Cuban For A Day? In Refreshment Services, It Pays To Be Ready For Change

March 28, 2012
When you’re in the refreshment services business, success is largely determined by your own creativity.

When you’re in the refreshment services business, success is largely determined by your own creativity. Creativity in how you relate with your customers, your employees and the products and services you offer.

With the myriad of technological, cultural and economic influences affecting us today, it’s hard to focus on any one area. This is why it’s important to have a team of people who meet regularly and share ideas about what’s up and coming. We all have more to do than we can get done in the course of the day. In order to come up with new ideas, we need to make time to sit down with our friends and colleagues and brainstorm.

I thought of this yesterday as I read the morning paper on a plane to Orlando, Fla. It was my first chance to relax after a busy Monday. The front page carried an article on the pope’s trip to Cuba. The event has caused a lot of discussion about what will happen when the government in that isolated nation changes. There is much discussion about the possibility of a new market for U.S. goods and services. When this happens, which many observers think is going to be sooner than later, there will be a lot of attention focused on Cuba’s fascinating culture, including its very unique cuisine.

When I got off the plane in Orlando, I perused the airport gate for coffee shops and immediately noticed Zaza Cuban Coffee Café. Besides coffee and espresso beverages, the establishment features a wide range of muffins. I ordered café con leche (those of you in refreshment services should be familiar with this) and it was the real thing: very strong, full bodied coffee with its own unique taste. A wonderful change of pace for someone who loves coffee but doesn’t normally drink Cuban coffee. I began to think of where I could get Cuban coffee at home.

I was so intrigued by this brief cultural exposure that I fired up my smart phone and learned more about this establishment on, a Website that features reviews about businesses worldwide. I learned there is a big following for Cuban coffee and refreshments, and it’s not limited to the Cuban community.

Be ready for Cuban coffee, croissants and muffins. The Cuban cuisine has historically been confined to émigré communities, but just as other ethnic tastes have gone mainstream, Cubans will soon have their turn, just as the Italians, Chinese, Mexicans and numerous others have before them.

There is no limit to the variety of refreshments available to people in the refreshment services business. There is always something new and exciting to offer customers. And with the Internet and social media, refreshment service operators have more tools than ever to introduce people to new and exciting refreshments.