The coffee business is more than just selling food and drink. It is more about providing affable and hospitable surroundings where customers feel connected and right at home. |
Customers tend to patronize coffee shops for more than just the coffee. They go to a coffee shop to relax and to find relief from stress. They tend to frequent a coffee shop which makes them feel welcome and comfortable, as if they belong. They are happy when the staff recognize them for being frequent customers, always giving them the warm and gracious welcome that they deserve.
Once you realize what it is that your coffee business is really selling, choosing the right people to man your coffee shop takes on principal importance. Choose people who are happy to engage with customers – able to remember their names, recall their favourite food and drinks, remember essential information close to a customer’s heart. If you employ people of this kind, you are assured of happy and well-satisfied customers who think that your coffee shop is the best place to be in. You may feel confident that they are going to choose no other place to go to if they want coffee… or want just some place to relax in.
When choosing which food to include in your coffee business menu, make it easy for your customers. Do not let them agonize over their choice by giving them a mile-long list of things that they can order. If you keep an exhaustive menu, you are likely to make it more costly, inventory-wise, and more difficult to manage – food preparation wise. It is better to present a lean and mean menu – fewer choices but of the finest quality. You can work in seasonal “specials” once in a while to whet your customers’ appetite. Watch how these new products perform in terms of sale. You have the option of retaining them in your standard menu if they perform extraordinarily well.
Study how you price your products in your coffee business. Some businessmen simply add a common mark-up to all their products. This may not work to your advantage. If you serve the finest espresso in town, this item will not be price-sensitive. People will seek it, even if it is priced higher than the espressos in other coffee shops; people will recognize and accept the value of its quality. The same goes for items that are not available in other coffee shops – items that are highly sought-after by your customers who do not mind paying extra for them.
Charles works at Cafe2u, a company which provides franchise opportunities for anyone looking to start up their own mobile coffee shop. He enjoys writing blog posts giving tips and advice on how to go about starting your coffee business.
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