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How to make your coffee shop more approachable

by on July 25, 2017 in Advertising, Customer's Voice, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Nuggets, Retail, Small Business, Startups

How to make your coffee shop more approachable

Coffee is big business. In addition to the hundreds of Starbucks, Costa Coffee, and Caffè Nero locations across the UK, there are thousands of independently-run cafes on high streets, little side roads, shopping centres, and just about any place where coffee is needed.

This is great for consumers, as they have access to this addictive and delicious beverage whenever they please, but what about for the small business owners getting off the ground? How are they coping with all the competition that surrounds them?

It appears that coffee shop sales in the UK are rising at a rapid rate, which of course means there is a strong demand, but also means that your coffee shop is going to have to stand out in an increasingly competitive market. That’s not going to be easy – we won’t lie – but sometimes it’s those little things that pike customers’ interest and sway them to visit, and hopefully, come back again.

Be humorous with a sandwich board

If you can make people smile, then you’ve won half the battle. People are naturally drawn to coffee shops where they can feel relaxed and have a good time. After all, a coffee shop should simply be a place where folk can unwind and enjoy a nice cuppa. One way that some coffee shops have been connecting with the public is through amusing messages on sandwich boards (sometimes called pavement signs).

When placed on the footpath, these boards are in the line of sight to whoever is coming past, and one reason that they might suddenly decide to check out your coffee shop is if you make them smile. These are perfect examples of how bars and coffee shops have created funny messages on sandwich boards. If you like the idea and think you can maximise its use, then we’d recommend checking a site like print24 and seeing what options they have for these types of boards.

People love free things!

It’s rare that anyone would turn down something free when offered. If you want to give people a little bit of joy, then you could start a scheme that means when you bring a friend along for their first time – they get a free small coffee. You can run this as long as you like, as you might get to a point where you no longer need to offer free drinks, but this could be a fun promotion at least for several months.

Make sure your staff are friendly and welcoming

Picture yourself giving an order to a barista, they nod and say nothing, give you your drink and then tell you the price. Is that really a fun coffee shop experience? A bit of banter never goes astray at a bar or coffee shop, as sometimes people don’t even care about the coffee or décor, but enjoy having a nice chat with a sociable person.

This sort of service isn’t always viable, especially if there’s a queue forming, but ensure your staff are behaving in a welcoming fashion so that your coffee shop feels like it has a personality.

The outside is important…

It’s usually the case that looks aren’t everything, but unfortunately, in the world of coffee shops, they’re crucial. An inviting, pretty interior, mixed with an interesting shop sign and ideally a memorable name are all ways that could entice someone from the street and into your shop.

But it’s what’s on the inside too

Your coffee shop should make people feel like it’s a second home, of sorts. Not to the extent where they will start sleeping there, of course! But you want to create an atmosphere in which people feel comfortable, and simple things like board games, free WiFi, puzzles, and magazines can all someone like they’re in a place that isn’t cold and uninviting.

Furthermore, you could also use your coffee shop as a place to host events, such as weekly gatherings and even things like writing workshops or poetry slams. When people are going for a reason, they are much more inclined to buy something and it’s highly likely that if they enjoy the complete experience of your coffee shop, they’ll come back again and again.

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