Yes you read it correctly, if you wonder why there are a lot of new coffee shops in town popping up here and there, but never really make it through the years and never last, we provide you with the answer to that if you keep reading the article and if you quickly understand your market and successfully target your customers without being doubtful.
Let’s face it and I put it out there: there’s no secret to a successful coffee shop. A lot of them include a lot of experience hard work, consistency, and some people believe in luck and some people aren’t. Or if you really believe in it, it could be the combination of all three of them and not giving it all to the customers. By not giving it all, I mean, not giving everything they actually demand.
Here are some real suggestions based on however you wanna take it and create one of them as your strong foundation, really hold onto what you believe in and not be shaken of what other people think unless they give you positive supports and feedbacks.
1. Consistently serve the best espresso, CONSISTENTLY
Consistency is something you need to hold on tight in this industry. Serve the best you can, in every cup you sell, to everybody no matter who they are, whether they look intimidating or not at all. It is often the consistency of the product that makes customers fall in love with you. Give it all you can, every time. People who buy your product will most likely value your product for the very first time they experience it. It’s inevitable. And why espresso? Because espresso is the main base of your coffee, it’s the base for cappuccinos, lattes, piccolos, americano, ice black, or anything else. If one person doesn’t like the taste of your espresso, one could simply go to another coffee shop nearby, try here and there and see which one they like best. Choose an espresso machine that you’re comfortable with, not just the one you’re comfortable with, but choose the one with the right pump, right temperature to make the perfect cup of coffee. Arabica coffee would be the most recommended, but if you prefer something dark to serve the customer sometimes Robusta would not be so bad, just pick the right roasting for the Robusta coffee. And note that skilfull baristas could come in really handy when it comes to making a cup of espresso, someone who wants to learn will always seek for that perfectly balanced cup.
2. Do not underestimate ergonomics!
Never underestimate the importance of ergonomics wherever you actually work at. Especially if you work in the food and beverage industry or service industry, ergonomics is one of the most important things you can count on. Space for baristas to move around is very important and as the responsible person who designs the coffeehouse, you need to make sure that they are able to move around freely and easily without fighting for space. Fighting for space will only limit the performance of your staff. If you have a lot of orders, a wonderful workstation would pretty much be appreciated so the access of everything would be easier and closer, such as; the bin, the refrigerator so the baristas can get the milk, cups, supplies, and coffee grinder. Keep in mind, not to left anything behind. Also, the sink! Might be one of those things people forget, but please don’t. The sink has a huge role in the coffeehouse, the work will probably remain there sometimes because a clean cup is a happy cup and a clean cup helps bring the best out of your coffee. Don’t forget about the cash register also, so your staff can multitask quickly without going too far to work.
3. Start a loyalty program for your customers
Okay, this may sound very old school and old, but it really does work because now you have a plus point other than any other coffee shops nearby. Could be by the system so you don’t have to add any extra cash for your outcome. Think about it this way- there are a lot of coffeehouses nearby and the competition basically involves the taste of your coffee, the ambience of your coffeehouse, the price (although the price will usually won’t be much difference), but if you have a loyalty program that will be rewarding you’ll stand out because it’s an extra benefit that the customer can achieve rather than visiting other coffee shops.
4. Apply different kinds of sales promotion
Let’s face the real deal, if you only sell coffee in a coffee house you will never make enough money out of it so you have to boost your sales by selling other things. Coffee would be your main weapon but you have to add other things in your menu. The perfect combination would be some pastries! Coffee and pastries are a match made in heaven. Numerous sales of pastries will help boost the sales. You can explore on some different kinds of muffin you wanna sell, like chocolate muffins, blueberry muffins, or different kinds of cookies, banana cakes, croissants and other things that are not too sweet that will boost the taste of your coffee. You can also add hot food or cold food to warm up just for a quick bite.
5. Limit the collection or menu
Lots of startups coffee shop think that it would be great to have a wide range of menu where people can order whatever they like and the more products they sell, the more competitive they are. Actually, a customer is just simple hungry or thirsty or both. Too much choices will only create anguish. Limit the menu, choose only the necessary products. For example, three flavours out of five would be enough, three types of hot food and cold food. Another category will cost you more money and more management effort (taking care of the supplies, storage, etc) with only a little customer experience or income.
6. Line your margins
Set the price based on customer value, not based on accounting determined markups. A really well-known item need to be sold just the same or around the coffee market price or maybe slightly below the market price. You can cover up the loss with high margins on other items you sell at the coffee shop. Don’t line all of the products the same or in high margins, go with the customer’s expectations and what the market will convey.
7. Get and done your strategies right
The competition in the coffee shop industry is real and vital. You have to see clearly your target, the people you want, how to get the customers to visit your place not only once but to keep them coming over and over again and be loyal to your coffee house and to the point where they become friends with you and get to know a little bit about each other.
8. Counter self-service
Thanks to McDonald’s widely known counter service system! This is the cheapest, effective and efficient ways to give service to the customers. It will make both the worker and the customer a lot easier and save you from your bills too. The customers will come to you and you’ll take the orders, give them a number to wait and once their orders are fulfilled you’ll call them or you take the orders to where they are. It can give you a lot of pressure during the peak time of breakfast, lunch or dinner but you can offer a friendly nice service to them which is a plus.
9. Pre-make everything while you can
Custom made collection assume that customers know what they want. Truth is, not really. They think they know what they want, but they could change their mind once you start suggesting something for them because they expect you to know and think of you as the expert. In a coffee shop, it’s best to pre-make the food and leave the custom coffee making. Custom food cost option and you’ll be unable to get the making-order economies of scale. Also, in the peak periods of time when you’ll be a busy bee you can pump out all the sales or the pre-make you prepared instead of spending time making custom orders.
10. Know and understand what you sell
Some coffee shop owners don’t really understand that their coffee houses are more than a place where people only drink and enjoy coffee. To customers, it’s more than just getting coffee and food. It could be a place for them to escape the busy office and superficial people around them, really get their work done and be alone, getting their ideas explored while in their me time or the opposite, they want a new place to meet people and socialise or do business and find a new networking place. Truly know and understand the customer’s needs to keep them coming back and maintain it!
11. Face it, all your friends will comment on your place
They will tell you to get a comfy couch, free Wi-Fi, maybe a TV or anything that could entertain the customers. However, those people who enjoy your facilities for hours won’t help the margin at all. The takeaway customers pay exactly the same as the customers who have their coffee at your place without any costs. Here’s a tip: a place doesn’t have to look all fancy and nice, a place that looks live and loved win everything. It’s alright to have limited seats and whatsoever wood bench that’s not very comfortable as long as the place looks taken care of, loved and living.
12. They’re not the same, but coffee shops are like restaurant
It serves on the front line and more like a service and people place than a goods or transactional place. Goods and transactional business can still win people over and can run without the owner’s presence, but coffee shop oh it’s like a fragile baby. It still needs to be taken care of by the owner. It needs attention and engagement. The staffs are the hands of the owners and active care and involvement of an owner is important to the staffs as well so they will know how it’s gonna be done.
A strategic location is also important. A place with high traffic location won’t promise you an outstanding coffee shop, although it could help. An area where there are effective and sufficient people in there would be enough. For starters, a location with high traffic will cost you more, expensive rent, and you will compete with the bank, and other chains near you. Somehow without realising it, buying coffee is not an impulse buying like clothes or shoes. It’s a place where people can get something off their mind and enjoy a good cup of joe. If the place is too crowd and cause traffic, people will probably look somewhere else for coffee and the lower the rent is, it will make the coffee house more financially stable.
Before you start your own coffee shop, keep this in mind. First, it should be started with a passion for coffee. Whether you’re talented in this industry or you have a passion for it. Not just because you wanna start a business. A product with quality and taste better is important. Other things ill take care of themselves as if nature will help you out!