Successful cafes come in all shapes and sizes. You’ll find them on busy downtown street corners and dusty rural sideroads. Some feature modern high-tech features and interior designs, while others have the ambiance of a centuries-old barn. Yet all thriving cafe businesses have one feature in common: nonstop innovation. Understanding the latest cafe business tips and trends is critical.
The need to embrace change is especially vital to the ongoing success of a coffee shop. For example, the National Coffee Association’s most recent National Coffee Data Trends report (available for purchase) found that while people are drinking the same amount of coffee at the same time as in the past, the types of coffee they’re ordering is becoming more specialized and personalized.
This trend presents cafe business owners with a tremendous opportunity to capitalize on their patrons’ increasing preference for gourmet brands and custom coffee orders. This is just one of the many cafe business tips and trends that promise to keep coffee shops busy and their customers happy through 2020 and beyond.
Apply Technology to Improve the Customer Experience
Customer service is the foundation of any successful retail business, but it is especially important in cafes, which are all about providing a warm and welcoming environment for customers to enjoy some quality time with their favorite beverage. Business insurance company CoverWallet points out that most efforts to improve the customer experience involve the application of technology.
For example, the best way to avoid long lines is to optimize the order-taking process by providing plenty of space for customers and employees, and by using a point-of-sale system that allows customers to place orders online and pick them up without having to spend time standing in a checkout line. POS systems are also helpful in tracking inventory so you avoid running out of your customers’ favorite items.
Learn How to Keep Your Millennial Customers Happy
According to the Pew Research Center, millennials (ages 23 to 38) now account for the largest living adult generation in the U.S. As of 2019, there were an estimated 73 million millennials, compared to 72 million baby boomers (ages 55 to 73) and 66 million Generation Xers (ages 39 to 54). This trend will have a direct impact on coffee shop owners because daily coffee drinking is highest among boomers, 72 percent of whom report having a cup of coffee within the past day, according to the National Coffee Association report.
Conversely, daily coffee consumption is lowest among people ages 18 to 24, 47 percent of whom drank coffee in the 24 hours prior to the survey. However, young people favor specialty drinks and gourmet beans much more than their older counterparts: 61 percent of all respondents to the survey report having a gourmet coffee beverage in the past 24 hours, compared to 40 percent who consumed a traditional coffee beverage in that time. Past-day consumption of espresso-based beverages maintained its highest level for the third consecutive year at 24 percent.
The message for cafe business owners is to offer customers a wider range of flavored beverages and other specialty drinks, such as more cold brew and ready-to-drink products, which are especially popular among customers under the age of 40, according to the report.
Two Keys to Coffee Shop Success: Quality Products, Quality Service
A perennial on the expert lists of cafe business tips and trends is the importance of offering customers fresh, top-shelf products served by friendly, knowledgeable employees. The Balance Small Business rates quality products and service as two of the top three characteristics that distinguish successful cafes, topped in importance only by location. These are the other features that contribute to a cafe’s success:
- Provide customers with a relaxing, comfortable atmosphere.
- Give customers a range of menu options, including displays of high-quality snacks, baked goods, granola bars, yogurt cups, and cold drinks.
- Establish a loyalty program that rewards return customers, and integrate the program with your POS system so customers don’t need to carry another card with them.
- Make sure the cafe’s owners and managers spend time interacting with customers on the “front line.”
One common cafe feature that is dividing cafe customers is whether to offer complimentary Wi-Fi. While Wi-Fi service is ubiquitous in cafes and other retail businesses, some cafes actually experienced an increase in business after they removed their Wi-Fi networks. The Balance Small Business notes that some coffee shops have banned laptops and tablets from their establishments in an attempt to create a more “communal atmosphere” that encourages conversation among patrons.
Passion Gets You Started, Business Savvy Keeps You Going
The defining characteristic of a successful cafe owner is dedication. It’s one thing to have a passion for the business, but passion can’t replace committing to a long-term growth plan. That’s one of the 10 “insider tips” for success as the owner of a coffee shop or cafe presented by All Business. Only such a commitment will get cafe owners through the 80-to-90-hour work weeks and the many responsibilities that go along with running a cafe.
Cafe owners have to combine their knowledge of coffee roasting and coffee equipment with expertise on site selection, hiring talented and trustworthy employees, effective pricing strategies, and insight into the competition. What keeps cafe business owners plugging away at these and the many other day-to-day tasks the operation requires is their passion to provide their customers with great products, great service, and great prices. Now more than ever, achieving success as a cafe owner entails the effective application of the latest technology and business intelligence. In this regard, running a successful cafe is no different than hitting paydirt in any other industry. It’s your passion that sets your cafe apart.
Learn more about how the talech POS system helps cafes, coffee shops, restaurants and other retailers improve the experience for their customers and optimize the management of all their operations. We work with you to determine the best ways to meet the needs of your customers and employees so your business can thrive. We take the time to learn your business so we can balance your specific needs with your budget and comfort level in a custom POS system implementation. The result is a valued investment that will pay for itself in short order. Reach out to us today to sign up for a free demo and learn more about how talech can be your valued partner in the POS world.