Having your own coffee shop evokes many emotions, books in the corner, the smell of freshly brewed coffee wafting across the room filled with lively conversation. However, the reality is a bit different.
Think about it yourself, if somebody wants to know what his/her options are for coffee, they’d simply Google ‘coffee near me’, and go to a nearby cafe whose images they like. You need to get into the shoes of a customer.
It is always a great advantage if you are passionate about the product you want to deal with. If you intend to start your own business by running a coffee shop then you need to keep in mind a few tips and tricks to make your journey smooth.
Ten Tips to help you run your own coffee shop:
Initial Funding and Scale:
So the first item to think of is the financial side. How much are you planning to invest? There is the initial capital investment on equipment and furniture and then there is the break-in period, which may extend to 6 months and beyond.
The quantum of investment will dictate how big a place you can take and how many people you can hire. In fact, it will decide your basic business plan.
Once you have the investment angle figured, it is time to look for a place. This is not easy and can take time. You need to find a place where people collect or where there is a lot of transient movement of people. A few offices nearby would be of help.
A closed shop, restaurant or food shop would be useful as modification expenses would be less. A pristine new place would mean doing it up from the ground up. Once you have selected the place, you can proceed to the next step; the interior decoration.
Interior Design And Product Placement:
The first thing to decide is where the coffee counter will go, how many machines to install, and where to put them so that staff get access to them without getting in each other’s way. The serving counter with a refrigerated display case is usually the best way.
The display case is for snacks. Initially, you can include a small selection of nibbles to go with your coffee, such as cookies, cakes as well as savory items. Fine-tuning your menu items as time goes on and depending on your clientele.
The next issue is tables for customers. How many? This will depend on the available space after the areas for the coffee machine counters and the serving display counters are marked off.
However, you should try to place tables with a little vacant space around each other, so that customers don’t feel that they are crushed. This makes for a negative feeling and you will negate word of mouth traction when potential customers think about coffee near me.
The style of the tables and chairs are of course important as they can exude a sense of comfort, and relaxation.
Products to sell:
Then comes the important part – what coffee are you going to serve. Where are you going to source it from? This is the product and must be selected carefully. Having a variety is important.
However, to have a standard good cappuccino or espresso of quality is vitally important. Some customers do not want to get involved in deciding the origin or the quality of the coffee.
To be sure the inside of the coffee shop is as important as the outside. It is the outside which the customer sees first. And a badly done façade can turn off a customer who then moves on. You should try to design the facade in a way that catches the eye.
Before the opening of the shop, large signs indicating the nature of the shop and inviting people to come and experience good coffee would help. Passers-by and local people are made aware of the fact. It is a bit of advance advertising.
You would be just a bit ahead in publicity. Send out flyers to local households and businesses. Build up a little curiosity, it all helps build and keep the momentum.
After you open the shop and it starts attracting customers, you need to keep a vigilant eye on the types of menu items in demand. Customer chatter is an important aspect to keep monitor.
You may need to tweak the menu to keep it streamlined according to demand. Customer chatter is something, which is very important to monitor. Sometimes you may have to tweak the menu to suit what is in demand.
You should also have a personal approach, talk to customers, and ask their opinion and whether they would like any changes improvements to bring repeat customers. Repeat customers will also write reviews so when people search Google for “coffee near me”, a favorable review will definitely help.
Staff courtesy and efficiency is critically important. Monitoring the staff is vital. They can make or break a business. They must be trained to treat customers as guests and to attend to their needs and their complaints should a customer have any.
Each customer is not only a potential repeat customer but also a mobile vehicle for advertisement. Word of mouth advertisement is a terrific tool to have on your side.
All said and done, it is important to have consistency. That means quality of your products and the service that you provide. Too many establishments have lost their business because over a period of time quality of their product or the service has gone downhill. You need to be consistent.