When the recession hit in 2008, Bobby Kerr’s national chain of more than 100 coffee shops, Insomnia, was on the frontline. “We were a luxury item,” he tells Margaret E Ward. How do you survive that? By 2008, Bobby was a well-seasoned businessman used to risk. He had, after all, left a very comfortable job at 36, five days after the birth of his fourth child, to start what would become Insomnia. Between then and now, he had also weathered a fire and high high-street rents. So how did he navigate the recession?
He talks us through the various strategies that he employed that kept his footfall at boom-time levels, even though Dublin city had lost 100,000 people to emigration. But sailing the choppy waters of a financial crash hasn’t been his only challenge, he has also survived a serious form of cancer. Not one of these things have broken him, just strengthened and changed him for the better. Our panel also discusses how to navigate the waters outside of your professional comfort zone.