Coffee shops and restaurants are as much (or more) about customer service than they are about goods and transactions—though the goods need to be good, no doubt. A purely transactional business can succeed without an owner’s presence, but a coffee shop or restaurant needs the owner’s regular involvement. Customers expect it, and staff are more engaged when the owner at least occasionally takes orders, makes coffee and is actively watching over the business.
Beyond your undying attention, following are some good ways to build revenue at your coffee shop or restaurant.
Use loyalty cards. They really do work, and you can see the proof when a customer’s face lights up after you give them the free drink they’ve earned. Better yet, give a new customer a card that has all but one of its holes punched, so their very next drink is free. Easiest—and possibly cheapest—customer acquisition you’ll ever make.
Limit choices. Choice paralysis is a real thing. A classic example is two jam tastings that took place at a grocery store, where one gave the option of 4 jams to buy after the tasting, and the other gave 15 options. The tasting that offered only 4 jams sold about twice as much jam.
Take care of the key categories, with three or four flavors, three sizes, three or four sandwich options, etc. Each item you add to your menu increases management costs, and possibly without adding to your revenue stream or customer satisfaction.