There’s more to running a successful coffee franchise or store than just great coffee (although that certainly helps!). Coffee is one of the most consumed beverages on the entire planet, and plenty of people visit a coffee shop every day. This is why it’s so important to ensure that you are offering the best possible experience for both your customers and your staff.
We consider some of the most important aspects of what makes a great coffee shop experience to keep your customers coming back for more.
What Makes a Coffee Shop Successful?
There are several core factors that contribute to the overall vibe of your coffee shop and the kind of experience customers can expect.
- Customer service
- Barista expertise
1. Coffee Shop Atmosphere
Your customers are going to make up their minds about what kind of coffee shop you’re running as soon as they step through the door. This is why it’s so important for you to build a welcoming atmosphere that is true to your brand.
You need to make sure that you offer seating options for anyone who might visit your cafe. It’s all well and good offering comfy couches and bean bags, but if someone with limited mobility comes in, they may not feel comfortable enough to stay.
We’d recommended offering some comfy options, couches and armchairs for those who are looking to stay awhile but also provide tables and chairs for larger groups or those looking to work.
Design and Decor
You need to know what kind of aesthetic you want your coffee shop to have. If you’re looking for simplicity, then a monochrome colour scheme and minimalist furniture will work wonders. If you want to promote green living, then wooden furniture and a couple of plants can go a long way!
Everything can match, or you can go for a mix and matched boho vibe; so long as it’s true to your brand, your customers are bound to love it.
Never underestimate the power of music. Even when your coffee shop is alive with chatter, it’s nice to have something in the background to help set the mood. It could be anything from local radio stations to a homemade playlist. Just make sure you’ve got something that will help create a soothing and welcoming atmosphere.
Keep it Clean
No matter what vibe you’re after, you’re still going to be running a food and drink establishment. This means that cleanliness is essential! Keep all tables, equipment, floors and stations clean and tidy. If your customers can see you’re running a clean space, they're more likely to be comfortable eating and drinking there.
You should also ensure that you keep to strict health and safety guidelines for a completely safe environment.
2. The Customer’s Experience
Everyone knows that it’s the customers who make a business as much as the products and the workforce, and coffee shops are no exception. That’s why we’ve put together a couple of tips on how you can make your customers’ coffee shop experience as simple as possible.
Some people will want to order quickly and efficiently. This is where options like ordering at the table or click and collect services can be preferable.
However, some people still want the human touch. Maybe the customer wants to hear the barista’s recommendations, or maybe this is the only social interaction the customer may have that day. Whatever the case, it’s essential for your coffee shop to still offer counter service.
The best way to keep your coffee shop in business is to encourage regulars. And what better way to do that than by rewarding your most loyal customers. This is where loyalty cards make a big difference!
Whether you have them on an app or you go old fashioned with a card and stamp, by offering returning customers a reward, you are ensuring they keep coming back for more. It doesn’t need to be a lot, but never underestimate the difference a free cup of coffee can make!
Here at Esquires, we allow our customers to track their rewards and earn discounts through our App, available on the Apple App Store and Google Play.
Excellent Customer Service
This goes without saying, but excellent customer service is a must to ensure a good coffee shop experience. Customers want to feel that they are cared for while they are in your shop and that any queries they have or issues that might arise are handled quickly and efficiently.
That’s not to say you need to wait on your customer hand and foot, but making things like sugars and sweeteners easily accessible and having baristas available to answer questions goes a long way. Also, never underestimate the power of service with a smile!
3. The Barista’s Experience
There is more to being a barista than simply making coffee, and your team will be the face of your business. That’s why it’s essential for you to make their experience as simple and efficient as possible.
Coffee menus are forever expanding with different combinations of syrups and terminology cropping up all over the place. So, it’s only natural that your customers are going to have questions.
By having a team of well-trained and knowledgeable baristas working in your coffee shop, you can ensure that every customer leaves feeling satisfied and well cared for.
Coffee shops are all about speed and efficiency. You want to make sure your customers are receiving the quality service they require as quickly as possible.
By making sure your baristas' workstation is organised and compact, you can ensure that they can do their job without running around looking for things.
When it comes to your equipment, you should spare no expense. By using top-quality equipment, you can ensure a consistent brew that gives customers an exquisite cup of coffee every time.
You should also make sure that your coffee shop equipment is cleaned and serviced regularly, as they’ll likely be handling a large volume of use throughout the average day.
Once you’ve implemented each of these key elements of the coffee shop experience, you could be well on your way to running a successful coffee shop!
If you’re considering opening your own coffee shop, but you don’t know where to start, why not take a look at our franchising opportunities.