If you are thinking of opening up a coffee shop, or if you already have one and are looking for tips on how to run a coffee shop that makes money, here are some business ideas that will help you perk up your business.
The Basics about Running a Profitable Coffee Shop
First of all, congratulations on your venture! You are soon going to do a lot of people good! Now, before we move onto tips and tricks of the business, let us first throw light on some of the basics, for you cannot and should not get the basics wrong! Here are the 3 basic tips from the customer point-of-view.
Understand the psyche behind this - a new customer always orders something 'safe' at a new coffee shop or restaurant. He/she rates the entire coffee shop based on that first cuppa. That might sound unfair, but it is true! Now, if the simplest of the coffees you serve does not live up to the customer's expectations, why is he/she ever going to come back?
Tip: Practice and practice and practice till you get your brew right, and train and train and train till your baristas get it right too. Also, learn from feedback. When you take orders, ask your customer if he/she likes his/her coffee black, strong or sweet.
Make sure you have ample floor space. Do not cram too many tables in a small place. Customers do not want other people to even accidentally eavesdrop on their conversations!
Train them how to greet customers, how to take orders and not make a mistake in serving them, how to suggest coffee combinations to customers, etc. Make sure your staff serves customers their orders within a stipulated time. Train them to take care of their customers and attend to them, even after they have served them their coffee.
Service to a customer does not end till the customer leaves your coffee shop. Here, it is important for your staff to be genuine rather than just 'nice' and 'polite' and all that jazz.
Tip: Think from a customer point-of-view. Visit nearby coffee shops and observe the staff. Note the mistakes they make, and make sure you avoid them in your coffee shop.
Some Extras to Run a Coffee Shop
You can do a lot of things to perk up business and run a coffee shop that makes money, and a lot of it too! The trick here is not to simply escalate the prices, but to work on the whole experience your coffee shop offers. Here are some tips to do just that!
You can even sell finished products, like cookies, muffins, etc. Make sure you avail a take-away for these goods as well, so your customers not only get to enjoy them at the coffee shop but can also take some home.
You can even sell t-shirts with funny coffee-related quotes. "Coffee should be black as Hell, strong as death, and sweet as love" is a Turkish proverb that any coffee connoisseur would love to have on his t-shirt! You can even offer gift vouchers for the merchandise.
Some combinations are made in heaven. 'Coffee and music' is one such combination. A good idea to earn a little extra cash at your coffee shop would be to hire or buy a jukebox for the coffee shop.
A coin-operated jukebox can be a brilliant idea. You can charge your customers anywhere between 20 to 50 cents, depending on how much you have invested in the jukebox. After all, what counts is, to be able to listen to your favorite track when it comes to your mind. The joy of it is beyond compare!
You can even offer Wi-Fi membership to your customers. This will ensure they keep coming back to your cafe again and again.
Support Local Artists
You can offer local song writers, poets, singers, musicians and artists a place to sell their homemade tapes, records, paintings, etc. You can charge them to exhibit their goods at your coffee shop, or you can make a deal to split the profit they make.
It will provide them with encouragement and much-needed buyers, while you earn some extra money and goodwill, of course. You can take it a step further and organize gigs. Gigs can be a good way to earn money too!
It will be a good idea to speak to local coffee shop owners before you open your own coffee shop. Ask them about things like licenses, loans, space, lease, investments required, etc.