7 ways to get customers into your cafe
With the UK retail sector continuing to struggle, more and more high streets are filling up with coffee shops and cafes than ever before. That’s great for customers, but what it means for businesses is that there’s more competition than ever. How do you make sure that customers visit your café, rather than the place next door? Well, first of all, you need to ensure you have a great product, with excellent food, drinks, and impeccable service. The next step is making sure that people know about it and get them coming back every morning for their caffeine hit on the way to work. Here’s a few ideas on our your cafe can become the next big thing:
1) Create a loyalty scheme
The best way to ensure steady business at your café or coffee shop is to focus on repeat custom, and ensure that your regular customers come back again and again. This can be as simple or as elaborate as you like. If you’re part of Costa’s Coffee Club, for example, you can skip the queue to get your drink ahead of everyone else – and Greggs even offers free cake on your birthday. You can simply stick with the classic of rewarding customers with a stamp every time they visit, but a better way to do it is to adopt a digital loyalty scheme, such as ePOS Hybrid’s, where you can collect customer information send promotional offers via email.
2) Create some buzz with seasonal drinks
It’s not enough to simply keep on churning out the same old products week after week, because what reason are you giving to customers to visit? Look at the big coffee chains: from Starbucks’ festive red cups and the hype machine surrounding their pumpkin lattes, to Costa’s new pink-hued hot chocolate, seasonal drinks are a must for your café or coffee house. Give them their own hashtag and you can spread the word even further.
3) Be mindful of ‘generation green’
Gone are the days when cafes and coffee shops would have a jar stocked with plastic straws on the counter. There’s been a clear paradigm shift towards a society that is much more environmentally conscious, with 79% of millennial employees stating loyalty to companies that care about their impact on society. What does that mean for your business? It means communicating your recycling policy, rewarding or offering discounts to customers who bring their own reusable coffee cups, and definitely getting rid of the plastic straws.
4) Appeal to an influencer audience
People are looking for an overall experience when they go for coffee these days, and it’s not just enough for the items on the menu to taste good – they also have to look fantastic too. The same goes for your décor. Pay attention to current interiors trends; exposed brickwork, industrial lighting and natural materials are all on trend right now. Sound like way too much hassle? Well, the good news is that if you get it right and appeal to that influencer audience, they’ll do the work for you by sharing gorgeous images of your café online. #winning
5) Have plenty of plant-based options
The plant-based revolution is one of the biggest trends of 2020, and it’s only set to grow further. What that means is that more and more customers are looking for dairy-free alternatives in their coffee, so if you’re not fully stocked with oat, soya and coconut milk then you’re not catering to that new wave of customers. With veganism on the rise and more than one in five Brits set to be meat-free this year, it’s a trend you ignore at your peril.
6) Up your social media strategy
If you’ve paid attention to the above points then you’ve got a stylish café serving up delicious, aesthetically pleasing dishes – so the next thing to do is to show that off. Use a social media management programme to post good quality photographs, videos, discounts and offers to your followers on a regular basis each week. Be mindful that some customers will also head to your social media as their first port of call, so enabling them to browse current menus, book tables online and ask queries via messenger will mean they have a good experience – just make sure you get back to them in a timely manner.
7) Experiment with sponsored content
Facebook advertising increases your business’s visibility and enables you to target potential customers who are already demonstrably interested in your products. The demographic targeting is really specific, so you can set up your adverts to target your ideal café customer, who could be, for example, someone who lives in the area, likes coffee and has a moderate to high household income. You can also boost your organic posts – so if something you’ve shared performs particularly well you can put some budget behind it and drive its exposure, increasing your brand and product awareness.
You can find out more about how ePos Hybrid’s intelligent point of sale can work for your coffee shop or café here.