We have the amazing pleasure and opportunity to interact with a wide range of coffee partners, from a five-star luxurious hotel property to the new entrepreneur with a dream and a business plan. While all types of coffee shop operators have their strengths and weaknesses, there are a few things that can make your coffee shop concept stand out from the pack.
Design and aesthetics set the tone. We've all experienced it—arriving in a spot, and instantly knowing you'll have a great experience. Creating a space, whether it's a kiosk in a hotel lobby or a full coffee shop, with memorable design elements will not only make current customers intrigued but also entice future customers through the power of social media.
Keep an eye on speed. While a coffee shop experience can be a relaxing, leisurely event, the daily regular customer on their way to work or dropping their kids off at school will be the lifeblood of your business. Developing an operational flow that fuses both speed and quality will ensure customers can count on your shop to deliver the perfect latte without a long wait.
Delight with a food program. The food you offer in your concept will complete the story of your shop and give you the opportunity to partner with various artisans from around your city who offer wholesale programs in line with the quality of coffee you source. One tip: not all wholesale partners are equal and able to keep up with the freshness requirements you may have. A baker that only delivers once a week may not be a great option for an establishment that prides itself on freshness.
Don't forget the merch. Offering retail bags of coffee for customers to take home and brew on their own will increase your check average while also keeping the coffee you offer top of mind. Additionally, retail coffee bags are easy to pack in a suitcase and bring home for your out-of-town guests. Look for creative merchandise like mugs, hats, and t-shirts while always thinking of creative ways to integrate design elements outside of just a logo.
Choose the right coffee partner. A café’s coffee quality is memorable and should be a foundation of any great menu. Aim to find a coffee partner that can offer specialty-grade coffees while providing seasonal rotations to keep things fresh and interesting. Not every specialty coffee roaster is cut out to handle the freshness and roasting requirements that a high-volume café or hotel will require. We, at Per’La, roast at least five days a week and pride ourselves on maintaining a collaborative and accommodating model for unexpected surges that you may have in your in-café business.
Interested in hearing more about how to make your shop stand out? Send me a message, and we can discuss some of the great concepts we've helped bring to life.