Espresso Blog

Coffeehouse Management Skill #4: Attention to Detail

If you want your coffeehouse to reach its full potential, you need a healthy dose of obsession. It requires total awareness of your operation—when a glass is missing on a table, the trash is overflowing, or a staff member seems out of sorts—to keep customers coming back.

Managing details like these can turn your business from good to great. Of course you don’t want to take on everything—you want your staff to be empowered and accountable—but it takes setting the example and regularly communicating your expectations to assure quality and service don’t deteriorate.

Your staff needs to see that...

Rev Up Your Coffeehouse Marketing—and Your Profits

Coffeehouse marketing is all about letting people get to know you and the benefits you offer. 

In a way, your coffeehouse or restaurant is its own form of advertising. If you've got a good location—with plenty of drive-by or walk-by traffic—visibility may be enough to keep business humming along. But other than your brick-and-mortar address, how do you promote your business? And does your marketing message communicate your philosophy while giving customers good reasons to walk through your door?

If you market your coffee shop online or with flyers, cross promotion, or print ads, consider...

Video: Clean Your Espresso Machine!

You want a clean espresso machine, don’t you?
Third Rail Coffee in NYC has a great series of videos on all things espresso.
Here’s their down-and-dirty tutorial on cleaning an espresso machine: 

Coffeehouse Management Skill #3: Accountability

It’s difficult to hold other people accountable if you don’t hold yourself accountable. Good leaders know that culture is the result the behaviors they exhibit. Your team will always imitate the behavior they see from you.

If you don’t follow through on things you say you’ll do, your staff will remember. If you want them to be on time for work or deadlines, you’ve got to do the same. (Or, maybe being on time isn’t as important as you say it is.) Talk is truly cheap and actions are thee real representation of what you’re “saying.”

And accountability is not just about taking the blame when...

Coffeehouse Management Skill #2: Open Communication

A lot of coffeehouses are “good,” but not many are truly great. Great ones don’t tend to fail—and open communication with and among your staff can make you one of the great ones.

When you look at the core of problems at your shop—drama and chaos that can infect your business—you don’t have to look much farther than communication issues. Good managers go out of their way to communicate to their team, whereas loose expectations and assumptions can be their downfall.

Be sure you’re communicating with your staff in ways that will strengthen your business:

Provide context

Every employee comes to...

Coffeehouse Management Skill #1: Adaptable Leadership

Even with a strong U.S. economy, coffee shop owners would be doing themselves a disservice by dismissing key leadership skills as crucial to long-term success. Adaptable leaders in your business will help you weather tough times, and of course can help increase your profits when times are good.

Many cities have more than enough coffee shops and restaurants to choose from, making it easy for an eatery to go unnoticed for a while or lose business if service or food quality declines. And when the economy slows again, more establishments will have a hard time staying open.

When you’re up against...

Is Your Outdoor Seating Area Ready For Summer?

Did you know that adding outdoor dining space to your coffee shop can increase your profits by as much as 65%?

With numbers like these, it may be time to pick up a few café tables and invite customers to sip and dine on your sidewalk—or even build a patio or deck if you have the space.

Of course, lots of eateries have outdoor seating, so you’ll need to make yours stand out:

First, get your sidewalk café permit

Cities require businesses to obtain a permit to use sidewalk space. It’s generally well worth the cost—often less than $300 annually for enough space to accommodate 8-10 customers, or...

Iced Coffee, Iced Tea and Smoothies Offer Summer Profitability

Summer is fast approaching, along with an uptick in your iced-coffee drink sales. Iced coffees and teas, nitro coffees, blended-iced drinks (frappes) and smoothies are popular in other seasons too, but by June you can expect your ice machine to start working overtime.

Cold coffee is a great way to win over younger drinkers—with Millenials driving the trend in the U.S. Iced drinks are great for your bottom line, too, because as much as half of a drink’s volume consists of ice—thus increasing your profits by 50%. Providing the lighter flavor that younger coffee drinkers tend to seek out means...

Achieve Your Green Coffee Goals Part III: Eliminating Plastics

In Part I of this series, we talked about how to conduct an energy audit of your coffee shop or restaurant, to find out where you should be incorporating energy efficiencies.

In Part II, we discussed the many ways you can increase sustainability without spending a lot of money.

Perhaps the most obvious way to go green is to recycle as much waste as you can. But while some plastics can be recycled, the greenest option is to avoid using it to begin with, wherever possible. Plastics can only be recycled a few times before they become useless landfill—unlike glass and metal which can be recycled...

Achieve Your Green Coffee Shop Goals Part II: From Local Food to Recycling, It All Adds Up

In Part I of this series, we discussed how to conduct an energy audit of your coffee shop or restaurant, to learn where best to incorporate energy efficiencies.

If an audit uncovers expensive fixes for your energy habit—like a need to upgrade your restaurant equipment to Energy Star models or install a new H-VAC system (not easy tasks), don’t fear. You can do those things in phases, and in the meantime, implement green measures that won’t break the bank:

Conserve water.

Simple changes in your water use such as running the dishwasher only when it is completely full, loosening dried food by...

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