Running a profitable coffee shop is an exercise in speed and efficiency. You need speed to keep your customer line moving, efficiency to manage inventory, and a little of both to handle hiccups like equipment repairs.
The faster you can do these things (and do them well), the more product you’ll sell in less time—and without overstaffing. With any luck, you’ll have time leftover for things like planning your next location and keeping up with specialty coffee trends. Maybe even traveling to origin!
Your coffee shop concept, which includes your aesthetic and menu, is what makes people choose your business over other options. It’s what draws them in, brings them back and gets them to tell their friends that they have to try your lattes or chill on your patio.
But how do you assure that your coffee shop concept resonates with people who live or work near your location? The answer: know your customers first and build your coffee shop strategy around their preferences.
Syrup can be tricky. On one hand, you want to serve customers memorable, delicious drinks that bring them back again and again. On the other hand, you want your drinks to be profitable -- and that means keeping ingredient costs, including syrup, under a reasonable threshold.
While balancing cost and quality is a perennial coffee shop problem, every cafe owner can cut syrup costs by applying precision management techniques to their purchase and use. Wondering how? Here are three practical strategies.
A selection of menu items—and knowing how to sell them—are vital to your coffee shop’s success.
The rub at a retail coffee shop: your main product has great gross profit margins, but low overall ticket averages. Since you pay your rent in straight-up dollars—not as a percentage of your profit—bringing your average individual sale well above $3 or $5 is crucial to your success. Cafes with an only (or mostly) coffee strategy can be busy all day, but still not generate enough profit to keep their doors open.
To realize your dream of coffee retail success, you need a “coffee plus” strategy (coffee plus pastry or other food item). Coffee should be no more than 40 percent of your weekly sales—about two item sales per customer transaction.
Topics: Business Savvy
There’s something to be said for not trying too hard. Even if you’re bent on impressing a chic clientele, less can be more in the world of coffee shop design.
When it comes to fixtures and final touches, you can create an inviting space by not buying into the “more is better” point of view:
White paint. It's amazing what a quick coat of paint can do to make a shop look fresh and inviting. A warm white will brighten the space and will go with everything, and you won’t have to spend a lot of time testing out different color schemes.
We recently brought you tips for furnishing your cafe. Now it’s time to tackle a few other important elements of coffee shop ambience: lighting, flooring, music and more.