"Things cafes need to get right…"
If you are reading this you are either a consumer saying “honestly how hard could it be?” or a cafe owner reading the hypothetical consumer comment and saying “If you think it is so easy why don’t you give it a shot???” Possibly with more expletives. We know it can be hard to run a cafe and its exceptionally hard to please everyone. So lets try and keep it simple. We asked customer’s some of the things that cafes need to do right. Covering these bases will make sure you have a solid foundation.
1. Make not just great coffee but OUTSTANDING COFFEE
The coffee that makes you go ‘Hell Yeah, i want another one of those’ is the difference between a customer that goes there once, and a customer that returns. Every minute you spend on making your product better is a minute well spent. Be it practicing your latte art or researching better grinding techniques. Continuous improvement is key.
2. Simple delicious food with not too many choices
6 different types of bread, 25 different ingredients to chose from, toasted, grilled, microwaved, oven baked, toasted in a volcano… Having a lot of choices is a good thing right?
New consumers often get overwhelmed when there are too many choices. Even to the point of even being self conscious that they will get the order wrong and look like idiots in front of everyone when ordering. This can make customers pick the fast food restaurant down the road over your double sifted rye and crushed quinoa seed flame grilled quail burger with truffles. Just keep it simple – Maximum of 10 orders, list the ingredients (they will tell you on order if they don’t want something). This will save you on stock costs too.
3. Friendly , happy staff giving great service
theres a very aussie thing about walking into your ‘local’ and the barista knows just how you like your brew, thats what sets the huge cafe scene in Australia apart from the chains in the USA for example. If possible, learn the regulars names (there are plenty of tips online for how to learn names via association etc) This will lock them in for good.
The Vibe is key. Anyone can lease a shop font, put some chairs and tables in it and call it a cafe. The exceptional cafe’s go about 200 extra miles through creating the vibe of the place through ambience. Good music, uncluttered inviting space, relaxing vibes with the decor, books/local paper to read if you are going for that. Alternatively you can go completely themed, really give the place a ‘personality’ which can help word of mouth “yeah i went to that cafe that has all those movie props” for example
-a spot where many folks are going to need a coffee right near a busy bus stop or train station for example
-a beautiful spot overlooking a park, gardens, beach or water is another good option
-a cbd spot where everyone stops on the way to work or an area with a certain flavour / style or just off it away from the average places so its a little secret spot in a laneway creating exclusivity. People love the feeling of discovering a new Awesome place thats a little bit special and telling their friends. The location is key to the success of a cafe. Some planning as to the area of your business can go a long way.
There you have it. Try to nail these fundamentals down and you are well on your way to having a successful cafe..