If you own or work at a cafe, you know that maintaining the business can be an uphill battle. With both competitors and customers constantly changing their expectations, you’re in constant need of innovative new ways to improve your business.
Despite being an industry that has been around since before you were born, the restaurant business has changed dramatically in recent years. To stay relevant, you must transform your cafe. Otherwise, you will fall behind your competitors who are leveraging new technology and strategies to attract more customers, increase profits, and gain market share.
You don’t have to be stuck in the past, though! There are plenty of innovative ways to revamp your cafe that are easy and relatively inexpensive to implement. Here are seven of them.
Set Up Social Media Pages
Setting up social media pages for your business is incredibly important for generating brand awareness. Not only will it help you grow a following, but it also puts you on a level playing field with large, multi-national companies by enabling you to reach millions of people online. There are tons of platforms available—it’s best to start by setting up accounts on Facebook and Twitter, as these two networks have proven themselves as the gateway drugs of social media marketing.
Train Your Staff Better
Each shift at your cafe is an opportunity for your staff to learn something new. However, if you’re not keeping a close eye on their performance, it can become an opportunity for them to give customers less than stellar service. Make sure you always have a plan in place for giving your employees helpful feedback about how they can improve. It will help your employee get what they need out of each shift so that your customers leave happy every time.
Focus on the Ambiance
The ambiance of your cafe is a crucial component of its success. Don’t skimp on things like fresh flowers, and put in time and effort into decorating according to season, holidays, or weather. The goal is to provide customers with a pleasant experience that will make them want to come back for more. To ensure you are not forgotten by visitors, maintain a lively social media presence by providing offers and information through Facebook posts and tweets. Not only does it attract new clients, but it also helps to spread your presence among their friends.
Get Rid of High Tables and Bar Stools
High tables or bar stools can limit customer interaction and bring down your revenue. Offer chairs instead, and you’ll see an increase in your sales figures. Plus, customers might order more food if they feel more comfortable at their table—they won’t be looking around for a place to set their plates. Give your customers some leg room with low tables. Placing tables at knee-level will help make your restaurant seem spacious, and it will also give guests a clear view of what other patrons are ordering.
These actions show that you care about creating a positive environment for everyone who comes into your business. Whether switching up your menu or offering more welcoming seating options, these changes will attract even more repeat visitors who want to stay with businesses that offer unique experiences each time they visit.
Train Your Staff Better
A bad cafe can lose a lot of money because of poorly trained staff. When your employees are aware of how to make great-tasting drinks and respond well to customers, they can help bring in more revenue. That said, you need to make sure they’re adequately trained before letting them loose on an unsuspecting public. To give your baristas a boost, it’s a good idea to train them with one-on-one sessions or company workshops.
Change the Interior
While you can’t do much about a bad location, investing in a creative and engaging interior will go a long way toward attracting customers. Make sure your cafe is comfortable enough that guests want to hang out for hours—and clean enough that they don’t feel gross doing so. A unique concept or theme is also a great way to separate yourself from similar establishments. More than anything else, draw inspiration from places that have proven successful with their remodeling projects and find something that works for your business.
You can start with the flooring and walls, but also look at ways you can update your furniture and equipment as well. For the flooring, look into carpeting or switch to a kitchen vinyl floor. This is great for high-traffic areas that could be marred by liquids like coffee or food spills. Choosing fixtures are another way to give your cafe a new feel. Look online for ideas on what might fit best in your establishment and what will work with the current renovations you’re planning.
Consider App Payments
Apps like Starbucks and Square have made it easier than ever for customers to pay for their coffee via mobile device. While some independent cafes still haven’t adopted mobile payments, others have said that they’ve seen a significant jump in business, especially during lunchtime rushes. If you already offer wireless internet, why not give your customers another way to make transactions on the go? The more simple ways you can make it for them, the better.
These are things you can do to revamp your cafe and boost your sales. Implementing these tactics will help you drive more customers through your doors, which in turn will bring a higher return on investment. It’s important to try out different tactics and see what works best for you and your cafe.