Ever been envious of the jam-packed café down the road? Wondering why they always seem so busy? Here, we reveal seven secrets on how to make your café the next “It” place. Just follow these simple tips and you’ll soon be on the way to making your business name the word on everyone’s lips.
1. Know your target market
Okay, it might not sound exciting, but knowing your target market is the secret power to every great business. You should aim to have a good idea of what attracts customers to your café – whether it’s the food, ambiance, awesome coffee, handy location along a bike path, and so on. It will probably be a combination of many things.
Remember, your target market will likely vary according to the time of day. Your first customers may be rushing into work, so you’ll tailor your service to provide fast (but excellent) takeaway coffees. Later in the morning, it may be mums or dads who have dropped their kids to school, completed their fitness routine and now want to catch up with friends. Think about their specific preferences, like how to preoccupy their preschool children and pander to their health-conscious thinking.
2. Get involved
Build a community with your customers. Start by getting involved on social media. Share your latest creations on Facebook, and remember to post pictures of your friendly staff and the interior of your café. Social media is all about engagement. Sure, customers will love to hear about special offers on social media, but they’ll soon switch off if you only use it for overt advertising. Instead, build your community around feedback and opinions. For example:
“Our favourite muffin is Passionfruit and White Chocolate. What’s yours?” “We call our favourite muffin – Decadent Chocolate. Can you give us a name for our new Pineapple muffins?”
3. Reach out to local businesses
Think about how you can extend your customer base by reaching out to other local businesses. For example, if you provide super healthy lunches and tasty salads, build a relationship with those that also promote a healthy lifestyle, like gyms, Pilates and yoga centres, bike stores and more. If you make salad lunch boxes, speak to local offices and offer to make up boxes in advance, so staff can simply collect on demand.
4. Choose your written word carefully
Look carefully at all the things that ‘talk’ to your customer: menus, labels, chalkboards, Facebook, letterbox advertising
, and so on. Choose your words carefully to make your café and products irresistible. There’s no reason why a plain Blueberry Muffin can’t become a Lemon Kissed Blueberry Muffin! If you’ve gone to great lengths to whip up a distinctive breakfast, give it a unique name rather than just list the items on the plate. It just takes a little inspiration and some carefully chosen language to give your café a mouthwatering edge on the competition.
5. Tell your story
Focus on what differentiates you. If you are a family business, you have a story to tell. There are plenty of places to tell the story of why you wanted to establish a café, what you want to excel in, who you are and so on. Share your story on your website, Facebook page, marketing material and even add a couple of lines on your menu. But keep it crisp – no one wants to hear your life story!
6. Be everywhere
Add your café to Google Maps, so that it appears when people are searching your location for somewhere to go. Add your details to Urbanspoon and populate the site with lots of great pictures of your cafe and food. And post lots of scrumptious photos of your food on Instagram.
7. Get local celebrity endorsement
Having the endorsement of local celebrities is a great way to make your café the place to be. Find a local foodie on the blogosphere or a local celebrity who loves their coffee and food, and invite them to your café. They’re bound to review you on their blog.
To begin your cafe advertising research, organise a free letterbox advertising quote here.