Running a speciality coffee shop can be a challenging business, but there's no doubt that it can be hugely rewarding too. With two Coffee Houses of our own in Middlesbrough and Norton, we know that sometimes it's not enough just to make great coffee!
To keep things ticking over, even when times are tough, there are several ways to increase revenue and grow your customer base. In this blog, we'll share some of the lessons we've learned from running coffee shops, and some strategies for boosting revenue in yours.
Diversifying your coffee shop menuOne of the simplest ways to increase revenue is to expand your menu offerings. First you want to take a looks at things from a drinks perspective – exciting new origins or processes on your brew bar – or specialty drinks like those from our friends at Blendsmiths. These will keep your customers interested as the seasons change, and may well be the thing you become known for! The same goes for food. It's great to have a selection of favourites, but it's just as important to keep things interesting.
Whether it's a specials board, or an evening menu (if you're equipped for that sort of thing, like our Tapas evenings in Norton), there's inspiration everywhere. Again, you want to try and find something that really sets you aside from the rest.
Following the latest coffee trendsSome trends are a flash-in-the-pan affair (anyone remember Dalgona Coffee?), but others are the sort of thing to stick around for a long time – transcending the fad status. Either way, these coffee trends are an easy way to make an impact, with little cost to you, and potentially a huge amount of exposure. Plus, they're a great addition to your social media channels!
Putting on eventsAny space that can host your customers can also host events – even if that's somewhere small! We often host coffee cupping sessions and coffee-related talks in our Coffee Houses, but you don't have to be attached to a roastery to make events work for you. Coffee shops are the perfect setting for pop-up supper clubs, intimate gigs, or even comedy nights!
A recent Mexican Supper Club at Rounton Coffee Norton
Consider partnering with other local businesses or organisations to host joint events. Whether you choose to sell tickets or not is up to you: even if your events are free, it's an opportunity for people to browse what you have to offer, which leads us onto our next point...
Selling specialty coffee brewing gearDon't be scared to offer up a way for people to make coffee themselves, it doesn't mean they'll stop visiting you! Your retail shelf can be a reliable source of sales, and there's potential to make it an enticing part of your shop, all year-round. As well as freshly roasted bags of coffee, there are endless gadgets hitting the market all the time for specialty coffee drinkers. Keeping on top of these trends will show you as an authoritative source of coffee knowledge, and the place to be for the sorts of customers you love to have in your shop. Plus, when it's gift-buying season, you'll have a whole range of new bundles to offer! We have a great selection of retail ideas available on our Wholesale Portal - sign up here.
Retail bags of specialty coffee
We touched upon it already, but retail bags are your best friend when it comes to your shop's offering. Ideally you'll have a grinder which can tailor the grind to your customer's exact brewer, but if not, you can easily stock a range of beans and pre-ground specialty coffee. With coffee being an ever-changing seasonal product, you can offer something new and exciting from the world's top producers, and sell the sorts of coffee that your customers will be asking after. In our own Coffee Houses, the retail bags fly off the shelves each time we release a new coffee – as a Wholesale Partner, you could have the same interest in your coffee bags!
Loyalty SchemesImplement a loyalty program that rewards customers for repeat business. Offer incentives such as discounts or free drinks after a certain number of purchases. This not only encourages customer loyalty but also incentivises customers to make more frequent purchases. We use the Embargo loyalty scheme, which offers all of the above, and the chance to keep in touch with your customers via push notifications.
Coffee Shop MerchandiseConsider selling branded merchandise such as t-shirts, mugs, or tote bags. This not only generates additional revenue but also serves as free advertising for your coffee shop when customers wear or use the merchandise in public.
Online Ordering & DeliveriesOffering online ordering for pickup or delivery can attract customers who prefer the convenience of ordering ahead or having their coffee delivered. Consider partnering with third-party delivery services to expand your reach and attract new customers.
There are so many ways to increase revenue in a specialty coffee shop, from diversifying your menu to hosting events and selling retail bags of specialty coffee. By staying up-to-date with the latest coffee trends and providing excellent customer service, you can attract new customers and keep them coming back for more. Want to start your journey, or jump on board with us? Sign up for a Wholesale account here.