Running your own coffee shop is stressful. Worries about getting enough customers and making enough money can sometimes feel never-ending. But, there is one way coffee shops are significantly growing their businesses - in some cases even increasing revenues by 20%. How? By opening up to takeaway orders both via the slightly more old fashioned in-store method and, perhaps more importantly, via those delivered by couriers.
The takeaway market is booming, with the market size for the takeaway industry in the UK already reaching £21.4bn and expected to grow a further 8.9% by the end of this year. By being available for delivery, you’re ultimately making your business more accessible to those who may struggle otherwise to get to you (or those who simply can’t be bothered to leave the house), eliminating barriers to sales.
To ensure you’re making the most of this growth and capitalising on all the potential customers your competitors may miss, we’ve assembled some of the benefits you can reap from offering a takeaway service and how to best maximise your sales…
Benefits of offering a takeaway service
- Increased profit - Gaining an increased stream of income generally means your profit margins increase too. Often the busiest times for takeaways are when eat or drink-in business is at its lowest. In the early mornings when people aren’t looking to socialise and with the rise of home working, having a takeaway option is great for business.
- Growth in repeat business – As the British consumer is slowly moving towards taking out over dining in, if you can offer an excellent takeaway experience, customers will return to your business over your competitors.
- No rise in fixed costs – The output of your kitchen will grow without increasing fixed costs such as equipment and real estate capital.
Things to consider when offering takeaway coffee
- Packaging costs – Unfortunately, packaging isn’t free, so you’ll need to research quality packaging that’s also affordable. You can look at recovering part of this cost through price increases for takeaway orders.
- Accessibility to delivery drivers – How accessible is your coffee shop to delivery drivers? Is there parking outside or nearby? If not, how can you make it easy for delivery drivers to get in store to collect your produce. Also, consider if your shop is within a reasonable distance (1-2 miles) of your customer base. If it’s too far, then delivery costs can start to rack up and decrease profit margins.
- How are you going to package your products? - There are a few things to consider with packaging. To start, you need to package your products in a way that won’t damage them during the delivery process – for instance, providing cup holders to hold coffee cups upright. On top of this, consider what your packaging will look like. Packaging is an excellent marketing tool. By making your packaging both recognisable and practical, you have the opportunity to gain more customers. Starbucks and Costa have mastered the art of using packaging as a marketing tool with the burgundy Costa Coffee cup being recognisable from a mile off, along with the signature Starbucks emblem. Other things you can customise include coffee sleeves and napkins.
- Delivery costs - If you use a courier service, they will charge you for using their service, so make sure to factor in the costs of this. You can counter this by slightly increasing the cost of products bought via takeaway – a common technique used by restaurants. If you choose to run your own deliveries, you’ll have to pay the wages of the delivery drivers and even cover their fuel costs – so this isn’t always the most economical option, especially for smaller coffee shops.
How to maximise takeaway sales
- Allow customers to order online and over the phone - This again makes your shop more accessible to customers as they can place an order with the click of a button.
- Takeaway specials - Dine-in specials often prove successful in driving traffic to your shop, so why not do the same for takeaways? Having exclusive takeaway specials will encourage purchases from consumers and can provide an edge over your competition. Examples of these specials could be a 20% discount when your order is over £10 or a free sweet snack over a certain order amount. You could even create special takeaway bundles at a slightly reduced price than would be spent buying each item separately.
- Loyalty programmes - Offering customers a reward for ordering with your takeaway service is an excellent way to retain business. This can be done through something as simple as a stamp card, although if you have the budget to, you could set up an online rewards scheme that customers earn points towards when they order with you.
- Use delivery couriers - Unless you have been living under a rock for the past few years, you are probably well acquainted with delivery apps such as Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Just Eat. Getting your coffee shop on these apps will skyrocket the engagement you get as you’ll appear on hundreds of potential customers’ screens as they scroll searching for the perfect place to get their morning coffee and snack. They do charge you for use, and in the case of Deliveroo, it can be up to 25% of the sale – but if you’re seeing huge returns, 25% may be a cost you’ll be happy to compromise on.
The takeaway and delivery industry shows no sign of slowing down, and businesses that hop on board are sure to see healthy returns on their investments, so do your research and see how you can make this trend work for you.
Meeting the demands of your customers can be tough, and if you decide to open your business to takeaways as well, you’ll want to have the best equipment to meet that rise in demand. So why not sign up for a Trade Account with Coffee Hit to gain access to everything you need to run a successful coffee shop and have your customers buzzing to come back for more.