A report from the Research & Markets consulting firm examining the food service operations of 29 academic and public libraries has found that half of the public libraries surveyed run their own cafe, as compared to just about a quarter of academic libraries.
Other finding include:
• the mean total annual cost of salaries of the cafe employees is $31,528;
• 37.5 percent of libraries with less than 50,000 annual visitors say the cafe also caters library functions, while just 25 percent of libraries with 500,000 or more annual visitors say the same:
• A mean of 35.89 percent of the total revenues of the library cafes in the sample is accounted for by the sales of coffee;
• Just 13.79 percent of libraries in the sample have mobile carts to sell food.
The 78-page report also examines sales tendencies, revenues and other benchmarking statistics of library cafes, restaurants, and food carts, as well as how the library's food service operations are run, citing total cost of salaries, seasonal hours of the cafe and the library's overall satisfaction. Also included are participants' written responses detailing the cafe's best and worst-selling products, as well as advice to peers concerning the marketing, development, and management of the library cafe.