Tips for running a successful café

Are you a coffee shop owner? Do you dream of running a successful café? Our team has outlined tips to help your business thrive in the competitive marketplace!

2 years ago   •   3 min read

By Emma Mooney

Are you a coffee shop owner? Or, have you always dreamed of opening your own café and serving a daily cup of much-needed caffeine to the public?

To run a successful coffee shop, our team has outlined tips to help your business thrive in the competitive marketplace!

Serve high-quality products

This may seem obvious, but how many times have you ordered from a competitor and been disappointed by the coffee?  

Consistency is essential here - with the process and the product. Customers will actively walk past other coffee shops to order from their favourite brand. This is due to customer expectations, which they can rely on not only being met but exceeded, and this should be the exact experience for the customer with every single visit. Brands that are consistent build customer trust which, in turn, boosts your profits.

So yes, you read that right: your espresso may be damaging your reputation. As an aspiring popular café, take the time to resource the best sourced coffee (not forgetting your business ethics in doing so!).

In other words: keep serving the good stuff and you will beat the competition!

Offer a range of services

Whether you operate offline, online or both, as a business, you should offer a range of services for your customers to ensure you are meeting their needs and reaching them effectively. A single service is no longer viable, and not providing your customers with the excitement they are looking for can lead to disappointing brand experiences.

For example, offering sit-in, takeaway, kerbside collection, or delivery services are important to help your business evolve and adapt to meet customer demands.

Customers may also seek an online shopping experience from your brand, if you do not already provide one. For example, Guilt Trip sells coffee, home-brewing equipment and branded merchandise, which has become particularly popular for those working from home!

These options will surprise and delight your customers and keep them coming back (read more on customer retention here).

Engage on social media

Social media is where the majority of customers search for local café promotions and daily specials. If your business is not actively using and engaging on social media, you may be missing out on converting customers.

To position your business amongst the competition, devote one individual to be in charge of this aspect of your business and responsible for keeping it fresh.

Create loyalty

A loyalty program can help your business build an even stronger relationship with your customers. Not only will a loyalty program improve customer engagement between your business and its customers, it will also drive sales.

This can be achieved through offering a free traybake (of the customers choice) on one of their returning visits, or a free coffee (all of which can be rewarded and redeemed through the loyalBe app!).

Diversify product range

Running special promotions and products alongside coinciding holiday periods, such as Valentine’s Day gifts or Mother’s Day hampers, are continually proven to generate new revenue fields. This also shows your business’ ability to diversify your product range and meet customer needs.

Another way to diversify is by regularly changing product offerings and daily specials to keep customers interested in your brand.

Find your USP

Discovering your unique selling proposition and capitalising on this will attract customers to your business.

For example, Cargo Coffee is a specialty coffee drive-thru, operating from a cargo container, and Coffee and Cactus is a café that sells plants - something which they take great pride in shouting about (advertising).

These USPs have gained both business’ a loyal customer base and sizable followings on social media.

Care for the environment

As a business owner, you should be mindful of the environment and wary of customer expectations. Customers have now amplified their expectations of local businesses, such as intensifying hygiene measures and desiring zero-waste policies.

As a result, businesses that genuinely care for - and take active steps to help - the environment will win customers over. For example, Nespresso offers recycling bags for consumers to recycle their used coffee pods, and other businesses ensure that packaging is recyclable, while actively encouraging customers to invest in reusable cups for beverages.

Irish business Sprezzatura have taken their responsibility further by helping people to offset their carbon emissions by providing customers a chance to add a tree onto their bill.

One more step is to dispose of pesky paper loyalty cards, in place of a digital alternative such as loyalBe. Not only is this an environmentally friendly alternative, it also provides your business with valuable customer insights!

If you are interested in a loyalty program for your business or to find out more on how to run a successful business, book a demo with us today.

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