Cat Cafe Success but Crumbs & Whiskers making some changes: “Less people, More Treats, New Pricing (& Cat Yoga)”

by Prince Of Petworth August 31, 2015 at 12:15 pm 15 Comments

3211 O Street, NW

From Crumbs and Whiskers:

“The past two months have been incredible. With your help, we have fostered over 40 cats, adopted 23 cats, and put smiles on the faces of thousands of people. Cheers to that!

But, we have also learned a lot about how we can improve. We have spent the past two months listening very carefully to everything you’ve had to say, and it’s now time for us to make some changes. So here they are:

Max Number of People: We are reducing the number of people we allow in the café at once by nearly half to eliminate overcrowding. That being said, please remember that weekends and some weeknights will still feel busy because they are our peak hours. If you would like to visit us during slow hours, we recommend weekday mornings/afternoons and late evenings.

Café Experience: We are eliminating the previous food ordering system, and are instead including complimentary coffee and tea (self serve) with your cover charge. We will also feature macarons and other treats from a neighborhood bakery for those of you with a sweet tooth. No more waiting around for orders to arrive.

Cover Charge: Starting today, August 29, our cover charge will be $15 per reservation. This charge will include complimentary coffee and tea. Due to the significant reduction in our capacity, we have no choice but to implement a small increase in our cover. We hope you’ll understand.

Seating Options: We have added additional seating options in the cat café – there are more chairs and benches for those of you who are not stoked about floor seating.

We are making lots of smaller changes as well, but these are the big ones we want you to know about. We really want you to have an amazing time at the cat café. Email us ([email protected]) if you visited Crumbs & Whiskers when we opened and did not have good time. We have some ideas on how to make it up to you.

PS. We just discovered that a lot of you really like yoga. And cats (obviously.) You know what’s coming next…”

  • jdre

    “P.S. We discovered that cat yoga is very marketable…”

  • palisades

    Interesting that this isn’t getting any comments or discussion. Seems like another reasonable move by the business.
    Everyone was so quick to crap on this place and it looks like they’ve been a complete success so far, and are hearing the critics and willing to make it even better.

    • If it makes you feel any better, my reaction was “Hmph — higher cover charge and fewer food options? This pretty much guarantees I won’t check this place out.”

      • palisades

        Sounds like they’re streamlining the food/drink process – which of course means cutting back on options. Let’s be real here, no one goes for the food or drinks anyway. They’re just trying to simplify it.

        • Fair enough… but it seems unfortunate that the simplification comes with a higher price tag. (Obviously I have no idea what their ratio of income to operating expenses is.) Didn’t the cover charge use to be $10? A five-dollar increase may be “small” in absolute terms, but it is a 50% increase from the previous cover.

          • jumpingjack

            It was $10 on weekdays, $12 on weekends. It makes sense to charge more on weekends, so I don’t know why they dropped this.
            When I went I didn’t get any food. I’m only there for an hour, and it’s to pet kitties, not drink coffee or eat snacks.

          • AG

            Exactly, I’m not there to eat. Plus, they’re now adding free coffee and tea, so that’s nice. I for one, can’t wait to go.

      • Sara

        It’s actually kind of better this way. I’ve visited and it was $12 to get in and then drinks were, like, $5 or more. I’d rather have free drinks and pay a little extra for the time with the cats

    • LittleBluePenguin

      I don’t know what to think, actually. While I’m glad to hear that they’re apparently doing well with this venture, $15 is too much, in my opinion, to hang out with cats and pour myself some mediocre tea / coffee. I can do that any day of the week in my own apartment. I actually went to a “kitten yoga” class this weekend, which was a WARL fundraiser, and loved it, so I’m not adverse to spending money and doing silly things to help animals find loving homes. I hope Crumbs and Whiskers continues to find loving homes for the kitties, and I’m glad they’re listening to their customers. I’m just not sure I’m in love with their aggressively cheerful PR campaign.

      • AG

        Unfortunately, some of us can’t hang out with kitties in our apartments, so we have to pay for the privilege of doing so.

        • textdoc

          You can also hang out with cats at WHS or WARL’s facilities (or when there are cats in residence at PetMAC DC). Granted, those aren’t designed for mingling with the kitties in the same way.

        • LittleBluePenguin

          Right, and I totally get that, and that’s why there is a market for something like a cat cafe. And I think the concept is great. I just can’t put my finger on what it is about this that bugs me. I understand wanting to decrease the amount of visitors at a time in order to ensure a peaceful, pleasant experience for all animals (humans and felines); I understand that this may necessitate an increase in the fee. I GET all these things. There’s just something about the way they’re promoting this that bothers me, and I have no idea why. It’s a completely unsubstantiated hunch on my part that someone is getting rich and someone is getting played. I don’t know. Feel free to ignore me, I’m quite possibly crazy.

      • anonymouse

        What’s wrong with cheerful? Would you prefer a morose PR campaign?

  • jumpingjack

    I’ve been a couple of times. Cutting back on the number of people is a very good decision. My only complaint was that there were too many people, which also may have overwhelmed the cats. Other than that, I really like the place. They do an amazing job at picking cats who are totally ok with being groped by strangers all day; that’s a difficult feat.
    I’m especially impressed by how clean it is. I was in NY a few weeks ago and stepped into a cat cafe in the Lower East Side. I was immediately overwhelmed by the smell of litterbox, and I wasn’t even in the area where the cats were. On both of my visits, Crumbs & Whiskers had no smell at all and looked immaculate.

  • DC

    After visiting Crumbs and Whiskers this seems like it will be a big improvement. I had a great time when I went and having less people can only improve it (there were reporters and tv crews on opening day which made the whole place feel really confining).


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