In most places March is in like a lion and out like lamb. In Austin March is in like a lamb, out like a lamb but it has a ferocious lion with rabies for the middle-part. That’s right, we’re talking about the much beloved, SXSW music, film and interactive conferences. Our staff and local patrons have mixed feelings about the annual festival. It makes traffic even worse than usual, which is already pretty bad, it makes even the most mundane activities a little bit more tedious. On the other hand, it brings the city A LOT of business and it’s so cool to have the best of what’s new in film, music, and technology right at our fingertips. There are celebrity and future-celebrity sightings as so much live music that by the end you’ll beg for some talk-radio.
So, cut those wristbands off, put your badges in a drawer and let’s look at SXSW at Kerbey Lane in some interesting numbers. As you know, we have five locations and all of them do extra business during SXSW. That may seem surprising considering how far away our Northwest and Southwest locations are from the epicenter of the madness but they are also near hotels. These numbers are approximate and relate to all of our stores combined throughout all of SXSW 2012.
We served roughly 50,000 guests. They ate about 5,000 Kerbey Quesos, 20,000 pancakes and about 500 gallons of Orange Juice. We sold about 18,000 cups of bottomless, fair-trade, organic coffee. We had about 775 check-ins on Foursquare, at least 100 of those people checked-in more than once while they were in town. We had celebrity encounters at all of our locations from all aspects of the festival but we won’t name names. Over half of our staff approached or received over-time, many of them worked 9 hour shifts then went downtown for 8 more hours to participate in the festival.
As you can tell, it was a very busy, very fun week to be at Kerbey Lane Cafe. We truly appreciate everyone who came in, braved the waits and enjoyed a meal or two, or three with us. For those of you who live in Austin year-round and avoided our stores during the madness, we can assure you that things have returned to normal and it’s safe to come home now.