For customers, coffee shops can be a lot of different things from meeting locations to freelance working spaces, and even a place to relax and sip away the anxieties of the day. Coffee shops not only provide customers with delicious coffee but culture as well. For some, their favorite coffee shop is like a second home.
Even if your coffee shop is doing well, you have regular customers, and new customers who have no qualms about walking in to try out your brew, there is always room for improvement. There is no reason that you can’t make your coffee shop even better than it already is.
Here are some tips for coffee shop owners in 2020 to help get the ball rolling in the right direction:
Go The Extra Mile
Customer retention is super important in any business, but especially so with boutique coffee shops. Ideally, your coffee shop brings in folks off the street and has them coming back again and again until they become regulars.
One of the best ways to help ensure that you boost your customer retention rate is to make sure that you go above and beyond for customers to make them feel like your coffee shop is their coffee shop.
This goes beyond simply having the best latte art in town — your coffee shop needs to stand out and going the extra mile will get you there.
Provide Excellent Customer Service
First and foremost, running a successful coffee shop means providing excellent customer service to everyone, even if they are just in for a quick cup to go. Having a great location and fantastic products will certainly get your business rolling, but without employees who are willing to help customers feel comfortable and welcome a coffee shop can find itself struggling.
Whether your coffee shop provides counter service or table service, it is imperative that baristas take the time to make every cup of coffee or muffin-to-go a pleasant experience for customers.
Make your menu is approachable, make sure your unique cuppas have descriptions telling customers what they’re getting, and if you choose to offer unique beans, milk or other add-ins, don’t let customers feel alienated at the counter if they’re unsure of the latest craze or trend.
Provide A Quality Environment
Additionally, you can take extra steps to make sure customers are satisfied hanging out in your coffee shop while they sip their drinks. Getting air filters to ensure that your air quality is top-notch, your customers don’t want to smell or breathe in the dust when the heater kicks on. And no one wants to continue to feel cold when they’re indoors or be sweating just because they prefer their coffee hot.
Keeping the shop warm in winter and cool in summer, and playing unique but inviting music are all excellent ways to help your customers feel more welcome in your store.
Consider A Design Change
Again, one of the most important aspects of a successful coffee shop is creating a comfortable space that people could almost want to live in. One of the best ways to accomplish this is through the layout and design of your coffee shop.
A variety of comfortable seating options from simple chairs to full sofas that can accommodate large groups or single customers, displaying art from local artists, and providing nooks and crannies where people can sit back and relax while they have their coffee are all great design choices to set your business apart.
Keep in mind people frequent coffee shops with different intentions in mind. If you only provide cozy seating you might alienate the worker bee who needs to shoot off some emails, but if you don’t offer some squashy chairs you might have a hard time getting people to linger. How you arrange the seating is equally important, you need space for groups just as much as you need space for singles to sip in peace.
Even something as simple as a new coat of paint can revitalize the atmosphere of your coffee shop and make people more inclined to keep coming back. Leaning into a warmer color palette and learning how to pick out an analogous color scheme can make a space of any size feel more inviting and comfortable.
Creating a purposeful design that is warm and inviting isn’t just about color schemes or literal comfortable seating either. Successful coffee shops also prioritize cleanliness when it comes to the design of their stores. It isn’t just visual design aspects that should feel clean and inviting, but the entire layout of the store.
A good coffee shop should be easy to clean, look clean, and feel clean, and the way that you choose to design your store can make that happen more easily than you’d think.
Sell The Company With The Coffee
One more important thing that you should consider doing with your coffee shop in 2020 is branching out further and expanding your marketing efforts. Even after you’ve jumped through all the legal hoops it took to get your coffee shop up and running, you can’t sit back and just hope that the word about your delicious coffee just magically makes its way across town.
Sure, word of mouth advertising can do wonders for a business, but in order to push things to the next level, a solid marketing strategy is necessary.
Ideally, you’ve been marketing your coffee shop before it even came into existence. Promoting your business can be hectic, and the sooner you get a solid marketing plan in place, the sooner you’ll begin to reap the rewards that come with it.
While there is nothing wrong with going old school and using print advertising and flyers to get the word out about your coffee shop, in the modern era you should seriously consider investing in social media marketing, even possibly reaching out to local and regional social media influencers to strike up a deal.
Offline marketing still works, of course, it just needs to be done a little more creatively than online marketing campaigns to be really successful. In addition to traditional print advertising, branching out into radio and television advertising can also be quite effective, and while the initial cost of creating one of these ads can seem high, they can be used repeatedly over the years to reach a wider audience than print alone.
Additionally, having your coffee shop’s logo printed onto coffee mugs, t-shirts, or any other number of items can turn your regulars into walking billboards for your coffee shop.
There is really no limit to what you can do to improve your coffee shop in 2020, and while focusing on customer service, improving design and layout, and bulking up your marketing efforts are great places to start, they aren’t the end of the line. One of the best parts of owning a coffee shop is that it is a small business in which you really get to express your ideas much more freely than other small businesses might be able to.
At the end of the day, what you do with your coffee shop to improve it is ultimately up to you, so get out there and start experimenting.