Whether you’re running a café, hotel, pub or gym, putting together a successful coffee offer is a multi-faceted balancing act which takes careful consideration. There is no magic solution or quick-fire way to suddenly pull thousands of customers through the door, instead it’s a slow grind (excuse the pun) of consistently picking up new loyal customers along the way.
Choose great products
Selecting high quality products from trusted suppliers is the foundation of keeping customers on side.
Reputation, pricing, flavour profiles and branding will all play a huge part in making that choice, but it’s universally acknowleded that poor quality and bad-tasting products will never win loyalty from your target market. Choose the best coffee with honest provenance and teach staff the story of your supply chain to capture people’s imagination and win their hearts.
Select staff carefully
Choosing staff who will represent your company positively is an often underestimated, but crucial task. Attitude is universally preferable to aptitude. Skills can be taught, but great character and work ethic are intrinsic values needed in the industry which are almost impossible to learn.
Selecting your staff carefully is just the beginning of the story: keeping their training up-to-date and relevant is key to retaining sales high. Customer-facing staff are the customer’s first, and sometimes, only point of contact with your business. They should be conveying accurate and up to date product information, as well as the values and attitudes that reflect your company best.
Never sell a bad cup
Setting and keeping standards high is vital to earning repeat business. Make sure every drink you serve is the best it can be; if it isn’t, don’t serve it. It’s much better to allow for a little wastage if the espresso shot times are poor, or the milk isn’t textured to perfection, than to serve a lacklustre latte.
The competitive nature of hospitality, particularly on the high street, means that customer loyalty is harder than ever to achieve. If your drinks aren’t on point every time, chances are consumers won’t give you the benefit of the doubt and they’ll vote with their feet and find somewhere else to enjoy their favourite drink. So, make sure every drink is consistently on point and you’ll soon gain a loyal base of regulars.
Of course, the majority of consumers like consistency, some will merrily order the same extra-hot caramel latte every morning until the end of time, so it’s good to stick to some basic staples. But, as the old saying goes, familiarity breeds contempt so regularly offering promotions or adding interest to your drinks menu is a low-cost way of effectively uplifting sales. At Paddy and Scott’s we have a frequently updated seasonal drinks programme, complete with special products and seasonal recipes; all supported with inviting promotional materials.
Resolute customers might not intend on upgrading their usual drinks order; but with tempting offerings and clever promotion; by the time they get to order they definitely will!
Shout about it
Consumers are now awash with choice and often face an overwhelming barrage of advertising from all over so a good, recognisable marketing strategy is key to encourage them to choose you over your competitors. Keep your message simple, clean and consistent to stand out. Use signage, table talkers and point of sale in-house to tempt upsells and post regularly on social media to help people find you.
By Scott Russell, CEO and founder of coffee supplier Paddy and Scotts