Nowadays, with mega-companies like Starbucks and Costa dominating the high street, the cafe just starting up has a major level of competition. And, according to national newspaper The Telegraph, with more than 14,000 coffee shops all over Britain, it’s important to have the edge over your competitors when you first open your doors.
Whether it’s providing the finest selection of foods or keeping your kitchen spick and span, your cafe will have to be something special if it wants to thrive. So, here are just a few tips to get you on your way to a successful first coffee shop.
Keep your business clean and tidy
The health and safety legislation for restaurants, bars and cafes is a strict beast, but it’s one that businesses preparing food and drink must adhere to down to the very last detail, with the threat of closure imminent if you fail too many health inspections.
These inspections can come at any time, making it important to always keep on top of your hygiene in the kitchen and out front. Every now and again, it’s also a good idea to bring in an industrial kitchen cleaning service to help you in the thorough scrub down of your kitchen that you might not have time for in its day to day running.
Train your staff well
How many times have you gone into a cafe only to find that the person serving you is rude, churlish or simply bad at their job? It’s not pleasant to feel unwelcome in a place where you plan to eat and drink, so you should always try to impress upon your employees the importance of good service.
Take the time out to train your employees up to their fullest extent, doing more than simply throwing them in at the deep end after a periphery look at the coffee machine. In essence, you should treat your staff members as an extension of you, bestowing all of your experience upon them in order to know that they’re doing their job as well as you can make them.
Keep your customers coming back
Everyone who likes to relax in a cafe has their favourite spot, their home from home where they have the space to read, chat or simply relax with an Americano or latte – and, if you can create a warm and welcoming atmosphere, you could own a place that your customers will always want to return to.
With the right food, drink, politeness and décor, you’ll be almost guaranteed to have a series of regulars keeping your cafe in the pink.
You can also incentivise repeat returns with that perennial favourite, the loyalty card, which usually offers a deal after a certain number of purchases, making customers feel more motivated to come back.
Pick the right location
The location of your cafe is an important factor, with the balance between a venue people will actually want to visit and somewhere you can realistically afford being a difficult middle ground to strike.
Bear in mind that people won’t necessarily want to travel far to have a quick coffee or a bite to eat, so find a central area where business is thriving and try to match your budget up accordingly. Alternatively, you could try to find a location lacking in cafes and hope that you’re filling a niche in the area.