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      • Fancy becoming an award-winning coffee shop?

      • There’s no doubt about it, the phrase ‘award-winning’ has the potential to have potential punters’ noses twitching as much as the smell of good coffee. Nobody wants to feel they’re missing out on something good.

        If you’d like to boost visitor numbers, turnover and profit, entering your coffee shop into awards is well worth the effort.

        There are three sorts of awards you could be looking at. Local, regional and national awards.

        Local business awards are worth considering for virtually any business; they almost certainly make sense for yours. Depending on the organiser, your coffee shop or eatery may qualify for one or more of several categories (think ‘best newcomer’, ‘best independent business’, ‘best coffee shop’, etc). Many local awards are assessed by feedback or nominations from the local community, so it’s a chance to really engage with your customers and find out what they think.

        The second sort of award includes county or regional awards. Generally, you’d only look at these if you don’t have any local town awards, or if you’ve fared particularly well in local award nominations. But never rule them out – because the bigger the area your award win covers, the more prestigious it may appear. After all, which sounds better of the following? Best coffee shop in Guildford…or Best coffee shop in Surrey?

        The third is the sort you should consider if you think you’re providing something that’s extremely special. National awards attract the attention of businesses with big budgets and big reputations. But in truth, the judges are looking for something distinctive, so your size, turnover and reach may not matter at all if you’re producing the kind of coffee – or overall experience – that stands out from the crowd. The key ingredients are going to be taste, talent and ingenuity.

        To find out about your local and regional award ceremonies, Google and Bing are your friends. Start specific by searching for ‘coffee shop awards’ and your town or county names. Then think more broadly, and in combination with your location, search for ‘business awards’ and ‘food and drink awards’.

        If you think the vibe of your shop and the moreish mix of coffees you concoct will pass national-level scrutiny, we’ve hunted down a few awards you might want to investigate.

        The Café Life Awards: http://awards.thecafelife.co.uk/

        The UK Barista Championship: https://scaeuk.com/pages/uk-barista-championship

        The Foodservice Quality Food Awards: http://foodservice.qualityfoodawards.com/

        And for the super-ambitious,  The European Coffee Symposium organises the European Coffee Awards: http://www.europeancoffeesymposium.com

        It’s not necessarily a definitive list – so hit the search engines yourselves, be ambitious and bold, and good luck!