With Father’s Day imminent (did you read last week’s post on Father’s Day ideas for your café?), our minds turned to thoughts of coffee-inspired gifts we’d like to receive. And then it occurred to us that most coffee shops don’t really capitalise on the popularity of coffee stuff, because they’re worried it will take their trade home. But think about it: pod-based coffee machines advertised by Hollywood stars have sold in huge numbers, and what has happened to the hot beverage industry in the UK? It’s grown. More coffee shops than ever, more people drinking coffee than ever, more people building into their routine an all-important trip to their favourite café. Drinking coffee at home is not a threat to your business, it’s an opportunity for you to sell coffee gifts in your coffee shop and build even better customer relationships.
With that positive outlook in mind, what coffee gifts might prove particularly popular, shown off next to the till or alongside your gleaming coffee machine?
- The obvious option is beans. You’re buying them anyway, you’ve chosen them for their flavour so you can attest to the quality of taste, and anyone who loves real coffee enough to make it at home is always going to need coffee beans. You can even take the pain out of prep by offering a grinding service.
- The classic Italian stove-top espresso maker. You know the ones – usually an angular stainless steel jug-like design. There are all sorts of designs, though, so you can choose traditional and something a little more contemporary for variety. Using these is enough to give instant flashbacks to holidays spent in Sicily, and is a whole lot more romantic than the French press.
- A decent grinder. For people who want more control over their home coffee by adjusting how finely the coffee is ground.
- Barista bits and pieces: knock box, milk frothers, tampers, spoons and suchlike.
- Chocolate-covered coffee beans. If you haven’t tried these… well, we don’t have the words. A mouthful of two of our favourite flavours. Moreish, but don’t overindulge. A real treat, and a real seller, especially in festive periods.
- Barista training. If your own barista skills are more than up to scratch, there’s no reason why you can’t run your own training sessions for coffee-mad customers. Consider with one-to-one barista training sessions with the individual’s own coffee machine and equipment, or (cheaper) group sessions for small groups using your own espresso machine and equipment right there in the coffee shop.
- Reusable travel mugs, branded with your logo, or plain. Reusable coffee mugs are selling in greater numbers than ever, thanks to better awareness of the waste in disposable takeaway containers.
- Coffee hampers. An assortment of different beans, cups and saucers, syrups and chocolate coffee beans. Best saved for the Christmas season – but start stocking in October!
- Team up with a local designer to create your own range of items. From high-end design posters of different coffees to T-shirts and mugs with motifs, well-designed products sell well. You could customise storage jars with your unique labels, create gift cards for your coffee shop, signs or badges. And these things don’t need to be customised or unique to you shop if you don’t want them to be; there are numerous options already out there just asking to be stocked. Your only limits are display space and your imagination.