What makes a café people fall in love with over one they merely use

When it comes to running a successful coffee shop what is it that separates the good from the great? Many people dream of running a great local café or building a brand that people will come to know and love, but how can you be sure that your idea of a dream coffee shop is the same as your target market?

The fact is that there really is no written formula for success, a lot of it just comes down to hard work and sometime even a little luck, but having a clear sense of what works before you begin can go a long way towards making sure that your dream becomes a reality. So here are the top tips taken from some of the biggest coffee experts out there.

1: Know what you are selling

One of the best pieces of advice we can offer, and one shared by many of the industry’s leading experts, is to make sure that you fully understand what it is that a coffee shop offers the people who frequent it.

People do not visit a coffee shop simply to satisfy hunger of thirst, they are there to meet friends, network, have business meetings, build relationships, escape from a busy day, reward themselves or find a reflective space to work in a hectic city environment.

For your venture to succeed you need to understand that you are not just selling coffee, you’re satisfying all sorts of needs for all sorts of people. Having said that…

2: Good coffee always wins

Coffee is a strange and personal thing. Unlike most food and drink stores, a person will quite happily walk past ten average coffee shops in order to get to the one they believe offers the perfect coffee.

For your coffee shop to succeed you simply must offer the very highest quality product out there. Otherwise you’ll forever be one of the places people walk by on their way to finding true satisfaction.

3: Treat your layout with the respect it deserves

Whilst a good layout goes a long way to ensuring customer satisfaction, never underestimate how a bad one can undo all of your hard work.

When people walk into your coffee shop they form an immediate impression. They might be stressed, in a rush, or just feeling tired. In these situations they are going to make snap decisions about whether they stay or go, and if they go the chances are they won’t be coming back in again – regardless of how good your coffee is!

Make sure you plan every aspect of your layout, from both a customer perspective and a staffing one. Keeping people moving around freely and your staff working seamlessly together is one of the great traits of all successful coffee businesses.

4: Invest in people

Your staff are one of the more important assets you have, as is your customer’s loyalty. Without these you will not survive long. Look after your customers with loyalty cards and friendly attentive staff and make as much effort to retain good staff as you would a loyal customer. Remember, from here on in you’re in the people business first and the coffee business second.

5: Start your marketing now

Do not make the mistake of waiting until you’ve opened, and find yourself sitting around with nothing to do, before you start thinking about marketing.

From the moment you find your venue start thinking about how you can get your message out to the local community. You should be building a buzz prior to launch, making sure your opening is a month long party, and keep planning your marketing activities well into the future. Because, as the saying goes:

“Business consists of just two things, innovation and marketing.”