26 November 2019, 17:07 PM
  • Patrycja Hala Saçan, content writer at Market Inspector, provides the final instalment of guidance
Top tips for opening an indie coffee shop: Part three

Create a Marketing Strategy
Even a good quality coffee and unique interior design need a little boost. For that reason, as a coffee shop owner you should develop an effective marketing strategy.

If you have a budget, you can hire a professional marketing company that will handle the promotion of your coffee shop. However, effective marketing might be done without big investments.

Social media prove to be a great method to build and strengthen the customer base, as well as creating an online presence for your brand. Moreover, social media can serve as a channel to engage with your customers. For example, Facebook or Twitter are suitable for online conversations. In this way you will show your customers that they are valued.

Use Instagram to provide pictures and inside information about what you do in your coffee shop. Taking pictures of you, your staff, as well as products, and sharing them on Instagram might be an effective method to advertise your business. Do you offer a special coffee drink such as special Christmas edition caramel latte that might attract customers? If you do, share pictures or videos of preparation process with Instagrammers.

Find the Best Staff
Finding a good team is another important element of opening a successful coffee shop. It is easy to hire inexperienced person that can be quickly trained. However, finding someone who is welcoming and have excellent communication skills might take time. In other words, it is worth to invest more time to find a good fit that will make your customers come back.

Preparing interview structure might make the recruitment process easier and more effective. The interview should be divided into three steps: finding out about the candidate experience or a natural ability for customer service, learning about the candidates attitude and desire to work, and lastly their values and personality.

You should remember that sometimes the interview might not be enough to see who a person really is. For this reason, implementing a trial period might eliminate staff that do not really fit for the coffee shop environment.

Create an Attractive Menu
Coffee, shakes, tea, pastry, and breakfast menu are typical items in coffee shop menu. However, how to make your menu special? A good idea is to follow the trends. One way to make your offer to stand out is to create exclusive organic menu.

Organic food and drinks popularity continues because people become more aware about their wellbeing, health and the state of the environment. However, keep in mind that an organic coffee beans and other organic products tend to be more expensive, which means that you need to adjust the prices accordingly to generate profit.

Organic coffee can become part of a strong marketing strategy as a product grown on farms with proper standards and techniques, where artificial pesticides and fertilizers are limited. Moreover, often the organic farming is connected to practices of fair trade, which supports producers to maintain decent standards of living. This will show your mission and values.

Take Care of Permits and Licenses
To run a coffee shop the following permits and licenses are necessary:
● A food license: registration 28 days before opening a business at the latest. The local authorities need to be also informed each time you induce changes in the served drinks and food after opening.
● Licenses such as music or alcohol (if you plan to sell alcohol).
● Public liability insurance

Be aware that local authorities might conduct a hygiene inspection of your premises, to make sure that your business prepares food according to food safety standards.

Become Coffee Specialist
A coffee shop owner should have a proper knowledge about coffee. Learning about coffee takes time, but joining the Specialty Coffee Association in the UK for instance, might introduce you to coffee business, and offer you a lot of practical knowledge. This organisation offers a variety of training, social events and championships. At the same time, British Coffee Association might be helpful to follow up developments and issues in the coffee sector. They also organise seminars and workshops.

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