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      • Crank up your commercial coffee machine for the Easter weekend

      • Bank holidays are boom-time for the restaurant trade, street food, tea room and coffee shops. Assuming your commercial coffee machine is up to the increase in customer demand – and you’d be hard-pressed to upgrade your espresso maker or lease a coffee machine before the weekend now! – then you’ve got a prime opportunity to profit from the Easter break.

        Best ideas for Easter promotions at your coffee shop

        1. Promotions – let’s face it, the customer footfall in every coffee shop and restaurant should grow organically over the Easter weekend, but good promotions can help you stand out from your coffee competitors and give you a good reason to get creative in publicising them.
          • Coffee shop loyalty cards: If you aren’t making good use of your coffee loyalty card scheme, promise yourself you’ll make the most of it this weekend. Order new stock if necessary, and make sure your business contact details and links to social media are on the back. If you haven’t yet introduced a loyalty card – which can be a simple stamp-the-box affair – make sure you do. Be generous – one free coffee for every six coffees purchased.
          • Easter competition time: most cafés aren’t large enough to host an Easter egg hunt, but that’s no reason you can’t introduce an extra dimension of fun for adults and kids alike. How about a guess the quantity competition? Fill a large jar with mini chocolate eggs and allow customers a single guess with every coffee they buy. The prize could be as simple as the jar of eggs, or you might want to throw in some free pre-filled loyalty cards for free hot drinks.
          • Standard two-for-one or three-for-two type deals. Sure, your overall profit per drink may fall, but you’re trading in goodwill and being memorable. Only you know what your profit margins are, so work out what you can afford to give away as an incentive.
        2. Make more of your related sales – that means highlighting your bagged-up ground coffee to take away, introducing seasonal favourites like simnel cake, homemade hot cross buns and all sorts of egg-related products. If you stock reusable coffee cups, consider offering them pre-washed and filled with a delicious coffee included in the price.
        3. Keep the kids happy – even if your coffee shop isn’t usually crowded with kids, Easter provides a great goodwill and promotional opportunity. Buy a handful of sets of cheap crayons or colouring pencils and print out some Easter-themed colouring-in pages. The happier the children, the longer their parents will stay and the more products they’ll buy. A quick search online revealed free print-outs from Crayola and The Balance, and there are plenty more to find if you want more variety. Print them on paper branded with your coffee credentials and contact details, and when parents take their children’s artistic efforts home and stick them on the fridge, you’ll be front of mind for weeks ahead. Use your social media channels to promote your child-friendly idea.
        4. Coffee tastings – it’s a clear winner in the book of coffee shop promotional ideas, and Easter is no exception. Consider cutting up simnel cake and hot cross buns while you’re handing out free latte tasters. Don’t forget to mention your colouring-in activities for the kid, and take some loyalty cards with you. Display them on the tray and encourage passers-by to take them.
        5. Easter latte art – latte art is the sign of a good barista and something which a lot of coffee consumers now expect as a matter of course. Easter bunnies and eggs are the obvious and relatively simple subject for your foamy creation this weekend. Go searching on YouTube for “Easter latte art” and you’ll find some excellent tutorials to help you perfect your artwork.

        All these ideas work even better through word of mouth. And the fastest word of mouth is social media. Publicise all your promotions on your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter accounts, and encourage your followers to share their Easter moments too.

        What other seasonal promotional ideas have you had success with? Do let us know. In the meantime, have a happy, hard-working and profitable Easter!