Image Source: University of South Australia’s Magill Campus Facebook Page
By James Hersey
The coffee culture in Australia is no secret, as many Australians feel the urge to consume coffee daily.
According to McCrindle, younger generations of Australians place a higher importance on drinking coffee to survive the day and are more likely to get their supply from a café rather than at home.
Since I Met Harry is a café located at UniSA’s Magill campus and serves stressed out students over 300 coffees a day on average.
Manager and part owner Frankie Marafioti is mindful of the pressures of being a university student and tries to impact every customer positively.
“I have a big opportunity in my industry to help people and a simple ‘how is your day?’ can have an impact on a person,” Mr Marafioti said.
(Manager Frankie Marafioti and barista Fabian Rinaldo share smiles as they make coffee.)
Image Source: James Hersey
With university students and staff repeatedly coming back for more, this gives the café staff a chance to get to know customers and recognise if they are having a bad day.
”I want people to feel like they’re getting away from their desk or laptop to an oasis where you can have conversations that matter to both the staff and the customer,” Mr Marafioti said.
University student Bethany Ringvall finds the café a positive environment that makes coming to university easier and less draining.
“I think it’s nice having interactions with the staff because when they hand you your coffee, they say thank you and stay positive all the time,” Ms Ringvall said.
(Barista Fabian Rinaldo handing out your coffee fix for the day.)
Image Source: James Hersey
The name ‘Harry’ in the café’s title is a placeholder name that represents any person around the café coming together over coffee, food, and meeting new people.
“The name is basically saying that since I met Harry my life has changed or since I met Harry the coffee has brought us closer,” Mr Marafioti said.
Creating a positive cafe space can come down to the personality of the barista, as the café environment is heavily influenced by the barista.
Barista Fabián Rinaldo tries to find a balance between the high number of orders, producing quality coffee, and having a positive interaction with every customer.
“Sometimes it’s a bit stressful, but majority of the time it’s fun because you’re working with people you want to work with,” Mr Rinaldo said.
To boost the attitude of the staff, Mr Marafioti wants his staff to treat the place like it’s their own café and encourages staff to greet everyone with a big smile.
“It’s more about personality. It’s one thing to know how to make a cup of coffee, but it’s more about the space and how we impact peoples’ day,” Mr Marafioti said.
The mutual trust between staff means that everyone stays in a good mood even through the onslaught of coffee orders between lectures.
“Not having someone over my shoulder and having Frank trust what I’m doing makes it easier to do what I’m doing,” Mr Rinaldo said.
Students can feel welcomed at the café with manager Mr Marafioti hoping students enjoy the space and are able to talk to the staff for either a chat or a much-needed coffee.