The History of Cafe 8
Cafe 8 was first opened to the public in late 2013, but the development took place throughout 2013, and 2012.
What would eventually become Cafe 8 began when the Hong Kong Maritime Museum approached the Nesbitt Centre about creating a restaurant-style space for people to come eat and relax at near the Museum's new location at Pier 8 in Central. This tied in with the opening of The Nest in October of 2013. The Nest is a smaller coffee shop at St. John's Cathedral also sponsored by the Nesbitt Centre, and providing working opportunities for its students in a social environment. The Maritime Museum offered more Nesbitt Centre students a chance to work in social environments with the Cafe, but with a larger customer base and a greater range of tasks than what the Nest could provide.
Construction of the Cafe took several months, and Nesbitt Centre students who were to start work when that construction was complete attended special training courses at the Centre. These courses focused on how to make good coffee, what the different dishes were called, as well as proper etiquette for speaking to customers, and serving them food and drinks. Other topics taught included how to use the cash register properly, sweeping and mopping up the floor, keeping tables and seats clean, and keeping a positive attitude while working.
Since its opening, Cafe 8 has expanded in several areas, including music selection, proper seating arrangements, light fixtures, menu layouts, and special dishes. The Cafe continues to attract many different people, whether new customers or regulars, thanks to its relaxing atmosphere and efficient services. It has proven to be a good profit for the Nesbitt Centre, and a good working place for many of its capable students.
An achievement made by the Cafe in 2015 is an 'Outstanding Social Caring Organisation Award', in recognition of the work provided to the Nesbitt Centre students, and other staff members, and the pleasant atmosphere the Cafe has for its customers. In addition, one of the Cafe's staff, Ho Bun, received the Social Welfare Department's 'Happy Employee Award' in the same year for his dedicated work at the Cafe in a variety of tasks.
(Written in the summer of 2016 by CT)