. The more coffee we have a good, not an instant”, — said Vladimir Kuzin.

Another 10% of revenue is generated through the sale of food and Souvenirs, which are cousins with partners buy from wholesalers. Of the Souvenirs are the most popular jewelry and toys, and the books sold poorly, says cousins.

All cafés brings in about 1 million rubles of profit per month, said Vladimir Kuzin. He hoped that in a new place on Gilyarovskogo this figure will be stable unlike those months in which cafe moved from place to place, and over time will grow to 1.5 million Net income is about 350 thousand rubles According to Cousin, most of the time he spends on development, such as participation in exhibitions and various special projects — for example, wants to make mobile cafés in portable pavilion which you can take and collect at various events.


Seals sweeping the planet

According to Vladimir Kuzin, is now in cafés, even on 115 square meters became a bit crowded and noisy due to the constant flow of visitors with children. But the move he has no plans — instead, he wants to open two more cafes in the same way in Moscow until the end of the year and then distribute the idea on the regions to make a full franchise network. “Actually, I network institutions do not like idea are usually emasculated, so I would like to make a network so that each institution was different,” he says.

But the idea of cafés spread throughout Russia and no Cousin. In addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, these cafes have already been opened in Samara, Kazan, Togliatti, Irkutsk, Krasnodar, Tyumen and other Russian cities, told RBC, the founder of the cafés, “Mr. Moore” in Voronezh, Anastasia Peshkova. In her coffee shop open in December 2015, visitors also can take any cat home. “The main objective of the institution is not commercial, it is to provide as many homeless animals,” says Peshkova. However, she said, cafes in Voronezh profitable.

Vladimir Kuzin also considers the important social role of their business. According to him, “Cats and people” agree with orphanages so that typical children and children with special needs could come and chat with cats. The first such event has already passed. “I’m glad I can ask people for money for charity, but to earn them,” says the entrepreneur.