While COVID-19 may not yet be a thing of the past, with over 44 million people in the UK now fully vaccinated, it’s hard for us not to be keeping an eye out for the finish line.
Despite businesses being open once more, we’re still a long way off from returning to ‘normal’, so you may feel like your coffee shop isn’t seeing as much business as before.
That’s why we’ve made this handy guide to help you find new ways to attract customers back to your coffee shop in a post-COVID world!
If you’re looking to get into the industry and buy a coffee shop franchise, check out our frequently asked franchise questions.
Continue COVID Safety and Hygiene Practices
While you’ve probably heard this a thousand times, it’s worth saying again – COVID is not over yet! But, there are ways that you can continue to stop the spread and keep your business functioning just fine.
The most important part of reopening is ensuring that all coffee shop safety and hygiene practices are in line with government guidelines. As of October 2021, the vast majority of legal restrictions have been lifted in the UK, but there are still steps you can take to ensure your customer’s safety, including:
- Providing more outdoor seating where possible to provide cleaner air.
- Recommending that customers wear face coverings when not sat at their tables unless they’re exempt.
- Keeping as many windows open as possible to allow for better air circulation.
- Ensuring customers check-in using the NHS Track and Trace.
You should also ensure your staff are as protected as possible. Some ways to do this include:
- Encouraging the wearing of face coverings while serving or installing screens where staff are serving.
- Encouraging regular testing for all staff - the NHS recommends testing twice a week.
You should also ensure that all seating areas and equipment are properly cleaned frequently throughout the day to keep your coffee shop as safe and hygienic as possible.
Set Coffee Shop Rules
Another way to attract customers back is by letting them know clearly what your shop’s rules are regarding COVID safety.
Some may only just coming out of isolation and are scared of how things work now. By showing them that you’re running a safe and hygienic establishment, they’ll be far more willing to come inside!
Display Your Cafe's Rules
It’s all well and good setting rules for your coffee shop, but you need to make sure they’re known to every customer and member of staff that comes through the door.
There’s plenty of ways you can make your rules known, including:
- Having a sign outside your coffee shop.
- Having a dedicated greeter to explain the rules to new customers.
- Posting your rules on your social media channels.
Don’t make it too complicated - if you’d like for customers to wear a mask when ordering, make sure they know that. The same can be said for having them check in using your shop’s Track and Trace barcode.
By making sure your coffee shop is a safe place to be, you’re bound to attract more customers post-COVID.
Boost Your Online Presence
With everyone spending so much time indoors, there’s one place that they’ve turned to for all their need-to-know stuff – the internet.
This is why ensuring you have an online presence is essential for your business post-COVID. There are plenty of ways that you can get online with your coffee shop, including:
- Setting up a website to showcase your menu and opportunities.
- Having dedicated social media accounts where you post regularly.
- Introducing online ordering like our Click and Collect system.
When it comes to running any business, you need to be where your customers are. By having an active and engaging online presence, you can better connect with your customers and inevitably attract even more.
Provide a Memorable Coffee Shop Experience
The majority of people who visit a coffee shop are there for more than just a hot drink. Coffee shops are an experience all on their own. They offer people a space where they can work, hang out, and just enjoy themselves.
That’s why it’s vital for any coffee shop owner to make sure their shop appeals to a vast array of customers. Whether that’s by serving a menu that caters to a whole host of dietary requirements or just simply by offering free Wi-Fi to all customers.
You should also never underestimate the power of good customer service. Basic human interactions have been at an all-time low since the pandemic began, and a lot of people have missed the social element that a coffee shop can offer. A smile and a simple ‘hello’ could be the only thing standing between a disgruntled and a satisfied customer.
That said, not everyone is looking for a good old chinwag when they come into your coffee shop, so having options like online ordering and click and collect can also help you to attract customers who are just looking to grab a coffee and go.
Since COVID-19 is still not over, we all need to become acclimated to this idea of a ‘new normal’. We hope that this guide can help you get your coffee shop back on track by attracting new and returning customers to your business.
If you’d like more advice on how to manage your business in a post-COVID world, check out our blog, where we explore a variety of business changes brought on by the pandemic and how you can work through them.
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