With the coffee market projected to reach over $155 billion by the year 2026, it seems like this industry is performing better than ever. Despite a global pandemic and economic hardship.
Nowadays, you can find a coffee shop or cafe on nearly every single street corner — whether it’s an independent spot or a franchise. Naturally, the competition is rife for coffee shop owners.
The difference is in how you manage and operate your business. To learn more on how to run a coffee shop for success, check out the rest of this blog.
How To Run a Coffee Shop: Focus on Quality
If you want to establish a reputation for good coffee, you have to invest in quality ingredients and equipment. It goes without saying that coffee lovers can differentiate between an average cup of Joe and one that’s made with love, expertise, and good ingredients.
As such, make sure to use only the best quality coffee beans that are also ethically sourced. Invest in top-quality milk and cream products, and offer a range of nut milk, too.
Make sure your equipment is top-of-the-line, especially your espresso machine. You also want to invest in machinery breakdown insurance as a fail-safe.
Use Your Work and Floor Space Efficiently
There is a range of factors that impact the layout of your coffee shop. The most important of which include how much floor space you have, as well as tables, equipment, and the space your staff needs to work.
If your rent is pricey, you want to compensate for this by maximizing your floor space and offering as many comfortable spaces as possible.
But you’ll have to consider working floorspace, too — you don’t want your coffee shop to feel cramped and overcrowded. When it comes to storage and workspace, base your planning on what your coffee shop needs during its busiest hours.
It’s also important to use plenty of signage around your coffee shop in order to separate and organize certain areas. This way, your customers won’t hinder your staff, and vice versa.
Make Training Programs a Priority
Good quality coffee is not always easy to come by. And this generally boils down to one of two things — poor barista skills, or poor ingredients.
Making the perfect cup of coffee is a major skill, so you want to make sure your staff knows exactly what they’re doing. For this reason, it’s wise to implement a thorough training program for all new staff members.
In addition to this, you should also offer continual training for existing staff members to keep their skills up to scratch.
The success of your coffee shop hinges on your staff. Invest in them and their training. Offer fair and decent wages and keep your staff turnover to a minimum.
Offer a Good Variety of Menu Items (But Be Realistic)
Nowadays, most coffee shops offer far more than just coffee and a selection of pastries. In fact, most coffee shops offer a small menu with a variety of options.
How much you offer depends on your available floor and workspace, as well as how much you can manage in terms of inventory. You want to offer variety, but also work with what you’ve got.
For example, you could make a real profit by adding a few light brunch and lunch options, cabinet food options, and snacks. Keep most of the work in-house — bake and pre-prepare what you can onsite.
Just make sure that you have the staff, the workspace, and the budget to handle it all!
Keep Your Coffee Shop Clean and Hygienic
This should be a major priority and concern, especially in the aftermath of 2020 and with an ongoing global pandemic.
Not only this, but the cleanliness and hygiene of any coffee shop can make or break its reputation. Make an effort to implement a stringent cleaning routine that all staff must adhere to.
Train your kitchen staff on the best food hygiene practices and keep their training and knowledge up-to-date. You should label and date all perishable items and keep an eye on expiry dates.
All of your staff need training on local health regulations, too. You want to follow the COVID-19 health and hygiene guidelines as outlined by the CDC.
Use an Up-to-Date POS System
If you want to manage an organized and successful coffee shop, your point-of-sale system (POS) is everything.
In short, your POS just makes it easier for you to run and manage your business. Make sure the POS software you go for is flexible and scalable so your business can grow and handle your busiest hours.
You also want it to be user-friendly so that your staff can learn how to use it without any issues.
Offer Your Customers a Loyalty Program
Most coffee shops are well-known for their continual stream of regulars. Most people pop into their local to pick up a coffee on their way to work, or home from work, while running local errands, etc.
As such, it’s wise to reward your regular customers with a loyalty program. This could include the occasional free coffee, pastry, or bag of coffee beans.
Don’t too stingy with your offering, either. The point is to be enticing and encourage your regulars to keep coming back. It’s also a good idea to integrate your point-of-sale system with this loyalty program.
This way, you have their email on-hand and saved in your customer database for future marketing initiatives.
Have a Good Understanding of Your Neighborhood
Most local coffee shops are viewed as key members of any local community. That’s why it’s so important to get to know your area and those who live in it.
By understanding your community better, you can cater to their tastes, keep your prices affordable, and create a space that feels like home.
Plan out your coffee shop layout and the vibe of the space, according to those who frequent it most.
Be Open to Take Out Options
This is a great way to supplement your income if you’re not seeing as much foot traffic as usual. If your staff and your business can handle the load, it’s important to be open to different options for earning an income.
You might want to sign up with UberEats, PostMates, or GrubHub for take-out food and beverage orders, as well as delivery.
This is a great way to boost your business marketing, too.
Smart Business Hacks are Just a Click Away
With these tips on how to run a coffee shop, you really can’t go wrong. At the end of the day, don’t serve anything you aren’t proud of or wouldn’t drink/eat yourself!
If you’re a business owner looking for inspiration or business knowledge, this site is for you. Explore for more and learn how to become a better business owner.