It is with a heavy heart that I update you, our community and friends about the closure of Café Moto. I wish I was sitting here writing a thank you saying we had pulled through the tough times we have been experiencing; however, the reality is that we just could not endure the obstacles before us.
It is no secret that the disruption from the Level Crossing Removal Project had a devastating impact on us this year. We are so grateful for the support of our amazing community, friends, family and staff – without whom we would not have lasted as long as we did. The truth is, the damage was just too great to enable us to recover and we hope that our story will exemplify the need for the government to provide financial support to all businesses impacted by infrastructure projects in the future. Yesterday’s release of the Infrastructure Audit, stating that “Infrastructure Australia calls for a ‘new normal’ of elevated infrastructure investment because the transformation underway in our largest cities will last for decades.” sent shivers down my spine contemplating the potential impacts on small business if legislation doesn’t change.
July 1st heralded award wage increases for all our staff which saw our wage costs increase substantially last month. We have held a strong stance on the payment of award wages, not only to do the right thing, but also to educate our employees about their entitlements. Paying award wages and directly competing with local traders who pay their staff $15 per hour and refuse breaks is incredibly difficult when the price of smashed avocado is compared like for like. This increased labour cost combined with the business disruption left us with only one option. For us, it was the hardest call to make. Not only was it hard for us to make this decision knowing the impact it would have on our community and staff, but also our creditors. Wherever possible we have tried to support local small businesses and we are devastated by the impact our demise will have on our creditors. It is the most sickening position that we find ourselves in.
It would be easy for us to launch into a bitter tirade about the injustice of these circumstances, but frankly that’s not what Moto is all about. From the get-go our modus operandi has been to be a positive force for change.
We have tried to be a beacon in the hospitality industry. An employer who celebrates the potential and diversity of its staff and who not only pays award wages, but who also works towards sharing profit equally amongst all its people. While we didn’t achieve profit, we did create the most caring, resilient, accepting and supportive team of people I have worked with. The un-tapped potential in our humble staff is astounding! So committed were they to Moto, that when I announced closure and redundancy, the staff collectively donated their tips back to the business to help pay off our creditors. Compare this to other hospitality stories we have all heard recently and what we created was truly wonderful. Our mission was to solve Australia’s Youth unemployment crisis one person at a time by providing our young people with a workplace where they can learn to be ethical and successful business participants of the future. We feel proud that we have achieved this for those wonderful people in our team and we know they all have bright futures ahead.
At Moto we also believe that a community is the reflection of the people who participate in it and that a positive community celebrates each unique individual. What a community we have had the privilege to be surrounded by! Old, young, varied abilities, genders, backgrounds, moto centric, moto eccentric, and of course cyclists. We have such a beautiful collection of friends in our community. We have been privileged to share your stories, your joy and your adventures over the last 4 years. We have grown to love you (even those keyboard warriors who have written some truly vile things over the years that I’m sure you wouldn’t dream of saying in person! Ashamed? I would be 😉) Side note: if you haven’t already, we would recommend reading Mr Moto’s responses on Google before they disappear! We genuinely want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of you who have built this special community with us. There is no doubt the infrastructure project will be a great improvement for the community of Carrum, we are just sorry it comes at this cost to the very fabric of the community.
So what’s next? If you have loved what we have built and worked towards for the last 4 years, there are a few ways you can show your appreciation.
We have some amazing, talented and beautiful people looking for great employers. We would hate our people to end up working for unethical employers and being exploited. Over the next week we will post some information about the skills and experience of our people. If you or someone you know can employ them and give them the career break they deserve please approach us via PM.
Please spend your Moto brunch/coffee money consciously. We know that The Little French Deli down the road is an ethical employer. If you are local, please choose to support them wherever possible as they will soon face the same challenges we have. If you aren’t local, please support ethical businesses. Ask your wait staff what they are paid – don’t be shy! You are the customer.. you are always right and you have a right to know where your hard earned money is going. If you don’t know what the correct pay rate is, call Fair Work, Hospo Voice or PM us.
If you know an ethical employer, let us know so we can shout loudly about them and get them the support they deserve!!! We suspect they are few and far between so they need all our help to survive.
Help us to put pressure on the State Government to provide financial support to small businesses impacted by infrastructure projects. Click here to provide your details and we will keep you updated about businesses who need your support.
So this is the final chapter of Moto for us. This weekend Mr Moto, the Moto kids and I are having our first weekend off in a very long time. It feels very strange to be honest. Life will go on… kids will go to school, dinner will be cooked, dog will be walked and I will look for another job. I will no doubt drive past Moto each day remembering what we all once co-created (and lamenting that I can’t have one of my Chinese “sister” Miranda’s amazing coffees and a natter to Faye or Dave on the way to work!!)
I hope in our own way we can continue to shine a light on ethical hospitality businesses. There seems a lot of news about the people who do the wrong thing, but rarely do people hear about those Mums and Dads battling along doing the right thing. If the last 6 months has taught me anything, it’s that people really do care - and for the most part they want to make the right choices if they only have all the information. Please keep following us and we might be able to transform our community into a force to be reckoned with to support and reward ethical business.
Thank you can’t even come close, but to quote our dear friend and all round great guy, Scott Wilson from Full Tank Moto – go forth and “Roll with Purpose”
Mr & Mrs Moto