On Monday, July 24, 2023, the Seller Community team hosted its first in-person meetup. The event brought together 52 Bay Area business owners at the Oakland Community Space and featured a panel discussion with Salaams and Mica, who run Pomella Oakland restaurant.
Highlights From the Meetup
To kick off the event, restaurateurs Salaams and Mica described their journey launching Pomella Oakland, a full-service restaurant, in early 2020, just as shelter-in-place orders impacted businesses throughout the Bay Area.
The panel covered many essential topics such as business launch strategies, value-budget equilibrium, sustainability practices, marketing strategy, and navigating COVID restriction challenges.
We wrapped up the event with a networking hour where attendees connected with fellow entrepreneurs who understand the challenges and triumphs of running a small business.
☑️ Communication is Key
Communication goes a long way when setting expectations for pricing with customers. If pricing needs to go up to meet sustainability goals or if there is a form of ordering or payment that benefits the business, most customers are willing to support the cause.
☑️ Rely on Your Community
Once Salaams and Mica developed the concept for their restaurant, they launched a successful GoFundMe campaign, which gave their neighborhood a chance to contribute to their success — and they recognize their financial contributors on their website to this day. Their restaurant goes well beyond simply making food and creating jobs for their local economy. They add character and vibrancy to their community by hosting events and celebrating local milestones.
☑️ Balancing Technology With Budget
Mica shared her thoughts about how she decides to commit to products and services for her business. This looks different for everyone, and in her case, she shared the tradeoffs of relying on financial services versus being self- or community-funded as well as how she views pricing for food and beverage apps: "Always consider who is paying," says Mica. And remember to weigh pricing against the returns to the business.
☑️ It Was Great to Meet up in Real Life
We were so thrilled to meet the Square community of sellers in real time! And sellers were delighted to learn and share insights with each other. We saw many folks discussing Square products, specifically banking services, and at least two were excited about those resources and how they could use them to expand their business.
💡 Hint: if you missed out on attending this event, you’re still able to connect with fellow restaurant owners in our Food & Beverage group. Join now!
We can't express enough how grateful we are to everyone who attended and contributed to all of the conversations and connections during this event. Bringing sellers together both online and offline is at the heart of the Seller Community. We're excited to open up more opportunities for this community to learn, network, and build deeper relationships among themselves and with Square.
Interested in participating in a future Seller Community Meetup? We want to hear from you. Comment below to tell us more.
Tom Reem has contributed to the Square mission for over 11 years and is a Seller Community manager based in San Francisco. He's inspired by local business owners and works to champion resources that help them thrive.
The information provided in this article solely reflects the speakers’ views and are not endorsed by Square. This article is limited in scope and is only intended as a high-level overview of the topics mentioned. Seller Community conversations are for educational purposes and do not constitute legal, financial, or tax advice. For specific advice applicable to your business, please contact a professional.
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