With the annual celebration of both Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras, February could prove to be a very festive month for your café! The first step in getting ready for these occasions is decorating accordingly! Be sure to put up hearts and other Valentine’s décor to get people’s hearts racing from something other than your coffee drinks! For Mardi Gras, bring your shop to life with colorful decorations and even have some carnival Mardi Gras masks laying around for photo opportunities! In addition to decorating, here are some promotional ideas from our customers to run during the festivities!
Valentine’s Day – Thursday February 14, 2013
To make sure you include all of your customers in your shop promotions, aim towards just celebrating love, over Valentine’s Day. Why not show your customers some love and offer discounted specialty beverages all day! Or have a small “treat” ready to show your appreciation, for example a small chocolate for each customer or a free flavor shot.
Create a Valentine’s mailbox, every purchase gets their name and email on a “valentine” to drop in. The idea is to draw a name for a prize, maybe a bag of your retail coffee! Ask guests if you can add their email address to your coffee shop’s newsletter or internet promotions listing. Make sure to mark who says yes or no, so you are not spamming and alienating any customers.
Encourage those who have significant others to make visiting your shop part of their date night, by offering a buy-one-get-one deal on drinks. Dim the lighting to set the mood for couples dropping by after dinner. The romantic coffee shop setting is always fun after dining out!
Team up with your community to offer great Valentine’s Day promotions. Your chocolatier or bakery could assist you in creating coffee and chocolate gift baskets for Valentine’s day! Incorporate a local florist to make flower arrangements that you could display and sell, or let them display in your shop with their sign and no cost to you! Really branch out by setting up a sampling station at the flower shop for customers to taste your coffee, while picking up their flower arrangements. This way, you are getting people to sample your coffee that may have never done so otherwise.
Mardi Gras – Fat Tuesday is February 12, 2013 but Mardi Gras celebrations begin weeks before.
Contact your baker and have them create a signature Mardi Gras King cake of cupcakes for your shop! Cupcakes are very on trend right now and portion sizes are easier to maintain. For a “café twist” on this classic tradition replace the baby figurine that is customarily hidden in the cake with a chocolate covered coffee bean, making all of your customers a King or Queen! Keep it classic and offer a free beverage to the customer that purchases the “good luck” cake with the baby figurine inside!
If you have the accommodations bring in a live band to entertain your customers with a Mardi Gras party! Consider operating under extended hours and offering drink specials if your café serves alcoholic beverages as well as coffee. This could be especially popular on Fat Tuesday!
Host Mardi Gras happy hour with signature drink specials from 4pm-7pm to increase some afternoon traffic! If you have a strong morning crowd, apply the “happy hour” concept from 7am-10am or whenever your busiest time is!
Perhaps bring in Stockton Graham’s Banana Foster or Pralines & Cream flavored coffee for the week as a special Mardi Gras treat. It’s something new for your customers to try, directly related to the holiday!
Holidays are a great way to connect with your customers and learn more about them. Take advantage of these two celebrations to learn more about your guests and have fun! If you would like more suggestions on coffee event planning, or have any other questions please give us a call at 800.835.5943.
Check out our other Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras themed blogs!:
Valentine’s Day and Mardi Gras coffee drink recipes
Valentine’s Day Drink Ideas To Steal Your Heart!
Great Valentine’s Day Recipe: Cinnamon Twist White Mocha
Torani’s Bananas Foster Syrup Is Just In Time For Mardi Gras
Featured Seasonal Coffees for the 1st Quarter of 2012