Evaluating coffee shop locations
March 29, 2018
Tanzanian Coffee Shop
September 19, 2018

5 things to improve your coffee shop

1- Start Lean

It’s really easy to spend £100,000 on a fit out of a premise, although it will look amazing and customers will oh and ah about it in the first weeks, it soon stops being a talking point. Once it’s no longer a talking point the focus will be on the quality of the service & the product and if you have spent all the money and fit out and scrimped on everything else it will soon become apparent to your customers. So start lean, spend what you need to get open, yes make it look good but don’t go over the top. You can always go back and upgrade things once you are making money.

2- Amazing Coffee

A coffee shop with average or poor coffee is a business heading for closure, customers visit coffee shops for lots of reasons but nearly all will have a cup of coffee with their lunch, meeting or break from shopping. So focusing on delivering consistently good coffee should be your number one focus from startup onwards. This requires 4 ingredients:

  • Great coffee – A good 1kg of small batch roasted coffee from a reputable roaster costs between £14-£16 per Kg. You can find much cheaper coffee, but it’s cheap for a reason, it’s lower grade coffee. See our list of coffee roasters.

  • Great milk – The vast majority of your customers will have an espresso drink with milk i.e. latte and therefore the milk matters. Milk ranges a lot in price and quality so spend an extra couple of pence per litre and get good quality milk and make sure it’s always fresh.

  • Great equipment – A quality grinder which you can control the grind and dose with is a must. A change in the grind by even a fraction will change the quality of your coffee.

  • Great Training – Is making an amazing cup of coffee an art or science, the answer is a bit of both. You need the science of temperature, water quality, milk quality, coffee quality, dose ratios and timing of shots. But you also need the skill and art that an amazing Barista will bring. All the right ingredients and a poorly trained barista and you will get a bad cup of coffee. So make your baristas earn their slot behind the coffee machine by training and training some more.

3- Amazing Service

Service is this fluffy thing that everyone talks about but it’s difficult to put a box around or design a process for it. We all know when we have had bad service and we know how good service feels but we can’t always explain why. In a busy coffee shop the interaction time with a customer could be less than 30 seconds and therefore you have a very short opportunity to make a service impact on a customer.

The basics are smiling, greeting each customer, remembering people’s name & drinks. This sounds easy but requires constant staff training to maintain.

4- Upsell

The ability of your staff to upsell to customers could be the difference between profit & loss, that extra few pence or pounds on the average customer spend make a huge difference. In our case a difference of £1 in the average customer spend between two of our shops equates to an extra £100,000 in annual revenue. Train your staff to upsell at the counter and at the tables.

5- Wastage

Wastage is any produce you have to throw away, typically food products. Controlling wastage is an important cost control in the business because its amazing how quickly it can add up. Wastage of <2% is good anything above 2% is out of control. Your best method of controlling wastage is ordering the right amount of product with particular attention to food products that have a short shelf life. Of course estimating the right amount is always difficult but better to sell out than to chuck out.

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