Federal café, Barcelona

Today I want to review a concept of a café that had an impressively successful start, then was about to be mercilessly destroyed by the quality of service, and all the efforts that have been taken since then to improve the situation.

The concept is defined as “breakfast bar”.

The place is Federal Café. (http://www.federalcafe.es/, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Federal-Caf%C3%A9/180503855309595?ref=ts&fref=ts, https://es.foursquare.com/v/federal-caf%C3%A9/4c66d432ebfcb713aff11327)

Opened in 2010 on the boarder of Raval and Eixample, the café had a new offer for the city and especially modern for its tradition-oriented environment.

The concept of “breakfast bar” that is, in its essence, a democratic café with a relaxed atmosphere, chill-out music and a special menu for breakfast, proved to be on demand and turned it quickly in a place to be.

Being different, it attracted the people, who were interested in changes, who were ready to think out of the box and acquire new habits, which gave a creative boost to the café.

When considering the implementation of the democratic concept, it is worth mentioning an open bar that makes a part of the interior of the central hall of the café and big windows that are used as benches which create an impression of approachability and liberty.

Besides, a big table to share and a stand with freshly made home-style pastry that is always different, create the feeling of comfort that is so important in the morning.

Short and simple menus, different for breakfast and dinner, make the kitchen work efficiently and maintain the quality.

Prices about 10% higher than the average, made the place slightly less accessible while increasing its appeal.

For a long time there were queues in the morning and lots of people in the evening.

However, there was something that made people start looking for other options and that inspired competitors to open similar cafes just around the corner.

There can be indicated two main reasons.

The first and the worst was the service. There are endless stories of it. And this reason was the major that people were indicating when explaining why they were not going there any longer.

The second reason that has an accumulating effect is a lack of changes. Basically, in the interior. It is a combination of good taste and good luck that makes a great design, but these are little changes that flatter the eye.

Thus, with the time it became obvious that competitors go growing promoting the same concept, and that the lack of attention repulses guests.

Therefore, as it has recently become obvious, a lot of effort is put into improvement of service – new waiters and more control. Sometimes, tooooo much attention. There should always be a balance observed.

To prove it, let’s check the evaluation of two restaurant search webs.

TripAdvisor that has a more historic overview – 3,5/5.

Foursquare that most acute to any changes and reflects actual performance – 9,3/10.

Hopefully, an eye will be kept on changes too.

To sum it up, let´s check the SWOT of the place:


  1. History. Basically one of the first breakfast bars
  2. Recognized quality in food, pastry and coffee
  3. Very good SEO, the first to appear in Google search
  4. WiFi


  1. Negative reputation for service
  2. Lack of communication with guests
  3. Kitchen is closed in the mid-day
  4. On Sunday closes at 17.30.


  1. More activity on Foursquare and Facebook can generate traffic.
  2. Little changes can retain guests


  1. Successful competition.
  2. Resistance to try whatever new

Well, this reviews resembles more a narration than a sum-up. But it was worth it.

Next time I will tell you about a very successful copy of the concept.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s