Young entrepreneurs opening cafes and coffee shops across London are realising that in order to beat the competition, they need to offer something unique as well as impeccable service and a superior experience for all customers! If you’re planning on running a successful cafe, make sure you kit yourself out with these five essentials.
#1. Great coffee
There it is, I’ve said it. It might seem stupidly obvious, but coffee is the name of the game, so it needs to be high quality and it needs to be perfect. Try to source locally wherever possible, and opt for small, bespoke coffee suppliers rather than big brands – you want to know where your coffee is coming from, and you want to be sure it is Fair Trade.
#2. EPoS System
Whilst this isn’t an essential piece of kit for day one, if your café is a reasonable size and you employ a team of staff, this little system will quickly pay for itself in terms of increasing your productivity and efficiency – and leading to happier customers! The system allows orders to be input at front of house and printed directly in the kitchen, leading to smaller margin for error and communication problems between staff. Epos companies such as SPA Epos (http://www.epos-spa.co.uk/ ) produce systems specific to your needs – both hardware and software, so that you can ensure the system will work for your business. This is one piece of kit you should get saving for!
#3. Nice staff
Again, this sounds cringingly obvious, but if your staff can’t smile and engage customers, what’s the point in hiring them? Smiley, happy people who love working in a customer service facing role are key to running a successful café. It’s far better to hire someone with a great work ethic and friendly outgoing personality but no barista experience, than someone with a horrible personality but 5 years’ experience as a barista! You do the maths.
#4. Do your Research
Even if you’re already a complete coffee buff, it helps to be informed about the types of coffee beans you’re offering to customers. Spend time with your staff tasting and discussing the different coffees on offer so you can sell the benefits and features of each one – you’ll never be lost for words again. Your staff should also be able to answer questions about where your beans are sourced from…it all adds to the customer experience.
#5. Keep it simple
By making your café menu simple and doing a few dishes to a high standard, you can be sure of attracting a loyal clientele. Rather than offering hundreds of complex dishes, stick to tried and tested favourites – bacon and brie toasties, delicious fresh salads, soup, muffins and a variety of coffees. If you start getting demand for speciality items such as decaf coffee, or soya milk then you can add these as you go along.
In today’s competitive world, running a successful café can be a challenge – but with these five tips you’re destined for success!