Successful coffee shop – some basics behind the business
It would be lovely to open a success coffee shop and let people just flow in to enjoy your products and service and spend their money. But there are always some business related things to be taken into consideration so running a successful coffee shop is definitely not just a picnic!
Remember my previous blog post about successful coffee shop? There we went deep down to:
- quality & selection
- service design & service itself
- selection & seasonality
- trends & social media
“I hate numbers but I do love money”
To be able to create a successful coffee shop you need to be interested in numbers. Some of them, at least.
If you are like me and suffer to like or even understand numbers, I have a tip for you. Try to think the numbers are there to help you and serve you, not to make you confused or ruin your day. Remember there are many areas hugely effecting on your business and making it profitable (or not). I listed three if them below.
Be aware of the number of the service providers and know the coffee products and services available in the area. Also, keep an eye on the quality in general. Do you know the number of people commuting through the area on a daily basis? Find out the gaps in the area: what would people like to have but is not yet available?
Be aware of the number of the service providers (=competitors) and know the coffee products and services available in the area. Also, keep an eye on the quality in general. Do you know the number of people commuting through the area on a daily basis? Find out the gaps in the area: what would people like to have but is not yet available?
Some things you want to give thoughts already before opening the coffee shop.
Vision and mission. Be clear and know what you want to do. You can’t “just sell coffee”. What exactly you want to do?
- Who are you selling to? What is your target group and will you reach them as planned? Who would you like to get as customers? Do you have the correct offering for them?
- Cost structure. Are you aware of all the costs that running a coffee shop or a business in general brings along? Especially staff costs can be huge so be smart in shift planning. Peak hours need more hands and feet than other times. Also, if there is a lot of manual work or table service, those need to be taken into consideration when planning the shifts.
- Pricing. Start with coffee as it is the product with best margin. Find the overall balance between the competitors’ pricing and your cost structure.
Boosting your sales
There are many ways to sell more. Here are some tips and stories behind.
Think of all those busy people that don’t have time to stay anywhere. It is easy to rise up your sales by selling coffee to go for them. Also, a take away customer does not sit down so there are more chairs for those who stay. It might also be wise to consider your take away cups because they are basically free advertising.
Multiple coffee choices
We know that those loving their dark roast are not going to drink light roasted coffee if they are not forced to. And there are always people who want their coffee crispy and fruity as well as people who want their coffee chocolaty and nutty. Have at least two choices of coffee to get more customers. You can also change them on a regular basis to keep the selection interesting. Remember the non-coffee drinkers, too!
Cross selling and upselling
Always have combos available. Tell customers about them and have nice POS material on the products visibly placed. Would it be nice to have one product a week the baristas are always recommending before accepting the payment? Taste pairs work great in coffee shop environment, why not to have one or two sets defined. Always ask if the customer wants a double espresso instead a single or additional flavour syrup to their caffé latte. Also encourage the customer to choose a premium product over a regular one. Name the medium coffee as a regular and add one more cup size if you only have two so that you have small, regular and big. People want to have the regular, not the small! Having a nice selection of sweet and savory delicacies makes it easy for customer to buy more. And remember that a full and mouthwatering display sells better than a half empty one.
This we subject we covered in my previous blog post but I just wanted to remind you that utilizing social media is mostly free advertising. Make sure customers can tag your place to their posts. Maybe you would like to have a recognizable hashtag? What about social media marketing? Should you spend a few euros to e.g. Instagram advertising so that you make sure potential customers find your account?
In case you sell an extra product or an upgrade for 10 % of the customers, what would that mean businesswise?
Be different and unique. Remember the other coffee shops near you are not only competitors, they also bring customer flow to the area!