With every new year, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. The holidays are over and it’s the time of the season to crate goals for the New Year. What’s often overlooked, however, it the valuable opportunity this time of year offers. The beginning of the year offers the perfect opportunity to reflect on the previous 12 months and determine what worked for your businesses, what didn’t work and areas that could be improved. This reflection allows you to put in place a strategy for change, to ensure you don’t repeat mistakes and make positive decisions going forward.
When looking back at 2021, take into consideration what was successful and what wasn’t. An example of this could be – your take-away option proved popular with your customers, but a new menu launch didn’t. Evaluate the cause of each decisions success/failure and use that information to inform future choices and make improvements. Did you manage to fix stock issues and machines easily? Were staff fully trained on the job to produce high quality coffee? If asking yourself questions flags issues or inefficiencies, mark them as areas of improvement.
However, this process may not be as easy for everyone. To help get you started, here are six tasks that can benefit your cafes’ success in 2022.
Coffee Machine Maintenance and Leasing
Coffee machines are the bread and butter of your business. Making sure your machines are functioning and in good condition for the year ahead is critical to your success. Ensure you’re regularly going through the checks of backflushing, checking the water quality and cleaning out your coffee machine, to keep your coffee machine in tip-top operational condition.
As well as general maintenance on your existing machines, the new year is the perfect time to review your commercial coffee machine leases. The New Year is also the perfect time to review your cafes requirement for a new coffee machine, dependent on the current age of your equipment and changes in demand, for example. By checking leases on your commercial equipment, you could end up saving your business money – the best way to start a new year!
Planning out special offers, new foods, events, and limited offers throughout the year will not only have yourself your staff prepared, but when the time arrives, you won’t need to worry about what you’ve got to do for the month. Events such as Veganuary, Valentine’s Day and Pride Month offer the perfect opportunity to attract customers early on in the year, with a whole host of celebratory days throughout the year to take further advantage of.
If your café is holding events, ensure that you’re sharing information on relevant channels, such as social media, email, and your website.
Your customers are on social media and they’ll expect you to be as well. Social media gives your business the opportunity to personify itself and relate to and engage with your target audience. Through having an active social media presence, you give your customers the opportunity to interact with your brand as well. Company mentions in user-generated content can do wonders for brand awareness and drive relevant footfall to your coffee house.
Social media is one of the simplest, yet most effective ways to get people interested in your company and to form real relationships with real people. It shouldn’t be overlooked.
Without loyal customers, your business could struggle to maintain the customer base you need to keep everything afloat. If you have loyal customers, why not show your loyalty back? A rewards program has many advantages, not least increasing customer retention and driving more traffic to your store.
People love rewards and free items, so offering a free coffee could be the heart of your customer retention strategy, designed to bring in more profits.
Find out more about loyalty cards here.
Training and Updating Skills
Barista training is essential to your café offering great customer service. A deep understanding of coffee, paired with communication skills, is the recipe for café success. It’s important that your baristas look enthusiastic and confident, as this will help put your customers at ease.
At the start of the year, take the opportunity to recap with your staff how to handle machines, food and stock and leave no questions unanswered. It’s also a good time to refresh your staff’s understanding of allergies – the consequences of uneducated staff surrounding this can be dire.
Learn more about allergens.
Becoming more environmentally friendly will give your customers peace of mind, knowing that their money isn’t damaging the plant. Having Fairtrade coffee beans, recycling schemes or serving your hot drinks into compostable or recyclable coffee cups can all help reduce your carbon footprint. Offering discounts to those bringing in their own reusable cups or selling your own (branded) coffee cups can help your customers better the planet and save money.
With all that to consider, we wish you a happy New Year and successful 2022!