The Kabo Café now sits where an Indian takeaway operated for 6 years - they vacated the building due to Covid. We knew it was in a great location, on the main road between Kylemore Abbey & Clifden, two popular tourist destinations in Connemara. My sister who is a chef had been let go from her job because of Covid and told me she thought it would make a great café. I was working in Galway City but had always had the intention of moving home and this provided the perfect opportunity to do so. We were open within 6 weeks from conception to opening our doors.
Even though we’re in a tourist destination, it’s important to us to serve the local community as well. The locals are the ones that keep us going during the quiet months, especially with the various travel restrictions that were put in place over the past year. We aim to provide the best service we can to them. It’s important for us to find out what the needs and wants are of our local customers. We try to cater to that in both the cafe as well as the retail section of the business.
We started using Google Business Profile as soon as we first opened the doors. We’d Google ‘Kabo Cafe’ so that we could see what customers could see when they searched for us. It offered us the chance to reach our customers with our updated opening hours, photos and direction to the cafe. We didn’t (and still don’t!) have a website so it’s very much the first point of contact for customers searching for us.
We can see from the stats that Google Business Profile sends us, exactly how being signed up has affected our business. Over the past 6 months, we know that 150 people have called us directly from finding our phone number on there and that over 400 customers have used directions on Google Maps to find us. Every little bit of help we can get is welcomed! Even though we’re located on a main road, we are always fighting for attention with bigger, more established and well promoted businesses. We didn't have any money at the beginning of this journey to advertise our business and that’s where the Google Business Profile has been amazing and made us visible. It’s incredible to think that over 9000 people have viewed our profile in the past 6 months. It’s also very easy to use, especially for people with little computer skills and we’ve found that the more we update and post new pictures, the more engagement we get from the public.
We hope to firmly establish Kabo Cafe as a real part of the community we grew up in. We have plans to put on great wine and tapas evenings, cookery demonstrations, art exhibitions and cocktail nights. Until then, we will try and perfect our system so things run smoothly and continue to provide a great service to anyone visiting our café.