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  • Writer's picturePhilip Marchant

Fill you cup until it runeth over!

The best time to start #promoting your #coffee #shop is now.

There are countless different ways to get customers through the doors, and you’ll need to try a few different methods before you find what works best with your market and your way of doing business.

Inside the shop

1. Great coffee is important. But if you want loyal customers, creating a homely environment and providing them with a special experience is crucial.

2. you’ll need fast and stable #Wi-Fi. Like it or not, a large portion of your customers are more interested in the internet than the drinks. Make sure every table has a good signal, and make sure their connections are still speedy when you’ve got a full house.

3. You’ll want plenty of power sockets. People come to you to rest and recharge: both figuratively and literally. So have a few extra wall sockets installed near as many tables as possible, ideally with modern USB slots. And if you really want to make them feel welcome, invest in a few low-cost #phone and tablet charging cables that you can lend out to customers when they need them.

4. you’ll want a broad range of stuff to #read. Keep a steady supply of recent fashion, music and health magazines lying around, as well as the more popular tabloids and broadsheets.

5. if you’ve got the space for it, you can raid your local charity shop to fill up your shelves with classic novels and books with quirky subjects.


1. Catching the eye means catching a sale. Surround your most profitable products with extra white space. Use bold colours like red and yellow to draw your #customers’ attention to them.

2. List the products you want to sell more of first. Most diners will subconsciously order the top two items in a section more often than the other items in that section.

3. Design your menu around the “Golden Triangle”. When we first open a #menu, our eyes usually start at the centre, before moving to the top right corner and then the top left.

4. Remove the currency symbols from your prices. Use 4 instead of £4.00

5. Create an emotional response with creative product names. You might take your strongest espresso and name it “The Godfather” etc

6. Menus don’t last forever. That means that every month or two, you’ll be spending the same #money on getting new #menus printed – so it’s a perfect chance to regularly try out some new #designs, new items, or new product names.

Rewarding loyalty cards

1. There’s a reason we’ve seen cards like these in just about every retail shop or casual eatery. It’s because they work.

2. Once someone has a loyalty card, they’re walking around with an #advert for your coffee shop in their wallet.

3. Eye-catching loyalty card designs to keep #customers coming back

4. Design a durable, colourful and eye-catching #loyalty card with your #special #offers and address on the back, and let your current customers do your #marketing for you.


Most coffee shop customers won’t pore through the whole menu to calculate the best deals. They’re not buying a new car – they’re just here for a #drink and some #food

So when they arrive, they’ll often go for the first attractive thing they see.

So, place posters in the central window of your front door, above and behind where

your baristas work and next to the door to your toilets.

With small batches of printed posters every month or so, you can keep on

experimenting with different offers and deals until you find the ones that work best.

And it’s also a chance to keep rotating some low-cost decorations, with vibrant #designs

and #styles that match the #ambience or theme of your coffee shop.

Create a low-cost special offer with #free refills

You can use small cups, while still charging the same price. Even when refills are free,

Most people won’t go past their second cup of coffee – and some won’t even have a

second one at all.

That means you’ve got an enticing offer (unlimited coffee) to put on your flyers and

displays, while providing a better product (coffee that stays fresh and hot in smaller

servings) and making more money per customer (giving out an average of less than

two half-cups, but always charging for one full cup). Limit the free refills to the parts of the day when your shop is empty (like 2pm to 4pm), or just put a one-hour limit on the offer.

Capture their #emails with #prize-winning feedback cards

The easiest way to do this is to talk to your customers. Find out what they like and don’t like, ask them about the changes they’d love to see.

With every submitted feedback card, you can enter that customer into a prize draw to win something fun – like free coffee for a week, or a big bag of your most #exclusive beans.

And with every submitted feedback card, you’re also able to capture a customer’s email – which means you have a non-invasive way of promoting your coffee shop’s special offers, new products or upcoming events. Keep it simple.

Outside your coffee shop

Create a snappy pavement sign

§ Get their attention – say something unexpected, or try out a light-hearted #


§ Be brief and punchy – as few words as you can get away with, written in as large a font as you have space for

§ Be instantly understood – either a clear and simple offer, or an attractive sentiment with mainstream appeal.

Some coffee shops will go for a blackboard-style sign written in chalk. It’s a great way to test out a few different ideas or to rotate your daily special offers. But once you’ve found a winning formula for your sign’s message or concept, you can step up to a more professional A2 or A1 printed poster.

With this higher resolution, you’ll be able to fit in some smaller details for people who have time to stop and look – like photos of your coffee shop’s interior, or a price list of a few of your products.

Start a real relationship with your local businesses, events and charities.

If you want a coffee shop that’s built to last, you’ll need repeat business from regular customers.

One of the best ways to get that is by getting directly involved with the local community.

That could be as simple as dropping off a few complimentary coffees to the staff in the retail stores next to yours, or volunteering to provide the refreshments at your town’s local societies, meetings or special events. Of course, you’ll be serving up your free coffees along with #business cards and flyers.

You could even organise some raid-style visits on the local offices. Just phone up a few local businesses in advance to arrange a time, and then make a short trip to their place of work to hand out a few free samples and some menus. While you’re there handing out free coffee, it’s also the perfect time to offer the management a group discount if they hold their regular breakfast meetings in your shop.

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