Too big?

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    Mickey Jo Sorrell

    I’ve got a question and I’d love some feedback: how big is too big?
    And the corollary: What do you do about it?

    Our Teen Cafe (Chapel Hill, North Carolina), now in its fourth year, has seen attendance climb from 30 (first couple of years) to 55 (last year) to 68 (in October) to 83 (Friday night). I expect December will be smaller (it usually is) and we will be temporarily in a larger venue.

    But for the future, if this rate continues, we’ve got issues:
    #1. Space. We are stretching the limits of our current room (with tables and chairs) and wondering about moving to auditorium style seating (no tables). Not so good for eating nor for hands on demos.
    #2. Money. We serve pizza. 18 last Friday. Plus veggies, cookies, and lemonade. How many can we afford to feed? Do we compromise on quality or quantity?
    #3. And then there’s quality of experience for the teens and the scientist. (Believe it or not, November’s scientist had them up and moving around and October’s scientist had 68 teens lying on the floor in meditation.)

    Is it time to start a second cafe? (Money? Staffing? Scheduling? Space?)

    Is it time to help someone else start a cafe? (Public library, kids’ museum, other museums?)

    Has anyone else had this “problem?” What would you recommend?


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