This economy is tough and the days of easy money are over. Good, old fashioned elbow grease is the only way to make things happen for your business. What can you do inside your café’s walls to build a relationship for life? Don’t have the extra cash to advertise? Follow these simple (and cheap) ways to increase sales.
1) Be there
It all starts with this one simple idea and all the other points stem from it. Hopefully one day you’ll own five businesses and they will all be well-oiled machines that require minimal effort on your part…hopefully. Equate it to a child needing a parent. Your business cannot grow up and thrive without your steady hand to guide it along the way. Customers that see the owner of a business build instant relationships. It involves them and gives them a role to play. It’s your leg up on the corporate models, too.
Along those same lines, know when not to be there. If you need a break, take one. If you need a day off, take one. A stressed out owner is not going to provide the incredible customer service that is needed. The staff will thank you, too. A mental health day will go a long way in keeping the head clear and the body active.
2) Bus the tables
You’d be amazed at what you can learn while cleaning up. Not only is it a great way to start conversation with your guests, it can also provide a great feedback tool. Throwing away a couple full cups of your signature drink? Maybe it’s not as good you think. If you aren’t lucky enough to have the customer who made the purchase there, have the barista make one especially for you and pinpoint what might be wrong.
Chatting up customers as you clean is the key. Had a guest park in the most comfy chair, set up a small office and not buy a single thing? Go over and make a sale. Start the dialogue: “Can I get you anything? We have a great new mocha.”
3) Sample, sample, sample
Want to increase sales on higher ticket total drinks? Sampling is the most effective method, by far. In almost every instance, if you give away samples and make one sale from your efforts, you’ve covered the cost of the sample and possibly made an exclusive drip coffee customer an occasional $ 4.50 smoothie customer.
Diversifying your menu is almost always a good idea, but many times after new additions are made, owners wonder why appealing new drinks don’t move. Chances are, the customer hasn’t been made to want the drink at all, much less known that it has been added to the menu. Let’s say, for example, you add Red Espresso, the rooibos (red tea) that can be scooped into your portafilter and added as a naturally-decaffeinated, antioxidant-rich substitute for coffee in espresso-based beverages. This is a relatively new product in the marketplace that has won awards in our industry and is appealing in both concept and flavor; however, it must be sampled to prospective customers if a business expects to sell it in higher volumes.
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