Adelaide teen, 18, says ‘nobody came’ after he opened a café during the cost of living crisis
Adelaide teenager, 18, says ‘nobody came’ after he opened a cafe during the cost of living crisis
- Adelaide teenager, 18, opened a coffee shop in July
- He said business was slow and ‘nobody came’
An Australian teen who opened a cafe right out of high school told how “no one” came to his coffee shop until he started posting videos to TikTok.
In July, Tom Oswald, 18, opened his cafe ‘Homeboy’ in Hahndorf, about 25 minutes from Adelaide, and has been documenting its growth ever since.
Mr Oswald posted a series of videos of himself diligently decorating the cafe each day, but became increasingly discouraged by the lack of customers.
In one of his first videos, the teenager admitted that “nobody” came to the cafe in the first few days except for family members and a few friends.
“It can be a little quiet in the cafe at times but I fully expect that and I’m not going to comment on it,” he told news.com.au.
“Quiet days give me time to think and research, and busy days teach me the importance of efficiency.”
Mr Oswald’s candid videos about his customer problems quickly went viral on TikTok, with thousands of people urging him to keep going despite the slow start.
Tom Oswald, 18, opened his cafe ‘Homeboy’ in Hahndorf, about 25 minutes from Adelaide, in July and has been documenting its growth on social media
Mr. Oswald told his viewers that during his first few weeks, no one came to the coffee shop except his family and a few friends.
Dozens pledged to visit the coffee shop, while others suggested ways to attract more customers – such as a student discount and longer opening hours.
‘You are so inspiring, I’m 17 and I want to open a café. Keep it up man,” one person wrote.
“I’ve never been so invested in a cafe on the other side of the country,” said another.
With his newfound TikTok fame, business finally started to pick up.
“TikTok customers keep the dream alive,” he told his viewers on day seven.
A few weeks later, Mr. Oswald celebrated his first reservation and filmed him proudly placing a homemade “reserved” sign on a table.
The teen told his followers that he was inspired to start his own business after working at a coffee shop during high school.
In August, the teenager celebrated the coffee shop’s first reservation and filmed himself placing a handmade ‘reserved’ sign on one of the tables (pictured)
Mr. Oswald opened his cafe in a room already equipped with everything he needed
“I learned a lot of skills that I can take with me wherever I go,” he said.
“I wasn’t very good at making coffee, but I snuck on the machine as much as I could to try to get better.”
Then he had the opportunity to open a cafe in a hall already equipped with everything he needed.
Mr Oswald said he had visited dozens of coffee shops for market research and sought advice from other entrepreneurs.
The teen encouraged his followers: “If it’s scary to jump, jump.”
“I wasn’t sure if I could run a coffee shop myself, but wanted to give myself the challenge,” he said.