Coffee shops are a game of pronouns, the iron pronoun being “My coffee shop”. But you don’t have to pay the iron price to be successful. There are a few things to include in your coffee shop and you’ll have loyal customers who genuinely love your store.
Here are four essential things to include in your coffee shop that will have an undeniable impact. Be sure to also check out “Leadership Tips For Cafe Owners” for a guide on becoming a great coffee shop owner.
The aroma of roasted beans, soft jazz, and the hustle and bustle of other people, serves as the backdrop of productivity for students, authors,
Having wifi makes your coffee shop feel more like home and is one of the easiest ways to generate foot traffic. Find out when your local college is having its finals week and advertise a big bold “Free Wifi” sign with a student discount, and watch them pile in. Good coffee with free wifi at a premium price makes your shop hard to resist and buys you a lot of goodwill.
Consumers are always going to opt for whatever business gives them the most value for their buck, and wifi helps tip the scales in your favor. It’s relatively inexpensive and is one of the best investments you can make for your business.
2. Atmosphere-Appropriate Furniture
Do you remember the 7th, often forgotten cast member from Friends? The Friend who personified the opening song’s hook (“I’ll be there for you”), and was front and center in every single episode? Central Perk was defined by this Friend: the big, comfy, orange couch.
Furniture is often understated, but it’s the first thing people see when they walk in; it dictates the entire atmosphere of your coffee shop! Appropriate furniture is critical to express who you are and what you represent accurately.
A buzzing, upbeat, environment to socialize relies on comfortable couches, love seats and good music to do the trick. If you’re targeting professionals, make sure you have tables and chairs near outlets. Providing a place to recharge goes a long way toward making your shop feel like a home away from home. Check out “How Much Does it Cost to Start a Coffee Shop” to see how much furniture will take up in your budget to coffee shop building.
3. Menu Boards & Merchandise
What’s the first thing you ask yourself when you walk into a coffee shop?
“What kind of coffee can I get here, and for how much?”
A strategically-designed menu board answers both questions while cementing your identity and allowing you to connect with your customers. Menu boards are an avenue for creativity; the colors you choose, the fonts, the sizing and the images (if any at all) should be designed to be in line with your brand.
Merch doesn’t seem essential but offering thermoses, mugs and straw cups is often an overlooked part of creating brand loyalty. It gives your customers a piece of you to take home with them. Seeing your logo while making lackluster, instant coffee will create a subconscious craving. It allows for creative giveaways that further your brand and serves as an extra source of income.
Starbucks places its branded merchandise directly beside the counter by the menu board because they understand that out of sight is out of mind. If customers have to wait in line, they might as well look at your logo, so your brand is normalized. The more you see a logo, the more you internalize it, and the more you associate it with the delicious aroma of your roasted beans.
This all comes together to create a distinct atmosphere cemented firmly in a brand that your customers won’t easily forget.
Just starting out in your coffee shop? Check out “8 Things You Should Know Before Opening a Coffee Shop” for tips to correctly begin your coffee journey.
4. Essential Equipment
Although last, this point’s certainly not least. Every list, article, and book will preach that quality equipment means quality coffee so that we won’t overstate the obvious.
Perhaps the most essential item on this list and the most pricey is an industrial Espresso machine. A simple cup of black coffee can easily be brewed at home. So making mochas, lattes, and cappuccinos will be your bread and butter. Depending on your target audience, your needs will change drastically, as will the price of the machine you need. Make sure to take your time and adequately research which machine is right for you.
A surprisingly underrated purchase is a quality coffee grinder. The grind of the bean determines the taste, aroma, and strength of the coffee. More importantly, an espresso machine is rendered useless without the very fine grinds of an espresso grinder. Although not as sexy as the espresso machine itself, the espresso grinder is just as critical. Thinking of getting an espresso machine for your cafe but don’t know how to budget it out? Check out “Calculating Cost of Opening Cafe? Here’s What to Consider” for tips on budgeting every field of owning a cafe.
In essence, your coffee shop should be an experience–one that involves customers kicking back, getting work done, or hanging out with wifi as they sip on a lattè. Create an appropriate atmosphere with your choice of things to include in your coffee shop. Have the experience be so pleasant that they’ll want to take home a thermos and keep coming back for refills of quality coffee.
What other ways do you use at your coffee shop to promote the flow of people coming in and out? Let us know in the comments. Ever wonder why it’s so hard to manage a business from scratch, check out “Why Opening a Coffee Shop is Harder than You Think” for info on smoothing out the beginning process of owning a coffee shop.
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Thank you for reading!!