Brownies & Downies opened its second branch in Eindhoven on Monday.
This is at the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). An exciting day, not in the least for the café’s staff. This branch specialises in self-service.
Students want to be able to grab a quick bite and a cup of coffee between classes. They, as well as lecturers, don’t have the time for an extended lunch. Brownies & Downies decided to respond to this specific request.
At the end of last year, they came up with the idea to open a second Eindhoven branch at TU/e. It became a so-called grab-and-go concept, similar to that of La Place. Guests fill their trays from several counters containing foods.
They pay at the checkout and then have a quick lunch. Not that guests can’t take their time – there are plenty of tables and seats. But the staff at Brownies & Downies – often people with mental challenges – don’t have to serve the food.
A new concept at a new location is, of course, exciting. “It’s a very different kettle of fish,” says branch manager, Robin Walschots. “Several tasks differ from what the employees are familiar with at our Victoriapark location.”
“The team was quite anxious about that. But we had a good talk beforehand about who would like to come and work here. Anyone who found it difficult was welcome to stay at the other location.”
It is also an exciting day for Yaoni, who works at the restaurant. What, with the camera team around. She stood at the entrance, giving each customer a tray, and having a bit of a chat.
“I say things like ‘How are you? ‘There you go’. and ‘Enjoy your meal’. But sometimes I also make snacks, wash up or dry off,” she says. Co-worker, Mark, operates the cash register.
“It’s nice work,” he proudly says. “I have a responsibility here. I don’t know what a brownie or a sausage roll costs. But you don’t have to, because all the products are pre-programmed. All I have to do is press the right button”.
Yaoni has a tip for the new visitors. “The sausage and sausage rolls. I really like those. And I’ve heard that the sandwiches and salads are delicious too. But I’ve never tasted them.”
Brownies & Downies at TU/e is open daily from 10:00 to 16:00.
Editor: Melinda Walraven