10 easy new year resolutions for coffee shops and catering businesses
- Check your commercial coffee machine leasing arrangements and costs. Are you getting as good a deal as you could? Is your espresso machine lease the most cost-effective for that particular type of machine? Would you and your customers be better served by changing your lease for a newer, better coffee machine? While you’re at it, check the terms of leases for any other commercial catering equipment. Across the board, you could make major savings on money and time.
- Speaking of leases, when did you last review your commercial tenancy? It might be that there’s a deal to be struck even within an existing tenancy. Research independent, RICS-certified commercial property surveyors to get independent advice.
- Get out the calendar and plan late opening, special offers and limited runs on guest coffee beans and festive drinks around different holidays and events. From Christmas to summer solstice, St Valentine’s Day to Black Friday, there’s an excuse to attract more customers all year round. How about UK Coffee Week? And what about an open evening to celebrate the anniversary of your business? All these events have a cumulative effect, especially when combined with some of the other tips here and peppered throughout our blog.
- Get out the local paper and tap into local social media to check community events calendars – your chance to gain greater awareness, forge closer links with event organisers, town centre managers and other service providers.
- Get more engaged via social media. If you’ve already built a following with Twitter, introduce Instagram. Mastered the two? Bring on Facebook. Not sure where to start? Take a look at our past posts on social media for coffee businesses and look up the details of well-regarded social media consultants or trainers – they’ll be able to tell you what to post, when to post, how often to post, and how to keep things fresh and attract new followers and customers.
- Introduce customer incentives, like loyalty cards, bring a new friend discounts, and the like. Consider free coffee tastings out on the street – but check with your local town centre manager or BID manager about how far you can roam, and don’t be cheeky and offer tastings too close to a rival coffee shop.
- Ask for more customer feedback on your service, décor, seating and, most importantly, the beverages and food you serve. Ideally, get your feedback right after the service, face to face. Assuming it’s positive, be bold (but not pushy) and ask if customers will write you a review on Google, Trip Advisor, on your Facebook page and anywhere else you might be listed. Consider printing the other side of your coffee loyalty cards with the direct addresses of review locations.
- Using customer feedback and your own sales records over the previous year, review the popularity of different coffees and other beverages and foods. Could you diversify or consolidate?
- Don’t be complacent – update your skills. When was your last barista training? Consider another course. You’ll refine your coffee-making skills and have important and customer-attracting news and pics to share across social media. Already an award-winning barista? What about offering coffee-making training to coffee aficionados? A potential extra little income and great skills and quality awareness.
- Go greener. Make sure your coffee is Fairtrade. Look into cup recycling schemes or, better yet, serve your hot drinks and soups in compostable or recyclable coffee cups. Offer discounts when customers bring their own reusable coffee cups and sell your own – perhaps even branded, to raise your profile. Make use of or recycle your used coffee grounds.
All of these small business marketing initiatives are easily undertaken and can add up to make a big difference to your coffee shop or catering company’s profitability and turnover. Make this the year that you master your marketing.
If you want to find the best commercial coffee machine leasing rates, give us a call for a no-obligation quote on 0800 840 9023 or email firstname.lastname@example.org today.