Coffee shop managers and owners who’ve printed and pinned our handy event calendar to the wall will already know that this weekend is Queen Elizabeth II’s official birthday, and that next Sunday is Father’s Day. Unless you’re a raving republican or a hater of all manufactured calendar events, you’ll have planned suitable events at your coffee shop well in advance.
If planning isn’t your forte, that calendar might just turn things around for you. And if you think that promotional events and cashing in on calendar dates are just for big retailers, you’re not doing your bank balance any favours.
We British love a bargain. We love a buy-one-get-one-free offer. We love a loyalty card. And we love an excuse to celebrate. So what if the bunting has only just been put away after the royal wedding? So what if men get more than enough acknowledgement without getting extra gifts just for sticking around to be dad? Put your business brain in gear: promotions are about visibility, awareness and winning new customers.
Her Majesty’s birthday is an excuse to put out fresh cakes and scones, hang out bunting and stick up the union flags, and generally create a celebratory atmosphere. Take coffee samples out on a tray draped in the flag. Draw the eye and you’ll draw in more custom.
Next week is a bigger opportunity – and it’s one you should be ready for now. Stamp up loyalty cards so they’re full: “Free rocket fuel for Father’s Day”, you can tell each customer, “Free java for father!” If you want to be strict, specify only to be used on June 17th. If you want to make money, do no such thing. It doesn’t actually matter if your customer gives that card to dad or keeps it selfishly for themselves, does it? What matters is that there’s the incentive to come back. More times than not, the person with the free coffee will bring along company, and their coffee won’t be free. Friends, relatives and perhaps even actual fathers will be brought to your coffee shop, where the gleam of your espresso machine, taste of perfectly poured latte and considerable personal charm will ensure they’ll become loyal customers themselves for years to come.
The only reason that won’t happen is if you don’t make time to make it happen. Now make sure you’re ready for every major calendar event, and let us know if we’ve overlooked anything!