There seem to be as many coffee shops now as there are gas stations in a square mile. So what makes one coffee shop stand above the others? Is it name recognition, good coffee, a special way of running the coffee shop POS, or maybe a gimmick? Or is it something different? The answer may lie in a combination of all of the above along with the same things that make one business excel over another, the business savvy and passion of the entrepreneur. Here are some ways to ensure a successful coffee shop.
Think Quality in Everything: Use your money wisely. Buy quality Arabica beans, organic cream and milk, premium equipment and a water purification system to ensure that your product is the best it can be. A point of sale system that allows employees to enter orders quickly and efficiently will also contribute to the overall quality of your shop.
Train Baristas: You wouldn’t ask a bar patron to mix a drink. Don’t expect someone without experience to create a coffee masterpiece. Teach your employees how to make the most popular kinds of coffee, teach them how to use the espresso maker and the coffee shop POS system. Finally, give them a reason to stick around by offering fair pay and good benefits.
Consider Ergonomics: Designing a workstation to minimize wasted space and wasted movement will keep customers and employees happy. It will also add efficiency and allow Baristas to serve customers quickly. Things should be laid out for easy access, so that the employee can move from the drink station to the POS system quickly.
Offer Loyalty cards: Create a reason for people to come back. Whether it is free coffee after so many purchases, a free cookie or a discounted sandwich, customers will enjoy using seeing a reward for their patronage. In addition, with a good POS system the loyalty card is easy to run through the system and can track customer preferences.
Widen Product Line: This should be done by adding new food products, not making the coffee selection more complex. A triple shot espresso cappuccino with almond drizzle may sound like a great drink but having too much available will slow down production and can lead to confusion. Sell foods that go good with coffee, like donuts or cookies. You can also add buttons to your POS system for new flavors or specialties.
Know Your Community: Charge what the local residents can afford, add products that they will want to try and offer homemade goods if you want to charge more. Some geographical areas can support a higher price than others.
Pre-Make non-coffee items: This increases efficiency and ensures that your customers get your full attention on the coffee instead of the extras. Just make sure that product is not kept too long and new products are occasionally added to the menu. Keep track of the popularity of products with a coffee shop POS that records the info for you.
Offer atmosphere: People who come to coffee shops don’t always want a cup of coffee. They may want a place to sit and relax, to unwind, or a place to do homework while eating a cookie and drinking a cup of coffee. Give them a place to come to that is comfortable and inviting and they’ll always come back.
Don’t give up on Take-out: On the flip side of the coin, takeout coffee and donuts can lead to a steady stream of customers. Offer a discount or specials for those who want to take their coffee with them. Use the coffee shop point of service system to automatically provide a discount on the receipt.
Remember the Reason you are in Business: Remember always that your customers are the reason you have a coffee shop. Treat them with respect, provide them with a place to go, good food, great coffee and the occasional new product or temporary sale to keep them from getting bored and you’ll never have to worry about the future.