Marketing ideas for a coffee shop

Updated February 21, 2017

Marketing is the key to driving customers into your coffee shop. You must do research on the area and determine who your customers are, what other coffee shops and stores are offering customers and what the other businesses are not doing that you want to do. Having the right marketing ideas for your coffee shop will help get customers in the door, get customers to buy more coffee and other products, and get them to return to your business.

Grand-Opening Party

One marketing idea is to throw a grand-opening party---one that runs all day with promotions like free coffee with every food purchase; a tasting of your shop's pastries; "Design Your Own Drink" event where customers pay a small fee to create drinks, have other customers vote on it and then the winning drink is featured in your coffee shop; a raffle with door prizes; a local band playing; and then as the day is wrapping up, offer ice-based drinks to your customers and more dinner food items. Advertise the grand opening in every medium possible: radio, television, newspaper, flyers around your area and at any colleges and on the Internet.

Products With Coffee Shop Name/Logo Printed

Another marketing idea for your coffee shop is personalised products--coffee cups, pens, napkins, glasses even miniature notebooks--with your coffee shop's name, website information and phone number on them. Be creative and come up with a range of items to have personalised. These items can also be used as giveaways at special events. This will help drive people into your coffee shop and help put your store's name out there.

Coffee Punch Cards & Pre-paid Coffee Charge Cards

One marketing idea to use is offering a coffee punch card and/or prepaid coffee charge cards. Have some business cards printed with your coffee shop's name, logo and contact information and then at the bottom, a certain number of stars that can be punched. Once all of the stars have been punched, the customer gets a free cup of coffee, pastry or other food item. Don't just limit the free item to coffee. A prepaid coffee charge card works by having different cards in different denominations like £6, £13 or more. Customers can buy a card and use the funds on it to buy coffee and food items. Offer these as a convenient way for customers to purchase coffee if they don't want to use cash or charge coffee every day to a credit card. Also, offer these as a gift card for your customers to purchase.

Art & Poetry Events

Offer art and poetry events one or more nights of the week as a way of promoting your coffee shop. Create a flyer and a special advertisement on your coffee shop's website, calling for artists and poets to come down and use your facility for a show or open mic night. Schedule the event on a night that is usually slow for your business. This may boost sales and get people to come out to the event. Plan ahead for the art show or poetry night. Schedule enough employees to help and have enough coffee and supplies. Do some door prizes and other giveaways to keep the event going.

Weekly Promotions

Have not one but two weekly promotions featuring a coffee product, pastry or other food item. Advertise the promotions on your coffee shop's website, on local notice boards and on the Internet. Print some flyers and have one of your employees pass them out around your area. Create a blog for your coffee shop and feature the promotions on it. For the last week of the month, offer a promotion where someone could win an item from your coffee shop like a free coffee cup or one week of free doughnuts.

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About the Author

Nick Davis is a freelance writer specializing in technical, travel and entertainment articles. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Memphis and an associate degree in computer information systems from the State Technical Institute at Memphis. His work has appeared in "Elite Memphis" and "The Daily Helmsman" in Memphis, Tenn. He is currently living in Albuquerque, N.M.