New data shows that 66% of Americans drink coffee more than any beverage every day – even water. Coffee shops also experienced an 8% increase in coffee consumption since January 2021 – a significant recovery and growth since the COVID-19 pandemic. This growth is excellent news if you’re planning to start your coffee shop.
However, how can you make your business stand out among the US’s 65,410 coffee and snack shops? Continue reading below to know what you need to start a coffee shop, including tips and strategies to help you run your first café.
A Brief History Of Coffee Shops
Kiva Han is considered the first coffee shop in the world; it opened in 1475 in the Turkish city of Constantinople. During that time, coffee was a vital part of Turkish culture; wives were allowed to divorce their husbands if they didn’t get enough coffee. When people recognized the stimulating effects of coffee in the Middle East, more coffee shops started opening, eventually reaching European countries like Italy, Paris, and Germany.
However, coffee wasn’t popular with Americans until the late 19th to early 20th century, when big brands like Starbucks, Caribou, and Dunkin’ Donuts were founded.
Developing A Business Plan
Before you can jump to molding strategies to market your product, you must first build your business’s structure. You can do this by creating a business plan.
Research And Identify Your Market
Market research is one of the most important things to do in starting a business. This is where you identify your target market, competitors, and your USP or Unique Selling Proposition that makes you stand out from other cafés.
Ignoring research at the first stage of your business planning equates to risking yourself and your business by blindly entering a big market without proper knowledge and audience.
Check out our explainer on is selling coffee online profitable?
Pay Attention To The Company Brand
A “company brand” isn’t only your business name and logo. It also encompasses the colors, story, shop type, vibe, location, floorplan, menu, and even the process of roasting your beans.
Remember that first impression lasts, so your brand should attract people the first time they see your website or social media. You should also find a way to make the visitors want to keep coming to the café through excellent services and high-quality products.
Know Your Equipment And Products
Now that you know what type of café you want, including the floor plan and menu, it’s time to complete it. Expect durable and superior equipment to be expensive. If your budget is limited, choose the pieces you know you’ll use or things with multiple functions.
For example, you can pick products like De’Longhi All-in-One Combination Coffee Maker & Espresso Machine that can create more than one drink. It’s best to pick equipment you use for products you’re an expert at making.
Moreover, finding trusted suppliers is crucial if you buy pre-roasted coffee beans. You must get proper training if you want to roast beans.
Create An Effective Marketing Strategy
The first step in creating any plan is to set goals and objectives. Combine and convert all the gathered information from your market research and brand to create an effective strategy to market your business and its products.
Remember that marketing strategy and tactics are different. Tactics refer to the specific actions you take to put your strategy in place, such as expanding your marketing channels to reach more potential customers.
Read our guide on how to create a coffee shop business plan if you need a step-by-step guide to an effective business plan.
Top Tips And Strategies To A Successful Coffee Shop
There are many ways to attract customers to your coffee shop. Below are the best coffee shop strategies to help you be competitive in the industry.
Prioritize Coffee And Service Quality
Remember that even if you use the best coffee beans to brew the perfect cup of Joe and sell it at an affordable price, customers will not return if you have poor service. Don’t just focus on making the perfect coffee when training your staff. They also need to know how to serve the customers properly.
Always be consistent if you want your patrons to keep visiting your café.
Create The Shop’s Ambiance
Besides coffee and service, a warm and inviting environment is also important to coffee lovers. A welcoming environment will also persuade customers to stay, increasing the chance of them purchasing more products.
Invest in your interior to give your customers a great place to work, study, etc. Ensure that the ordering area displays the products with the highest profit margin, including your specialties.
Expand Your Services
Beyond dine-in and take-out, you can broaden your services and add drive-thru and delivery. Coffee shops with drive-thru are trendy these days as coffee lovers find it convenient to order without needing to leave their cars. It’s also a great option when the shop is at full capacity.
Consider opening delivery service through phone, website, company app, and third-party apps to reach more customers.
Train Your Staff Continuously
Hiring experienced employees is better, but these people expect a high salary. You can hire inexperienced people and grow the shop with them. In this way, you’re also helping your staff improve their skills, which will benefit both parties.
Other than skills training, teach them how to do suggestive selling to use every opportunity to ask the customer if they want to add more to their original order, thereby increasing sales.
Don’t Ignore Traditional Promotions
Basic business strategies like regular and seasonal promotions, loyalty rewards, coupons, posters, videos, and social media advertising are all coffee shops’ tried and tested effective strategies.
Try each of them and see what’s the most effective for your café. Identify how, when, and why you gain more sales than regular days. However, there is no need to stick to basic promos and use them repeatedly.
Be innovative, creative, and open to new ways to reach your goals.
FAQs About Coffee Shop Business Strategy
What Is The Best Strategy For A Coffee Shop?
Always start with developing a good business plan. Then, pick your goals and objectives and how you can achieve them. For example, you can look for the best bean supplier or buy the most efficient machine.
You should also research your rivals to make sure you can compete with them.
What Is The Marketing Strategy Of A Café Business?
The best marketing strategy is to focus on products and services. High-quality coffee and excellent customer service always make for a great recommendation. Through word-of-mouth, you’ll have effective and free advertising.
How Do Coffee Shops Attract Customers?
Coffee shops usually attract customers by making their coffee’s price affordable, offering promos such as loyalty rewards, and creating a great ambiance. They are also constantly on social media and design competitions to get more engagement and reach more potential customers.
What Is The Key To Success For Coffee Shops?
Other than a wide selection of high-quality coffee and other products, the coffee shop’s atmosphere and customer service are essential for success. Invest in the exterior and interior design of your café and provide training to your staff to improve their service and knowledge.