How to start a coffee shop – 3 tips for success

How to Start a Coffee Shop – 3 Tips For Success

When starting a coffee shop, consider these three tips before you open to get you started in the industry on the right foot.

Sources

Coffee shops that strive for high quality can live and die by the sources they use for their beans and other ingredients. By finding a unique source that is both high quality and has a company story that customers can support, you can build your company’s branding on top of your supplier’s. You can even seek to become a retailer of the coffee company’s beans to customers so they can take the taste home with them. Don’t worry about finding the best taste – this may not be possible because everyone has a different opinion. If you find a different taste, you give customers a clear choice between your store and your competitors so your products will be judged on more than price.

We’re Not a Chain

For an independent coffee shop, competing in today’s market can be an uphill battle against certain global, highly branded chains. As these chains grow to dominate the market, there is still room for differentiated, unique, independent coffee shops. They must use the fact that they are not part of a chain to their advantage, showing that they are an alternative in as many ways as possible, to chain stores. This can be through a different product line, local sources of ingredients, a unique atmosphere, or other elements of the shop’s branding. Trying to steal customers from the chains by imitating their style, products, and pricing is the wrong move – very few independent shops cannot successfully compete head-on against chains.

Customer Service

Training your staff for consistent and excellent customer service is vital to your survival. This is a great opportunity for an independent coffee shop as expectations are often set relatively low by chain shops. For example, during slow times, why not have your counter staff serve customers at their tables? When customers get an experience like this, which goes beyond their expectations, they often tell others about it. At the same time, teach your staff to know the difference between customers who are focused on interacting with each other and those who might appreciate additional interaction with the staff. Sometimes, the customer desires to be served and left alone to focus on their work or conversation.

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