The holiday season is the most profitable time of the year for many cafes, and it is very easy to become preoccupied with profit, sales, shipping schedules, inventory and business in general. Of course, these matters require a good deal of attention, but it is also important to remember why we celebrate. As a business owner, you have an ability to help both the community and your business. Implementing a donation jar or donating proceeds from sales is a good start, but it doesn’t take a lot of time or energy to go the extra mile. Many businesses place a giving tree in their shops which allow customers to adopt a child or family. Some cafes have found that customers, when prompted, will donate a dollar upon purchasing their latte. In previous years, we’ve suggested putting coupons for free drinks on your giving tree, too. Other customers have become a donation drop-off point for coats, toys, canned goods, etc. Bring an unwrapped toy and get a BOGO coupon? Whatever works.
No matter what you choose to do, make sure that the cause does some real good. Investigate, and find out who your charity helps. Go with a local charity to help strengthen your businesses’ ties to the area around you. Evaluate your schedule and pick a day that doesn’t receive a lot of business. Open your store for the morning rush and close early to go work on a “Habitat for Humanity” house or to volunteer in a soup kitchen. You can make this a team-building event and even try to get customers involved. If you include your employees in the endeavor, you will find that the time spent away from the cafe will enhance the relationship between your staff members. Not only will you help your community, but the atmosphere and teamwork in your shop will improve dramatically.
It is easy to get bogged down when things get busy, but offering a lending hand to the community is mutually beneficial to both your business and the community around you.
Stockton Graham & Co.