Brewing success: start your coffee shop with a punch
Every once in a while, a question pops up in your mind: why are coffee shops so popular?
The answer to that is simple: coffee shops don’t just fulfil your thirst for a good cup of coffee, or a healthy baked snack. In fact, they offer a lot more than that.
Coffee shops are a great place to socialize – whether it be with friends after school/college, or colleagues during an informal business meeting. They can offer a great escape from the stressful office environment, allowing people to relax by reading a book/magazine, or surfing the web while enjoying a beverage and a snack.
It is quite obvious that a coffee shop – as simple as it seems – can offer a multitude of uses for the common person. Understanding these needs will help you make that dream of running your own coffee shop a reality.
Here are ways you can start your coffee shop with a bang:
Location and rent – what’s important?
When you think of running any kind of shop, your instinct is to pick a location with the highest traffic. It makes sense: more traffic = more popularity = more sales. However, for a coffee shop, this may not be the best option.
High traffic locations like malls often have high rent rates – the last thing you want is to use up all your savings just by setting up the place. Moreover, the extreme competition such places give can overwhelm a young coffee shop before it even gets the chance to be successful.
The smart move would be to pick feasible yet strategically placed shops like storefronts. They offer high visibility, low rents, and manageable work hours that suit your needs. In the case where you want to launch your coffee shop in a mall, you’d want to make sure there is easy access to parking for vehicle traffic. Quite frankly – a customer wouldn’t want to come to your shop if it takes them an hour or more to just get there.
Quality > Quantity
Coffee is a rare product that you cannot compromise on when it comes to quality. Customers are willing to walk past some of the most glamorous coffee bars if it means they’ll be getting poor quality coffee or mediocre iced-coffee in a foam cup.
So you need to reign them in with nothing but the best. You can do that consistently by making sure you serve the best regular and exclusive coffees, teas and baked snacks. Once you pull that off, customers will easily pick you over the competition – without you ever needing a bustling central location.
But for that, you need to make certain arrangements:
- Invest in high-quality machinery like espresso machines, grinders, water purifiers etc.
- Use fine quality, freshly roasted coffee beans for your beverages
- Serve freshly baked pastries and snacks – the healthier, the better
- Add creative products to your menu to piqué your customers’ curiosity, like Spiced Lattes, Frappuccinos, Chai – the list goes on.
Keep a limited assortment
As much as we’ve already discussed why introducing creative items in your menu matters – but you need not go overboard with it.
Many newbies in the game think that the wider range of products you have, the more popularity (and money) you’ll gain. They often forget that customers don’t necessarily want the rarest item on the menu – they only want to fulfil their thirst or hunger. Moreover, coffee shop owners overlook the fact that a greater number of items do not serve to increase revenue sales. In fact, they do the exact opposite – the more items your menu has, the greater burden they can become for your wallet.
So always cover the “most wanted” items, making sure you keep a specific amount of flavours available – enough that your customers can have their requirements fulfilled without them getting anxious over a huge number of choices.
Having the right atmosphere filling your coffee shop is vital – especially for the kind of customers who prefer relaxing in your store.
The most popular trend for coffee shops is the use of clean, bright colour schemes, with plenty of natural light and spaced out, comfortable seating arrangements. For evening or drab days, make sure you have enough lighting to turn that around. Offering different types of tables and chairs can help accommodate groups ranging from a couple to a large family. Choices include bench tables, sofa chairs, or bar stools.
This part of the job is easy if you’re already an interior design pro. However, for a starter, it’s advisable to consider an experienced interior decorator who can help you design your coffee shop the way you want. They will help keep personalized ambience, functionality and feasibility related with key design elements like layout, choice of furniture, decorations, flooring, etc.
Good customer service
Good customer service is undoubtedly the game-changer for any coffee shop. Apart from a great site, comfortable setting and top quality products, great customer service can tip the scales in your favour – and ensure success for you.
Counter service has recently become more popular; customers can order and pay upfront, before taking their respective order when they’re ready. This helps greatly reduce labour costs, time losses, and helps handle busy serving periods like breakfast or dinner easily.
A good customer service also makes sure the customers get the best experience – and automated work functions in recent years have truly brought that about. Tablet-based POS systems like Oscar POS are getting popular in the market, solely because they make functions like transactions quick and efficient. Furthermore, people interacting with the unique user interface get to experience a memorable service.
The coffee workstation must be designed like a well-oiled machine. It should be perfectly laid out with things like bins, bean storage, and fridges all placed in accessible locations. The bench-top needs to have every little thing within range of the barista – cups, grinder, accessories and the like.
Most importantly, the cash register must be placed close to the barista. This gives them full control over managing the front end of the store, allowing them to manage both orders and transactions without breaking a sweat.
The best way to picture the ideal workstation is simple: plan a layout that will hardly make your barista move with their feet while performing their duties. It sounds impossible – but once you pull it off, you have confirmed high coffee sales.
The truth is that there is no hidden secret you need to unlock to skyrocket your coffee shop to success. In fact, most business secrets boil down to hard work, dedication, luck – or a combination of them all.
But it is safe to say that with these expert tips, you can confirm that your humble little coffee shop will launch from stable grounds.