With so many coffee houses across the United States, making your business stand out is a challenge. Remember that people can get coffee anywhere. You want to plan strategies that get the public to choose your establishment over your competitors. More important than getting customers to come in once is getting them to come back time and again to your coffee house.
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One way to keep customers coming back to your coffee house is a loyalty program. The most common of these is a punch or stamp card system. Give customers a card with your coffee house logo on it. When the card has been stamped a certain number of times, the card is good for one free coffee of the customer's choice. Many coffee houses have a box at the register where customers can keep their cards so they can't lose them when they are out and about.
You can give your customers a reason to keep coming back by making your coffee shop one that makes a difference. Pick a different charity to raise funds for every week or month. Ask for customer feedback about what charities they would like to see your coffee house raise money for. Donate a set percentage from every cup of coffee sold. Hold a special night to raise funds for the charity of the week or month where you have musicians play and poets read their work.
Of course, you aren't going to make money by giving your coffee away. However, there are ways to entice customers into your coffee house with the promise of free coffee. Two-for-one days or free refills are two ways to get customers coming to your shop instead of your competitors' stores. Another idea is to charge a flat rate for unlimited coffee throughout the course of a single business day.
Open Mic Nights
Open mic nights get people into your coffee shop with live entertainment. Whether your patrons are interested in musical, comedic or poetic performances, your open mic night will provide something for them. Put flyers up around town, particularly at local college campuses. Local as well as travelling performers will provide free entertainment for your customers. This gives your customers a reason to come to your shop other than coffee.
Special drink offers can get customers coming in for things that they can't get elsewhere or prices that scoop your competitors. Lunch-time specials give you the opportunity to sell coffee at a price that is lower than other parts of the day. A drink of the day special allows your baristas to shine by creating signature drinks that other coffee houses in town may not have.
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